This post was inspired by something I read on Girl’s Globe, also here on WordPress, http://girlsglobe.org/2014/10/28/why-you-should-care-about-gamergate/ which focuses on the promotion of violence against women in the media. You should give it a read, it’s a good post. Anyhow these are my thoughts on the topic. This is most likely going to turn into one of those random rambling posts. Enjoy 🙂
There have been many sarcastic videos or blog posts on how the Disney classics influence young girl to make it their sole goal in life to find a husband. Even Mulan won an entire war with the result of finding a handsome husband. So, we all know that those films aren’t exactly realistic.
What I find a little more unsettling are reality TV shows like “The bachelor” or “Catch the millionaire”, which might be a purely German TV programme. It would surprise me as German television networks have the tendency to just copy anything that was ever successful in any other country. It’s a simple idea: Three guys, one of them is filthy rich, but only the guys know which one it is. Then there are – not sure exactly – about twenty young, beautiful women trying to impress them. Most of these women are only a few years older than me. My current title, if I anyone were to ask about my profession, is “Abiturientin”, which just means I have graduated high school or A-levels. There are many twenty year-old women on those shows with that title.
This means they don’t even have a job! It’s like a commercialised Cinderella-Tale. These are young, well-educated women with a real chance of a successful professional future, a chance to provide for themselves and the first thing they do is apply for a show that exploits them and does its best to show the world just how “bitchy” they are. They walk around in bikinis, get jealous and fight over some guy they don’t really know.
I have always wondered why someone would put themselves through something like that, especially if they have other options. I do not necessarily judge them by what they do on these shows since I know that most of it is manipulated and simply cut together to the satisfaction of the producers.
But it simply sends the wrong message. I did not study my brains out just so I could be a worthy catch for some guy.
By the way, surely you have heard that new song on the radio: “All about that Bass” by Meghan Trainor. While it is rather catchy, there are a couple of things that really bother me about the lyrics.
So, as far as I can tell, the song is about being proud of your body, no matter how curvy you are.
If you got beauty beauty just raise ’em up
‘Cause every inch of you is perfect
From the bottom to the top
That’s fair enough and it’s good that it’s being said – or sung.
But in the chorus she comes to what I would call a disappointing twist
Yeah, my momma she told me don’t worry about your size
She says, boys they like a little more booty to hold at night
So in the end it is not unimportant what your size is because people should simply accept you the way you are or because beauty is a relative term or whatever, no, according to Ms. Tailor (or more importantly the writers), it is because boys like it when they can grab onto something.
How is that any different from altering your appearance to please men?
Another thing that bothers me about the song is that she refers to anyone who is not curvy as a “skinny bitch”. The song simply excludes the possibility that skinny girls may have trouble accepting their body as well.
Also, what does the title have to do with the rest of the song? What bass?
Meanwhile I have heard the song so many times that I cannot stand it anymore. It was promising. Until I listened more closely, that is.
It seems that as soon as there is a song remotely empowering for a woman and her body, it cannot exist without referencing what men like.
Another example is “Pretty Girl Rock” by Keri Hilson
My name is Keri, I’m so very
Fly oh my, it’s a little bit scary
Boys wanna marry, looking at my derrière
And you can stare but if you touch it Imma bury
If your looking for me you can catch me (that’s why)
Cameras flashing, daddy turned his head just as soon as I passed him
Girls think I’m conceited ’cause I know I’m attractive
Don’t worry about what I think, why don’t you ask him? (owoaah!)
I am curious, is the same thing the other way around? Do men work out to impress women or do they have other reasons too, for example, their health?
I am not going to lie. There is a sense of validation in getting attention from the opposite sex. I remember feeling rather good about myself when I made a guy trip up the stairs from the way I looked (and I wasn’t even made up), but I also remember running home from the station because I had been followed at the station in Frankfurt, feeling sick and filthy. That was the day I decided never to wear a short skirt ever again, no matter how warm it was outside.
There is a difference between showing interest in someone for their looks in general and interpreting a pair of legs as an invitation to follow them around the platform.
Back to the media: I prefer stories that end in people going separate ways. Of course there is always a sense of disappointment and a sense of something missing, being incomplete, but it’s more realistic. Often in stories, books or films, you see a relationship develop and in the end you have that big, sensational kiss or whatever, but that also sends the message that finding someone to be with is the final goal. I think it should be a step on the long road to oneself. I think that one can only really have a healthy, real relationship with someone if you have first learnt to accept yourself. I know I may be contradicting myself here if you have read my post “Why this world needs feel-good books”, but who’s perfect, right? I am realistic enough by now to know that any story that ends up in a fantastic kissing scene is the more unrealistic than “The Lord of the Rings”, but sometimes I do give myself to these 200 or more pages, just so I can feel that way again. It’s a naive feeling, which is not fulfilling nor really satisfying. It’s a glimpse of something that isn’t real and I am very much aware of it. The other day I went to see a poetry slam and as special guest they welcomed “Mike McGee”, who has won several poetry slamming competition throughout the US, I believe. He read a quite inspiring poem that you can listen to here:
This version is a little different from what I heard, but the poem is mainly the same.
Speaking from personal experience, I wouldn’t say that a book by Sophie Kinsella or whoever is a foundation for gender inequality (Shades of Grey just might be though), but it is a reflection of what is perceived as normal within our society, the same way that Manga girls and boys are not seen as sexist or women in video games.
So it’s rather easy to simply go along with it, because it is everywhere. There are not too many stories where the woman saves the man, because it still seems more appealing for women to be weak and for men to be strong.
And as previously announced, this has been a very random, rambling post.
Thank you for reading this far.