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Propaganda Sucks in All Directions

sexism

(Another one of those sense of humor tests)

This post (and another that I’ll probably work on later today) has been rattling around in my head for days, but I was having trouble figuring out how to put it all down without being too offensive.  I finally just decided I don’t really care if someone takes offense.

I know a couple feminist slaves.  I’m not talking about the ladies who believe that women who haven’t chosen slavery for themselves should be treated equally in society.  I’m all for that.  Makes sense to me.  We live in a society that claims to demand equality for all its citizens, and not allowing women who want it to be treated equally makes us hypocrites.  So give them equality, I say.  (Obviously, that’s not my only reason.)

I’m talking about the ladies who claim to be enslaved to their male owners, but demand they be allowed equal footing in their relationships.  Insist on being allowed to work outside the home because forcing them to be at home, barefoot and in the kitchen is sexist.  Make damn certain that the household chores are shared, right down to taking out the trash, so as not to draw any gender specific lines.  Refuse to operate on any other level than one that allows them to be a part of the decision-making process.

They usually have bumper stickers that say something stupid like, “I am woman.  Hear me roar!” and their man-hating levels are through the roof.  Occasionally, they’re victims who buy into victim mentality.  Once in a while, they’re just impressionable ladyfolk who’ve been fed a bunch of bullshit.  I used to be an impressionable ladyfolk who was fed a bunch of bullshit, too.

Whether you like it or not, it wouldn’t be a stereotype if it wasn’t, at some point in time, how the vocal majority behaved.  Once upon a time, women were soft, impressionable and easily swayed.  Or, at least, they acted like they were to win favors from their men.

I have a few fanatical feminist readers, which kinda cracks me up.  I mean, it sort of confuses me.  These are the women who will tell me that I enjoy being enslaved because I’ve been indoctrinated by our patriarchal society.  Who would, in a heartbeat, rip me out of my happy home and loving marriage, throw Master in prison and commit me until I no longer wanted to be owned.  Who are fighting to do away with the oppression of women, rather than giving women the right to choose.

Yet, they can’t look away.  I wonder why that is.

I get really frustrated with the fanatical feminists.  They ignore anything that might throw a wrench in what they believe.  Pretend it doesn’t exist.  Or, if it’s too over-the-top blatant for that, they’ll excuse it away as something men have trained us feeble-minded women folk to believe, not realizing that they’re making the chauvinists’ argument for them.

Silly feminists. 

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This portrayal of the Disney princesses is a perfect example.

I’ve always hated Snow White and Sleeping Beauty.  Snow White’s situation reminded me far too much of the women I’ve known over the years, and Sleeping Beauty just never made sense to me.  Why would some random prince kiss some woman he’s never met – In fact, a princess no one alive knows because she’s been asleep for a hundred years! – to save her and her kingdom? Why wouldn’t he just pack up her constituents, put them all in some museum somewhere and take the land by force?

Anyway…

Jasmine: Jasmine’s situation, right down to being enslaved by Jafar when he took control of Agrabah, is pretty much in line with the culture of her time, governmental structure and country.  Many monarchies over the years have had very specific laws regarding how the crown could be passed around.  Not only for the women, but for the men as well.  The people who made the laws felt it was the only way to ensure their country is run by the right people for all eternity.

Are we really willing to tell people in the entertainment business they’re not allowed to portray the realities of situations in their work? Does that really sound like a good idea to you? It doesn’t to me.  To me, it sounds kind of retarded.

I’m not entirely sure what’s wrong with being saved by an intelligent poor person.  Or is it that the feminist who made this picture is scoffing at the idea of an intelligent poor person?

In any case, Jasmine advocated for being allowed to marry for the right reasons, and not because the law said she had to.   In time, her father actually heard what she had to say, agreed with her and changed the law.  Aladdin, contrary to what seems to be the artist’s belief, fell in love with Jasmine because, in addition to her aesthetic beauty, she showed she had a beautiful soul when she tried to help the starving boy in the market place.  And then she showed she had a brain by railing against the way she was made to live.

Jasmine was portrayed as an intelligent, capable woman who didn’t need a man to save her.  And in the end, while ultimately it was Aladdin’s quick thinking that saved them, everyone worked together to free Jasmine and her father from Jafar’s control.

Ariel: First and foremost, Ariel did not change her appearance to become more attractive to Eric.  Ariel didn’t have a problem with the aesthetic value of her fin, so much as its complete lack of functionality on land.  She asked for legs because it was impossible for her to be with Eric, otherwise.  It was against “mer-law” for any merfolk to interact with humans.

