The other day I was so upset by this example of misogyny in Supernatural fandom that I thought I might quit watching the show. Not really in protest, because my watching or not makes no difference whatsoever, but because things like this make me feel so sick that it kills my ability to enjoy the aspects of the show that I do love. (Link via cofax7; more discussion in comments.)
Then today I saw the raging cesspit of homophobia in many of the comments to this doctorwho entry and was reminded that it’s not just SPN fandom that has problems. *sigh* (How can people say “they erased the queer because it’s a family show” and not realize how grotesquely homophobic that statement is?)
I’m almost tempted to watch when Torchwood returns, even though I freaking hate that show. They’re bringing Gwen back and not catering to their fandom misogynists–see SPN? It can be done!
(I want Russell T Davies to run every show ever. *misses him*)( confused ramble about problematic media and whether to watch it )
I went to a meeting of the Supernatural NYC Meetup Group a couple weekends ago. We met at 11am in the childrens’ resource room of the Brooklyn Heights Public Library (srsly) and marathoned several Dean episodes via a laptop hooked up to a projector. It was a bit… surreal. (Also I’d slept only three hours and got up early on a Saturday, so I was barely functional, in addition to my usual pathological shyness in social situations.)
It was fun to watch the show with other real life people. The organizers obviously worked hard to run the event, and everyone was very welcoming to me. I’m not sure if it was the right place for me, though. I’ve been trying to put my finger on why and I think it ties into the posts I’ve been reading recently on metafandom about two different approaches to fandom, affirmational vs transformational. I’m pretty firmly on the transformational side, especially when it comes to something like Supernatural, which I find incredibly problematic, and which I’m into for the fandom and fanwork and fan criticism at least as much as for the text itself.
The Meetup group was pretty firmly on the affirmational side, at least as far as I could tell (some of the others were shy, too). Only one person acknowledged being into fanfic and she did so like there was something embarrassing about it. There wasn’t much discussion and what there was wasn’t critical* or analytical–it was very positive and focused on the actors and on behind-the-scenes trivia.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with this–it just hit me that what I wanted wasn’t just real life people to watch the show with, it was real life people who share something closer to my approach to fandom. (Again, I mean no offense to the people there.)
ANYWAY. The point is that I’ve been absolutely fascinated by the discussions about the differences between affirmational and transformational approaches to fandom, because they put names on phenomena that I’ve been aware of for a long time but haven’t been able to articulate. If you’re interested, this post by obsession_inc is a great starting point. I’d also recommend this post by oliviacirce and this particular comment thread, and also this post by damned_colonial. Obviously, there’s overlap between the two approaches, and the definitions are still being hashed out, but there is definitely something really interesting to explore here.
Also, kaigou took this as a starting point for a post about the structural differences between the two approaches to fandom–how affirmational fandom places the author at the center and how transformational fandom is far more decentralized and chaotic, complete with these amazing diagrams. (It takes a while to figure out but they’re definitely worth looking at.) I’m not sure if I agree with her conclusion about anti-fanfic pro-writers feeling threatened by BNFs, but I love her illustrations of how fandoms evolve to center around fan-created ideas, and how far removed these fan-created zones can be from the canon’s creator or hir intent.
It really rings true with my experience of Supernatural, which is that I’m far more interested in learning what soundingsea or netweight think about the show than about what Eric Kripke does, and I’m infinitely more interested in reading jolielaide’s fanfic recs than in reading tie-in novels (the Meetup group is also doing a tie-in novel book club, which I couldn’t be less interested in). I think it also explains why I’ve always felt so much happier at fan-run conventions, the ones focused on fanworks and the voices of fans themselves, rather than at those pro cons where you worship at the altar of your superiors and if you’re lucky they’ll validate your life by acknowledging your existence (often for an offensively large sum of money). (Sorry, some residual bitterness there.)( a bit more about the meetup )
So, there’s this, which you’ve probably read by now, and if you haven’t you probably should, because it involves the fandom community and it’s important.
I’ll add one thing, which is that it is both the concom’s right and responsibility to ban someone who behaved so inappropriately. I applaud the Wincon organizers for doing so, for making a responsible choice to keep their con safe for their attendees.
I’ll also say that, when something like this happens, I feel that it’s my responsibility to follow the links and understand as much as I can about what happened before I speak out about it. It’s clearly not appropriate to respond to this by criticizing how the victims handled the situation. Here is post that gets to the heart of why victim-blaming is so fucked up and horrible: Saying No by fickle_goddess. (Thanks to a_white_rain for linking to this.)
