Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Belly Roll Bologna

Whenever you hear words like "real beauty" buzzing around in mainstream media, they're usually trying to sell you something. We should've all learned this lesson after the massive and oh-so-empowering Dove Campaign for Real Beauty (which featured six curvy non-models in bra and panties) turned out to be a pathetic ploy to sell cellulite cream.

And when plus-sized model Lizzie Millier recently posed nude for a spread in Glamour Magazine that bared a visible "belly roll", I wasn't buying it.

Apparently, she's a size 12-14, which puts her smack dab in the average range of most American women; a fact everyone seems to think is going to single-handedly cure body image issues worldwide and spawn a revolutionary movement.

Um. Not so fast.

They forgot to mention that the average American woman is a size 12-14 and 5'4'', which looks a lot different than it does on a 5'9-ish model with an otherwise toned physique. And while the photo aims to be some sort of reflection of a bodily reality, the only supposed flaw is the layer of tummy WHERE EVERY HUMAN BEING IN THAT SITTING POSITION WOULD HAVE. So, curvier? Yes. More real? Not necessarily.

Which is why it was such a hoot to see the model's interview on the Today Show, and even bigger holler to see Glamour's smug editrix and chief pretending it was totally her idea all along. Matt Lauer did, however, ask a valid question in the midst of the hooplah: "Is this gonna change things?"

Not, really Matt, no.

Because "real women" projects like these are merely specialities. Just something the mainstream throws out every once and a while to acknowledge that a particular group of people exists whenever it benefits them. You know,kinda like Black History Month.

Nevertheless, let us all give credit where credit is due, so as not to seem ungrateful. A kudos, a high-five, and a big thumbs up, Glamour: you managed to run a photo of a woman without a protruding ribcage and resisted the urge to retouch it!

We'll toast to this rare moment where the beauty industry has decided to include real women; but remember the other 99.9% of the time they don't.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Miley Cyrus: The Pole Dancing Prude.

When the i came across the hoards of headlines that screamed about Miley Cyrus's recent "pole dancing performance" at the Teen Choice Awards, I--naturally--expected the worst. I had visions of Cyrus bursting out of a gigantic cake in a g-string, glass shoes, and pink pasties before a Justin Timberlake look-alike boogied up from nowhere and snatched them right before the chorus. After which, she'd crawl over to the pole and proceed to swing around it upside down, supporting all 73 lbs of herself with mere inner thigh muscle. Shocked mothers would scramble to cover the eyes of their delicate daughters while adosolent boys would glance down at their crotches and quietly excuse themselves to the nearest restroom.

But, as per usual, the actual performance proved to be a lot more disappointing. Instead of the g-string/pasty combo I'd imagined, she'd opted for a more modest attire of hot pants, low cut top and leather boots. And rather than erupting from a cake, she mostly just stood atop a little ice cream cart with a pole more for holding onto than for swinging around. Her only remotely raunchy move was an awkward dip down maneuver. Not much bumpin' and grindin' or droppin' like its hot, which is understandable: just how down and dirty can you get with gay backup dancers and lyrics like "i know i'm gonna be okay/its a party in the USA" ?

The full-on freak out about it all was a bit baffling to me. Sure, she had to have known that anything involving short shorts and a pole at event for teens would spark criticism (especially after that whole Vanity Fair hooplah) but the reaction was certainly more of an overreaction.

Most of the noise came from parents who were outraged at the idea of the squeaky clean, All-American role model following the likes of Britney, Christina and Lindsey's Good Girls Gone Bad spiral. That the last Disney darling yet without a drinking problem, sex tape, or tendency to exit limos commando style, will join the ranks of Tinsel Town's trashiest tramps. Disney too,is begging Cyrus to tone it down; doomed for big profit loss unless they can create some sort of Hannah Montana Play Pole that sells faster than the lunch boxes.

Because, let's face it, good ol' middle-class America just wants to see teenage gals as rosy-cheeked virgins with bonnets, and butter churns. Conversely, mainstream America would rather see jailbait as hypersexualized and seductive; all tits and ass and the scraps of fabric that all but cover them...

I don't think the media is really shocked by the dance or offended by the outfit ,but more angry at Miley's inability to be either the madonna or the whore. They don't like that she's hanging on the fence between Naughty and Nice, sexual and asexual, middle and mainstream, without picking any sides. Just like the Britneys, Christinas and Lindseys before her, she is eventually doomed to being either the Saint or the Slut. And she's got to check one or the other. Not all that apply.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Michelle Obama Gone Mute?

I guess outfits speak louder than words. That seems to be Michelle Obama’s new philosophy as she snuggles into her duties as America’s First Lady. Maybe it was the coffee conversation with the Bushes, who clued her into the Commandments of political wifedom: Commandment #1: Thou shall not speak, but sit pretty and wave relentlessly. So far, so good. I just hope she has Laura Bush on speed dial to tell her how to get the plastic smile off her face when its time for bed. Or for advice on what to do when her panty hose ride up and there’s nowhere in sight to pick the wedgie.

Yes, I know. Being a Lady tougher than it looks.

