Friday, September 20, 2013

Blurred Lines and Promotion of the Rape Culture

Its been over a month since the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards was held & I'm still hearing about the outrage over Miley Cyrus' controversial performance.

For those not in the know, she did a wacky dance routine with a foam sports finger while dressing in a skimpy outfit, stripping out of it into an even skimpier outfit, & then gyrating with her dance/singing partner. As someone who grew up watching Madonna wearing a white wedding dress & rolling around stage, faking an orgasm, I'm befuddled by this current brouhaha.

The outrage went like this: Miley's "off-her-rocker" or is going the "slut" route or she's "being a whore." All the focus is on her specifically as a person, not on her allegedly terrible performance.

Think about it.

Her costar performer Robin Thicke is singing a song entitled, "Blurred Lines." A song that promotes & excuses the blurred lines of consent & glorifies our society's permissive rape & sexual assault cultures (as best exemplified by the Steubenville rape case). The unrated version of the music video has women prancing around gratuitously topless while the men are fully clothed. Yet no one is calling Robin Thicke a "pimp" or an "abuser" or a "whore" or a "misogynist". Nobody cares because the lyrics are accompanied to an obnoxiously catchy beat.

Its double standard & I fundamentally reject it.

If a male enjoys sex & sleeps around, he's a "stud." But if a woman enjoys sex & sleeps around, she's a "whore." A man can sits down with his legs wide open while wearing trousers, no one cares. But if a woman sits down with her legs wide open while wearing trousers, she's "unladylike." If an adult has sex with a 15-year old male, that teenaged male is "lucky." But if an adult has sex with a 15-year old female, that teenager is a "victim." Except for their equipment downstairs, pre-adolescent males & females are for all intents & purposes the same. Yet boys are allowed to run around topless on a sweltering summer's day while girls need to cover themselves.

Don't even get me started on how the media covered the incident. It went something like... "reporting" on the incident (& I use that term loosely), saying how sluttified it all was, criticizing her as a person (versus her as an artist or the quality of the dance routine), & then showing a long clip of it every hour on the hour to boost their own ratings (ensuring themselves a hefty profit from the ratings). It is culture disaster porn we're eating it up like a fat kid on Halloween.

The media (& by extension us) attack the person because they make for an easy target when we should be attack & address the very issue that they're both either promoting or condoning, the glorification of the male dominated rape culture.

Why am I a male so passionate about this issue? Because the implication is that it gives dirtbags who rape & sexually assault women a free pass. You've heard the BS, "Boys will be boys" or "I couldn't control myself." I call bullsh*t & here's why. Yes, you can control just CHOOSE not to do so. The other implication is IF males indeed cannot control themselves, it puts every single solitary daughter, sister, cousin, & mother on notice because they have a reason to fear every single solitary male in society. Even if they are their husband, brother, uncle, or son and has never given them a reason to fear them.

If that basis in society actually exists & I'm to blind to see it, is this the kind of society that's even worth having? You be the judge.

Edit: I found an interesting Tumblr link that juxtaposes the "Blurred Lines" lyrics side by side with pictures from Project Unbreakable. Here's another hyperlink that analyzes the song & the rape survivor quotes on a deeper level.

In other news...

This is family friend & classically trained dancer Christina of the Libertina Dance Company (pictured below), participating my abandonment project.

Feel free to comment on any part of this blog entry if you so desire.


Anonymous said...

Being a victim of rape, physical, and emotional abuse, I think the lines are a bit blurred. She may be perceived as slutty, which I at first did label her. But how is this different from me as a model myself? I have shot implied and nude. I question myself before each shoot. I do it for beauty but the question becomes, how will someone else label this? is this promoting sex, wanted or unwanted from people who know me as a model or just stumble upon my photos. I myself am afraid of men but here I am as a model, who models for mostly men. Most of the time to prove that I am stronger than the unfortunate events that happened to me.

semi234 said...

"How is (rape, physical, & emotional abuse) different from me as a model myself?"

One word: consent. Without knowing who you are (not that it'd make much difference in terms of this discussion), you choose to put yourself in front of the camera. This is a reason why I don't get up in arms over BDSM depictions. Because in a properly trained BDSM setup, the sub has all the control...but that's a discussion for a different time. A sexual assault or rape is not remotely about arousal but about power, power of one individual over another.

I believe that we as a society HAVE TO be better than that.

The question should not be "how will someone else label what I do" but "how do I label what I do?"

Here's why. What is a hoodie? Its a piece clothing that a person wears to keep themselves warm & god willing, keep themselves from getting wet. But because people make their own connotations to a simple piece of clothing, its all of a sudden "menacing" even when a person is minding their own damn business as happened in the Trayvon Martin case as well as my own. You can read my own account of a "menacing" hoodie here:

Same can be said about the JCPenny's catalog. I think we can agree that its meant to sell a product. Yet adolescent boys with to much pent up hormones have used it as masturbation fodder. Does this mean that it should stop being produced? Absolutely not.

Its like what my old Staff Sergeant used to say when I was in the Marines. "Opinions are like (the anus), everybody has one." I have a crop of people whose opinions DO matter & will seek their input but for the most part, I couldn't care less what people think. The exact moment I simply stopped caring what each & every person thought about my work & started forging my own path was the exact moment my work started getting better. But more importantly, I started enjoying what I do.