Also, here is one of my favorite links ever: Sexual Assault Prevention Tips, Guaranteed to Work! (Thanks to jolielaide for pointing me to it.)
I feel so sick and sad about this whole thing.
* USA released three network promos featuring Neal and Peter from White Collar. I don’t know the characters from the other shows, but yay for more Neal and Peter!
* Some clueless pro writer posted a screed about why fanfic sucks. Old wank, I know, but it’s inspired some lovely counterarguments that have reminded me how wonderful fanfiction is, both the art form itself and the community around it. Here is a really lovely ode to fanfic from pandarus.
* There’s this discussion going on in the feminist blogosphere about “Dude Music” and the comparative lack of respect female musicians and fans get. It’s incredibly interesting if you’re into rock music, and if you’re not it’s still very relevant, since it highlights a whole lot of the subtle ways that sexism works. I found it absolutely fascinating, because I’m definitely someone who grew up with a very male-dominated playlist–I’ve been working to understand why and to be a fan of more female musicians. Anyway, read the discussion in this order:
* Rare Film of Ronald Reagan, James Dean Unearthed. Is it wrong that I kinda wanted to read a slash version of this after I watched it?
* Bowie Dance Ride in NYC today. “Participants are encouraged to dress up as their favorite Bowie character and pedal away, Ziggy Stardust–style.” Uh, seriously?
* Iron Man 2 tonight! I can’t wait. This whole Supernatural obsession was incredibly well-timed; it managed to prevent me from clicking any of the Iron Man 2 spoilers that have been all over my reading list this week. :)
* I walked across the Brooklyn Bridge last night (exercise! fresh air!) and then went home and cooked a real dinner (roasted acorn stuffed with spinach cous cous and topped with toasted pine nuts). And then I sat down to watch Just One Episode of Supernatural. And… ended up watching four. So much for functioning like a sane person.
They were good! I enjoyed them. Maybe my previous feeling of disillusionment was just a fluke. Maybe by lowering my expectations I was better able to focus on what’s good. Maybe I was just saddened by the prospect of not staring at Jensen Ackles’ adorable freckles for the next two days, so I appreciated these episodes more.
My thoughts:( this is not actually about 4x11; it's about why I love the movie The Legend of Billie Jean )
( this is actually about 4x12, and the worst line of dialog I've ever heard )
( 4x13 )
( 4x14 was really good! )
( and another thing I like about Supernatural in general )
I’m having some sort of values dissonance with parts of White Collar fandom. I keep reading these critiques that are like “Neal Caffrey is a thief, he’s selfish, he’s messed up, he has serious ethical and emotional problems!” and I’m like… yeah, and? Why is that bad?
Perfect characters are boring. Flawed characters are interesting. Why do people want flawed characters to be “fixed”? Presumably its those flaws that draw people to the characters in the first place. Real people are flawed and complicated, and they may grow up and deal with their problems in better ways, but people don’t become perfect. They keep most of their core issues throughout their lives, and the people who love them love them anyway. And of course, plenty of “flaws” are just personality traits that can be expressed in both positive and negative ways–take away the personality trait because you dislike its negative expression, and you lose the positive aspects of it, too.
I mean, yes, Neal Caffrey is a con artist. The Tenth Doctor was an arrogant know-it-all, Logan Echolls was a bully, Brian Kinney was an asshole, Sirius Black had the emotional maturity of a sixteen-year-old, Spike used to kill people and drink their blood, Jaime Lannister fucked his sister and threw a seven-year-old out a window, and Methos was a Horseman of the Apocalypse (hahaha, oh, Highlander, I miss you). I probably wouldn’t want to know any of these people in real life, but this is fiction–the more complicated and fucked-up they are, the more interesting they are to play with as characters.
This seems to come up in every fandom I’m in, to the point where I start wondering if there’s something wrong with me, like am I missing some core ethical understanding that comes naturally to other people? But, um, no, it’s just that fiction =/= reality, and I wouldn’t want it to.
Anyway, in other news:( I went to see the Runaways and Kristin Stewart was awesome as Joan Jett )
( then I went to see Strange Days and it was fantastic on a big screen )
( and I saw Alice in Wonderland, which makes three films that pass the Bechdel test in a row! )
( then I got nostalgic for Doctor Who and watched Boomtown and missed the Jack Harkness I actually liked )
( and watched some Farscape which I've grown increasingly convinced actually was the best sci fi show ever )
I haven’t been posting much, because I’ve been stressed out and busy and tired, and who wants to hear about that?
