Tag Archives: feminism

Bratz dolls VS. Feminists: “Oversexualized” or “Empowering”?

16 May

Lately, I’ve been going back into the history of Bratz, where Bratz experienced a tremendous rise in the toy industry and where Bratz took a tumble downhill. As a major Bratz fan, I still have a difficult time coming to terms with the fact that these dolls are not going to be produced anymore, that they are discontinued, and that they are no longer popular. In 2016, MGA, the owners of the Bratz doll brand, announced that they were discontinuing the Bratz dolls after a less-than-glorious comeback from their hiatus the year before.

As a way to find a sense of closure, I’ve been researching all kinds of news articles on the Bratz, news that have been out since 2001. I’ve been going back into my own “archives” both online and offline.

In a former article, I reviewed what happened to the Bratz in the last couple of years, based on all the information I have: Bratz Are Back Again in 2015: What Happened to the Bratz?

While flipping and clicking through everything, I’ve come to realize that feminists, moms, and Bratz dolls were never far a part from each other, but feminists and moms never really met eye to eye with the Bratz. It doesn’t surprise me that “soccer” moms are against the Bratz. Their name is “Bratz” after all. Parents may have heard the name and assumed that the dolls encouraged their girls to rebel against their parents.

However, I’ve found the Bratz to be a very empowering line of dolls in totality. That’s why it shocks me to read about so many feminists who are really against this doll brand. In fact, many feminists have openly been against the Bratz since debut. Therefore, I’ve concluded that the details that go into the Bratz’s  recent decline in popularity have at least a little to do with active feminists. How so?

Before I get into the details, let’s review how the Bratz came to be, how I got interested in the Bratz, and how (and why) they got so popular in the first place.

Bratz: The Urban Fashionistas

Carter Bryant was the original designer of the Bratz dolls who came up with the idea for the dolls after looking at a Steve Madden shoe ad in Seventeen magazine, photographed by Bernard Belair.

Bryant liked the “cartoonish” yet stylish look of the ad and wanted to create dolls with a similar appeal. To put it simply, Bratz were never meant to look realistic, but they were going to be displayed wearing the latest teen fashions.

Carter Bryant has also shared with me that he was inspired from the urban and punk scenes he always loved. He is an edgy man at heart and wanted to bring that to the Bratz doll line. When he brought the dolls to MGA, Issac Larian, the CEO, was skeptical at first, thinking their heads and feet were weird. But when Larian showed the dolls to his daughter, Jasmin Larian, she thought they were cool. The Bratz doll Yasmin was named after her.

At the Turn of the 21st Century, tweens (kids between the ages of 10 and 14) lost interest in dolls. With pop music spreading around the world, many girls were growing too “old” to be interested in toys (though I’d say it’s worse now than it was then, now that there’s this emphasis on smartphones and tablets). The doll market was experiencing a decline back then just as it is now. Many doll companies were interested in turning the new pop culture trend around in their favor. They wanted to make “up-to-date” dolls specifically for tweens so they could bring them back into the market.

Barbie was dominating the toy market, but by the 1990s, she was considered babyish.

Barbie was also criticized by minority ethnic groups for “lacking diversity” and outshining her more “diverse” friends. To many, Barbie was a sign of “White Supremacy”. After all, she was invented at a very tense racial time (1959).

Since the 1970s, feminist writers began examining entertainment designed for girls. Barbie came under fire several times throughout generations of feminists.

Feminists have been wanting to encourage self-love since then. Barbie was criticized for having unrealistic body proportions (like bigger than average boobs, a tiny waist, super thin lips, full hair, tiny feet, etc), body features that didn’t seem realistically attainable for every woman.

Bratz wasn’t the answer to everything missing in the doll industry (according to feminists), but they did solve the “diversity” problem.

The Bratz were released wearing “urban” fashions, a huge trend among youths at the Turn of the 21st Century since the rise in popularity of African American hip-hop and rap artists and labels in the 1990s. White people had also jumped on the urban trends (thanks to groups like New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys). Bratz had bigger lips than the average doll. They wore the “latest trends”, which often included cropped tops, baggy pants, and mini skirts, as well as tons of makeup. The dolls came in a variety of different “colors” and hair textures even if their actual ethnic backgrounds were left ambiguous.

I was a tween at the time of the Bratz debut in 2001, the target demographic. I was one of the children that stopped playing with dolls at 10 years old (thought I still liked to collect them as a hobby). I would say books, video games, anime, and internet consumed my life rather than pop stars and MTV. I still liked certain doll brands, like Magic Attic Club and American Girl, but I never played with the actual dolls. I mostly bought the books, not the dolls. I completely lost interest in the regular Barbie doll (though Generation Girl Dolls peaked my interest for a short time).

To me, as someone who lost interest in playing with Barbies at 10, Bratz were amazing. As an African American, I was happy to see dolls with full lips, full thick hair, and urban fashions commonly worn in my own black community (and not the cookie-cutter suburbanite outfits I often saw on my Barbies as a kid in the 1990s).

That’s why it was perplexing to find that most of the articles kept describing the dolls as “oversexualized” and “materialistic”. I couldn’t understand it at 11 years old. “What’s so sexual about them?” I kept asking myself. Their clothes were cool and urban to me, not sexual. I couldn’t see how baggy pants and beanie caps (included in the 1st edition of Bratz) were even “sexual” in nature. The dolls carried a lot of sass and attitude. They seemed bold and confident to me. The quality was impeccable and very realistic at the time. If anything, these dolls were gender-defying for me! They were not prim, perfect, pink, and prissy. They said “So what!” to fashion norms and boundaries that told girls to be “presentable, lest you tempt the manfolk”.

It truly surprised me to see so many feminists set against the Bratz.

As I got older, I began to understand the feminists’ concerns a little more than I did as a child, but I still don’t agree with many of their assumptions about the Bratz.

Let me give you a little history about myself.

I’m not your typical doll collector. I’m not only an adult, I’m an androgynous tomboy. As a child, I was a complete tomboy. My parents, particularly my mother, would often dress me in dresses, but she was very strict about how I should eat when dressed up, how I had to wear each article of clothing perfectly, and she schooled me on the people I had to please (particularly friends and neighbors). I got verbally (and sometimes physically) assaulted at times for wearing the wrong shoes with the wrong outfit. As I got older, because of these experiences, I began to reject social femininity. When I got more control of my fashion choices, I made sure to avoid dresses and skirts as much as possible.  I became mostly uninterested in clothes and makeup. I prefer to dress comfortably. I became convinced that “femininity” was all about conforming socially, pleasing others, and dressing the part in every situation. Social femininity was translated as “threatening” to me.

So it might make people wonder how I could be interested in such a fashion-conscious doll line like the Bratz.

As I mentioned before, I didn’t see what many of these news journalists and feminists saw in the Bratz. When I first saw the 2001 1st Edition Bratz, I saw their art versions, which displayed four girls in urbanized fashions in the sickest artwork ever. They all wore baggy jeans and sporty crop tops! If anything they looked like tomboys with makeup on!

The clash of femininity and tomboyishness made me feel thrilled and excited. Bratz did renew my interest in fashion, but not as a way to please or impress others. Bratz made me realize that fashion could be used to express oneself, to express ideas, to express art. Bratz inspired me to take my boyish looks to the next level which was why I got interested in different androgynous looks. I became unafraid to look different. I became unafraid of the controversy.

I was an outcast in middle school and high school. I was different. I was not only a tomboy, but a Black girl who enjoyed world music (like Japanese and Turkish music), among many genres including rock and roll, and enjoyed anime and video games. I never dressed up, so everyone thought I was weird. I looked like a 10 year old because I was so petite and never did my hair in the latest styles (which made me look even younger). I wore glasses and didn’t care for contacts. I would wear the same clothes year after year. I didn’t care, as long as they were clean. Many people thought I was a lesbian because I didn’t date in high school. Most of the guys thought I was too skinny to be attractive anyway. I didn’t have curves. When they discovered I wasn’t a lesbian, that confused them even more.

When Bratz were introduced, they were just the kind of thing I was looking for in the world. The Bratz not only renewed my interest in fashion but in the fashion doll industry in general. The dolls also helped me come to terms with my own individuality.

I always loved dolls, even in high school. I didn’t play with them; I just liked collecting them and taking pictures. I collected a lot of 18″ dolls mostly. After the Bratz came out, I was looking for fashion dolls like them. There were few dolls like them though.

I wasn’t ashamed of liking dolls, though I’m certain many teenagers would’ve been. I think after dealing with being forced to fit standards as a child, I had this counter-culturalist in me just waiting to break free. I didn’t think I was feminine at all, and so I rejected it in myself and in others.

Even though they were just dolls, Bratz helped me understand myself. My interest in them revealed something about myself. I realized I hadn’t lost touch with my femininity or my own sense of woman, I just had a different kind and that was okay. I realized that there were many ways to define  “being a woman”.

Bratz helped me at a difficult time, when I felt like I had to fit all of these standards. Unlike me, Bratz could do whatever they wanted to do. They had the courage and bravery, despite the backlash, to just be. It was obvious by their outrageous fashions, their exciting movies, and strong music that they just didn’t care. Much of their music still inspires me, like Bratz Forever Diamondz “Yasmin”‘s “Hang On”.

To me, the Bratz had a very strong empowering message of teaching girls to be confident and comfortable with who they are, no matter what anyone says.

