The ingredients are, “chicken cutlet, melted mozzarella, tomato and our own secret sauce.” Guess what I don’t want to think about when ordering a sandwich? If you guessed semen, obnoxiously tired and hackneyed jokes, and juvenile sexism, you’d be right. I guess Bill Maher isn’t the only person in New York who doesn’t know that telling Clinton/Lewinsky jokes wasn’t funny in 1998, much less 2008.
What the hell is going on in Texas? I’ve never deigned to set foot in the state (actually, I’ve driven hundreds of miles out of my way to avoid it – call it principle), and now I think I know why. Some strip club in Dallas has allowed a SIXTH-GRADER to strip, got caught, and is STILL IN BUSINESS. Apparently the local laws are written in such a way that a strip club found to be employing minors does not automatically lose its license. The law does, however, require that a club lose its license if it is found that the management knowingly allowed the use of drugs on the premises. Go figure.
How did a child end up on the pole? Apparently she had run away from home and was one day approached by a man and a woman, the woman being an employee of the strip club, who told her they would take her to a shelter, but that she would have to work as a stripper. They brought her to the strip club and she filled out an application. The manager of the club told her she could go ahead and bring her ID when she started work, and even helped her figure out what year to write on the application when she told him she couldn’t “remember” when her birthday would have been if she was 19 years old. Then she went to work, dancing completely naked for about $100 in tips a night, $30 of which she was required to hand over to some asshole who worked at the club.
I know that I’m shooting fish in a barrel here, but this episode points out some fairly serious problems. First, what is going on when the laws impose stricter and harsher punishment on adults making the free choice to use drugs than on people who prey on children? Each and every one of the people involved in exploiting this girl ought to be in prison, and that club ought to be burned down. The fact that the place is still in business, and will probably see a boost in revenue as this story spreads (which is why I’ve opted not to mention the name of the club), is a fucking travesty. Second, where is the news coverage discussing the fact that a 12-year-old girl was seen as such a desirable asset to the management of this club that they went out of their way to recruit and employ her? Doesn’t that point to some pretty disturbing tastes among the club’s clientèle? Strip club managers may be disgusting pigs, but they’re aware of where their audience’s proclivities lie, and these motherfuckers clearly saw that an adolescent girl would really tickle the collective pickle of the perverts that frequented the club. (Gee, I wonder if they made her dress up in school girl outfits when she went on stage.) Third, what had gone on in this young girl’s life that made her so susceptible to these sleaze bags that came and offered her the job? There is no information on her family background, but I don’t need information on the cultural background this girl comes from. She’s been inundated from infancy with the idea that her worth lies in whether men want to pork her, and using her fuckability to make a living seemed like a reasonable option to her when the shit hit the fan. This, my friends, is the end result of allowing Miss Bimbo, Bratz, and Britney Spears (or the men who created her hypersexualized image) to tell our daughters what it means to be a girl.
Texas. Too bad it isn’t really a whole ‘nother country.
When it comes to serious feminist analysis, Jezebel is pretty weak sauce (being the “most feminist” of the Gawker Media empire sites isn’t saying much), but the site occasionally alerts me to an item or two of interest, such as the new internet sensation sweeping the nation known as Miss Bimbo. Miss Bimbo is a new online game for young girls in which the goal is to date hot dudes, have hot hair, be into hot stuff, wear hot clothes, have hot boobs, and just be generally hot, which is hot. You win by collecting bimbo attitude points (essentially popularity points), which you can amass by getting breast implants, taking diet pills, having the best wardrobe (including lingerie and “clubwear”), having the most money (for shopping, of course) and — I’m assuming — being the biggest asshole. Basically, the goal is to become Daisy De La Hoya.
The site, which looks like it’s been doused in Pepto-Bismal and hair bleach, is just the next installment in the Bratzification of American girls, but it’s even more sinister than Bratz dolls themselves. Or maybe not? The Bratz people are teaching young girls that being a woman is all about fulfilling male fantasies and allowing yourself to be reduced to sexualized body parts and fashion choices, but they’re being sneaky about it. At least the dude behind the Miss Bimbo phenomenon is telling the truth about what capitulating to the Bratz doll ideal entails in all its ugly details: if you want to live up to today’s model of femininity, get ready to starve, cut yourself up, and eschew having a personality that goes beyond being a snottie hottie.
Wait, what the fuck am I saying? This guy’s an asshole! The site’s creator, Nicholas Jacquart, a French dude of 23 (Is there anything more revolting than male continental Europeans?), claims that his site, which encourages crash dieting and plastic surgery among female children, is just “harmless fun” that “mirrors real life in a tongue-in-cheek way.” I suppose he might be right about the fact that it mirrors reality, what with the growth of pro-ana websites that serve a mainly preteen and adolescent audience and the exponential growth in breast implant surgery among ever younger women, but is that a reason to promote those practices even further by teaching young girls that these kinds of behaviors are not only normal, but the only path to happiness as a woman? But it’s not all bad; Jacquart, responsible motherfucker that he is, is doing his part to combat eating disorders. The rules section of the site, according to TimesOnline, warns players that although the goal is “to keep your bimbo waif thin… every girl needs to eat, every now and again,” so it’s important to give the old gal a rice cake every week or so to prevent her from dying and having to pass on her wardrobe of thongs and boots with the fur to some other bimbo.