You think inter-racial and/or long distance relationships are hard? Try inter-species, with a father who has lost more than a few friends to your soul mate’s hook.

And really, how could she have anything of value to say to Eric? They live in two entirely different worlds, and her only teacher is a seagull who has no idea what he’s talking about! They didn’t portray Ariel as stupid.  She was living in a different world with different tools and a different culture.  Any and all contact with the human world was forbidden, so it’s only natural that she knows very little about it.

For the record, it was Ariel’s voice, not her beauty, Eric was in love with in the beginning.  Which makes sense, considering [[mermaid]] legend holds that mermaids can enchant people with their voices.

Ariel was curious and eager to learn.  She was talented, friendly and kind.  She was headstrong and determined.  And she was willing to give up her voice because she believed she would be able to find other ways to communicate with Eric and win his love.  And she did.  She was able to let her amazing personality shine through without the use of her enchanting vocal chords.  Until Ursula spelled Eric with Ariel’s magic voice and almost ruined the day.

In the end, Ariel chooses to keep her legs so she can remain on land with the man she loves, not because they make her more attractive.

Belle: To say Belle’s only asset was sexuality is kind of ridiculous.  Belle was the only person in her town who read books, besides the bookstore owner.  Thinking was considered a “dangerous pass-time” for everyone in this tale, not just women.  That’s a direct quote from the duet sung by Gaston and Lefou.  But that’s not her only virtue.

She has strong family values, as is evident in her search for her father.  She is kind and caring and tries to be polite, which is proven by how she handles Gaston in the beginning.  And she’s willing to sacrifice her own safety and well-being for the safety of another.

The legend says that the beast could only be saved by true love’s first kiss.  That the beast must first find a way to get the person he loved to see past his beastly exterior and love the person inside.  Ironically, this meant the beast had to change the person inside because he was vain, selfish and cruel.

The entire message of this story is “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”! We’d be bitching just as much if the female character was Medusa and the male character a dazzlingly attractive prince.  Then we’d be complaining about the implications of an ugly woman having to find a way to win the love of an attractive man.

Cinderella: Cinderella met her prince more than once.  And the first time, he didn’t talk to her because she was beautiful.  He spoke with her because she showed him kindness.  Instead of kicking him off her father’s land, she offered him and his men water from her well.

Everyone loved Cinderella, which was a major point of contention with her stepmother and stepsisters.  They loved her not because of her beauty, but because despite the fact that she lived in oppression, she was a good woman.  She was kind and loving and caring and treated people with respect.  And regardless of how bad her situation got, she remained optimistic.

The prince falling in love with her, to me, was portrayed as her deserving something wonderful and finally getting it.

Disney: First, let’s remember Disney didn’t write the majority of these stories.  They just took out the parts parents wouldn’t approve of and made them into cartoons.

For as long as I can remember, the cartoon (and amusement park) part of Disney has been about family values.  About giving kids something fun to watch while teaching them life’s lessons.  About letting them be kids a little while longer.  About keeping magic – and hope – alive.

Using beautiful people on television and the big screen, once upon a time, was our way of saying “Everyone is beautiful in their own way.” not “You have to be beautiful to be taken seriously.”  And to be honest, generally speaking, beautiful men and women aren’t taken seriously.  Even when they’re ridiculously intelligent.  So the discrimination goes both ways.

It’s really sad that Americans, in general, have become so bored with life that we have to pick apart something that tries to be good for us and make it into something bad.

I, personally, don’t see anything wrong with girls aspiring to be princesses.  I don’t see anything wrong with them wanting to live happily ever after.  Who cares if they end up housewives who dote on their husbands night and day, and care for their children instead of working, and cook and clean instead of mowing the lawn and mending the fence? If it makes them happy, who cares? Wouldn’t you rather your daughters be happy living a life you wouldn’t have chosen for them than unhappy living inside this new box we’re trying to build for women?

Because that is the path feminism is walking now.  The vocal majority is saying all women have to be strong and work outside the home and stand on their own two feet and have contempt for anyone who believes differently.  It’s done a complete 180.  Now, preferring to be home taking care of your children, cooking and cleaning for your man, is wrong.

When did feminism cease being about giving women a choice? Why can’t it just be about giving us a choice? Why does it have to be about forcing us all to live how a select group of women think we should live? Why does it have to be about castrating our men?

I have a friend who is a raging man-hating feminist.  And usually, I just ignore her or smile and nod when she goes off on her “This is why men suck.” tirades.  But she’s teaching her kid to believe the same things.  And that sort of makes me nauseous.  Cause from where I sit, it’s the same thing as teaching a kid to be racist.  And that’s just disgusting.

