Thursday, February 10, 2011

The week isn't ending

Last week was a week of feminist rage - this week was supposed to be something new. I wasn't quite expecting a week of feminist revolt and joy, but I was hoping to rage about something else for a week.*

But no - The Rock were determined that my week of feminist rage should never end. To be fair he mention of "the Rock" in the news in itself is like a lighthouse warning that rocks of misogyny are ahead. They did after all used to have billboards which said "We gave you something to listen to while your girlfriend was talking" (printed on the t-shit of a woman while not showing her head - naturally).

But now they have started a competition to 'win a wife':

The winner of MediaWorks' The Rock promotion will fly to the Ukraine for 12 nights, be given $2000 spending money, and be able to choose a bride from an agency.
There are really no words besides 'gah' and 'argh' and obviously their obnoxiousness is in part seeking an outraged reaction.

But what got me were the questions you have to answer to enter the competition. A large number of them ask about the various things contestants have done to 'score'. And then:
All women are nuts, but what can you tell us about your craziest Ex that sets her apart from the other nut-jobs?
The internal contradictions of a masculinity which hates women but requires hetrosexuality are so stark that whenever I try and think about it my brain short circuits.

It's like women are bogs of eternal stench with islands in the middle. And sex is catching a butterfly on one of those islands taking it home and pinning it on your wall for your mates (who are very judgemental about bog smells) to see.

It seems so ridiculous, so contrived, so obviously not connected to anything real or true that I find it hard to understand how this house of cards stands.

And it doesn't quite stand. The Rock, and beer ads, enforce masculinity in ways that dance so close to parody - and a sturdy house wouldn't need this sort of scaffolding. Our radical notion that women are people is a powerful counter-weapon.

* I have had lots of rage about the treatment of minimum wage workers both by the government and their employers. Tomorrow maybe.

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