Poop – Talk
This week has been a strange one, as the week after the Oscars often is. Hollywood, tired from the two months of non-stop parties and back-patting, has to go back to work. Celebrity gossip bloggers have to milk this night for all its worth. As someone who works in the entertainment industry with a favorite pastime of reading said blogs, I’m suffering Oscar fatigue.
The most interesting part of all of this has been the response to Seth MacFarlane as host. Everyone everywhere seems to think it was woefully misogynistic, racist, and unfunny. Except, apparently, the folks I watched with. We laughed. I thought the joke was on the people in that room that night – the people who allow movies to be made with majority male casts, who demand an actress answer for her fashion and dating life before even bothering to consider how good she is at her job, and who stiffed Kathryn Bigelow despite the fact that, of all nine best picture contenders, she made the best, most well-crafted film. I’ll turn in my feminist card now. Even funnier is that while everyone vilified Seth MacFarlane, they continued in subsequent posts to eviscerate Anne Hathaway, a self-identifying feminist, who, while maybe not great at acceptance speeches, works for a number of social justice causes and is a damn good actress to boot.
Something that has always interested me about Gwyneth Paltrow is that, despite the fact that she is a capable, talented, smart woman(even if she is tone deaf when it comes to class and weight issues) who surrounds herself with interesting women, she does not identify as a feminist. I’m starting to understand more and more why this is, especially after the ridiculous, confusing Oscar coverage. Because I’m going to be launching a second blog soon titled The Shitty Feminist, I’ve decided to discuss my thoughts on being a woman, women in general, and why I think I’m crap at feminism despite strongly believing in equality in general.
Peace and Pennies, Sam
I’m Mostly a Person but Also a Woman
My friend Renee sparked an interesting discussion this week – she believes that often, differences between men and women are highlighted to the point of being detrimental to both. I agree. I believe, at the end of the day, humans are more similar than different. Are differences make us unique, and those similarities help us to connect, which is, I believe, most people’s primary goal – to feel part of the world. Often, I’ve found that people – women and men alike – who are passionate about feminism get really hung up on an “us versus them” mentality. It’s ineffective. Instead of trying to educate people in our similarities so that we can see how necessary equality is, it creates a divide, stunts communication, and prevents people from coming together. Instead, I think we need to start from a place of compassion, which starts with acknowledging that, no matter how much we might disagree, we all feel the same feelings.
I’m Certainly Not a Cop
Policing people’s actions has gotten out of hand. We focus so much on whatever is causing offense that we fail to see the person behind it. For instance, not too long ago on The Mary Sue, a woman called out James Gunn, future director of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, for creating a list of 100 sexiest comic book characters. The list was tongue-in-cheek, but like James Gunn’s films, toed the line of good taste in order to really make a point. Gunn, who works with awesome women like Elizabeth Banks and Ellen Page and for feminist and social justice causes, is definitely one of the good guys. It’s exciting that he is working for Marvel. But instead of doing a little research, this writer decided she was, based on this single article, going to boycott his upcoming film. Had she stopped being judge, jury and executioner like some sort of haywire feminist Dredd, she might have been able to spark a legitimate dialog on her website or with James Gunn – who is notoriously fan friendly – and why this sort of humor didn’t work for her and others. This is not to say that women shouldn’t stand up for themselves – they should. However, there are times when taking a hardline stance isn’t necessary. If one of my friends makes a sexist joke, despite the fact that I try not to have asshole friends, I’m not going to throw them out of my life. Instead, I might tell them that that’s not cool or ask them why that’s supposed to be funny. Dialog! Education! Connection! See how easy it could be?
So Let’s Play Nice
Beyond policing people’s actions, I think there is still a huge problem among many feminist writers, of snarking one-another and insulting other women. This is not unlike what happened to Anne Hathaway over the course of Oscar season. Despite the fact that she is, by all accounts, a good person, other women really took her to task, dismissing her as a “try-hard” (OMG, ambition is soooooo gross) for openly displaying how much she wanted that Oscar. Sorry, but that’s a pretty normal human response. She works hard. This has been her goal. I admire that, even if she’s a little melodramatic. I’m a spaz, too, and half the time, me trying to be sincere comes across as super cheesy, so no judgment. Bloggers do it to one-another as well. Whether you sign onto Jezebel or the Double X or The Gloss, it’s impossible to get through a week without someone going on some rant over something someone else said. And it’s rare these debate articles exist without name-calling. Just Google the name Cat Marnell and behold the bitchery. Or don’t, since you probably want to have a good day.
This probably sounds disingenuous on this blog, given how much I rag on Gwyneth Paltrow and Goop, but I do try to make clear that fact that, although I think she’s largely tone-deaf to class differences and has a dangerous beauty and health perspective, I do admire her, and I do understand that she’s coming from a different place than I am. Hell, if I didn’t have that awareness, I wouldn’t be able to do what I do. I’d be a bitter, rotten person instead of someone who tries to parody Goop while helping my own life get better.
So, Gal-Poopers, Guy-Poopers, and any other kind of Poopers, be kind to one-another this week. Kindness breeds compassion, which breeds humanity, which is how things get better. And stay tuned, because soon I’ll be attempting to write on my own, without Goop inspiration. We’ll see how that goes!