Brenda Bailey Gershkovitch’s story about her experience playing Guitar Hero basically near a group of men at E3 is extremely upsetting and really serves to highlight one of the reason the “they’re just trolls, just ignore them” means of dealing with the racism/homophobia/misogyny people face online isn’t necessarily for the best.
The claim is always “these people wouldn’t say these things if they couldn’t hide behind the anonymity of the internet.” But clearly in this case, not responding has served to normalize that kind of behavior in that specific subculture to the point that someone felt comfortable saying something horrible to another human being’s face. I don’t know what’s worse, that or the fact that it sounds like no one else who was there did anything to tell this guy how unacceptable his words were.
For many American men stuck in a state of “pre-adulthood,” it’s not so much a lack of desire to grow up as ambivalence about the best way forward, says Kay Hymowitz, author of the book Manning Up: How the Rise of Women Has Turned Men Into Boys. Without obvious role models or a clear script for what it means to be a man today, many harbor the fantasy that “a beautiful girl will come along and help them figure out how to do it.”
Yes, pointing out that men fantasize about Kunis is like saying they fantasize about playing pro basketball, but the reasons for her appeal may be surprisingly good news for both sexes. She’s both direct and easy-going. She can hang and talk like a bro, and get angry without sounding preachy—unlike, say, Katherine Heigl’s character in Knocked Up or Jennifer Aniston’s character in The Break-Up, who seem almost maternal in their endeavors.
It saddens me to see girls proudly declaring they’re not like other girls – especially when it’s 41,000 girls saying it in a chorus, never recognizing the contradiction. It’s taking a form of contempt for women – even a hatred for women – and internalizing it by saying, Yes, those girls are awful, but I’m special, I’m not like that, instead of stepping back and saying, This is a lie.
The real meaning of “I’m not like the other girls” is, I think, “I’m not the media’s image of what girls should be.” Well, very, very few of us are. Pop culture wants to tell us that we’re all shallow, backstabbing, appearance-obsessed shopaholics without a thought in our heads beyond cute boys and cuter handbags. It’s a lie – a flat-out lie – and we need to recognize it and say so instead of accepting that judgment as true for other girls, but not for you.
Ariel Levy refers to these women as “loophole women.” Being “not like other girls” is implicitly saying “I’m more like guys” and buys status with the dominant group (men).
I probably don’t spend enough time with other people in general to make a judgement call on this as it relates to Adults In The Real World, but amongst geeks in high school this attitude runs rampant. I would like to think as people grow and mature, it falls to the wayside, but who knows (people with social lives, I guess).
“Trying to make fetch happen with the whole misandry thing.”
Everything about this situation has been so upsetting to me. Including but not limited to the fact that I fully expect Jay Smooth and any other dude who steps up and calls people out on their horrifying behavior to be dismissed as someone who’s just “white knighting” as if that was even actually a thing.
Maybe it’s because this website’s comments section is full of women—and more and more every day—and too many of you want to treat it like it’s some old boys’ club, where everybody can walk around and make sexist cracks and all the women are just supposed to take it (and you can say whatever you want, but what you said was fucking sexist and disgusting).
But no: Here’s what it is. Every week, I like this show, and I tell you why. Every week, a bunch of commenters like this show and tell you why (or tell me why on Twitter, since so many of them have abandoned this thread to the gibbering assholes). And you don’t have to like what we like. That’s your prerogative as a human being. I’ve even found some of your criticisms persuasive in the past, or, at the least, seen why some of you don’t like the show as much as I do from what you say. That’s good. That’s healthy. That’s dialogue. When you guys say, “Hey, this show has spent too much time fleshing out Hannah and not enough time on the other characters” or “Hey, these people are all so unlikable that I’m not sure I can ever be interested in watching their adventures,” that’s cool. I don’t agree, but I get it. We can have a conversation on that.
But a lot of you—including you, Drew (can I call you Drew?)—don’t even bother with that. You reject the most basic premise of our critical dialogue, which is that a work of art is worth considering and discussing, especially when evident effort has been put into that work of art by someone who wants to express some piece of themselves. Please note this doesn’t mean you have to like it. I really don’t like, say, Whitney, but I’m aware that the people behind it have tried to do something expressive of what they want (within the confines of the network TV sitcom). We owe the art respect. More important than that, we owe the people who make it respect.
Reading all (or as many as possible) of the comments on the recaps of shows I watch on the AV Club even though a lot of them are filled with pointless, blatantly sexist objectification of women under the guise of “this is political correctness gone mad, I’m not even allowed to say I’m attracted to someone anymore?!” outrage just finally paid off. Because Todd VanDerWerff, the guy who writes almost all of the recaps I read, fucking came through for me and ladies everywhere and wrote basically a page-long comment (this is far from all of it) in response to one of the show Girls’ extremely typical “this show’s dumb, Lena Dunham’s the ugliest person I’ve ever seen” comments. And it was awesome.
I guess I have no evidence at all to back this up, but I feel like Flight of the Conchords probably demographically did well with women. Or maybe it’s just that I saw this fucking ad for British GQ’s comedy issue and it pissed me off so much that remembering there was at one point a largely-male-run comedy show that still managed to allow women to be funny and more than just lust objects seemed overwhelming in its lady-positive-ness.
Heads-up anyone thinking of writing one of those ‘cute ukulele girls’ pieces.
Now someone write this same thing but about actresses, or at least actresses known for doing more than being “the hot girl” in a given movie.
Actually what I think I really want is someone to tell all the dudes that comment on things on the AV Club that their sometimes explicit, sometimes jokey descriptions of how much they want to bang a given woman (usually that woman is Alison Brie) isn’t cute, isn’t funny, and not matter how many times they say “mentioning sex isn’t always objectifying,” what they’re doing IS objectifying.
Also let’s stop having roles in things that are basically just “the hot girl.”
Also also: is it wrong that I feel extra offended if the person being reduced to just being a “cute ukulele girl” is Kate Micucci? Like I hate it when people do that in general (and I hate that so many people on youtube seem to be playing into that), but I hate it a lot more when they’re talking about super-funny, cool-seeming Kate Micucci.