Sunday, March 30, 2008

Women Eating Dirt. WTF?

As I mentioned before, I used to read The Superficial. It's a celebrity site that walks that familiar line between irony and actual childish meanness: under the guise of ironically making fun of the way we gossip about celebrities, especially women and their bodies, we get to gossip about celebrities, especially women and their bodies.

I used to find it sort of palatable because 1) it was sometimes sort of funny and 2) the authors jokes were often self-deprecating, including, e. g. jokes about the smallness of their penises and so on.

But then one day there was a picture of some older woman, I can't remember who, looking kind of reasonable and normal, and the entry was all about how disgusting and revolting she looked and I had just had enough and I decided to stop reading.

Occasionally when I'm super bored and I feel I've been super good, I allow myself a peek. This morning, a Sunday, I spent the whole morning working on something difficult, and I wanted a bit of mental candy, and I typed in the URL.

The first thing up was an old picture of George Clooney's girlfriend with her ass up in the air and her face down on a dirty magazine, sort of licking at it or something, posing for some sexy photo for some reason, with predictable commentary about her being not the kind of girl you'd bring home to mother and being a slut and all that.

Ugh. I'm pretty freewheeling about sex and sexiness for women, and I was young during the 80's when women being sexual was no big deal. I'd have thought nothing of it if a friend of mine had posed for sexy pictures.

I'm amazed, though, at how much "sexy" has been made over into slutty. How did this happen?

Actually there are two things. First, so much of what is considered "sexy" for women now is implicitly or explicitly demeaning to them. Like what's-her-name having her face in the dirt. Yuck. And second, the having of sex of normal sex now is considered "slutty" and trashy.

I honestly don't get where this is coming from. Is it just hatred of women?

I mean, for a long time, Playboy was the kind of standard representative of what it was to represent women as sexy. And if you look at Playboy, the women are not eating dirt. I mean, you can argue 'til the cows come home about whether the very photography itself demeans women, but whatever you think about this, there's still a huge difference between a woman posed elegantly, and intelligently, and a woman eating dirt. And the Playboy girls usually look pretty elegant and intelligent, in my opinion.

Playboy even goes out of its way to emphasize the women's real life accomplishments. Even if this is made-up, it's clear their point of view is that the woman is sexier if she's a real person, worthy of respect. In fact, this is so especially if it's made-up.

Also, Playboy always commands its readers to respect women's sexuality. In their advice columns and so on they always steer readers away from a double-standard: women who like sex, they say, should be respected, and never regarded as "slutty" or bad.

I'm not defending Playboy, here, though I think a good defense of Playboy on these grounds is plausible and could be given. I'm just drawing a contrast between this long-time standard and the new misogyny.

What is up with that? Have men always wanted to watch women eat dirt, and they only used to read Playboy 'cause they couldn't get away with the dirt business? Or is this all something new? WTF?

Anyway, it's horrible. Guess I'll have to find my mental candy somewhere else.


Daniel said...

You might try Unfortunately, the subjects of derision are almost exclusively women and their fashion choices, but it is substantially different from the superficial, and you might even laugh out loud.

Noko Marie said...

OK, four days have passed since this suggestion and I'm appalled that it's taken me this long to check it out. It looks good.

I seem to have a limitless need for this kind of stuff. I'm always astounded when friends tell me they "had no idea" that, you know, there was some Hillary Bosnia thing. You had no idea? Weren't you, like, *on the internet* all fucking day avoiding your work??

Funny that one of the things up there is a "bracket" joke, just like CC was/is talking about in her Bracketology post. I'm not even into sports and even I remember when making brackets of everything was totally the shit.