When I saw their outfits, though, they seemed to wear mostly costumes rather than “regular” fashions. They reflected the latest styles with a twist. I was impressed with the detail, the various accessories, and the quality (hair that felt soft and thick, jeans made from actual jean material, etc), as well as the creative and bold themes.

Bratz also set many trends and broke many fashion rules. I liked Bratz because they reflected my own liberation from society’s norms. And at the time, they were the only dolls doing this.

Nowadays, there are many dolls empowering girls in many different ways. Many dolls out today have been inspired from the Bratz. Still, I have a special place in my heart for these dolls because they encouraged me to be bold and different, to be innovative and creative, and to think outside of the box.

My other favorite part about Bratz was that a blonde white girl wasn’t at the center. Don’t get me wrong, I grew up with Barbies, too, which I’ll go into further later. But Bratz offered me something I never could let go of, something I could relate to more personally.

Bratz had a variety of different characters eventually, of many shades, with most being dolls of color. I was so happy when MGA released Felicia, an actual dark-skinned doll that was designed beautifully and stylish! Many other Black characters have been in the Bratz franchise as well.

Sasha looks gorgeous in her “natural” hair!

Even though the Bratz dolls came in many shades, Black and Latino culture initially influenced much of the doll brand. From the styles, to the music (as you could tell above), to the full lips and thick hair, down to the urban fashion, Bratz were meant to appeal to a wider ethnic demographic.

In the early 2000s, gangster rap was just sizzling down. Many people outside of the black community (and even some of the old-school generation within) looked down on “urban” fashions and felt it represented “deviant” culture. This is partially why Bratz carried even more controversy at debut. Many people compared them to “urban thugs”. But most of the fashion was widely accepted among black and Latino/Hispanic cultures.

The more rebellious Bratz appeared, the more I loved them. Did it mean I was a bad girl and that I didn’t want to follow any rules? Of course not. But I did recognize that I don’t have to let others define me or decide the type of clothing I needed to wear socially. The Bratz showed me that I can represent alternatives in fashion and let that make its own statement.

Of course, we do have to consider some things socially when picking our clothes, but adding a little creativity and imagination to our wardrobe also adds to our individuality (along with our personalities). Bratz taught me that.

Eventually, Bratz brought in wild lines like Tokyo-ago-go, Space Angelz, Rock Angelz, Pretty N Punk, and many others to the mix. That just gave me more courage to speak out and embrace my individuality.

Some Feminists’ Issues with the Bratz

It baffles me how many people don’t realize just how influential feminists and moms were when it came to the Bratz’s 2015 transformation and sudden decline. Yes, other factors contributed to the Bratz dolls’ decline in popularity (such as the ongoing court battles between Mattel, owners of Barbie, and MGA, owners of Bratz). But the recent comeback, as well as the one in 2010, was obviously specifically “watered down” to appeal to moms and feminists, which didn’t go over so well with many of the fans of the brand.

The moment MGA released the first batch of dolls in 2015, MGA shared a facebook post called New Bratz dolls Tell Girls “It’s Good to be Yourself”. The article states that the dolls give a message that “won’t make parents cringe”. MGA must have realized that moms and feminists didn’t approve of the original Bratz and they wanted to ease the criticisms. Women have a lot of power and influence in the retail industry, believe it or not. MGA posted that article to show how Bratz have become more “innocent” in the last couple of years. They tried to put less makeup on the dolls, they made the outfits cuter, and made the eyes bigger so they wouldn’t look sassy or like they have “attitude”. It still didn’t work. Feminists still felt they were “underwhelming“. All it did was make the fans less interested in them and made the feminists criticize them even more.

The few feminists that are/were supportive of the Bratz have mostly been supportive of Bratz’s ethnic diversity and “ethnic” features (such as large lips, thick hair, and slanted eyes).

But most of these feminists overlook any of the positive regarding these dolls.

After reviewing many articles from feminists about the Bratz, I’ve learned that they take several issues with them (issues I find confusing):

  1. Their usage of makeup
  2. Their “sexualized” clothes and features
  3. Their unrealistic body proportions
  4. Their name
  5. Their “materialism”
  6. Their slogan

These Bratz dolls got an amazing feminist makeover

Tree Change

This artist is giving Bratz an awesome feminist Makeover

Bratz Is Not Happy That I Said Their Dolls Do Molly 

The Unsluttification Of Bratz?

Over-sexed and over here: The ‘tarty’ Bratz Doll

New Bratz dolls Tell Girls “It’s Good to be Yourself”

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-411266/Over-sexed-The-tarty-Bratz-Doll.html#ixzz4gPS3FGyI

How to Explain Monster High and Other Hyper-Sexualized Dolls to Young Kids

Now, many of these comparisons are made right alongside the Barbie doll. As mentioned before, feminists’ first gripe with the fashion doll industry came with Barbie. Barbie has been pretty influential in girls’ lives and she has been an icon of fashion and materialism. She has been a staple of femininity for even adult women. Many feminists have examined how Barbie influenced girls and were afraid the Bratz, who seemed to carry some of the same “problems”, would influence girls much the same way.

But here’s where I think some of these feminists miss the mark.

Yes, sometimes girls often imitate their dolls in various ways and grow up to be inspired by these dolls. However, from my experience working with children and being a child during the Barbie and Bratz era, I would definitely say it depends on the context and the way the dolls are presented. It also depends on one’s own life experiences. Barbie and Bratz gave me two different vibes and that influenced my perception of the dolls, myself, and womanhood in general.

I don’t think Barbie and Bratz give a similar message at all. I think the feminists that think they do only know that the Bratz are considered fashion dolls, but know nothing else about them otherwise. These feminists may have seen one or two lines with the Bratz in more “conventional” fashion, but more than likely they didn’t dig deeper than that.

Let me explain why Bratz and Barbie are so very different and how this affects each of their messages to girls.

Bratz Vs. Barbie

I will share the history of both brands a little more because I believe the very inspiration behind the dolls shows how each was meant to affect girls.

As mentioned before, Bratz was designed to represent a “cartoonish” and yet stylish look, while also reflecting underground subcultures in fashion. Their inspiration came from an ad in a teen magazine.

Barbie was thought up by Ruth Handler, a woman who often watched her daughter Barbara pretend her paper dolls were adults. Ruth saw an opening in the market for adult-designed dolls rather than the usual baby dolls and paper dolls available.

When visiting Germany, she saw the Bild Lilli Doll, based off the popular German comic strip character. Bild Lilli was a beautiful bombshell woman who worked but was not above using men to suit her aims. The comic strip and the dolls were designed for adults, but kids would often take the dolls and mix and match her fashion.

Arguably, Barbie is the inspiration for all fashion dolls that came afterwards, so all fashion dolls will be watched by skeptics. But the intention behind the doll is significant when it comes to the art and presentation of the doll.

Barbie was designed to be an adult figure for girls to imagine and aspire to be. Initially, she was presented as an ideal adult female figure (more so from the White upper-class perspective).

I can honestly tell you, as a 6 and 7 year old, that was exactly what I thought of when I played with Barbie. Barbie may not look totally realistic in her proportions, but she looks realistic enough from a child’s perspective, and she looks realistic enough for women to “aspire” to “obtain” her look. Sure, her breasts are bigger than the average woman’s, especially on someone that thin, but breasts like that didn’t seem impossible to me as a child. In fact, Barbie looked like many of the blonde women I saw on Baywatch (which I often caught glimpses of on tv in the 1990s).

Thus, it was obvious in my mind’s eye that Barbie fit a perceived beauty standard.

In my mind, Barbie had several differences from me. She was blonde, tall, white, and wore clothes only the wealthy could wear. I never aspired to be blonde and white like her, however she reminded me of all the adult women around me. I didn’t see too many women who deviated from the “norm” socially as a child. I would always imagine doing what my mother did when playing with my Barbies.

When I played with Barbie, I didn’t see myself, and that influenced how I felt about her as I got older. As I got older, I saw that I was not growing into an adult like Barbie. I began to disconnect with the doll. I saw my mother and everything she was: a glamorous working woman who could do anything she put her mind to.  I didn’t see much substance in Barbie at all, though. And that may imply that I really didn’t see much substance in the women around me. It implies it and it is true.

However, even though I couldn’t relate to her, I admired her pink empire. I longed to live her wealthy, high-class life, a life my broke Black behind would have a difficult time achieving.

In the 1990s, she came with literally everything. But she had no “real” set personality, no real individuality. All of her friends were just ethnic versions of her that you could hardly find in stores. They literally often wore the same outfits as Barbie, though it would sometimes be in a different color.

Yea, her hair seems nicer in the picture, but the actual doll is not the same!

As a kid, I wanted to be more “successful” like her, but I knew that I was too different to want to be like her completely. I wasn’t girly enough to pull of being a Barbie. Many of my other friends wanted to have straight, blonde hair like Barbie. They wanted the perfect body when they grew up, like she had. They wanted to drive pink cars like Barbie. They wanted to live in mansions like she did. They wanted a handsome boyfriend like Ken. Many of them ended up doing those things in the future, perfectly fitting the social package. I can amusingly say that they often look like clones of one another, trying to outdo each other when it comes to the latest trends.

