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Feminism or Sexism

Posted by on Aug. 26, 2014 at 9:08 PM
  • 23 Replies

http://thefederalist.com/2014/08/26/feminism-or-sexism-depends-is-it-beyonces-vmas-or-vergaras-emmys/




By 

Guys, guys. Seriously. You won’t believe this. So on Sunday night, Beyoncé had a 15-minute medley performance at the MTV Video Music Awards. It was what you’d expect from Queen Bey these days — a stage full of back-up dancers in “naked stripper” costumes gyrating on strip poles, one of the most amazing collections of derrières I have ever seen, songs about performing oral sex in the back of a limo, a song about having a guy “tear that cherry out” (complete with the word “cherry” in big letters as the backdrop), a song that tells women who don’t respect Beyoncé sufficiently to “Bow Down Bitches,” S&M themes, intimate acquaintance with much of Bey’s crotch — you know, the usual. I mean, it wasn’t totally usual in that Beyoncé’s toddler child was in the audience to witness all this dry-humping and simulated getting-down, but other than that, your typical Beyoncé. I say this as someone who enjoys Beyoncé but might risk a visit from Saturday Night Live’s Beygency, the group that kills people insufficiently devoted to Queen Bey.

But in the midst of this performance, there was a little sermonette about “Feminism,” illustrated with the helpful prop of “FEMINIST” in big letters at the back of the stage. And the media completely ate it up. Many thought it inspiring and praised it to high heaven. I wrote that it was utterly hilarious that a cry for feminism took place between the strip club vignette and the “Bow Down” song. When I was interviewed about that piece, I said that feminism right now is an incoherent mess of double standards. Little did I know how right I was.

Not 24 hours later there was another awards show. The Emmys. You know how in awards shows there’s that bit where the guy in charge says something totally snooze-worthy about the academy or whatever group is giving out awards? This is the moment when everyone goes to refill their drink or take a quick trip to the loo. Well, for that portion of the Emmy’s, they used a trite little gimmick. Here, I’ll let Time magazine explain:


At the Emmy Awards, Modern Family star Sofia Vergara introduced Bruce Rosenblum, chairman of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Flatly, she said it had always been her dream to come to America to do such a thing on stage — but like so many American dreams, it soured on the vine. Rosenblum asked Vergara to step onto a pedestal that then rotated 360 degrees, showing off the Latina star’s famous curves while he talked about the state of the television industry.

The last thing he said was, “What truly matters,” Rosenblum said, “is that we never forget that our success is based on always giving the viewer something compelling to watch.”

While not destined to win any comedy writing awards, the bit works because Sofia Vergara is very compelling to watch. I’m a happily married woman and I find her luscious curves a sight for sore eyes. But, then again, I think Beyoncé is hott. My views on women being generally hot and this being a nice thing are well-established, but these women are particularly hot. And they know it and werk it and all that.

Sofia Vergara’s crime — “Crime?” you ask. Yes, I’m getting to that — was that her bit didn’t include the word “feminist” in large font at the back of the stage. Many in the media, sometimes the very same people who loved Beyoncé performance (!), were upset at Vergara’s bit.

I fear you may not believe me so I’m going to cite some examples:

Guys, these are real headlines. From the same outlets that ran headlines such as “Beyonce seizes moment at MTV Video Music Awards.” I don’t know if the problem was that Vergara had yards more clothing on than Beyoncé or if it was that she wasn’t splaying her legs with all the subtlety of a stampeding herd of rhinoceroses. (Side note: A herd of rhinoceroses is apparently called a crash or stubbornness. Isn’t that cool?)

But the real fun was on Twitter. Emily Nussbaum, who is the TV critic for The New Yorker, did her very best Pauline Kael with this one:

<<<<<<<<<WildPowerMom: Sorry, I couldn't get the Twitter Images to paste properly.  A good chunk of this article sites examples in a form that doesn't paste.  Please click the link at the top if you want to read the rest of it.  My apologies for not having the will power to discover a way to let you read it in this forum.>>>>>>>>>

That’s right. When there was nothing but headless bodies featuring butts-butts-butts and a spread-eagle Beyoncé singing a song some have criticized for its lyrics joking about Ike Turner’s domestic violence, Jarrett Wieselman of BuzzFeed could not deal with the perfection. But when a fully clothed Vergara did a little comedy bit about her rockin’ bod, sound the alarm, we got a problem.

