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May 17 2010

“The Czech-born supermodel teamed her Dolce and Gabbana LBD with bondage heels.”

Images In Modern Patriarchy Quiz

Match the following captions to the celebrity red carpet collages below (or suggest your own):

Caption 1. “The world is my oyster.”

Caption 2. “I am paid to be your fantasy but nevertheless I feel violated by your relentless, prurient gaze.” (Alternately: “Fine, take the boobs, but you’re not getting anywhere near the pussy.”)

Collage A

Collage B

____________________________

[Photos nicked from the following websites:

http://dimp-thegossipboy.blogspot.com/2009_06_01_archive.html

http://www.popsugar.co.uk/Photos-2009-Brit-Awards-Red-Carpet-Including-Fearne-Cotton-Alexa-Chung-Alexandra-Burke-Holly-Willoughby-2829300

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1277819/Cannes-Film-Festival-2010-Robin-Hood-stars-Russell-Crowe-Cate-Blancett-jet-in.html

http://profashionelle.com/clive-davis-pre-grammy-party-2008-celebrity-red-carpet-fashion/

http://www.insidesocal.com/outinhollywood/2008/09/emmy-odds-and-ends.html

http://www.thehothits.com/news/13568/guy-googles-'i-hate-guy-sebastian',-shocked-at-results!!

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1278893/Cannes-Film-Festival-2010-Eva-Herzigova-plays-sultry-lead-role-lace-dress.html#ixzz0oCA3ZHIe

http://www.popsugar.com.au/tag/nicholas+hoult

http://images.eonline.com/eol_images/Entire_Site/20080812/425.cruise.downey.mcconaughey2.081208.jpg

http://lounge.cwtv.com/showthread.php?t=558132&page=3]

100 comments

1 ping

  1. Tei Tetua

    I suggest a third choice:

    “No part of my body may be exposed to public view except my face and hands, on pain of hideous ridicule.”

  2. humanbein

    “I must expose as much skin as I can at all times or be condemned to the limbo reserved for the insufficiently desirable.”

  3. Jill

    @ Tei Tetua: Ha! Most of’em don’t even expose the hands — look how they’re shoved non-chalantly into pockets. What goes on in those pockets?

    I am intrigued by the hobbled ankle-crossing pose vs. the heroic male contrapposto.

  4. goblinbee

    You have just summed up the problem in one brilliant post.

    Hats off and all the rest.

  5. Hattie

    Twisty: Yes, that’s what I noticed: the crossed legs vs. the wide stance. The women are reluctant merchandise. (And of course trying to look as small as possible through the hips, becaue while exaggerated mammaries are pornilicious, evidence of fecundity is not welcomed in the sex trade.)
    The men’s meager-shanked bodies seem to be built around their phalluses. Codpieces could be the next big thing.
    All rather nasty, innit?

  6. yttik

    Ladies must always be hobbled, preferably in heels, ankles crossed, so they’re off balance. You really get a feel for this cultural imprint when you try to help young girls learn softball. They have a really hard time spreading their feet and bending at the knees so they’ll have good balance. They look around embarrassed like somebody is going to ridicule them for not being in a proper runway pose.

  7. norbizness

    I thought all the selections from part B came from this website.

  8. slade

    Most of the women appear to want to find the nearest restroom.

    Most of the boyz want to make sure their penises (penia?) are still there.

  9. slade

    Since my comment went into Moderation, I will restate.

    Most of the women appear to want to find the nearest restroom.

    Most of the boys want to make sure that ‘it’ is still there.

    Maybe that will get me through the Moderation.

  10. Kelsey B.

    Holy shit, I didn’t even notice that all of the men were in wide-legged stance and all of the women were cross-legged until I read the comments and scrolled upward. It’s scary to think about how deeply patriarchal culture is ingrained in my brain: I don’t see things literally inches from my face.

  11. kristyn joy

    Sadly, the celebretants are fake hipsters. No more hipsterish than the boys who clamber off the Bedford Avenue “L”-train stop on Saturday night, shouting “TEN BUCKS SAYS THOSE AIN’T REAL!” and “Hey sweet-tits, how do ya get ta Bruklin?”

    For some reason, hipsterism has become a fashion trend even for those with non-”indie” tastes. Somewhere along the way, some dudes realized that Conor Oberst circa 2004 must have gotten laid a lot, and ran with it. Either that, or Jason Schwartzman has something to do with the rising popularity of this aesthetic. However, those two options are not mutually exclusive.

    Hipsterism as an aesthetic seemed promising at one point, because it “allowed” female persons to dress like schlubs and/or fully clothe themselves if they so desired, whereas male proponents took their turn dolling themselves up in uncomfortable garb and spending absurdly impractical amounts of time on their beauty regiments. See, Conor Oberst circa 2004.
    Still patriarchal and terrible, as is everything, but one often takes what one can get, no matter how meager.
    But as a social movement, it was never much if anything, and like all hollow aesthetic movements it quickly collapsed and became co-opted by people like Ashton Kutcher who wouldn’t know actual irony if it hit them with their own trucker hats.