Categories: rayne Tags:
  1. December 3rd, 2009 at 10:45 | #1

    Awesome post.

  2. December 3rd, 2009 at 18:43 | #2

    I’m one of those “feminist slaves” that you speak of. I’m a hardcore feminist, that preaches against sexism and hates Disney with a passion. I work as a therapist at a center for battered women. I’m working on a post that dissects Beauty and the Beast and shows how it’s an example of, and excuses, an abusive relationship.

    I have no problem reconciling my slavery/submission with my feminism. I *chose* to give myself to my Master. I can rally against abuse and discrimination and inequality, because I’m speaking out against non-consensual abuse, discrimination, and inequality. I *choose* to give up my equality. I don’t expect to be Master’s equal, however, when I have a real concern, or He has upset me in some way, I expect the right to be able to share my feelings with Him (in a respectful way, of course).

    I can see what you see in the Disney movies, yes. But the thing is, kids don’t see that. And I really feel like fairy tales and such give little girls such a false sense of what “true love” is and looks like. It tells them to just sit around and wait for Prince Charming, and eventually, he’ll show up to save you. Why don’t they ever save themselves?

    And calling feminists “man-haters” is inaccurate, and an archaic stereotype that we’ve long ago disproved. We don’t hate men; we hate misogyny.

  3. December 3rd, 2009 at 19:34 | #3

    @Britni TheVadgeWig First, I was discussing a specific category of feminist, and I think it’s awesome that you don’t fall under that category. The friend I spoke of, who I love dearly, does, however, fall under that category, and is quite proud of that fact. And she is not, by any means, the only one.

    I used to people myself with man-hating feminists. It made my attitude less noticeable.

    The relationship between Beauty and the Beast *was* abusive in the beginning. It was a relationship between captor and captive. Over time, the two fell in love with each other, and the relationship ceased being abusive. Belle, obviously, forgave him for keeping her in captivity. That’s her right and her choice. Surely, you wouldn’t disagree with that?

    It was not written by Disney. It’s based on a tale much older than Disney. And I can’t help but wonder if you truly believe the writers and producers intentionally portrayed these things you think the movies portrayed. Because honestly, while Disney is, in some aspects, a monster, I seriously doubt they are that evil.

    I mean, prove me wrong and I’ll stand corrected. But I’ve been in the belly of the beast for as long as I’ve been alive. My parents idolize Disney. And even after throwing off the blinders they super glued to my head, I just can’t see it.

    Maybe you’re right. Maybe all kids don’t see what I see in Disney movies. But my kids did. My sister and I, when we were kids, did. I don’t know many kids that watch Disney movies and seek out the evil messages you, and other women like you, seem to see in them.

    Most kids, unless they’re living in or around an abusive situation themselves, don’t even know what abuse is. Their eyes glaze over when you ask them if anyone has ever hurt them. They can’t fathom feeling pain at the hands of the people who love them.

    Sometimes, true love does look like that. And I don’t know a heterosexual girl alive who hasn’t figured out by middle school that they’re going to have to chase down their prince if they want him. Let’s give our girls a little more credit, shall we? Or do we just want them to think we don’t consider them stupid?

  4. December 3rd, 2009 at 19:54 | #4

    I’m sorry but I’m gonna have to call bullshit on some of your comment, Britni. You claim to preach against sexism (“I’m a hardcore feminist, that preaches against sexism”), yet post things such as the following on your blog:

    “It’s not okay to treat us like objects. We’re actual people. We don’t exist strictly for men’s pleasure. They can’t do whatever they want to us and with us. They have no idea what it’s like to live in a world where every male is a potential rapist.”

    I’m well aware that some dictionaries define “sexism” with a blurb such as “such discrimination directed against women”, but that definition has to be changed. Your comment, on your blog, *is* sexist. The number one definition of “sexism” is:

    1. attitudes or behavior based on traditional stereotypes of sexual roles.

    How is what you say not sexist in and of itself? All males are potential rapists simply because they’re male.

    Men and women are both capable of an equal amount of evil. It may not manifest in exactly the same way, because we’re physically built different, but men do not corner the market on evil by any stretch of the imagination.

    The reason this stuff irritates me to no end is because most feminists preach “equality” out of one side of their mouths, while spewing bullshit like “all men are potential rapists” out of their other. Feminists would be better served were they not bashing men for being control freaks while the feminists themselves are interested in the same damn thing. Control. At the least, speaking for myself as a man, I am honest in my intentions, and am not hypocritical in my actions.

