Guest Post: Double Standards.

When Scarlett said that she would appreciate an infrequent, but regular contribution to her blog from an anti-feminist perspective, I had no idea where to start. Everybody knows that various feminists all present an enormous variety of contrary positions masquerading as undeniable truths. However, due to a happy accident, I came across some of her inspiration, and found it inspired me as well.

“If a girl is thin, she is accused of being ‘anorexic’; if her weight is higher than the cruelly restrictive ideal, she’s ‘fat’ and ‘doesn’t take care of herself’ or ‘has no self control.’ If she wears cute, trendy clothes she ‘only wants attention’ and if she wears sweats and jeans, she ‘doesn’t make an effort.’ If she’s perceived as sexually attractive, andespeciallyif she shows her own sexual side, she’s likely to be called a ‘slut.’ If her sexuality and her body are concealed, she’s a ‘prude.’ As you’ve probably figured out, the cards are stacked against you. You cannot win, at least not if you define winning as dressing and behaving in a way likely to win approval (or at least decent respect) from everyone.”

This can be found at Musings of an Inappropriate Woman, where this situation is blamed upon the masculine expression of cultural contempt for girls and women. And listen up ladies: these dirty old men, I’m sure, exist. There are lines, and they are crossed. By men. Dirty old men. Who ultimately want to have sex with you. But they’d probably be thrilled with less. Yes, it’s true, the dirty old men with no self respect operating on the fuel of hedonism are definitely horrid, even when viewed objectively rather than through the contemporary cultural lenses through which all gender issues are presently perceived.

But consider this: If a guy approaches you attempting to discern whether or not you are interested, he’s a sleaze. Doesn’t approach you: gutless. If he doesn’t hook up that night, he’s a loser amongst mates. If he does: player to the other women. If he pursues a woman that does not have the approval of others, he’s bagged out by said mates. In contrast, if she’s “too hot” for him he’s punching above his weight class and it’ll never last. If he’s a virgin, the girls will giggle and the guys guffaw. But if he goes home with too many women per week, month or year, his life is shallow according to the women and he risks going against the man-code of “bros before hos”.

So, you see, it’s not just women who are open to cultural interpretations that label them with contempt. Furthermore, as the composition of troops that hold the “battle lines” between feminism and masculism continue to conform less and less to the genders of the combatants, the criticisms on modern man begin to flow from both sides of the gender divide.

The point being? These girlsthese womenwho cannot win with how they are perceived, are not alone. In addition, why be so up in arms about the concept of a “slut” when you would use the term “man-slut” willy-nilly? If a man advances on a woman and is told no, and continues, I’ll help any feminist paint the sign that says “DOM” then hold my gun on him while she hangs it round his neck. But it seems to me that blaming the men who suffer the same conditions and lack the political correctness women enjoy when blaming the other gender deserve a voice as well. Blaming the problem on the dirty old menmany of whom may not, perhaps, be as dirty or as old as they seemis a fallacy. If they had vaginas they’d be called cougars, and that’s, like, totally cool. If you want to strike at the foundations of the problem, attack constructions of gender perception, rather than blaming people who are subject to exactly the same problem as the females in question.

And just because I want anyone who reads this to knowI paused halfway through composing this post to cook my own dinner, wash my own clothes, and iron my own shirts. Seriously.

— Andrew Frank.

Elsewhere: [Musings of an Inappropriate Woman] Guest Post: Your Body is Never the Problem—A Letter to a 16-Year-Old on Clothing, Style & Creepy Old Men.

Sh*t My Kids Ruined.

And on the “well-behaved children” note comes some results of not so well behaved children.

Our very own Picasso… meets Bed, Bath N’ Table.

Directly from the horse’s mouth: “I asked my son to bring me the iPod… in the time it took him to walk across the room, he disabled my iPod for 39 YEARS… I’ll be 79 before it unlocks.”

I wonder if this kid can draw the letters “O”, “M” and “G”?

Makes me rethink the whole four kids thing…

This, cos it’s just plain CUTE.

And this, cos it’s just plain GROSS. (“Note… diaper on floor”. Shit… literally.)

When Her Life is Better Than Mine.

From (In)Courage blog comes this little gem:

“I have a friend. She lives in an amazing home. She has well-behaved children and more than enough money for every need and want. Oh, and she’s beautiful…

“I’m never going to have a house like my friend. And no matter how much I try, I’ll never have her body (insert another cupcake here). But that’s okay. I’m not supposed to.”

Elsewhere: [(In) Courage] When Her Life is Better Than Mine.

Book Review: The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer.

 

I got over all the Twilight hoopla early on, becoming obsessed with the first movie when it came out in late 2008, then devouring the four tomes in quick succession.

While I stand by my contention that the first film was greatindie-esque and unselfconscious, before all the money started rolling in and they tried to top themselves. Bring back Catherine Hardwicke, I say!the books are so bad they could’ve been written by a grade sixer.

And that goes for The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner, too.

But at less than $15 and 178 pages, I flew through it in a few public transport sittings, and it is a must-have for fans, if only to add a hardback edition to the bookshelf’s collection of black and red spines.