    So now female “hipsters” are required to wear skintight and/or nonexistent clothing, and comply to an impossibly androgynous body ideal. Sounds familiar. There is just a lot more PBR instead of Bud Lite, and burlesque instead of outright stripping.

    “Reluctant merchandise,” indeed. Those poor ladies look as though they have to pee really badly, and are afraid of toppling over.

  12. Triste

    Two things.

    1. Perhaps it is because my thighs are about as thick around as Virginia Hams, but I seriously don’t think I can even cross my legs like that. I am going to chalk this up as yet another advantage of being a hairy lardass butch lesbian, along with “the hilarious looks of disgust on people’s faces when I wear a tank top which exposes my hairy armpits” and “the way no man ever thinks of asking me on a date.”

    2. Holy shit, look at those assholes playing pocket pool. Wait until the cameras are off to subtly adjust your balls, you bastards.

  13. Julia

    While I don’t disagree that the hobbled ankle-crossed pose is totally expressive of all manner of deeper cultural truth, I read somewhere (impressively researched) that some stylist recommended this pose as the most “flattering” and therefore this is why all female actors are taught by their publicists to do this at photo ops.

  14. lawbitch

    Brilliant! Great to have you back with your awesome blaming, Jill. Makes my day.

  15. SargassoSea

    But crossing one’s legs enhances one’s slimness and accentuates one’s hippiness thereby heightening one’s fuckability quotient?. IBTP.

  16. Kiuku

    It’s an insect pose. Men dress women as insects, especially in the Victorian and Edwardian. Dresses look like insects. Men are attracted to the shape an appearance of an insect and our notions of beauty have a direct correspondence to the shape of an insect, and the features of a hive.

  17. Jane Q. Public

    The poses of the women on the red carpet always seem to me as insipid as the clothes. There’s a myriad of pose-tastic stances a lady can take: the saucy hands on hips pout, the coy over the shoulder smile, or the demure legs crossed number seen above. The caption for all of them could read “I’m fuckable! Pay $22.50 to see me in 3-D this summer!”

    The caption of the well tailored men trying desperatly to look as virile as think they are could read much the same “Chicks dig me. Pay $22.50 to see me in 3-D this summer.”

  18. JBT

    There is an excellent video, called ‘Codes of Gender,’ which goes into stunning detail about how men and women are depicted in media. You can see it at mediaed.org as a preview (not for commercial use). This is the trailer:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGsWWczLYds

  19. Blind Horse

    I find myself in the paradox of sometimes standing with ankles quasi-crossed, which I always thought to be a vestigial remnant of my childhood ballet training (fourth position to be precise); and sometimes assuming a wide stance, due to pursuing my college degree at a para-military academy (parade rest). I’ll have to pay close attention to when I take which stance, and train myself to drop the ankle-crossing bullshit. I’m sure the insight gained will be most edifying and help me progress in my patriarchy blaming. While not a novice, I’m clearly not as advanced as I need to be.

  20. Hector B.

    Mandatory short-shorts to accompany every men’s suit sold. Who’s with me?

  21. Comrade PhysioProf

    What goes on in those pockets?

    It’s totally top sekrit d00d shit. We have all sworn a d00d oath never to tell.

  22. Shalsaran

    Media consultants are nothing if not consistent in how they teach people (of the same gender) to pose for photos. Also, the mouse-over for Collage B was hilarious.

    JBT,

    I tend to like MEF videos. I hadn’t seen this one, but from the transcript it looks like it will be no exception. Sut Jhally gets points for plugging Erving Goffman if nothing else!

  23. nails

    I wonder why more of em don’t fall over. I would totally fall over if I had to deal with high heels AND cross legged cutesy posing. I guess that’s why I’m not a celebrity!

  24. Notorious Ph.D.

    For most of the women:

    “Take the damn picture already. Can’t you see by the way I’m standing that I really have to pee, like RIGHT NOW?”

  25. fannie

    Women celebrities learn (from who, I don’t know, celebrity college?) that crossing their legs makes them look thinner in photographs. Men, apparently, learn that it is best to take up space on the red carpet.

  26. yttik

    “It’s an insect pose”

    I’m fascinated, Kiuku. I think you’re on to something. I’ve noticed a big obsession with insects. Women are sometimes called a black window, a praying mantis, and often late at night there is some movie about an alien bug woman who sexually savages men before piercing their skulls and sucking their brains out. WTH is that about??

  27. mearl

    Oh, how I dream of the Academy Awards where all the female hosts, employees & attendees – having joined together in solidarity – show up in full tuxedos of varying colours and styles, without any body part enhanced by or visible due to sexay tailoring. Flat shoes, no makeup, short hair. THAT would be a red carpet I would watch with interest.

  28. Jill

    “my comment went into Moderation”

    Sorry, Slade, but the word “boyz” is disallowed. Nice save, though.

  29. Samantha

    What does LBD stand for?

  30. Samantha

    Oh, shit. Little Black Dress. Never mind.

  31. Jill

    While I don’t disagree that the hobbled ankle-crossed pose is totally expressive of all manner of deeper cultural truth, I read somewhere (impressively researched) that some stylist recommended this pose as the most “flattering” and therefore this is why all female actors are taught by their publicists to do this at photo ops.

