Today, in ‘How Much Can One Man Sound Like He’s Gargling Orc Testicles’ News:
Yann Moix, a prestigious French author, has whipped up a bit of a storm with some…let’s say slightly sexist, dehumanising, racist, and entitled remarks that he made to a French magazine in an interview on Monday.
According to The Guardian:
Yann Moix, 50, told a glossy magazine [in response to a question over whether he could love a woman over 50]: “Come on now, let’s not exaggerate! That’s not possible … too, too old.”
In the interview with Marie-Claire magazine’s French edition, Moix, the author of several prize-winning novels, added that women in their 50s were “invisible” to him.
“I prefer younger women’s bodies, that’s all. End of. The body of a 25-year-old woman is extraordinary. The body of a woman of 50 is not extraordinary at all,” he said, adding that he preferred to date Asian women, particularly Koreans, Chinese and Japanese.
“It’s perhaps sad and reductive for the women I go out with but the Asian type is sufficiently rich, large and infinite for me not to be ashamed.”
Twitter, naturally, responded:
so yann moix says the body of women over 50 is not extraordinary at all… well you’re not exactly idris elba are you? oh and by the way these ladies who are all over 50 say hey 👋 pic.twitter.com/kOIJZa3Lu3— Ruby Naldrett (@rubynaldrett) January 8, 2019
Women over 50 breathe a sigh of relief, warn 25-year-old women to avoid creepy French author Yann Moix. https://t.co/TTaGfXI6f0— Mary Dixon (@MaryLDixon) January 7, 2019
Women over 50 who have just learned they will never feel the loving caress of Yann Moix are breathing a collective sigh of relief at the bullet they've dodged.— Toscha (@thelilacthief) January 7, 2019
Moix has since defended his remarks. As per The Guardian:
Yann Moix, 50, who is promoting his latest book, Rompre, said his personal preferences in women were his own business and he was only being honest.
“I don’t see this as pride, but almost as a curse. It’s not my fault. We are not responsible for our tastes, our penchants, our inclinations. I’m not here to hold forth on this,” he told RTL radio.
The article goes on:
In the radio interview, he suggested it was important to face up to certain truths even if they caused offence. “We’re living in a society where it’s hard to be an individual. We have to always represent the universal citizen … someone who displeases nobody,” he said.
He added that while he considered himself a victim of his preferences he did not feel obliged to apologise for “being different”.
“Every individual is a prisoner of their tastes. I’m a prisoner of mine. It takes nothing away from a woman of 50 years that I don’t want to sleep with her,” he said.
“I’m not responsible for my tastes; I’m trying to be honest. Of course I have a problem, I’m an adolescent, I’m a child and I don’t interest women in their 50s either. They’ve got better things to do than to drag a neurotic around who spends his time yelling and reading and likes doing things that only excite children. It’s not easy to be with me,” he said.
Asked whether he thought his comments would affect sales of his book, Moix said: “The system is so perverse that sales are about to rise like an arrow.
“I don’t regret saying these things because they concern only me. I love who I want and I don’t have to answer to any good taste police … for me that would be a complete lack of taste.”
‘We’re living in a society where it’s hard to be an individual,’ says the man whose views on women precluded him from seeing them as individuals.
There is, I suppose, a brutal honesty at play in Moix’s comments. As always in cases like this, an individual analysis is flawed and insufficient, but we can use the prism of this one entitled man’s opinions to examine the broader, systemic picture. Because, when considered in some sort of hypothetical societal vacuum, there is indeed nothing inherently wrong with an older man being with a younger woman, or vice versa. But we don’t live in a vacuum; and a rich, successful, powerful man seeing nothing wrong with saying that his desire can only ever extend to younger women speaks volumes. About him, yes, but more so about the system that created him. Retorting to his comments with ‘But look at these individual examples of women who are over 50 yet still conventionally attractive!’ is not really the way to go.
In terms of straight male desirability, our society relentlessly pushes the youthful, attractive form as the only acceptable one for a woman to take. It is of course always assumed that straight male desirability is the default gaze that must be catered to. The movie industry is an infamous example of this, with Amy Schumer’s sketch about actresses who have passed the invisible Hollywood age threshold after which it is impossible to be cast in roles that have any element of sexuality to them being a brutally honest distillation of the issue. In addition to youth, this system also places a much higher worth on women who conform to a number of other phenotypic forms: white, able-bodied, etc. The capitalism we live under is a white supremacist, heteronormative, patriarchal one, and the images being sold to us 24/7 align with these demographic identifiers. As well as splitting people into owners and producers, it stratifies humanity into a multitude of identities of relative worth. In the case of our spectacle-driven brand of consumer capitalism, some producers are also themselves the products—actresses, musicians, etc. They create the value with their labour but also add further value to the owner class with their identity. The owner class in the West is primarily white male. Individuals of other identities may enter this rarefied class too, but the important thing is that the class itself retains its white maleness. Those individuals of other type who manage to infiltrate this class are not significant in terms of systemic change. It’s important to remember, however, that a class analysis and an identity analysis are not mutually exclusive. They are intertwined.
what wave of feminism is this https://t.co/GVZLZeVEOl— Kate Aronoff (@KateAronoff) January 6, 2019
Congrats to new Politico editor … [checks notes] “Maple Cocaine” pic.twitter.com/hqgKGva9Ey— Andrew Perez (@andrewperezdc) January 2, 2019
All that is to say, one should always endeavour to examine the broader issues at play. Systemic analysis is paramount. Rhetoric that solely focuses on the individual can often be in danger of missing the forests for the trees.
Yann Moix is a racist, sexist, whiny bitch. ‘I don’t have to answer to any good taste police.’ Mate. We’re just trying to see why things are the way they are, and how they could be better. You said a thing; people are saying things back. Suck it up and maybe use it to self-reflect. Maybe it’s a bit odd, the power dynamics here at play, eh. If not, just enjoy the increased profits from your book that that the publicity will bring, I guess. Use it to buy more love.
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