— Brintnall, Kent L.; Tarantino’s incarnational theology: Reservoir Dogs, crucifixions and spectacular violence (via ramsayosbolton)
“Asians have long been serving roles of comedic relief in Western productions, and this is exactly the stereotypical image of Asians that provided the proper circumstance for Psy to shoot into super stardom, even if temporary. Western audiences have long been conditioned to see Asian males as sexless, undesirable funnymen, and so when Psy comes along — someone who’s not trying to push for his sexual dominance, someone who fits exactly into the bill of the funnyman — it’s easy for him to be accepted into the mainstream. This is not to say that Psy’s song or his prowess as a performer are not worth their weight in gold, because “Gangnam Style” is an unbelievably great pop song and Psy is a master performer. But it’s also a reality that most of the Western audiences who have never heard of K-pop, who don’t understand Korean, who don’t know anything about Asian music don’t really care about what the song means, where “Gangnam” is, or what’s Psy’s back story is.” Read more here.
Those white people in the audience were being straight-up racist assholes. They don’t deserve an apology for being called out. Anyway, after you read about the incident at Tiger JK’s concert, read this insightful piece about the quiet racism behind Psy’s success in the west. It’s not a coincidence that the one KPop star who broke big in the west is a chubby, non-threatening clown.
OK, here’s an example of a discussion of femininity, gender, and feminism that goes beyond the usual, “are feminists allowed to shave their legs?” conversations:
When I was a freshman in high school, I and my friends were Cool Chicks.
We weren’t like those other girls, […] We liked fantasy novels and action movies and anime! We laughed at “that’s what she said” jokes and “make me a sandwich” humor and South Park quotes! We fake-fought with each other and laughed off pain and never cried! We were just like the guys in every way!
Around this time, I was also beginning to really get into feminism. I was proud of myself. I defied convention and gender roles. My adoption of male gender norms wholesale was truly a feminist act. After all, all the stuff girls did was stupid, and the stuff boys did was fun, and– …hey, wait a minute.
Julia Serano, in Whipping Girl […] discusses the concept of “femmephobia” in our society. Femmephobia is the devaluation, fear and hatred of the feminine: of softness, nurturance, dependence, emotions, passivity, sensitivity, grace, innocence and the color pink.
To a large degree, our culture has replaced the fear and hatred of women, with the fear and hatred of things commonly associated with women. I think this is… not so much progress, actually.
To see femmephobia in our society, it’s only necessary to look at the differences between how we treat masculine girls and feminine boys. A masculine girl is a “tomboy,” likely to be approved of by her parents; there are many programs to encourage girls in sports and in the sciences, stereotypically male fields. A feminine boy is a “sissy,” likely to be bullied by other boys and by girls; there are no programs to encourage boys in dance and in the humanities, stereotypically female fields.
The thing is, as a (female) feminist, you get screwed no matter what you do. If you reject traditional gender performance, then you can be accused of being anti-woman. If you defend traditional gender performance, then you can be accused of being anti-feminist.
That’s why conversations about gender norms and feminism have to be extra thoughtful—there are landmines on either side of the debate if your discussion lacks nuance and if it focuses on you vs. ‘the feminists’.
Please, please tell me I don’t get feminism.
Tell me that what we perceive as femininity is inherently unnatural and was created merely to support the patriarchy.
I know some of you are dying to.
I know that some of you will ignore the androcentric bullshit that masculine = natural, whereas feminine = performance.
I know you’ll tell me that unless I free myself from the shackles of patriarchal mandated beauty standards I’m not a good feminist all while you reblog images of attractive people with hair that they bleach and dye on a bimonthly basis. Because that’s natural, right?
Here’s the thing - shaving your legs isn’t natural. But neither is living in a house, nor the Internet. And just like the Internet, shaving your legs doesn’t have a moral component one way or the other. How we as a culture reacts to shaved legs matters.
I’m a feminist who’s had plastic surgery (breast reduction, done partly because of neck pains but the driving force for it was that I wasn’t pleased with how it looked). I’m a feminist who wears heels around a snowy, icy, hilly college campus. I’m a feminist who dyes her hair on a bimonthly basis. I’m unnatural.
I believe that femininity is just as valid as masculinity. It’s just as natural, it’s just as performed.
Don’t tell me I’m unenlightened because I choose things that the patriarchy tells me I should.
There is nothing wrong with embracing femininity as long as you understand that, like masculinity, it’s a construct, and that other people do not have to embrace it to be valid as women or men. But the reverse is also true. People who embrace femininity and masculinity are no less valid as people or as allies in feminism or any other movement.
Pretty much what Regazza said.
I’ll add that I’m getting really tired of these “am I allowed to be a feminist?” blog posts and articles floating around online. Nearly all of them, OP’s included, are jousting against a straw-woman feminism. It has been decades since radical feminism has dominated feminism (if it ever has…).
Look, I do not know the OP and am perhaps being unfair to her since I don’t follow her blog (she may be talking to a particular person or group). But I’m starting to think these kind of posts/articles can end up reinforcing the already widespread notion that feminists want to neuter or masculinize women. Which, if you think about it, means feminists are, in a way, anti-woman (since the majority of women still present as traditionally femme). Which is all kinds of fucked up.
I mean, it’s quite a neat, patriarchal trick to make feminists out to be inherently against the interests of women, isn’t it?