    The reason the pose registers as flattering is the same reason it resonates with “cultural truth” (i.e. patriarchal villainy); the Femininity Industrial Complex has done its work if flatteringness of hobbledness and patriarchy can be seen as mutually exclusive. They are, in fact, the same exact thing!

  32. Clio Bluestocking

    They also look like they have to pee.

  33. Clio Bluestocking

    Of course, the peeing stance would also play into the vulnerablity, little girl posture, desire to appear skinnier, and teetering off balance that the patriarchy so loves in its females.

  34. Hedgepig

    Can everyone who wants to comment that all the women look like they need to pee please read the comments thread before commenting?

  35. Shelby

    Doesn’t the crossed ankles seemingly providing a more womanly shape seep into patriarchal rule 404(b)that the less space a woman takes up the more feminine she be. Like when you’re sitting on the bus with your legs together and some fuckhead in a suit will sit next to you with his legs wide open and his newspaper wide open. Patriarchy teaches women that it is unattractive to take up space. Patriarchy teaches women that they are not worthy of taking up space.

    I used to love it when Cybil Shepherd would turn up to award ceremonies wearing sneakers.

  36. Judi

    That crossed-ankle pose reminds me of Chinese foot-binding. Or the shackles on a prisoner or a slave.

    A woman on an unstable base looks (and is) more rapeable, and that’s what the men want to see, all the time.

  37. smmo

    The women are posing the men are just standing around. I blame, well you know the rest.

  38. niki

    Insectile blamers, I once made a cartoon with my fledgling Illustrator skills where a drunk man who made advances on a lone woman in a bar was subsequently eaten by said woman. She promptly turned into an enormous insect once the lights went out.

    I had no idea.

    IBTP.

  39. ND

    I don’t recognize everyone in each montage. But I’ll guess that the average level of entertainment-industry success is probably more or less equal across both groups. Yet, for some reason, the boys all look kind of sheepish and ashamed, like they’re embarrassed to be there, while the girls look alive and comfortable and proud of themselves. That can’t only be bec they spent more time getting ready and are used to having to fake it, can it be? There’s also more diversity — across morphology, style, dress, etc. — in one group than the other.

    Interestingly, the one exception among the dudes is #3 (looks like Leonardo DiC…??) and he’s also the one who, were you to chop the heads off of all the guy-pics, would be most likely to be taken as female.

  40. janicen

    The women are trained to contort themselves into unnatural poses because they are not meant to be presented as human beings. They are objects upon which the dress designers, shoe designers, and jewelry designers can display their creations. We are meant to notice what they are wearing, not that they are people. The men, on the other hand, are actors, musicians, directors, or other types of celebrities who attended an event.

  41. Jezebella

    ND, look again. The women really look “comfortable”? They’re in a contorted awkward position, wearing absurdly high heels. Only someone who has never worn heels nor squeezed themselves into a pair of Spanx would look at those women and think “hey, they sure look comfy”. And the dudes don’t even look remotely “sheepish”. They look cocky. Maybe you need glasses. Or maybe you’re suffering from testosterone-poisoning.

  42. Larkspur

    Here’s a lesson I learned a long time ago. I was probably 10. My family was at the airport to welcome home one of my parents’ college buddies who’d just served a tour as an American “adviser” in Vietnam. (“Advisers” – must have been 1965 or so.)

    Anyway, there was a lot of waiting around. I was wearing a knee-length pleated plaid skirt, appropriately school-girlish. I sat down in one of the airport linked-together chairs, bored and uncomfortable, and reflecting on my mom’s lessons about how ladies should sit. Somehow I got to ruminating on the knees-together thing, and my young brain postulated that my knees must be kept together so that no one could see my underpants. So the mission was Protect the Underpants.

    Well, fine, I thought, and re-arranged my pleated skirt so that I could sit in a more sprawled fashion, making absolutely sure that my pleated skirt was down flat between my knees. Perfect, right?

    Well, it wasn’t more than 5 minutes before a couple of good ol’ boys in their late 20s were looking at me (age 10) and suppressing laughter. Then one of them came near me, knelt down, and re-tied his shoelace, leering at my neatly placed plaid hemline. Then they guffawed some more and went away.

    That’s how I learned that it was my legs, and that the implied lack of crotchal protection was the rule I’d broken. That Place Between My Legs was volatile and dangerous and ridiculous, all at the same time. Stupid patriarchy.

  43. kbmcg

    Check this out. The Souder in question is a conservative, pro-abstinence Indiana congressman:

    “I sinned against God, my wife and my family by having a mutual relationship with a part-time member of my staff,” Mr. Souder said in a statement issued by his office. “In the poisonous environment of Washington, D.C., any personal failing is seized upon, often twisted, for political gain. I am resigning rather than to put my family through that painful, drawn-out process.”

    What gets me here is the word “mutual.” In what sense can sex with a staffer be considered a “mutual relationship”? And why, except for a guilty conscience, go out of your way to make that claim?

  44. yttik

    Comfortable is not the right word for those women, brave and resilient perhaps? It requires a certain amount of strength to stand there all trussed up and hobbled and to do it with defiance and confidence. The men on the other hand, do have a certain sheepishness about them, as if deep down they know it is rather silly to maintain a wide stance so you can point your stuff out there as far as possible to prove your status to the world.

