"Miss Representation" last night at school. Had mixed feelings. I had very high hopes for the movie and really wanted to enjoy it, but I found much in the film was a reinforcement of the virgin/whore dichotomy. It was bemoaning the fact that women have to dress sexy to get attention…while refusing to take women who DO that seriously, in any way. It sort of presented a good feminists vs. bad women dichotomy; either you can be hot and ditzy, or covered up and taken seriously. And if you do the former, it’s like you’re doing a disservice to all women. And yeah, that’s often how society treats women, but I expected a film coming from a feminist perspective to not fall into this classic trap. In our discussion afterwards, there were literally women saying, "Well, if another woman is dressed provocatively, I can’t pay attention to what she’s saying." Really? I, too, value professionalism in dress and self-presentation, but to dog on another woman in the name of "sisterhood" is so darned annoying.
Granted, there was a lot more in the film, and it provided a light analysis of patriarchy and capitalism and how they play into women’s objectification in the media. I also appreciated that the film acknowledged woman-on-woman crime, and how much the undermining and distrust of powerful women comes directly from other women. But if you want that to stop, you can’t have the smart feminists vs. the dumb sluts, whom you paint as agentless beings doing everything to get male attention. Is there a tremendous amount of pressure for women to be nothing but sex objects in order to get media jobs? Yes. Does that mean we need decry all scantily-clad dress and sexuality on TV? No. At least, I hope not. Women need not be sexless automatons in order to get respect. I think this mindset actually devalues women because it says that maleness or gender neutrality can be powerful, but that femininity is ultimately weak, dangerous, or destructive, aka not deserving of respect and, also, a danger to feminism.
Overall, though, I really enjoyed the film. The above is my one quibble, though it was pervasive in the film’s analytical lens. I am sick of seeing women’s bodies used to sell products or to excite men ages 18-34. But I guess I would be more okay with these gratuitous displays if we also had movies and television that featured complex female characters, or (something the movie only briefly addressed) if all the media that IS directed at women weren’t so asinine. I’m sick of only one body type being visible in the media. I’m sick of women being considered useless once they hit 35. That’s why we need more women in positions of power in the media… but ragging on other women is not the way to get there.
Who knows how to make love stay? Tell love you are going to the Junior’s Deli on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn to pick up a cheesecake, and if love stays, it can have half. It will stay.
Tell love you want a momento of it and obtain a lock of its hair. Burn the hair in a dime-store incense burner with yin/yang symbols on three sides. Face southwest. Talk fast over the burning hair in a convincingly exotic language. Remove the ashes of the burnt hair and use them to paint a mustache on your face. Find love. Tell it you are someone new. It will stay.
Wake love up in the middle of the night. Tell it the world is on fire. Dash to the bedroom window and pee out of it. Casually return to bed and assure love that everything is going to be all right. Fall asleep. Love will be there in the morning.
my mom is watching one of those shows with all the white chicks talking about grammy outfits or some shit and like, they were on nicki minaj’s outfit and of course they all hated it. which is fine, like nicki minaj gives a shit what…