Posts tagged "gender"

This is an entirely inappropriate length for what is essentially a home video of gay men playing with giant Barbie dolls.

Lindy West, “Burkas and Bikinis,” The Stranger, May 25, 2010

You almost certainly know this entertaining, scathing review of Sex and the City 2. You probably have read some other equally scathing reviews. You might have read some people seeking to complicate the critiques, though few actually defend the film as actually being good.

I don’t have much to add to any of that, except the quoted line in the West review leaped out at me. Really? Yes, the director and screenwriter is gay; and at least some of the producers are. (Another is a straight woman who also plays the lead role.) But what exactly does that gayness have to do with these men (and woman) having made an apparently bad film?

This is a criticism of gay men, however, that might not sound entirely new to you. You’ve probably heard it used also in critiques of an industry nearly synonymous with SatC: the fashion industry. Everything undesirable about the fashion industry can be supposedly sheeted home to the fact that designers are often (apparently) male and gay. It’s a feminist homophobia that doesn’t get called out as the useless and uninformative stereotyping it is because… well I don’t know. Is it because it’s a way feminists can rebuke an industry driven by female demand while still exculpating the women who demand the industry’s products? By scapegoating The Gays, women retain their uncomplicated victim status?

I hope not.

But I’m going to assume that Michael Patrick King made a bad movie for reasons other than his preference for the company of men. (And apparently is a man effeminate enough to figuratively play with Barbies.) Mmmmmaybe this is a bad movie lots of people go see because it has stupid stuff in it, just like 300 was a bad movie lots of people went to see because it had stupid stuff in it.

—-

Caveats:

1. Yes, the line, like all the lines in the review, is a joke. And it’s funny because hey we’re talking about a movie but the reviewer is saying it’s actually a home video (when it’s not!) about men playing (they’re actually producing and directing!) with dolls (they’re actually actors!). I get it; that’s absurd and therefore pretty funny.

2. Of the stupid things Sex and the City 2 is about, I do not include consumerism. I am a big fan of consumerism, and sympathize with anyone who desires more shoes. The women in question may have an excessive focus on shoes that may lead them to consume them while neglecting the many other awesome items of clothing available to be consumed, but in principle I support purchasing shoes if one can afford to do so.

3. “Feminists” are an uncomplicated and amorphous mob. Yes, I really mean “some feminists.”


Gay guys playing with, hating Barbies.

naysayersspeak replied to your quote:

Or maybe it’s the gay men can exhibit misogynistic attitudes too? Just because that particular manifestation of the male gaze isn’t sexual, doesn’t mean it can’t be both sexist and destructive.

This is true. See Hilton comma Perez.

But isn’t that about their man-ness, not their gayness?

2
Jun 03

I’m sorry for mistaking your gender.

sharingtime:

customer service rep on the phone with me today, after correcting him for calling me “ma’am”

I’m just coursing with manliness today.

Back in the days I used to work retail, this would happen to me occasionally when I’d take calls from customers. Except it was usually older men who would call me “dear,” or “sweetie.” All of a sudden I’d find some bass in my voice and they’d get quite unnerved.


When I grew up I saw females doing certain things, and I thought I had to do that exactly,” she says. “The female rappers of my day spoke about sex a lot … and I thought that to have the success they got, I would have to represent the same thing. When in fact I didn’t have to represent the same thing.

Nicki Minaj in Vibe Magazine, June/July, 2010

I remember this interview with Minaj about how as a female rapper she had to redefine the way audiences thought about what female rappers were, and what they could rap about. I don’t think it was an obscure publication, but I can’t find the interview anywhere. Can any of y’all help me?


No, I have not had implants. I can’t believe we’re even talking about this.

Sarah Palin

No, me neither, Wonkette. And I can’t believe you’re playing like you’re shocked that folks are reacting just like you hoped they would, Wonkette.

And y’all wonder why Carly Fiorina’s talking about Barbara Boxers’ weave.

FFS.

Like Huey Freeman told y’all, "Act like you got some goddamn sense, people. Damn."


One of the saddest quirks of rock criticism is that the hopes, dreams, and fears of teen girls are frequently considered frolicsome fluff while the rage and defiance of teen boys is miscast as the articulation of free thinkers.

GPOYWhatever
I went to buy American Slang from Easy Street records today, but they were sold out. “Oh, that’s OK,” I said, but they responded, “No, it’s not OK. We had a problem with our supplier.” So they gave me a $2 voucher and promised me the record would be in tomorrow.
I’m wearing a Hold Steady shirt in this photograph, and carrying the Gaslight Anthem postcards they gave me in lieu of the album, which is useful because it lets me tell you about the difference between the Hold Steady and the Gaslight Anthem. They’re both fairly similar bands, you know. Playing anachronistic rock ‘n’ roll with a deep respect for the heroes of yesterday, particularly the one hero to rule them all, Bruce Springsteen.
Both Hold Steady and Gaslight Anthem sing, always, songs about girls, but more importantly they sing songs about being around music. But they sing about music differently, and herein lies the distinction. The Hold Steady sings about being around music: shows, concerts, scenes and scene girls. Their references concern conversation about bands between devotees. It’s fascinating because we, the audience, recognize our own discussions in Craig Finn’s words.
The Gaslight Anthem, on the other hand, sings songs about music itself. The band’s borrowed lyrics, its easy slippage between the everyday and the lyrical, speaks directly to the experience of listening to music. This is a band about not the moshing crowd but instead the revolving 45. Lead singer Brian Fallon sings about Miles Davis and Tom Petty and Adam Duritz (!?) and, of course, Bruce Springsteen. And Fallon sings about girls, too. Finding girls in those songs and understanding girls through those songs.
The Hold Steady sings about girls as well. Their girls are girls out at the parties and the shows; the girls on the scene. Does this make Craig Finn’s girls more real than Brian Fallon’s imagined musical girls? Maybe. But Fallon knows girls too, and perhaps Finn’s are as much an imagined, romantic ideal as Fallon’s are.
Because don’t all boys have imagined, romantic ideas of girls? Doesn’t everyone have an ideal? Isn’t the struggle in pop music always about the gap between idealized imagined girls and real girls, better and worse than you might have imagined?