    Which goes with my theory that dominance for men is an unnatural, learned behavior, that makes them uncomfortable and unhappy in their own skin. However most of them are too busy collecting the benefits of patriarchy to even question it. The women are in an unnatural role too, but having little choice they are forced to develop some strength to deal with it.

  45. Strix

    I was reading through the comments and surprised no mention of the “close your legs!” conditioning I heard from Mom until Larkspur’s comment here, near the end.
    I immediately thought of that. On one hand it’s a sad conditioning, but on the other, it’s protective in some ways. I think most mothers who teach this to their daughters have the right intention: “Keep safe from these predatory scums, my dear.” Later, we’re taught to use it to “get our man,” though, so it all works out.

    Larkspur, I had a similar moment of clarity as a very young child: It was the husband of my grandmother who taught me this. Sitting,on the floor playing some game with legs out in front of me, the dirty old man just couldn’t help himself and with every little twitch or movement of my legs, his swifty eyes leered “down there” at the hopes of a glimpse of an 8-year old’s vagina.

  46. illbedamned

    Larkspur –

    I had the same feeling about the need for the ‘knees together’ postion. However, I was surprised on a visit to India where women routinely spread their knees and placed the excess fabric from their sari or salwar kameez into their crotch when sitting in public. This was much more comfortable in the heat. In fact, I was told it is considered rude to sit with one’s legs crossed especially while wearing a sari. The knees together thing seems to be cultural. (None of this is to say that this translated into any sort of equal treatment of women in India, only that ‘knees together’ did not appear to be practiced there.)

    I think just as we were taught ‘knees together’ as young girls, so young boys were taught to treat ‘knees apart’ as a signal they were not in the presence of a person to be treated with respect.

  47. Kiuku

    Yttik, when we discuss what makes the human species unique we usually think about it in terms of extra worldly, supernatural condition, because people hold insects in contempt. But couldn’t insects account for our anomolies as a species? Our notion of beauty is only paralelled in nature with hives, the symmetry, the geometric shapes. Our love of music may have something to do with the acoustic nature of insects. New studies have suggest that they operate on acoustic vibrations that tell them how and what to build. Our highly ritualized behavior can be paralleled in the insect, and virtually no where else.

    I think Patriarchy, in its manifestations, may be the effect of trying to balance our desire for a hive, with our animal, actual mammalian nature. Men all want to be the same, “workers” and “drones”, and they want women to have, you know, a special position that serves them. They also dress women like bugs. The lengthening of the legs, the making apparent of a waist, usually a high waist, resembles a bug. Dresses also resemble bugs. This can’t be denied, neither can our buildings, but people still will still scoff at the idea.

  48. Kiuku

    their hatred and fear of women may have to do with the insect like part of their brain.

  49. Saurs

    The dudes look sheepish because it’s an unnatural and humiliating ritual — the ol’ red carpet flash photography clothes-horse deal. The women are smiling ‘cos that’s what women are meant to do. Look pretty, look happy, resemble a life-size doll who’s totally up for it at all times. Otherwise, you’re a shrewish fat bitch, ungrateful for her fame and adoration, subject to endless amounts of scorn and scrutiny.

  50. rubysecret

    Hey – wait. When did this become a fashion blog?!

  51. tinfoil hattie

    larkspur: I too remember having to keep my legs together at all costs. It’s so nobody knows you have a vagina. You have to hide it. That’s why they make you wear skirts in Catholic school – to make it harder for you to hide the vagina, all the while shaming you for failing to hide it well enough.

    Even now I have to remind myself that I don’t have to sit with my ankles together or my feet tucked gracefully under my ass while sitting on the ground.

    IBTP, over and over.

  52. Hermionemone

    To be sure, there is much to admire about the mindless perfection, the fanciful coloration and endless diversity of insects.

    Who knows if watching ant hills might have given humans the inspiration to cooperate in food gathering, building communal settlements, defense against predators and inter-tribal warfare? One thing that wasn’t known until only a century or so ago was that all the work of the hive or the colony is done by (sterile) females. The males are only kept around for fertilizing a new queen, then they’re turfed from the hive. That’s in the bees, wasps and ants — there are both male and female workers among the termites. All their behaviour revolves around maximizing their queen’s reproductive potential.

    Do ant workers “love” their queen and their brood and their sisters? They share whatever food they have, get really riled up when something threatens the nest. A queen bee has pheromones that attract her daughters/workers to cluster around her and keep her fed, groomed and fanned for temperature control, and, at the proper time, drive the helpless males into a suicidal mating frenzy.

    Do mantis females “love” their males? Mmmmm, yummy!
    Off with their heads!

    I love bugs, some of them are so sexually inverted from the Patriarchial Ideal. Of course, feminism is about justice, not revenge, isn’t it? Let’s not model ourselves too closely on insects!

  53. Other Liz

    Put a man on a red carpet and all of a sudden he is an object for the gaze of others.

    Men don’t grow up with that.

