Posts Tagged ‘feminist’

Cinderella

Posted: May 31, 2016 in -
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The oddest part about all of this is that it’s the little girls who go gaga for Cinderella. Boys have better things to do, like blow shit up with firecrackers.

 

 

For the Ladies

Posted: February 20, 2015 in -
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The Year of the Fighter: The Top 10 Feminist Films of 2014

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American Psycho

I’ve slogged through so much crap this week as a result of Elliot Rodger’s final act that I think I’ll upset a few and call it for what it is. The rampage has been claimed by women, of course, ranting about rape particularly.

Elliot Rodger didn’t rape anyone. There is no indication that he could even talk to a woman. He saw himself as the opposite of brutal, uncouth rapists, labeling himself repeatedly as the “ultimate gentleman.”

He was next claimed by the religious prophecy crowd, which had no trouble tying him to the gay agenda. Gay marriage and women working outside the home were clearly to blame. That Rodger was an extreme hetero, obsessed with finding a woman to the point of insanity, seems to have been edited out of this week’s sermons.

Of course the anti-gun lobby claimed him immediately, and that was obvious. This brought in the pro-gunners and so that noise blares at the usual cacophony. When white people get shot laws get enacted, and so stay tuned to see where this initiative goes.

Critics of Hollywood were quick to jump on board too. Elliot also played World of Warcraft for 14 hours per day at one point in his life. So anti-Hollywood and anti-video games, check, check.

So it was “rape culture,” Hollywood, video games, the gays, Godlessness, gun laws etc. that created Rodger. Can’t forget the mental health establishment, which failed him with non-prescription therapy. Speculation abounds that he was on anti-depressants, and so that theory spreads widely without evidence. The reporting so far suggests that Rodger refused to take drugs, and he felt he was beyond perfect as-is, as any of his many vlogs will establish.

The extreme right was typing “false flag” the evening of the spree. They discredit themselves.

I’ve seen a lot of prefabricated agenda-driven hype on Elliot Rodger, preformed ideologies that his rampage fit neatly into. The narrative that impresses me the most, the one with the most evidence and substantiation, however, is this one:

Portrait of a Psychopath: UCSB Shooter Elliot Rodger a Child of Hollywood, Privilege, Isolation

Elliot Rodger, if you listen to his words, is the closest thing we’ve had yet to American Psycho.

“I always loved luxury and opulence.”

The virgin spree-shooter, like the others, had a broken spring in his head. His drive for love, superiority, sex and acknowledgment are fairly universal themes though. Elliot was a lonely, shy person who couldn’t relate to others, and he never did figure out how to approach women. He also had a case of extreme narcissism. This victim-complex became more severe over time with each failed attempt at romance. Rodger, an American neo-Caligula, believed himself to be the most deserving of all, and it shocked him to his fibers that he was unwanted and alienated, when in fact he did everything the culture suggested would work out for him. He was a product of magazine advertisements, television and movie iconography, red carpet galas and paparazzi hysteria. He wore the right clothes, drove the right car and he bragged in exasperation that his sunglasses cost $300. So why not the expected rewards of attention, sex and love, his consumerist fairy tale? Movie actors just across the room received all that and more without even trying.

They’re kissing right now. It’s torture for me to watch, but I have to do this. I have to film this. I have to show the world why life isn’t fair. I have to show everyone why I hate the world, ’cause no girl would do this with me.”
-Elliot Rodger (My reaction to seeing a young couple at the beach, Youtube, May 23, 2014)

Elliot Rodger forces us to consider his case, because we don’t expect him. We assume someone with everything, all the luxuries, the youth, the potential, the connections, will automatically thrive in our society. He was well positioned to follow the yellow brick road into Hollywood, but he had a loose screw. Perhaps a biological problem with his brain, that coupled with his sense of superiority and entitlement made him the perfect psycho killer.

Seven cops descended upon his apartment last month, and yet none bothered to search his bedroom; they were so charmed by this “ultimate gentleman.” The story of which of his videos triggered the police alert and whether the police actually watched it remains fuzzy. Further, the particulars of his admissions at that time, and whether they clearly showed him to be a threat, are hard to piece together. Add to that a number of deleted videos from Youtube, and the picture may be getting fuzzier by the day. ‘What did the police know, and when did they know it,’ is a valid question. ‘Why didn’t they know it’ would be another. Rodger’s own mother had alerted his therapist over disturbing videos he had posted. The therapist eventually contacted police to check on him, but what exactly was said? And what wasn’t?

