Friday, February 20, 2015

Feminism turned on itself

I have always been a fan of Mary Eberstadt's writings.

Her article yesterday in the National Review Online is worth the read.

Rather than opine on Fifty Shades of Grey, Eberstadt writes about the phenomena of women trash talking about themselves and taking on what was once considered the territory of the frat house or bar room bad-mouths.

Of course this approach takes for granted the sexual revolution’s first commandment, which is that any such act ever committed by any woman is by definition beyond reproach. That said, one can otherwise sympathize with the feminists’ intent here. Spurred in part by heartbreaking cases of teenage girls who suffered catcalling on social media and committed suicide, the sisters mean good. Trouble is, their initiative suffers mortally from the “Don’t think of an elephant” paradox. The more the word “slut” gets hurled around, the harder it is not to think about its meaning, and the more likely it is to stick somewhere unwanted.
Even so, something deeper is at work here than ideological tussling over a word that no halfway-civilized person would use anyway. The promiscuous slinging of “slut” is only the beginning of the obscenity- and profanity-saturated woman-talk these days, from otherwise obscurantist academic feminism on down to popular magazines and blogs.

Yet listening in on some of the conversation today suggests an explanation other than simple venality. Something else is up out there making female trash talk all the rage — something unexpected, poignant, and, at the same time, awful to behold. It’s the language of bondage and captivity, told by prisoners of the sexual revolution.
On the ubiquitous  pornographic nature of modern female vocalists, something that has been puzzling me. I really don`t understand why BeyoncĂ© has to produce videos of herself in these poses; after all, it`s not as if she needs the money or needs to sell an album.
And on it goes. Many of today’s so-called feminist singers can’t warble without throwing in a pole dance or an homage to leather. Avril Lavigne, in addition to providing some of the soundtrack of Fifty Shades, has made a sexualized song and video about little-girl icon Hello Kitty. Kesha, Britney Spears, the defunct Pussycat Dolls, not to mention the queen cougar of them all, Madonna: The trick isn’t finding a female vocal artist whose work is enthusiastically pornographic; it’s locating any whose isn’t.

It’s a predator’s market out there. The fact that there’s no cottage industry related to “stud-shaming,” or even such a word, says it all. Many women are now exactly what feminists say they are: victims — only not in the way that feminism understands. They are captives behind enemy lines, but the enemy is not patriarchy or gender-norming. It’s the sexual revolution itself. And like other people held hostage for too long by a hostile force, these women are suffering from a problem that has had a name for some time. It’s Stockholm syndrome.
Love that last line, it`s a clincher.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This was a really great article with some seriously hard truths. It bothers me that so few are speaking about how these famous people preach a belief of feminism, but so openly demean the female body in their 'art', and lead on that it's meant to be treated as an object. I don't know how that's supposed to be recapturing female sexuality.