The novella follows the “short second life” (duh) of 16-year-old Bree Tanner, who was a newborn vampire introduced in Eclipse, created by Riley and Victoria in their quest to overthrow the Cullens and get to Bella Swan.

In a nutshell, she falls in love with fellow newborn Diego, and they discover together that Riley has been lying to them about what Victoria created them for, amongst other things. One night when they’re hunting, they get sidetracked and stay out too late. Diego shows Bree that the sunlight won’t turn them to ashes, contrary to what Riley asserts. Enter fellow coven member, Fred, who has the ability to repel others with his mind, but chooses to befriend, or rather protect, Bree.

Then comes the action which Twilight fans will be familiar with, when Victoria and Riley lead their coven into battle against the Cullens and the werewolves, who definitely possess the element of surprise, and are devoured by them. Diego dies early on, and Fred diverts his focus to escaping the Volturi, who were liaising with Victoria in her attempt to capture Bella and who arrive after the slaughter to claim Bree’s life, as we all know from Eclipse.

A kind Carlisle Cullen offers to let Bree, the sole survivor, go if she promises not to fight. However, when Jane arrives, Bree realises she has nothing to live for anymore, with Diego dead and Fred gone, and succumbs to the Volturi quietly.

There are no chapters, and the action takes place mostly via dialogue between Bree, Riley, Diego, Fred, and later, Carlisle and his family.

All in all, a pretty tiresome effort by Meyer, but could we reallyexpect much else?

Magazines: Michael Jackson Tribute.

To commemorate the one year anniversary of The King of Pop Michael Jackson’s death, I thought I would post some of my favourite covers that have emerged over the past year… and being an avid MJ fan, of course I collected almost every one!

Vanity Fair, September 2009. Part of a split cover with “Fallen Angel” Farrah Fawcett.

Rolling Stone (Australia), September 2009. Doing his thang.

Grazia (Australia), July 6 2009. The tabloids getting in on the Balmain-ia surrounding the death of the “King of Fashion”.

GQ (US), September 2009. “When Michael Was Cool”, with jerry curl and all.

Q (UK), August 2009. This issue went to print before Jackson’s death in anticipation of his shows at London’s O2 Arena, and the editor’s letter issues an apology for anyone who may have taken offense to the poignant cover image.

Time, July 7 2009. This is by far my favourite cover, not just of Time or Jackson, but of magazines in general.

Katy P VS. Lady G.

 

Katy Perry burst onto our airwaves and TV screens in a blur of same-sex kisses and “cherry Chapstick” around the same time as Lady Gaga made her mark on the world with “Just Dance”. I had a preference for the former song at the time, however Gaga has proved she’s much more than a flash in the pan and has become one of my favourite artists, in pretty much every sense of the word.

Perry, on the other hand, is talked about more for her engagement to controversial comedian Russell Brand and star turn as Smurfette in the new Smurfs movie than for her singing talent.

No doubt she has a great voice, but her “Calfornia Gurls” video clip didn’t really live up to the hype, and it feels a bit forced.

Gaga’s clip for “Alejandro”, however, was more than I could’ve ever imagined it to be. Considering the song has an almost calypso vibe to it, I was expecting something more along the lines of her mediocre clip for the equally mediocre “Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say).” Granted, it was only her third single, and her record label was trying to push a mainstream image of her as opposed to the eccentric megastar we know her as today.

The highly sexualised and borderline blasphemous video evokes tones of Madonna’s “Like a Prayer”, “Rain”, “Vogue” and “Human Nature” as well as her film Evita. There are also references to Cabaret and Joan of Arc, in the red and white habit she wears. While I think it is an awesome and quite moving video that will stand the test of time, I admit Gaga has drawn a lot of her material for it from the one she is so often compared to, Madonna. I’ve never really noticed it before now…

It is certainly “like an 8+ minute homage to Madonna… with some gay Nazis thrown in for good measure”, according to the National Post, and even though director Steven Klein defended the video from religious groups, saying, “The religious symbolism is not meant to denote anything negative, but represents the character’s battle between the dark forces of this world and spiritual salvation of the Soul. Thus at the end of the film, she chooses to be a nun… she is withdrawing her senses from the world of evil and going inward towards prayer and contemplation.”

But when Gaga herself says that the video is about “a celebration of my love and appreciation for the gay community,” which, to me, signals the “dark forces of this world” could perhaps be the views of the Church towards gays and that “withdrawing… from the world of evil” is moving away from the Church.

So is Katy Perry right when she Tweets, “Using blasphemy as entertainment is as cheap as a comedian telling a fart joke”? It may be right (in some peoples’ eyes; certainly not mine. I’m all for a bit of religious imagery to spice up a music video or two), but it’s also hypocritical.

Perry comes from a religious background, but surely that background should be null and void when she releases “I Kissed A Girl”, gets engaged to a former sex and drug addict, and whose latest video features her naked on a cloud of fairy floss, and then tries to comment on religious good taste. To borrow another quote from the National Post, “I’m not sure if the girl who’s lactating whipped cream in her latest video should be judging other people’s lack of taste.”

