A young woman named Cameron Schaeffer recently wrote a post for HuffPo’s blog titled: “The 3-Letter Word That Cuts Women Down Every Day“. While you might be expecting the word to be something crude or “sexist”, it is not; the word she’s talking about is too. Yes, you read that right, the word too.
Ms. Schaeffer writes of her self-described “epiphany”:
There is no proper way for a woman to cut her hair, let alone do anything right in this world. There seems to be an unobtainable one-millimeter-wide mark of perfection, and none of us can reach it. Everything is too this or too that. We see it every day in the tabloids. For example, one day a female celebrity is too revealing and the next day she is too matronly.
In my experience, I rarely hear too thrown around about men. You hear someone say, “He’s short,” but you seldom hear “too short.” I hear women and men alike each day describing women as too something. But what does it really mean when you call a woman too? I asked myself, “too what?” I have determined that too means you’re calling a woman too far away from your idyllic vision of what a woman should be.
Something as small as calling a woman’s dress too long or her muscles too built has a much larger social construct. With all the varying tastes and cultures in this world, it is impossible for a woman — or anyone, for that matter — to fulfill everyone’s criteria. And why is it our responsibility to satisfy them, anyway?
Merriam-Webster gives these three uses for the word too:
a : to an excessive degree : excessively <too large a house for us>
b : to such a degree as to be regrettable <this time he has gone too far>
c : very <didn’t seem too interested>
The word seems rather innocuous to me. Now I’m all for young women thinking about their role in the world, but honestly, this cultural critique is nonsense. She continues:
What makes me furious is the constant strain on females to find their unreachable perfect self. This realization really struck me when I figured out that I’ve never been satisfied with myself. My internal opinion is always that I’m too this or too that. I, like most women, have been deprived of self-satisfaction and appreciation because of this word and this attitude.
“Most women deprived of self-satisfaction and appreciation because of the word too”? Seriously? Moving on:
Women are still objects to a disturbingly large number of people. If society continues on in this way, women will always be unfairly judged. But there are small and achievable steps we can take. We should call on both genders to cut the word too from their vocabulary when discussing women. If we ever want an end to the way females are put in boxes, this is the beginning of an important and tumultuous journey ahead.
I’ve grown weary of the constant refrain that “women are objectified”, as if someone is doing it to them; women do not become “objects” unless they allow it. Do you think professional female anchors dress like the women at Fox News? Do you think the women at Fox don’t know that? They trade on their appearance because it makes them money; and while I’m no psychologist, I’m pretty sure there’s some sort of weird self-validation going on there as well. Whether it’s music, magazines, movies, or commercials, there will always be women who objectify themselves; that is hardly men’s doing.
If there is one failure of feminism thus far, it is this: We are still not raising enough daughters who realize their self-worth isn’t located between their neck and their knees.
But, back to Ms. Schaeffer‘s post. The idea that the word too is somehow anti-women, and rarely used pertaining to men is ludicrous. We have enough gender issues to contend with; we don’t need to be fabricating new ones. I’m sorry, but this was about the most ridiculous post I’ve read from a woman. The whole premise is just too trivial.