Female Sexists?

It’s been a proud year for Christina Aguilera.

After messing up the lyrics to the American national anthem at the Super Bowl in January, Aguilera upstaged herself at the Grammy Awards a month later when she nearly toppled off stage during an Aretha Franklin tribute. Now, the thirty-year-old performer has once again taken centre stage in the theatre of embarrassment.

Yes, Aguilera is back in the spotlight, and it seems that she’s more eager than ever to show the world what a strong, emancipated women Marilyn she’s become.

On a live episode of “The Voice,” a new American-idol-like reality TV show, Aguilera told contestant Patrick Thomas that he should “take off his pants.” Thomas had just performed Lee Anne Womack’s “I hope you dance,” a song he dedicated to his sister. He stood before the panel of judges, eagerly awaiting their feedback, when Aguilera told Thomas that he was a cutie pie, but she was still waiting for him to “take off his pants.” The audience laughs, applause sounds, but Aguilera insists—”No—seriously,” she says, “when are you going to take off your pants?” (she batts her lashes and bites the corner of  her lip).

We all know the Marilyn. She’s the over-sexualized blonde in red lipstick and heels; the so-called “liberated feminist” who wants to sleep with every Tom, Dick, and Harry just because she can. She thinks that “gender equality” means she should act like a man, and she thinks acting like a man involves a care-free sexual attitude and treating men like pieces of meat—because, after all, she rations, men treat us as sexual objects, why shouldn’t we do it to them?

I’m not so much taking contention with Aguilera as I am with the specific brand of sexism she represents—that is, the kind of sexism that victimizes men in the name of gender equality.  I’m also not condoning Aguilera on her overt display of sexual interest—after all, it’s the prerogative of every Aguilera to act like a Marilyn—but I can’t help but wonder if feminism failed because of the very attitude that Aguilera-types are enacting.

Let’s pretend for a moment that the gender roles playing out in the scene between Aguilera and Thomas were reversed: let’s imagine the aspiring contestant was  female, and let’s say it was Donald Trump sitting in Aguilera’s place. What if, on The Apprentice, Trump leaned over the table and told a female contestant that her business plan was great, but he was still waiting for her to “take off her pants” ? Surely, there would be public outrage and a frenzy of media attention. The internet would be a-tweet with condemnation, and feminist’s words would be quoted and circulated through the internet circus circuit.

But because Aguilera is a woman—and a specific brand of woman at that— no one saw anything wrong with her comments; her words went, for the most part, unreported on in mainstream media. The lack of attention paid to Aguilera’s inappropriate attitude goes to show how women are less likely to be accused of sexism, and how so-called “liberal feminism” can victimize men. The woman’s mistreatment of man often goes unnoticed—or, if it is noticed, it’s tolerated under the guide of “third-wave feminism” or “sexual liberation.”

And this is where feminism went wrong.

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5 thoughts on “Female Sexists?

  1. So this what I’m getting from this blog here, excuse me if I get it wrong or if you disagree but frankly I don’t care. For years men have treated women like sex objects, cat-calling, cheating, sleeping around with as many women as the man feels he can “conquer.” So you think it’s okay for men to mistreat women the way they talk about women most the time, making rude gestures towards women just because they think they can. You say that a woman who uses her sexuality is wrong when she flaunts it, well what the hell is with that when a man can flaunt his scores without being called anything bad and women is down-talked. Leave christina alone. Jealousy will get you no where in life but leave you writing a shallow blog about misguided points of view of feminism. If she wants to be a sexual vixen let her, at least shes showing that some women are a little more powerful and confident with their sexuality to know that they are actually equal to a man. A woman can do what ever the hell she pleases, she wants a man to see what it feels like to be disrespected because women go through it all the time then let her. At least some women have “balls”. It’s about fucking time men are treated like the pieces of meat that some are. When a man says a rude thing about a women it’s waved off as being “oh hes just a guy.” Sorry that doesn’t cut since when a women says something rude, shes called a slut or a skank. The views of genders really needs to be sorted out because women should be allowed to speak their minds dirty or not.

    • Hi and thanks for engaging on Lady Medusa’s blog: I think you’ve misunderstood the point of this piece, but this paragraph reiterates it:

      I’m not so much taking contention with Aguilera as I am with the specific brand of sexism she represents—that is, the kind of sexism that victimizes men in the name of gender equality. I’m also not condoning Aguilera on her overt display of sexual interest—after all, it’s the prerogative of every Aguilera to act like a Marilyn—but I can’t help but wonder if feminism failed because of the very attitude that Aguilera-types are enacting

      If you saw that particular episode of The Voice, Aguilera’s comments and sexual innuendo made this man feel quite uncomfortable, and I was simply pointing out the fact that when a woman treats a man with disrespect, its often overlooked, but if, for instance, Simon Cowell told a contestant with the same tone and aggression on American Idol to “take off their pants,” I’m sure people would call the network to complain and it would be all over the news.

      I never said it was okay for anyone to treat anyone with disrespect, so I’m not sure what you’re talking about here:

      “So you think it’s okay for men to mistreat women the way they talk about women most the time, making rude gestures towards women just because they think they can.”

      I am not jealous of Christina Aguilera, and the opening of this piece should make that clear. I’m glad your such a fan of her work that you’d defend her on “a shallow blog about misguided points points of view of feminism.”

      This piece really has little to do with Aguilera and more to do with the ‘Marilyn-Figure’ she’s enacting, as stated in the paragraph above. I don’t feel that a woman’s equality to man should be measured in terms of her sexual behaviour, or that women ought to act like men. So, for example, I disagree with you when you say a woman “can do whatever she pleases, [sic] she wants a man to see what it feels like to be disrespected because women go through it all the time then let her.”

      How does disrespecting anyone—male or female—get us any closer to a better understanding of humanity?

      Namaste,
      -LM

    • I think something important to remember here is the context in which Aguilera made her comments. If she was just approaching some hot dude in a bar/club and asked him to take off his pants, there wouldn’t be anything wrong with that per se. It’s a little forward and some guys may not be into that approach, just like some girls may toss a drink into the face of a guy asking that question, but there’s nothing inherently wrong with it.

      However, she asked the question as a judge that was tasked with evaluating someone’s performance, and by asking that question she was implicitly saying that his performance had no value unless he was also showing off his junk. And no matter how you slice it, male or female…that’s being an asshole. And to put it a bit more crudely and less eloquent than Lady Medusa put it, shouldn’t we all be striving to be good to each other, rather than dividing ourselves into separate camps and being assholes to the people in the other camp? Or I guess “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” also works here.

      • Thanks for engaging, SJP: totally agree with you: “shouldn’t we all be striving to be good to each other, rather than dividing ourselves into separate camps and being assholes to the people in the other camp?” … That’s my point!

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