Questions to reflect

If we use Sonya Renés logic to start from our bodies as them being a widely agreed reality that we all share. Then what suppressing diverging bodies means is that we punished everything in us and outside of us that didn’t conform with the ideal of 

  • whiteness
  • thinness and sportiveness 
  • high productivity 
  • western education
  • masculine qualities (assertiveness, competitiveness, rationality)
  • the idea of gender binary and the norms that come with this for each gender
  • and probably much more

Here are some norms and ideals that I could identify. I either applied them to my own body or saw other applying them to theirs. You can ask yourself whether that applies to you:

As a woman:

  • have you ever considered to or started a diet to conform with a certain beauty ideal?
  • Have you ever considered to hide your feminine sides and body in masculine dress-codes (like a suit) and behavior when you went to an event that was important for your career?

As a man:

  • have you ever considered to train and eat protein shakes or other protein-rich food for the sake of growing muscles in order to be perceived more as a man
  • have you ever restrained from showing your feelings – both at work to be considered as competent in your job and/or in your romantic partnership because you were afraid to be considered as weak?

As someone who doesn’t feel themselves fitting into the binary man-woman spectrum:

  • have you ever felt punished for showing up as who you are?

As someone who has a different skin color then white:

  • have you ever felt being treated differently in an unpleasant way then white-folks you because of your skin color?

For everyone: have you ever looked down on someone (be it a woman for showing her femininity and her female body at work? .. at a man who dared to show his feelings? … at a homo- or bisexual, transgender person because they were different then you in their sexual/gender identity? .. at a person with another skin color then white?

I invite you to journal around these questions and to take them into your buddy-call.