Posts Tagged With: double standard

Blue Valentine

So this post is very late on the band wagon but I finally got around to watching this movie. I wasn’t feeling the story-line too much but honestly, I watched it so I could examine it’s “controversial” scene and understand why exactly the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) wanted to stick it with a NC-17 rating. By the way, this scene is a single scene depicting a woman receiving oral sex. And watch it I did…. and I have to say I’m flabbergasted. There was absolutely nothing “extreme” about it. You don’t see anything of anything. All you really see is a couple enjoying thoroughly enjoying themselves while fully clothed. Now what is so wrong with that?

It’s stuff like this that’s really hypocritical. There’s movies upon movies of men receiving oral sex from women, and they just get an R rating and sometimes even a PG-13, but the few times it’s the other way around, oral sex on women is seen as pornographic in nature. Double standard much?

If you don’t understand why ratings are important, Ryan Gosling explains it perfectly: “A lot of people think, ‘What’s the big deal if it’s NC-17, the kids under 17 can’t see it,’ but that’s not true. What it really means is it can’t play in a major theatre chain and you can’t have ads for the film on television. It stigmatizes the movie in a big way. What we’re really saying is not that our kids can’t see this movie but nobody can see this movie unless you live in a big city and there’s an arthouse theatre.” Anyway, Harvey Weinstein’s fought against the MPAA and was able to reduce the rating to R so all was made well again. Right?

Wrong. Keep your eyes open the next time you watch a flick involving violence. It can be anything – action, horror, thriller, comedy etc and almost always, you will notice that a movie that has gratuitous violence can easily skip past high MPAA ratings but a movie depicting sex get’s slapped with a NC-17 rating. Saw 3D has a woman bisected by a buzzsaw. Blue Valentine has a woman orgasm by oral sex. Which movie do you think teens were allowed to see?

We live in a culture in which violence, and especially violence towards women, is tolerated to the point that it becomes white noise. Meanwhile, sex remains a taboo topic. What it comes down to is this: media’s representation of people enjoying sex is so skewed towards men that it’s immediately considered problematic when women are portrayed as sexual beings. A woman’s naked body gives a film an R-rating, but a woman (even clothed) enjoying sex can land a film in the no man’s land that is NC-17. How messed up is that? It’s high time our media reflects reality, and allows women to be fully-fleshed, sexual beings instead of the sexualized object the MPAA clearly prefers.

“For the last three decades many Americans have puzzled over a system that gives an R to a movie in which a women is carved up by a chainsaw and an NC-17 to one that shows a woman sexually pleasured. From such ratings one might conclude that sexual violence against women is OK for American teenagers to see, but that they must be 18 to see consensual sex. What message does this send to the kids the MPAA presumably means to protect?”

– Carrie Rickey

“You have to question a cinematic culture which preaches artistic expression, and yet would support a decision that is clearly a product of a patriarchy-dominant society, which tries to control how women are depicted on screen. The MPAA is okay supporting scenes that portray women in scenarios of sexual torture and violence for entertainment purposes, but they are trying to force us to look away from a scene that shows a woman in a sexual scenario which is both complicit and complex. It’s misogynistic in nature to try and control a woman’s sexual presentation of self. I consider this an issue that is bigger than this film.”

-Ryan Gosling on the controversy around the rating of his film ‘Blue Valentine’

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I Can’t Re-Post This Fast Enough

I Can't Re-Post This Fast Enough

Fat Shaming At It’s Finest.

They should add skin tone/race to this too. PoC always get booed on for not being “accurate”.

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On Body Hair

I don't like my body hair.
I religiously get rid of it whenever I see it sprouting.
But I don't think I'll ever know if the reason for why I hate it is because I genuinely dislike body hair in general or whether I've been conditioned to hate it by our society's cultural aesthetic on female body hair.

I had the sudden urge to write about this topic when I remembered a very random memory. A male friend of mine was hanging out with a group of people, and it was out there while they were all sitting on the grass when he noticed that one of the girls he was with had a full blossom of toe hair going on. Wild, long toe hair. He was immediately repulsed. And then he came back and told his friend about how gross it was to see toe hair on a girl.

Surprise guys! Girls have toe hair! And hair above their butt cracks! And upper lip hair, and side burns, and hair on the backs of their thighs and hair everywhere else too. Just Like You Do.

This post is in defense of all girls who don’t mind keeping their armpit hair and don’t really think about the hair on their knees. With the increasing pressure to make it all disappear, I want you to stand tall. Don't conform. Don't give in to what everyone expects of you, don't fall under the pressures of what is normalized to be 'womanly', and don't, for the love of all things good, do it for guys like that male friend I mentioned. Because if it's okay for guys like him to walk around sporting a full untamed bush of underarm hair, then it sure is okay for you to have some harmless toe hair.

As for me, well.. maybe a few a days of prickly legs isn't that bad.

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Double-standard much?

"No matter how many delicate scratches and how many streaks of dirt women in movies acquire after weeks of surviving in a war zone or battling zombies, they NEVER sprout even a hint of leg hair. God forbid. The camera zooms in for an intimate moment with their trembling, full lips and welling eyes, and the skin between the bottom of the nose and the upper lip is as pristine and smooth as marble."
— Mirror, Mirror: On Femininity And Body Hair

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Mr. & Mrs. What Now?

It's the darndest thing. I can casually browse the internet and start off watching prank videos on youtube and then end up reading up on Nietzsche. Today was no exception. I was on blackboard, studying my course notes when out of nowhere, while delving into a little side research, I found out that a whopping 50+% of people believe that women should be legally required to change their last name after marriage.

If you didn't catch that; here it is again: legally required.

I feel outnumbered. There are only a handful of women I personally know who haven't changed their names. Most married women do and while this is so loving, so supportive, so giving, why has it never occurred to anyone that it isn't any less loving, supportive or giving for a husband to take their wives’ names? But you don't see that happening, do you?( Perfect example gender double standards)

I was well into my feminist awakening when I first heard the term “coverture.” To sum it up: coverture is the practice of women — and only women! — taking their spouse’s names and is the continued symbolic representation of a practice that was explicitly designed and used to subjugate, oppress and silence women whose identities were wholly subsumed into that of their husbands. 

Somewhere along the way, as years passed and women's rights progressed, this practice stuck on and somehow… it became kind of romantic. But it's only romantic when she takes his name, and not the other way around. Because if he does, well pssshhh… it's coz the dude's totally whipped! (For those of you in agreement with this statement, please click HERE).

More than I loathe the history and practice of coverture and its many continuing cultural implications, I appreciate the fact that women no longer have to do any one thing with their names. Do I wish more women would keep their names, or more men would change, hyphenate or morph their names? Absolutely. I think it would be really exciting if more families and couples felt empowered to decide for themselves what’s best, to decide what makes their marriage or family real for them, instead of simply doing the easy or traditional thing — especially when that easy, traditional thing is steeped in some pretty seriously misogynist history. 

Anyway, that's all the ranting I'm going to do on this topic. Read PART 1 here. 

Now it's back to statistics for me!

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True gender equality is actually perceived as inequality. A group that is made up of 50% women is perceived as being mostly women. A situation that is perfectly equal between men and women is perceived as being biased in favor of women.
And if you don’t believe me, you’ve never been a married woman who kept her family name. I have had students hold that up as proof of my “sexism.” 
My own brother told me that he could never marry a woman who kept her name because “everyone would know who ruled that relationship.” Perfect equality – my husband keeps his name and I keep mine – is held as a statement of superiority on my part.

– 
Lucy, When Worlds Collide: Fandom and Male Privilege.

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