Bratz, in contrast, never had a body to “aspire” to obtain. They literally looked like cartoon characters. I couldn’t imagine anyone wanting heads and feet as big as theirs. In fact, big heads and big feet are normally considered ugly in America! The Bratz made it look cool. As someone who had big feet, I appreciated that. But I never heard anyone “aspire” to have a big head or big feet like them. It became clear that their proportions were not designed to fit an “ideal” but rather they literally were made to be disproportionate.

Sure, they were skinny. But their breasts were not large. Even being skinny, no kid would honestly think their bodies are normal enough to pay attention. My friends and I would always make fun of the Bratz heads and feet. We didn’t sigh with envy, that’s for certain. But the outfits were super creative. It was hard not to anticipate what they would think of next.

Each doll was different in some way from the other. Not only were there dolls of various colors, but each doll had their own wicked fashion sense and personality. They were very individual and not outshined by the “white” doll. The four core dolls were treated equally at debut, which I appreciated.

The Bratz were not designed to fit the usual beauty standard. They were meant to reflect the underground cultures, cultures that have developed a sense of community to help them cope with being an outcast. Therefore, in my mind, Bratz produced the opposite response of wanting to “imitate” and rather encouraged individuals like me to be “themselves” and strike out boldly. At 11, I was thinking that if each Bratz girl looks different, and has her own passion for fashion, that means all of us are different. We don’t all have to look and be the same. It encouraged me to find my own unique sense of style, not be the doll I saw in front of me (unlike with Barbie).

Barbie’s other media entertainment, like her movies, showed her as a gorgeous, glamorous lady who could do anything. Bratz movies showed four individual sassy teens who liked to hang out, dress up at times, dabble in their hobbies, and go on amazing adventures. The Bratz never seemed as shallow as Barbie.

Bratz Boyz were a stark contrast to Ken. Though they are all fashion dolls, the Bratz boyz weren’t just accessories for the girls. They had their own lines, several individual ethnic appearances and personalities, many different hair textures and styles, and just as much detail as the girls. Boys were not ashamed to admire them. Girls saw more than just boyfriends in these dolls. In fact, only one of the main characters “crush” on a Bratz Boy. But that boy has his own interests, his own personality, and his own style.

With the differences settled, let’s address these issues feminists have with the Bratz directly.

“Too Much Makeup”

Feminists across the board have been very critical of the Bratz’s overuse of makeup.

Some feminists believe that the Bratz have perfectly made-up faces, which teaches girls that they have to wear makeup to look perfect.

Among feminists, makeup in general has been controversial. Feminists are determined to break the social expectation that encourages girls to be too interested in their appearance. Unlike men, women are often expected to appear perfect, without flaws. This has been linked to women being treated like objects rather than creatures of “substance”. Many jobs around the world won’t hire women or will fire women if they don’t wear makeup. Feminists have been pushing for women to embrace their natural features and colors without a “mask”. They have been pushing for businesses to remove the makeup standards/policies or equalize them (pushing men to also wear more makeup).

One look at the first Bratz dolls, and a feminist would definitely think the Bratz’s usage of makeup further encourages these harsh makeup standards in young ladies. As someone who doesn’t wear makeup, I completely understand this concern.

On the other hand, feminists also preach against body-policing and believe that women should be free to indulge in whatever they enjoy. If a woman truly enjoys makeup, does that make her a product of the patriarchal system and less feminist?

Some feminists recognize that makeup can be used artistically. Many feminists believe that if women truly enjoy makeup, and don’t look at it as a necessary tool to hide their “flaws”, then it isn’t necessarily anti-feminist.

Some feminists don’t think women should be controlled to either extreme considering some companies also control how much makeup a woman wears, which isn’t fair either.

Still, there are feminists out there who believe a real feminist would not support makeup at all and they often do shame women who wear it.

Admittedly, Bratz are designed with a ton of makeup on. However, I think it would be unfair to compare Bratz’s use of makeup to other fashion dolls’ usage, like Barbie’s, or any other usage of makeup that is deemed designed to make someone look “perfect”.

When looking at Barbie, for example, Barbie’s “makeup” has consistently been painted on her face to give her the ideal packaged look for every generation. She is literally considered “gorgeous” with it on. She has the perfectly colored cheeks, darkened eyelashes, and perfectly lined lipstick. Her face is clear of blemishes, moles, freckles, and any other “imperfections” she could possibly have. Her eyebrows are perfectly arched and tweaked. Even the best makeup artist can’t get a real girl’s face that beat. Barbie is plastic perfection. Any girl who admires her will want to be plastic perfection as well. Her made-up beauty fits a conventional standard, yet no woman can ever really look like her 100%. Real women get older. Real women have wrinkles, freckles, beauty marks, moles, scraggly eyebrows, and all the other distinct features. And yet, real women do make themselves up to look like Barbie all the time.

Bratz’s use of makeup is/was entirely different.

For starters, the makeup wasn’t designed to hide any “imperfections”. The Bratz doll Yasmin had a mole under her left eye. Her makeup didn’t hide that mole. Other Bratz dolls had moles and freckles, too.

Though, admittedly, a lot of the Bratz makeup was polished, there were many times their makeup was experimental and could hardly ever really be called “perfect”.

Take Bratz Space Angelz Cloe for example.

What is perfect about her makeup? Nothing at all! Her lipstick is asymmetrical, hardly what I would call “designed to appeal”. It would be fair to argue that anyone who wears their makeup like this is looking for attention, but it’s hardly the sexual or attractive kind. While Barbie’s makeup was clearly created so she could look pleasing out in public, this makeup is hardly what I would call public-friendly.

Any child who imitated this would end up getting stared down by the public, and maybe even teased and mocked. I’m sure most children were/are aware of that. But it’s clear that the makeup is different and unique. Keeping that in mind, it’s easy to see that the Bratz are giving a different message with their makeup. They are showing just how artistic and creative it can be, even if it isn’t necessarily attractive! They are showing that it’s okay to do something different with makeup! It definitely doesn’t give the message that girls have to wear makeup to appear normal. In fact, the above doll line made makeup seem very unusual, almost abnormal. Even makeup’s rules were bent by the Bratz dolls!

Much of the Bratz’s other makeup was used to match up with the theme or subculture they represented. Pretty N Punk, for example, represented punk culture. Many punk princesses wear dark makeup to show their edge and fierceness. They don’t wear it to appear “attractive” or sexy or perfect. Male rock stars often wear eyeliner and black lipstick, too, and I’m sure it’s not to appear more attractive and perfect.

Most guys might think these styles are cool, but hardly any of them would consider these girls “bombshells”. It’s easy to tell that their makeup was purely designed to better make a statement rather than to appear perfect, without imperfections.

Again, Bratz used makeup in a variety of ways, even in more conventional ways. But because of their constant changes, they never managed to give the impression that they wore makeup to please others. They never gave the message that a girl had to wear makeup to appear attractive. They literally seemed to just be having fun with it. As a tween, I liked that.

Bratz may not have been the fresh-faced, innocent-looking, demure dolls mommies wanted, but they weren’t exactly anti-feminist either.

By feminists criticizing the Bratz usage of makeup, it’s as if they are placing a rule on who gets to be a feminist. So, are they implying women who enjoy trying different makeup tricks aren’t feminists? This leads to greater questions about modern feminism.

Sure, makeup was created by men and is a reminder of the “patriarchy”. But so is everything in our societies. Does that mean makeup is bad and can’t be used for positive and creative purposes? Absolutely not!

Overall, I’m not sure where some of these feminists are going when they attack the usage of makeup on these dolls. I think most of them are purely ignorant about the brand.

Bratz Are “Over-sexualized”

All the articles I’ve read from feminists, especially from Jezebel, have said that the Bratz are “hyper-sexualized” dolls. What exactly makes a doll sexualized? Short skirts? Cropped tops? Makeup? Pouty Lips? Glossy eyes?

And if they do, what exactly makes these things sexualized?

They are only sexualized when people sexualize them. To say that a doll with a short skirt is sexualized is indirectly saying a woman who wears a short skirt is sexualizing herself.

That would go against most feminists’ mantra: “My clothing is not my consent”.

Haven’t we gone beyond policing a woman’s attire and attributing her wardrobe to sexual and physical attention from the opposite sex? So why is it condemned when dolls reflect just that attitude?

Arguing about dolls being over-sexualized may be more appropriate for Barbie to a certain degree because of the “intent” of some of her lines. Most of her early attire is for the physical attention of her boyfriend Ken (though even she has moved beyond that point). Barbie has been a sex icon for most men for centuries. She was inspired by a “Call-Girl” doll, Bild Lilli, a doll meant for adults. Barbie has literally had lingerie lines. She has had “pregnant” dolls.

Barbie, sex icon

Sure, Pregnant Midge isn’t wearing a fitted skirt and a lot of makeup. But she’s pregnant! This opens the doors to other controversial subjects that kids really aren’t mature enough to be exposed to (though children often witness their mothers pregnant all the time).

Barbie is meant to be a blonde, gorgeous adult woman who does “adult” things like have sex and get pregnant. And she allows girls to imagine their lives as “adult” women through playtime with her. Children who play with her are reinventing an adult lifestyle. Sometimes, this produces controversy.

But even with Barbie, should we police all of her fashion styles and attribute it solely to sex and seeking male attention? Not all of it.

If we want to talk about something being sexualized or “hyper-sexualized”, we have to consider the context of the lines the dolls are released in.

