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Tuesday
Mar012011

« In Which We Have To Consider Why Shorty Always Wanna Be A Thug »

East End Boys And West End Girls

by MOLLY LAMBERT

"Men infantilize women and women tear each other down" - Tina Fey, 30 Rock

"I think you're overthinking this" - common response to my post on Boys' Clubs

Not all groups of men are Boys' Clubs. Boys' Clubs are groups of men that are misogynist and function in misogynist ways. Misogyny is hatred of women. Anything that depicts women as lesser (and strangely, sometimes as greater). Active misogyny involves denigrating women as a group through speech and practice, sexual harassment of all kinds, and contempt/overidealization of "Women" as an idea.

Passive misogyny (emosogyny) is underestimating and/or stereotyping women based on deeply ingrained cultural stereotypes and ignorance, and then getting defensive when you are called out because you do not consider yourself sexist and you do not like being wrong. The refusal to accept that you might ever be wrong is a big part of "Masculinity." It is called sticking to your guns, and it is what got us George W. Bush. 

Janeane Garofalo in the film in the Sopranos episode "D-Girl" where Chris goes to LA

Not all men are misogynists. Not all women are feminists. Men can be the biggest feminists (Alex Carnevale) and women can be the worst misogynists. The culture hates women (Hall Pass) because plenty of men do hate women. They hate women because they don't understand them. They don't understand women because they think they are different. "Good" women are untouchable and "Bad" women are disposable. They often hate women because they are fixated on the idea of women rejecting them sexually, and they project this perceived rejection onto every woman they meet. They think women and men are separate categories of human being. Separate is never equal. Misogynists run most of Hollywood. No lie. I'm not making this shit up. I wish I were! 

One of the best running jokes on The Sopranos was that every time Christopher Moltisanti went to Hollywood he would be horrified by how much worse it was than the Mafia. For some reason, he thought it would be different in a different Boys' Club (lol Chris, so did we). Hollywood, Wall Street, the music business. It's all pretty fucked.

Christopher was always the most sympathetic member of the crew, because he was aware of how sensitive he actually was (although he was constantly trying to repress this awareness). He attempted to channel this sensitivity into writing screenplays, which infuriated Tony because expressing your feelings is a betrayal of Omertà.

Because of the culture he grew up in Christopher never considered that he didn't actually have to join the Mafia at all. He believed he had no choice. He found it hard to kill somebody for the first time in the first season because everybody finds it hard to kill somebody the first time. It only becomes easier through repetition, and even then it never gets completely easy to murder other people, unless you are a sociopath.

Most people are not sociopaths, but "Masculinity" involves aspiring to be one. But most men are not gangsters. Not all men are capable of murder (and sometimes women are). Everyone has violent impulses, which is why women who have Postpartum often describe intense negative fantasies about hurting or killing their newborn babies.

"Excuse me, I'm a vice president! You fucking asshole!" - future Joan Holloway D-Girl 

It is not a tremendous reach to imagine that the kind of corrosive misogyny that dominates the Hollywood studio and agency Boys' Club atmospheres would reproduce itself in other extremely male-dominated corporate climates, particularly ones that run testosterone heavy. I respect aggression on the court, but not off the court (I respect Ron Artest much more than Kobe Bryant). Women are taught and told to suppress their anger and drive. Men are taught to rely too much on it. Intelligent women learn to channel that anger and drive (to do the black swan). Intelligent men learn to channel their anger into their work and leave it out of their relationship with/to women. 

Men who buy "Masculinity" believe there's a connection between channeling anger into your work and channeling it into the rest of your life. They don't understand compartmentalization. Jack Nicholson got trapped in being "Jack Nicholson" all the time and is having serious regrets at age 73. Robert DeNiro is by all accounts a very mild-mannered guy who channels his libido into his acting, into "Robert DeNiro."  

Kanye West is dealing with this on the public stage. All artists do, but now so does everyone who "exists" on the internet. You create/project the idealized image you want to see onscreen. Other people believe in this image, and you may start to believe that you are the same person offscreen. But make no mistake, it is different onscreen. Men who want to be Don Draper are buying the big lie that there is a Don Draper (that there is a James Bond). There is no Don Draper. There is only Dick Whitman. 

