feminism, feminist, gender, homosexual, Ireland, misogyny, politics, race, sexism, Uncategorized, violence, Violence Against Women, women, writer

The Woes of Feminism and the Movies

Many of us have been unfortunate enough to witness the vitriol and small-mindedness which accompanied the build-up and release of the gender-reversed reboot of Ghostbusters earlier this year. With it, of course, came the chorus of mostly male laments against feminism: “How dare four women take the place of four men, who do they think they are? When we say reboots, all we want is updates CGI, not feminist propaganda!”

Unsurprisingly, the malevolence didn’t end there, but included the use of intimidation and threats against the spook-filled films selection of female stars, most notably and again unsurprisingly Leslie Jones, the specter-ass-kicking squads resident black sass queen. While Jones’ stand against the intimidation tactics unfortunately involved a loss for the Twittersphere (she recently announced a much needed break from the site following the abuse) the equation which continues to divide feminism and movie media has become once more evident via Twitter trend #FeministAMovie

The hashtag reached trending proportions in early August, catching my own attention on 11 August… of the hilarious possibilities which were available. How excited I was to scroll through potential hilarious gender-reversals, queer puns, and non-heteronormative re-titles.

What I got instead proved the false consciousness which continues to surround the feminist movement. Several of which used Ghostbusters as the bone of contention:

It was only following my disappointment that I discovered the hashtag was, in fact, a response to the all-female cast announced for Oceans 8; the new installment combining the star skills of Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Rihanna, Helena Bonham Carter, Mindy Kaling, and Awkwafina. The outraged reaction against the positioning of women in public spaces resulted in a reiteration of misogynistic themes,  homophobic and transphobic commentary, and the general array of stereotypical sexist insults which amount to the manosphere’s armory.

Certainly, the stereotype of the “Feminazi,” the “manhater”, the angry, hairy, cajoling cartoon feminist consistently drawn into bad cartoons was redrawn again and again:

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These texts reanimate negative stereotypes commonly linked with the feminist figure in popular culture, many concentrating on the negative ways feminist discourse (supposedly) affects women’s most crucial aspect: appearance. A failure to adhere to traditional and overtly-normalised femininity and the beauty standards related to this unnatural state of being is consistently related one’s success or failure in being a woman.

Related to these highly idealised beauty standards and ideals of proper womanhood is the contemporary horror related to female menstruation. Horror movies, blockbuster comedies and the following tweets alike depict this natural and widely experienced event as the abject moment:

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Many others simply and in-eloquently depicted feminism and feminists as something to be despised and abused, where feminists are literally unknowable (and unloveable) and as at once undeserving of men and unable to keep them.

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Thankfully, and once again in keeping with the Ghostbuster’s narratives, feminists rallied against their would-be oppressors with a selection of their own #FeministAMovie tweets which created new sexual spaces, challenged heteronormativity, repossessed female and coloured space from male and white privileges and generally educated individuals that the humourless, hairy-feminazi figure could at least, occassionally, be funny for the sake of politics:

 

In short, movie media continues to challenge feminist gains, but there is an undeniable movement occurring wherein women are being permitted space to narrate new experiences on screen. Comedies such as Bridesmaids, Ghostbusters and the up-coming Moms are repositioning women’s traditional position on screen, while action genres are redrawing squad goals in Oceans 8, and sci-fi/comics genre is FINALLY due to welcome Wonderwoman to the big screen in the first female-lead movie, and while these narratives are being challenged by the greater masses, we’ll continue to met the challenge.

 

 

S.

 

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advice, feminism, feminist, gay, gender, homosexual, sexism, strenght, women

Facebook’s New Gender Options

Facebook has made another notable change to its interface – and this time for the better! – expanding its gender options.

Since its inception, Facebook has offered the two heterosexist, phallocentric options well known to us all – male or female. Now,  the social networking site will offer the fifty choices (see the list below) well known to the LGBT, social community.

faceb

The FAQ information noted some of the following points:

Q: Why is Facebook doing this?

We want everyone to feel comfortable being their true, authentic selves on Facebook.  An important part of this is the expression of gender, especially when it extends beyond the definitions of just male or female.  We’re proud to have worked with leaders in the LGBT community to offer these new features to people who use Facebook.

Unfortunately, the options for “interested in” remain men, women, or both.

But, as they say, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.”

