The (Mental) War on Women

self-esteemI noticed that it is impossible to pick up a magazine, look on the Internet or television without being bombarded with weight loss solutions.  Most of these ads are aimed at women.

Women have been held to unreasonable standards for their figures and appearance since forever, but today’s woman is really under fire.  The politicos speak of the “War on Women,” holding our reproductive rights as proof that the “The Man,” (by man, I mean a Republican man,) wants to hold us down.  This is a thinly veiled attempt to nod and wink at us, letting us know that their party is on our side and will be looking out for our interests.

I don’t buy it.

As a woman, I do not want to see such things as birth control or very early abortion abolished or held under strict conditions judged by others.  I realize that reproductive choices are important factors in how a woman can shape and direct her life.  The real “War on Women” is being waged in the media. (The same media that lies to us with half-truths and innuendos, yes, we should trust them implicitly.)

How many times have you stood in the checkout line and read the fronts of the magazines?  Each tells how we can be better, stronger, smarter, sexier and above all, thinner.  Have you seen the magazines directed solely at men? There might be a weight loss article, but it is about getting healthy and toned more than just losing weight. Heart health and sexual function is at the top of the reasons that a man might need to lose a few.

How about health care and research? Almost all of the studies on heart disease up until a few years ago were directed at men’s heart health.  The medical field is now admitting women’s symptoms and problems of the heart are felt very differently from men’s.  Of course, the medical community has practiced the methods of treatment, (determined by research on men only,) to both sexes equally for the last forty years.

We are bombarded with the pressure to be whippet thin, but, if women in the public eye are very thin, rumors will swirl that she is anorexic or bulimic.  Like the old saying goes, “Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.”

The real reason for all this “much ado about nothing” is to undermine our confidence.

However, often women are their own worst enemy, in this respect.  Too many will subscribe to the unreachable standards set for them by society and gang together on their peers about their weight, fashion sense, lack of virtue etc.

Women, the most compassionate of the sexes, are often vicious with their fellows. They feel justified in doing this as we are all after the same thing, the approval of a man. It starts with dear old Dad and goes from there.

The explanation for this competition is very simple.  Women are put in beauty contests. We are taught at an early age to compete against each other.  Men, on the other hand, stick together and uphold each other more as their social groups are taught team sports, such as football.

The ladies and suffragettes who went before us fought for our equal rights. They wanted us to have the vote and opportunities to accomplish whatever we wanted to live, full, useful lives.  I am grateful for the sacrifices they made to give us a chance at reaching our individual potential.  Lets honor them by joining together to make our world a better place. Let’s stay informed on current issues, educate and improve both healthy body and mind.  Stop believing the societal system that undermines our confidence and remember that we have strengths and talents, and our appearance is not all that we are.  These critical messages that we are constantly bombarded with are so much drivel and nonsense and can be likened to voodoo and evil.

They only have as much power as you allow them to take from you.

Candace Hardin Littlejohn

Georgia PolitiChick Candace Hardin Littlejohn lives in Atlanta, Georgia, but grew up in Western North Carolina. She has been greatly influenced in her writing by the culture in the Appalachians. Candace attributes her love of words to her Mother, who taught her to read at four years old. She is the creator and publisher of the literary magazine, Bohemian Renaissance, a magazine designed to launch emerging writers to publication, while providing good literature and art free to the community. Candace is 100% fluent in Spanish and a student of Latin. She loves dogs and spending time with friends and family. Visit Candace's website:

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