Perhaps feminists would do better to apply some principled consistency to their arguments. Putting curvalicious booties on display for checking out may be a good thing or a bad thing. It’s not magically made OK when one woman co-opts the meaningless term “feminist” and slaps it next to it. And justifying your enjoyment of said booty-objectification by that measure mere hours before condemning jokes about such objectification is not helping the feminist cause.




Still with me?  Okay, this is actually me and not the author of the article listed above.  Sorry for the missing part of the article, I just couldn't get the Twitter feed images to translate.  

I was wondering if any of you ladies sometimes find being a Female Supporter and being a male version of a sex object end up going too much hand-in-hand. 

Yesterday an older gentleman and I were discussing movements in America and he casually said he supported women burning their bras.  It struck me that my husband likes when I walk around without a bra on too.  In fact, that's one of those staple, hot and sexy things a woman can do to arouse a man.  Especially if it is in a white, wet shirt.  I mean, seriously, what man in his right mind wouldn't want women to just burn her bra and flop around?  Well, unless we have a really sexy bra on that makes our boobs look like mini mountains.

Don't get me wrong, I love my bras and I love my boobs.  There are plenty of health reasons and long term benefits to keeping my girls supported though.  So I sorta laughed when a European indy youtube video was posted on a friends site (can't find the damn thing to link it).  They switched gender roles and had women jogging shirtless and cat calling men.  The push was mostly to get women to loosen up and stand up for the right to have their boobs be 'free' and go after sex if they want it.  It did touch on other gender issues, but I kept thinking to myself, 'This is mostly a boy fantasy of womens boobs being everywhere and them asking for sex as men walk by.  And some of these women are going to hurt their backs if they keep exercising without support!"

I'm suppose to feel empowered and daringly comfortable in my body if I were to pose seductively in a sexy calendar or be apart of a wet t-shirt contest, or wear a skimpy bikini boldly.  Yet, if I were to breastfeed in public and possibly, accidentally expose myself in that regard I should be made to feel ashamed and be shunned by those around me.  Not viewed as beautiful and daring, but as ... I don't know, something else.  If I want my daughter to wear a tankini or a one piece as she ages I am told that I am making her hate her body by not allowing her to feel comfortable in less.  Though if a bikini where made out of cotton and called underwear she should be trained to cover up and be embarrassed if someone accidently saw her that way.  It's sorta confusing.

When it comes to physical appearance in the media it seems like a woman can't be a great artist unless she is willing to hint at or slightly play out a male driven sexual fantasy.  Beyonce has a rocking voice, but it has to be drowned out by bare asses and the lyrics of having a cherry blown out.  This comedic actress literally serves herself on a platter to be gawked at in a way most women hate when, steretypically, walking past a construction site.  How can we demand respect and to be seen as an equal gender when we have such dueling sexual messages, mostly to the benefit of only men?

I mean really, do most of the sexy women stuff (clothing, humping walls, licking lips, sucking on fingers....) you see performers do really enhance your experience of their art?!   


Maybe I'm not making sense.  I'm pretty sure several of you will charge me with not making sense.  Sorry, I'm 8 months pregnant, and I admit my writing and English talent has fallen into a new low with this pregnancy (my third).  While I was reading this article on my 32nd trip to the bathroom today I felt it summed up this irrational double standard women seem to have created for themselves.

Let me see if I can sum it up my thoughts in a different way.  Beyonce, I consider a strong feminist, as she usually sings empowering songs about women standing up for themselves and sometimes calling out women who need to get their act together.  At least she did in the 90's and early 00's when I was more into her genre of music.  Remember that song "Nasty Girl" with the lines:

You's a nasty (nasty) Trashy (nasty)

Sleazy (nasty) Classless (nasty)

Nasty put some clothes on, I told ya
Don't walk out your house without no clothes on, I told ya
Girl what ya thinkin' bout lookin' that to' down, I told ya
These men don't want no hot female that's been around the block female, you nasty girl

Yet if you check out this video compilation she spends most of her career being this Nasty Girl.  Not that she has to live by her lyrics.  It is sort of a funny, ironic look at this song where she demands this nasty girl to respect herself by covering up more of herself, but then uses her own sexual appeal to sell music that is good enough to not require it!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-7ubPOCeJk

