DC’s Secret to Female Readers: Romance and Twilight
This. This is so true. Wonder Woman is who got me so excited about comics in the first place, and the thought that her kick-ass character may be appropriated for something that even REMOTELY resembles twilight makes me see red. Apparently, in their effort to appeal to Twi-hards who don’t care about WW at all, they are prepared to alienate all of her existing fans. Cool.
Damn it, I took a vacation from Tumblr and comics and the world exploded.
Well, not really but still! First, Ben Affleck was cast as Batman and apparently this is the absolutely worst thing that ever happened in the history of the world according to some fanboys (girls).
Or just the worst casting for comic book movies since Heath Ledger was cast as the Joker.
I like Affleck and not just because he’s from Boston. He’s dark and handsome and he’s actually a good actor. I’m sure will be fine as an older Batman. There have been four different dudes who have played Batman one of whom was George Clooney wearing plastic nips. How can it be worse?
Besides, I’m saving my rage for the casting of Wonder Woman which, of course, means I’ll be saving THAT for a long time.
Now on to the other explosion. FanExpo, a Canadian Con, was held this week and DC announced that the Justice League of America will now be the Justice League of Canada. Watch out Rob Ford.
But that wasn’t the really interesting thing - it was about, well, this.
The slut-shaming of Miley Cyrus has GOT to stop.
I’m not the first person to say this, but I had a conversation on Facebook with a friend about Miley’s VMA performance, and I wanted it on my blog.
First of all, the race issue. As far as I’m concerned, this is not an issue in question. Miley’s video for the song “We Can’t Stop,” her promotion of it, and her performance of it last night is wildly appropriative and demeaning to black culture. That’s just a fact, not really up for debate, and other people have discussed it much better.
More nuanced is the “Blurred Lines” segment of the medley. (BTW - people know that the videos of both “Blurred Lines” and “We Can’t Stop” were directed by the same person, right? If we’re going to blame anyone for the problematic imagery smorgasbord here, it should really be Diane Mercer.)
"Blurred Lines" is a creepy, rapey, bullshit song to begin with, and Miley Cyrus was obviously portraying a sex object in Robin Thicke’s domination fantasy. Does this make her a "slut"? No. Is the idea that she enjoys sex wrong? No. Is what she was wearing inappropriate? No, inasmuch as bodies are not something to be ashamed of and hidden away. But there is something very political and patriarchal about a fully-clothed, dominant man who just stands there and a mostly naked woman gyrating around him. Pretending there isn’t doesn’t make anyone more sex-positive.
You can argue that she is past the age of consent, and that she wanted to do it which negates the “objectifcation” part of this argument, but It’s less about what she wanted to do, and more about what she - yes, in her youth and ignorance - is doing that promotes harmful protrayals and ideas of women in the media. I will say that absolutely, in the case of the Blurred Lines performance, the blame is being placed disproportionately on Miley Cyrus’s shoulders rather than on those of Robin Thicke, Diane Mercer, and the producers, choreographers, etc.
Miley does own her performance. She’s old enough now. Which is why she needs to be held responsible for the unintended-by-her sexist connotations. But the way to hold her responsible is the opposite of just pointing at her and yelling ‘WHORE!’ And anyone who slut-shames her while being fine with the song in general can get right the fuck out.
Her performance of the song was something of an improvement over the video - in that she was singing some of the lyrics, participating, unlike the silent naked dancers. What’s gross about people who like the song/video but slut-shame Miley for her performance is that they’re saying “Rape of a silent, objectified female body is fine, but a participatory woman who enjoys the act of sex is offensive.” Remember when Ryan Gosling was interviewed about the MPAA review of Blue Valentine and he said what pushed it over the edge was a scene of Michelle Williams’s character enjoying oral sex? We can violently rape and kill women in movies and still get an R, but if they consent and enjoy sex, that’s NC17. That is bullshit.
Miley Cyrus needs to learn what about her performances is problematic in terms of the sexual representation of women in media. I’m fully on board with her desire to present herself as a fully-realized, grown woman who enjoys whatever kind of sex she wants. But not at the expense of other women by co-opting rape culture and sexual objectification.
Not that I want to add to the never-ending reaction to Miley Cyrus, but here we go.
Some of these kids should get an award.
From the ranger who received the letter:
“Reading all the responses below, I wanted to let you know what I decided: I’m going to take photos of the sticks in various places in the park, then send Evie the pictures and ask her which spot she wants the sticks in. (I’ve already been in touch with her parents by email, so this should actually be pretty easy to do.)”
Sometimes, people are awesome. I needed to be reminded.