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What has happened to American education?

By May 23, 2016May 26th, 2019No Comments

Our basic problem

Despite the decades of discussion about the objectification of women’s bodies and appearance, the essence of toxic masculinity continues. Boys are still learning that what matters most about a woman is her appearance. The Internet has permitted them to do so anonymously. I would like to see that every boy or man who criticizes a woman’s appearance is compelled to post a photo of himself for analysis.

Currently, we have 12-year-old boys trolling accomplished and intelligent women instead of showing them the respect they deserve and have earned. Where are they continuing to learn this toxic masculinity, learning that it is fun and empowering to ridicule women’s appearance?

On the other hand, women’s bodies and fashion choices are promoted by the media and the fashion industry. Nancy Pelosi showed up for the meeting with three men looking sharp enough in her Max Mara coat and stiletto heels that everyone could see that she dominated the conversation. She was dressed for it and Max Mara has announced that they are bringing out a new version of this discontinued style. As one of her constituents, I have seen that coat more times than I could count. I didn’t know it was a power coat, but maybe it wasn’t until she displayed her power while wearing it that it became one.

On the other side of the political spectrum, Melania Trump appeared in a jacket bearing the words “I really don’t care, do you?” And why isn’t Donald Trump’s appearance commented on more frequently? I know that as a feminist, I have avoided these easy comments about Trump, as I don’t believe that anyone should be judged by the body they are in.

Nancy Pelosi is fully qualified to be president should events move in that direction, and fortunately, she knows how to dress for it as well.

This is still a cultural issue and it is still a therapeutic issue. I have not worked with a girl or woman who did not find fault with her appearance as a major therapeutic issue.

Even the women that our culture considers beautiful are obsessed with their size, shape, aging skin and enjoyment of food, which could enlarge their dimensions. This must end. I enjoy buying friends presents that they will appreciate, especially in this holiday season, but I am terrible at wrapping them and that is just the way it is. It is the gift and the love it represents that matters.

It is the heart and soul of the person that matters, not how it is packaged. When will we finally learn this?


[1] N. Sanandaj, New Geography, 2013.

This article was originally published in Psychology Today.

Ellyn Kaschak

Ellyn Kaschak

Ellyn Kaschak, Ph.D. is an internationally acclaimed and award-winning psychologist, author and teacher. She is well-known as a speaker, workshop leader, human rights advocate and a public intellectual.