We all turn into Kirk Douglas at the Oscars eventually. That's the way love goes. :(

Let's use The Oscars as a microcosm of other rooms: The Kodak Theater auditorium was filled with a predominately white audience. White privilege is invisible, as is whiteness. White people tend to look at the room without immediately noticing that it is predominately white. They do not notice that it is white because a predominately white room seems "normal." Minorities appeared onscreen a few times, extremely briefly. An auditorium that accurately reflected the racial makeup of Los Angeles, the city where the Oscars take place, would be at least half Hispanic and also much more Asian and Black. That would seem "weird" in the context of the Oscars auditorium as we are used to it looking as of now, but it seems way fucking weirder that the room is still so incredibly white in 2011 particularly given the actual racial diversity of LA.

On November 16, 1972 Alfred Hitchcock was invited to a luncheon honoring Spanish filmmaker Luis Buñuel at director George Cukor’s house. From left, standing: Robert Mulligan, William Wyler, Cukor, Robert Wise, unknown, and Louis Malle. Seated: Billy Wilder, George Stevens, Buñuel, Hitchcock and Rouben Mamoulian.

The Best Director category was all men. Last year when Kathryn Bigelow was nominated and won, the other four nominees were still men. If there were two women nominated for Best Director, it would seem unusual. If there were three women and two men nominated, it would seem more unusual still. If there were five women nominated for Best Director, I don't know, the world would tip off its axis and spin into outer space.

Auteur Theory: all film directors must be Caucasian boy geniuses with father issues

That five white male directors is still automatically accepted as "normal" by both men and women is an example of how cultural stereotypes lead us to believe that unfair things must actually be fair, simply by virtue of tradition and continued existence. 

one of these guys has a serious drug problem but all five have a serious hair problem

"What if white men are just the best directors?" (- a troll) I am not saying those five guys are not all great directors, because I think they all are. I'm just saying the idea that five heterosexual white men in any room with a closed door, is suspicious in 2011. You can extend it to any field, to any room, to any socially exclusive club or profession. The Supreme Court. The Friars Club. The New York Times Book Review.

and you girls get the big important job of copying things on the new xerox machine!

"What if straight white men just happen to be the best directors/ surgeons/ judges/ chefs/ CEOs/ programmers/ musicians/ comedians/ DJs/ authors?" Sure there will always be some who are supernaturally talented, but always? All the time? Girl PLEASE. Most straight white men would not like to think too much about their privilege, because they would not like to think that they didn't deserve anything they have achieved, and they bring up their own weaknesses as proof. That is privilege denying. Unfortunately they are still in charge of a lot of shit that the rest of us want to do.

the world loves a tall handsome white guy but it also hates absolutely anything else

Straight white men have a special status in our culture that no other group has. And everyone else belongs to one of those other groups, and you're damn right we're aware of the privileges straight white men automatically receive in our society. The best straight white guys: Kurt Cobain, John Lennon, James Franco, use this privilege as a platform to ask why we are listening to them more than we listen to anyone else. 

Chris & Ade, a rare accurate depiction of the friendship between two people in love

Privilege is the absence of equality. The mainstream misogynist culture attacked Yoko Ono because John Lennon dared to suggest that she was an artist on the same level as himself, equally as important as he was in the world. That her ideas were just as if not more valuable than his. That his consciousness and practice were being expanded through collaborating with her, similar to (and building on) the way it had been expanded through his songwriting and friendship with Paul McCartney. Mainstream culture privileges bromance over romance because it privileges men over women. 

from the video for Bad Girl, part of David Fincher's indomitable Madonna trilogy

In the "Men Can Be Feminists" department, the films that were nominated this year were unusually feminist except perhaps Incpetion. Christopher Nolan cannot write women but also can't write human beings realistically. We can't discount Nolan entirely because of Ellen Page. In the "Hollywood Is Still Super Misogynist" department, despite making an incredibly high grossing film (Twilight) Catherine Hardwicke was not allowed a look at The Fighter script. She was told a man needed to direct it.

Black Swan was an aggressively feminist mainstream artwork (much like MIA's MAYA). "Women" and "Mainstream" are seen as incompatible by the misogynists that run Hollywood because the culture of "Women" is not mainstream, it is always secondary to the mainstream culture which is geared towards "Men." Television seems slightly more accepting of women than film because TV is the woman to film's man. The internet is accepting of women because the internet is a great space for queering media. 

