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Blame the Media! Blame the Media!

I saw this video yesterday entitled “How the Media Failed Women in 2013,” and it confused the hell out of me.  It’s only about three minutes long, take a look.

Am I the only one that thinks the message got a little lost here?  Don’t get me wrong, overall, I think The Representation Project, which produced the video, has a great mission and anyone striving to make the world a better and fairer place should be commended.  But this particular video completely missed the mark to me for a couple of reasons.

One, women did a lot of great things this year.  The first part of the video supposedly focuses on this, but I lost the plot.  How is the Hunger Games and Gravity  breaking box-office records a win for women?  Because it’s a strong female lead?  That’s great and all, but we can’t just skim over the fact that two stunning, Oscar-winning actresses starred in said movies and that just *might* have had something to do with it.  Malala Yousafzai being named one of TIME magazine’s most influential people?  Yes.  GoDaddy veering away from the sexual in their multi-million dollar Super Bowl ad and sticking with humor?  NO.  Not the same thing.  Not even close.  Aside from the fact that one is fighting for women’s rights in a war-torn country at an age where most American girls are still getting a allowance and one is changing their advertising – the real reason they’re not doing those commercials is because they were stupid, awful commercials, despite the pretty and talented women involved.  I promise you they’re not changing their tune out of respect to women. It’s simply a poor example.  What is being celebrated here is a lack of perceived sexism as opposed to actual accomplishments, and it defeats the purpose.

Which brings me to the second part of the video, where we start to see how far we have to go.  In this segment, there’s several clips of current advertisements, music videos, and performances all portraying women in a sexual manner.  There’s Rihanna in her own music video, Miley Cyrus in a performance she helped design – and seriously, we all just need to get the fuck over that one – Megan Fox on a magazine cover.  To say that they are being sexualized and exploited is ridiculous.  These are grown women who are using their sexuality and talent to make money and achieve celebrity and there is nothing wrong with that.  They aren’t the victims we somehow we want them to be.  But by victimizing them, we make them into poor misguided little girls who don’t know up from down or left from right instead of the strong, confident women they are.  Which only perpetuates the stereotype that women are easily confused and will blindly go along with whatever the media tells them they should.  We live in a world where sex and beauty sells.  What do you want them to do – put on their sweats and recite math problems onstage to prove a point?

Also, since when are we offended that attractive people are being cast in commercials to sell products?  This part of the video targets commercials showing attractive women in bikinis because again, this can only be perceived as exploitative and misogynistic.  Untrue.  Why don’t they show average looking people in their commercials?  I’ll tell you.  Because one wants to see me chowing a giant Carl’s Jr. cheeseburger in a bikini.  TRUST.  I certainly don’t want to.  Here’s the thing.  What do we want to happen differently here?  What should a commercial for Axe Body Spray be?  Explain it to me.  Don’t use anyone who fits society’s standard of beauty, male or female, and make it interesting and suggestive to the prospective buyer.  It’s for Axe freaking Body Spray.  Why are we placing one iota of importance on their commercial?

The last portion of the video has nothing to do with the sexualization of women, nor is it exploitative.  To me, it’s a hundred times more terrifying than seeing a woman in weird bikini dancing with a foam finger.  Why?  Because it’s not commercials, it’s not advertising, it’s not music videos.  Nor, to be clear, is it a misrepresentation of women.  It is actual comments from men, both elected officials and media personalities alike, in regards to women in positions of power.  Comments like, “Well, you can’t do that, to be fair…women just haven’t done that much.”  Men lamenting the fact that the changing the hats the military wears to something more unisex actually has a headline that reads, “Military switching to girly hats.”  Fox News, “We only have the prostate, the women have the breasts, the ovaries, the uterus,” in regards to women paying more for health care due to having more working parts, apparently.  Fox News again, “I’m not saying she deserved to be raped, but…” which is a sentence that has no possible acceptable ending.  Fox News yet again, “Know your role, and shut your mouth,” to the lone female on the panel.  Perhaps the most frightening, a headline from the New York Post that reads, “No Wonder Bill’s Afraid!” next to a picture of Hillary Clinton.  Why is this the worst, you ask?  Because Hillary Clinton was the fucking Secretary of State at the time, furious regarding one of the most maligned operations of the United States and somehow this headline tried to  reduce her to a hysterical female and elevate her husband – who held no office at the time – as the more important party to the story.

Let’s pick our battles, shall we?  Let’s concentrate on getting ignorance – both male and female – out of office and making our decisions.  I don’t know about you, but I’m much more concerned that an elected official in the United States of America believes that women have super abilities which make their bodies able to distinguish rape from consensual sex than I am about what Robin Thicke’s backup dancers are wearing. I’m much more worried about the fact that people like Rush Limbaugh still have a following than I am about the fact that Flo-Rida’s latest video has half-dressed girls in it.

