Wednesday Wonk: Not Ready to Make Nice, March on Washington, and the Achy Breaky PatriarchyPosted: August 28, 2013 Filed under: just because | Tags: feminism, hillary2016 50 Comments
Fasten your seat belts, newsjunkies. I’m feeling very much like Natalie Maines in her song/video, “Not Ready to Make Nice.”
I have a couple questions for us as a society.
To the right [via NYC Light Brigade]: The night before the 50th anniversary celebrations of the March on Washington, the NYC Light Brigade travelled to DC to shed light on Dr. Martin Luther King’s message to End Militarism, and contrast that with the current administration’s drone warfare policy which has resulted in the death of untold civilians throughout the world.
For what exactly are we marching and showing solidarity for this 28th of August in the year 2013?
I know it’s terribly disturbing-of-all-things-party-unity, which is all the more reason why I must ask you all to think seriously about what happens to a feminist dream deferred?
What feminist dream, you ask?
Let’s go with the Hollie McNish spoken word poem I shared with y’all a couple months ago. To refresh, here’s both the transcript and video (scroll down for the latter)… I know it’s long, but it’s worth it (especially if you just scroll down, click play, and listen for yourself):
I would love to reverse things for a day
A short break for those who say its all ok
I’d have an MTV where every male celebrity was dancing on a pole in pants
While all the female, fully clothed, stood back, just singing
As they can, cos that’s their talent
For just one day
The women’s lifestyle section of the magazine rack stands would
See a sea of choice of topics
Not just cooking, home or looking grand
But politics and sport and art, design and science, top shelf porn perhaps
And watch as men look all forlorn and wonder why their lifestyle section is full of naked pouting men on cover
Licking gadgets in their underwear
For just one day I swear I’d scream
To see young male celebrities standing on tv next 2 50 year old female copresenters
Watching as this token eye candy giggles politely at everything she says
I said for just one day I would pay to see a newspaper take a double spread about what the president eats for tea
ten pages to talk about David Camerons choice of socks and hand cream
While focusing on Kate Middletons degree and how she feel about personal freedom
Next to images of Price Williams top ten jackets worn this Summer
For just one day I’d read the sports pages and undercover news reporting without watching as men gawp at 18 year old tits while I’m trying to make the point that women can be more than this
And page three licks should be in specialist magazines not newspapers anyone can grab and read and
For just one day I wonder what would happen
If there were airbrushed half dressed posed male teens on the front of every women’s magazine and airbrushed half dressed posed male teens on the front of every mans magazine
And airbrushed half dressed posed male teens on the front of every shop window
And airbrushed half dressed posed male teens on the front of every tv screen
And loads of fully dressed women in photos everywhere
Cameras staring at their faces in shoulder shots, their wrinkles photoshopped deeper like every male magazine man feature
For just one day
Music award ceremonies would award
Rihanna for her singing
And think about not giving awards to Chris brown
And women with amazing voices would be awarded for their amazing voices and they would show their amazing voices on stage by singing
And Men with amazing voices would be awarded for their amazing voices and they would show their amazing voices on stage by singing whilst also shaking their crotch and pretending to shag the floor, snogging other men with amazing voices while dancing around poles in gold stringed jock straps and swimming trunks
And lunging forward
And bending over with cameras pointed at their arses
For just one day I’d go to parties where the women, like the men, dressed for the weather and walked the high street to the club in coats and jumpers as the rain and snow fell down
For just one day
And for just one day
I might those men around me say:
For fuck sake,
I don’t like gay porn so why do I have to watch naked fucking men all day
I might hear those men say
Is it really ok to show two men in g strings pretending to fuck one another in a dance routine on X factor at 7 oclock in front of my sons
And I might hear those men say
Is it not enough that he is an amazing singer or rapper or songwriter and musician, why does have to wear a flashing crocodile toothed jock strap everytime he performs on stage
And I might hear those men say
Maybe, I might hear those men say,
Ok, I get it,
You’re not just on your period.
