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"Feminine Mystique"

Women are both the most confusing and most confused creatures on the planet. You know it, I know it, men know it, and women know it. Yet we continue the charades and gender games and -ist movements anyway.

What am I talking about? Well, what the fuck is going on with women these days? It's crazy. Okay, let me parse this out...slow down...

So I'm watching the televised barometer for pop culture, MTV, and they're re-airing for the millionth time both the hoochie special and the Eminem special.

Basically the first one goes like this: the media and a handful of activists and feminists are expressing disdain for the excessive sexuality displayed in music videos, from both the men (rap) and the hoochie mamas backing their thangs up in the videos to the stripping of barely legal Aguilera and Spears.

So every rap video contains tons of curvy sexy chicks in skimpy clothing shaking their asses in the camera. The rappers give no apologies for this behavior. It doesn't hurt the album sales or popularity at all. The rappers like and know their fans like hot women acting like sex objects.

And every Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears video features them wriggling around as if they're screwing someone while singing about what girls want and how they want their perfect man back or whatever. Then there's interviews where Aguilera and Spears repeat two thousand times how they're only doing this because they want to be themselves. They want to be role models for girls to look up to, about how girls have the power to do anything if they be themselves.

Are we buying this shit? Not to defend the guys here (because at the very core of the gender war, I only believe in my attraction towards women, and the stupidity of people in general, no matter which gender), but at least the rappers are honest about what they're doing. It's blatantly chauvenistic and perhaps degrading towards women, but it's acting out the guy fantasy. Bling bling fast cars, sexy women, lots of money, and parking lot pimping.

Then you have the women who are like Spears and Aguilera. They excuse their actions under the guise of individuality and expression. Spears says she dressed up half-naked on the MTV award show because she likes sparkly things. Sparkly things thrusting against the floor in front of a few trillion people.

And the lyrics, like the boy bands, always talk about loyalty and honesty and true love and all that, when the videos never have anything to do with it, full of decadent locations and rooms, scantily clad men and women, lots of touching, etc.

And let me interject that I'm not against women showing off their bodies by any means, nor am I Mr. Sensitive Male or Mr. Feminist or any of that. If you're a guy, you'd almost have to be crazy to not have enjoyed watching Spears' performance at the MTV awards, but I am also bothered when people are being hypocritical or dishonest. Again, at least the rappers' lyrics match their videos. They won't put lyrics about fluffy bunnies hopping through a meadow to a video of bouncing tits with water pouring all over them.

To top it all off, the brats^H^H^Hgirls claim inspiration from Madonna, since they supposedly grew up listening to her.

Which is a huge huge disservice to Madonna, arguably one of the most successful women ever. Madonna, unlike the teenie girls, lives up to what she actually says. She claims she wants to show that women can be intelligent and not be afraid of their sexuality. Her whole thing is that she knows she's sexy, and she thinks it's a huge advantage for women, and she's proud of it, and makes no lies up about it. At the same time, she is creative, intelligent, and unique. She's gone from teenie clothing to a book of nudity to cone bras to Evita (okay okay so I heard it was bad!) to having her own record label and promoting new acts, to electronic music to dressing up in cowboy clothing and featuring cowboys in her videos. How many people could pull this off? How many artists get smarter AND sexier as they get older? How many of those are women? She keeps up with the times as a businesswoman and artist, and looks great in tight clothing. At age 42.

Madonna I think is a wonderful role model for women. I know people will disagree with me violently, but after watching her develop over the years, and after a conversation with my ex (a huge Madonna supporter), I stand by this one.

So it pisses me off that these girls now are blatantly lying. I have no problem with them dressing sexy, as they look hot, but drop the lies about not trying to get attention, or about being regular girls. Drop the whole routine about wanting a nice guy.

And then we have movies like "What Women Want", which was a funny movie, and came to the same conclusion I stated at the beginning, that women don't often know what they want, and that's why they're confusing. All the indecision inside the feminine mindset (keep in mind I speak generally, not specifically) leads to a lot of problems. If women don't know what they want all the time, of course they're going to betray and blackmail and seduce and fall prey and all that, and then change their minds completely...combined with the corner women have managed to paint themselves into with ice-cold vs. easy and work vs. family and so on. Sure a history of discrimination against women has caused a lot of this, but a lot of it just comes down to human incompetence, too. Women make mistakes, men make mistakes, the problem is that most people blame it on gender or race or class or all of that, and not on general human weakness.