So love turns to hate, jealousy to rage. It’s a timeless descent, and we’ve seen this show before. Interestingly Rodger accepted a compromise, an escape plan for a while.

…if I could somehow become a multi-millionaire at a young age, then my life would instantly become better than most people my age…. That was a form of peaceful, happy revenge and it became my only hope.”

His only hope at avoiding the planned “Day of Retribution,” is what he means. Elliot seems to have been America’s son, a true believer ready to kill and die for the Consumerist Dream. He’d accept multi-millions of dollars in lieu of love and sex. That sum was easier dreamed than achieved, it turns out.

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I am not part of the human race. Humanity has rejected me… Magnificent, glorious, supreme, eminent… Divine!” (Manifesto)

Elliot Rodger began by throwing drinks at couples at coffee shops. He progressed to trying to push girls off a ledge at a party, for which he was thrown down himself and then beaten.

“A dark, hate-fueled rage overcame my entire being, and I tried to push as many of them as I could from the 10-foot ledge.”

He purchased a Supersoaker to fill with orange juice in order to attack those he felt were inferior – and that could be pretty much anyone. Perhaps he longed to fill it with his own urine, but his gentlemanly sensibilities prevailed.

In addition, I had to suffer the shame of other boys respecting me less because I didn’t get any girls. Everyone knew I was a virgin. Everyone knew how vulnerable I was to girls, and I hated everyone just for knowing it.” (Manifesto, Epilogue)

Elliot Rodger stabbed three boys to death prior to his shooting rampage. His hatred of men whom he felt were inferior is similar to his hatred of the beautiful women who had rejected him, “the stupid, degenerate obnoxious men.” Those undeserving inferiors received all the affection in Elliot’s world because women were blind to his magnificence.

They think like beasts and in turn they are beasts. Women are incapable of having morals or thinking rationally. They are completely controlled by their depraved emotions and vile sexual impulses… The most beautiful of women choose to mate with the most brutal of men, instead of magnificent gentlemen like myself.”

On the day of the rampage that loose screw finally fell right out. Whether any mental health treatment could have affected Elliot Rodger or not, we’ll never know. Whether there was enough evidence to hold him in custody, we can’t be certain. His manifesto, My Twisted World, was emailed out just prior to the spree. It would be read too late to affect the outcome.

Near the end, we find the true depth of Elliot Rodger’s psychosis…

In order to completely abolish sex, women themselves would have to be abolished. All women must be quarantined like the plague they are, so that they can be used in a manner that actually benefits a civilized society. In order to carry this out there must exist a new and powerful type of government, under the control of one divine ruler, such as myself. The ruler that establishes this new order would have complete control over every aspect of society… The first strike against women will be to quarantine all of them in concentration camps. At these camps, the vast majority of the female population will be deliberately starved to death… I would take great pleasure and satisfaction condemning every single woman on earth to starve to death… It is the only way to purify the world.”
-Elliot Rodger, infamous Isla Vista psycho killer

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The Cognitive Gibberish of “Isms”

I probably shouldn’t bother and just get back to my own work, but each morning I tend to hunt around the alternative news sites.  Today, I waded into the battle between Sinead and Miley, hoping to find something amusing instead of just debilitating, oppressive cognitive dissonance.  The problem, as usual, stems from ideologies.  Once the dreaded three characters “ism” come out then it’s all opinion dressed up as fact and theory from there on in.  It’s a battle of opinions on what the “ism” truly is, and what it allegedly represents, and the list of characters and caricatures who don’t define the ism properly because the writer defines the ism better, and the purity of the ism is what they really have in mind, blah blah, fucking blah to the nth.

You guessed it.  Today it’s “feminism.”

To call out a concept so highly charged, so packed with emotionalism as is feminism you have to be off your meds these days.  Well, I am sober, if that counts.  I don’t have any problem with equality.  That’s not the question here.

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Feminism is a pseudo-philosophy that transmogrifies every time a new writer types it out.  Its meaning is undefinable, and therefore each “sister” takes a turn bitching out a list of others and standing up for somebody.  In this case the writer is Ruth Fowler, the victim is Miley Cyrus and the evildoer is Sinead O’Connor:

What singer Sinead O’Connor said, after she was obligated to respond to one of Miley Cyrus’ recent remarks citing her own work, was:

“It is in fact the case that you will obscure your talent by allowing yourself to be pimped, whether its [sic] the music business or yourself doing the pimping.”

