I don’t give a shit about chocolate at all.

I’ve got an example of the switcheroo that I’m not quite sure what to make of, although I think I smell some misogyny in it somewhere. I’m sure I’ll find it by the time I get to the end of this blog, which I’m starting with no particular plan in mind.

Have you ever found yourself standing in your kitchen at 3 AM licking a plastic bowl in an obscenely sexual manner? Me either. Even if the bowl did, at one time, contain some kind of chocolatey substance. I think the reason I’ve never done that is that a) I don’t starve myself, and therefore b) I’m not obsessed with food of any kind. Apparently that isn’t the case with most women, or at least that’s what Betty Crocker would have me believe with her commercial for her Warm Delights (TM – ding!) line of microwaveable chocolate cakes meant to be eaten before they cool down sufficiently. Watch this if you need to stretch whatever muscles keep your eyes in place with a good rolling.

The women in this commercial are nothing short of fiendishly lustful when it comes to their bowls of molten cake. Honestly, I’m glad the commercial ends when it does, lest I be forced to watch one of these women rub the bowl on her crotch while grunting. Imagine that the women in this commercial were to be replaced by men. No fucking way, right? It’d be the funniest thing on TV. So what’s the deal with this shit? Why isn’t it strange for a commercial to feature a woman fondling an empty dessert bowl like it’s Mark Wahlberg?

I used to work in an office. Pretty much every office in the known universe has at least one person, usually a receptionist, who keeps a bowl of Hershey’s Kisses on her (I don’t want to generalize or anything, but it’s a her) desk. That bowl without fail attracts swarms of women who, wishing to get away from their desks and bullshit with coworkers but not wishing to take up covert pot smoking, will descend on the bowl of chocolates and guiltily wolf them down. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has heard some woman moan and groan over a piece of cake or candy, lamenting the “sin” she’s committing by eating it in the first place: “Oh, I’m so bad! I really shouldn’t have done that. I’m going to hate myself tomorrow, but I can’t resist!” The fact that women are experiencing feelings of guilt, shame, and remorse as a result of eating something is absurd and points to a few troubling (and, I’ll admit, obvious) problems with women’s relationship with food and their bodies, and possibly even their conception of morality.

Fascistic beauty ideals lead to some serious problems. I’m beginning to feel like a propagandist, what with how many different ways I’ve had to word this same concept, but here goes: when a culture tells women that their worth lies in whether men want to fuck them, they’ll do whatever they think they need to do to increase the number of men having inappropriate and objectifying thoughts about them. Considering the fact that sexual manipulation is one of the only sources of power women possess, their tendency to go along with the fuckabilty mandate isn’t all that shocking. The kind of woman men want to fuck, as represented in mainstream media, is roughly a size two, so the message is fairly clear: if you want any of the limited kinds of power and esteem that women can gain in this society, don’t eat anything, especially anything that tastes good. Hence the obsession with the opportunity to eat fattening foods and the fact that these cake-eating women look close to orgasm in this commercial.

It’s perfectly acceptable for these women to behave lustfully with regard to food, which is odd considering the fact that they aren’t permitted to do so when it comes to actual sex.  Really, what commercial have you seen in which women are expressing sexual desire for something besides a bowl of sugar? I suppose it really isn’t much of a shock; women aren’t allowed to express sexual desire without being labeled sluts, so it has to go somewhere. Best direct it toward something that doesn’t threaten men’s control over the realm of sexuality. Something like cake.

I suppose I’ve figured out where the misogyny lies in the Betty Crocker Warm Delights switcheroo, and it’s even worse than I suspected. Many women are so indoctrinated with the “be fuckable or die” (that shit’s copyrighted, dude) ultimatum that they’ve lost the plot. There is nothing immoral about eating something that tastes good, even if it does become apparent that you’ve done so after the fact. There is nothing ethically unsound about nachos (they make vegan ones, you know). What’s ethically objectionable is harming your health and removing all the joy from your life in order to increase the number of Coors Light drinkers who want to pork you. Feel guilty about eating meat, or buying gas, or listening to house music, or liking Family Guy, but eat the goddamned cake and tell the world you aren’t signing up for the starvation plan.


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Dismemberment is sexy as fuck, yo!

I’m not one of these assholes who brags about the fact that I don’t watch TV, but I don’t have cable (too poor), and network TV sucks tremendously, so I normally download whatever I want to watch (until this weekend, that is, when my school’s IT department sent me notice that I had to stop doing so on the school network… assholes). That means I don’t see many commercials, and that I have no idea what’s going on in the world of television. That was always a good thing, but now that I’m a blogger (ugh), I feel like I ought to be keeping up on pop culture happenings or something. That probably won’t translate into me actually doing so, but I want everyone to know I’m thinking about it.

