2017, Incredible Blogger Marathon Challenge, Rants and Rambles, verbonaut

the problem with male feminism.

Let’s talk about the most controversial thing to have happened this week on social media. Now, fat shaming is something we have made a huge movement to eradicate in the last few years. Although ‘plus size’ models still struggle, we have far more representation as far as ‘real’ body types go. Saying this, the problem is nowhere near solved.

So, this week, a man called Robbie Tripp posted a lovely photo of him and his wife on social media, captioning it with (what he thought to be) an empowering message. Social media then proceeded to rip him to shreds on the content of his message. Having not read the full caption, I thought I would share with you, my readers, all my thoughts on what this ‘hate figure’ had said so wrong. 

trippshaming
The photo published on Robbie’s Instagram (@tripp)

“I love this woman and her curvy body. As a teenager, I was often teased by my friends for my attraction to girls on the thicker side, ones who were shorter and curvier, girls that the average (basic) bro might refer to as “chubby” or even “fat.” Then, as I became a man and started to educate myself on issues such as feminism and how the media marginalizes women by portraying a very narrow and very specific standard of beauty (thin, tall, lean) I realized how many men have bought into that lie. For me, there is nothing sexier than this woman right here: thick thighs, big booty, cute little side roll, etc. Her shape and size won’t be the one featured on the cover of Cosmopolitan but it’s the one featured in my life and in my heart. There’s nothing sexier to me than a woman who is both curvy and confident; this gorgeous girl I married fills out every inch of her jeans and is still the most beautiful one in the room. Guys, rethink what society has told you that you should desire. A real woman is not a porn star or a bikini mannequin or a movie character. She’s real. She has beautiful stretch marks on her hips and cute little dimples on her booty. Girls, don’t ever fool yourself into thinking you have to fit a certain mould to be loved and appreciated. There is a guy out there who is going to celebrate you for exactly who you are, someone who will love you like I love my Sarah.”

Now, I want to break down his little speech.

“I love this woman and her curvy body.”
Now, the start of this speech is perfect. He is simply acknowledging the fact that his wife has a curvy body. We cannot and should not shame her for that, nor him for noticing that. He is simply stating two facts – he loves her and he loves her body.

“As a teenager, I was often teased by my friends for my attraction to girls on the thicker side, ones who were shorter and curvier, girls that the average (basic) bro might refer to as “chubby” or even “fat”.”
Ok, so I have more of an issue with this following line. It is perfectly normal to have a type or to be attracted to a certain body shape. The fact his friends ‘teased’ him should be much more of an issue. This line implies that a ‘normal’ guy would see these women as ‘chubby’ or ‘fat’, but because he sees them as beautiful, he is much more enlightened in some way. This sentence, to me, should have no relevance whatsoever. If his type is women that look like his wife, then his friends’ opinion is irrelevant.

“Then, as I became a man and started to educate myself on issues such as feminism”
For purposes of my standpoint and education on feminism, all I’ll say about this is…(*cough cough*  feminism has nothing to do with body shape *cough cough*)

feminism

“and how the media marginalizes women by portraying a very narrow and very specific standard of beauty (thin, tall, lean), I realized how many men have bought into that lie.”
For all intents and purposes, he is correct. The media portrays the ideal woman as the ‘model type’, often between 5″8 – 5″11, and weighing between 90 and 120 pounds. As far as young girls aspiring to look like a certain set of people, models are a huge influence. Perhaps he is correct too, that many men have bought into this ‘model’ type being the most attractive, although I’d hardly call it a lie. For many people, that ‘type’ is their type, and the body shape they find most attractive. Women do look like that (not all, but some), so to brand this type a ‘lie’ is rather odd.

“For me, there is nothing sexier than this woman right here: thick thighs, big booty, cute little side roll, etc.”
Again, Robbie flips back to appreciation of his wife, he lists these little things that he loves about her – frankly, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with this at all.

“Her shape and size won’t be the one featured on the cover of Cosmopolitan but it’s the one featured in my life and in my heart.”
Again, at the risk of being a typical teen girl, this is cute! He knows that her body type isn’t Cosmopolitan because they feature the ‘typical models’ (and she isn’t one of them). But he throws that convention aside, telling us he doesn’t care that she isn’t a model, she’s a part of his life and heart.

“There’s nothing sexier to me than a woman who is both curvy and confident;”
Again, not really much of an issue here. He simply affirms ‘his type’.

“this gorgeous girl I married fills out every inch of her jeans and is still the most beautiful one in the room.”
I mean, (aside from the fact most women fill out their skinny jeans if they get them fitted properly) the only thing that’s a bit off about this is the fact he uses his own opinion as a generalisation. For some, she may not be the most beautiful in the room, for some, she might be. Because it’s a phrase, however, I’ll let that slide.

“Guys, rethink what society has told you that you should desire. A real woman is not a porn star or a bikini mannequin or a movie character.”
Here is where I find fault. He tells ‘guys’ to rethink what they find attractive when it isn’t his place to tell them such. What someone finds desirable isn’t anybody’s place to dictate, other than the person themselves (and this is a recurring issue). He also says that actresses and porn stars… aren’t people? Other than being wholly incorrect, it completely contradicts his previous statement about having been educated on feminism, as he subtly degrades these women in typically hyper-sexualized roles. These women are real women.

“She’s real. She has beautiful stretch marks on her hips and cute little dimples on her booty.”
Yeah, I agree – his wife is a real woman. But a real woman doesn’t have to have stretch marks or dimples. A real woman doesn’t even have to have a vagina for god’s sake! This is 2017, if you identify as a woman, you’re a woman. You don’t need stretch marks, butt dimples, just like you don’t need a tiny waist or flawless skin.

“Girls, don’t ever fool yourself into thinking you have to fit a certain mould to be loved and appreciated. There is a guy out there who is going to celebrate you for exactly who you are, someone who will love you like I love my Sarah.”
He finishes on an oddly positive note, I think the first line is a good message. But what do I take from this? I feel as if he’s feeling proud that he’s loved someone like Sarah… as if he deserves a reward for defying conventional stereotypes. I’m strangely unsettled by the whole message. He’s had some good points and some terrible points. I think he had good intentions, but clearly, it came across the wrong way.

What are your thoughts on this message? What are your interpretations? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below!

ibmc710

Source: The News And Paper Challenge, IBMC #7

5 thoughts on “the problem with male feminism.”

  1. You really hit the nail on the head with this post. Great in depth analysis. I’ve been trying to determine what bothered me about this, and you’ve pretty much cleared it all up.

    Liked by 1 person

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