Trigger warnings: eating disorders, sexual assault
This image was posted on Facebook recently by a Facebook friend of mine. This person, to the best of my knowledge, identifies as cisfemale and heterosexual. She also used to be my best friend in middle school. Life happens and people grow apart, and we tend to keep in touch via the traditional method of “liking” a status or photo now and then. Based on what I remember of her (in middle school) and the very little you can glean of someone’s life from Facebook, I was surprised to find she had posted this image. My friend is someone who has struggled with eating disorders, body image issues, and dating problems since middle school; despite and because of that, I believed her to be a particularly independent and strong person. I don’t mean to say that she is not those things; rather, I’m experiencing some cognitive dissonance between what I remember about my friend and what this image says about her. To me, this message is a misogynistic, chauvanistic, aggressive, heterosexist, heteronormative, vulgar, violent perpetuation of the normalization of sexual assault as a courting pattern. She posted it yesterday and as I am writing this, it has received 12 likes and her own mother commented on the image, “Love that!”
I commented on this photo immediately when I saw it, “hahaha wait really”, intending to show my complex feelings in a simple, humorous, and nonconfrontational manner. In a time where mothers “love” their daughters’ asses being smacked by “polite dicks,” I am simply at a loss for words.