Sunday, September 23, 2012

We Need a Revolution

She's the Secretary of State. Why on earth is what she looks like relevant?

This video that I'm posting below is a trailer for a movie that I feel everyone should see. Found via this blog.

Newest Miss Representation Trailer (2011 Sundance Film Festival Official Selection) from Miss Representation on Vimeo.

I agree with every point being raised by this video, but I also think other unmentioned factors are at stake. I was reading the comments in a Jezebel article the other day (the article addressed street harassment), and somebody (an American) asked what experiences they've had in other countries. People mentioned that in places like Norway and Sweden, they experienced next to no harassment whatsoever, whereas in places like Russia, Mexico, and the U.S., they were afraid to use public transportation or even the public sidewalks, the harassment was so bad.

I think there are several factors at play in the objectification, subjugation, and general oppression of women, and an emphasis on looks is just one of them. The other one? General unrest. Malaise. A feeling of powerlessness.

 The powerlessness does not belong to women alone. An obscene gap has slowly been widening, a gap between the rich and the poor. I was watching The Hunger Games last night (meh book, mediocre film), and I thought about the absurdity of a country in which (spoilers), 90% of the population toils to produce food, clothing, and all other necessary goods and services, while slowly starving to death for lack of access to the very goods they work their asses off to produce. The remaining percentage of the population oversees all distribution of the goods they'd done nothing to reap, all while luxuriating in a bounty of plentiful food, miraculous healthcare, and absurdly expensive fashion.

It's absurd, until you consider the fact that Mitt Romney (sorry, we're getting political, get over it), a man who wants quite badly to oversee this country, yet says fucking stupid shit like this:

We're not nearly as deep into the horrifying political dystopia illustrated in The Hunger Games, but there's a reason those films are so popular, and it's NOT just Liam Hemsworth. 

There is unrest. Men and women go home every night, wringing their hands, tearing their hair out, trying to figure out how they're going to pay the enormous electric bill AND pay their student loans AND get enough groceries together to make sure their fucking kids don't starve to death. And they have full-time jobs.

When people become angry, frustrated, when they feel powerless, when they don't have a (well-deserved) opportunity to ask their congressman face-to-face what the FUCK they were doing when they passed more legislation that squashes the poor and downtrodden...they tend to take it out on somebody they know is unlikely to fight back.

In my opinion, people experience more street harassment in countries in which the general population is already feeling pretty fucking pissed off. Street harassers don't harass women to actually get any play (I'd like to hear ONE story in which a guy yelling "Hey baby lemme see them titties" actually got laid), they harass women to feel powerful. They leer, they shout, they grab, and the subtext is, "I could fucking have you if I wanted to." It gives them some of their power back. It validates their feelings of abandonment and entitlement.

Women are raised to be pretty, thin, submissive, and nice. Men are groomed to run the fucking world, and then get pissed off when they don't get the opportunities they were promised, or their behavior gets questioned in any way (see: Chris Brown's fucking PSYCHOTIC mother and her obsessive Twitter account containing nothing but insufferable caps-lock rantings of what an absolute angel he is).

I am NOT giving violent men an excuse. Many lower- and middle-class men are victims, but being a victim does not give one permission to victimize. I am simply saying that this problem, this systematic oppression of women in our country and others, is FAR more complex than we realize.

Women need to stand up, demand rights, get elected to government. Stop fostering this utterly fucking horrid environment in which we groom young women to begin competing with each other over meaningless superficial fucking FUCKING bullshit.  STOP demanding and fostering perfectionism, both with regard to looks AND academia (we have enough neurotic 85-pound bulimic dean's list ballerinas slitting their wrists by age 25-fucking-five, thank you very much). Stick together. Support each other. Demand rights. And this is optional, but if you're a woman, you might want to wait for some SERIOUS reform before voting Republican.

As countless others have said, we need a Revolution. We need to elevate women, AND the middle class. We need to teach our boys that women are not sentient blow-job machines, and that enthusiastic consent is key. We need to teach our little girls that makeup is just fucking face paint, and does not make you a complete person. Elective surgeries will not land you your own personal Christian Grey (WHOM YOU SHOULD NOT BE STRIVING FOR ANYWAY).

We need to throw acid in the face of apathy and put these goddamned power-hungry money-hoarding utterly smug politicians back in their place. They serve us, and they should never forget that.

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