The Bratz, on the other hand, have never initiated a sexual response to anyone who played or collected them. The context of their clothing, the intent of their lines, have never been to produce a sexual response. They were intended for a tween and teen audience. They were meant to showcase the latest fashions and the most revolutionary styles out in the cultural world.

In fact, if you look up “Bratz as a sex icon” on Google, hardly anything sexual comes up except these feminists’ articles! While Barbie has many photos of a sexual nature, Bratz don’t!

Most men do not see Bratz as sexually attractive. First off, their bodies are too disproportionate to even be considered “real”.

If you want to argue that Bratz’s skirts are too short, short enough to look like underwear, let’s consider the fact that Bratz hardly wore skirts in the past.

To me, the Bratz have mostly been presented as “fashionable”, not sexy. And if fashionable is considered sexy, women and men have a problem. Clothing itself is a problem. Taste and preference is a problem.

Dolls are designed to mimic the real world around us in some ways. If we don’t want dolls to mimic the styles we find “sexualized”, then we as women need to stop wearing makeup and fashionable clothes that are too sexualized. We need to go back to the point where our skirts were below the ankles and our collars were high. But feminists fought to move away from that point. Why? Because it was uncomfortable to walk in those long, horrible skirts. The collars were itchy and hot in the summer. And it didn’t stop women from being objectified or from being looked at as sex objects.

What is considered sexualized is subjective. In the above Bratz photos, I’m still trying to scan them for any hint of sex and I don’t understand it. Someone else may be able to spot it. If some of us, like myself, can’t spot it as easily, that means it’s not as “overt” as these feminists make it out to be.

Arguably, feminists come from all walks of life, from many different religious and moral backgrounds. Some feminists are Muslim or Hindu and believe in a certain form of modesty. But there are many village women out in the world who often go topless or wear crop tops, and it isn’t considered morally indecent. It’s mostly considered practical in the heat!

If we can honor that women come from all walks of life, we should also be able to understand that the Bratz represent those women that actually enjoy using fashion as a form of self-expression and connecting with group culture, especially sub-cultures. We should understand that the Bratz wear their short skirts and crop tops and think nothing of it.

The short skirts that they wear are simply fashion statements. The Bratz’s legs seem freer, which is why the Bratz give off the image that they are liberated from societal norms. But their lines are hardly ever to cater to male or female sexual fantasies.

The Bratz do often wear cropped tops. But cropped tops aren’t always worn for sexual attention. If we’re going to say that, we might as well condemn every woman who wears one in the summer, on the beach, or at home relaxing. Bikinis should be outlawed then. They’re revealing. If that’s the case, return to the 1800s idea of “fashion” when bathing suits weighed 8 lbs!

But women will not regress. Women have many reasons for wearing the fashions they wear and it is not always to seek male attention. Feminists are the ones who’ve educated the world on that. So why can’t they accept the Bratz dolls for wearing it?

The Bratz’s cropped tops are no different from the ones sported by empowering and feminist female pop stars and figures today.

And yet, most feminists’ honor these women as strong and empowering influences on girls. Are Alessia Cara and Pink seeking male attention with their cropped tops?

It’s true that fashion sends a message to others about us, even if it doesn’t tell others everything. However, if we look at the context of the lines produced, we can clearly see the dolls’ intended nature, even if they’re wearing cropped tops and mini skirts. From the Bratz, we can obviously see they are fierce, independent, and revolutionary dolls that simply want to take fashion to the next outrageous level.

When we look at Bratz fashion lines like Tokyo-ago-go or Pretty N’ punk, what message are the lines sending?

Bratz Tokyo a-go-go tells me that the Bratz are ready for a wild and fun Tokyo adventure, not a date with a hot guy. Their cropped tops don’t hint at any sexual message in this line. Pretty N Punk tells me that the Bratz are ready to listen to some rock music and party at a rock club.

Neither of these lines give the message that they want a male’s attention or that they even want to look sexy at all.

Many of the feminists that complain about the Bratz often complain about anything “too revealing”. If you wear skinny jeans, you’re sexualizing yourself to some of these feminists!

That’s why they were on my list of 7 Feminists That Make Me Cringe.

These feminists also associate makeup with sexualization. I think makeup makes people look older, especially children, but that doesn’t mean it’s specifically for looking older and hotter to the opposite sex. There is kiddie makeup out in the world that’s toned down and it’s a lot of fun to share makeup moments with mom. Spa dates aren’t sexualizing to a child.

Face paint can be a form of makeup as well. Face paint isn’t sexualizing. Bratz have often used makeup that way.

What really kills me about these feminists’ accusations is how they equate “features” to sexualization. I find it interesting how “big lips” and “glossy eyes” are associated with sexualization. Bratz have a vague “ethnic” look about them. They were meant to relate, again, to a wider ethnic demographic.

But some of these feminists have associated the Bratz’s big lips and eyes with sexualization. What?

Black women have bigger lips than other races. Are they sexualizing themselves when they wear lip gloss or lipstick on their lips? I think this goes back to a Eurocentric standard of modesty, where thin lips and big eyes are considered “innocent”, while full lips and almond-shaped eyes (more similar to other ethnic groups) are considered immodest and ugly.

I can understand how the Bratz could encourage thin-lip girls to get surgery just to blow their lips up. However, thin-lip dolls can just as easily encourage big-lip girls to get surgery to reduce their lips. I think the Bratz, who are widely looked at as unrealistic in form and design, make big heads, feet, and lips, once considered undesirable traits, more acceptable.

I grew up having big feet. Big feet run in my family. Many of the women in my family wear size 11. The smallest feet in my family have worn size 9! Most people have called me “long feet”. When the Bratz were released, I didn’t feel so bad about it. Their feet were obviously exaggerated though.

To me, the eyes showed attitude and confidence, not flirtation and sexuality. So if a woman glosses her eyes, she’s trying to flirt with someone? This contradicts everything feminists stand for!

 Unrealistic Bodies

Feminists have attacked dolls with skinny bodies for years. This is because many are afraid girls will strive to have unrealistic body weights, starving themselves or getting surgery just to appear skinny.

Bratz have very skinny arms and legs.

I can understand why feminists fear this. After all, many people desired to have Barbie’s figure after being exposed to her. However, we have to also analyze what the standard of beauty was before Barbie was released. Being slim, blonde, with thin lips, perky breasts, and blue eyes were always standards of beauty since the 1950s and 1960s. The media played it up. Barbie just reflected that standard in a perfect doll form.

http://www.thefrisky.com/photos/human-barbies-slideshow/barbie-valeria/

Bratz’s body design never reflected a particular standard of beauty from the very beginning, skinny or not. No one ever desired to have large feet and huge heads (at least in the west) with a skinny body. It never has been an ideal (at least in the west) and never will be.

If we look at Bratz as a doll brand separately from Barbie, objectively, Bratz don’t look realistic enough to begin with to cause children to want to look like them in real life. That’s like assuming little girls would want to look like a Powerpuff Girl just because they like the cartoon. Children are smarter than that. They know when something looks unrealistic.

Barbie and Jem dolls had more realistic appearances, appearances that seemed to fit media standards, so I can understand how individuals could strive to look like them. Bratz dolls have larger than life heads with huge feet. They look like they walked out of carnival fun house mirrors.

If you’re looking to bring body politics into the Bratz world, you’ve got a few things to consider.

First off,  keeping in mind their cartoonish look, they aren’t supposed to have realistic bodies. They are supposed to look weird and sort of funny.

Second, you have to consider what kids see when they look at dolls that obviously look disproportionate. I think children get the same vibe from these dolls that they do from characters in My Little Pony. Humans don’t have purple and pink skin, so we can’t be like the Equestria Girls. That’s the vibe I got as an 11 year old when it came to Bratz. In fact, I thought it was cool that they looked like funny, but edgy cartoon characters. Being skinny was not even a thought. I’m skinny, but their type of “skinny” was like watching Anamaniacs characters walk around.

Therefore, it’s simple to conclude that their “skinny” bodies do not honestly matter because the bodies aren’t mean to reflect real bodies at all. They could’ve easily had thick bodies with extremely small heads and feet. It would still look like figures in a fun house mirror, not a real body representing real figures.

The only things the Bratz mimic about humans are their fashion, accessories, hobbies, and personalities. Just like cartoon characters.

Please don’t come and tell me that Gumball toys, based off of the cartoon, make kids want to become clouds, cacti, and fish. Please. Those characters obviously look strange. The Bratz are more similar to them. Kids obviously know that the Bratz bodies aren’t normal and they recognize that they would get teased if they looked that way.

It’s not the same with Barbie or other fashion dolls like her, like Jem. If kids looked like them, they would be “praised” by beauty-conscious individuals.

“Bratz” for a name

Moms may have more of a problem with the name than feminists, but a few feminists have expressed their disdain for the name as well.

Sure, a “brat” is someone who is usually depicted as spoiled, misbehaved, and demanding. It doesn’t sound pleasant over all.

But considering Da Brat was one of my favorite female rappers in the 1990s, I didn’t have a problem with it. Like Da Brat, the name seemed designed to represent their urban, tough, and sassy attitude. It reflected their nonconforming nature. To me, Bratz represented individuality and the beauty of diversity (in style, ethnicity, and interests). The name just made their sass pop.

Da Brat took gangsta to a whole new level with her tomboyish looks!

