In the wake of the Miley Sirus blow up of the VMA’s, I watched a documentary called Tabloid about a woman in the 1970’s who fell in love with a Mormon man. Ultimately he was whisked away to do his missionary stint in the UK. She followed him and there began the crazy story of girl follows boy, boy and girl run away for the weekend, and then either, she really did kidnap him, or he decided what he stood to lose was more important than the girl he loved.
At one point the documentary highlighted the evils of women from the religious stand point of the Mormon church. I’m not interested in discussing the religious views, but what really got under my skin was this perpetuating idea that women are the party at fault. It’s probably a lot about timing, how the issue is at the forefront of my mind because a lot has been said on the internet about sexism and the role of women at large.
As one who possesses feminine energy, among other reproductive organs standard to naturally born, or self-identifying women (I’m not about to discriminate against anyone who feels like they are a woman or involved in all this), I feel like this whole mess includes me. And therefore I have Things To Say about all of this.
This blog post made by Seanan McGuire about Miley Sirus’ VMA performance, combined with a lot of things said recently about women in fiction and this documentary have me thinking. What about?
Well, about the way women have been both a possession and an architect of destruction.
If you like to believe the Garden of Eden story is the birthplace of mankind, then women have been part of the problem since the beginning, scheming how to get more. Fast forward some years, and women are little more than possessions men fight for, purchase and own. Think Helen of Troy. Myth or no, the idea that armies would go to war. people would die, all for the allure of a women.
I’m being a little dramatic here, I know, but hang with me.
I want to go to a point that Seanan McGuire makes in her blog post, in which she points out in all the Miley Sirus talk, no one mentions the poor, hapless man on stage with her during the flesh colored bikini number.
What role do men play in all of this? What do these poor, defenseless souls do in the face of these fearsome creatures?
I think that through history, and in today’s culture, we often ignore the role men play in what happens. For example, let’s talk about mistresses and sex in the middle ages. A man could have children by many different women, the servants, his wife, mistress, among others, some even unwilling parties, and it was just fine. It was men being men. However, women who did the same thing were sluts, whores and unworthy of polite company. And it’s a mindset that’s rooted in hundreds of years of history. It’s not a new development.
One might even argue that the idea of thinking sex positively is a new phenomena, and I think you would be right. Especially if you live in a more conservative part of the world. I live in Texas, where people still have the mindset that sex is for marriage. On a recent doctor’s visit, my female doctor asked me many invasive and non-health related questions about my lifestyle that were none of her business and led to a lengthy conversation about morality. I was baffled, but decided I was glad for her concern. What I was left with was a lesson on how far our generations have grown, to the point where it’s difficult for us to relate, to adjust to the others mindset of morality.
Sometimes I wonder, if women were as powerful as we’re made out to be, what with our hair that tempts men into forgetting their vows, our bodies that lure armies to our disposal and charms that bring down rulers, how are we not ruling the freaking world already?
Oh. Right. Because it’s not all “our fault” that things happen. We’re simply to blame.
In the Garden of Eden, if you look at Hebrew translations, Adam was nearby and probably even watched Eve accept the apple, yet made the choice to stand by and not intervene.
With Helen of Troy, there was more than just the alluring powers of a woman. There was the pull of power, the military might. She just happened to be a trophy.
The girl on the news who is raped, a man decided to do that to her. She never asked for it, despite what people want to say about styles of dress.
In a perfect world, people would be judged on their merit, not the color of the skin or what gender they identify with. Sadly, there’s a lot of opinion about gender, norms and what the case should be. Luckily, I ignore that a lot.