Despite my ignorance of what transpires on the god box, I live in New York, so I’m constantly bombarded with ads for television shows at bus stops, on buses, on the side of buildings, in bathroom stalls, on bar coasters, in subway stations, on subway trains, on the top of cabs, on billboards… you get the point. So I’m aware that shows like Lipstick Jungle exist, and I’m aware that there’s a television series out that has something to do with the Terminator film franchise. I’ve never seen either of these shows, but I know everything I need to know about them from their bus stop ads: Lipstick Jungle is about urban women who are plagued with self-doubt and like wearing lipstick while doing it with men who only shave every four days, and The Sarah Connor Chronicles is about a female cyborg that dudes who read Maxim would totally be down to bang, bro. Let me know if I’m wrong.

I’m not wrong. As much as I’d like to delve into how obscenely trite and derivative these premises are, I’ll leave the obvious unsaid. Besides, I don’t care to waste 5 minutes I could spend thinking about how much I hate Jeremy Piven on watching either of these shows in order to get the ammo I’d need to prove that they are insultingly dumb. Instead, I want to talk about the print ads for The Sarah Connor Chronicles (I’d go over the Sex and the City… I mean… Lipstick Jungle ads, but what can be said that hasn’t been said before about a poster full of women in constricting clothing, crippling shoes, and painted faces advertising a show about the same thing? ).

I was walking down the sidewalk in Harlem with my parents one morning when we happened upon this work of art. I had been doing a little bus stop ad vandalism that week, and my mom pointed out the ad and asked me what I planned to write on it. It’s been awhile now, but I think I opted for “Goddamn, dismemberment is sexy as fuck!” Isn’t that the message here? This is nothing if not an overtly and brazenly sexualized image of a dismembered woman’s body, and it was displayed in a public place in which children can and do see it every second. “But come on,” you’ll say, “it’s not really a dismembered woman, she’s a cyborg! So it’s OK that it’s just a chunk of a body, because it’s, like, not real or anything.” If it’s just a robot and isn’t meant to be thought of as human with respect to dismemberment, why does it have to look like a female human being at all? And why are its breasts completely exposed save for the nipples, which are conveniently hidden by its long, sexy hair? I’m pretty sure sexual characteristics are superfluous for a robot (and that sexualized images of the male cyborgs in the Terminator film series don’t exist). If it was just a chunk of metal it’d be one thing, but it’s not. It’s a woman’s body that is being depicted as a sexual object, and it’s been dismembered. But it’s still supposed to be sexy.

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This image is disturbing not because it stands out from other media for combining sexual titillation with the most extreme form of violence that can be done to the human body, but because it doesn’t. Shows like Dexter, the first season of which revolved around glamorized depictions of women’s bodies having been dismembered and drained of blood, seem to be in a contest in which whoever depicts the most gruesome abuse of women’s bodies wins. If you don’t believe me, watch an episode or two of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit (or one of the 15 other Law and Order varieties), CSI, or any of the fucking 14,000 cop shows that revolve around mutilated corpses and brutalized rape and molestation victims. The victims are almost always female; I guess the concept of dismembering and mutilating male bodies just isn’t compelling. Wonder why that could be.

I’ve heard the argument that the writers of these shows continue to dream up ever more perverse crimes and ever more ghastly images of dead women in order to ride the shock value to better ratings and greater ad revenue, which I buy, but where is the demand coming from? Images and descriptions of women being raped, killed, and mutilated are such a common and accepted part of our cultural imagination that hardly anyone seems to be noticing just how extreme these depictions have become in mainstream media and advertising like the ad pictured here. I think this might be an excellent phenomenon to apply the switcheroo test to.

The explanation for why this is happening, as far as I can tell, is a combination of two of the most nefarious forces at work in our society: plain ol’ misogyny and the primacy of profit over morality (humanity, really) that characterizes unregulated capitalism.

One can easily observe throughout the course of history a pattern in which, when a dominant group feels its grip on its privileges and dominance loosening, it reacts violently against the group it sees as posing that threat. The rise of Jim Crow and the increase in lynchings after the end of slavery, when whites felt their security threatened by blacks gaining their freedom, is just one example. These things don’t get worked out overnight, as we can see in the sad state of race relations almost 150 years hence. Sexism, which I would submit is even more pervasive and systemic to almost every culture on Earth than racism, will take much longer to extirpate. (Settle down, I’m not claiming sexism is worse than racism, just that it’s going to be even harder to do away with.)