Sinead expresses an informed opinion about distracting the public with sex and diminishing the impact of Miley’s own music.  Sounds like a reasonable idea.  The blitz of noise surrounding Miley Cyrus recently had nothing to do with her actual music.

“Nothing but harm will come in the long run, from allowing yourself to be exploited, and it is absolutely NOT in ANY way an empowerment of yourself or any other young women, for you to send across the message that you are to be valued (even by you) more for your sexual appeal than your obvious talent.”

Not necessarily true in America, as the “harm” tends to pile up in bank accounts.  Talent is probably optional.  It is Sinead’s heartfelt opinion here that emphasizing sexual attraction over ability is a negative, and she may be completely correct on that front.  This is a larger conversation between men and women, and so how men respond to women who behave like that is quite relevant.  Like it or not impressionable young women will take cues from successful music stars and mimic them.  It isn’t all that irrational to comment on the implications.

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“None of the men ogling you give a shit about you either, do not be fooled. Many’s the woman mistook lust for love. If they want you sexually that doesn’t mean they give a fuck about you.”

That’s Sinead’s view.  She does not use the “f” word once, nor does she hide behind a tangled web of obfuscation.  The “feminism” card is supplied by Ruth Fowler, who uses it fourteen times in her response to Sinead O’Connor.

Fowler’s opinion of Sinead lacks fairness, at the least:

“…Sinead who, quite frankly, comes across as patriarchal, paternalistic, ragingly conservative and a bit of a cunt.”

Really?  Examining the implications of simulated sex on stage equals all those things?  Patriarchal?  Come on, you’ll have to provide better support than that for these accusations.

“I’m sure Amanda is just acting out of concern for Sinead’s mental health problems and severe decline after a once brilliant career…”

Sinead must be nuts to boot!

I really must be nuts too if I eventually press “Post” on this.  Fowler opened her vicious attack with an extended rant against open letters, that those who employ them should probably be sent to the camps.  I’m getting pretty darned terrified by now, but let’s look at what the hell version of “feminism” we can all disagree on … right after this line from Fowler, “…you probably deserve a kick up the vagina…”

“The problem is that Sinead’s attitude is simply regressive. There is no room in feminism for the judgment of other women based upon their attitudes towards sex and how they relate to sex sartorially, and with their bodies.”

The framing of this statement, “in feminism,” is what pops out.  These are the rules “in feminism” we are to accept.  Sounds a lot like, “shut up,” to me, only couched in an ideological shield, so that it doesn’t seem like “shut up,” when someone has disagreed about how images should really be put out there in the culture.  Sinead may get her “in feminism” card revoked, and a swift kick in the clit.

But this is all a bit over the top given Fowler’s own assessment of the Miley affair:

“I don’t like Miley’s ignorant and offensive appropriation of black culture and find her twerking rather pitiful and banal.”

I see.  It’s the “black culture” thing that matters most?  If we were to comment on black dancers pimping themselves out in rap videos, would we be allowed to do that?  Just why are there so many rules to abide by concerning sex and how we discuss it?

Fowler, insisting that her own perspectives safely fall within “feminism” can label Miley Cyrus as “pitiful and banal.”  Sinead O’Connor on the other hand becomes a patriarchal “cunt” in need of a vaginal assault if she does likewise.  Granted, Sinead’s opinion is probably more relevant and poignant, more on topic and potentially an awaking moment for Miley Cyrus (who is a fan of O’Connor).

It seems in this battle over twerking it’s 1 / nil in favor of Sinead.

Fowler continues:

“Shaming and trolling women for their choices, assuming those choices are dictated by men, is not only vicious, it perpetuates the divisions within feminism which lead young women to feel alienated from its ideals.”

Fowler just called Miley “pathetic and banal” in a previous paragraph.  There is certainly a cognitive dissonance at work here.  Her focus is that the victim in all this, the one suffering is “feminism,” not the young women who just don’t get it.  The divisions have weakened the ism, splintered it, fractured it and it suffers as a result.  This fictional collection of competing ideas loosely assembled into a set of rules has suffered, because not everyone agrees on what these rules should be.  If anything is “pathetic and banal” in this situation, this is surely it.