    No wonder the actors look sheepish and keep one hand in pocket to reassure themselves it’s still there.

    Their dress sense says “I care about my appearance but not in an effeminate way”.

    The women on the other hand have absorbed their place in society and reflect the whole gamut of patriarchal be sexy but not slutty, be elegant but not cold, be available but not slutty, blah.

  54. Kiuku

    So they are sterile females and not males, technically? That’s interesting Hermionemone. Good facts and thought provoking. I’m not sure we have a choice in what we model ourselves after. Justice is not much different than revenge and I’m not sure you can have either justice or revenge in a material world. I’m pretty sure it’s all innate. We are more like insects than animals.

  55. Kiuku

    Don’t men innately fear that women are going to eat them? Isn’t fear of women in their subconscious? What is vagina dentata all about anyway?

  56. veganrampage

    Collage A-
    “I am E-Z, breezy, beautiful, all without any effort whatsoever, not a care in the world, not too young but certainly not too old god forbid, available for your sexual fantasies but I am no a slut, I am high priced merchandise, it took a team of 8 two weeks to dress, and fluff, and make me up, please hire me please, am I still too fat(?), I hate this town, I hope my breasts don’t pop out, is it over yet, don’t forget to smile!”

    Collage B-
    “I am hip, I am hot, and I may look a bit over-groomed, a tad metro, but I am NOT gay- I fuck girlz man, I am one hot Hollywood hunk, please hire me please, do I look confident (?) give ‘em a flash of that ole boyish charm, don’t forget to stand like a man, I am NOT gay.”

  57. Erin Graham

    first thing i noticed was all the women looked like they were about to topple over. but they are a plucky bunch, are they not? Grinning bravely back at the male gaze, looking perhaps a little nervous. sweet sufferin’ mother o’ jay-SUS, why must we suffer so? unimaginable, the pain of those shoes, the drafty dresses…and for WHAT? gross. and the men, the contrast is so striking between the male stance and the female one.

  58. Erin Graham

    oops, i pushed ‘blame’ too soon…the men are all kinda scrawny, like Hattie said, the women trying to hide their hips, appear two-dimensional, the men standing wide-legged, taking up more than their share of space. Stand solid, women! these collages are difficult to look at–i find them very disturbing. thanks, Jill. once again…

  59. Sarah

    “Evidence of fecundity is not welcomed in the sex trade.”

    Take that, evo-psych nutjobs! Since if we follow the evo-psych line of reasoning to its logical conclusions, wouldn’t wide hips, stretch marks and various other “unsexy” markers of fecundity actually be considered sexy?

  60. Kate

    I was thinking about this post tonight at a middle-school band concert. There were plenty of spiffed-up girls dutifully crossing ankles and squeezing knees together (even in pants). I love kids’ band concerts and this one was especially good, but what really made me happy was the one girl at the end of the row, in a bright pink shin-length dress, sitting (apparently) comfortably with her knees spread all the way apart. She was much too busy playing the flute to worry about where her legs were supposed to go, and that really made me smile.

  61. Vibrating_Liz

    My mother wouldn’t let me learn to play cello because the wide knee spread was “unladylike.”

  62. AileenWuornos

    1. This post made me need to urinate.

    2. Womyn: their stances kind of remind me of Barbie dolls or any kind of “fashion doll” really. They’re meant to be seen as clothes horses/coat hangers and a way to show off their outfits and make them compete with one another for male/audience attention.

    3. Men: are allowed to stand however they see fit without having to worry about showing off the clothes they’re wearing because they’re Western culturally not meant to compete with other men in terms of physical appearance.

    4. @Vibrating_Liz the nickname for girls at my school who played cello were “Cello sluts” because you had to spread your legs to actually play. What horse shit.

    5. My life is easier ignoring celebrities. They’re just people and people are pretty sucky, after all.

  63. allhellsloose

    What an excellent collage highlighting the differences. I’ll not go over old ground already discussed but have just one question. Who’s the older ‘groomed’ person with the bow tie?

    Men are allowed to age, women are not; IBTP.

  64. SargassoSea

    Women who play the cello are some of the happiest looking women! To whit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6pyaPlvae5k&feature=related

  65. Sophie

    Makes a (not particularly thrilling) change from the ‘looking over the shoulder’ pose that’s been fashionable for female slebs the past few years. Note that taking up less space by crossing your legs also means you fit more easily onto a magazine page or website (and your feet may be more easily ‘cut out’ into an inset showing This week’s HOT NEW mega-platform shoe trend!! or Circle of SHAME!! Check out her chipped toenail polish!! or whatever). The ‘bankability’ of these women revolves around getting such exposure (in all senses of the word) as much as possible. IBTP.

  66. rootlesscosmo

    “In the poisonous environment of Washington, D.C., any personal failing is seized upon, often twisted, for political gain. I am resigning rather than to put my family through that painful, drawn-out process.”

    So this jerk’s family-values-lovin’ constituents would have perfectly OK with his “mutual affair,” but wicked Washington would have put his family through the ordeal of publicity? Please. It would be the home-town media that got on the story–it’s ho-hum stuff in our nation’s capital. But the opportunity to get in a shot at government itself (which he was making a career in until he got busted) was just too tempting for this right-wing creep to resist. It’s a double or triple dose of loathesome.