    Everyone is so hung up on this shit that simply living life and getting along with people has ceased to be the norm. We’re living in a world where people like you feel the need to dissect “Beauty and the Beast”. Really? Are you that bored?

    Do you realize that the story of Beauty and the Beast was written by a FEMALE in the 1700’s? So men are evil because of a females portrayal of a female? It boggles the mind. Don’t you think you might be reaching just a tad here? How is this an issue of feminism? Perhaps another fairy tale would be better to dissect, such as Snow White which was collected by the Brothers Grimm. At least you have your male connection there to dissect.

    While we’re wasting our time dissecting animation, has it occurred to you that most males in Disney films are portrayed in a way that’s not very realistic either?

    Has it also not occurred to you that most children wouldn’t even think these things (that a cartoon is sexist and that little girls are being pressured into looking like Jasmine)? The marketing associated with movie releases are not aimed at “teaching” girls that they must be skinny, gorgeous and beholden to a man. It’s about *money* (which doesn’t necessarily remove blame from the producers of such things, of course). It is people like you that turns it into something evil and bad.

    Shame on you.

  5. December 3rd, 2009 at 19:59 | #5

    Just as clarification, because I’m well aware of the standard feminist response to things such as what I’ve said, I’m not minimizing what those that have actually been abused have gone through whatsoever. You will find nothing in my comment stating such.

    I figured I would point that out so we can skip that particular argument.

  6. December 3rd, 2009 at 20:50 | #6

    @Melen This is also @Rayne. And I’d like to state that my comment was in no way meant to criticize Rayne’s post, nor was it coming from a place of judgment or attack. I was simply stating my point of view, which happens to differ from Rayne’s. Hopefully that much was clear.

    Rayne, I’m aware that Disney did not write Beauty and the Beast. However, they chose to change the part where Beast wins Belle over with gifts and by treating her like a princess. He’s never mean or aggressive to her in any way. While she *does* fall for him in the end, I use tactics of abusive relationships to break it down, and liken it to Stockholm syndrome, or traumatic bonding (which I’m also writing a post about in regards to D/s relationships. How “traumatic bonding” serves to bond those in the dynamic to each other; it’s not a critical piece at all. I’m in the dynamic, after all).

    I don’t think that Disney movies intentionally portray the things they do, or purposely send some of the messages they send. Many of these things are so ingrained in our society, that we don’t even notice them.

    Melen, I appreciate your response, and maybe you were just defending Rayne, but I don’t appreciate the tone in which you addressed me at all. “Shame on me?” I’m “that bored?” “Wasting time?” One of my areas of interest is in the academic studies of fairy tales, particularly gender dynamics. I’ve always studied sociology, particularly as it relates to gender. So, to me, that’s not boredom. I very much enjoy it. And you’re right; the portrayals of men are not realistic either.

    As for the post you reference, yes, I’m making broad generalizations. But that post was written at a time that I was very angry and emotional, and also is in line with my experience with most men. While most of the males that read that post, you included, latched on to the rape part, that was only the most extreme example used in the post. I was alluding to much more than that: catcalls, groping, objectification, etc. Rape was at the extreme end of that spectrum. And no, not all men are like that. I acknowledge that. But many are. And if other women have had different, and less traumatic experiences with men (again, not EVERY SINGLE man; men in general), then I’m happy for them, and they are very lucky.

    But with the numerous sexual assaults, abusive relationships, and blatant disrespect I face when leaving my house on a daily basis, the feelings expressed in that post are justified.

  7. December 4th, 2009 at 11:56 | #7

    @Britni TheVadgeWig Master’s not defending me. Why would He need to? Last I checked, we were all just talking, here, and I’m perfectly capable of defending myself should the need arise. I’m a doormat, not a victim.

    You’re right. Disney did take out the part where the beast won her over with presents. Sort of. I mean, he put her in the most extravagant room in the castle, gave her beautiful gowns and dresses to wear, the magic mirror so she could see her father.

    And then they replaced it with something real to build a relationship on. Conversation. A snowball fight. Sitting by the fire.

    From where I sit that’s a *good thing*.

    To be honest, you’re kind of making my argument for me. Because this post was about two things: A) People only acknowledging the parts of a situation that support their own agenda, and B) People feeling the need to pick apart things that are supposed to be *good things* and make them bad. You’re doing just that. So thanks. 🙂

  8. December 4th, 2009 at 12:27 | #8

    Just for clarification, my comment had nothing to do with defending rayne. I don’t normally feel the need to jump to her defense, and this was not one of those times.