Take for instance, her new role as the countries fashion icon. Media hooplah over her inauguration clothing was excessive to the point of ridiculous; from CNN celebrity stylist commentary, to exclusive interviews with the designers of the “lemon grass” skirt suit and white chiffon ball gown she wore for Inauguration Day.

Of course, I expected this surplus of superficiality, just not so soon. As Feministing.com put it, “We couldn't put off the tired old women-as-pretty-arm-candy discussion until the inauguration stage was taken down?”

Nope. Before President Obama was even sworn in, Michelle had already been validated as Barack’s Barbie Doll. A woman so disciplined in femininity that she could--as they kept insisting over and over again-- brave the bitter cold and blisters of Pennsylvania Avenue in the holy name of fashion. A woman eager to fill the shimmery Cinderella shoes of the Jackie Kennedys and Nancy Regans: legs crossed and lips closed.

During a dance at an inaugural ball, a CNN spokeswoman claimed Michelle was actually “the boss” of the marriage, giving her husband the official orders. But unless they communicate through telepathy, it’s more likely to be the other way around.

It’s got to be saddening for Michelle, on some level to know that even as a Harvard Law and Princeton grad, or lawyer at the Sidley Austin firm whose articulate and equally eloquent self-written speeches helped seal her husband’s Presidency--she is now just a pretty wife, waving and smiling.

But on another level, she probably believes she is being racially progressive. She is trying to show the world that the black woman, too, can be intelligent, charming, elegant and poised. This strategy harks back to the election, where she played the humbling homemaker to shake media perceptions of “the angry black woman”. Like on the Ellen Dengeneres show, where she used “wife, mother, and down-to-earth” to describe herself, confining to female gender norms to stretch across the mainstream.

And now that the Obamas have to represent the American family, they are playing it safe; doing the cookie-cutter patriarchy thing, a political recreation of the Cosby Show, which makes having black people in the White House a little less frightening for the right wing.

Michelle’s ability to be the silent version of Clair Huxtable (minus the career) is the key factor in walking the American tight rope between Scary Black Woman and relative normalcy. But rather than pledging allegiance to the haggard script of Proper First Lady Behavior, she should use the limelight to offer alternative perceptions of black women that don’t exclude an assertive voice. And then she should walk out of the White House wearing a “Give Bush a Wedgie” T-shirt, sweat pants, and Spongebob toe socks.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Crtical Thinking Videos: Masculinity

Here's some videos i thought would be good for a much needed blog post that i know I've been neglecting. I've been reading alot (Robert Jensen, Jackson Katz and bell hooks have written amazing books )about masculinity and "manhood" lately, because you cant have a legitimate feminist discussion without addressing the ways in which men are socialized and reduced to destructive gender roles, and at constant expectation to "act man enough" which inevitably means physical violence and sex. Just thought it'd be better to show, rather than rant. The first is Jackson Katz, who has an amazing documentary called "Tough Guise", the second, my hero, bell hooks author of We Real Cool: Black Men and Masculinity, lastly Robert Jensen, author of Getting Off: Pornography and the End of Masculinity.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Silence of the Blog (Another Feminist Attack)

I recently discovered that feminists bloggers Jessica Valenti and Gwendolyn Beetham made a short video on YouTube a while back about the Scholar and Feminist Online. And while the content was nice, the best part was scrolling down to the comments section to read the gracious, supportive, and always respectful thoughts of its viewers:

User bissikrima had a short and not-so-sweet statement:

"dirty feminist cunts ! FUCK YOURSELVES !!!!!!!" 

CaptainGrunyard took an--shall we say--academic standpoint:

"keep blogging you imbecile, change the world through blogs full of brainless, pointless, baseless, unrealistic theory."

ChupacabraYetiElmo wanted to share his (or her) thoughts on the real reason for this video, an offer some lovely advice along the way:

"Truth is>> These cunts can't get any attention, so they go around blogging and vlogging and spewing enmity cunt mislogic. Please go sign up for selective service so America can send your ass off to a sand dune. Then CNN and FOX can do a news special in which you all climb on chairs when a scorpion wants to crawl in your cold dark clammy rotten fish smelling cave. Make sure you take an eggbeater along so you can shove it up your twat and twirl some logic in your abominated brain."

opted for an elaborate description of his passionate cyber sex fantasies:

"First of all, i straight up want to tit fuck the milk out of the broads tatholes. While the ugly whorebag lingering off to the left can make herself usefull for a change by fingering my asshole while i cum on the other sluts face/eyeballs. Next, im going to fold my half flacid manhood into her slopped vag while i squeeze out a hot steamy triumph all over the ugly bitched fat face
keep up the good work...
ps bitches aint shit but hos and tricks"

While hellofromebaums summed his position up on the matter pretty clearly:


That's right,ladies. Gotta love that penis.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

F--Yeah for the F-Word!

For all the shit that comes along with blogging about the F-word, this here made me proud of what i do:

Monday, December 1, 2008

Meet the Bloggers!