Many books and articles have been written about the backlash against feminism that’s been brewing since the late 1970s, as well as about what some see as a second backlash since the start of the War on Terrah, but these focus more squarely on the realms of employment and family relations than on culture, even though the backlash has manifested itself most clearly in the realm of popular culture. It’s obvious in the ways that women and girls are now being unapologetically objectified and sexualized in much more sinister ways than ever before in music videos, television shows, movies, and on the internet. The explosion of internet pornography, especially the more degrading and violent varieties, is another symptom of the pop culture backlash against the perceived growth of women’s power and position in society.

That’s where the demand comes from, but the whole process is abetted by the ever more insidious forces of unregulated and amoral capitalism at work in the advertising, media, and pornography industries. The combination of a cultural imagination dominated by a fascination with seeing women degraded and — really — punished, coupled with a media and marketing machine motivated by nothing but profits has produced a downward spiral of salaciousness and misogyny.

The Sarah Connor Chronicles poster shocked my TV-saturated parents, which I would like to take as a positive sign, but I don’t know how young people who have been raised in our hyper-sexualized porn culture and have been inured to seeing women’s bodies used and abused will be able to resist the influence of these kinds of images. I want to think we’re reaching a tipping point and that people will start to react against the growing hatred of women in our cultural life, but I sometimes worry that we might just be fucked.

(As I write this, I’m sitting on a Southwest flight from Chicago to Las Vegas, neither of which is my departure or destination city [discount travel!], and some fucking jagoff is going through a slideshow of photos he has on his computer. They include a bunch of stupid photos of “alternative” looking “chicks” with tattoos, some photos of some dumb band [nu metal, no doubt], some photos of this same band with two tattooed Suicide Girl types in nothing but thongs making out with each other as the band stands behind them fully clothed and appears not to notice, some more photos of the two SGs on a bed nearly naked with one of them pointing a gun at the other, and a few with a girl wearing a nurse’s cap, a thong, and about a pint of blood. Rock and fucking roll. Did I mention that I’m in public?)

 


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I may be a liberal, but I’m no faggot!

Why is the only feminist on Air America a dude? I’ve been listening to Thom Hartmann lately in the shower (mainly because my schedule this semester allows me to sleep until noon, when his show starts) and I’m really amazed at how often I hear him bringing up the misogyny Hillary Clinton has been faced with throughout her campaign. I say that I am amazed because almost no one has discussed this issue with any kind of clarity or in any kind of depth, and I’m glad to hear at least one person bringing up the 600-pound gorilla.

I generally think Air America sucks and is an embarrassment to the liberal cause. I mean, choosing Al Franken, possibly the least funny man in the world, as the network’s big star was a terrible idea, and Sam Seder and Rachel Maddow notwithstanding, the other hosts have been either brain-numbingly boring or irritatingly incoherent. Or worse, too conservative. But that isn’t my main beef with Air America. The real problem with Air America is that, despite the fact that each host has his or her own pet issues, some of which are fairly fringe-ish or kooky in some way or another, NO ONE talks about women’s issues with any kind of regularity or seriousness, and that includes the female hosts. When it comes to women’s issues, Randi Rhodes, the station’s most well-known female voice, is nothing but a sell-out (not to mention a total fucking embarrassment in general).

This lack of feminist voices on the only mainstream liberal radio network in the country brings up the larger issues of the role of feminism within the liberal community and the disregard for women’s issues in the liberal media (what little of it exists). There seem to be two problems keeping women’s issues out of the spotlight. The first is that, for some insane fucking reason, women’s issues are considered “fringe” issues that do not warrant inclusion in mainstream political discourse. I suppose that means that satanism is a fringe issue for Slayer.

The other problem is that men dominate the liberal media and generally come in one of only two types: the type who generally avoids discussing women’s issues, and the type that actively displays his misogyny. The number one example of this last type has to be Bill Maher, who I wouldn’t mind seeing have a bungee-jumping accident, closely followed by Alan Colmes, who, besides being terrifyingly boring, frequently makes use of the air time he’s allotted on Air America to discuss such gripping topics as his enthusiastic sanction of breast implants. Even Keith Olbermann, who I normally want to kiss on the cheek every week for blessing us with his clever anti-Republican invective, has been known to say a piggish thing or two, which is uncool even when it does have to do with Paris Hilton.

