Recently, an appalling post circulated on the popular social media platform Twitter. The tweet, created by user @brothius or “Commis,” quickly transformed into a horrifying, insulting, and all too common thread. The failed thread consisted of men criticizing the physical appearances of highly educated, powerfully intelligent, hardworking, and talented young women. Commis labeled the physical appearances of these young women, “The ‘Disso’ Stare:
Firstly, as the 2020 academic year is coming to a close, university students are documenting their many achievements, with one being the completion of a dissertation. This completion essentially signifies the graduation from university. Additionally, a dissertation entails a massive amount of time, research, writing, and editing. It encompasses one topic or area of focus, and are thousands of words long. The composing of a dissertation is not a simple task. The process is grueling as a lot of late nights, emotions, and tears become one with the black words on white paper. In the end, those who complete a dissertation have a book-sized paper that can potentially translate into a published work.
This year there are a plethora of female university students posting pictures of themselves holding their dissertations to social media, and rightfully so. These young women have undergone the dissertation process, they have dedicated their time and lives to creating their academic work of art, and they are strong, ambitious, and proud. Their dissertations not only reflect the topics they find most interesting, important, and meaningful; their dissertations reflect their pure intellect. Therefore, it is only natural that these young women document their success.
But, of course, it is only natural that men try to destroy, discredit, and discount the success, accomplishments, and intellect of women by demeaning their physical appearances. Therefore, Commis’s “The ‘Disso’ Stare” thread is not original or new. Women encounter men criticizing and demeaning their physical appearances daily. This is particularly true for successful, intelligent, and ambitious women, which is all of us. Men cannot handle women thriving in academia.
It doesn’t, and didn’t work.
All of us women know we are intelligent, ambitious, outspoken, powerful, hardworking, talented, and beautiful. Your words only give us the determination to continue to display our achievements. We will continue to shine while you continue to find our intelligence threatening.
No one sees “The ‘Disso’ Stare.” Everyone sees accomplished young women. As it should be.