I guess what I'm trying to say is the pop culture arm of feminism thing bothers me. I know it's a natural reaction against decades to centuries of being repressed by men, but I just wish it were done correcting and compensating. A natural phenomenon, no doubt, and impossible to stop except by Father Time. I took some pleasure in the brief respite men had with the movies like Fight Club, which was kind of like sympathy for guys. And then you have blatantly male shows like The Man Show and the X Show and Howard Stern. Perhaps women and the men who constantly suck up to women to get on their good sides (don't you hate guys like that?) protest, but the ironic thing about these shows is that they're completely devoted to women. Men's lives revolve around the woman and what she holds. This is somehow insulting, that men don't have enough of their own to remain interested in. In general we like sports, money, cars, hunting, building, etc. To my death I think I will maintain that men are so, so easy to figure out...our motives are so simple and direct if you distilled it all to its most basic essence. But amongst all that we are inexplicably tied to the woman, whether she's the one we want to sleep with or get to know or marry or work with or be the child of or all of that. Hell, even if it's all guys, we still talk about women. And don't think gay guys don't talk about women!

And the girls, they continue to love both the rappers (Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Jay-Z) and Britney Spears and Aguilera, as defusing to feminism as people make them out to be. Make of it what you will. Personally I'm working on a theory about how puritanical roots in America have screwed up the upbringing of the American woman to the point where it's an amalgam of all sorts of different values and morals and freedoms. She's been raised to not let men take advantage of her body, very often under some degree of Christian/Catholic parenting, yet as a growing teen she finds it compelling and something her friends do. Extremely confusing, and hopefully something time will mitigate.

Maybe that's why I like foreign chicks more or that's how I justify it to myself. Because perhaps they grew up with more practical values than moralistic ones. Or maybe it's because I've become somewhat bitter towards the excessive conservatism of Christianity in America, having seen it do numerous things to people I've known in person, from a cultlike kidnapping of a daughter by her psycho mother, to a friend who doesn't do much else for fun except go to Bible study, or two families who live in predominantly white Californian neighborhoods and who under the surface are bigots.

What other conclusions can you draw from a country in which blowjobs are becoming popular among really young teens because (well, of course because oral sex is fun) they don't consider it to be sex? Do you think that outside of a religious upbringing, people would think oral sex to be perfectly okay while penetration sex is somehow special and unique?

I've met people of a lot of different types of beliefs, both men and women. And again, don't get me wrong about women: I think very poorly of men in general, and want to treat any woman I'm with with the utmost courtesy, respect, and entertainment. Not to be a good example of men, but because a deserving woman deserves it. Some women can be the sweetest creatures on the earth. And almost all my best teachers in life (Anna, Trish, my mom) are women. I just wanted to point out in this Soapbox that not all women deserve all the worshipping they demand. The only thing I think is truly important, since it's impossible for us all to have the same values and whatnot, is to be honest, and to not be deceitful about our motives... If you're a bigot, admit it, maybe you'll be better off; if you're spoiled, admit it; if you're a teenage slut, admit it. Hell, everyone knows what you're really about anyway. Few people manage to actually fool anyone.

And regarding Eminem and his lyrics, well, the shitty journalists doing anything for their next article slant were quick to bring up his wife-killing lyrics and not his Dr. Dre-killing lyrics, whatever's convenient to blame the Central Park and Woodstock rapes on, the same with daytrading and the Alltech (?) murderer, Columbine and video games, etc. You know, cuz all this is so much worse than it used to be in the days of the Sabine women and arranged marriages and the black markets underneath the pretty Medici system and the widespread war and siege that was occurring all over the world. And wouldn't you know it? Just as I was thinking about sucky journalists, I find an article talking about how the effects of technology have slowed. Not surprising at all. Would you see an article like this if the NASDAQ was doing well right now? No, journalists only write crap like this after the damage has been done. They pass off their trend-following crap as forward-looking insight. But now I'm getting into a rant on stupid journalists...so I'll stop.

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