Again, I can see how this makes the former generation uneasy. After all, they’re still getting used to gay marriage. They wouldn’t be used to a name like “Bratz” being used more positively. To the older generation, nonconformity is dangerous.

But as advocates of nonconformity, it shocks me that there are so many feminists who are so against the Bratz, name and all. I get that we want our little girls to be pure, wholesome, and solid citizens in society. But there should also be room for girls to be bold, innovative, expressive, and revolutionary. I think hijacking the name Brats, adding the “z”, and the halo is the definition of revolutionary and innovative.

Their Emphasis on Materialism

Bratz came with hundreds of accessories and clothes throughout their run. In many of their movies and in their TV show, they are often depicted shopping for outfits for each occasion.

This leads many feminists to believe that the Bratz encourage materialism.

I believe that, as humans, things are apart of our life. Sometimes, things have significant meaning in our lives. In many cultures, family heirlooms are passed through the family and they end up having personal meaning.

Of course, the Bratz’s accessories aren’t as meaningful as a family heirloom, but their items do reflect items we use or see in real life. It’s kind of cool to see miniature-sized items.

Material things are especially a part of being in the 1st world west. I do believe that our lives have been changed for the better by modern conveniences such as cell phones and tablets. I believe that makeup and fashion constantly updates, which says a lot about our culture, so people do spend a lot of money to look good. But I don’t think these things make a person bad or materialistic.

A materialistic person is someone who only cares about material things and can’t live without those material things. The Bratz have shown many layers throughout their shows and movies. Though they do love to look good, they also enjoy their hobbies and connections with friends and family.

Sure, the Bratz have shown that they love to shop. However, they often emphasized being resourceful or finding innovative ways to get the items they wanted. Shopping in bargain bins or designing their own styles were just some of the things Bratz have been shown doing to express their resourcefulness.

The Bratz have shown interest in other things such as sports, music, science, animals, among other things. I don’t think they’ve emphasized material things all the time. Furthermore, I think their use of material things haven’t necessarily made them seem spoiled or privileged.

However, there is nothing wrong with wanting or owning nice things and trying to enhance the quality of your life by collecting something you love or enjoy.

I personally find the Bratz items to be fascinating and enjoyable for playtime. Who wants a doll that comes with nothing? Kids want to bring the world of their dolls to life with mini models. Mini items add to the overall experience each doll line brings.

If we want to question whether we are instilling materialistic values on our children, we shouldn’t be buying them expensive I-phones and tablets. I’ve seen worse behavior come from children demanding the latest technology than from the influence of a Bratz doll.

“Passion For Fashion”= Obsessed with Appearance

Feminists believe the slogan suggests that the Bratz are completely focused on outfits and nothing else substantial.

But isn’t it possible for an individual to be interested in fashion, as a practice, and still have substance?

And why can’t there be substance in fashion?

I can understand if people mostly focus on fashion just to be pleasing or attractive to others. But the Bratz use fashion for many purposes, mostly to showcase many ideas and subcultures, not just to look “pleasing” or “attractive”. Quite frankly, many of the Bratz’s outfits don’t look pleasing. Midnight Dance, Pretty N Punk, and Space Angelz are not really of the “pleasing” sort, though some of the Bratz’s outfits are.

It’s clear the the doll brand is emphasizing not being concerned with pleasing others. Bratz are encouraging individuals to enjoy fashion without fitting into fashion molds. Fashion doesn’t always equal attraction and attraction doesn’t always equal fashion.

I believe the one thing that is lacking among girls today is passion. Girls are not encouraged to be passionate about the things they like and want. They are encouraged to scatter their interests, which makes it difficult for them to master a practice. The Bratz encourage girls to be all about their passions, despite what others think.

I also find it odd for feminists to be against having a “passion for fashion” when we consider the fact that the majority of fashion designers are male!

Females are still in the minority

I think the Bratz’s kind of passion for fashion encourages girls to be future designers and inventors. They don’t encourage girls just to buy clothes, but to also come up with their own ideas, to think outside of the box, and to express themselves in unique ways.

Using myself as an example, I don’t think I would’ve embraced my own gender expression as well had I not been introduced to the Bratz dolls. I don’t think I would’ve thought it was possible to see the individuality in fashion. I don’t think I would’ve found my own social identity.

When feminists began criticizing the Bratz, it affected the overall design of Bratz. MGA made things worse by dragging the brand into court with Barbie’s company Mattel, but feminists began growing in influence and they are the reason the latest Bratz design changed into something long-time fans could hardly respect or appreciate. MGA expressed that they wanted Bratz to have a “better image” for girls. Who made the Bratz image look bad? Why would they decide that the Bratz image wasn’t good enough? Someone had to be criticizing the brand in order for them to make that statement on Facebook. We have to acknowledge that feminists had some hand in the drastic change.

In my opinion, Bratz moved from a more ethnic look and vibe to a more “Eurocentric”-friendly design.

I know it seems like I learned a little too much from a line of dolls, and it may seem that I invest too much time appreciating these dolls, but that is partially why I have a special connection with this brand. I really feel if feminists’ had really and truly tried to understand the meaning behind the Bratz, if they’d actually given them a chance, they would see that the Bratz are/were not too far off from feminists’ goals.

I just hope that when, or rather IF, the Bratz return, they will return to their original authentic design. I hope they truly produce something earth-shattering, regardless of what anyone says. Even if feminists disagree, for me, that’s truly empowering.

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think/thought about the Bratz controversy, feminists’ involvement in it, and the future of Bratz.

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7 Types of Feminists That Make Me Cringe

5 Feb

 

635981490582110738922929354_feminism

There are several definitions of feminism out here:

  1. The advocacy of women’s rights based on the equality of the sexes (Google.com)
  2. A range of political movements, ideologies, and social movements that share a common goal: to define, establish, and achieve political, economic, personal, and social rights for women. (Wikipedia.org)
  3. The belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
  4. Refers to any ideology that seeks total equality in rights for women and people who self-identify as women, usually through improving the status of females. (RationalWiki.org)
  5. The doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men. (Dictionary.com)

With the above definitions in clear view, we can conclude that overall the feminist movement is calling for equal rights for women, for anyone who identifies as women to be seen as equals to men, and for women’s “roles” in society to be respected. Some feminists even define feminism as something that helps both sexes achieve equal rights.

I feel that all women can and have benefited from feminism in their own ways. We can’t deny that. Feminism has been a movement that has existed since the 1800s (when the first suffragists rounded up and organized their movement to push for the right to vote). And these movements have shaped the “feminine” identity to this very day.

All women who work, go to school, have sexual relations freely, chose their partners, wear short skirts, pants, and shorts, speak their minds on the internet, and vote should thank the efforts of both peaceful and radical feminists. Women today can’t help but be feminists. As Oprah Winfrey put it, “I don’t think you can really be a woman in this world and not be.” I completely agree with this statement.

I myself, as an African American woman, continue to benefit from the movement. I work, I’ve graduated from college, I have assumed a leadership role, I write this blog to speak my mind publicly, I’m single and love it, I adore androgynous clothing, and I have interests not assumed by most women (such as loving to play video games).

However, I believe it is possible to benefit from feminism, to support equal rights, without agreeing with what every feminist says or thinks. Not all feminists have the same intentions regarding feminism, and it is safe to say that “Third-wave” feminism (modern feminism), the feminism that exists today, has taken a completely different turn.

Julienne Davis, a feminist writer, spoke out about the “third-wave” of feminists in her article “How Did Feminism Get Hijacked By Man-Haters”. Her article inspired me to write this one.

Many feminists are very effective when it comes to pushing women towards a more “inclusive” future. This article is not for those women who really and truly want to help all women.

I want to assume that most feminists have good intentions, but based on some articles and comments I’ve read on the internet, in books, and in essays written by those who were associated or identified as feminists, I can definitely see why some people are no longer taking the feminist movement as seriously and why some women don’t even want to be associated with the movement.

After searching around, I’ve discovered 7 Types of feminists that not only irritate me, and others, but make us all literally sick. In no particular order, I will discuss what is so irritating about them.

The Slut Shamers

The Body Shamers

Ms. Double Standards

Lady Feminine and Lady Masculine

The User and Abuser

Feminazi

Transfeminist Dictators

1. The “Slut-Shamers” (SWERFS)

slut-shaming

I felt this was important to talk about first because it has increasingly been affecting movies, music, music videos, video games, and even TOYS.

There are two reasons why the “slut-shamers” make me sick:

  1. They fail to understand the historical sexual restriction placed on women and how that continues to impact women.
  2. Their nit-picking to producers has been effective in limiting female artistic expression and creative female representation in media and other entertainment avenues.

Many feminists are against the exploitation, objectification, and over-sexualization of women, particularly when done by men. I can understand this well. Obviously, women don’t want to be looked at as “objects”, as tools of men, and want to be respected beyond their appearances. Mutual consent is an important topic as well as how sexuality in media influences young girls, who normally aren’t ready to handle the consequences that come with a sexual identity and sexual experience. Of course, mothers don’t want to encourage their daughters to sexually exploit themselves and they want to get a hold of teen pregnancies (which is said to claim over 700,000 teen girls a year). Teen pregnancy affects a female’s body and socioeconomic conditions severely. I get this.

But I can see why the “Feminist Sex Wars” ensued. There has to be some sort of balance, where women are both in control of their sexuality as well as free to express it.

