Friday, October 05, 2007

I took a walk this morning,

and it was the Best Walk Ever! Readers of the female persuasion, you should go on a walk, too.

The group of people I walked with was made up of so many fabulous women at different points in their careers. During the reception that followed, I got to talk with talented individuals whom I had never expected to encounter, and whose work I never realized how much I appreciated until it wasn't there anymore. The coolest thing about the entire affair was how comfortable I felt. I was accepted by everyone, by women who have done so much with their lives already. And many of those successful women were impressed by me and my goals. I wasn't worried about what my face looked like or what clothes I was wearing. I felt so supported and empowered and connected. These are people who understand what I stand for and know how far we still have to go as women together.

After all of that positivity this morning, conversely this evening I've been watching And You Don't Stop: 30 Years of Hip Hop, a miniseries on VH1. After four hours of footage that included the LL Cool J, Run DMC, The Beastie Boys, and rises and fall of Tupac and Biggie, one guy finally mentioned "The whole misogyny thing", and pointed out that "[hip-hop is] so accommodating of different styles and different points of view...except for women." Ice-T then excused the industry's oppression and degradation of women by calling it a "back-and-forth", ongoing "battle of the sexes", stating that rappers like Foxy Brown and Lil Kim represent "Do me" feminism.

You know what I love? When men making millions of dollars off of hip hop--an industry now fully entrenched in the hate, mockery and subjugation of girls and women--try to inform me about feminism. Additionally, the entire contribution of women in the hip hop community was relegated to ten of the final 20 minutes of this five-hour special. Those ten minutes included commercials. Also, during this entire special, only one woman was featured as a talking head. One. I couldn't tell you how many men there were featured during those five hours, it was that many.

As I watched the special this evening, and as I listened to Steve Harvey talking to Smokey Robinson on the radio this morning, I realized how much of our culture is dominated by people who decided to say something and were given the power to do so. Not necessarily something important. Just something. Many of these people are men with absolutely nothing of value to say. I'm not talking about Mr. Harvey or Mr. Robinson in particular. I'm talking about fools like Nelly and Lil Jon, whose songs and videos degrade themselves and the women "hired" to gyrate in them. Hired is in quotation marks because I learned from another hip-hop special on VH1 that these women are often not paid for their appearances. Instead of getting much deserved residuals any time the video airs, they get harassed and abused for free. Now that's America. And how are Nelly and Lil Jon degrading themselves? Well, Nelly grew up in a middle-class suburb, and Lil Jon apparently has a bachelors degree. Yet they perpetuate this ghetto fabulous lifestyle acting like they have no sense. What is that about?

Ooh, so now I'm watching a commercial for Ben Stiller's The Heartbreak Kid which looks like a movie about Ben marrying a blond woman who is way too young and way too good-looking for him. He seems not to have known anything about his trophy wife before he married her, and now it turns out that she's crazy. And the movie wants us to feel sorry for him . . . why? I don't get it. Maybe he shouldn't have married some skinny blond woman half his age before he got to know her. Idiot.

I can't wait to see that other movie coming about that young, funny, driven college-educated woman who likes to talk about current events with her friends . . . Oh, that's not a movie? . . . I meant the TV show. . . No TV show either? Then I guess I'll go watch some more gay men on Logo. :(

Nope, there is obviously no problem with the representation of women in American media. You win, irwin.

That's all for now.


Stephanie said...
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Stephanie said...
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Stephanie said...
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Irwin Handleman said...

Yey! I win! I knew you'd see the light.

I think this is going to be my last comment on this blog because I think you're just saying these crazy things to incite me. You either don't really believe this stuff or live in some kind of bizarro world I've only read about in Superman comics.

1. Nelly and Lil' John were given the power to say something because they have what is called talent. You may not think they're talented, but the fact is they make music that people like to listen to and more importantly, are willing to purchase.

2. Those women gyrating in the video? They wanted that job. They actually did it because they wanted to, they weren't forced. Do you think that they're not smart enough to know what they're getting into? Do you think that men are so much smarter than women that they can manipulate them into these jobs? Wow, and I was stupid enough to think that women were equal to men and could think for themselves.

3. "The Heartbreak Kid" is this new, wacky genre of film called "comedy". They're actually going for "idiot" here, it's for laughs.

4. That movie about the college educated woman who talks about current events with her friends? You should pitch that. That's gold. But until it comes out, there might be one or two things on TV (besides Logo) with and about women for you. This is just off the top of my head, but...

"Grey's Anatomy", "30 Rock", "Girlfriends", "Gossip Girl", Pam on "The Office", "Desperate Housewives", "The Ghost Whisperer", everything on Lifetime, The Oxygen network, Ellen, "Lipstick Jungle", E!, WE (Women's Entertainment, it's another whole network just for women), "Cold Case", "Samantha Who" (a new show on ABC starring Christina Applegate and written in part by Pamie), "The Hills", the women of "Heroes", "Women's Murder Club", DVDS of Gilmore Girls, "Veronica Mars", "Sex and the City", and "Buffy", "My Boys", "The Sara Silverman Program", every soap opera, the amazing women of "Friday Night Lights", "Medium", Oprah...(I got tired of typing)

Bianca Reagan said...

Thank you for informing, Stephanie! I have seen Christine Taylor. I miss Hey Dude. Get those DVDs out, Nickelodeon. Also, you should sign up for the walk next time, if it indeed comes back to LA.

irwin, you are always welcome to comment on this blog. The truth is that I actually believe "these crazy things" I am saying. Other progressive feminists believe them too. The fact that these things incite you is coincidental. Meaning, I don't say them to irk you. However, I do understand why you are irritated. I'm sure if more boys read my blog, they would be incited too.

You don't have to confine your comments to my posts about sexism. If I recall, you were fighting for health care benefits on your job a while ago. And I have written about health care on this blog at least three times this year.

I will continue to watch about half of the shows you mentioned before your hands got tired. I will also watch my tapes of Campus Ladies, which is still awesome even though it got cancelled. I'll watch The L Word too, whenever it decides to come back.