On the (Rest of the) Net.

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Are Princess Diana and Rihanna one in the same? Camille Paglia misguidedly seems to think so. [The Sunday Times]

Clementine Ford interviews Anne Summers as part of Daily Life‘s first birthday celebrations. Brilliant!

The face of porn (SFW). [Jon Millward]

Speaking of porn, is James Deen harmful to his young female fans? [Daily Life]

Lena Dunham isn’t “brave”. [Vulture]

How many models of colour walked in New York Fashion Week? Not many. [Jezebel]

Why have so many “contestants” on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew died? [Jezebel]

Downton Abbey VS. Girls. [Daily Beast]

Why do we flinch when a woman says she’s beautiful? [Daily Life]

“Is There Such a Thing as ‘Asian Privilege’?” [Daily Life]

Stop the presses: Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus debunked. [The Age]

Reporting Reeva  Steenkamp’s murder at the hands of her Paralympian partner, Oscar Pistorius. [News with Nipples]

“In Defence of Diablo Cody.” [Female Gaze Review]

Kurt Cobain: feminist? [Daily Life]

In the vein of Nice Guys of OKCupid comes the racist guys of OKCupid: Creepy White Guys.

Image via Jezebel.

It’s Hard Out There for a Man?

From “The Truth About Universal Masculinity” by Mark Manson on The Good Men Project:

“Camille Paglia once wrote, ‘A woman simply is, but a man must become. Masculinity is risky and elusive. It is achieved by a revolt from woman, and it is confirmed only by other men’… Whereas a woman’s femininity is implicit by simply being and birthing, a man’s must be proven through action.”

While I don’t agree totally with this contention (a lot of women struggle to, and are chastised for, deviating from traditional femininity), Manson and Paglia do raise an interesting point about modern masculinity.

A Good Men Project commenter, Budmin, wrote in response to my “Manning Up” post last week:

“Women have more flexibility to self identify with what ever level of aggression or passivity they see fit. Their femininity thus their humanity is not on constant trial. It can’t be taken away from them. It’s theirs and theirs alone.

“Masculinity is the act of suppressing all insecurities so that one may project the illusion of dominance for the satisfaction and protection of others.”

Anyone who knows me (or anyone who reads this blog) knows that I’m a feminist through and through, and that the idea of a “post-feminist” society is spurious. But, provided the right infrastructure and support is in place in an individual female’s life, she does have the opportunities to be anything she wants to be. Sure, she’ll probably be judged for it by misogynists and traditionalists, but does she have as hard a time as a man does stepping outside of the rigid stereotype we’ve put in place for him?

I can’t stand poor-straight-white-wealthy-male problems, but should we diminish the individual struggles to “be a man” men face today because they’re not deemed as “worthy” as the struggles women or people of colour or gay men and women or the poor or the disabled or transgender people face? Who are we to say that someone’s inner demons aren’t as bad as the next person’s?

Now is as good a time as any to be a man but, I think, once everyone realises that gender is just a performance, we’ll all be able to get on with our lives in a way that’s right for us, regardless of the body parts we were born with and what society expects from us because of said body parts.

Elsewhere: [The Good Men Project] The Truth About Universal Masculinity.

[The Good Men Project] Manning Up.

Pop-Feminism.

From “How the Blogosphere Has Transformed the Feminist Conversation” by Emily Nussbaum in New York Magazine:

“For too long, it was the anti-feminists who owned that brand: Katie Roiphe, Camille Paglia, Caitlin Flanagan.

“And this bold style might have been lost forever, if it weren’t for the web. Lacking editors (whose intolerance for insanity tends to sand off pointy edges), lacking balance (as any self-publishing platform tends to), laced with humor and fury (emotions intensified by the web’s spontaneity), the blogosphere has transformed feminist conversation, reviving in the process an older style of activism among young women. It’s a renaissance that began around 2004, when feminist blogs were rare. Left-wing blogging was on the rise, a phenomenon that was strikingly male…

“Then, during the 2008 presidential campaign, the Net exploded with debate about Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, not to mention Sarah Palin and Michelle Obama. At the time, the website Jezebel—the flamboyant ‘Girlie Gawker’ founded by Anna Holmes—got the biggest numbers it had seen since its launch.

“As the volume of posts increased, subjects recurred from early feminism, including outrage at sexual violence. But there were also striking differences: While seventies feminists had little truck with matrimony, feminist bloggers lobbied for gay marriage. There were deconstructions of modern media sexism, including skeptical responses to the ‘concern-trolling’ of older women who made a living denouncing the ‘hookup epidemic.’ There was new terminology: ‘slut-shaming,’ ‘body-snarking,’ ‘cisgender.’ And there were other cultural shifts as well: an acceptance (and sometimes a celebration) of porn, an interest in fashion, and the rise of the transgendered-rights movement, once seen as a threat, now viewed as a crucial part of sexual diversity.

“Perhaps most strikingly, there was a freewheeling fascination with celebrity culture and reality television, even on the most radical sites. Instead of viewing pop culture as toxic propaganda, bloggers embraced it as a shared language, a complex code to be solved together, and not coincidentally, something fun. In an age of search engines, it was a powerful magnet: Again and again, bloggers described pop­culture posts to me as a ‘gateway drug’ for young women—an isolated teenager in rural Mississippi would Google ‘Beyoncé’ or ‘Real Housewives,’ then get drawn into threads about abortion. Some of the best memes out there are the least categorisable, like Feminist Ryan Gosling, a blog that features the adorable star of Drive ‘citing’ poststructuralist philosopher ­Judith Butler. Is it a joke? A turn-on? A sly carrier for theory? It doesn’t really matter, because it’s the perfect viral pass-around.”

Related:  Yet Another Way in Which Madonna & Lady Gaga Are Alike.

Surfing the Third Wave: Second-Wave VS. Third-Wave Feminism on Gossip Girl.

Beyonce: Countdown to Overexposure.

Elsewhere: [New York Magazine] How the Blogosphere Has Transformed the Feminist Conversation.

[Feminist Ryan Gosling] Homepage.

Yet Another Way in Which Madonna & Lady Gaga Are Alike.

 

From “Madonna: Finally, a Real Feminist” by Camille Paglia, in an article from 1990 in the New York Times:

“Madonna has a far profounder vision of sex than do the feminists. She sees both the animality and the artifice. Changing her costume style and hair colour virtually every month, Madonna embodies the eternal values of beauty and pleasure. Feminism says, ‘No more masks.’ Madonna says we are nothing but masks.”

Paglia is notoriously anti-Gaga, perhaps fearing that Mother Monster may be stealing the waning spotlight from Her Madgesty.

It’s funny that this was written 21 years ago, because it could very well have been written only recently, in relation to Gaga: “she sees both the animality and artifice” of sex. She changes “her costume style and hair colour” one better than Madonna; every day, it seems. And Gaga, as I have written, exists as something of a mask, while espousing the importance of being yourself.

So it’s not just the novelty bras and “Express Yourself” tune in “Born This Way”…

Related: Gaga Ooo La La?

Elsewhere: [The New York Times] Madonna: Finally, a Real Feminist.

[The Sunday Times] Lady Gaga & the Death of Sex.

Image via Gale Chester Whittington.