Perhaps you have a point.
Maybe you’re not just jealous of her tits
Maybe there’s more to this than you being annoyed by the way women are portrayed in the media.
And for just one day
I might wake up and not worry about my daughter growing up to be a women in this place where newspapers prey on teenage tits and tell me this is all ok
For just one day.
I’d like to see what those men who mock me say
If everything was the other way around.
So, what happens to this feminist dream deferred exactly?
If you guessed the Miley Cyrus[-Robin Thicke] Twerk performance at the VMAs on Sunday night, ding ding ding, you’d be correct.
I swear to Durga, I was just here on Sky Dancing not but a few weeks ago posting up women-powered parodies of Robin Thicke’s Blurred BS and his even more ridiculous claims to be the founder of a new feminist movement.
Let’s revisit Hollie McNish for a second, though — specifically:
Licking gadgets in their underwear
And bending over with cameras pointed at their arses
Ponder the entire poem and those two lines in particular, spoken by McNish nearly a year ago.
Compare to present-day Twerkgate, pretty much obsessed with Miley Cyrus and not-so-much Robin Thicke’s longstanding nonsense.
Then read this sexologist’s two cents on the 2013 MTV VMA’s:
If you think a woman in a tan vinyl bra and underwear, grabbing her crotch and grinding up on a dance partner is raunchy, trashy, and offensive but you don’t think her dance partner is raunchy, trashy, or offensive as he sings a song about “blurred” lines of consent and propagating rape culture, then you may want to reevaluate your acceptance of double standards and your belief in stereotypes about how men vs. women “should” and are “allowed” to behave.
(Hint: The problem starts with a P ends with a Y and rhymes with Achy Breaky….and don’t even get me started on those creepy Vanity Fair photos her father Billy Ray Cyrus posed for with daughter Miley…if that doesn’t say Father failure, I don’t know what else much will.)
Now, let’s take a look at another late August milestone/anniversary, August 26, 1970 [via Haymarket Books]:
The Women’s Strike for Equality was a National strike which took place in the US on August 26, 1970—the 50th anniversary of the passing of the Nineteenth Amendment. The rally was sponsored by the National Organization for Women (NOW). Defying mounted police, almost 50,000 marched down NY City’s Fifth Avenue. Dutch women marched on the US embassy in Amsterdam to show support, while French feminists demonstrated at the Arc de Triomphe, carrying a banner that read, “More Unknown Than the Unknown Soldier: His Wife.”
The strike primarily focused on equal opportunity in the workforce, political rights for women, and social equality in relationships such as marriage. It also addressed the right to have an abortion and free childcare.
In the words of the late Dr. King himself:
All we say to America is, “Be true to what you said on paper.”
When is America going to be true to what it said on paper? All men created equal and a more perfect union?
Right now, in the year 2013, our Texas khaleesi Wendy Davis is collecting our signatures in support of Equal Pay for Equal Work.
So, I ask of you, why are we still in the same eternal battle? Women’s rights vs. War?
Alice Paul and Herstory, anyone?:
National Woman’s Party:
Alice Paul was chair of a major committee (congressional) of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) within a year, in her mid-twenties, but a year later (1913) Alice Paul and others withdrew from the NAWSA to form the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage. This organization evolved into the National Woman’s Party in 1917, and Alice Paul’s leadership was key to this organization’s founding and future.
Alice Paul and Militancy:
In England, Alice Paul had taken part in more radical protests for woman suffrage, including participating in the hunger strikes. She brought back this sense of militancy, and back in the U.S. she organized protests and rallies and ended up imprisoned three times.
Equal Rights Amendment (ERA):
After the 1920 victory for the federal amendment, Paul became involved in the struggle to introduce and pass an Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). The Equal Rights Amendment was finally passed in Congress in 1970 and sent to the states to ratify. However, the number of states necessary never ratified within the specified time limit and the Amendment failed.
Alice Paul and Peace:
Paul also was active in the Peace movement, stating at the outbreak of World War II that if women had helped to end World War I, the second war would not have been necessary.