Judd Apatow, after getting over his defensive anger at being accused of sexism, did the best thing possible by hiring Kristen Wiig to write Bridesmaids and producing a TV show with Lena Dunham. The next Woody Allen will not look anything like Woody Allen. She will probably look like Lena Dunham or Mindy Kaling or Liz Meriwether.

Black Swan got denigrated most often as Camp because Camp, like Women and Ballet movies, is not something to be taken as seriously as men and Westerns. That's why it's great that the Coen Brothers made True Grit a feminist Western, as if to demonstrate that the concepts of Feminist and Western are no more incompatible than the ideas of Feminism and Men. Raising Arizona is a feminist Western about fatherhood. 

The idea that any two ideas must be incompatible is the whole problem. That any dichotomy must be "vs." rather than "and." Binary oppositions are straw men. They are rarely actually in opposition. "I am large, I contain multitudes." Men AND Women. Good AND Bad. Virgin AND Whore. Loud AND Quiet. Peace AND Violence. Logic AND Feeling. Serious AND Funny. Eastern AND Western. High AND Low. New York AND Los Angeles. 

Molly Lambert is the Vice President of This Recording. Get your own goddamn coffee. She last wrote in these pages about Taylor Swift and Ernest Hemingway. You can find How To Be A Woman In Any Boys Club here and Speak Now here. She tumbls here and twitters here.

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"My Drive Thru" - N.E.R.D. ft. Santigold & Julian Casablancas (mp3)

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References (2)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
    Football is genuinely one of the largest sports in America. It has a big following.
  • Response
    NFL is definitely 1 of the largest sports in America. It has a significant following.

Reader Comments (34)

Suddenly I feel like George Costanza holding a picture of a model and pretending it's his fiancee

March 1, 2011 | Registered CommenterAlex

Jeez, you're on a roll.

If we got you started on the topic of curing cancer, do you think you could like, work it out?

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterIlya

I am commenting for the first time on this site to tell you that god DAMN you are bringing it so hard lately. I swear, every other sentence, I am like yes yes YES!

If this is what "overthinking" looks like, then we need a shit ton more of it. Well done.

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCaitlin

So what you're saying is that it's unfair and suspicious that 5 great white directors (who deserved to be nominated) were nominated for "Best Director." Gotcha.

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered Commentertravis

Amazing! Again! You're amazing. And, I get why the internet's a great medium for you (us), but if you put a book together on gender politics I would buy a copy for myself and everyone I know, just sayin'.

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterr

Travis,

She's saying that the white male directors rose to the top because of their privilege in our society. Did you not see the line about how Catherine Hardwicke was not in the running to direct The Fighter, because "it needed to be directed by a man"? I find that kind of funny seeing how Black Swan (about ballerinas) was directed by a guy.

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBecca

Chrissy goes to Lower Manhattan in 'D Girl.' but whatever.

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHC Carr

oh yeah I always get D Girl mixed up with the Lauren Bacall ep, but I love all the Sopranos episodes about the movie business and the ones with Hesh and F Note Records

March 1, 2011 | Registered CommenterMolly

Also commenting for the first time to say: HIGH FIVE.

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBel

Word to all!

Some questions, though:
Obvi you're talking about famous people and media and movies in most of these posts because that's a common ground we can all reference/you are encyclopedically well-versed in the lives and histories of famous people and their movies/they are in many ways representative of the culture of we little people, but what do you think about this stuff when uninflected by fame? Because, by talking only about famous movie people, you're by default talking about THE most privileged and likely already egocentric people in the country.

Like if the best straight white guys use their fame to subvert their unmarked privilege, what happens to non-famous straight white guys? Besides just generally trying to be a good person/not being a misogynist, does the obligation to subvert privilege apply to straight white guys who have shitty jobs and are in debt? I think yes! But I'm just not sure how to go about it.

Or I guess, should we not do things that it seems like we can only do because we're straight and white and guys? Because that's kindof everything. Which is fine, and not trying to do anything with my life sounds like an OK option, really, but no one seems to think it's cool for a guy to not really do anything, either.

Sorry if I'm missing something super basic, and these are just dumb to ask.