I think the characterization of liberal men by conservative sexist homophobes like Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh as candy-ass closet homosexuals has everything to do with both of these phenomena. I won’t get too academic here, but we all know that the reason unreflective straight men hate gay men is that they see them as having consciously chosen to take on a feminine role, which threatens the very foundations of the value systems these renobs hold so dear. Insinuating that liberal men are gay is insinuating that they’re like women, and who the hell would want to be one of those in a patriarchy such as ours? The result of that line of thinking is that even the most liberal of men are running around waving their arms over their heads yelling, “I’m a liberal, yes, but I’m no faggot! I think women ought to shut up and be happy to be sex objects!” There’s really no escape from this quagmire; liberal women in the public eye avoid women’s issues like the plague for fear of being accused of identity politics, and liberal men just aren’t meeting the challenge in any serious way because they’re afraid of being called nancy boys.

I’ll have much more to say on this later, but for now I’ll just congratulate Thom Hartmann for being man enough to speak out on women’s issues.


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If Bratz dolls were real, Bill Maher would be dating 5 of them.

There are a lot of things wrong with Bratz besides the stupid fucking “spunky”, “hip-hop” use of Z as a pluralizer (what if I started using a Q to make all C and K sounds?). I don’t suppose I’m breaking any new ground by discussing the Bratz phenomenon, but I’m going to talk about it anyway because my take on Bratz is probably more coherent than anyone else’s: Bratz dolls are a tangible distillation of the fact that American girls are expected to grow up to be materialistic, fashion-obsessed, boy-crazed, manipulative sex objects and nothing else. I’ve never seen a more brazen celebration of shallowness, vapidity, materialism, and lowered expectations than Bratz dolls and all of the merchandise and media that accompany them. If you aren’t familiar with Bratz, or even if you are, I’ll break the whole thing down for you here.

Bratz dolls are supposed to be the new millennium’s answer to tired-ass and cliched Barbie dolls: they aren’t all blond, they don’t all have the same hue of tan, and they … uh… don’t hang out with guys named Ken. They also have new-millennium rap-video dancer (or porn) names like Jade, Yasmin, Tiana, Ciara, Noemie, and other shit that gets a red line out of my spell-checker, and they supposedly resemble more closely the diversity of appearances represented in America than the Barbie line (more on that nonsense later). The line includes Bratz Babyz, Bratz Kidz, and the standard Bratz, but even these make Barbie look old as hell, what with their affluent-but-jobless club-hopping teenager vibe.

We all know that Barbies were a bad influence on girls; they gave us the idea that a) life revolved around fashion, being beautiful, and fashion, that b) we could play sports and have jobs, but only if we stayed beautiful the whole time, and that c) if we wanted to be beautiful, we’d better figure out how to be blond, 5’10”, 110 pounds, and have a 13-inch waist, giant boobs, and size 4 feet. Kind of a shitty message and one that I’d be glad to see go the way of Cross Colors.

So are Bratz really different from old Babs? Uh… NO. I would be stoked to see toys on the market for girls that offered more inspiring, or at least less limiting, messages than Barbie dolls did, but the makers of Bratz have somehow found a way to make a line of dolls that offers an even more constrained and unrealistic set of options and expectations to girls, all while creating the illusion of offering more options. It’s really fucking sinister, and it’s a brilliant example of just how insidious marketing and product development have become.

In broad terms, the Bratz world is limited to fashion, being into hip-hop or pop music, and that’s about it. No jobs, no sports to speak of (more on that later), no hobbies: Bratz are here to shop, do their hair, get dates, and be fucking snotty. But wait, you’ll say, they’re better than Barbie because they’re, like, multicultural and shit! It’s true, some of the dolls are a little browner than those in Barbie’s crew, but the vast majority of them are still white, and the ones that aren’t uphold a beauty standard in which non-white women are judged by how closely their hair and facial features resemble those of white women deemed “beautiful.” If there were actually any kind of diversity here (I’m talking about actual, not just ethnoracial, diversity), the dolls wouldn’t all look like clones dyed different colors; they’d be different heights, weights, and body types, they’d have different facial structures and hair textures, and they’d have different interests, talents, skills, and backgrounds. Arguing that these dolls are a progressive force because they come in different shades of do-able is like saying that racism is over because sports talk radio fans have agreed that they’d be willing to fuck Halle Berry, Jennifer Lopez, and Lucy Liu.