In her defence, Perry did take to the radio in response to the controversy, saying “sexuality [as per her videos] is not the same as spirituality [as in Gaga’s videos].”

As Celebitchy notes, Perry released her “California Gurls” video on the same day the “Alejandro” clip came out. Jealous, much?

Here is a juxtaposition of both lady’s clips, so you can decide who should win this war. Vote one, Lady Gaga!

The Debut: I Kissed a Girl VS. Just Dance.

Hot N Cold VS. Poker Face.

The Love Interest Cameo: Waking Up in Vegas with Joel Moore VS. Paparazzi with Alexander Skarsgard.

The Collaboration: If We Ever Meet Again with Timbaland VS. Telephone with Beyonce.

California Gurls VS. Alejandro.

Elsewhere: [National Post] Scandal Sheet: Lady Gaga’s “Alejandro” Debuts.

[MTV] Lady Gaga’s “Alejandro” Director Defends Video’s Religious Symbolism.

[MTV] Lady Gaga Offers “Alejandro” Video Sneak Peek on Larry King Live.

[Celebitchy] Katy Perry Says Lady Gaga’s “Alejandro” Video is “Blasphemy”.

TV: Gun Shot Wound to the Head—Grey’s Anatomy Season Final.

 

Last night’s double episode season finale didn’t waste any time getting into the action, with Meredith’s baby bombshell, a shooter let loose in the hospital, Reed Adamson shot dead and Alex Karev mortally wounded.

Never before have I spent a whole two hours of television crying, but Grey’s certainly elicited that response from me this time around. And not just trickling tears; this was breathtaking, heartbreaking scream crying of the Meredith-Grey-when-Cristina-stops-operating-on-McDreamy persuasion.

On that note, the acting in this episode is some of the best I’ve seen on the episode in a long time.

There was a bit of dissention in the ranks amongst fans the past two years when it was alleged that Grey’s had “jumped the shark” with the whole “Gizzie” and Denny-coming-back-as-a-ghost-and-having-sex-with-a-brain-tumour-affected-Izzie predicaments. I was inclined to agree with that, however we can’t overlook the redeeming moments over six seasons, such as Izzie cutting the LVAT wire and Denny’s subsequent death, “code black” and the “it’s George!” bombshell of last year’s finale.

Obviously the major story arc of the finale is Derek getting shot, however each and every sub-plot deserves accolades for its actors.

Michael O’Neill, who plays the shooter, Gary Clark, turns from loving husband to grieving widower as his wife was taken off life-support at the decision of Chief Shepherd and Richard Weber, with Lexie Grey pulling the plug, in an earlier episode.

Clark later tells Lexie that he only intended to kill those three, but evidently Reed, Alex, Percy, Owen Hunt and countless nurses and security guards got in the way.

Bravery was the common theme here, with Derek trying to talk the shooter down from the ledge whilst staring down the barrel of his gun; Owen risking his life to go back into the hospital after Cristina; Charles Percy facing painful and immanent death in the arms of Bailey and their patient Mary, played by Mandy Moore, when the elevators are turned off and there is no way to get him to an OR; Callie and Arizona giving medical supplies to the shooter as he invades the paediatric ward, and telling him to leave the children alone; Richard telling Clark that he’s led a full life, and doesn’t care if he shoots him, however Clark will rot in prison for his acts today. But in the greatest act of bravery, Meredith offers herself up to Clark, as she is Richard’s surrogate daughter, Lexie’s sister and Derek’s wife, and her death would hurt them the most. Meredith probably has selfish motives also, as she told Derek she couldn’t live without him if he died.

In other developments, Callie and Arizona make up and want to make babies, whilst Meredith loses hers in a miscarriage as she operates on Hunt’s GSW. Lexie foolishly (in my opinion, anyway) chooses Alex over the beautiful Mark Sloan, and Hunt chooses Cristina. Percy’s dying wish is, sadly, to have Reed know he had a crush on her. Weber foils Gary Clark’s plot to kill him and comes out victorious. Cristina is forced to operate on Derek as Teddy had already been evacuated from the building, and Meredith expresses the utmost trust in her best friend operating on her husband.

No doubt these are poignant plot points that will carry the series into its seventh season.

And like every other season, I can’t wait!

Cheer Up, Keanu Reeves!

This week’s Famous magazine has a feature on the “Cheer Up, Keanu” movement that’s sweeping the web world.

A recent paparazzi pic of Keanu Reeves “sitting on a park bench eating a sandwich” and looking “forlorn” sparked concern amongst fans, who have created a number of websites dedicated to cheering the star up. CheerUpKeanu.com, ThankYouKeanu.com and SadKeanu.com are three of the sites the magazine mentions, the latter of which has been issued a DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) notice to cease publishing alternate images of the orginal pic of Keanu.

Luckily, Famous did all the heavy lifting and picked them up before they were deleted!

And here is one of the images SadKeanu is allowed to publish, as it doesn’t use the original image.