as all the HUB bloggers converged this week, setting this place up and having behind-the-scenes discussions regarding what we wanted this place to be, doing meta-analysis of fun-fem critiques was not the game plan. but what can i say? i have been inspired. and while its not the mission for this blog, or even necessarily my own long-term plan, to perform regular meta-analyses of fun-fem commentary (or lack of commentary, as the case may be) i will probably be engaging in some of this from time to time. like now, with this post. its meta!
so with that in mind…has everyone about had enough of fun-fem critiques of media images? are you verily sick of it? to be fair, obviously, being sickened by the fun-fems treatment of the issues is of a different type and degree than whats evoked when viewing misogynist empornulated images themselves…when i see media images of women and how we are portrayed in the media under the P, its both revolting and enraging (to name but two) and it makes me only too aware that, instead of spending my hard-earned cash on any of the items being hawked to me by television (and billboards and adverts in public places, newspapers etc) i really need to be saving whatever pennies i have for a rainy day. which for women of course means when we are sick, old, lose our jobs, or are otherwise more vulnerable than we are now, to dangerous, predatory PIV-entitled men. oh, and that i should be shouting this from the rooftops, wherever possible. save, dont spend! do the former, and refrain from the latter, to whatever extent you can. thats all i am saying. i know that many of us cant, and that this is deliberate, and its what creates the sex-class. for women, saving money (or at least not spending it, or not spending it on stupid crap) is harm-reduction only.
by contrast, when i see fun-fem critiques of misogynist empornulated media images, well, frankly i find it draining…actually, physically fatiguing, and it puts me to sleep. god! its so boring! and if i wasnt so tired, i might actually be upset that the fun-fems are mis-using and abusing their platform so badly. i mean really. say something that matters, please! of course, i know they never will, and that the continuation of their platform depends on it. its okay, i get it. moving on.
here are 2 commercials i have seen recently, and i really wish i hadnt. the first one is a york peppermint patty commercial featuring YPP’s longstanding motto “get the sensation” which has been sexed-up for modern, eh, consumption:
and this is a dove-bar commercial thats so gross it makes me feel as if *i* have shoved an entire dove-bar down my throat, then threw it up, and then ate the throwup (seriously, howd they do that? it actually leaves me with the impression that something intrusive and ice-cream related has happened to me, in real life):
heres another one from dove-bar. just, ew! for anyone who remembers what yorks commercials used to look like, you can see older videos here and here that tend to illustrate that their advertising (for candy, FFS) has recently become decidedly more empornulated.
anyway, what the fun-fems would probably say about these images is that they are utilizing “sexuality in advertising” or something generic about objectifying women, or using “sex” to sell things. well, first of all…why is the “objectification” of women in advertising unacceptable to fun-fems at all, when they seem okay with the sexual objectification of women in every other situation? this is a serious question. as is this: how the hell can they hawk their lipstick-and-stilettos pro-consumerist rhetoric as being “empowering” for women, independently of the misogynist empornulated imagery that accompanies it, and which deliberately targets women to keep us poor, and therefore permanent members of the disadvantaged sex-class?
in fact, the fun-fems have completely swallowed, hook line and sinker, what sheila jeffreys refers to as the “unreflective politics of orgasm” where female-orgasmic PIV-centric sex, as opposed to female-inorgasmic PIV-centric sex, is promised to be revolutionary for women. of course, this is impossible, due to the female-specific harms of PIV on which the entire patriarchal structure is so clearly dependant. but why are the fun-fems also saying, at the exact same time they are saying that actual porn is okay, that empornulated images in advertising, particularly, are a problem?
and more specifically, why is any of this important to us, as feminists? thats where the fun-fems never want to go. they just leave their “critiques” and their readers hanging here, as if they have said everything that needs to be said. when in fact, they have failed to go to the ends of their thoughts on the issue, or on any of the issues they write about.
of course, from a radical perspective, sexual objectification of women in advertising is actually a legitimate concern. the real reason, of course, that these empornulated images are problematic for women is that they highlight, encourage and “sell” heterosexual PIV-centric sexuality to both women and men, which is the very foundation of male dominance, and of female submission to men. and where media images are a force, and both the (literal) text and the subtext in our culture, where particularly city-dwellers are exposed to some 5000 advertising images a day. hello!
okay? empornulated images in advertising are problematic because they are PIV propaganda, and PIV is harmful to women and not to men. and the female-specific harm of PIV represents the key to the patriarchal kingdom. it really does.
to be clear, empornulated imagery in advertising is not problematic in a feminist context because its “unfair” to women, or because it causes disordered eating, or anything else. even though these things might be true, issues of “fairness” and unfortunateness that could theoretically befall anyone, regardless of sex — like eating disorders — might be of humanist, but not of radical feminist concern. as a matter of fact, why the fun-fems continue to frame their discourse as “feminist” at all is an issue that needs discussing, and that i hope will be discussed, here and elsewhere.
oh, and i am never eating a dove-bar again, due to nausea. or, at least i wont be eating one today. seriously. that dove-bar commercial had the opposite of its intended effect, on this radical feminist. heh. which isnt really a surprise now is it?