I have, however, accumulated a couple of mildly interesting (I hope) things to post about.( the Watchmen movie )
* Then the next night, jaydk and I saw Coraline. Proof that you don't need to be "edgy" to make a good movie: it was far better than Watchmen. Smart, funny, well-written, beautifully filmed--the 3D was absolutely lovely. The story was creative and intriguing and eerie, and the lead character was clever and brave. Why do childrens' stories do such a superior job of portraying three-dimensional female characters? Is it just that we've been culturally conditioned to be unable to fathom a post-pubescent female in a way that doesn't put her sexuality front and center?
* I'm seeing a lot of talk about Doctor Who finale casting spoilers. As far as I can tell, they're from a tabloid that regularly makes shit up, so why is anyone taking them seriously? Am I missing something? (This is a genuine question. Is there any reason to believe them? I don't want to get excited about something that's completely fabricated.)
* I'm reading Team of Rivals, Doris Kearns Goodwin's book about Lincoln and his cabinet. It's really interesting and I'm enjoying it, but I wish she'd stop spelling out what the reader is "supposed" to think. I can make up my own mind about what these guys did and why they did it; I don't need the author inserting her own explanation that so-and-so was arrogant and ambitious on every page. Still, it's mostly good. After being so absorbed in the 2008 election, it's fascinating to see how American politics worked 150 years ago.
* And I'm still in the middle of The Disorderly Knights. I'm going to finish it and then take a break from the Lymond series, since it's been less than six months since I re-read Pawn in Frankincense. Speaking of which, my mom just finished it and is in awe. In retrospect, I think Pawn is the best written and most moving book of the series.
( the Moonlight TV series )
Also, maybe it's just that I don't watch modern American TV anymore, but ... what is with the women? As in, they are all exactly the same: tiny, emaciated, sharp-featured, and young. No matter what character they're playing--boss, geek girl, random vampire--they are all pulled from such an incredibly narrow archetype of "woman" that it's just completely absurd. Watching a show like this, you'd never even imagine that women exist on planet Earth larger than a size four, older than thirty-five, and without those sharp facial angles that Hollywood defines as "beautiful." At least the men are allowed to have some diversity of age, size, and facial features, depending on the character they're playing, but every single woman first has to fit into this absurdly narrow definition of "attractive" before anything else is taken into account.
This is why I can barely watch American TV anymore. Once you step away from it for a while, you come back and suddenly it's like being hit over the head by how ridiculous it is. This narrow bunch of nearly-identical Hollywood model types plays pretty much every female character and the majority of male characters. Sure, an occasional talent pops through, but it's painfully obvious that these people are cast almost entirely for their looks with no regard for skill. You end up with a bunch of interchangeable Barbies and Kens running around posing as every variety of adult human being. How am I supposed to take any of it seriously?
* But speaking of American TV that doesn't suck, I have become completely addicted to The Rachel Maddow Show. It passes the Bechdel Test every night! Real women talk to each other about real issues! With none of the insipid concessions to what "women" are supposed to care about--no celebrity gossip, no plastic surgery, no cooking and baking, no fashion bullshit, just women as real individual human beings, with their own perspectives, who care about the world around them. (This shouldn't be such a shock and a rarity!) And Rachel is brilliant, witty, funny, sweet, and adorable beyond words. I know she's not perfect and I do disagree with her sometimes, but I always love watching her. She makes me wish Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert would do less joking and more news--after I watch her show, I feel like I'm not getting enough content from them. (Don't worry, I still love them. Jon Stewart's smackdown of Jim Cramer was a thing of beauty.)
* Oh, and I'm still listening to David Bowie. Ziggy Stardust remains my favorite, but I've added Hunky Dory, Aladdin Sane, and Diamond Dogs to the lineup and am enjoying them all. I tried to listen to Scary Monsters on the advice of my friend Jason, but aside from "Ashes to Ashes" it just totally didn't work for me. I don't understand what happened to Bowie in the 80s. It's like he went from brilliant and hot and amazing to ... just ... so boring and annoying and straight. Maybe I'll understand it better if I take each album chronologically. Or it could just be the Bowie draws from the zeitgeist of the decade, and the 80s was ... well, the 80s.
* This xkcd comic is awesome and totally nails the “nice guy” phenomenon. The wank it’s generated is severely depressing, though. “Women have nearly exclusive control over the nation’s sex supply, and that will never, ever change“???? *headdesk*
* jaydk and kalichan came over to my place on Saturday night for a very fun evening of wine and television. We watched the first episode of The Devil’s Whore, after which jaydk declared that she couldn’t stand to continue watching history be raped in such a blatant manner, so we switched to the first episode of Life on Mars (which kalichan had never seen!) to get the bad taste out of our mouths.
