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Archive for the ‘pop culture’ Category

Look! B00bs!

A fun movie–fast-paced action, clever twists, entertaining acting, even a couple thoughtful social commentaries woven in…

And then, an inexplicable scene where the two detectives–one in particular–become so impressed by a witness’ breasts that the entire film disintegrates into a series of Beavis and Butthead moments of, essentially: “Heh, heh, look at her b00bs!” as he stares at her chest. Huh?

I will never get used to idiotic and exploitative scenes involving women in films…and television and advertising… I’m anywhere from affronted to outraged, depending on the situation and its context. In this case, there was a thin reference to the possibility that the bank heist perpetrators might be distinguished from the victims by noting body shape; at least, that would have been the excuse for the staring-at-her-boobs moment, but it doesn’t hold up. It also pretended to be humorous, but it wasn’t. And I’m not above finding humor in even stupid body part jokes, believe me. But it wasn’t there. We tried to figure out how this scene might be less distasteful than it was (Hmm, we must have missed something...), and I was hoping we could, but no; I’m convinced that excuses aside, it was simply yet another shameless, degrading moment for a female character in a film.

I don’t get it.

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I watch Bill Maher occasionally, but I didn’t see the breastfeeding comments until I YouTubed it after reading about the outrage women were feeling about what he said.

And I found that I really didn’t care a whole lot.

I even laughed a few times.

And over the last nearly four years, that was me you might have seen nursing in restaurants and everywhere else I felt like it. I don’t think anyone actually saw any skin, because except for one unfortunate incident when I ended up wrestling with a Baby Bjorn at an outdoor cafe, no one would have realized what I was doing. (One might be able to catch a glimpse if one stared, in which case one would deserve it.)

But who cares if people can see or not–let it all hang out if you want to, I say, but it does seem that a woman breastfeeding in public rarely shows skin. It perplexes me that people would be uncomfortable by something you can’t actually see. Now if it’s the idea of breastfeeding that freaks people out; well, that’s beyond what I can really comprehend.

Back to Bill–don’t get me wrong, I get why people are infuriated about his comments–he came across as arrogant and ignorant when he was talking about nursing, especially when he got more serious at the end talking about breastfeeding activists. Of course it was offensive to people. How to tie dogs, Hooters, narcissism, and laziness (Ha! That’s a part that made me laugh.) with breastfeeding in public is beyond me. But that’s how he does that “New Rules” thing at the end. Yeah, it deals with serious issues and current events, but it’s comedy, too, and comedy with a major shock factor. The jokes he’s made about politics and religion–wow, even I was shocked a few times (even when I agreed, and even when I laughed). So that’s the show, that’s the man, and the breastfeeding comments fit right in. I know what I’m getting when I watch, which I’ll continue to do, so that’s why it didn’t really get much of a reaction from me beyond, Ew. What a jackass. And, yes, a few laughs.  (And wishing he was sitting at my kitchen table with me so we could really get into it.)

That’s just me, though. More power to the people who want to write letters and start petitions. Just because something is supposed to be comedy doesn’t mean everyone should laugh it off or ignore it–there’s a lot to a joke sometimes. That’s what so exhilarating about free speech. He can say it, people can respond, and now everyone’s talking about it. It’s what’s so thrilling about freedom in general, and why we should celebrate when breastfeeding laws are passed. Bill Maher can sit next to a nursing mother in a restaurant and freak out, and hopefully, that will be OK, because she will be in a state or location where her rights are protected.

I hope every instance of a mother being told to stop nursing in a public place gets as much attention at Bill Maher’s comments. Those are the situations that really make my blood boil.

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Opinion #8,472,196 On Britney

If I have to hear one more time that Britney looked fat in her outfit at that MTV awards show, I’ll scream.

No, she didn’t. I don’t even have to get into whatever “fat” means, or get into the whole body image/culture thing, because she didn’t even look Hollywood fat. The talking heads in the news seem so gleeful, seem to be crowing about how fat she was and how badly she screwed up. Fat! Bald! Bad mother! Stupid! No underwear! Fat! (Wow, this is fun!) Fill the papers with it, because there’s nothing else going on.

I don’t know her; I don’t know what’s true in the constant stream of rumor about her. But, still, there’s something about her…

Maybe it’s the question about whether she suffered from post-partum depression. Maybe it’s the way that she seemed to be so sexualized so young in the media. What does that do to a girl? Maybe it’s that in all of the news about her, it’s difficult to figure out who she has in her corner.

There’s a lot in the papers to break my heart without having to worry about a pop star and her problems, but still, there’s something about her.

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