And, in the direct words of the Iron Jawed Angel herself:
Mr. President how long must women wait to get their liberty? Let us have the rights we deserve.
Women’s Liberation Now.
Not World War III.
What is going on in Syria is harrowing.
There’s also a humanitarian crisis right here in these United States of America.
In the words of the late Coretta Scott King:
If American women would increase their voting turnout by ten percent, I think we would see an end to all of the budget cuts in programs benefiting women and children.
In the words of Dr. Dorothy Height (from her memoir Open Wide the Freedom Gates, p. 200-1):
As economic pressures tightened, the black woman found herself trapped in a triple bind of racism, sexism, and poverty.
America, be true to what you said on paper. And, connect some dots already.
If it’s not Miley’s buttcheek, it’s Rihanna. If it’s not Rihanna, it’s Britney. If it’s not Britney, it’s Janet Jackson’s tit.
If it’s not Janet Jackson, it’s Honey Boo Boo Child and her mom or whatever their names are. (I thought we loved those very same characters in Little Miss Sunshine, but I guess that was only for Hollywood’s benefit.)
If it’s not the Honey Boo Boos, it’s the entire Real Housewives franchise cast of Bravo TV trying to keep up with those evil Kardashian women… (But, never ever Ryan Seacrest…)
Or, it’s Paula Dean:I’ve tried to connect some dots and vignettes here for you, that I think present a social and political commentary/context for discussing what we should be marching for–I’m going to stop here, because if I haven’t made my point clear by now, you’re probably not reading anymore anyway 😉
Also, I want to stop just short of offering my explicit answers so you can fill in the blank(s) yourself, below in the comments:
Today I march/pledge my solidarity for .
And, with that I’m going to turn the soapbox over to you Sky Dancers. Do your thing!
Oh, and… Hillary 2016:
Mona, you KICK A$$! Love the Hillary video set to the Natalie Mains/Dixie Chicks chill inspiring powerful song, Not Ready to Make Nice. I have remained a Chicks fan throughout & was so proud of them to speak out against the Bush/Cheney regime. So, I stand in solidarity with all of life, regardless of gender, species, ethnicity, sexual orientation because all living things have value and deserve respect and compassion. PEACE, because war is never the answer or the solution.
“So, I stand in solidarity with all of life, regardless of gender, species, ethnicity, sexual orientation because all living things have value and deserve respect and compassion. PEACE, because war is never the answer or the solution”
Oh, I LOVE this! Reminds me of Hillary’s Georgetown speech on human rights–that we must usher forth not only freedom from the oppression of tyranny but freedom from the oppression of basic human wants–
Food, Shelter, Clothing
Which always takes me back to FDR’s Second Bill of (Economic) Rights.
Thanks for the great response, Connie!
Thanks Mona – I’m fired up for a very good day…………..
Ah, what might have been.
Nothing to add, just to say what a fantastic post, Mona.
Sweet Sue, thanks so much for reading and commenting… I hope if you see this, you pop back in to add your pledge 😉
Today, I pledge solidarity with international sisterhood.
Supporting women and girls all over the world ( and working to elevate our roles) has been my life’s passion.
I want to see women in leadership roles, everywhere, but at this late date, I’d settle for safe and happy lives.
The “international sisterhood” puts me in the mood for Sisters of the Moon, particularly this version below, where Stevie Nicks simply…entrances.
Reblogged this on Let Them Listen.
Wow, Laura Ingraham also was engaged to that Dinesh D’creepo once… Weird.
Thanks babe, but aren’t you supposed to be on vacay?! Go rest! It’s early, the bad news hasn’t even really started yet… 😉
Here’s today’s news:
Now we can all take a deep breath, relax, and soak up the sun! Lol
Here’s a real good feel good story… watch the video at the link (but if you’re like me you’ll need tissues, cause its the sob-kind of feel good):
Ps. Found the YouTube version of it so I could just embed it here:
Mona, if I got the quote wrong please correct it.