To be honest, I didn’t mind The Devil’s Whore–probably because I’m woefully ignorant about that period of English history, and because I was only watching for John Simm. He had his shirt off for a whole scene, so I got what I wanted out of the deal. :P
* This panel description has me dreading Gallifrey One. I think it might be best if I spend this convention drinking and chatting and avoiding most of the actual programming. >:( Still looking forward to seeing Phil Collinson, though. And hopefully to hearing interesting insights from the various new series writers who are attending.
* I’ve kind of reluctantly gotten into Spooks–I actually went out of my way to watch the season finale as soon as possible. I don’t love the show by any means. It’s pure genre, which makes it incredibly predictable; it never does anything that a spy drama wouldn’t do. But it’s quite a good example of a spy show, which makes it entertaining for what it is. Well, okay, mainly the entertaining thing is the lovely contrasts between Richard Armitage’s pale skin, black hair, and blue eyes. But occasionally he even gets to do some actual acting! And I kind of love the character of Ros–her competence and snark make her one of the more appealing female characters I’ve seen in quite a while.
* I’m re-reading Pawn in Frankincense despite myself. I forgot how funny this one is as it starts off! In fact, I think I forgot almost everything that happens except for the ending, which kind of blew the rest of it out of the water. It’s a totally different experience to read this series for a second time; everything makes so much more sense when you already know what’s going to happen. Dunnett’s style of keeping the reader completely in the dark for 90% of each book (and the series as a whole) is incredibly frustrating, but definitely rewarding if you’re able to put up with it. It also makes re-reading a whole new experience–you can actually appreciate the subtleties instead of just wondering what the hell is going on. It also helps that I’ve got a book of translations with me this time around, so I can figure out what the hell they’re saying when the characters suddenly switch to French or Latin.
* I’m resisting the urge to write a long song-by-song analysis of “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.” I know that no one cares about my interpretation of a 35-year-old classic album that I’ve only been listening to for two weeks. Still. It’s all I’ve been thinking about. I haven’t even turned it off at night, because it’ll play in my head if I don’t have it actually playing from my speakers.
* 5years.com is an incredibly helpful website if you suddenly decide to get obsessed with “Ziggy Stardust” 35 years too late. Plus I’m learning all this stuff about glam rock–now I totally get that scene in Life on Mars where Sam meets Marc Bolan!
* I bought this Best of Bowie DVD. It’s all so totally totally awesome for about the first 50 minutes, and then… 1974 happens. Good god. I think maybe I’m a fan of Ziggy Stardust, not of David Bowie?
* I wish I’d gone to the Bowie Ball last weekend. I totally want to go see this all-female Ziggy Stardust cover band in January. And I want to go see this thing at MOMA even though I doubt 1) I can get tickets, 2) that it’s anything I haven’t already seen on the Best of Bowie DVD.
* I finally figured out how to connect my computer to my TV wirelessly. It’s a combination of this and this and it totally works! My TV is a second monitor and I can just drag video files over to it and play them. Now I should probably cancel my cable TV, but I’ve gotten addicted to The Rachel Maddow Show and now I kind of don’t want to give it up. I suppose I could just watch that online too. And I might actually continue catching up on more of those old Doctor/Master episodes now that I don’t have to waste CDs on burning them.
Although I might just watch lots of YouTube clips of young David Bowie instead.
* Neil Gaiman continues to be awesome. See Why Defend Freedom of Icky Speech?
* I’m lurking at theemptywriter and quite enjoying it. Nice to see that not everyone is caught up in the Moffat hype! And, man, he just continues to annoy the hell out of me. Here he is in 1996 calling the Doctor’s female companions “bimbos”; what, did I need another reason to loathe him?
* This list of top movie characters is currently making the news rounds. Only one woman in the top 25? Are you fucking kidding me? I mean, what about that “huge lack of respect for anything male” that tragically inflicts our society? (Could it be that Steven Moffat is … full of shit? :P) And… and… Yoda is a better character than Princess Leia???
* Scott Weiland has a new album. How come nobody told me this? His last solo album was actually really good! Hopefully this’ll make up for the entertaining-but-soulless artificiality of his work with Velvet Revolver.