    My “tone” was appropriate to get my point across. While you might think some of my response was rude, you should also know that broad generalizations of any type are ignorant, and are also rude. Yes, we all fall into that trap, as I’m sure I do occasionally myself, but it is what it is.

    From talking to rayne, it sounds like you daily (?) work with women who have been abused. While that’s commendable, I have to say that many of your comments seem to indicate that you should take a brief step back. You’re too near sighted, where all (or most of what, or insert better phrase here because I don’t want to fall into the same trap of generalizing) you can see is the abusive nature of men. Maybe you need some exposure to different types of men, to be reminded that the world isn’t filled with men hiding around corners waiting for a women to come along and rape and abuse.

    I don’t really care if I offended you or anyone else, because when I feel the need to make a point I make it, without trying to doll it up. Too many misunderstandings happen due to lack of being clear. At the least, I am straight forward and honest and do not speak out of both sides of my mouth. I do not preach equality, while applying large generalizations to half the worlds population (granted I don’t preach equality at all).

    I understand what you’re saying that you were making broad generalizations in your post. I don’t consider that an excuse, tho. It’s exactly that type of thing that makes dialog impossible. Why would any man want to have a serious conversation about the equality of women when immediately attacked by general, and insulting, comments like that?

    For those men who ARE abusive, who cares if they’re insulted, but general comments pass judgement on those of us who ARE sane, and not to sound petty, but it’s “not fair”.

  9. cinnamon
    December 4th, 2009 at 15:24 | #9

    I think the feminist movement would have a much easier time tearing apart Christianity and the Inquisition, rather than taking all the innocence out of poor Disney. They should read perhaps the Bible (try the story of creation, where the woman is the fall of man), or the Malleus Maleficarum (which states that women are inherently evil, and are given in to lust and pacts with the devil). If feminist want to discuss the oppression of females, they need more substantial evidence than there are bad men who rape and assault women.

    Women have proven throughout history they can be just as cruel and brutal as men. In my own opinion, at least men don’t hide their cruelty; women are much more subtle and have more dramatic impact than men when they want to do serious damage.

  10. December 11th, 2009 at 21:23 | #10

    I enjoyed reading this just because of the display of intelligence and that it was well thought out.

    Keep being happy, or searching for your happiness and no one else’s.

  11. December 11th, 2009 at 21:36 | #11

    @SteelHorseman Why… thank you. 🙂

  12. December 26th, 2009 at 22:18 | #12

    I want to quote your post in my blog. It can?
    And you et an account on Twitter?

  13. December 27th, 2009 at 10:14 | #13

    @desav Have at it. We’re @insatiabldesire on Twitter.

  14. Missy
    September 10th, 2010 at 09:11 | #14

    I’m just saying, I grew up watching Disney movies, and I didn’t start worrying about my body image until I started watching MTV. I never thought I needed to be skinny or wait around for a guy. I just liked the happy endings and the idea of falling in love. These stories were originally ones with horrible endings, they were disney-fied and made viewable by today’s children. To the one who wrote this blog, I agree fully with you.

  15. September 18th, 2010 at 13:14 | #15

    I agree with you totally and completely. It’s all about choice and I loved the Disney movies a as a young girl, they always made me feel empowered like any thing is possible with love, I never noticed just how sexy those ladies were until I grew up. 🙂

  16. Rebecca
    January 30th, 2012 at 14:32 | #16

    I am fairly new to the lifestyle, and have met very few feminist slaves, I was beginning to think maybe I was the only one, but having said that, I dislike the word feminist due to the negative connotations associated with it, and women like you described are kind of the problem. Most of them aren’t even really feminists, they are just straight up bitter.

    I believe the point to feminism, much like the lifestyle, in my opinion, is to give a person the right to chose how to live their life in a way that makes them happy. To me a housewife or stay at home mom can be just as much of a feminist as the full-time career woman. I tend to call myself an equalist, because I would argue for the same rights for a man. I find both choices and every one between to be powerful in their way.

    As a college student in the hard sciences, I often hear my friends malign liberal arts students as having it easy. And to some extent, it may not be as constantly demanding, but I don’t believe its any less difficult to do. My attitude towards feminism is the same, and I really wish people would lay off the disney princesses, they are CARTOONS, and they are for KIDS (and the young at heart) and honestly? If you raise your kids to understand they are cartoons, not life models, whatever your opinion may be, I don’t see the problem.

  17. February 2nd, 2012 at 08:23 | #17

    @Missy , @Mimi I agree wholeheartedly. Thanks for the comments. 🙂

    @Rebecca I’m glad you agree. 🙂 Thanks for the comment.

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