WTF Wednesday: Must We Show So Much Boobage as We Empower Ourselves?

Behold, m’ladies. The latest ironic, gender-stereotype-busting, geek-affirming musical video designed to empower us, by showing the world: Fuck Yeah, We Are Women, We Are Bad Ass, We Like the Same Things that Men Like and We Are Good At Them, Too. Plus, We Have Boobs.

 

 

This video and this tweet from Nathan Fillon (yes, of Firefly fame) is why I should not be allowed to roam the Interwebs…

I find offense everywhere I turn and then burn a hole in my head because I agonize over things that, to most people, don’t matter. Look at me, here I am, trying to find fault with a musical video featuring female (supposedly) geeks named TEAM UNICORN. Come on, what’s the matter with me, shouldn’t we all love geek girls and Everything Unicorn?

I can never decide whether to rejoice and feel empowered or to throw up my hands and resign because of what is now considered to be “female empowerment”… by those who are on our side, men who are supposed to be more enlightened than most of their counterparts.

The top comment for the video is from a proud dad whose daughters watched JLA before Dora the Explorer. I am very happy for him and proud of his girls too for smashing gender stereotypes, crossing the boundaries. I loved ThunderCats & Transformers etc. when growing up. So people are liking and sharing this video NOT because of the gratuitous boobage?…

 

"Sexy Ass"=Sexy + Badass? Nicely done. All our feminist foremothers thank you.

It is getting harder and harder to be a modern woman.

In her seminal essay “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All“, Anne-Marie Slaughter, perhaps facetiously, wrote, “… women feel that they are to blame if they cannot manage to rise up the ladder as fast as men and also have a family and an active home life (and be thin and beautiful to boot).”

At the turning point when high heels are no longer tortured devices invented by men to force us to all sway our hips unsteadily in order to exhibit the fantastical, imagined femininity but rather a figurative pair of Samurai swords that we wear to demonstrate our resolve, and to dare men to face our sexuality and general badassness with respect, I became extremely confused and simply gave up.

Show your sexuality. BUT demand respect and autonomy. What the lady giveth, the lady may taketh away.

Be a diva if you’d like. Be girly and feminine if that’s your style. Accumulate wealth. Climb the ladders. Emulate men in all their power, glory and vice. Be all that you can be.

That’s exactly the problem, isn’t it? When everything counts in theory, nothing makes impact in reality.

We are not being allowed to be all that we can be. For starters, we are NOT free to be un-sexy, un-pretty, un-thin. Have you noticed the myriad of female empowerment icons all looking pretty darn hot? If they don’t look hot now, no worries, they will as soon as they take off their geek glasses and their hair pins. We are being (re)trained to (continue to) be the object of desire. Do your progress thing. Be a Super Woman. Better yet, handle everything. You’ve got the power. But make sure you look hot while you are doing it. The male gaze lingers on. Probably even more perniciously because now we are in on it.

Sometimes I just want to stand up and scream, “The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house!”

Then I reprimand myself for possibly (mis)appropriating Audre Lorde’s famous words and for being a defeatist. I also feel guilty for not being a feminist AND a sexpot AND a fierce warrior Ninja AND a genius mathematician all at the same time.

Sitting down now. But not before I post this:

Helen Keller FTW. Absolutely no boobage required.

 

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{ 13 comments… add one }
  • alejna March 6, 2013, 1:26 pm

    I hear you. I have a lot of additional thoughts on this, but for now I wanted to share this video that came to mind when I watched the video you shared:
    http://www.collegehumor.com/video/6550847/female-armor-sucks
    alejna´s last blog post…rainbow cupcakes

  • Naptimewriting March 7, 2013, 1:46 am

    Yes, yes, yes.

    Seriously. Yes.

    Defeated and confused. When a traditionally subjugated group decides to reappropriate the hateful language with which they were dismissed, essentialized, and demoralized, we’re supposed to cheer.

    But women are a traditionally subjugated and objectified group. So we’re supposed to claim power by appropriating infantilized, sexualized, and other nonthreatening physical demarcations and use them to disarm partriarchy?

    I don’t think it works that way.

    I don’t think stilettos allow rising up. Because of the digiposture. And the inability to look strong while tottering and in pain.

    But if reframing what it means to be a pre-teen dominatrix helps women land more Congressional and corporate executive roles, um…fine?
    Naptimewriting´s last blog post…One fine howdeedo

  • Naptimewriting March 7, 2013, 1:56 am

    Don’t get me started on the fact that the four ladies are style to look as pale and light-eyed as possible while the chief nemesis is styled to emphasize her darker skin tone.
    Naptimewriting´s last blog post…One fine howdeedo

  • BigLittleWolf March 7, 2013, 2:58 pm

    So much to say, so little time. But I’ll allow myself an “eeeew, gross” to that Dad.

    I try not to do this but I can’t help it (hope you don’t mind)…

    http://dailyplateofcrazy.com/2013/02/17/50-years-after-the-feminine-mystique-gender-equality-the-impossible-dream/

    We still have sooooo far to go. And it’s disturbing (and ambiguous) when we see sexual objectification and sexual empowerment blurring and all kinds of things “claimed” as acceptable in the name of creativity or the natural phase of finding our sexual identity etc etc etc.

    I’m all for whatever consenting adults wish to enjoy for their pleasure, but these are not adults…

    • absence of alternatives March 16, 2013, 11:11 pm

      Thank you for the link! You said exactly what I have been saying to myself inside my head (or out loud when I am driving) but of course a lot more eloquently. I believe Stephanie Coontz was the one who said something about women not only have to do it all, they also look hot while doing it all. AND that’s exactly my point! I am reading Lean In right now. I feel that there is another rant coming up when I finish reading the book…
      absence of alternatives´s last blog post…WTF Wednesday: Must We Show So Much Boobage as We Empower Ourselves?

  • dufmanno March 12, 2013, 4:43 pm

    I protested this by outgrowing my elastic waist flannel pajama bottoms.

    Take THAT Unicorn crew!

    You’ve all put it into words far more effectively than I ever could have imagined. I struggle daily with my need to run outside with a righteous blowtorch and a women’s lib sign, and the opposite urge to just throw in the towel and eat nachos while someone else fights the good fight.

    I suppose it’s a matter of age and enthusiasm for me, but there are times that the perfect gender equality that exists inside my mind is more fun than the reality of the world;)
    dufmanno´s last blog post…They Flew South For The Winter

  • absence of alternatives March 16, 2013, 11:14 pm

    I know right? Sometimes I just want to sit down and….

    http://www.reactiongifs.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/popcorn-yes.gif
    absence of alternatives´s last blog post…WTF Wednesday: Must We Show So Much Boobage as We Empower Ourselves?

  • Merrilymarylee March 18, 2013, 4:32 pm

    Not long ago I heard a discussion on NPR that reminded me of how far women have come. A woman no longer has to look under Female Help in a job search, can now establish credit in her own name, and so many rights previously denied. Bras weren’t actually burned, but we didn’t foresee push-up underwire bras and plunging necklines, killer heels, too-tight clothing, and of course, the long hair styles. . . in the workplace, no less. Then there is the micromanagement in the home to make certain that everything, including the children, are perfect. Oh, Honey, that was soooo not the plan!

    I can’t watch CNBC without an eye roll… the young woman perfectly coiffed, in plunging décolleté and clinging, short clothes, and their daughter-of-Farrah Faucette hairstyles… and the men–paunchy, balding, and generally dull. sigh.
    Merrilymarylee´s last blog post…The Life of “I”

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