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Archive for the ‘Issues’ Category

In Awe Of…Female Proposals

According to Wikipedia there is a common and popular tradition amongst several countries where a woman may propose marriage to a man on the 29th of February, also known as leap day. If the man refuses the proposal he is obligated to either give the women money or to buy her a new dress.  In the more affluent sects of European society, the male is meant to buy his jilted lover 12 pairs of gloves. The idea being she has more than enough gloves to conceal the fact that he sadly did not want to put a ring on it!

So today, on this very special leap day 2012, my sister proposed to her boyfriend of…. a couple of years (I have a wretched memory for numbers). My family and I are all so happy for her and we knew her darling boyfriend would say yes because a. he’s not a dummy and b. she’s amazingly talented, beautiful and one of the funniest people I know (not that shocking of a revelation really, we are siblings after all).  Basically, they’re both massive catches and we all know they’re going to have a beautiful wedding and even more gawwwgeous life together.

I think the leap day tradition is great and all, but I can’t help thinking it’s a bit unreasonable that societies’ traditions only cater to a woman’s desire to propose marriage one day every four years. It’s a tad unbalanced to say the least. Obviously, the traditions of marriage have changed and are continuously changing. Women propose to men all the time now and not just on this one day of a year that comes around every 1,460 days. However, there can be this ridiculous stigma directed towards the idea of women proposing marriage to men. I really don’t understand it as I think the idea that only a man should be allowed to propose marriage is archaic and unfair to both the man and the woman in the relationship. Why should a woman not be able to decide where the future of her relationship lies?

Thankfully though, times are changing. As society progresses so to do it’s various traditions regarding marriage and gender roles. We still have a long way to go, ahemmmm gay marriage is still not legal, just saying! However, it’s very encouraging to see these backwards ideas on the roles that women should play in these important decisions which have huge effects on their lives is changing for the better! I am so looking forward to seeing my beautiful sister walk down the aisle, and seeing as I’m all about dismissing the gender roles I’m appointing myself maid of honor….or flower girl. I suppose I’ll let her decide which. It is her wedding after all.

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In Awe of…Female Empowerment

I think it has been made pretty clear by now that I’m quite partial to the strong female artists of the world. This blog of course was set up to chronicle and share with the world the various accolades of my favourite starlets. But a question I have been asking myself a lot lately is when did sexually gratuitous lyrics and a general scantily clad-ness of females in media become a form of female empowerment?

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not some big prude who can’t appreciate a good potty mouthed lyric. First of all I LOVE Peaches and 95 % of her lyrics comprise of sexually explicit vadge referencing rhymes.

Or more recently Azelia Bank’s 212, I’d be a filthy liar if I said I didn’t jump for joy whenever the line I guess that cunt gettin’ eaten came on.

I like these lyrics because I think there will always be that little child inside me who gets a kick out of participating in something naughty. When I listen to those songs I’m always entertained by the audacity, brashness and just the general shock factor behind these woman’s proclamations of their sexuality. And what of the dental floss outfits so many of my favourite divas are spotted wearing? Well in my opinion if you got it and the clothing you’re wearing makes you feel better about yourself then wear it!

So what is my problem then? It doesn’t so much lie in the lyrical content itself nor the lets-not-leave-ANYTHING-to-the-imagination clothing. This form of Xrated songwriting is often cited as being a result of women in music just saying what men do. The only difference is men don’t face the same negative stigma that women do when they express the same sexually charged sentiment. This of course is true. It is totally ridiculous that a male artist can talk about sleeping with a million women and be applauded, but a woman articulating a similar experience is labelled a nasty ass ho‘. Could one be so bold as to say that women making claims of sexual conquests that equal or even tower over their male counterpart’s, are in a way protesting through song for their right to sexual liberation? With regards to the clothing, or lack thereof, could one also say it’s a response to the fact that for so long women’s wardrobes consisted of clothing that enveloped most of their bodies? And that now, thanks to the Women’s Liberation Movement, women in the western world don’t have to wear clothing that covers up their bodies anymore. In fact, they hardly have to wear any clothing at all. YAY FEMINISM!!!!! Needless to say, I doubt the Women’s Liberation Movement were fighting for the Pussycat Dolls’ right to strip down to their underpants and girate on a stage.

So here’s the thing. At the end of the end of the day, Sex sells. Unfortunately, a female musician or actress is often marketed to an audience not just using their talents and skills but oftentimes their sex appeal and beauty. This is the way it’s always been, and this is the way it probably always will be. I can accept that. I also accept that people have the right to portray themselves visually and lyrically in whatever manner they see fit. However, I do think we need to be honest with ourselves and just call a spade a spade, and recognise that looking or speaking like a gigantic slut, regardless of your gender, is not empowering. It can be shocking, it can be funny, it can be lots of really amazing things but I just think saying it’s in some way empowering to women or anyone is wrong. It just isn’t. In extreme cases it can in fact be quite degrading to women. But most of the time, it’s just stagnant. It’s not moving anything forward, or changing any negative ideas or attitudes about female objectification or changing any of the injustices thrown at women on a daily basis. Although like I said it is mostly just a bit of fun, and I think it is something that is done for entertainment purposes and probably should not be thought about in as much detail as I have been thinking about it, but there ya GO!

To close I’d like to say I’m still in awe of the women whose mother’s need to wash their mouths’ out with soap. Their lyrics are clever, sassy and when taken with a pinch of salt are just good fun! However, I am sad that in this day and age women in the mainstream of pop music world in particular seem to have to compromise a lot more of their integrity than men do. What makes me even sadder is that it’s gotten to the point where it isn’t even questioned, but hey this is the world we live in and sadly it’s not just and equal place we all wish it could be….. and in conclusion, I still fucking love Peaches.

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