GPOYWhatever

I went to buy American Slang from Easy Street records today, but they were sold out. “Oh, that’s OK,” I said, but they responded, “No, it’s not OK. We had a problem with our supplier.” So they gave me a $2 voucher and promised me the record would be in tomorrow.

I’m wearing a Hold Steady shirt in this photograph, and carrying the Gaslight Anthem postcards they gave me in lieu of the album, which is useful because it lets me tell you about the difference between the Hold Steady and the Gaslight Anthem. They’re both fairly similar bands, you know. Playing anachronistic rock ‘n’ roll with a deep respect for the heroes of yesterday, particularly the one hero to rule them all, Bruce Springsteen.

Both Hold Steady and Gaslight Anthem sing, always, songs about girls, but more importantly they sing songs about being around music. But they sing about music differently, and herein lies the distinction. The Hold Steady sings about being around music: shows, concerts, scenes and scene girls. Their references concern conversation about bands between devotees. It’s fascinating because we, the audience, recognize our own discussions in Craig Finn’s words.

The Gaslight Anthem, on the other hand, sings songs about music itself. The band’s borrowed lyrics, its easy slippage between the everyday and the lyrical, speaks directly to the experience of listening to music. This is a band about not the moshing crowd but instead the revolving 45. Lead singer Brian Fallon sings about Miles Davis and Tom Petty and Adam Duritz (!?) and, of course, Bruce Springsteen. And Fallon sings about girls, too. Finding girls in those songs and understanding girls through those songs.

The Hold Steady sings about girls as well. Their girls are girls out at the parties and the shows; the girls on the scene. Does this make Craig Finn’s girls more real than Brian Fallon’s imagined musical girls? Maybe. But Fallon knows girls too, and perhaps Finn’s are as much an imagined, romantic ideal as Fallon’s are.

Because don’t all boys have imagined, romantic ideas of girls? Doesn’t everyone have an ideal? Isn’t the struggle in pop music always about the gap between idealized imagined girls and real girls, better and worse than you might have imagined?


One of the saddest quirks of rock criticism is that the hopes, dreams, and fears of teen girls are frequently considered frolicsome fluff while the rage and defiance of teen boys is miscast as the articulation of free thinkers.

Pitchfork: Album Reviews: Various Artists: One Kiss Can Lead to Another (via desnoise)

rachaelmaddux:

Get more former teen girls writing rock criticism and this will be less of a problem!

koganbot:

I don’t know, Rachael. Not that there shouldn’t be more former teen girls writing music criticism, but the ones who self-select or get selected to do so are likely to be even more defensively dismissive of the supposed frolicsome fluff than the former teen boys are. It was the guys who did most of the heavy lifting on Rolling Teenpop until Erika came along in 2007 (there was input from Abby, Hillary, et al., but none of them stuck with it). As far as I know, it was only guys making the case in print for Mariah in the early ’90s, and most of that was relegated to the fanzines anyway. And it’s been mostly guys who’ve made the case for Britney, Marit, Avril, Hilary, JoJo, Ashlee, Lindsay, Aly & AJ, and Taylor. Of course Erika Villani and Kat Stevens and Hazel Robinson (among others) have been terrific when they’ve written - I’d go to Erika before anyone else for insight on Lily and Demi. Hazel’s been great when she occasionally blogs on the latter-day r&b girl groups, but it’s Alex Macpherson who’s been championing them where you actually get some readers.

I’ll ignore the ILXhegemony, and endorse what Frank’s saying as basically correct. I see too many ex-teen girl critics (as well as ex-teen boys) viciously endorsing masculinity as the primary trait women in rock should pursue, and lord forgive any woman who isn’t even interested in pursuing rock. The problem is though that the teen girls interested in Spears, Larsen, Lavigne, Duff, JoJo, Simpson, Lohan, Aly & AJ, and Swift have been told that they, and the music they’re interested in is not serious and should not be talked about in a serious context. I’ve talked to too many girls who tell me they have “bad taste,” and so will never even get to the stage of considering their own opinions as being something worth understanding. If they can’t believe their tastes are legitimate, they’ll never believe they should be talking to others authoritatively about what they think is good.


Hanna Rosin and some guy from Slate she’s married to forget that the only people who actually find children insightful and charming are their own parents. Especially children raised to see gender relations as a zero sum game.

Everyone involved in this is bad and should feel bad. Including the Atlantic for producing it and me for watching it and passing it on.

Jun 17

naysayersspeak:

This awesome Apple ad from the 80s comes via my awesome new flatmate.  I love it.

“I also own a small steel mill”

1
Jun 17


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