It also brings up the weird question again of what we actually mean when we say 'real'. Real women have curves. Real men find a person their agede willing to fellate them for free. Why do we constantly think we can only assert ideas by evoking crises in masculinity and/or femininity?
I thought real women were people who identified as women but, as noted here, here and here (thanks Dove I'm so much more confident now your products have actualised me as a person) real women need to do more than just say they are a woman. You only have to see various memes about curves to know that a real woman jiggles. Australian boy band/prankster group The Janoskians just released a Real Girls Eat Cake video.
I realise this is a hamfisted (real women eat ham) attempt to counteract women's magazines fondness for diet sections, circle of shame features and photoshopping away any roundness. But it also, you know, dismisses a massive amount of people who identify as women whether their butts are tinier than a baked good or so big they regularly knock items off shelves in endearing moments we all laugh about affectionately and at no-one's expense.
As with all things directed at women, the Real Women memes and campaigns are all about their bodies and how they can be right or wrong.
Hey! Real men don't buy sex, they get interns...
A good cause to draw attention to but considering that trafficking is often wrongly conflated with sex work, (not to mention the common use of girls and women interchangeably in common parlance) a confused message could be inferred. You might as well say real men deny a section of women their right to work. Hey! Real men don't buy sex, they get interns...
This year the charity Women's Aid is hoping to reach their target of 100,000 signatories taking the Real Man pledge. Those signing agree these three things make a Real Man:
- A 'Real Man' doesn't hit, abuse or control
- A 'Real Man' doesn't hurt the ones he loves
- A 'Real Man' makes a difference
I'm not criticising the Women's Aid campaign, I'm noting the different uses of real and not real and the reliance on gender binaries. Real men, it seems, make choices. A Real Man uses his manliness to spread social justice. Real women pudge out and criticise other 'women' for not doing so. It's kind of telling, of how much difference we think women can make in the world.