Saturday, September 14, 2013

Sept. 14: A chance to air my views

Well, as luck would have it, the next two posts are supposed to require some thought, and "real" writing, and where am I? On vacation with family. Yes, a more thoughtful blogger would have planned ahead, I do realize that.

I'm not going to bail completely, but maybe tread more lightly than I had planned, and circle back around for a more "ranty" post later. The challenge for today: What has happened lately in the media that make me want to rant?

Well, there is always something, right? If it's not some social issue, there's popular culture or politics. So many diverse opinions, so loudly stated, one can't help but take issue with not only the message at times, but also the delivery method.

A couple of weeks back, the VMAs and the Miley/Robin Show got everyone chewing on a variety of topics ranging from the obvious (foam fingers? teddy bears? Beetlejuice suits?) to the more nuanced (a little white girl dancing with large black women all around? what's that about?). It was very interesting to read the various takes on the performance, and for a few minutes it seemed like everyone forgot that the ability to provoke and enflame is pretty much standard fare at the Video Music Awards. And of course, it's all pretty much died down now, and the media seems to have largely moved on.

A blogger I follow posted the video below, soon after the VMAs. There wasn't an overt written correlation to that performance, but for me the link is clear. Women as accessories to men, or women as "female wallpaper" in a male setting aren't issues I have had to deal with on a daily basis. And yet, they are issues in many settings, and as a woman who cares about how women are perceived, the video below bothered me greatly, and stayed with me.

Rather than a rant per se, I am left with many questions about why women conduct themselves in certain ways; why when so much progress has been made, and so many options are available to women they would choose to relegate themselves to riding on surfboards, climbing under plexy desks and sculpting their faces and bodies in the quest for youth and beauty.

I am sure there are many--men and women alike--who would say these are valid choices that women make, and who am I to judge those choices? I think Narelle on her blog said it excellently when she penned: "It is about women and the radical disavowal of responsibility, the profound unwillingness to be at the source of our lives."

I am grateful to live and work and love and participate in a place and with people who value me for who I am. I have no doubt that culturally and socioeconomically I am blessed with many circumstances that encourage this freedom. But I am also sad. I am sad for women who feel the choice to be valued as a person and not a thing is somehow beyond them, or that they might not even be aware of their voice in this conversation.

What's your thought as you watch this video? Did you have a strong opinion about Miley's performance at the VMAs? Did you think Robin Thicke should have taken a bit more of the pushback in the aftermath?

Jen and I (and now my mom and Lisa too!) are blog challenging throughout September. You can catch her blog over at Stuff Jen Says. If you want to write along with us, give me a shout and I'll send you the blog prompts.


  1. Honestly, I think between the ages of 16 and 25 is a big gray area for most females. Very few of us are actually "women" until later in life. I'm just realizing that now, as I move towards being 40. *NOW* I'm finally becoming a woman. But when I was 19, 20, 21? I don't know what that was. I'm just super grateful no one gave me an international platform on which to celebrate my horrendous decisions.

    I think we need to start adjusting our expectations of people based on a longer lifespan and overall emotional maturity- that age is so *young*. And it's this messy space between being a TOTAL child and being an adult. I think people that age have WORSE decision making skills than children because what other people think is so crucial.

    I think Miley is a moron. Who is given a platform. Constantly. She's making dumb decisions and doing them in a spectacularly public fashion. But I don't think it's outrageous as much as it is cringe-inducing. It makes me so grateful my stupid early 20's choices were only about boys and college.

    I think most of us become women because of the mistakes we make earlier on life and LEARNING from them. But does that happen in celebrity life? I don't know. So who knows...

    BUT, as a germ-a-phobe, I would like to see Miley stop LICKING EVERYTHING. That grosses me out more than the ridiculous twerking.

    1. That tongue was the WORST, eh? I just couldn't take it.


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