Where The Girls Are – Quote

“This imagery infantilized women and exhorted us to embrace, more than ever, the desire to attractive and gazed upon favorably by men. Implied in this definition was that women in the streets, whether protesting or just walking, were to be seen but not heard; our purpose was to provide erotic stimuli for “girl watchers” and to quietly, privately, consume products such as feminine hygiene sprays and champagne flavored douches that would prepare us for intercourse with men.” Page 152

This quote, concerning the world of advertising and the very prevalent message being conveyed in advertisements targeting women, is one of my favorite quotes from the book. A message that we still, to this day, see companies trying to relay with the whole seductive and unrealistically flawless or even proper and “lady-like” act. More than that, as Douglas elaborates, they have brainwashed us – or at least attempted to – into thinking the male gaze is our top priority; it is the reason we maintain/enhance any aspect of our physical appearance/lives because if we are not giving men instant gratification at all times, is anything we do legitimate? Or worth doing? Are we even worth the life we have been given if we are not meeting every feminine standard and keeping these men happy?

This quote was not only humorous but a precise encapsulation of what the patriarchy continues to impose on women…rather relentlessly. Oh, we need not speak of our hygienic routines or anything having to do with our bodies because you know, that’s kind of gross and… inhuman. Let’s just be unrealistically perfect and cute and subservient. We’ve got one job! It’s that or condemnation!