These Feminists Set Us Back to the 19th Century

For centuries before the 1920s, sexuality was considered strictly for men. In fact, doctors in the 19th century believed that women felt “little or no sexual desire, and that only abnormal or ‘pathological’ women felt strong sexual desire” (“Women in Literature”, Kimberly M. Radek-Hall, 2001).

However, once women began to openly speak about their own sexualities, their right to choose their own sexual partners, and their right to express their sexuality “creatively” or in entertainment, men apparently seemed too “on-board” with this transition, to the point women became looked at as sexual objects by some men. That’s when the new wave of feminists began to debate whether women should be “sex-positive” or “anti-pornographic”.

I personally feel that the feminist movement should support all women. With that being said, I believe that women should have the right to express themselves in any way they like IF they are at a responsible age to handle the consequences. Each woman should be in charge of her “image” towards men or anyone else. If she wants to be looked at as an “object” by men or admired for her body, who are we to tell her she can’t? Or if she just wants to wear less clothing because she lives in a warm climate or because she wants to show off the latest fashion artistically, who are we to tell her she’s wrong? If we are at a point where we believe women should be on the same social plane as men, we should extend those rights we give to men that we give to women.

In fact, I feel we slut-shame women more than we do men, when statistics show that there are more teen dads out here than teen moms, and with more than one child! So much more so, in fact, that they can’t even keep a consistent count! And men are not shamed or protected by their families. I feel it would be more useful to try to get control of these young men because apparently they have the issue here! But if we are not going to say or do anything about our sons, why even try with our daughters? We can’t limit one side of the spectrum without limiting the other.

I especially find it to be super judgmental and contradictory to try to control what a female wears by shaming her into fitting another woman’s standards of beauty and decency. For many slut-shaming feminists, acting sexually isn’t the worst part. Dressing “sexually” is condemned by these feminists as well.

I can understand if someone wants to restrict a child from wearing revealing, see-through clothing and walking around as if she wants male attention. Obviously, a child is not mature enough to advertise herself in that manner. But a grown woman, with her own job, house, and car is old enough to do what she wants with herself. She’s fully prepared to handle the consequences, and no one should stop her from doing what she wants.

And some of these feminists define “sexualized fashion” as a tank top and shorts. These are the feminists that won’t let up on females even if it was 100 degrees outside!

They fail to understand that what one person finds “modest” and “beautiful” is not going to be the same for another person. They fail to understand that climate and weather impacts the way a woman dresses. And they fail to understand that styles always change. Before the 1920s, a one-piece bathing suit was considered indecent. Now, these slut-shaming feminists have suddenly become accepting of it. Why? Women show more skin in a bathing suit than they do in shorts and a tank top! But a mini skirt is worse than a one-piece bathing suit?

There are women in warm climates around the world who live and work in villages and move about their day-to-day life topless. And only western feminists will garble about how these women are “objectifying us all”.

Then, there’s the issue with their “attack” on makeup. I can understand that in our culture, women have too many expectations on them to look beautiful. I understand that feminists should push for women to be more natural. And for those women who want to be all-natural, I think it’s a great stand.

However, we shouldn’t condemn a woman who likes to wear makeup, and we especially shouldn’t assume they want male attention and that they are “sluts”.

Makeup has been worn by people (not just women) for centuries, even in the Egyptian empire. Men and women in Korea wear makeup. It is an art form. Makeup can express many different feelings at one time. People who enjoy art enjoy makeup. But slut-shaming feminists often lack an appreciation for art. Makeup is just associated with “sexualization” and “the search for male attention”.

It’s worse when these women are guilty of the same things they condemn other women for.

Instead of focusing on how women are dressing or how much makeup they’re wearing, maybe we should be focusing on the men who only see these women as sex objects and work on getting them some mental help instead.

Next, I want to talk about pole dancing, prostitution, and erotic dancing.. I do understand that coerced or forced prostitution (prostitution for money as a result of poverty, rape, pimp rings, etc) and sex trafficking are both dangerous and horrible ways for women to live. These issues should be addressed. But if a woman decides she wants to become a prostitute, and use her tricks to create a business, why shouldn’t she? I don’t think this should be illegal and I don’t think we should judge these women or men. They aren’t harming anyone, they’re just trying to make money using the only resource they can at the moment (even if that “resource” is their body). I mean, it’s their body and no one else’s.

The SWERFS believe that prostitution came from an “oppressive patriarchal” society. They believe it emerged at a time when women couldn’t make enough money to feed themselves and so resulted to giving up their bodies and being sex objects to get paid. But if we really think about it, just about everything a modern woman does and wants to do came out of a “patriarchal” society. Jobs like being a secretary, homemaker (stay-at-home moms), and maids came out of an oppressive patriarchal society, and yet we don’t suddenly condemn them or exclude them, even though those jobs put women in submissive roles. So why condemn porn stars or prostitutes just because they have jobs that came out of an oppressive patriarchal society? And if the women enjoy doing it, why comment at all?

Slut-Shaming Feminists Have Destroyed Artistic Expression

Though both sides are in the war, the “anti-pornographic” feminists have mostly dominated in the 21st century, influencing movies, tv shows (like the Powerpuff Girls), music videos (like Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj), video games (like Tomb Raider), and even toys (like Bratz, Barbie, Betty Spaghetty, and even Monster High).

In most cases, too, these kinds of feminists take their criticisms too far. As a major toy and animation fan, I have personally witnessed how slut-shaming feminists have destroyed amazing, creative, and empowering doll lines, fun video games with iconic characters, and lovable cartoons with their nit-picking.

While I admit that Tomb Raider‘s Lara Croft gives an above-average body portrayal (more on this later), she’s also pretty daring and edgy, really showing that women are capable of anything. It’s no different from the body portrayals of Captain America, Superman, or Thor (which women ironically support and “eat” up). Yet, the feminists picked at Tomb Raider video game so long and so hard, the producers had to alter this iconic character. Many people claim that it had nothing to do with feminists, but we all know feminists have been complaining about that game (and many others) for years now. I don’t understand. What’s wrong with a woman who has a big chest? Some women have it, some don’t. So what? She’s not meant to look real, just like Superman and Thor.

Next…

While the Bratz dolls have been known to wear some of the most outrageous fashions and makeup, they have broken many fashion molds for a doll line. While most girls are expected to look “cute” and “modest”, the Bratz dolls have proven that a passion for fashion and breaking molds can be just as empowering. They were targeted for a tween to teen audience, and didn’t mind dressing like rock stars, jungle queens, Tokyo tourists, you name it. Makeup was used as an art form on the dolls. The Bratz never cared about the social rules. They never let these restrictive “standards” define them. Until the slut-shaming feminists got a hold of them.

Ironically, Bratz dolls have been one of few that have been respected by a male audience. While most of the males did focus on the “fashion” that the Bratz wore, most never looked at them as “sex icons”. They had big heads and big feet; they looked too much like cartoon characters to have been taken as the same sexual models we see in Playboy or Sports Illustrated magazines. Many males have stated that they liked the Bratz dolls because “they [were] unique and appealing”, “unique, cute, adorable, and wonderful”, “the look, the fashion, and the movies and episodes”, and the “high-quality clothes”. To most males, the Bratz are “unique”, well-dressed, with good movies and shows, not overtly “feminine” and “girl-centered” like other doll lines. None of the guys think these dolls are “hot” or “sexy”, but rather bold and original. So, the only ones seeing the “sexualization” of these dolls are feminists. The rest of us are seeing the sass, the boldness, and their girl power.

facebook-comments-about-bratz

From what angle do these feminists draw their conclusion? I grew up with Bratz. Am I a prostitute? No. Was I a teen mom? No. And my vision of the Bratz as a tween was that they were strong, bold, and passionate young teens, ready to take the world by storm (similar to how I saw the Spice Girls). It would’ve been different if they were designed as sexy, attractive girlfriends for a line of male dolls. But the Bratz never portrayed themselves nor never have been portrayed as sex icons, not by males, not by fans, not by anybody. I see more sexual innuendos out there for My Little Pony than I do the Bratz. And what is wrong with having a passion for fashion? Didn’t anyone get the memo that the fashion industry is dominated by male designers? We need to encourage our ladies to think outside of the box, to be the inventors, the designers, the inspiration behind everything. We should be encouraging girls to push the envelope, to explore their passions.

Even young ladies today (the ladies who haven’t been brainwashed by these feminists’ propaganda) can clearly understand that the Bratz are an example of “self-expression” through fashion, and these dolls boldly announce that women can show skin (artistically) without necessarily trying to be attractive to a MAN. I have yet to speak with any tweens or teens that referred to the Bratz as “sexy”. You can see this from some of the comments on Youtube and other SNS websites dedicated to the Bratz. The only people who don’t seem to understand that are the slut-shaming feminists. They want to believe there’s some deep-seated misogynistic feelings these young ladies are “inheriting”… I hardly call the Bratz a form of “male hate” or “male supremacy”, but imagine whatever unicorns you want, my dear.

Moving along…

I want to talk about the new re-vamped Powerpuff Girls cartoon and the controversy regarding Ms. Bellum. I understand that Ms. Bellum’s design was just a body in a sexy suit without a face. But she actually had more of a role than these feminists think. She was the power behind the mayor’s incompetence, she was a confidante for the kindergarten superheroes and a female figure in these girls’ lives, and she was a single, hard-working lady, strong, sexy, and beautiful. Her role had many other messages and undertones. Without her in the series, something is missing.