And speaking of that… the most disturbing feature common to Bratz dolls, even some of the Kidz and Babyz, is that they are completely and totally sexualized. I’m not a sociopathic marketing asshole, but I can see the hand of one in the faces of these dolls: giant collagen lips, huge half-closed eyes reminiscent of a cooing Playboy playmate, massively dilated pupils (which I have heard are a sign of sexual arousal), more make-up than Brett Michaels, long and (somehow) promiscuous hair, and completely stripperific clothing and shoes. Look at the lip liner on the one in the middle. She looks like Pamela Anderson. Honestly, the vast majority of these dolls look like porn “actors” on a day off.


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And look at the fucking Babyz! They somehow have floor-length go-go dancer hair, the same heavy-lidded sexual stares as the regular Bratz, and the same plumped-up lips that remind one of the gross reason why men like Angelina Jolie, all at the age of 6 months! Did I mention that, in addition to the baby bottles they wear as fashion accessories, they are all wearing bathing suits? I truly would not be shocked to find one of these Babyz wearing a thong diaper. Seriously, have you ever seen sluttier looking babies?[1]

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If kids have to play with miniature plastic humans, it’d be cool if they actually reflected a little bit of reality and gave girls something to think about besides how to get people to want to pork them. As it is, every single one of the dolls fits into the Bratz Fashion Slutz model. Even the obligatory sporty line (which of course includes a Z in its name), the Play Sportz collection, consists only of a doll who SCUBA dives in a silver wetsuit that looks more like the outfit of a Duran Duran back-up dancer, a doll that is into hip hop (which I didn’t know was a sport), one that has a silver hula hoop, and, of course, a fucking cheerleader (who apparently cheers for the pink team, judging by her ridiculously pink uniform). Sporty. Outside that perfunctory nod, the makers of Bratz dollz, gamez, bicyclez, underwear, televisionz, hamperz, lampz, suitcasez, chairz, and moviez are pretty comfortable with their message: being a girl means being overtly sexualized, being way into pink, being popular with boys with date-rapist names like Jordan and Skyler, and being a little asshole about it. The unfortunate part is that only about 1 in 100 girls gets to be a stuck-up sexbot. The rest just get to feel completely worthless because they don’t measure up to such a lame and vacuous standard.

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The picture above pretty much sums up the the vibe Bratz are laying down and is a pretty succinct visual distillation of Bratz ideology. I hope people will comment with what they think these three would be saying if they could talk.


[1] Note: I use the term “sluttier” here for rhetorical impact. I don’t call people sluts, but I do recognize that that is one of the two default identities, the other being prude/wife material, that our culture allows women to assume.


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Who castrated Keema?

I watch The Wire. It’s an interesting story, it has some insightful things to say about some of the biggest problems in our culture and political system, and it manages for the most part to avoid excessive use of clichés and dumb dialog. But this is HBO we’re talking about, which means one thing: people are going to be getting naked and doing gross shit that makes you wish you hadn’t seen it. HBO is just plain incapable of producing a sex scene in one of its shows that doesn’t include some gross element of domination, humiliation, or borderline rape. People on HBO don’t have sex, they get banged, and the bangees are usually women, while the bangers are men. I suppose you could say that the women in Sex and the City were doing the banging, but I wouldn’t know because I’d sooner cut my own Achilles tendon than watch a single episode of a show that might as well have “Being a real urban woman means fucking as many strange men as possible while being independently wealthy and wearing shoes that increase your chances of breaking your ankle by 6000%” as its motto. And I suppose Oz did have that one female guard who forced some of the inmates to bang her.

But still, those are exceptions. Look at Entourage (Sex and the City for dudes), The Wire, The Sopranos, Rome, Deadwood, and whatever else is going on at HBO, and you’ll see that 99% of the sex scenes involve some woman being either forced to do something sexual or being used like a fifi bag and then treated like shit afterward. I suppose that’s not surprising coming from a network that thinks it’s being progressive when it hires the biggest swine on television (Bill Maher) to host its one political show. (Apparently it’s not only OK with the HBO execs that Maher is still telling Bill Clinton jokes in 2008, but it’s also OK that he’s overtly misogynistic and completely dismissive of the female guests on his show.) So I didn’t really expect much out of The Wire in that respect, especially since it’s a show about cops on a channel that allows nudity and swearing. I wasn’t surprised at all to see Bunk and McNulty banging away in nearly every episode, nor was I surprised to see Carcetti banging some political consultant while looking at himself in the mirror. It’s HBO. If there isn’t at least one sex scene per episode that makes me want to be celibate, there’s something wrong.

But there was a character in the first three seasons of the show that didn’t fit in so well with HBO’s sex scene SOP, Keema. She was also in the fourth and is in the fifth season, but whoever that woman is, she isn’t the Keema from seasons 1-3. First of all, the real Keema was gay, and not just sort of gay, really gay. Her gayness came up just as often as Bunk and McNulty’s interest in bar sluts did[1]. It wasn’t a secret: she had a partner, she had affairs, she looked at women with the guys. And that leads me to another interesting facet of Keema’s character: she partied with the guys and was one of them. I suppose it’s a little stereotypical that if a female cop is going to be accepted by the guys she has to be a lesbian, but at least she was being accepted as one of the guys and the show didn’t revolve around her constantly having to prove herself. (Too bad that part was practically science fiction.) Keema was a flawed badass, a real 3D character in a televised world full of female characters that are either shadows or caricatures. Until the end of season 3.

One of my favorite comedic exercises is to imagine that I’m observing a creative meeting for a commercial, television show, or movie. I recently pictured a meeting taking place about two years ago at HBO headquarters in which a numbers guy named Todd is talking to the writing team responsible for The Wire about their plans for the fourth season. Todd is saying, “Keema just isn’t appealing to a wide enough demographic. She’s too butch. We want our female officer to appeal to housewives and single women, not just black lesbians. Now, don’t get me wrong. This isn’t an anti-gay thing, it’s strictly numbers.” That has to be what happened because in the fourth season, and what I’ve seen of the fifth, Keema has been… well… uh… emasculated. In the fourth season she was shunted back from Major Crimes to Homicide, which meant that she would have to stop wearing Adidas track suits and sneakers and start wearing pantsuits and high heels. Not only that, she dropped the ultra-utilitarian ponytail for a shoulder-length minivan hairdo. The general effect was reminiscent of a Jenny Jones “Makeover My Butch Mom!” episode. Not only that, but she no longer had a partner, she stopped partying with the guys (even though she was now working among the heaviest drinkers in the precinct), she stopped chasing women, and she virtually disappeared from view. The only hint that she was a lesbian came when she visited her ex-partner in one episode, a scene that lasted maybe 30 seconds. To add insult to erasure, in the last episode I saw of the fifth season, she was carrying some kid out the back of a building in which a murder had been committed, leaving the boys to do the investigatory work while she stood outside playing mommy.

It’s pretty early in this blog, so I ought to say up front that I’m about as into gender roles as James Dobson is into abortion. I don’t like that word I just used, emasculated. I also don’t like the title of this blog, because referring to Keema as having been castrated means that only men are capable of being drunken, philandering badasses. Nor do I like the idea that taking care of a child is something that only women do. Very few entertainment sources, from music to movies to television to magazines to, to a lesser extent, books, allow men or women to tread outside the confines of the gender roles our society has assigned to them, so I get quite excited when it does happen and, conversely, I get irritated when I see a character who had been allowed to transgress the boundaries of “male” or “female” behavior get forced back into the gender-role box.

I’m not a lesbian (unfortunately), so I’m not going to take it upon myself to discuss the meaning of Keema’s de-lesbianification (or get too into the aspects of Keema’s character that were a bit stereotyped), but I am a woman who is tired of finding nothing to identify with among any of the female characters I see in the media, so I will say that I am disappointed that, once again, HBO has proven that it has little room for female characters who amount to anything other than brainless conglomerations of tits and ass designed to appeal to base male urges. (I don’t want to hear anything about Sex and the City here; those women were nothing but personifications of male fantasies, which is probably why they appeal so much to the kinds of women who aspire to be personifications of male fantasy themselves.) I’m not going to stop watching The Wire; it does have interesting points to make about our cultural and political condition, but I must say that I am disappointed to see one of the few media outlets with anything like a progressive slant prove my theory that the only way to be a liberal and not be called a faggot is to be a misogynist. HBO’s programming is yet another example of Playboy liberalism, in which there’s just no room for (real) lesbians or women with their own personalities and sexualities.


[1] HBO’s sexist stereotype, not mine. I’m not into the idea of bar sluts, or slutdom in general. Not only do they not actually exist – especially in the one-dimensional way that they are portrayed on film and television – but the idea that women hanging out drinking and looking for someone to have sex with is something shameful seems a bit unfair, no? I think anyone hanging out looking for a stranger to have sex with has lost the point of what sex is about, but until it’s shameful for men to do it, I’m not harping on women for it.


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