Thursday, July 05, 2018

In defense of "Guilty Pleasures"

It seems like a lot of stuff women say is now stuff women shouldn't say.  Using polite language makes you seem apologetic, 'vocal fry' makes you sound weak, and God forbid you mention a "guilty pleasure".  Because nothing a nurtures a strong, confident woman more than shaming them for every aspect of the way they speak and express themselves.

I am all for avoiding language that attacks or belittles others, but this hegemonic cringing about how our every word reflects our ego-strength and feminist credentials needs to stop.  If the idea is that a woman saying reading romance is a "guilt pleasure" actually means she feels ashamed of it--well time to stop being so absu-fucking-lutely literal.

A "guilty pleasure" is widely understood to be a hedonistic activity outside of your larger plan to achieve something worthy but probably dull.  The donut in the diet; the iPad that could have been a mortgage payment, the detour into entertainment rather than education or a good nights sleep.

People who speak about guilt pleasures are not actually saying they are doing something bad that they would prefer not to do, they are saying that they are being mindfully moderate in their pursuit of something that gets it's value from a domain other than pure enjoyment.  It's a turn of phrase, and people acting like it is some kind of sin are really completely missing the point.

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1 comment:

Nicole S. said...

I see nothing wrong with having guilty pleasures. We all have them and it is nothing to be ashamed of. I know there are some that see them as things that are not acceptable, and that is fine. I just know that I have a few guilty pleasures and I take pride in doing them. They make me feel good and that is all that matters!