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December 28, 2010

Comments

Darla Gaylor

Spot on, Priya!

Melissa May

"A little word, woman to woman: if you want those boys to stop treating you like a toy then take the tassles off; perhaps put a shirt on, and say something interesting."

This is exactly what I've wanted to say to every girl and woman I see demanding to be taken seriously and then doing every thing in their power to undermine their status as a woman worth listening to. It's self-sabotage at it's worst.

Thanks Priya for this honest and bold post. I second Darla: Spot on!

Jean

Here's a story about a Finnish pop star who decided to go the opposite direction.

She says: “I found that out for myself when I woke up and realized that immodesty made me a very sad girl. I wrote this song so that I could talk about this issue openly and hopefully help others avoid making the same mistakes I made. I used to think I enjoyed the attention that you get when you're dressed in revealing clothes, but, like I say in my song, it did not fill up the hole I had inside of me," she said. "I wasn't really looking for that kind of attention, I was looking for love."

Priya Logan

Thanks for that comment Jean, it's refreshing to hear an alternative experience. This goes against the insane onslaught of propoganda trying to make us believe in this one way to fulfillment.

Maybe this sort of thing would be a statement in the sixties; seventies, but now ? Who are they kidding?

I am quite tired of people like Sarah Jessica Parker, whispering to interviewers in apologetic tones about how she doesn't really rave loudly about her sex life over lattes, and Jessica Alba, talking in an embarrassed tone about how she is not really comfortable being a femme fatale in real life even though she does portray them on screen. Why all the shame ladies ?

Koni

This post was great.

I read a book called Female Chauvinist Pigs and the points you bring up are discussed in this book. Women treat women badly because they can. it doesn't make sense to me. Like "Isn't great we can do all these terrible things to ourselves and one another and no one will care or try to help us because feminists fought so hard for the right to vote" or some other off logic.

I guess its silly to me to think its a good thing to take on the negative qualities of men in the name of equality.

Jean

Oh, Priya, I KNOW! It is so old and tired. There is no more envelope to be pushed, and no shock value left in being 'bad.' Lady Gaga is having to resort to meat dresses, that's how hard she has to try, and no one is even surprised. She should try wearing *sleeves*, that would shock 'em! :D

Barbara C.

Amen!!

Koni

i could see the headlines - Lady gaga in ... Pantsuit!

Shanna

Koni and Jean, she did it already. Gaga rocked a suit and tie in her video appeal to congress on repealing DADT.

I kinda take offense to the line "if you want those boys to stop treating you like a toy then take the tassles off; perhaps put a shirt on, and say something interesting." If anything, maybe Christina should look for a man who doesn't find a woman in tassels to be a "toy". I mean, I get the idea that dressing and presenting yourself as sexually available for the sake of attention is troubling/detrimental, especially for teenagers (one should dress for themselves, not others) ; but I hate the idea dressing in such a way is automatically for the sake of attention. And I especially am not cool with the idea that it's understandable/expected for "boys" to treat more sexually forward women as such. I hope as a society we can move towards a time when women putting their sexuality forward is neither expected nor stigmatized.

Emily

I disagree with Shanna. Is it fair to expect men to treat women with respect when the
women are not treating the men with respect? No, shaking your tassels at the general male public is not expressing your sexuality--it's appealing to the lowest common denominator.

Shanna

Ah, but is it expected that women should treat all men with respect?

Priya Logan

Shanna,

I don't think mistreatment is ever understandable or condonable but being publicly sexual is by its very definition being indiscriminately sexual. I also feel that female performers constantly upping their raunchiness is just as invasive as harassment when it blankets the media the way it currently does. I also do not believe that we should walk around shrouded in shame hiding our attractiveness and I agree we should dress for ourselves, but what does that mean ultimately ? It's about honest intentions.

Heather Joy

Amen, Priya... Amen!
I couldn't have said it better than you did in this letter to Christina.
What's worse, is some Christians have also stooped to such degrading levels of dress and conduct simply to "make their point." God help us.
God bless,
~ Heather Joy

Priya Logan

I'd like to add that no matter how respectably you act and dress etcetera there will be people out there who will not respect you and will try to demean you and treat you like an object. My point is: why pander to these expectations ?

We all know that stealing is wrong and people shouldn't do it (for instance) but which one of us does not take the precaution of keeping credit card details under wraps because we don't blindly let that kind of information get into the wrong hands. Our sexuality is more personal, precious and sacred than anything and it is being systematically relegated right down to an exploitable party trick.

Boyd

Modesty says as much about a person's respect for others as it reveals respect for self.