I’m happy to report that, in every article I’ve read about Miss Bimbo, parents are outraged that their daughters are being encouraged to starve and mutilate themselves. However, I’m unhappy to report that, in these same articles, I’ve found that there are 1.2 million girls playing this game in France, 200,000 in the UK, and who knows how many in the US, where I expect that the membership of the site will go apeshit once the it gains ground over here. I’m also unhappy to report that, although most of the parents and parents’ organizations took issue with the game’s promotion of extremely disturbing practices like crash dieting and plastic surgery, none of them mentioned the larger forces at work behind the game and its central premise that girls’ value resides in their sex appeal and their material possessions: our culture has become disgustingly complacent about the sexualization and objectification of female children and adolescents, and we are teaching an entire generation of girls that life revolves around nothing but pink shit and boys named Cade.
Where is the outrage about the fact that the options being presented to girls in our supposed “post-feminist” society are so restricted and detrimental to the human spirit? Where is the outrage at seeing girls turned into fashionbots with no interests beyond their hair and boys who are being taught to see them as nothing but brainless sex objects? Where is the outrage at the fact that this game is telling girls that being called a bimbo is not only nothing to get upset about, but something to celebrate? It’s pretty clear to me, even with my inferior female brain, that Nicholas Jaquart has a pretty low opinion of girls and their place in the world, so why the fuck isn’t there more uproar over the fact that he’s marketing a game to female children? Way to miss the point, Jezebel.
When was the last time you watched The Legend of Billie Jean? You may or may not know this about me, but I’m a pretty huge fan of 80s movies, and The Legend is one of the best ones ever made. Producers in the 80s weren’t afraid of far-fetched plots and silly concepts and, accordingly, they normally didn’t take themselves as seriously as the embarrassingly pretentious wankers who write most of the movies we see these days do. Even in their moments of seriousness, 80s movies manage to avoid seeming pretentious and still come off as silly entertainment for the most part. That’s why I watch movies, to be entertained. I don’t have time to sit around watching melodramatic nonsense written by some asshole in Silver Lake who thinks he’s had some emotion that’s so unique and important that he has to try to drag me down into his maudlin little world. If I’m getting on board with a screenwriter’s feelings, they have to be feelings I want to have, like righteous rebelliousness, mirth, or the general silliness produced by being involved in hijinks of some kind or another.
The Legend (I’m so into it I’ve given it a shortened title) does all of that for me. The movie starts out when some swaggering dickfore trashes Binx’s (played by Christian Slater) moped (!), and his sister Billie Jean goes to see the dude’s father, Pyatt, in hopes of getting him to pay for the damages, which would only be fair. Pyatt, played by the villainously mustachioed Richard Bradford, opts to forgo paying Billie Jean and instead decides to try to rape her. Billie Jean and Binx ain’t having none of that, though, and Binx shoots the old man in the arm and the pair tear off, amassing a gang of youthful pals and heading off into the sunset with them to live as outlaws until this iniquitous motherfucker decides to fork over the dough for Binx’s moped (!), which would only be fair. The rest of the movie revolves around the gang’s attempts to live on the lam without breaking the law, Billie Jean’s transformation into an idol for maltreated youngsters across the nation, and the judicious pairing of scenes of rebellious youths not taking any shit from authority figures with snippets of Pat Benatar’s “Invincible.”
Billie Jean starts off the movie a sweet young blond girl with a sense of right and wrong, but by the end she’s become a freedom fighter, as evidenced by her donning what looks like a wetsuit top, an angry haircut, and one ridiculously long earring. She has let go of her innocence and naivety and adopted a harder stance with regard to the injustices perpetrated against the impuissant by the likes of Pyatt and his dastardly son. Accordingly, she makes a video for distribution to media outlets in which she rails against the arrogance of men like Pyatt and pumps her fist in the air, yelling, “Fair is fair!” It’s almost impossible to watch because it’s so ridiculous and embarrassing, but that’s what makes it entertaining.
But it’s not just the awesomely awkward over-the-top depiction of 1985 teen angst that attracts me to The Legend; it’s also the feminist undertones in the story. Billie Jean doesn’t let herself become a victim, but instead takes charge of a situation in which the authorities have left her with no protection. She also doesn’t step back and allow some male character to defend her honor, but instead takes Pyatt on herself, all while also acting as the leader and protector of her entire gang of young brigands. It’s an awesome tale of female strength and resourcefulness. The entire movie revolves around badass women and thus offered young girls in the 1980s role models that differed wildly from Barbie. The movie even touched on the subject of menstruation, when one of Billie Jean’s gang, Putter (Yeardly Smith, who now does Lisa Simpson’s voice), has her first period while the gang is on the run. Binx makes fun of her and Billie Jean shuts him right up, telling him that menstruation is wondrous and beautiful. With a cast of characters who nearly all defy traditional gender roles and with a soundtrack dominated by Pat Benatar and Wendy O. Williams, The Legend of Billie Jean may just be one of the top feminist movies of the 80s. I say you watch it, think about how it compares to the depictions of teen girls in today’s movies, and ask yourself whether we’ve moved forward or backward.
