Last week, one of Slate’s typical inflammatory headlines squawked that “The Patriarchy Is Dead.” In her piece, author Hanna Rosin made the case that we’ve entered an age of “female dominance.” She goes on to say that posts such as this one, posts that shine a light on gender disparity are, essentially, sound and fury. She writes: “As a form of blogging or tweeting, pointing fingers is endlessly satisfying. But as a form of political expression, it’s pretty hollow and out of tune with reality.”
Au contraire. Certainly I don’t aim to change the world by pointing out some obviously bad photoshop, but said photoshop is an indication of a larger problem. And if we don’t shine the light on the trees, how will we ever see the forest? Rosin’s article is problematic on a number of levels, particularly the part where she claims there are women who “long to have a man around who would pay the bills and take care of them and make a life for them in which they could work less.” But the darker purpose of her article is to claim that any woman who takes umbrage with a perceived inequality “assumes an exquisite vulnerability.” That is to say that to demand equal treatment is a form of weakness. What backwards bullish*t logic is that.
Are things better for women than they were 50 years ago? Hell yes they are. They’re better for racial minorities and homosexuals as well. Does that mean we’ve achieved equality, NAY, dominance? No. No it does not. Here’s a stupid, frivolous example of why. Take a look at the character posters for Ridley Scott’s film The Counselor. Starting with the men.
Obviously the above images have been monkeyed with a bit. The contrast amped to make Fassbender and Bardem look a bit more dramatic. But let’s look at the women next. Starting with Diaz…
…yeah that’s some puddin’ face nonsense. And the lovely, amazing, talented, Oscar-winning Penelope Cruz?
Straight up cellophane monster. They ‘shopped the life and beauty out of this woman. Why would they do it? Who could be responsible for such extreme cautions against the crime of a woman (a mother, the wife of one of the men above) having the audacity to look her age? (Which, for the record, is 39.) Certainly, CERTAINLY not the patriarchy. And in case you had any doubts as to which look is preferable, here’s the impressive Cruz without alteration.
So is this the sort of thing that’s worth getting my knickers in a twist over? This blatant double standard when it comes to Hollywood and beauty? Should I care at all that the wrinkles on Fassbender and Bardem are perfectly acceptable but verboten on Diaz and Cruz? F*ck yes I should. And f*ck Rosin for trying to shame women into being silent about the problems that are alive and well in our culture. Are things better? They sure are. But they ain’t great.
(via The Society Pages)