But apparently, slut-shaming feminists don’t want to leave room for a diverse range of female representations. They would rather all women be the same dry, covered up, stiff women they’ve been since the 1800’s.

I don’t hear these feminists attacking Twilight for having an above-average, full-figured teen male in the story (Jacob Black). I don’t hear the feminists come with the pitchforks against Shoujo anime with these “cardboard box”, super tall, crazy athletic males. Whenever a woman objectifies a male in a written story or movie production, I don’t hear a peep from the slut-shamers.

This extends beyond the realm of toys and cartoons, and even affects famous movie stars and music artists. While many artists want to be respected as artists regardless of what they wear or how sexual they are, many have found a way to balance both an appealing look with a powerful message (like Beyonce).

But the slut-shaming feminists have fired at artists like Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj, Beyonce, Rihanna, Britney Spears, Salt N’ Pepa, you name it. If they aren’t covered up like old grannies, like Adele, they are a “bad influence”.

Ironically, these same feminists don’t go after male artists like Nick Jonas, Jason Derulo, and others who actually DO the objectifying and talk more about sex than any other artists.

I seldom find young women who get interested in sex because their favorite female artists are into it, and I’ve been working with kids and teens for five years now. Honestly, how many teens can say they did it because Nicki Minaj said it was okay? But when teen girls’ favorite MALE artists are into it, teen girls seem more influenced to explore sex and sexuality. Or better yet, when some guy at their high school tells them how special they are, they are more than likely to do it no matter who is on a movie or music video screen.

I doubt Nicki Minaj got girls more interested in sex than One Direction did or Justin Bieber or Nick Jonas. So, should we shut down all the “heartthrobs” that come onto the music scene just because they express their sexuality and turn teen girls on? We are so quick to attack a female, we hardly think to look at the male stars that influence young girls way more than female stars, who have actually done the opposite!

If you don’t want your kids to be exposed to certain things, fine. As a parent, you have that right. But I don’t agree with taking someone else’s right to expression as the solution to raising individual children. Censor what you expose your kids to in your own homes, and give the rest of us a choice to enjoy what we enjoy.

This is not to say that I feel women should always be about their bodies and their appearances. I’m not that into mine. I do feel that it’s best for me to be natural and I would like my kind to be seen as beautiful, too. But to me, it’s perfectly fine if other women feel that their expression and confidence comes from a different avenue than mine. I feel that is what makes us all amazing; our diversity is what make us great.

Therefore, I can’t hang with the slut-shaming feminists. They make me sick.

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2. The Body-shamers

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These types of feminists make me feel sicker than the first one I mentioned.

Feminists all around have been advocating the #loveyourself campaign. Feminists have been speaking out about the media and how it pressures women into thinking they have to fit a “mold” to be beautiful, to feel feminine, or to be looked at as a “real” woman. This goes hand-in-hand with the women’s “strike” against makeup and plastic surgery.

Even music artists like Alessia Cara have been singing out about the entertainment industry and how women have been trying to fit this ideal to feel worth.

Of course, the world-wide standard has always been “the skinnier, the better”, which has caused millions of girls to basically starve themselves or get plastic surgery in order to reach this ideal. So, feminists have mostly been encouraging women to enjoy having a little “weight”. And there is nothing wrong with that.

I’m on-board with this. My whole life I was sized up by people based on my physical appearance. In the African American community I grew up in, looks mattered a lot as regards to femininity and womanhood, so I understand this campaign as a whole.

However, I feel that some feminists have transferred the shame from those who are thicker to those who are thin, and that isn’t right either.

Again, feminists should support all women, thick or thin, and it isn’t right to go against a thin female just because she is thin. As a thin female myself, this always triggered me.

Growing up, being skinny hasn’t been a good experience for me. In the black community, being thicker is prized. A woman like Nicki Minaj is more than likely to be considered “sexy” than a woman with a tiny butt, tiny waist, and small breasts. Constantly, I was told I looked sick and that I was ugly. Aside from the fact that I enjoyed baggy t-shirts and jeans, which probably made me look “ugly” to certain people, I never really cared about my weight that much either. I stayed as active as I always have been. Still, the comments hurt at times, especially when I was a teenager.

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As a young woman, I once looked to the feminist movement for support. I wanted to love my body and the way I am, just like all the other ladies. But I often ran into feminists like “Ms. Body-Shame”.

I have spoken out on my blog about being skinny and how other people considered me unattractive. And what did I get as a comment? “Backhanded compliments are not attractive, dear.” Like my experience, my life, isn’t worth fighting for or worth acknowledging because I fit a perceived “standard”. This was the beginning of my disconnection with the modern woman and the feminists that shame bodies like mine.

I read the comments (from men and women) on Ariana Grande’s and Miley Cyrus’s videos about their bodies being skinny and ugly, about how they look like 10 year olds, and how only thick women can look sexy twerking. While some “anti-porno” feminists may feel that is an insult to thicker women, because it may sound as if men are objectifying thicker women, it’s an insult to the skinny girls as well, the girls who aren’t truly considered sexy without some “Hollywood” magic.

I had one person tell me that my physique was considered attractive in the 1920s, but is no longer what men are looking for. I was fine with the comment, because I am not looking for a mate. Still, this just proves my point. Feminists need to understand that body-shaming takes a broader form in today’s society. You can’t support one group of women but ignore other women, and then call yourself a feminist.

If most body-shaming feminists actually stopped and researched what men actually wanted from women, they would come to find that the ideal is NOT skinny or thick. Men want that “girl in the middle” with fat in “all the right places”. And the media ideal is dependent on the male’s opinion (if sex does indeed sell). Check these out:

Men Prefer Curves, Not Skinny

Perceptions Of Perfection: What The ‘Ideal’ Female Body Looks Like Across 18 Countries

What the Ideal Woman’s Body Looks Like in 18 Countries

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Maybe I fit the women’s ideal, but men most definitely wouldn’t find me to be the ideal. So why hate on me for being skinny?

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“Feminist” comedian Julie Klausner is one of the “feminists” that make me doubly sick. If I wasn’t skinny before, she’s gonna make my skinnier because reading her comments make me vomit. That’s how I know her acts towards “feminism” are not helping and she is definitely harmful to my very nature. Her biggest attack was on Disney Channel star Zendaya. She made some nasty comments, those same bullying comments that made me want to literally hurt somebody at one time, and then she gets called a “feminist”?

Comments like, “And thinspo model for your impressionable tweens”, “Zendaya’s ultimate retort to Giuliana Rancic is starving herself down to the size of one of her elbowz”, “You don’t have to have an eating disorder to attend the Kids’ Choice Awards….but it helps!”, did more than just irk me.

Ironically, where was her behind when Adele was winning Grammy’s? An unhealthy body weight can exist in both extremes, and if you don’t think a skinny girl can be a good “role model”, I don’t understand how staying silent about obese musicians/actors and discouraging exercising does the job any better.

It’s as if she feels all skinny girls are skinny because they starved themselves…She doesn’t realize that some of us eat only three meals a day, have a fast metabolism, and EXERCISE.

If we’re trying to get women to be seen differently in an “image-conscious” world, shouldn’t the woman’s merits matter more than her appearance, thick or thin, to women? If “body-shaming” feminists are so concerned with a woman’s image, they aren’t any better than society as a whole. In fact, they are a part of the problem and will produce an opposite extreme.

Pharrell Williams is a skinny man. But nobody makes a peep about him when he wins awards. That just shows the double standards (which I will discuss more about later). These feminists make it more and more difficult for women to be seen as equal to men. You might as well not call them feminists.

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I also want to talk about Lynn Cloud and her petition to remove Eugenia Cooney from Youtube. Clearly, the body-shaming feminists have gotten to this young lady, too. I understand that Eugenia looks sick (she’s skinnier than normal), but I have seen several men on Youtube that look just as sick. So why are we so focused on Eugenia’s image? Because she’s a girl? This never happens with men.

If you are sick, or have a sickness like Cancer or Sickle-cell Anemia, and you happen to be skinny, are you not allowed to make Youtube videos? Last I heard, anybody is allowed to post videos, no matter their appearance. She could be a spokesperson for all the other people who are sick and can’t gain weight. Is that a crime? We don’t know her personal circumstances or why she’s skinny. But who are we to silence her? Is she supposed to stay miserable her whole life and never try to adorn her body? She might have a disease that eats away at her flesh. So, she can’t post a video about herself? You people must think teen girls are so stupidly impressionable that they can’t obviously recognize that she’s sick. If anything, I’m sure her fans feel sorry for her.

Instead of trying to get this girl removed from Youtube, maybe she should be helped by people. The petition should say, “Petition to Help Eugenia Cooney”. Women should be trying to get to the root of her body weight issues and should try to get this girl some help. But banning her from Youtube will just result in her starving herself more and making her feel unwanted. The outcome could be even worse. It also limits this individual’s right to free speech. This petition will definitely create adverse effects.

And why hasn’t Ms.Cloud attacked the number of obese people on Youtube? They may not influence girls to starve themselves to look like them, but they do discourage girls who are already obese from getting active, exercising, and staying fit. Both images are damaging, but these body-shaming feminists are obviously walking contradictions.