::Shrug:: Okay, I'm ready for everyone to tell me I'm not making much sense or whatever wonderfully negative can of worms I have popped open.  :) 
by on Aug. 26, 2014 at 9:08 PM
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Replies (1-10):
jllcali
by Jane on Aug. 26, 2014 at 9:37 PM
TL;DR sorry
amygirl411
by Member on Aug. 26, 2014 at 9:38 PM
While I appreciate all of this, it honestly comes down to what the VIEWERS AND SOCIETY deem appropriate for tv. Outside of your house, there's THOUSANDS of men & women fighting to be RECOGNIZED as who they identify as. So, I read this and simply think of my BFF, a woman born a male, struggling to be accepted and seen and respected as the woman she is. I also think of the struggles those just as close to me have faced, like DH's parents who have been committed for 16 years, together twenty three, who were FINALLY able to be legally wed in WI just a few months ago. THATS the struggle I see. While there's still such an attack on women "knowing and respecting 'their place'" .... there's more people out in the world struggling to keep their job and have the altercations done to their body so THEY can VISUALLY accept themselves! Society is sick, placing people in boxes, expecting so much of them, sexing everything up, yet expecting everyone to eventually evolve to understanding and accepting everyone not as who they APPEAR to be, but, rather, who they TRULY ARE INSIDE.

Let me also say, I'm NOT bashing OP AT ALL. Just stating how I feel about said subject.

Side note ~ What's the comment above me stand for again?!
Clairwil
by Ruby Member on Aug. 27, 2014 at 12:12 AM
2 moms liked this

I don't think women should be ashamed of their bodies, whether they are fit and 20, or less fit and 60.


Women do not have a duty to look attractive for men.

Women do not have a duty to avoid looking attractive for men.

Women should have a CHOICE.


If a woman wants to display her body, that's ok.

If a woman wants to not display her body, that's ok.

But it should be the woman's choice, not something that is done to her.

WildPowerMom
by Member on Aug. 27, 2014 at 9:31 AM

Yes!  That is very true.  Women should be comfortable in their bodies at any age and in any shape.  That's not what I guess I was thinking about exactly.

How did we get to this point of clothing for women?  Not saying we should go back to changing in bathing rooms and our bathing suits should be full bodice affairs or anything like that.  Take the classic bikini.  It was designed by a man.  To display his design he had to hire prostitutes because the average model and woman felt it was too revealing to wear and refused to wear it.  Today there is almost a push in the opposite direction.  If you do not want to wear a bikini at any size or at any age then it is assumed you are ashamed of your body or you are making your daughter ashamed of her body.  

A man makes something that a generation of women feel is extremely revealing, but is something a man would happily see women in.  A man started a trend to prompt women to wear less.  Women slowly wore less and less and are now on the bandwagon that less is best.  We don't think it's "wrong" but are suppose to be empowered by it.  I sometimes wonder if we were just scammed into thinking this is what we want.  

The awards shows that the article mentions are majorly run by men.  Men are the top execs in those businesses and approve or disapprove acts and shows and probably have a lot of say about what we see.  Beyonce's routine, clothing, and song choice was probably heavily male driven and the message to women was 'this is what you want to be.'  Is it really what we want or is it what men really think we should want?

Does that make sense?

Quoting Clairwil:

I don't think women should be ashamed of their bodies, whether they are fit and 20, or less fit and 60.


Women do not have a duty to look attractive for men.

Women do not have a duty to avoid looking attractive for men.

Women should have a CHOICE.


If a woman wants to display her body, that's ok.

If a woman wants to not display her body, that's ok.

But it should be the woman's choice, not something that is done to her.


WildPowerMom
by Member on Aug. 27, 2014 at 9:43 AM

In June I sat with my best friend of 15 years at a 24 hour McDonalds on his 30th birthday listening to him reveal that he felt he was born a man, but had the body of a woman.  We discussed the medications he would start and the options he had at his disposal with his insurance and how he would handle changing everything.  From his name to how he should change his Facebook status and when and how to tell his parents and family.  We even discussed clean cut or slightly unshaven look for when the hormones went in.  He is a clean cut for sure!

My only concern?  If there was a dick available that I may cheat on my husband with him, LOL.  We always joked that I was holding up our love affair because I like dick.  Now he was closing that complicated gap from us living happily ever after.  :P  I was his first kiss seven years prior and the first person he came out to when he realized he was gay, well, technically a lesbian at the time.  I'm still hazy on the pronouns and when to use them when explaining previous events to strangers.

So, do not in any way confuse this post as ignoring the needs and struggles of those in a different position than myself.  I do not face those battles directly, but that does not mean I have niave or not affected by those issues. 

I am concerned that as women we allow a man's perspective and what men want to see confuse us into thinking it is what WE want for ourselves.  Do we want to hump a stage infront of millions in a bra and cut off pants or have we been scammed into beliving that we want to do that?  Most women I know respect and enjoy music even if the artist isn't throwing their crotch at us.  There's dancing and showing the athletic beauty of the body and then there's just sexing up a song because .... that is what the artist wants to do?

Quoting amygirl411: While I appreciate all of this, it honestly comes down to what the VIEWERS AND SOCIETY deem appropriate for tv. Outside of your house, there's THOUSANDS of men & women fighting to be RECOGNIZED as who they identify as. So, I read this and simply think of my BFF, a woman born a male, struggling to be accepted and seen and respected as the woman she is. I also think of the struggles those just as close to me have faced, like DH's parents who have been committed for 16 years, together twenty three, who were FINALLY able to be legally wed in WI just a few months ago. THATS the struggle I see. While there's still such an attack on women "knowing and respecting 'their place'" .... there's more people out in the world struggling to keep their job and have the altercations done to their body so THEY can VISUALLY accept themselves! Society is sick, placing people in boxes, expecting so much of them, sexing everything up, yet expecting everyone to eventually evolve to understanding and accepting everyone not as who they APPEAR to be, but, rather, who they TRULY ARE INSIDE. Let me also say, I'm NOT bashing OP AT ALL. Just stating how I feel about said subject. Side note ~ What's the comment above me stand for again?!


WildPowerMom
by Member on Aug. 27, 2014 at 9:47 AM

Yea, I tried to shorten it before I posted it, but I was in a rambling mood I guess.  The article was really long too.  I understand you not reading it.  :)  

Quoting jllcali: TL;DR sorry


numbr1wmn
by Nikki on Aug. 27, 2014 at 9:50 AM

I think women should be strong and go after what they want. They can if they choose to do so. However,they thought Sophia twirling was sexist. Oye!

Clairwil
by Ruby Member on Aug. 27, 2014 at 9:52 AM
1 mom liked this

Woman wearing a bikini when she wants to wear a bikini = Empowering

Woman wearing a hijab when she wants to wear a hijab = Empowering

Woman wearing a bikini when she wants to wear a hijab = Dis-empowering

Woman wearing a hijab when she wants to wear a bikini = Dis-empowering


Being empowered means being free to do what you want to do, rather than what your brother/husband/father/neighbour wants you to do.


Quoting WildPowerMom:

Yes!  That is very true.  Women should be comfortable in their bodies at any age and in any shape.  That's not what I guess I was thinking about exactly.

How did we get to this point of clothing for women?  Not saying we should go back to changing in bathing rooms and our bathing suits should be full bodice affairs or anything like that.  Take the classic bikini.  It was designed by a man.  To display his design he had to hire prostitutes because the average model and woman felt it was too revealing to wear and refused to wear it.  Today there is almost a push in the opposite direction.  If you do not want to wear a bikini at any size or at any age then it is assumed you are ashamed of your body or you are making your daughter ashamed of her body.  

A man makes something that a generation of women feel is extremely revealing, but is something a man would happily see women in.  A man started a trend to prompt women to wear less.  Women slowly wore less and less and are now on the bandwagon that less is best.  We don't think it's "wrong" but are suppose to be empowered by it.  I sometimes wonder if we were just scammed into thinking this is what we want.  

The awards shows that the article mentions are majorly run by men.  Men are the top execs in those businesses and approve or disapprove acts and shows and probably have a lot of say about what we see.  Beyonce's routine, clothing, and song choice was probably heavily male driven and the message to women was 'this is what you want to be.'  Is it really what we want or is it what men really think we should want?

Does that make sense?

Quoting Clairwil:

I don't think women should be ashamed of their bodies, whether they are fit and 20, or less fit and 60.


Women do not have a duty to look attractive for men.

Women do not have a duty to avoid looking attractive for men.

Women should have a CHOICE.


If a woman wants to display her body, that's ok.

If a woman wants to not display her body, that's ok.

But it should be the woman's choice, not something that is done to her.


Clairwil
by Ruby Member on Aug. 27, 2014 at 9:55 AM
1 mom liked this


Quoting numbr1wmn:

I think women should be strong and go after what they want. They can if they choose to do so. However,they thought Sophia twirling was sexist. Oye!

It depends on what Sophia wanted.

If she enjoyed it, fine.

If she'd rather not have been treated differently from other guests, not fine.

numbr1wmn
by Nikki on Aug. 27, 2014 at 9:56 AM

 She did. I don't think she would do it if she didn't want to either.

Quoting Clairwil:

 

Quoting numbr1wmn:

I think women should be strong and go after what they want. They can if they choose to do so. However,they thought Sophia twirling was sexist. Oye!

It depends on what Sophia wanted.

If she enjoyed it, fine.

If she'd rather not have been treated differently from other guests, not fine.

 

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