Meet Misogyny's latest BFF, the YouTube bloggers; a community of cunt-hatin' creepers circulating now in cyberspace. But this post will concentrate on two nifty guys who, i believe, deserve recognition for the astounding amount of time and dedication they've put into attacking feminism using video technology. (Cause if you're gonna be an asshole, well, you better do it in style). So without further ade, introducing...

The Editorialist-- The middle aged man who probably splits his time between creating kiddie porn rings online and making YouTube videos expressing his hatred for Feministing.com while sitting in his mother's dimly lit basement wearing dark shades. Ed here uses his smarts and mountains of free time (unemployment has its benefits) to make carefully crafted, thoroughly researched rebuttals to the "Friday Feminist Fuck Yous" that the Feministing.com bloggers post each week, (humorously) tackling a recent sexist issue. Only Ed decided it would be even more hilarious to respond to these lesbo cunt-rags with a video of his own. And boy do the guys love it. His adoring 200 subscribers watch religiously and happily participate in the bitch-bashing with "lols" and their own two cents which involves some vague, pseudo intellectual history lesson, a false statistic, or a hardcore porn link.

Best video: "If Women are oppressed, why aren't they dead are in jail?" --Good point, Ed. If we really had it tough, we'd either be 6 feet under or the Bitch of some chick known only as MooMoo. This is a particularly touching piece, where Ed begins to question the legitimacy of feminism by encouraging us to ask a black how he knows he is oppressed. To which Eddie boy claims is an obvious fact, compared with "gender oppression"--an evil feminist creation that is "indoctrinated" into the simple minds of innocent little girls by the liberal media and middle-class white women. He credits this brilliant insight to the fact that he--hold on to your mouses for this one--talked to a black woman who said that her race--not gender, was the source of her oppression. And I'm sure he thinks the fives minutes of BET he caught on the tube (while Army Wives was on commercial) gave him mad street cred, and proved his racial tolerance. Oh Ed, you ol' softie. You just hate to see the racial inequalities of your fellow sistas and brothas trumped by this imaginary sexism don't you? Thanks for sticking up for your people, Ed. Word.

Next up...

The Amazing Atheist--A younger, tubby (but equally creepy) version of the Editorialist who took a break from his usual business of zealously denouncing religion using violent hand gestures and colorful language, to zealously denouncing feminism using violent hand gestures and colorful language. Amazing really does live up to his name with these online works of art, an opinion no doubt shared by the 31, 070 subscribers to his channel, and the 588 videos he's whipped up in just over two years! This particular video is set inside an anonymous garage which I'm sure is filled with at least a dozen dead bodies, four cats, a torture chamber, animae posters, and an underage Korean girl.
Despite Ed's disdain for feminism in general, A.A seemed to be perfectly down with the cause until something traumatic happens: He finds that US laws may or may not prevent simulated rape as porn. You see, Atheist was helping his pornstar friend who is, by the way is perfect by "his standards" (which means anything more than Vaseline and a towel is pretty damned hot) come up with ideas for her Adult Website. And simulated rape (along with his other ideas: covering herself in pig's blood and holding a meat clever, and role playing a mental patient, while letting doctors molest her on the examining table) was shot down.

Pissed that his simulated rape fantasises will not come true, A.A heads to the garage, sets up his cam, and goes on a 19 minute rant about how feminism is destroying personal freedoms (because if we want to shoot bestiality and brutal sexual abuse in our downtime, then so be it!). But before you get all up and arms, Atheist isn't directing this to all man-hating feminists. No, just those "crazy bitches" who want to go after pornography and--god forbid--prostitution. He claims that not only should prostitutes be held in the highest regard but that many of the early feminists were, indeed hookers. That's right suckers, Susan B. Anthony might have seemed conservative and intellectual, but when she took of that red shawl and those bloomers, honey, things really got down and dirty.
But no big, Atheist. I get you, man. I too would be angry if my only means for getting laid with through the promise of financial exchange with a herpes-infected transvestite....

Honestly though, seeing these videos and its cock--i mean, cult-like following really made me realize how much weight feminism still carries. Even now, in a society bathed in the facade of "female empowerment" and the bogus propaganda of "progress" there's still a reluctance and fear of anything that rejects the patriarchal system that's been in place so long its almost a human template for existence. We've never really known a world where women weren't below, behind, beneath a man and even now the idea of real equality--of bringing the female object to life-- for some people, still feels uncomfortable and unnatural and unsafe.

And while i know the extremists only represent a small portion, the basic ideology of sexism is still more universal. I hear it in mundane conversations every day, the whistles and "hey girl"s of the men on street corner, the inane pop culture of bride fantasies and Botox and Playboy. Sexism is still the thread of America, the bare bones foundation on which everything we know is built. And to break the foundation and introduce a new cultural makeup where the Bitch doesn't make the sandwich is enough to make you scared shitless. So middle aged weirdos rant on their webcams in dark corners, start parody websites and cult clubs to white-knuckle any power they can.

They latch on to their beloved patriarchy even at the expense of their mothers and daughters and sisters, even at the expense of themselves. But why care so much after all? What the hell are you so afraid of?