Archive for July 2010
I knew as soon as this commercial started that it was going to crash & burn. I hoped, briefly, that it would be funny or subversive somehow, but no.
I feel like it speaks for itself, but one thing that the transcript fails to mention is that the female geek – whose geek specialty we are never told – comes with “accessories.” You know that was intentional, you’re supposed to see that and think dirty thoughts, what with the way she’s posed and the way the customer is drooling at her.
Back in the day, my friend Stephen and I invented a religion (“fuckyouism”) and declared that math, among other things, was against it. As a devout fuckyouist, I shouldn’t be required to take advanced mathematics courses (part of the belief system was that letters were for literature and whatnot, numbers were for math, and never the twain shall meet) but still be awarded my diploma because a state funded school can’t force me to go against my religious beliefs.
This was, obviously, complete bullshit. I took my math classes, whined about it and moved on. (I still think those pesky letters should stay the fuck out of my mathematical equations, thank you very much.)
That was tenth grade, I think. So why do grown-ups think that they can get away with basically the same thing?
Okay, so they didn’t invent a religion with a deliberately offensive name in the name of high school political satire and a half-assed attempt to skip out on requirements, but the fact remains that they expect to get away with not doing the work without getting in trouble… Uh, no. Creationists don’t get to be biology teachers unless they can teach actual science, Christian Scientists probably shouldn’t be doctors and when was the last time you met a Jehovah’s Witness blood transfusion tech? Yeah, that’s what I thought.
I couldn’t go to court and defend Fred Phelps’ right to free speech under the First Amendment (which he has, no matter how deeply I desire to kick him in the teeth) and so I’m not studying to be a constitutional lawyer.
On a tangentially related note, this is actually not a constitutional issue at all. The First Amendment means the government can’t shut you up, but it does not mean that a private institution needs to allow you to speak/publish with them. Also, the Alliance Defend Fund is trying to say that her right to due process was violated, and again, this is a governmental issue and the university is free to organize its own procedures. (Unless I’m misunderstanding the 14th Amendment violation claim and it’s actually directed at the judge who, rightly, recognized that this was bogus – because the 1st Amendment is only about the government, duh.)
People, get with the program. (Reality has a liberal bias.)
In this post, the app in question (it tracks menstrual cycles – for men in heterosexual romantic/sexual relationships) has “a female symbol …sporting devil horns.”
For those of you who failed Greco-Roman mythology and/or astrology or just plain ol’ fashion do not give a damn about either subject, let me remind you: the female symbol (♀) is the astrological sign for Venus. (The male symbol (♂) is the astrological symbol for Mars.) However, the Venus symbol with horns (☿) is no longer the Venus symbol at all, but is, instead, the symbol for Mercury, and it’s used to represent intersex individuals the way the Venus/Mars symbols represent ciswomen and cismen.
Whoops. (KNOWING STUFF: It helps!)
I fucking hate when anti-feminists blame feminists for shit that is actually the fault of the patriarchy/kyriarchy. Like, seriously, it is not feminism’s fault that girls are sexualized. Feminism said “hey, you know, women should be able to have sex if they want to and not have sex if they don’t! it’ll be awesome,” and the patriarchy said “hey, all women need to be sexually available for all men, even if they don’t want it!” and feminism said “wait, that’s not what we said at all because you totally missed out on the consent part!” and the patriarchy says “yeah, but if you have consensual sex outside of my pre-approved, God-given framework of heterosexual marriage, you were asking for it,” and feminism says “no, that’s not okay! women are autonomous human beings and we have the right to sleep with whoever we want to sleep with and to not be forced into sexual situations we don’t want!” and anti-feminism says “you made your bed, now sleep in it” and this feminist says “die in a shark on fire, anti-feminism” and then anti-feminism usually tells me off for having a potty mouth and not being submissive enough (though it has yet to clarify for me who, exactly, I should be submissive to as the unwed daughter of a widow – and yes, I have asked).
(Likewise, should an anti-feminist happen to be reading this, call me a feminazi and I will gladly kick you in the teeth. Do not accuse me of being a Nazi and do not insinuate my views are anything akin to Nazism. Learn something about a) what I’m actually saying and b) actual Nazis.)
Don’t you hate being reprimanded for something you didn’t do?
You know that whole “women are distractions” theme I’ve been harping on lately? Well, the new Allstate commercial is the most blatant example I’ve seen. There’s a guy who is supposed to be the embodiment of reasons you need car insurance; in another one, he’s a guy driving an expensive car that your current insurance won’t fully cover, so he’s going to sue you. In this one, he’s “a hot babe jogging on the side of the road” which causes “you” (in this part, a youngish (late teens/early twenties) man) to crash his car into a tree or a sign or something.
So what do we get from this commercial? Two things: first, women exist to be looked at (“woman as image, man as bearer of the look”*) and second, women are distractions.
*Laura Mulvey, “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema“
Two short movie reviews, crossposted from my personal journal. Expect posts in more depth soon. (I actually have time now that I’m home from Japan.)
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
I went to see The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. It was pretty good. Nicholas Cage was surprisingly attractive in it; he doesn’t usually do much for me, but the Aragorn-esque outfit helped. /easy to please There was some serious Lord of the Rings ripoff stuff in there; e.g., Morgan le Fay’s freak out was filmed just like Galadriel’s “in place of a Dark Lord you shall have a Queen” thing. A decent summer movie, but not a great one – the car chase was so-so, but the car itself was an old Bentley. Classy. (Unfortunately, the car did not remain a Bentley for the duration of the chase. Now that would have been awesome.)