I’m still getting used to this whole thing of enjoying someone’s music but not having any particular interest or respect for them as a person. I think I’m too old and cynical to worship all-perfect musical idols, and this way it’s less disappointing when they inevitably fall. I’ll just try to enjoy them when they’re good and move on to something else when they start to suck. No need to feel all heartbroken and/or betrayed by the whole thing. (I’m even starting to get over Courtney Love’s Hollywood sell-out; none of her later bullshit can take away from the pure awesome of Live Through This.)
* I’m still listening nonstop to David Bowie. The song “Velvet Goldmine” is really, really good. (Now I’m extra disappointed that the movie was so bad.) Wikipedia says the song is about Bowie making out with another man, but I’m listening to the lyrics, and… that sounds like a lot more than making out…?
Also, if you’re ever looking for motivation to weep for the state of humanity, just go to songmeanings.net and look up your favorite song. If the inanity of the interpretations doesn’t make you want to kill yourself, I don’t know what will.
* This ad is currently plastered all over the NYC subway system. Every time I walk by I kind of have to resist the urge to stop and, I don’t know, lick it maybe? Which, eww, NYC subway. But, damn. David Bowie was reeeeeally pretty once.( pretty pretty subway ad )
I’m still floating on a high from Obama’s election. I know he won’t be perfect and a few months from now I’ll probably be bitching about mistakes he’s made, but right now I am just going to enjoy the incredible thrill of his election for as long as possible. I honestly didn’t think America would progress this far within my lifetime. And, speaking as a New Yorker, it’s so good to count as a “real American” again.
I watched the whole Indecision ‘08 special at home last night, and… you guys… Stephen Colbert was crying. Have I mentioned how much I adore him?
I’m also really enjoying all these articles about how the GOP is falling apart. My entire life has been dominated by the rise of the Republican party; Reagan was elected two years before I was born. I’ve dreamed of watching them crumble, and now–HA! FINALLY.
I’m also so pleased that several animal rights initiatives passed. California’s Proposition 2 was a huge victory; it requires that farm animals be confined in pens that enable them to turn around and stretch their limbs. While it’s only a small reduction in the horrors of the factory farming industry, this is still a huge step in raising awareness and reducing animal suffering. Massachusetts also voted yes on Question 3, which ends the exploitative greyhound racing industry in that state.
And I’m pleased that several anti-choice initiatives were rejected. Colorado defeated Amendment 48, which would have defined a fertilized egg as a person; South Dakota rejected anti-abortion Measure 11, which was a set-up to a Roe v Wade challenge; and California rejected Proposition 4, which required parental notifications and waiting periods.
Unfortunately my squee at all this good news is severely tempered by the passage of hateful anti-gay measures in California (Proposition 8 to ban gay marriage), Arizona (Proposition 102 to ban gay marriage), Florida (Amendment 2 to ban gay marriage), and Arkansas (Measure 1 to ban gay couples from adopting and being foster parents).
California is the biggest disappointment, since so much effort went into defeating that stupid ban, and the vote was so close. On the plus side, the ACLU, Lambda Legal, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights are already challenging it in court. And the one thing that really makes me feel better is that the vote was clearly divided by age–younger people voted against it while older people voted for it. Not to be too crude, but at least it’s only a matter of time before the bigots die out. :P
* Hillary Rodham Clinton and Cecile Richards (president of Planned Parenthood) on the Bush Administration blocking health care for women. This stuff scares the hell out of me. I mean, I feel pretty safe in NYC because I have so many options, but what if I’m traveling in a more isolated area and something bad happens? What about the women who live in those isolated areas? What if the only clinic they can afford to get to won’t sell birth control pills? What if they get raped and refused emergency contraception to protect a doctor’s “conscience”? What about the woman’s right to make her own medical choices? What about if you don’t want to provide health care, don’t choose a job in the medical profession? (*headdesk*)
Please forward these to anyone you know who thinks that politics doesn’t matter because it doesn’t affect their daily lives or because both parties are “exactly the same.” :P
Palin’s Wasilla To Rape Victims: Bring Your Checkbook. This article has been making the blog rounds, and actually gave me nightmares last night. People, please, vote against this woman. Feminism isn’t about putting one woman in power regardless of how anti-woman her policies are; it’s about making the world a better place for all women.
Big surprise: the Bush administration is pulling more evil anti-women bullshit.
Planned Parenthood has a summary and links, NARAL has a form so you can easily write to your congresspeople, and here’s the New York Times article.