Thank you Mona, for enlightening us older folks. I didn’t event know who this 36 year-old Robin Thicke was, but did see his mother acting all shocked, that I assumed he was Mily’s age.
This was no accident as the act is in the song’s lyrics and yes all the shows are talking about the nasty girl, the this girl, the that girl while the 36 year-old man’s mother is out defending him! 😯
His mom is doing the PR route of the shocked mother, but she first says she licked his song, but that Mily Cyrus…blah, blah, blah….even went on to do a pained face.
Oh, and why was J Z (Beyonce’s husband Mr. Carter) in the news this week…for his legal troubles of one of his biggest hits ‘PIMPING’.
Thanks Woman Voter, for highlighting why I felt compelled to cover this topic. It’s just everywhere.
Our regular old national pastime. Going after the bogeywoman.
Sad to hear that Thicke’s mother, Gloria Loring, is supporting him & his song. She was on Days of Our Lives for several years (many, many years ago) and she has been very active in juvenile diabetes (JDRF). She is also a lovely singer. Hard for me to believe that she isn’t disgusted by the lyrics of that song.
Did you happen to hear what Cyndi Lauper said about Miley? On the one hand she criticizes Miley for Girls gone wild, and on the other she’s saying the performance is date rape:
Not really addressing Thicke’s dick-gone-rapist conveniently, or at least the media has done a good job editing out any pointed critique at him from Lauper’s comments….
I think it’s time to bring back Aretha’s R-E-S-P-E-C-T. You ain’t gonna get none (respect) if you don’t respect yourself.
Ooops that was ‘LIKED’ not ‘licked’, but a Freudian slip I suppose. Robin Thicke’s mom doesn’t seem to find anything wrong with his misogyny and feels the need to protect her 36 year-old MAN BOY (only reason he would need to hide behind mom) while trashing Mily Cyrus.
Amazing videos, causes one to wonder about the future…
Great post, Wonk.
Today, I pledge my solidarity with the disabled.
Little did I know when I taught disabled children years ago, and later when I took care of my disabled mother, that I would become disabled myself. The barriers the disabled face each day are daunting, but I believe if people work together, many of those barriers will someday be overcome.
I just added this to my to-read pile earlier this morning:
The Disability Rights Movement: From Charity to Confrontation by Doris Fleischer http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11013088
With you in solidarity, Beata. Especially for these “invisible” disabilities, which carry a whole other level of difficulty with them. I never expected to live life like this, but it has taught me so much about who we really are in our essence. And I know that essence to be one of indivisible connection and beneficial potency. May all barriers to that be blown wide open!
Wonderful pledge, from your fingertips to feminine divine’s ears…
Yes, much XOXO Beata
Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant post Mona!
I stand/pledge my solidarity with/for young girls and women everywhere!
Oh Margeaux, it’s so wonderful to see you here, sister-angel-love ❤
Thank you for reading, and for your pledge–Brava!
I stand/pledge my support for girls and women everywhere too.
Rise, Woman Voter(s), Rise 🙂 😉
(I’m thinking if I ever want to form a band, the name ‘In Excess of Smileys’ would work… Lol)
Excellent post, Mona. I’m trying to think how to complete the “I pledge my support” line, but I think I’ll reflect my “old hippie” mentality, and attempt to think broadly, and just say “I pledge my support for peace and equality.” Not exactly original, but the more I see, the more the lack of peace and equality seem so very fundamental.
Thanks so much Joyce, always appreciate your comments. Going back to basics is important. Social justice is about the basics…. peace, equality…
and dare my hippie-at-heart add…LOVE!