I can’t even believe I’m writing about this shit. Actually, fuck that; I can’t believe someone came up with this. I thought I had heard everything when I found out about people cutting up and rearranging their vaginas (AKA labiaplasty), but now I’ve really reached a “holy shit, the world is going to end” moment.
Apparently, with the rise in the popularity of anal sex among today’s youth and the exploding popularity of anal porn (regular sex just isn’t sexy enough, man), the world has become increasingly aware of a serious problem that, luckily, chemicals can solve for us: the inappropriately-hued butthole. I’m picturing all sorts of scenarios in which this affront to aesthetics could come to light, and none of them are cute. They all revolve around a scenario in which a woman has been talked into “doing anal” despite her reservations about it, only to have the persuader stop and say, “Dear god, how can I be expected to do this thing that I made such a big deal out of getting you to do when your butthole isn’t even the right shade of pink?”
I know, that was gross. But don’t get mad at me. I’m not the one who has brought us to the point where men are demanding that women “do anal” and women are expected to not only acquiesce — whether it’s something they enjoy or not — but also to make sure their buttholes are the right shade of pink for the event, applying toxic chemicals to achieve that shade if necessary. I’m pretty sure this means that pornographers now completely control our minds. Otherwise there’s no fucking way a woman could go into a salon and say, “While I’m here having my pubes ripped out by the roots, could you please go ahead and apply some chemicals to my butthole?” The fucking ARROGANCE of these motherfuckers expecting women to not only let their bodies be used like objects, but to endanger their own health to make the experience more aesthetically pleasing to the person doing the using makes me so fucking angry that I want to start a nu metal band or something (OK, I can’t get that angry).
I don’t mean to beat a dead horse or anything, but the fact that this procedure exists should make it clear to everyone in the world that a) women in this godforsaken country of porn-crazed idiots are seen as nothing but sex objects, that b) our idea of what it means to be a woman is so distorted and warped that most men are now no longer attracted to women but rather to cartoonish facsimiles of women, and that c) a large proportion of the women in the world are completely brainwashed, because they just keep on accepting these new “beauty” and “grooming” requirements in the quest for male approval, basing their self-worth on whether men want to use them, which is just where these assholes want us.
I’m moving to Papua New Guinea.
I was in the shower listening to Air America the other day when I heard an ad that described the process by which photos are spread around the internet. It, like nearly every Ad Council project, was a seriously misguided and ham-fisted attempt at directing the behavior of teenagers who couldn’t give less of a fuck what the federal government thinks they ought to be doing with their weed or their digital cameras. The ad went on a progression from “here is one of your classmates downloading your racy spring break photo,” to “here is some asshole writing dirty comments about it,” to “here is your dad seeing it.” The whole ad was aimed at convincing girls not to post saucy photos of themselves on MySpace or Facebook. You know, because the problem in this scenario is the fact that the girl posted the photos on her homepage, not that her privacy has been violated or that she has been sexually harassed.
The ad doesn’t say anything like, “Hey, asshole, don’t write gross shit about people’s photos on the internet.” Or, “Hey, fuck face, don’t spread around photos that aren’t your business to spread around.” Or, “Hey, missy, don’t let people take pictures of you without your clothes on. People who want to take or see naked pictures of you aren’t your friends, but rather are assholes who see women only as sexualized body parts.” Or, “If your photo gets passed around without your permission, you should get pissed and do something about it, like make a big deal out of how women and girls are being sexualized against their will and being openly sexually harassed online, then write a blog about it, write your senator about it, etc.”
Instead, the message is, “The problem here isn’t that our culture treats women and girls like masturbatory tools, it’s that men can’t help themselves. They just have to degrade any female they can get a picture of, so it’s women’s responsibility to save these men from themselves by curtailing their own freedoms. You girls, if you should find yourselves victimized in such a way, ought to feel nothing but shame. Oh, and one more thing, your father owns your body until you get married, at which time the deed will be transferred to your husband. If he sees that his ownership has been compromised, he’ll be really, really disappointed in you. That’ll be all.”
I suppose the fact that the Ad Council has missed the point isn’t a huge shock, what with the horrendously misguided “kid smokes weed and thus shoots self in face” or “kid smokes weed and then kills small girl on bike” ads that became complete jokes within moments of airing (and make even Reefer Madness look like a realistic depiction of the ills of pot smoking), but I’m unhappy to be confronted yet again with our society’s (and our government’s) tendency to blame women for the fact that our culture allows them to be routinely abused in such a manner.