My biggest complaint was that the female characters weren’t characters, just love interests. Becky in particular was really boring – not quite cheerleader, not quite Manic Pixie Dream Girl, but definitely ~*perfect*~ and c’mon, just because you knew someone in fourth grade doesn’t mean you’re destined to be together. They didn’t seem to have anything in common beyond that; she was a music major who does yoga and he was a gawky physics nerd. (Yoga was not, in this instance, used to show that she was a selfish bitch, though! It often is.)
Veronica had some potential, but she nobly sacrificed herself in the first ten minutes and then was pretty much useless when she came back.
Oh, and the whole reason shit happened was because the two male apprentices fought over the female one. Plus, the big bad was a woman.
Girls: will do nothing but fuck your life up. (Becky was a constant distraction from David’s training to save the world.)
Needless to say, I was displeased with that part. Also, it did not pass the Bechdel Test. Actually, it didn’t even get close; two named female characters didn’t even talk, let alone about boys. The closest we got was Becky talking to an African-American woman in a coffee shop (a convo we did not hear so much as see through David’s stalker gaze), so they could show how politically correct they/the characters are and still have a film entirely about white people.
I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE, FILMMAKERS.
… and I’m sick of your bullshit.
The mop scene was fun, though; David basically does like Magical Mickey, complete with the music from the same scene in Fantasia.
The Princess and the Frog
Mouse and I watched The Princess and the Frog. I thought it was a let-down; the music wasn’t very inspired and for all the ruckus Disney made about Tiana being the first Black protagonist in an animated Disney film, she was only human for about 15% of the film. Talk about a cop out.
Oh, and the previews for Tangled, which I was originally excited for because the concept art was really pretty and Rapunzel was supposed to be kinda awesome, are really leaving me cold. It looks like another trite “princess saves herself and the prince” story – and I am all about girls kicking ass and taking names instead of being helpless and rescued all of the time, but these half-assed knockoffs inevitably destroy the grrrl power message somehow and end up reinforcing boring heteronormativity. Yawn. If anything they’re even worse, because you’ve gotta work hard and be awesome, but still, your reward at the end of the day is a man, instead of full-fledged personhood and legal/social equality for yourself.
The Princess and the Frog had the same problem. Tiana knew what she wanted and how to get it, but in the end, her life just wouldn’t be complete without a man. ‘Cause all career driven single women are bitter ugly harpy spinsters and we definitely don’t get movies about us. ＝／ She was doing fine without a man, you know. I would have liked that movie much better: girl and dude decide that they can be friends or try again later, but right now she’s got shit to do, you know?
Women (and men, but I mostly see this from women) who make it sound like feminists are stealing femininity, or devaluing it. Newsflash, that would be the Patriarchy. Some radfems, like Twisty advocate for renouncing femininity, but in case you missed it, radfems are a minority (a vocal minority that’s right about a lot of things, but saying someone like Twisty is representative of all feminism is like… I don’t even know what, but it’s inaccurate and unfair).
Even the radfems like Twisty aren’t the ones who originally made femininity of lesser value than masculinity. People like Twisty advocate for trashing it because it is, under the current system (i.e., the Patriarchy), devalued and therefore being “feminine” devalues us by association. (I’m not saying I agree with this, I haven’t made up my mind on femininity yet, but roll with it.) They’re saying femininity is hurting us because the Patriarchy is using it to hurt us. (Maybe there’s a way to trash the Patriarchy and keep the fun trappings of femininity, like hair dye and cute shoes, and maybe there’s not. Maybe post-Patriarchy, hair dye and cute shoes won’t seem fun any more because we’ll have stuff that’s way cooler. I don’t know.)
You know who made it so women have to act more “masculine” to be accepted in the workplace or w/e? Wait, wait! Maybe you know this one: the Patriarchy, because it values masculinity over femininity (although unlike men, women have to keep up a precarious balancing act of masculine and feminine traits, which I think is one of the reasons women have to be “pretty” to be successful in fields completely unrelated to their looks). If femininity was valued equally, we could all wear Lolita to work if we wanted to. (See, this is kinda related to my paper.) All of us, and that includes men! because, if masculinity and femininity were equal, men wearing skirts would be as acceptable and normal as women wearing pants. (Okay, we’re not counting reactionary weirdos like LAF in that last statement. They’re beyond help.)
So please stop blaming feminism for the Patriarchy’s fuck-ups.
… and before you jump to defend it, remember: the Patriarchy hates you. Yes, you. Personally!
(It definitely hates you if you’re female. It probably also hates you if you’re male, unless you meet a list of criteria as long as your arm. Even if it doesn’t hate you, you still suffer.*)
Feminism is trying to destroy that system of oppression, so stop getting in the way. It’s scary, because none of us have ever lived in a Patriarchy-free world and because we rely on our oppressor to protect us (oh, the irony!), but feminism isn’t out to get you (unless you’re a douchebag, in which maybe we are… me, I am, but I can’t speak for all feminists (funny how that works, us ladies having opinions!)).
eta: Anna, in her unending geniusness, has come up with… the solution! (to my failed metaphor, not the Patriarchy… yet) saying Twisty represents all feminists is like saying PETA represents all vegetarians.
*list of “ways the Patriarchy hurts men, too” available on request! (even if it didn’t, it’s still bad and it would still have to go, but you know)