JS

if you want those boys to stop treating you like a toy then take the tassles off

Ah the classic "but look what she was wearing/she was asking for it" argument. Nice to see that one never dies.

Erin

"Ah the classic "but look what she was wearing/she was asking for it" argument. Nice to see that one never dies."

Well, I suppose defining our premises would be helpful here, so I'll give it a shot:

1. It never acceptable for any person to treat any other person like a toy. That is a violation of the dignity of the human person.

2. We live in a culture where both men and women in various capacities actively encourage men to treat women like toys.

3. In order to reverse this trend, someone needs to start the process. Men can do this by not treating women like toys. Women can do this by not dressing or otherwise presenting themselves as toys.

I hope I have not reworked Priya's original argument too much, but that's my interpretation/perspective.

Darla Gaylor

Not asking for it, JS, but making herself an object worth no greater value than her sexuality.

Melissa May

JS...I'm certain that it wasn't Priya's intent to imply that deviant, criminal behavior on the part of men is ever excusable, especially if the woman was dressed like she was "asking for it". You're making quite a leap there.
Acknowledging that men have a hard time taking a woman in tassels seriously is a far cry from defending rape.
While it's true that a sick and twisted individual may use rape to control and dominate another, it is the assailant who's responsible for his actions. The victim is not to blame.
On the other hand, when a woman knowingly exploits her sexuality to gain control over her audience, propelling herself to higher positions of status, wealth and power, it's not really fair to blame her audience for not taking her seriously when she tires of playing the boy-toy game.
Both men and women are capable of using sexuality to control and manipulate the opposite sex.
When I read this post, it seems to me the author is simply trying to make the point that Miss Aguilera needs to take responsibility for the negative consequences of the image she's marketed and gained from all these years.
No defense of criminal behavior here, as far as I can see.

Priya Logan

Thanks for all your comments!

Well JS if by "asking for it" you mean asking to be seen in a certain way then I most certainly do think that by choosing how dress we ask for that. If we didn't there would be no such thing as fashion. We would just wear government issue uniforms as it is depicted in futuristic sci fi.
I definitely do not believe that clothing has an effect on your likelihood to be the victim of a rapist I think this is a whole separate issue.

I sincerely hope that the boppingly snarly lyrics of "I Hate Boys" are not intended to address the devastating effect of rape.


Robin Goodfellow

@Heather Joy,

Well gosh. I plum darn didn't know that values only belonged to Christians. I guess that should explain this smarmy response, eh?

Ghandi has a funny quote about Christianity:

"I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."

And this is true here too, considering I've heard he hung out with prostitutes, and didn't self-righteously condemn them, unlike some people like to do in the name of "Christ".

(I haven't read the Bible, but how often does the word "humility" come up?)

But I digress.

@Erin

There are tons of guys who respect women, but given the attitude that it should simply be expected gives of a princessy "Well of _course_ that's how he should act" reaction from women that guys are doing their best for. The worse part is both modest, and immodest women share this attitude. Guy's will go for the women that will treat them the least like masochistic tools, and so far it's women who are immodest (but only when it's just a little) and so don't vilify mens' libidos, who will win out.

Mayubelle

What a wonderful article Priya. As some of the other commentators have stated, it is spot on and truly bold when placed against the sexual mores espoused by our popular culture.

"You say you stand for female empowerment yet it seems to me that the base desires of the most voyeristic side of male nature are actually directly catered to and encouraged by your up-on stage style of exhibitionistic sexuality. Your "empowerment" is their entertainment."

Very well articulated Priya, you've exposed the false nature of such arguments, which prescribe vulgar exhibitionism as a means to attain some perverse conception of "empowerment". Lady Gaga's mainstream appeal is indeed disturbing. The thoughts you've expressed have been at the back of my mind for a long time, but you articulated them so lucidly and effectively. Looking forward to more such bold and thought provoking articles from you.

Also, I would just like to ask the moderators, if you want to contribute articles to this blog how do you go about it?
Thanks

Mayubelle

M

Do you know what Lady Gaga symbolises to teens?
To us, we see her as someone inventing something new and not being afraid of being ridiculous. She's not afraid. She worked her way to where she is, and we admire it.
Sure, she's made some bad choices. The meat dress especially. But how, may I ask, does she have necrophiliac tendencies?

jubilee

uugggghhh--I'm sooo glad I wasn't a MOUSEKEETEER--it seems like they ALL GET EXPLOITED IN THE WORST WAY --disney wouldn't have been proud--avalon and funicello werent like TIMBERLAKE and his filth, etc.

TrudyEngland

Set your life time easier take the mortgage loans and all you need.

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