All isms suffer this fundamental weakness.  From communism to capitalism, a million monkeys bang out a million volumes telling us what the pure ism should look like and how their competitors have failed in their understandings of the one true ism.  Feminism is no different, another greenhouse gas.  To contort real people and their varied experiences into your ism of choice you must, by necessity, rail against the apostates and infidels.

I wouldn’t disparage Ruth Fowler for her opinions, but her grandiose assumptions are a bit much.  When the ism reigns supreme over the human beings, we have a problem.  Clinging to isms is what divides us, all of us, into little armed camps ready to kick one another in the pubes.  The ideological conditioning itself is the problem.  All ideologies have fundamental weaknesses, and using an ideology as your authority on real world events distorts the discussion, derails the train of reason.  This applies to pretty much all ideological blinkers.  To see things in terms of the dogma one must avoid the uncomfortable refutations.

“This new era of feminism is heading into shaky ground though, if it allows Sinead O’Connor to posit herself as a role model for female empowerment…”

Pass the Kool Aid.  Jesus.  So there’s this thing, “feminism,” and it has some authority on what it allows women to say?  So, in essence, the rule book (on Fowler’s laptop, almost completed) has authority here.  For Sinead to just type out her opinion and call it that is a code violation of sorts.

“…thus making herself the gatekeeper of who is or isn’t a suitable candidate to be a feminist.”

Pot, kettle, blacker than black: score Sinead 2 / Fowler zip.  Plus Sinead didn’t use the word “feminist” in her entire response.  She didn’t pretend to have an ideology worked out, just her own experiences in the music industry for decades.  Sinead didn’t say anything about “suitable candidate(s),” but did offer a warning about sexual exploitation.

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It’s possible that Fowler doesn’t accept the concept of sexual exploitation, and this is simply an area of disagreement.  As long as there is personal choice involved, anything goes.  That seems to be the point of contention here.  Fowler then brings the issue around the bend, in an unusual phrasing:

“…women out there, in the big wide world, are being raped, beaten, attacked, humiliated and exploited. These are women who were not born with Miley’s silver spoon in their mouth.”

How is that a valid response to what Sinead said?  It is the regular women who take cues from these sexualized pop stars that are of concern to O’Connor:

“Yes, I’m suggesting you don’t care for yourself. That has to change. You ought be protected as a precious young lady by anyone in your employ and anyone around you, including you. This is a dangerous world. We don’t encourage our daughters to walk around naked in it because it makes them prey for animals and less than animals … I’ve been in the business long enough to know that men are making more money than you are from you getting naked.  Its [sic] really not at all cool. And its [sic] sending dangerous signals to other young women.”

The two seem to be somewhere near the same page, so then why the hostility?  This is a dialogue between women, but also between men and women.  Communications theory takes all the unstated, indirect cues into consideration.  We communicate through body language, dress and style long before we open our mouths.  To take account of this communication, to better understand it and to use it can only be a positive development.  When girls communicate slutty images, when they deliberately dress like prostitutes, what is communicated to the men who see them?

Fowler ends her rant:

“These are women who are not wasting their lives judging other women, but probably waiting for a chance to escape, hoping that their feminist “sisters” might pay them a bit of attention, show them some solidarity, instead of squabbling over Miley Cyrus and her tongue.”

The isms throw all rational trains of thought into the bog.  For starters Ruth Fowler herself is “squabbling” at length about the Miley incident (score 3/0).  But this attacking style of hers just has to accuse O’Connor of “wasting” her life “judging other women,” something Fowler does here as well (already scored).  But the weirdest thing is this line about the “feminist sisters” who don’t pay regular women enough “solidarity?”  What is this supposed to even mean, and in what way is that a valid retort to Sinead O’Connor’s letter?

 

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Okay, Indiewire calls it a “hilarious, sincere and boldly feminist comedy.”

And the trailer looks promising.

I don’t always trust Indiewire anymore, having been burned too many times.  But this reviewer, Beth Hanna, doesn’t ring any bells.  Yeah I’ll probably go see it.

Indiewire’s praises for Holy Motors and Spring Breakers, for example, were misleading.  Both films were poorly done, and Holy Motors seems to have contempt for the brains of its viewers.  It’s fundamentally against making any sort of sense.   Is that supposed to be a good thing now?

Anyway, here’s the trailer for In a World.