Saturday, June 21, 2014

Personal Opinions vs. Prescriptiveness (NSFW)

Saw an article on the Facebook feed today that bothered me enough that I felt it necessary write rather than watch lunch.

Ugh.  I'm going to do a takedown of this article, mainly because I have a kid on Facebook who may, sooner or later, come across this article and I don't ever want her to feel obligated to do things she's not comfortable with.

No.  Not every girl should give blow jobs.

Girls who like giving head should give head, hopefully to someone who likes receiving head.  Girls who do not like giving blow jobs, should not give blow jobs.  Just like guys who do not like giving head should not give head.  

No one should participate in sex acts they are uncomfortable with.  If you really enjoy them, then go for it.  If you're just kind of meh about it, but generally okay with it and get enjoyment from making your partner happy, then that's cool too.

There's a number of problems with this article.  It's heteronormative, to begin with.  I'm going to ahead and mention that a lot of lesbians probably don't like being told they should give blow jobs.  But I guess lesbians don't exist in this universe.

Not a single point on the list even remotely touches on the woman's enjoyment.  Most of the points like "He's more likely to get down on one knee if you get down on two" revolve around using oral sex as a manipulation tactic, or getting a guy's approval.  People, this mentality is gross.  GROSS.  Do it because you like it, and if you don't like it, don't do it.

The only reference to enjoyment is where the author mentions that it's fun.  Fair point.  It sure can be loads *snicker* of fun.  But she then goes on to kill that by claiming that if you don't think it's fun, you're doing it wrong.

And that's where my issue comes into play: the author employs a prescriptive voice throughout the article.   She doesn't say, "I think this is awesome." She says, "I think this is awesome, and so should you."  

That's a big nope.

It could have been possible to write this while making it clear that it's completely subjective, and without shaming people who don't like to participate in oral sex.  The author of the article could have titled the piece "15 Reasons I Think Blow Jobs Are The Freaking Awesomest."   Because then it stops being prescriptive and becomes one person's personal opinion.   Instead of ending the article with "Get to work, people" she could have said something like "Now if you'll excuse me, I've gotta head downtown for a while... if you know what I mean *wink*"

Hey, that's pretty clever.  I'm starting to think I should have written it.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

This is why I hated "She's All That"

Tumblr user Justplainsomething posited an interesting question recently:
Why do we see a story where a guy falls for an “ordinary” girl as pandering? It’s one thing if the story’s message is “Your self-worth is directly connected to whether or not a boy loves you” because that’s problematic as hell, but why do we mock girls for liking stories where they’re wanted? Is the idea that girls like being wanted so off-putting to us?
Years ago, I had a thing for movies with vaguely schlubby/geeky guys who win the girl in the end, but often thought similar.. "Why are there no movies where a plain, kind of dweeby girl, wins over the hot guy by being herself?"

The answer is rather depressing.   While we see a plain schlubby dude winning over a beautiful woman as a hero, a beloved protagonist, I feel like a schlubby woman chasing a hot guy would be seen by most as kind of desperate and pathetic, or alternately, as frightening.

Male entitlement (and I'm going to piss some people off using that term) dictates that our schlubby dude is a hero because as a guy he deserves to win the pretty girl's affections.  He should be able to get the girl just by being himself.

How else does Seth Rogen get leading man roles?  Source
The only time we seem to root for the schlubby girl is when she earns the affections of the hot guy by becoming beautiful.  It's as though we schlubby chicks are not allowed to win over hot guys by simply being ourselves.  We have to be beautiful before we get to win them over.  Hence the popularity of the scads of Pygmalion archetypes in film.

Even Hollywood's idea of plain geeky women is rather skewed.  Skewed enough that I am having a hard time thinking of a particularly schlubby or dweeby leading lady that I'd like to see paired up with a hot leading man.

Sorry, even with glasses and a taco hat, you're still Rachel Leigh fricking Cook.  Source
The other time a small subset of us cheers for the schlubby woman is when she decides that she's better off alone.. but like I said, that's a small, small subset.

I'd love to see a movie where someone like,  geez, I don't know.. Mayim Bialik in Full-Amy Farrah Fowler mode gets paired up with someone like Kit Harrington (garrgghghh).. without a makeover, without her flinging her glasses off and becoming a supermodel.  Just a plain, geeky girl and the hot, hot dude who loves her.

I have a feeling I may be waiting some time.

In the meantime, I'll be over here, having a Kit Harington appreciation moment. Source