Brigid Daull Brockway is technically a writer

Brigid Daull Brockway is technically a writer

A blog about words, wordplay, and etymology, with slightly more than occasional political rants.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Men behaving like women

So I may or may not have lost a crown in a taffy-related incident, and I may or may not have lied to the dentist and told him that I lost a crown in a sugar-free gum-related incident. He's a good dentist, and totally pretended to believe me.
The point being, I was reading Cosmo, because it was either that or Cheerleading Digest, and reading Cheerleading Digest in the waiting room probably would have seemed a little creepy. Even though Brittany from Glee was on the cover, and she's totally of age.
Okay, so that wasn't the point either. The point is, man I freaking hate Cosmo. What really creeps me out is that I used to not freaking hate Cosmo. Maybe if I could figure out why I ever didn't hate Cosmo, I could figure out why anyone doesn't hate Cosmo. What got me this time was a photo montage of men "behaving like women": some reality dude I never heard of getting a "mannie," Jeremy Piven riding his bike in what the editors deemed an "effeminate" way, and Lenny Kravitz... okay, Lenny Kravitz was carrying a murse, and wearing high-heeled boots and some kind of man dress. But he was totally rocking it.
One of the pictures was of Jude Law buying a pair of shoes. The caption said something like "looks like he needs a new pair... of balls." I'm not remotely kidding.
Can you imagine a men's magazine making nasty comments about a woman's genitals because she was, say, fixing a car? I think most dudes would find that sexy. I love how so many women complain about men's magazines being sexist, when women's magazines print stuff about men that men's magazines would never print about women. Even back in the dark days.
This helps serve my theory that the biggest threats to feminism these days are other women. While magazines like Esquire regularly feature fuller-figured women, magazines like Cosmo plaster their covers and pages with stick insects who are further airbrushed to within inches of their lives.
While men's magazines like Esquire run features like Women we Love, in which they say really, really nice things about women - without picking apart their imperfections, Cosmo runs features bashing women's bodies and saying really objectifying things about dudes. Every issue of Cosmo implores audiences to hate their bodies. Every issue of Esquire I've ever read has found a way to point out that women are so much more than their bodies.
I saw a women's magazine cover in the checkout line, I don't remember which, telling women how to tell if a woman is "an Angelina" - i.e., whether a woman is out to steal your husband, like Angelina Jolie stole Brad Pitt. And the thing is, I'm not really an Angie fan, but the woman spends half her life or more doing humanitarian work and something like half her money funding it. Isn't it just a little weird to define her by the fact that she fooled around with a married dude, what, six years ago? This is actually a really old trick, something feminists have been talking about for ages: keep women down, keep women from acting up together, by teaching us that we're in constant competition, that we're a constant threat to each other, and that we have to tear each other down. Feminists used to blame men for this. I think we're doing a stellar job of it ourselves. Why not blame the guy who cheated? Or better yet, why not move on? Be our own women? Worry less about how to keep our men and worry more about how to keep our own self respect.
Because when you love yourself... blah blah blah.

Maya Angelou says it better than me:

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It's the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can't see.
I say,
It's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman

Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Also, Cosmo's sex advice sucks. And is creepy.

1 comment:

VEG said...

Oh my God, a million times yes! It's absolutely true and I was talking about this recently too, the fact that women's magazines get to say things about men that if reversed, would be condemned. I notice that there's a ton of hypocrisy in women's mags in general, where they'll spend time nurturing and telling you that you're wonderful despite your size/age/occupation etc., to celebrate YOU, then on the next page it's all stuff about how to improve your fat/ageing self so a man will love you.

Women will always be competitive. I told my sister once that I avoid women who have only male friends, because usually they're very harsh about other women, due to some deep seated insecurity or something.

I also agree with the Angelina stuff you said. As far as I remember it, she didn't cheat on anyone, HE was the one who was married. Yet I don't see the hate aimed at him.

It's also one of the reasons I can't read bulletin boards or comment sections on celebrity articles involving female celebs and their looks or antics - they're stuffed with full-on bitches being mean about them.

Sorry for the rant, it's late and I'm not even remotely coherent... :)