NB: These are just some thoughts I’ve been having recently. I used to think like the OP when I first started engaging seriously with feminism, which is why I tagged this post (perhaps/probably condescendingly) #beyond feminism 101
“Though women greatly preferred a non-aggressive response to an aggressive one, men thought that women would prefer an aggressive response,” the researchers write. “There was a dramatic gap between men’s guesses about the views of women and women’s actual views.”
“Though women greatly preferred a non-aggressive response to an aggressive one, men thought that women would prefer an aggressive response,” the researchers write. “There was a dramatic gap between men’s guesses about the views of women and women’s actual views.”“Though women greatly preferred a non-aggressive response to an aggressive one, men thought that women would prefer an aggressive response,” the researchers write. “There was a dramatic gap between men’s guesses about the views of women and women’s actual views.”
they talk about other stuff too - how they think other dudes will perceive things, what they would want to do vs. what they think other dudes - but:
I blame the media. Mainstream movies, TV, magazines, etc. all tend to suggest that a) what women say and what we mean are entirely different b) women prefer stereotypically macho men and despise femme (or gentle, nerdy, passive, etc. etc.) men.
Gotta confess that I find these kind of studies to be fairly useless (spare me arguments about funding, research restrictions, the general unenlightenment of the culture at large, etc.). They don’t really tell anyone who’s been paying attention anything new.
Just from observation, it’s clear that men worry the most about what other men think. They’ve been taught that women’s opinions are worthless (e.g. rape culture), so of course they think we prefer macho to ‘sissy’, despite whatever we might actually say or do.
Yet researchers keep conducting these kind of studies and we keep being shocked (shocked!) by the results.
Part of the problem, however, with this notion of performing masculinity is the mistaken idea that in order for something to be genuinely manly it must be something women don’t do. And as women have been successful in moving into once all-male bastions, some men have felt the pressure to go to ever more violent and more extreme lengths to “play at manhood.” […]
But men who long for a vanished world of all-male preserves are making a fundamental mistake about masculinity. They think that the opposite of “man” is “woman” and that in order to prove oneself the former they must do (perform) things that no woman can. But it makes good sense to suggest that the better antonym of “man” is “boy.” To “perform masculinity” isn’t about doing what women don’t. It’s about doing what boys lack the will or the maturity to do.
So often, when someone makes a list of manly virtues (like courage, forthrightness, dependability, persistence), someone else rightly points out that women can also display all of these. That leaves many men floundering, wondering […] what, if anything is uniquely good about masculinity? But the point is that performing manhood isn’t about differentiating oneself from what is female; after all, that’s a biological distinction that’s already in place. Rather, performing manhood is about deliberately choosing to do those things that are fundamentally adult rather than puerile.
A good and useful distinction that relies on the Butlerian point that gender is something we perform, not who or what we are. Being a man doesn’t have to involve rejecting femininity or being a misogynist; being a man is about being an adult.
The world would be a better place if more men (and women) understood this.
I think the ‘women are required to do femininity and simultaneously punished for it’ bit sums up 90% of sexism in one sentence.
What do Roger Huerta, Chuck Liddell, Chris Leben and Dave Navarro have in common? They are all alpha males and they all adorn their nails with war paint. Why? Why not! For the fighter or the guitar picker, any normal nail polish will add natural strength to the nail and prevent chipping and cracking. But it is more than that. It is a statement… a proclamation of the inner attitude of the alpha. It is about having the confidence that says ‘I am my own man, and will decide the rules for how I live my life according to how I see fit.
Designed specifically for men, Alpha Nail is technologically and biologically superior to anything on the market. Formulated with both Citral and Ginseng to strengthen and invigorate the nails down to the beds, our formula keeps nails harder and healthier. Ask Roger Huerta. He has put AlphaNail to the test for hundreds of battles in the toughest weeks of training camp.
There’s never been a better time to grow into manhood, but not everyone thinks so. NEWSWEEK recently reported on the plight of the “Beached White Male.” “Man down!” they’re crying—and insisting we’d better man up. It got me thinking about what it means to be a man.
My dad, like so many men of his generation, could tell his wife what to do. He could tell his staff. And his boss could tell him. You and I need a more nimble strength. For example, you will have to stand up to your woman. You will honor her when you treat her as an equal, neither unduly backing down nor asking her to give up her principles and experience. You won’t have clear social roles to inherit. Instead, you’ll have to talk, negotiate, sacrifice, and make it up as you go along. A modern warrior prevails not by sheer physical strength but by exercising his values with discipline.
As a modern man, you’ll learn way more than if you were large and in charge. It used to be a man’s world (and, in some measure, it still is). If you lead like Mom, you’ll know how to persevere. You need not fear strong women, or dismiss gentle men. And if you so choose, you’ll be a great stay-at-home or lead parent, giving and receiving incredible lessons and profound joy. Either way, it’s a great time to be a man.
(By the way, it’s absolutely ludicrous how the culture expects us to sympathize with the oppressor now that he doesn’t rule the world as absolutely as he did before. Here I am, playing the world’s smallest violin.)
What makes you feel masculine? That’s the question photographer Chad States asked the subjects—male and female—of his recent series of portraits. The answers he received are revealing—in more ways than one.
Warning: Not all images are SFW.
Hey, anyone who’s ever taken a (co-ed) philosophy class as an undergrad must check out the last picture (NSFW due to pale, jerkwad weenus). It is a cartoonishly apt depiction of a rather common type of male philosophy student:
"I am masculine because I abandon women after taking their love. Because when you study Freud you don’t let him study you. Because I study philosophy not literature." —Luke