The fact remains that WE are the ones watching this.  WE are the ones demanding it.  We can’t keep blaming the media for clamoring to provide exactly what we’re asking for.  They aren’t going to change their content until we change the channel.

Yeah, I feel really fucking sorry for this girl.

Yeah, I feel really fucking sorry for this girl.

Celebrities I’m Already Tired of in 2013

Here we are in a new year, folks!  Happy 2013!  It’s the time of year everyone’s going to lose weight, stop smoking, get control of the clutter in our lives, and stop watching so much damn TV.  Right?  Bullshit.  Ask me in November 2013 what’s changed since January and I guarantee most responses will be something along the lines of, “Yeah, what the fuck ever.  I was probably drunk when I said that.”  I’m all for resolutions and wanting to better your life, but as I’ve stated before, every time I make them I end up in a pile of Weight Watchers cookbooks somewhere around January 15th, smoking a cigarette, looking for my shoes while partially mesmerized by an NCIS marathon and eating mashed potatoes.

Just me?  Okay.  I can buy that – perhaps some of you actually stick to what you say you’re going to do.  That being said, it’s four days in and I am already irritated by the anticipated celebrity news that’s going to to fucking polarize everyone in the upcoming year.  Here’s a few people that I promise you are going to be sick of by May.

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West and their vile offspring.

Kanye KimYeah, cause you’re super excited to hear about this for the next couple of months, aren’t you?  Two of the most irritating, talentless, money-hungry assholes in Hollywood are going to HAVE A BABY???  Well thank Christ cause you know what we need?  More kids that think the world is theirs for the taking despite a lack of any discernable skill.  That’s pretty much what America’s been missing.  And as a service to you, you don’t need to look at a tabloid for the next six months – here’s the headlines.

“Kim’s Baby Bump!”

“Kanye to Kim – You’re Too Fat!”

“Kim to Kanye – Leave Me and My Baby Alone!”

“Kim and Kanye Cheating Scandal!  Kim tells Kanye, ‘You’re Not the Father!'”

“Bruce Jenner, ‘Oh For the Love of Fuck.  Someone Kill Me.'”

“Kanye and Kim’s $3Million Nursery!”

You know how this ends?  #kimye  #yourparentssuck  #sorryyouhavenochanceofnotbeinganasshole

(And yeah.  It really hurt to say kimye.  But you know it’s happening.  You do.  Give it a minute.)

Rihanna and Chris Brown

rihanna-chris-brown-lakers-christmas-05

So they’re back together, and super happy about it.  Am I the only one who doesn’t care?  I don’t know what happened back in 2009.  What I do know is that these are two grown adults, both of whom have access to the best resources available for anger management and domestic abuse issues.  If EITHER of them choose not to take advantage, I. Don’t. Care.  Does anyone else not want to hear about this shit for another year?  The only reason these two are stlll relevant is because he beat the crap out of her before an awards show.   I don’t care to follow the rest of this dysfunctional relationship through another year of Grammy’s and VMA’s.  Now we’re going to celebrate their “music achievements?”  Fuck you.  If he was average Joe he’d be in jail (I hope,) and if she were Average Jane she’d be in a shelter.  Fuck you both for glorifying it.  I don’t want to hear about your damn romance for the next year.  Cause I. Don’t. Care.  Have I mentioned that?

Mariah Carey vs. Nicki Minaj

mariah nickiHi.   Perhaps no one mentioned to you two that American Idol has been obsolete since 2008.  And possibly before then.  Ladies?  Paula Abdul quit.  Paula.  Fucking. Abdul.  That didn’t give you the clue this show was jumping the fucking shark?  Ryan Seacrest has replaced Dick fucking Clark and the only reason I can possibly fathom he’s still around is due to a contract signed way before he knew his white teeth, small stature, and radio voice would make him millions.   I’m not disparaging either Mariah’s or Nicki’s talent – they both have it in spades, albeit in different formats.  That being said, Ryan. Seacrest.  Is probably making more on this show than you.  You don’t get to have a diva fight.  Because Ryan. Fucking. Seacrest. is more popular than you two.  Stop judging.  He’s the bigger diva.  Yeah, I know it’s sad.  But I’m not in charge of everything, despite my repeated requests.  Life’s a bitch, girls.

In short, to say that I’m not excited about the celebrity news that’s forthcoming in 2013 might be an understatement.  But unless Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift make a love child, this is what we’re dealing with.

And if I ever have to write “Justtay” or “Biebswift” I’m punching everyone in the ears; I don’t care whose fault it is.

Happy New Year!