  67. Larkspur

    Hah. I played the cello throughout junior high and high school. I loved the instrument, and started playing it at the suggestion of the music teacher, because the orchestra had enough violinists and needed cellists. I probably wouldn’t have done it (and that would have been a shame) if I’d realized the level of mockery that would be directed at me. Low-level, but continuous. I didn’t even have to be playing it. I’d just walk to school with it, and that allowed boys – and mean girls – to think about my horrifying and hypnotic nether regions.

    I confess to having an interest in American-style tackle football. There is no way a woman could play on a pro team, though, because even the strongest of us don’t have the extraordinary muscle mass it takes. (Obviously, most men don’t either.) But once I thought, hey, I wonder if a woman could be a referee. Would the players accept her (or could they be made to)? Then I realized that the officiating team, old men though they may be, run around the field in semi-snug white pants with their striped shirts tucked in, and they are often bending over, etc. So I knew it could never happen. No one has a problem with models frolicking around in bikinis and all manner of revealing clothes, but football would implode if women were running around the field working like men in snug white pants and tucked in shirts. Nope. They can only wear snug white hot pants and cropped tops and be carrying pom poms.

  68. yttik

    I once went and saw a women’s drumming group that was fabulous. One woman with a drum said, “once you put something this powerful between your legs, you never go back.” It was kind of funny because every women in that room was aware that spreading your legs was taboo. It’s such a strong cultural dictate that they had developed a repertoire of comedy to break the tension in their audiences.

  69. Larkspur

    Oh, if I could go back in time, yttk. Let’s see: once you go cello, you don’t need a fellow.

  70. eb

    A. I will never be unmarried, like Elena Kagan, because even though she might be the fourth woman to sit on the highest court of the United States, I, as a married woman, will be a more complete human being. Yes, inscribed on my tombstone will be those glorious words, ‘his wife’. Oh, and no one would ever mistake me for a dyke even though I’d get naked and kiss a girl if it meant I get the role.

    B. Isn’t it great how comfortable I am? Thank the little baby Jesus the words,’her husband’, will never appear on my tombstone. In fact, it’s just Jim-dandy if I never get married. I will still be the default human. And – I’m 100% heterosexual.

  71. rootlesscosmo

    @yttik:

    a women’s drumming group that was fabulous

    Would that have been Sistah Boom, in San Francisco? They were indeed fabulous.

  72. rootlesscosmo

    The past tense turns out to have been premature:

    We had an exciting time playing in a scene for the filming of MILK and decided to reconstitute the group. Sistah Boom played at the Dyke March stage on June 28th, 2008, and to also led the parade out into the streets. In August we played at Sistahs Steppin’ in Pride. We were proud to play at the memorial for Del Martin in October. We loved playing at the Dyke March again in 2009 and followed that by marching in the San Francisco Gay Pride March the next day.

    And we’re playing again at the 2010 Dyke March. Join us for rehearsals starting May 9.

    More info and videos at

    http://www.womendrummersinternational.org/index.html

  73. Marcia

    @allhellsloose: I believe the “older gentleman” is Viggo Mortensen. Even he doesn’t get a pass on aging, though. They dye his hair and beard to cover that pesky grey for movie roles.

  74. Lisa

    Allhellsloose, that man is Christoph Waltz from Inglourious Basterds.

  75. Kiuku

    Since in the material world it’s basically one body, I say we just get rid of men altogether.

  76. Bushfire

    I guess I am lucky, because I grew up around musicians and was never worried about spreading my legs and never even thought about it before now. I always thought my social group was rather progressive.

  77. Saphire

    Just to cherp in late – this is a display of the debt these women are in. In a patriarchy, the only way women are allowed to be successful *and* comfortable is if they got that success through pleasing men. High class escorts are the patriarchy’s favourite successful women.

    These women are enormously indebted to the patriarchy, and have to remind people daily they are paying that debt – so proving they only have that money through pleasing men. I know this sounds obvious to any advanced blamer.

    They have to prove themselves to be really high class escorts, selling themselves sexually. A red carpet ordeal is for female celebrities, ‘the show of this female sexual debt for success’. For men it’s just a successful man, walking the walk. Although the men look right sleazy with that pathetic pose. Success stories they aint.

  78. Saphire

    Haha just checked you used the Daily Mail as a source. Daily Male/ Fail/ Wail, i.e feminist public enemy no.1. That paper lives to shit on women. I’m reaaaly proud to boast I’ve been banned. I told a sexist writer of an article who hated SATC because of the old women having sex – get this – he deserves acid thrown in his face for being an offensive piece of dirt. Woah scary talk – I got told by the editor he would inform authorities if I commented again.

    Basically I’m sick of being told my worth as a woman is next to nothing and just smiling. I will attack. IBTP for making nasty comments.

    I’ve also been reading how across cultures women are depressed more than men, that this is deep concern, not for women’s rights, but because it’s a significant ‘personality difference’. Apparently they theorise that women ruminate because they have no power in subordinate positions and are unable to react accordingly. Also because of standards of physical appearance imposed (Buss 2008).