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJohn

Sup, John -

I think everyone in the know is kind of obligated to do the right thing, you know? Like knowing the difference between right and wrong makes you do the right thing. It's obvious to say that people in privilege (not just whites/guys) should subvert the system that gave them that privilege, because they have the power to do so, but yeah, I see your point about that maybe being a difficult path when you're just a regular dude with a real life. I think a realistic way to live the life Molly is talking about is: have a good attitude - be aware of privilege, being privileged, or the opposite. You can also speak up on behalf of those who are getting the short end of the stick. For example, I - a woman, not white - might speak up on behalf of someone who says that "all blacks are X". I'm in school and don't have a job or anything so I can't go on a highly publicized mission to Africa but I CAN say "not all people of a group are the same, DUH!" So if someone says something about "women are all X," one thing you can do is speak up and say, "all women are not the same!" or something like that. Does that make sense?

Also, nobody is asking you to give up good opportunities (be they in work, school, just general social situations), even if you did get them just because you're white. Just use your powers for good, not evil.

Am I on the right path here, guys?

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterfairlyalarmed

Hey fairlyalarmed—thanks for the reply!

And yeah, that's what I, and I think most people, try to do as a common-sense approach to being a good person in an often fucked-up system, but Molly seems to be pushing for something more radical, which is I guess where my question about why she talks about everything in terms of famous people comes from. Like is the strength of the message in these coming from the fact that these people are famous, and media has a bigger burden to steer things conscientiously, from the fact that these people are hyper-privileged and often insane, so they deserve a little stronger of an excoriation, or is this stuff meant to apply to normal people?

I think it's just a little confusing because the posts are so wide-ranging, usually using the celebrities as a jumping-off point for normal-life examples (like Brad Pitt and dudes in relationships yesterday), but it's pretty difficult to follow arguments based on anecdotes from the paparazzi-reported lives of the hyper-privileged.

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJohn

i support this team being given the keys to the internet.

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered Commentergil

I use celebrities and fictional characters because I think they are a projection of some of these concepts in the public sphere that everyone can relate to. I guess a good life rule would be "if you know that what you're doing is fucked up, don't do it." That is the Bill Clinton/John Edwards/Bill Maher thing. If you're smart enough to know better, you can't just pretend like you are ignorant that it's fucked up. The Lewinsky scandal was handled like "boys will be boys," the assumption being a) that men have sexual needs that are greater than women's and b) that the portion of the country that thought Bill was a pimp was more important than the portion of the country that was like "dude, what about your wife?" Bill relied on the male stereotype that c) any man in a position of power cannot possibly control himself from taking advantage of that power. Which is a pretty scary idea to advance in politics, and an extremely fascist one. Obama is not perfect by any means, and nobody is a perfect person, but he is certainly a better feminist than Bill.

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMolly

I just saw an interview with Peter Weir who was claiming that the only films being distributed were plain infantile. I could also make a case that the mature half of society doesn't get a look in either. But it would lack your volcanic vitriol. Has This Recording considered getting into film distribution??

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterdr mumdownunder

Yell all you want, molly, I love your work. But as I hope you know, talking about it and advocating for things doesn't get you anywhere. Need to find a new, fresh way to talk about feminism/racism other than "fuck white males". Maybe women should stop having sex with us or perhaps they should be on top more often. Or, reaching in a more positive direction (lol), you should dial back on complaining about men (it only makes us feel more important) and recontextualize your argument by encouraging women.

Problem? Or opportunity? Maybe you're overthinking things.

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercyle

Becca,
The claim that these particular white male directors "rose to the top because of their privilege in our society" isn't, of course, documented by any evidence whatsoever.

And let me be the first to call bullshit on Catherine Hardwicke's claim of sexism. She was never even considered for the film - Darren Aronofsky was the first choice, and after he fell through the job went to David O. Russell, who is a friend of Wahlberg's. It didn't have anything to do with sex, but more to do with the fact that she's just not that good of a director and got let go from the Twilight franchise.

Catherine Hardwicke is just a narcissist trying to save face, nothing more.

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered Commentertravis

Don't worry Travis, Mark Wahlberg made a great documentary on "How To Be A Boy In A Boys' Club And Never Think About Any Real Social Issues In Any Depth Because It Is Your Privilege Not To Ever Have To" called Entourage. You should check it out!

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMolly

"Ohhhh yeahhhhhhhh. Oh yeahhhhhhhh." -Entourage theme song

March 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterConcerned Parent

Oh. OHHH! You've been watching Entourage? It all makes sense now...