“Federal law already allows doctors and even health-care corporations (hospitals, HMOs, and health plans) to refuse to provide services or make referrals for abortion. The new rule, which deliberately confuses the definitions of contraception and abortion, would cause disarray in law, regulations, and policy, and make it more difficult for women to obtain birth control.”
I’ve said most of this before, but maybe I used too many words or something. Let me be succinct:( BUT HOW COULD A FEMINIST *POSSIBLY* LOVE ROSE?! )
By no means am I saying that everyone has to agree (*waves to the nice non-Rose fans on my flist*), but it's not anti-feminist that I like something you don't in a fictional story. You might see something completely different and hate it, and we can both still be feminists. Because stories have multiple interpretations! It's okay! Really!
Um, people? Disliking a character because she’s ugly* is just as dumb and misogynist as disliking a character because she’s “blonde and curvaceous.” Can we please try judging female characters based on their personalities and not on their looks?( spoilers for Doctor Who 4x08 and 4x09 )
That said, I think half the reason I dislike Jack Harkness is that I can't stand looking at that hideous buttchin of his all the time. :P
* Link goes to the doctorwho LJ comm. It's about River Song; you have to join to read it.
I’m not really pleased about Steven Moffat taking over Doctor Who, mainly because I don’t think better writing is worth giving up the awesome three-dimensional female characters. (And whatever your complaints are about RTD, he’s presided over the creation of a wonderful variety of diverse and interesting female characters–Mrs. Moore, Harriet Jones, Blon Slitheen, Queen Victoria, Ida, Jackie, Rose, Donna…)
“There’s this issue you’re not allowed to discuss: that women are needy. Men can go for longer, more happily, without women. That’s the truth. We don’t, as little boys, play at being married - we try to avoid it for as long as possible. Meanwhile women are out there hunting for husbands.”
Before I read this, I loved his work. Now… I still think his writing is awesome, but Reinette seems accidentally cool, and Sally Sparrow’s “Sally Shipton” slip goes from cute to offensive.
And don’t forget:
“Well, the world is vastly counted in favour of men at every level - except if you live in a civilised country and you’re sort of educated and middle-class, because then you’re almost certainly junior in your relationship and in a state of permanent, crippled apology. Your preferences are routinely mocked. There’s a huge, unfortunate lack of respect for anything male.”
Whatever. I’ll be good and give him the benefit of the doubt. Hopefully the women on the staff will reign in his sexist tendencies, and we’ll get lots of good time travel stories. And if it sucks, I’ll stop watching. Life’s too short to put up with something that makes me want to bang my head against the wall.
I want to talk about something other than how objectified and sick I’m still feeling over that whole “let’s make womens’ bodies public property so we can grope them” thing. Someone go read my “Planet of the Ood” essay and engage me in polite conversation. Or think up another topic you’d like me to post about, and I will.
Meanwhile, I am still upset and hurt, so I’m trying to make myself feel better by thinking (well, writing) aloud about the issues this brings up for me.
* This post from synecdochic gave me a lot to think about regarding the difference between “sex-positive” and “getting-laid-positive.” (Not sure I agree with everything there, but she makes a lot of good points.) One of the things that really stands out to me is the inherent flaw in the idea that empowered female sexuality = letting strangers grope you. Isn’t that just reinforcing the belief that female sexuality is inherently passive? I mean, I’m sure that some women do get off on being groped by strangers, fine, but I think most of us consider “empowered sexuality” to mean something different than “letting someone grope me.” It’s such a clueless male perspective on female sexuality. And the whole idea that what women were getting out of this was getting their self-esteem validated because a stranger wanted to grope them–haven’t we been fighting for ages not to base our self-esteem solely on what other people think of our physical appearances? (And then theferrett had the gall to say in the comments that he doesn’t do “pity gropes,” so it’s really only about boosting the self-esteem of women who fit into his view of what’s attractive).
* I would hate to be a female celebrity. What they get isn’t different from what the rest of us get, but they have to deal with a far more intense version of it–the idea that any time they go out in public, no matter what they’re doing, their bodies are public property and open to comment and criticism from anyone who sees them.( Gross things I saw recently )
* One thing this debacle made me realize is that a lot of men (even apparently decent ones) assume that if a woman is "dressed to impress" (however the hell you define that) in public, she's doing it for the admiration of random men she encounters.
I know that some women do enjoy getting the attention of strangers, and that's perfectly fine. But. You cannot assume that every woman wants that. I was thinking about my own experiences, and literally, I have never once in my life dressed up because I wanted the attention of a stranger. ( Reasons I have dressed up, and how being objectified hurts me )