List of Gender Options Available under the Custom Heading:

Agender
Androgyne
Androgynous
Bigender
Cis
Cis Female
Cis Male
Cis Man
Cis Woman
Cisgender
Cisgender Female
Cisgender Male
Cisgender Man
Cisgender Woman
Female to Male
FTM
Gender Fluid
Gender Nonconforming
Gender Questioning
Gender Variant
Genderqueer
Intersex
Male to Female
MTF
Neither
Neutrois
Non-binary
Other
Pangender
Trans
Trans Female
Trans Male
Trans Man
Trans Person
Trans*Female
Trans*Male
Trans*Man
Trans*Person
Trans*Woman
Transexual
Transexual Female
Transexual Male
Transexual Man
Transexual Person
Transexual Woman
Transgender Female
Transgender Person
Transmasculine
Two-spirit

advice, feminism, feminist, sexism, strenght, Uncategorized, writer

Beyoncé: “Gender Equality is a Myth”

Beyoncé’s music has always had a feminist quality to it; and now we’re being treated to a magazine article written by Queen B herself.

Writing as part of the Shriver Report, Beyoncé states:

We need to stop buying into the myth about gender equality. It isn’t a reality yet.

Beyoncé, moreover, calls for both men and women to strive for gender and sexual equality.

Men have to demand that their wives, daughters, mothers, and sisters earn more—commensurate with their qualifications and not their gender.

[…]

Humanity requires both men and women, and we are equally important and need one another. So why are we viewed as less than equal? These old attitudes are drilled into us from the very beginning. We have to teach our boys the rules of equality and respect, so that as they grow up, gender equality becomes a natural way of life. And we have to teach our girls that they can reach as high as humanly possible.

Read the whole of Beyoncé’s work here: http://shriverreport.org/gender-equality-is-a-myth-beyonce/

 

advice, feminism, feminist, misogyny, sexism, women

C-U-N-T.

The word cunt, what comes to mind when one hears it said in public? Wow that person is disgusting, how can he/she say that word? It’s viewed as the worst of the worst, a word  seldom ever heard in the bloodiest Hollywood movies. Funnily enough it features heavily in Australian and Kiwi lingo one finds where it is not viewed as a negative word as the Western world sees it, it is more so a sign of friendliness, alright cunt?
Moving on then a bit I guess I think I’d like to just have a gander at the word itself. What does it mean? Well it’s basically a vagina. Yes. It is that simple. Really. So why all the  annoyance over it? Why is it that if I was to call a man or woman a cunt I would get looks of derision and disgust from onlookers and a reaction of rage from the insulted party? The term dickhead could also be looked at it in this regard but that’s a story for another day I think. Anyway back to the fun topic of insulting people with names for female genitalia.
Why is a female sex organ used to deride or belittle someone e.g. he’s some cunt for doing that, she can be such a cunt or a personal favourite of mine: You’re just a cunt (if said to a woman). This last insult is interesting I think for a few reasons. Firstly, it is of course using the word to debase someone and secondly, it is stating that this is all the insulted woman is seen as. She has no other redeeming features except for what lies between her legs and is seen as perhaps an object by some. Similarly, the phrase ‘stop acting like such a cunt’ or words to that effect take a similar idea whereby the female organ has negative connotations and is used in an insulting manner and is comparing someone to the lowest of the low, in this case perhaps a woman?
A point I mentioned earlier was the near universal disgust which exists for the word. I shall use an anecdotal piece of evidence to elaborate on the aforementioned point. A temporary colleague of mine who resided in the USA was over to our fair shores for work placement  1 and overheard a fellow member of staff say it under his breath and of course enquired the following: “Is that disgusting word hated here as much as it is back home?” (or words to that effect, you get the idea). Of course, I explained that yes, of course it is disliked here but a small few don’t mind using it from time to time, although those in my company were not any of those progressive folk. Go figure. What has the word ‘cunt’ done to achieve such universal disdain? Similarly one will find in a work situation the stigma occurs also with regard to its usage, working in a professional type environment one may find that cursing is commonplace and the odd use of a few swear words helps break the ice but words like ‘cunt’ are most certainly out of bounds. Following on from this I find it interesting to see, again based on purely anecdotal evidence, that women seem to carry a greater hatred towards the word. Is it perhaps seen as being a female figure lower than that of the ‘bitch’ or the ‘slut’?
Of course these two words themselves also carry large back stories and could be discussed at length but that shall not be done here. Before I forget to mention it, remember in ‘Kick-Ass’, the very alt superhero flick released about 2-3 years ago, where Chloe Moertz’s character Hit-Girl says a sentence to the effect of “Alright you cunts let’s see what you can do”. You may or may not recall the tremors it caused due to the fact that she was a teen uttering such a word in a film. I find it kind of funny how such a fuss was kicked up over the use of a harmless word as opposed to the PC brigade annoying people with common sense everywhere regarding the extreme violence which exists all throughout the movie? Kind of a strange standard to be setting, no?
Why do such words carry such venom and bitterness? They are after all only words, they really mean nothing and are only our interpretation of a thing. So please feel free to say the word cunt wherever you please along with all the assholes, bastards, pricks and motherfuckers you can muster, I sure as shit won’t mind.