Just an FYI, Entourage is about as much of an insight into how dudes actually think and behave as Girls Gone Wild videos are an insight into how most women think and behave.

March 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBingo

Well I am riding these 4th(?) WAVVES you're authoring, Molly. And I love being pink on the inside. And I am SO sick of masculinity pissing in the collective bowl of cereal.

March 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnthony

All of this talk about straight white men made me really confused, because I was SURE at least one of those Best Director nominees had to be gay. (I just wasn't sure which one. David Fincher? David O Sexy? Whichever Coen Brother didn't marry Frances McDormand? The British one?) But the internet tells me otherwise...

March 2, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermatthew

I love this post a lot.

March 2, 2011 | Unregistered Commentersoftestbullet

Thanks so much, Molly, for this recent series of articles.

To the naysayers, please listen:
I am not a feminist because I hate men, or want them to feel bad. I love men. I get no pleasure from anger. I just want to promote equality. That is what feminism is about.

If hearing me say that I feel that I'm being consistently treated as less of a person than my male counterparts (which is what feminists are saying when we say that gender inequality exists and it is wrong) makes you mad at me? Then you have a problem. And your problem? It has become my problem, Molly's problem, society's problem.

I don't enjoy acknowledging that gender inequality exists. Actually, it hurts. Thinking about it, talking about it, writing about it. That is one reason why so many people have felt the need to thank Molly in the comments sections lately.

It may not be easy to hear that you maybe didn't earn every single thing that you have, that the world doesn't always parcel things out based on merit. But it shouldn't be surprising. Two people with equal abilities and equal needs can work equally hard and one can still come out on top if they had different starting points. A person's starting point is sometimes determined by arbitrary factors such as gender or the fact that their great-grandparents were slaves. Humans are imperfect, we take shortcuts, we expect different things from different people, some are treated better than others. That is what people mean when they say privilege.

You can be privileged and still deserve what you have. But know that there are other people who deserve it equally and are never going to get it if you don't stand up for them.

March 2, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteralice

This is a stunning—moving, articulate, clear, uncompromising—piece of writing. I am so glad that you created it and shared it on the internet.

March 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCharlotte

One of the most inane, irrational and incoherent articles on an issue that DOES need more attention, just not from you apparently.

Your analogy of the Oscar audience being disproportionate to the ethnic makeup of LA is ridiculous. The Oscars are full of over-privileged, elite white people - yes - but in no way should the ethnic makeup of the Oscar audience represent the ethnic makeup of a city it is held in. Keep an open mind, yes, just not so open that your brains fall out.

Your Yoko Ono remark might make sense if her effect on John Lennon was for the better. He became indulgent and lazy with his music. If John Lennon happened to be hitched with a Joan Baez, a Joni Mitchell, a Mama Cass of his time - the "mainstream misogynistic culture" might have loved the idea of their pairing. The same way people loved the idea of Sonny and Cher, and Cher is the one who overshined her counterpart in the end.

I could go on, but you get the idea. Your heart is in the right place, but when you fingerpoint and cite history and analogies, make sure you do it WELL so that your point gets across. All I read was a bunch of poorly argued and poorly constructed ideas that DO deserve scrutiny, analysis and further awareness...just, not the way you're doing it.

March 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJoe

Hey, nice job considering some crucial issues, and handling the comments.

One thing that hit me in this article, and in your last, about Boys' Clubs, is the suggestion that men shouldn't treat women differently because "we are all the same." Or that " "[Men] don't understand women because they think they are different. "

We can recognize that there may be gender-based differences, we can recognize that maybe we're all too blinded by the M-F binary to realize that maybe gender or sex isn't the best way to break down these differences.

But the "we are all the same" argument sometimes conflates the concept of Equality: everyone has the same opportunity to achieve what he or she wants to achieve, whatever that may be, with a more sinister concept of Conformity: everyone has the same opportunity to achieve what [insert dominant culture here] says is worthy of achievement. And it misses the greater point - we shouldn't be prioritizing one set of traits over another.

Sometimes, when people make the "we are all the same" argument, they follow it up by saying that women are "just as strong as men", or "just as funny" or "just as smart". While facially these seem to be great equalizing statements, they are actually placing Men/White Male Culture as the reference point for what are or should be desirable personality traits. It's like saying, "Black people are just as smart as White people." It suggests that something about white-ness and its relation to intelligence is inherently true; it is a major premise - that which all else is proven by. The power hierarchy is subtly reinforced, not questioned.