Joyce, have you seen this? This is so zany and I know you appreciate Beatles and music in general… 30 artists from Japan cover All You Need is Love:
We know men hide behind and take refuge in the social behavior, professional behavior double standards between men and women, but Isn’t it ironic that so many women apply the same double standards? That women in the year 2013 still have an expectation of behavior from their daughters, nieces, sisters, that they don’t have of men is astounding to me. It reminds me of my High School days (back in the dark ages) when Sister Mary What’s-her-name told a classroom of girls that Men/Boys were unable to control their sexual urges so it was OUR responsibility to control their urges and keep them chaste. Even then, when “fuck” wasn’t such a popular word, I thought to myself “WTF?” The same nun who treated the boys as if they were Gods, told us, the girls, after a bus trip to a ballgame, that IF we HAD to sit on a boy’s lap we should put paper down first. Again I thought “WTF?”, actually I thought “WTF good is the paper going to do?” I needed to get that story out while I still remember it. 🙂
Today I march/pledge my solidarity for EQUALITY, COMPASSION, TRUTH
Wow, thanks for the great comment!
Yes, patriarchy socially conditions women to be docile and derive relative power over other women by keeping other women in line and staying docile. (Handmaidens of the Patriarchy…)
Non compliance is a feminist act 😉
I really just love the fact that Robin and his mom are now the arbiters of how much we need to punish Miley for rending the fabric of society. I’m confused about whether she’s corrupting the kids by reminding us of his actual video, upstaging the guy who sings the rapey song with the NSFW video, or corrupting the kids by not having body parts perfect enough to bring justice to the great artistic adventure that is the rapey song and not seeming to feel ashamed enough of that, but I know she’s doing something. Oh well, it makes a change from policing the Real Housewives (destroyers of worlds) or beating the bushes until we find some vaginaed assistant to the assistant to the assistant of a freshman water commissioner in Not Quite Peoria and make a preemptive strike against her lest she somehow rise to a tenth tier assistant position and threaten our very survival. Eternal vigilance is key.
Awesome post. 🙂
Agreed…now where’s your pledge, sister? I bet you could recommit us to something sardonically awesome 😉
Mona, you keep on banding those drums of outrage. You and young women are the voices now to forge your futures with all of us supporting you. I’m now cynical about anything coming from the media, and especially MTV. It’s all about competition, ratings, headline news, and money. I expect many like Miley will live out most of their adult lives in and out of drug rehabs.
I don’t expect anything good from that venue. However, I’m watching the great number of women graduating from universities and graduate/professional schools. I’m watching the younger girls and women in my family. That’s where “the awesome” is incubating.
Also, I’ve stopped thinking that these episodes will have a long-lasting effect since Elvis’ twisting, thrusting hips had no effect on me as you may have guessed. We ought to lampoon this nonsense.
My pledge is to extend a hand to families in need. Helping them with rent, food, and clothing, and getting acess to health care, and overcoming obsticles. That’s where my fight will be, and fighting with Hillary for human rights.
Thank YOU! I was wondering when men were going to begin to speak up, and say this behavior is wrong and how the 36 year-old Robin Thicke not only got a pass, but got his mother out defending him (For a planned shock PR event) and his lyrics while pointing the finger at Mily Cyrus, while her son continues to sing about ‘RAPE’ and calling women ‘BITCHES’ on live TV!
I cried the other day, because I was so upset at the double standards and how women and girls continue to be objectified, which has a direct link to the violence on women in our society…so much so that women and girls are sold into sexual slavery all around the world including here in the U.S. Today I cried upon reading Matt Walsh’s blog post…we need more men to speak up…he gave me hope…he loves his children and is not blinded by the media PR or Robin Thicke’s mom.
VMA’s were wrong in approving that objectification and promotion of rape of women and girls. No blurred lines, NO MEANS NO!
Children see…children do
WOWZA a second one today…going to start crying again, but more happy tears…
Great, thanks for sharing Woman Voter
Mona, I am so glad to see your generation is pushing this misogynist Robin Thicke and his misogyny band back! I found this via Salon from young people, men and women exposing this twaddle passing as a song with an even worse video. Guess how men would start the day if they were objectified everyday like women are by the likes of Robin Thicke.
How do you feel about “Blurred Lines”? Sexist? Ironic? Feminist?
Hey Woman Voter–I posted about that video and another parody a few weeks back: