Angelina Jolie had a double mastectomy, in case you hadn’t heard. How dare she remove those ticking time bombs from her chest, amiright? Like, hasn’t she learned by now that her body is public domain and we all get to vote on what she does with it? Sheesh, how selfish can ya get.
Instead of telling women to respect themselves and stop dressing “slutty” so should you just stop with your objectifying and sexism. It’s not the girls who should change their clothes, it’s you who need to show some respect. Everyone should be able to dress however they want without getting a sexist comment or hearing someone say that they don’t respect their bodies
Happy women’s day, yo
What’s misandry, again?
- Women perform 66% of the world’s work, but receive only 11% of the world’s income, and own only 1% of the world’s land.
- Women make up 66% of the world’s illiterate adults.
- Women head 83% of single-parent families. The number of families nurtured by women alone doubled from 1970 to 1995 (from 5.6 million to 12.2 million).
- Women account for 55% of all college students, but even when women have equal years of education it does not translate into economic opportunities or political power.
- There are six million more women than men in the world.
- Two-thirds of the world’s children who receive less than four years of education are girls. Girls represent nearly 60% of the children not in school.
- Parents in countries such as China and India sometimes use sex determination tests to find out if their fetus is a girl. Of 8,000 fetuses aborted at a Bombay clinic, 7,999 were female.
- Wars today affect civilians most, since they are civil wars, guerrilla actions and ethnic disputes over territory or government. 3 out of 4 fatalities of war are women and children.
- Rape is consciously used as a tool of genocide and weapon of war. Tens of thousands of women and girls have been subjected to rape and other sexual violence since the crisis erupted in Darfur in 2003. There is no evidence of anyone being convicted in Darfur for these atrocities.
- About 75% of the refugees and internally displaced in the world are women who have lost their families and their homes.
- Gender-based violence kills one in three women across the world and is the biggest cause of injury and death to women worldwide, causing more deaths and disability among women aged 15 to 44 than cancer, malaria, traffic accident, and war.
So let me just get two things out of the way before I get really, really deep in detail about one specific aspect of the Oscars intro last night:
1) it was super, super-long and self-indulgent. Even by Oscar standards. It was like half an hour before anybody got an award and I laughed maybe twice. Seth McFarlane being delighted by himself is ok when sublimated into a half-hour cartoon, it’s not really tolerable when mugged at the screen by a guy in a suit for the same amount of time. It isn’t actually funny, and thus fails the first test: the test of comedy.
2) in the thick of the “We Saw Your Boobs” song, which must have lasted five minutes all by itself, this line jumped out at me: “Jodie Foster in ‘The Accused’”. And I thought to myself “wait, isn’t her nudity in that movie part of a *rape scene*?” It threw a really sour note into what was supposed to be light-hearted.
But the in-depth thing I want to talk about is the “reaction shots” to the song, pre-taped by game actresses who were playing along. The substance of these reaction shots highlights just what’s so awful about McFarlane singing this song: mortification from most of the actresses and a little fist-pump of triumph from Jennifer Lawrence when he says we haven’t seen hers.
The song, the reaction shots and Seth McFarlane’s general attitude are all based on a commonplace and awful trope: that sex is a contest, and that men win and women lose when sex or nudity happens. It’s an archaic, prudish, creepy concept that derives from twisted notions about female purity and women-as-property.
McFarlane thinks if he has seen a woman’s breasts, he has won and she has lost, and he is now entitled to gloat about it. Women whose breasts Seth McFarlane has seen are meant to feel humiliated and degraded by that fact, even though it’s expected of actresses to show their breasts to get work. Meet the expectations placed on you by your industry, talented actresses? Too bad you’ve now injured your own dignity such that Seth McFarlane can mock you about it in front of a billion people. Even if your character is naked *because she’s being raped* (see point 2 above), it still amounts to a victory for Seth McFarlane to have seen your breasts.
McFarlane presents the whole skit as something he shouldn’t do, which makes it even worse, because he wants to get credit for the cleverness of his idea while also pretending it is beneath him. Which is completely candy-ass and cowardly.
The sexuality-as-contest-between-men-and-women thing is bubbling underneath so much that is awful: rape culture, workplace harassment, slut-shaming, abuse-themed porn, pick-up artist culture, etc., etc. It sets aside women as a separate thing from a person, and makes them into an object that is “ruined” by sex or nudity.
In a culture with a healthy attitude about sex and sexuality, McFarlane’s song would have no sting at all, because nudity in film would be a completely different sort of animal: it wouldn’t be compulsory for actresses to draw that “I am pure and don’t ghet naked”/”I am fallen and thus am only good for getting naked” line, and there wouldn’t be shame associated with having been naked on screen. There would be no sting in McFarlane smugly taunting women whose boobs he’s seen.
We don’t, yet, live in that culture. And when Seth McFarlane plays “sex is a contest and YOU LOST, Kate Winslet” for laughs, it’s depressingly clear how far we are from it.
When McFarlane reduces Swank’s amazingly powerful performance down to a punchline about her body, he’s doing more than making light of her talent. He’s literally inviting people to laugh at rape and murder. He’s construing breasts as existing for men’s pleasure, whether sexual pleasure or just to make fun of, all the time—even when they belong to people, like Brandon Teena in Boys Don’t Cry, who identify as men. Even when they are exposed as part of a badly injured body, like Charlize Theron in Monster—another film based on a true story. Even when they symbolize the racist sexualization of black women by white men, like Halle Berry in Monster’s Ball. Even when they’re visible during a violent gang rape, as passerby cheer the attackers on, like Jodie Foster in The Accused, once again based on a real-life attack. Even when, like Scarlet Johansson, another target of the boob song, personal nude photographs of them were leaked without consent.
There has been growing concern around online misogyny with its increasing proliferation (think Mary Beard, Louise Mensch) and a number of columnists have written about it (Helen Lewis, Laurie Penny, the Guardian panel). However, this discussion is missing an important element - that of the experience of black and minority ethnic women writing online. Double whammy might sound clichéd but being on the receiving end of prejudice and abuse for being a woman and ‘non-white’, so to say, is exactly that. I experienced it when I wrote for Cif and I know others have too (there was an interesting panel on online Islamophobia in the Guardian).
This is an ‘f-word’ article published 21/02/2013. If you are interested in responding to this please click the link at the top for more information, and contact details.
Feminists have always been accused of hating men because it is a very effective way of silencing a very threatening movement. In a society where women’s value is based on our ability to please men, and where men hold almost all the cards, the worst possible thing we can do is hate them. So when feminists point out and object to the oppression, abuse and discrimination perpetuated by men against women, this is framed as man hating in an attempt to silence us, in an attempt to ensure that we are vilified and ignored by the rest of society, so that male oppression of women and male privilege can continue unchecked.
No matter how we frame our arguments and no matter what kind of image we seek to project, as long as we highlight, object to and fight misogyny, feminists are going to be called man haters.
So I’m not going to waste my time trying to prove that I’m not.
Awesome protests erupted in my school today. Our student council planned a “fun” game for valentines day. They handed out paper hearts to every girl at the beginning of the day. Only the girls. If a girl speaks to a guy through the duration of the day, she has to give him her heart. Guys get five raffle tickets for every heart they collect. Girls cannot collect hearts, they only have one to give away, and guys do not have to give away anything. A gay male asked for a heart to give away to participate and was told no.
Some girls have taken this as an invitation to say things such as, quoted from twitter, “keeping the whores from talking today haha.” And boasting about “keeping their heart and not being a whore.” This has turned into an excuse to shame each other for talking to guys. And for what? A valentines game?
Rather than writing their names on the hearts and giving them away, many girls have written notes of protest on the paper hearts and are wearing them proudly as they associate with whoever they please and refuse to give the heart away.
Proud of some of the people in my school today.
males are rewarded for collecting female “hearts” and are encouraged to collect as many as they possibly can, but females are only allowed to have one heart to give away, and when they give it away they’re not allowed to play anymore
the correlation of “hearts” to how virginity/sex is treated in society is kind of eerie and definitely sexist
Well this is awful and pretty neatly reflects the heteronormative sexist narratives that get pushed a lot around Valentine’s Day.
Hooray for people protesting though! My favourite is the one that just says “Nope.” - B