    The p is responsible for wide- scale suffering, not just depression, but all the women being put away in hospitals, being driven to suicide. Entirely in the hands of a patriarchy which exists needlessly, just in the name of taunting women because it’s got nothing else to do! and it *needs* to be that way. I just hate pausing to think.

  79. j

    Seeing those photos reminds me of how I always, from childhood, have seen the enormous and unfair difference in how men and woman are supposed to dress up at formal events. Men: Ugly, fully covering suit. Women: Hours of work before hand, painful heels, body on display. It weirded me out how noone else could see this as odd, and couldn’t understand why things had to be that way. Well now IBTP.

    Dressing up to the max in female drag always made me nervous, one looks so different and bare.
    Say, is this “hilarious” photo manipulation not the very image of this:
    http://today.deviantart.com/dds/?day=2010-5-19#/d2p4rcw

  80. Kiuku

    Speaking of hours, what you don’t see in those pictures is the contraptions that women have to wear underneath those dresses that involves a lot of duct tape.

    The basic human desire is to be comfortable; not to be looked at. That kind of thing causes depression. You’re not allowed to be agents, as a woman. But people will look at you and you are always on display and people think their behavior is normal. You will be dismissed and not allowed to participate as a citizen, but people will still gaze and stare at you.

    I dream of a hell that sews their eyes open and their mouths open while they can stare at other people, preferably loved ones being tortured.

  81. Jill

    “preferably loved ones being tortured”

    Ow!

  82. Kiuku

    yea. I mean, that’s what hell is about anyway, allegedly, torturing character flaws. It’s a serious character flaw of men. It’s not natural and it’s a fatal character flaw. It should be expunged. Instead, it’s promoted. I mean, it’s a give and take world, and men, they just take. They take and they don’t give.

  83. Kiuku

    They are so dumb to think that the most powerful being in the universe is a male. I like to think, religiously, that men have at most, 60-80 years of “Shut the fuck up” and then, eternity.

  84. yttik

    Maybe Kiuku is suggesting hell would be a good place for men to go and learn some empathy? That is my main main complaint, men are taught from day one not to empathize, not with their loved ones, not with animals, certainly not with women. Women complain a lot about wanting intimacy but I think want many mean is that they want empathy, they want to be viewed as human beings by someone who can identify and relate to them as equals.

    We have an anti-teen pregnancy commercial running right now. It’s addressed to boys which is good, but it pisses me off anyway. All these boys state how they have a good life and don’t want to ruin it with a pregnancy. Once again it’s all about them. No empathy for the girl who’s body will be violated with an unwanted pregnancy, who will have to deal with the choices. No thought what so ever as to how her life might be inconvenienced. It’s all about them and how important their lives are and how inconvenienced they would be. And what are these boys doing that is so important? Playing baseball.

  85. joy

    Swear, my restroom comment went up before, like, two other similar comments came out of moderation before it. Plea mercy.

    The “boys inconvenienced by pregnancy” commercial is -interesting, to say the least. Viewers are supposed to empathize more with the boys and THEIR (pathetic) hopes and dreams. Those poor boys, just being boys, and now they can’t play baseball! What a tragedy!

    If it was a commercial of teen GIRLS talking about not wanting to sideline THEIR dreams for an unwanted pregnancy — well, they’re selfish sluts who should have kept their legs shut, shouldn’t they? If you want to dance, you’ve got to pay the piper. And it’s not like they can’t go to college with a baby, it’s not as though they were going to do anything important anyway, and if not now, they were just going to quit work to have a child in a few years, better save an employer the trouble early on.

    Thinking like the patriarchy, even for the purpose of brief bitter irony, makes me want to vomit a little. Or, a lot.

  86. SargassoSea

    @ yttik

    When I heard that commercial the other night I did two things: 1)regretted the fact that I had no TV Brick and 2)imagined myself doing the Immolation Boogie.

  87. Kiuku

    exxxaaactly yttik and joy. even in stories..if you write a story with female protaganists, and if there is but one male in the story, they will empathize and pay attention to the male’s story.

    Yea the problem just boils down to men don’t give. They just take. They take from women and they don’t give. They take from everything and they don’t give. Not credit, not economy, not thanks or praise or recognition or status. They want everything to be for them and about them, and everyone knows that it’s give and take, not just take.

  88. Kiuku

    They steal. They take from women and use it for themselves. Plain and simple.

  89. Kiuku

    Let’s go down the list of female contributions to human society:

    textiles, clothing, dye, paint
    silk
    food, cooking, fire (we can’t be sure who invented fire but we know women invented cooking, so)
    astronomy
    the right triangle
    the golden mean
    abacus
    magnets
    the magnetic compass
    sailing
    explosives
    the first novel, writing itself
    the computer
    cobol, binary
    x rays
    the structure of dna

    But where are the female names? Where is Hypatia, Hildegard, Aganice, Theono, En Hedu’Anna, Lao Tzu, Ada Lovelace…etc

  90. Jezebella

    Kiuku, advocating the torture of innocents to punish the men who love them is kind of ass-backward, and, well, fucked up.

