Yes, we’re still talking about Miley Cyrus, because the other choice is fretting over what our government plans to do in Syria, and, frankly, nothing I could write will have any impact on that whatsoever. Let’s just stick to snack-pack pop culture for now. I fear we’ll have plenty of opportunity to talk about war in the weeks to come.
So. The sidebar to all the fuss over Miley’s very awkward toddle into grownup female sexuality is Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” which was part of her pathetic VMA performance. Not just the song, mind you, but the video, with its lithe and lovely young ladies prancing around in panties, while Thicke and rappers T.I. and Pharell Williams — all fully clothed — taunt the “good girls” into having sex with them.
Feminists blasted the video for its objectification of women. Maybe I should turn in my feminist card, because I don’t see it that way. I think the video is fun and sassy, no one’s being abused, no one is being forced to do anything against her will, no one is being harmed. Everything’s consensual (which is absolutely key) and the girls look like they’re having fun. The guys, ultimately, are just trying to get noticed.
Yes, T.I. has one questionable line about how he’s so big that he’s going to cause some damage (and no, that’s not how he says it, but that’s the best I can do in a family newspaper), and some feminists pounced on that and screamed “rape culture!” Come on. Seriously. I ask you, all women who have ever known men: Do they not all brag about their equipment and believe it’s the biggest, baddest monster on earth, and give it names like Big Red and The Whopper and whatnot? Further, we women who actually know men, do we not humor this nonsense and play along with it, knowing how fragile the bubble of male ego can be? All we have to do is look him in the eye, point toward our own parts and say, “You know, I can pass a 10-pound, 20-inch baby through this.” You’ll instantly deflate more than just his ego. So, when it gets down to it, who really has the power?
Sometimes I wonder if these hardcore feminists actually know any men. I know a whole bunch of them. All that sexual bravado doesn’t really phase me. Here’s the deal: Men think about sex all the time, talk about sex, and will say and do outrageous things to get sex. They have their desires. Sure, acting upon those desires without a woman’s consent is 100 percent wrong, no exceptions. But is expressing desire, in and of itself, bad? Isn’t it merely the male fluffing his feathers and flapping his wings in hopes that the female will find this an acceptable display for carrying on the species?
Think about that. Is that really wrong, or have you just been conditioned to believe it’s wrong?
As for Thicke’s “sexist” video, a clever group of female law students from New Zealand redid the “Blurred Lines” video, attempting to turn the tables. They stayed clothed, bossing and humiliating some men wearing little tighty whities. (Which, by the way, is not what the men did in Thicke’s version. They mostly just stood around and sang, and kept hoping.)
All of us who actually know men will immediately spot the flaw with this approach. Tell me girls, if you ask your man to watch a sexy girl in a dress and stilettos place a heel on a half-naked guy’s back as he does pushups, what is he more likely to do: Gasp in ashamed epiphany about how it feels to be objectified, or race to your closet, grab some stilettos, fling them at you as he leaps into the pushup position and look up at you wistfully?
My real issue with the second video, however, is that it intends to objectify and embarrass men. Fight fire with fire. The trouble is, when you fight fire with fire, everybody ends up getting burned.
All the fuss over Thicke’s video reminds me that we’ve been conditioned into viewing male libido as bad, and female libido even worse. By the time girls hit high school, they know their only choices are virgin or slut. It’s black or white. No gray area for girls at all. Males are “allowed” to venture into the gray area, but who’s doing all this “allowing”? Here in America, women still have the right to decide what is and isn’t appropriate for themselves. Ladies, the only one keeping you from exploring the gray area is you. Rather than vilifying men for their natural desires, how about we stop vilifying women for their own? Rather than criticizing male libido, how about nurturing female libido as normal and natural instead of squelching it?
The video from New Zealand was the last drop that finally spilled my bucket of impatience with feminists. I can’t begin to count all the slurs (yes, slurs) against men that I see on Facebook, social media and elsewhere, ripping men to pieces and declaring them The Enemy. They’re all abusers, oppressors, batterers and rapists. When I see these posts and statements, I’m compelled to reply, “Oh really? Is that true about your father? Brother? Son? Husband? Neighbor? Friend? Co-worker?
I want to go on record: I like men. A lot. I think they’re a hoot. Honestly, they are frequently better company than women. I can rattle off the names of scores of men who don’t fit the sexist slurs. I know hundreds of kind, gentle, wonderful men, good friends, relatives, and kind souls who wouldn’t harm anyone, particularly women. Men aren’t the enemy, and if you believe they are, you’re just as sexist as the men you deplore.
Patriarchy is the enemy. Fundamental religions that oppress women are the enemy. Inequality in the workplace is the enemy. But men themselves? No. Not even when they throw stilettos at you and start doing pushups.
— Email Debra DeAngelo at firstname.lastname@example.org; read more of her work at www.wintersexpress.com and www.ipinionsyndicate.com