So, I'm troubled when you say men don't understand women because they think they are different - as though the truth is that men shouldn't be afraid of women because women are just like them. I'm not sure if this is what you're actually saying, and if I'm simplifying what you're saying then totally my b. But I think the stronger, more complex argument is that yeah, women can be different from men. Genders interact with the world differently, we are shaped differently by society, we may be biologically different.

The solution is not in ignoring these differences, but in recognizing their complexity and the lack of easy answer to them. Recognizing whether these differences are totally socially constructed or biologically determined, or, as is more likely, a combination of both. And recognizing that the bigger problem is not in recognizing differences but in creating a hierarchy based upon gendered traits - i.e., lumping certain traits with a certain desirability with a certain gender (funniness is good is male, sensitivity is bad is female). Maybe women have a tendency to be more sensitive than men, and maybe men have a tendency to be physically stronger than women. Sensitivity is a valuable trait, as is strength. And just because a certain trait may tend to be exhibited more often, or more strongly in a certain gender doesn't mean that gender has exclusive control over the other.

Another problem arises when we put the gender before the individual, i.e., we try to map all stereotypically male traits onto every male, or all stereotypically female traits onto all females, or ignore the fact that many people just don't fit into the gender binary - and maybe the gender binary is just too flawed to even try to work with anymore.

Anyways, my point is that when we say that girls are "Just as ____ as the guys", we are perpetuating the values-hierarchy we should be dismantling.

March 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterE

Christopher had more trouble figuring out what kind of Polak he was killing than actually killing him.

March 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterroQQboTTom

i wonder if postpartum depression should be shortened to just Postpartum? since that just means "after birth" and all women who give birth experience after the birth, but not all experience this form of depression...i think that could be dangerous.

this article was amazing. i feel sorry for the dudes above who are so angrily haranguing because they couldn't read the article clearly through the clouded lens of their privilege and self-focus.

March 4, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterclaudia

Christopher Nolan was NOT nominated for best director. The Coen Brothers were. This would seem to enhance your argument since there were actually 6 white male's nominated for best director. Then again, Nolan is whiter-looking than the Coen Brothers so it may be a wash, or a white-wash if you will.

March 4, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterkoko

Speaking of clouded lenses, you're probably looking a little too hard for misogyny if you're seeing evidence of it in the public's rejection of Yoko Ono. Not a knock on her music, but it sure as hell ain't for everyone, and Lennon's attempts to foist it on the Beatles' audience were hilariously misguided. Anyway, can you name a MALE noise-rock artist who's been embraced by mainstream music audiences? Captain Beefheart has a large-ish cult following, but it's safe to say most Beatles would fans hate his stuff as much as they hated Yoko's.

March 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDo the ozma

Do the ozma - if you think Molly's referring to the world's rejection of Yoko Ono's music then you're totally missing her point. The world didn't just reject her music (and as somebody who saw her in concert at a festival, totally understandable) the world rejected her. She didn't just make weird music, <I>she broke up the Beatles. She became a devil woman to the Beatlemaniacs. People cursed her name under their breath and on the front page of the newspapers. She wasn't just John Lennon's wife, she took on some kind of mythical status through which she forced the Beatles to break up even though they would never, ever, ever have done that if John Lennon had just stayed single. Or so the story goes. Responsibility isn't laid at the feet of the other band members for pursuing other artistic visions, of time and its inevitable passing, of the pressures of fame, and of course not at the feet of John Lennon and his own ego. Yoko Ono was the other: a woman, a foreigner, outspoken, a radical, an artist in her own right. Her contributions to the Beatles, via her inspiration to John and her development of themes in their later work, have been utterly glossed over. She was constantly referred to as a groupie - she was his goddamn wife! And yet she remains only The Woman Who Makes Weird Music and Broke Up The Beatles.

March 7, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteramativus

I have a real question, and I'm looking for an answer... is it possible to be angry at misogyny... and not be a feminist (and vice versa)?

March 7, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterneither_nor

no. if you can recognize that there is misogyny, you are already a feminist. recognizing that there are unfair practices in place with regards to women and minorities is horrifying but important. feminism is humanism.

March 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMolly

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