On Rashida Jones, the ‘Pornification of Everything’, and ‘Slut Culture’

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  • i am 100% on rashida’s side. i’m not a prude and i love when women take ownership of their bodies, but i think when that’s all you’re doing and offering not much–if anything–else and making a profit off it what’s separating them from paid sex objects?

  • Aidan Monis

    Greetings from Toronto! Jess, I’m quite new to your website, but I must say that I love the work you’re doing. keep it up!

    I like this article, but I do feel that it is incomplete. The biggest problem with the liberal (as opposed to radical) feminist movement is that it presents what are essentially structuralist arguments. Mainstream feminism (which I cannot conflate you with, since I don’t know you) presents the hyper-sexuality of our culture purely as a matter of personal choice. If only men were less sexist, if only women valued themselves more, etc. I’m not saying that personal choice doesn’t matter, but it ultimately is futile if the power systems of our society remain in place. We live in a white supremacist, homophobic, misogynistic culture. I’m sure you would agree with this proposition. However, how can we start to move away from such a dehumanizing culture? I believe the answer is much bigger than simply having women like Miley Cyrus and Nicki Minaj present more empowering ideas of womanhood. The answer, ultimately, is the destruction of capitalism. The doctrine of capitalism holds that there are some people who are worth less (labourers as a whole). The employer/employee relationship is, at its heart, rape. Even at their most inclusive and humane, the workplace is of the average person is overwhelmingly fascistic. There are people above to command, and people below to be commanded. The people ‘below’ are expected to accept their dehumanization at the hands of emplyers, the government, society, etc. While it’s 100% accurate that famous women like Cyrus and Minaj are literally making things worse for women, they ultimately do so at the behest of an inherently inhumane system. If one truly desires a free and just society, it cannot be organized along the lines of white, capitalist patriarchy. It must become something else entirely.

    • Aidan Monis

      Sorry I meant to write Jenn! It wouldn’t let me edit the post. Sorry!

    • Wow. You are completely right and give a great comment.

      Capitalism is an inherent threat to the equality desired by modern feminists.I think there are just too many gray areas that remain uncharted and undefined when we have the overarching conversations. The system is broken. And we all play a part. The question is: How seriously do we take our role in that system and are we willing to be honest about it?

      • Aidan Monis

        As Audre Lorde wrote, “The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.” In order to bring about meaningful change, one must be able, first of all, to critique systems of domination. This means examining social structures from the outside. It is simply not enough to say that women are oppressed, for instance. This is undoubtedly true, but the truth is so much more complex. White women are oppressed by white men, but white women also oppress Aboriginal women, and women of colour. Even Beyonce, who has been hailed as the new ‘bad bitch feminist,’ is guilty of this. Miley Cyrus was rightly condemned for her use of black women as props at the VMAs, but where is the outrage of Beyonce doing the same in any one of her million videos? Marginalized women, and black women in particular, are at best viewed as decoration in our society. What has Beyonce, an arbiter of culture in our society, done to combat this image? Nothing. I am not condemning her, though, but system she serves. The unspoken ideological idea behind her entire career is that black women exist to be simultaneously lusted after and to have violence enacted against them. I would argue that the system is not broken, from a purely literal standpoint. The point of white capitalist patriarchy is to oppress, degrade and destroy. This is just what Miley, Beyonce, Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears and Nicki Minaj have gotten rich off of. Audre Lorde is totally right when she argues that the way forward is not the classic feminist binary (men/women), but the radical feminist pillar of intersectionality. It is not enough to see Beyonce or Rihanna on the TV, shaking their asses for millions of dollars. Equal representation is not the solution. The solution is a total rethinking and restructuring (along the lines of sex, class, race, sexual orientation, ability) of how we interact with each other. The liberal idea of individual empowerment must also fall, leading the way for collective consciousness and empowerment.

        http://www.muhlenberg.edu/media/contentassets/pdf/campuslife/SDP%20Reading%20Lorde.pdf