Okay. So, I read that “disease of perfection” thing. And what came to my mind was “Where I’m from, we call that system of guilt and shame and silence ‘kiriarchy’.”
I think that’s what bothered me about the post, actually. Because while the author recognizes that everyone is hurt by the requirement to look like everything’s Perfect, he doesn’t acknowledge the why of it, or that the definition of “perfect” is systemic, a hierarchical system that says:
“Sex is bad and gross (unless it het, vanilla, usually procreative, and done within the confines of a monogamous marriage)”
“GOOD women are malleable, selfless, covered from neck to knees, desirable but not desirous, are white, are decorative, are pastel, don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t do drugs, do have vaginas they were born with, are mothers, don’t swear, are thin, are mild-mannered, have big tits, but not too-big tits, act like they don’t get a period, sexually-available (to the right – cis, het, white – men) but not actually sexual in-and-of-themselves, are never hungry, are nurturing, are infantalizable, are background-workers-asking-nothing-in-return. And everyone else deserves harassment, torture and death”
“GOOD men are wealthy, powerful, intimidating, physically fit, tall, born with (really big) penises, don’t masturbate (‘cause they don’t need to), get laid all the time, aren’t one of those damn faggots, don’t have to pay for it, are white, are able-bodied, never want for employment, are good at sports, [EDIT: I’d go on, but I totally don’t know the memes of this one as well as I do the ones for chicks /EDIT]. And everyone else deserves harassment, torture, and death.”
When you live in a culture that tells you that “Perfect = X” and that you’ll be rewarded more the closer you get to attaining it, and that ALSO tells you that the punishment for not achieving “Perfect” is harassment, torture, and death. And, oh, yeah, that doesn’t tell you that if you do get close to Perfect, you’ll have ulcers and nervous breakdowns and, for example, still get the harassment (except now you’re supposed to take it as a compliment ‘cause you’re so pretty).
When your options are toxic-cake or social/literal death, anyone with half an ounce of survival instincts is going to try for the cake because, hey, maybe you’ll be magically immune (and, anyway, most of us don’t click to the fact that it’s toxic until we’ve been eating it for a decade or two or even three already).
I recognize that individuals who stop trying for the cake are definitely helping – because they are living an alternative to the toxic-cake-diet.
But I think that we need to know (and proclaim) that the toxic-cake-diet is a system. That:
the toxic-cake-diet of the urban-aboriginal executive chick who’s terrified of being “too Indian” to be taken seriously in her mostly-white job designation AND terrified of being labelled an apple at the same time
the toxic-cake-diet of the fat/socially-inept/geeky dude who ups the sexism and homophobia he displays so that the dudes higher up the dudely food-chain will (in theory) accept him as one-of-the-guys
the toxic-cake-diet of out-gay misogynist who thinks his fem brothers are to blame for homophobia
the toxic-cake-diet of the c-dude who hates himself because he keeps meeting t-chicks who are so gorgeous and he’s afraid that makes him a fag
the toxic-cake-diet of the het, cis, soccer mom who wishes she had time to herself to do her own projects, but is convinced that it would be Too Selfish to carve that time out for herself
the toxic-cake-diet of the queer kid who’s been kicked out of hir family-of-origin and is wondering if, maybe, zi deserved it
the toxic-cake-diet of the light-skinned Desi girl whose relatives all tell her she’s So Pretty because of her skin
the toxic-cake-diet of the incest survivor who can’t shake the feeling that what she’s FOR is sex
the toxic-cake-diet of the het guy who doesn’t understand how to be a hands-on-dad or an affectionate husband because his definition of Real Man boils down to Don Draper
the toxic-cake-diet of the student who chooses Science over Liberal Arts because her parents want their daughter to be marriageable
the toxic-cake-diet of the abuse-victim who thinks zi deserves it because zi’s too “weak” to have the guts to leave
the toxic-cake-diet of the parents who wish their daughter would stop trying to do this “actress thing” because real success (qua actor) s being a Hollywood Movie Star and anything else doesn’t qualify, and they just want their little girl to be safe and have a stable income
the toxic-cake-diet of the t-guy who worries that being gay means he’s really a woman who’s Betraying The Sisterhood
the toxic-cake-diet of the black chick who can’t bear the thought of letting her hair grow naturally
the toxic-cake-diet of the guy who thinks wanting to try prostate-centric sex makes him less of a man
The toxic-cake-diet of the dyke who thinks being a sadist makes her a Bad Lesbian
the toxic-cake-diet of the south-asian immigrant who is desperate to Keep Up With The Jones AND The Nguyens
the toxic-cake-diet of the trans woman who can’t even put words around what she is because trying to be a man still looks like the path of self-preservation and she can’t think about That yet
the toxic-cake-diet of the woman who wonders if being poly means she has to sleep with anybody who wants her, whether she wants them or not
the toxic-cake-diet of the person who thinks being a kinky submissive bottom makes her a Bad Feminist or makes him Not A Real Man
the toxic-cake-diet of the dark-skinned girl who gets propositioned for sex at school but whose lighter-skinned friends get asked out to the dance or get steady boyfriends, and who assumes its her fault for “looking slutty”
the toxic-cake-diet of the woman who thinks she won’t really qualify until she’s had bottom surgery
the toxic-cake-diet of the feminist chick who can’t see a way to be feminine and (hetero?)sexual AND to dismantle the Patriarchy, so she blames the patriarchy on the actively-sexual gals and the obviously fem(me)inine gals and ostracizes them as a matter of political course
the toxic-cake-diet of the man who can’t tell his spouse that he’s lost his job
the toxic-cake-diet of the parents who steer their sons away from “girl toys” for fear of what will happen to them on the playground if it becomes clear that they’d rather use the easy-bake oven than the toy barbicue
the toxic-cake-diet of the working class femme of colour who’s getting hit on all sides by be whiter, be richer, be university-educated, be more androgynous from the mainstream that she knows not to trust but that includes her family, but also from the queer culture where she might have hoped to be able to be her whole self
the toxic-cake-diet of the chick who thinks anyone who asks her out must have a “fat fetish” (or be a “tranny chaser” or be a “crip hound”) because no-one could possibly want *her* unless they were fetishizing a characteristic of her body that Everyone (or Everyone Normal) thinks is gross and undesirable
the toxic-cake-diet of the gal who thinks she must be a total nympho because she has sexual fantasies at all
… That everyone’s toxic-cake-diets are the same goddamn fucking cake that we’ve all been force-fed from the cradle.
And I think it’s important to recognize that it’s all the same fucking cake because, once we GET that it’s all the same fucking cake, we can start recognizing that it’s not just us who have been eating this stuff all our lives. That our pain is shared, and that ALSO ours is not the only kind of pain out there.
Which means we can find each other and help each other make solidarity pie and body-positive brownies and gender-expanded éclairs, and a whole bakery full of food that is so, so, SO MUCH BETTER than the toxic SHIT we’ve been eating up ‘til now.
Anyway. That’s my rant.
 Okay. I feel kind of weird putting this one here, just because the guys who rape and murder (see above re: Punishment = harassment, torture and death) trans women are often those guys. So. Yeah. Not a shitload of sympathy coming from this quarter on that one.
 Although, granted, that’s the case for a number of these entries.
 Or maybe I’m being *tremendously* naïve on that one…