  91. Shabnam

    Jez, maybe in hell there is a good Virtual Reality machine which can be used to create the images required to torture said men?

  92. Shabnam

    It could then be argued that the men should not at all disturbed or tortured by said realistic 3D images because the images are not real.

  93. nails

    Yeah, torture is not okay. Ever. The kind of sadism that is needed to enjoy the thought of causing other people pain disturbs me on a deep level. The violent revenge fantasy is a destructive masculine meme that society can’t seem to rid itself of. People talk the same way about the death penalty, like it makes anything better for anyone. I don’t know what it is supposed to solve exactly. In my youth stuff like that used to make me feel better temporarily, but now I think I see it in a big picture sort of way, where that kind of reaction makes for an uglier world for everyone who lives in it. All of us are connected and affect each other in ways we can’t keep track of.

    One of the things that I admired about Andrea Dworkin and other radical feminists was that they had a mighty and righteous anger about patriarchy, but still retained the humanity within themselves to not wish things like torture on other people. There was an essay in…. I think it was in intercourse, about how all the hatred and hurt thrown towards women failed to crush our hope in relationships and other people, and that women still had this outlandish hope of experiencing love and sex in a state of real equality. I am still inspired by that, her vision of a truly equal future with beautiful intimacy between men and women made me cry.

    There is an awful lot of bullshit that women are taught in life, like to stay quiet or not cause too much trouble, but there is an awful lot of good things too that aren’t worth chucking out. The world needs people who give a shit about each other and care, society would crumble and come apart without that sort of essential work. It is something that men are discouraged from having and it makes them into emotional cripples. I have suffered some extremely horrendous shit at the hands of men, but I refuse to give up my humanity and my caring about others at a basic level because of what was done to me. I feel like becoming something ugly and mean makes the world a worse place to live in, and keeps me from helping other people who need it. What I hate most about patriarchy is the way that we all run around living half lives that are separated out in the weirdest way, there isn’t much that makes sense about being masculine or feminine without a lot of cultural instruction. I believe that caring about others in a way that makes things like torture fantasies deplorable is a very normal human reaction, and that it takes a lot of cultural conditioning to take it out of people. It can be either suffering first hand because of men, or growing up a man and having social pressure kill off that part of the mind. Either way, I value the cooperative and empathetic part of my humanity, and I won’t let anyone rob me of it. It is the one thing that makes me most capable of changing things for the better.

  94. Jill

    Amen, nails.

  95. Larkspur

    Amen nails and Jill.

    From Adrienne Rich’s The Phenomenology of Anger, in her book Diving Into The Wreck:

    …Fantasies of murder: not enough:
    to kill is to cut off from pain
    but the killer goes on hurting

    Not enough. When I dream of meeting
    the enemy, this is my dream:

    white acetylene
    ripples from my body
    effortlessly released
    perfectly trained
    on the true enemy

    raking his body down to the thread
    of existence
    burning away his lie
    leaving him in a new
    world; a changed
    man….

  96. kbmcg

    And now there is this…

    http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/archives/2010/05/scotus-kagan-fashion.php

  97. Keri

    Is it torture if they don’t know they are being tortured. What a great question, Shabnam. I wonder if that question can be applied to women in the Patriarchy, on an Earth that is dying, or in the world that men “created” and an Earth they are destroying?

  98. Kiuku

    You want other people to feel what you felt bearing the brunt of their character flaws. Torture can be about that. Men say that their God tortures. You want people to realize that they have a character flaw, and you want them to have ramifications for it, because you did. Of course, it’s not justice, because if there is a difference between revenge and justice it is the severity or cruelty or whatever..really it would be very difficult for anyone to articulate an actual difference between the two. You can’t intellectualize it away. Torture is wrong. Empathy isn’t so much a choice. I’m going through a physiological change that removes a lot of classical aspects of humanity, such as empathy, but gives some interesting additions. I wish I could say it came from a place of anger but it is easier to entertain some dark thoughts as a form of punishment.

    At this point, though, we have to admit that with a dying Earth, over population, suffering, and a failed civilization, Feminism is a matter of practicality, not punishment, revenge, or justice.

  99. Kiuku

    Empathy is a great word for Feminism and all that is Earthly. I don’t want to use words like right and wrong and justice, because it’s all a fight. It’s all male. And it doesn’t really apply like Empathy does. Animals feel empathy. Men, males are the only creatures that hurt for the sake of hurting.

  100. monika/shermanvolvo

    I agree, the leg crossing is likely a combination of protecting one’s crotch (to be a “lady”), and appearing more curvy while at the same time off-balance/vulnerable.

    I tried both poses, just to get a sense of what it felt like.

    First of all, I couldn’t pull off the female-coded posture. It actually took a lot of effort which I wasn’t expecting. I felt I had to constantly pay attention to my body to maintain that pose (and my knees kept on trying to roll over).

    With the dude’s pose, I immediately noticed my cat. No attention to body.

    So I propose that these kind of poses are meant to take our mind off the patriarchy and what we can do to overthrow it. But of course that is implicit in all of the previous explanations.

  1. The Morning After: Mrs. George Clooney Supreme Court Justice Edition - The Sexist - Washington City Paper

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