And what about the skinny girls who have to watch a curvy woman with big boobs get all the attention from the males in the comments’ section on Youtube or everywhere else on the internet?

https://mediaoutrage.wordpress.com/2009/05/05/guess-who-13/#more-33592

I don’t see a petition to ban these women. You don’t think curvy women are influencing these girls to eat more and more fatty foods and get plastic surgery? No one gets plastic surgery on their breasts and butt to be skinny, do they?  As a teenager, watching other teens with curves get all the attention made me want to stuff my face with all kinds of foods, get plastic surgery, and wear pads to make myself look thicker. I can imagine it has the same effect on other skinny girls. But if no one is out there to make them feel beautiful, if we have body-shaming feminists influencing the average feminist, who is supporting them?

And I’m not hating on a curvy, bodacious woman. That’s her body. The point is we should love all body types and stop the concealed jealousy.

That’s why I don’t have time; there is no room in my life for the body-shaming feminists. Good thing I learned to love myself without the help of these feminists.

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3. Ms. Double Standards

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If you thought the first two were bad, just wait until you hear about Ms. Double Standards.

There is nothing that irks me more than a woman who calls herself a feminist or benefits from feminism but places “masculine” standards on men. Nothing irks me more than a woman who believes she’s free to do whatever she wants but a man is not allowed those same freedoms. I don’t like when men have double standards either, but feminists with double standards irk me more because they put on the “face” of equality when really their own self-interests are a priority.

I could go so far as to call these women “misandrists”, but not all of them hate men. Some of them just want the perks of living and working in a “man’s” world while maintaining certain traditional boundaries. I’m here to tell you ladies, that’s almost impossible in this world.

There are several double standards that have come up and out of women’s mouths, from both feminists and those benefitting from feminism, that irk me:

His Role is Provider?

There are many women who consider a father without a job a “bum”. In my personal life, most women never consider a stay-at-home father as a hard-working man or the one “taking care of his family”. He is simply referred to as the “bum” by most women, including some so-called feminists.

Did it ever occur to some of these women that he may be the one cooking and cleaning for his family while his wife works? But oh no, that makes him a moocher. That means he’s not fulfilling his role as a “man”.

But who are women to decide what a man’s role is? You are not a man! And women would be up in arms if a man decided her role in life!

Why do these feminists believe that a man should be the one to work, but they have the option to work and/or stay-at-home? If a man is a bum for being a stay-at-home dad, guess what that makes a stay-at-home mom? A BUM. And don’t come and tell me that all stay-at-home moms always have a 24 hour job cooking and cleaning. Some of these “homemakers” are reading a book and watching daytime television all day…And dinner is from a fast-food restaurant.

I can’t stand a woman who gets upset when someone attacks her contribution to society, but has all of these expectations of men. If you’re going to question a man’s role in life, you’d best be contributing something too, instead of waiting on someone else to take care of you. Especially if you call yourself a feminist, the one who is supposed to be fighting for the same “social rights” as men.

And don’t come to me with the “men are supposed to take the lead” crap. If you’re the boss of your own company, ladies, you aren’t letting the man take the lead, now are you? If you are running for president, ladies, you aren’t letting the man take the lead, are you? If you are the superintendent of your schools, manager of your store, General in your army, you aren’t letting the man take the lead, are you? If women feel they can do all that, without a man’s leadership, women shouldn’t be whining and complaining about who takes the lead in their own households.

How about this…You and your spouse both be the adults and WORK TOGETHER. There’s no sense in preaching that women should have equal rights if you aren’t a practicer of what you preach.

Who Proposes to Who?

I can’t stand a woman who calls herself a feminist, but waits around for a man to make the first move in her relationship.

Readers, I listen to a lot of early morning radio shows before I go to work. Most of the people calling in are women. One particular woman called herself a strong, empowering feminist who intimidated men. She claimed her biggest dilemma was getting her boyfriend, who she had been dating for 10 years, to marry her. She believed he felt intimidated by her because she made a lot of money and had a leadership position in life.

And all of the radio djs were just like, “Ugh, what’s taking him so long? Tell him how you feel and get him to propose!” No, woman. You propose! Maybe he’s not proposing because you can’t make up your mind as to whether you’re a strong, empowering woman or a wannabe timid mouse.

Yes, I believe that if YOU, the female, are the one who is ready to get married, YOU, the female, should be the one doing the proposing. You’re a grown woman, right? You call yourself a feminist, right? Well, if you want the same equal rights, to speak your mind, to choose your own partners, speak up! YOU go out and buy a ring. You plan the date and pay for the dinner. Why have we settled with the submissive role when it comes to relationships, when we women feel we can march on Washington for equal rights, become the bosses of our own companies, and fight hard to be president of the USA? But you’re not “equal” enough to actually do the proposing? Why not? That would be the perfect way to get the answer out of him; you’d finally figure out whether he’s ready or not, instead of twiddling your thumbs while you wait for him to make a move. Passively-aggressively whining and complaining isn’t going to get the results you want. It never works.

Some of these women cry “equal rights” when it benefits them. But when they actually have to take on a “leadership role”, they suddenly succumb to the submissive role. I’ll talk more about this later.

I also have heard on the radio about some so-called feminists who have asked a man out to dinner, but then expected him to pay the bill. That tradition has phased out. It worked back in the past, when women didn’t ask men out and didn’t really have decent jobs. In this modern world, women are making a pretty penny. In this modern world, women are taking more of the initiative. And if YOU are the one asking him out, don’t choose the most expensive place and expect HIM to pay. YOU asked HIM! You should be trying to impress him in that instance. He didn’t even have to say “yes” to you. That’s like asking your parents out to dinner, but then leaving them to pay the bill. That’s like asking your colleagues out to dinner, but then leaving them to pay the bill. It’s shady.

A woman who is like that is showing she is self-entitled. And when the feminist title is placed behind her, it just makes her seem more about “herself”.

A Boy’s Not Allowed to Like…

It sickens me how some women, who claim to be feminists, attack a man for liking something directed to “girls”. I ran into such a feminist on Youtube. She attacked a teen male for liking My Little Pony the tv series.

And yet, she praised a teen woman for being interested in Spiderman, Power Rangers, Clarence, and Naruto… So, again, why is it okay for a woman to like Power Rangers, but not for a man to like My Little Pony? In this “patriarchal” world, it’s alright for a woman to be interested in male-directed tv shows/cartoons/anime, but men are not allowed to enjoy or respect female-directed tv shows/cartoons/anime? He will be called a pedo, but she…is empowering? He has “Peter Pan syndrome” and is a “loser”, but she’s…empowering?…. He’s gay, but she’s…empowering?

It sickens me when women, who claim to be feminists or benefit from feminism, allow their daughters to buy video games, trucks, and footballs, but won’t buy their sons a doll…

I Like My Men Masculine/I Believe A Man Should Be a Man (or Masculine)

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As I said before, I listen to public radio early in the morning before work, and I hear a lot of crap from these wannabe feminists. There is one popular segment of most radio shows that allows someone to try to reach another person after a date that supposedly went “well”, but fell off. The radio dj will try to reach out to the partner that went “silent” and try to reunite the two, hopefully paying for a second date.

What normally happens is that we, the djs and the listeners, discover that the date was awful from the other person’s perspective.

Keeping that in mind, one guy was trying to reach a woman he’d been on a date with. He said he had a blast with her. When the djs reach her, she says she cut him off because his side job was “embarrassing”. His side job was to be an elf for Christmas and hand out presents to little children. I thought this was the sweetest thing.

But so many women called in, women who said they were lawyers, mechanics, CEOs, saying they would be embarrassed by him and said it just wasn’t a “masculine” job. Fine, you are welcome to expect all of this masculinity from him, because women should have the right to their standards, right? But don’t get angry when a man becomes “intimidated” by you and doesn’t want to marry you because you’re in a “not-so-feminine” role.

What made this segment so sickening was that the female radio dj host was the MAIN ONE saying his job wasn’t masculine enough. Honey, you’re in a male-dominated field! And this dj has preached, and preached, and preached about how she is the only one in her field and how males don’t respect her in the industry. She is often the main one saying that a woman can be a radio dj and still be feminine. She is often THE MAIN ONE saying that a man can’t define her femininity. But suddenly, he’s not man enough because he defies the gender stereotype?

So I ask you, ladies, who are you to define a man’s masculinity? Who are you to judge a man who is trying to spread happiness and cheer during the holidays? Women preach that they want a nice, sensitive man who cares about the family and children. But then reject that man. I can’t stand it.

I can’t stand when a woman goes around saying, “I believe a man should be a man”, but she works a 9-to-5 job, is speaking her mind on the internet or radio, and votes. Don’t these ignorant women realize that at one time, these things were considered masculine? If you aren’t willing to fit your feminine role in society, why can’t we start to see masculinity and manhood differently? It’s as if these women want the best of both worlds, and see men as a threat in BOTH roles. It’s only fair to let men define their own masculinity just as you expect to define yours.

And if you’re going to have these double standards, don’t go around calling yourself a “strong empowering” feminist. Really, you’re not one.

Want to Read a Really Ridiculous article written by a “wannabe” feminist? 10 Things Women (Still) Expect Men to Know How to Do

I can’t wait to see how triggered she’ll be when the “female” equivalent of this article comes out…

Men Shouldn’t Care About A Woman’s Appearance or Occupation

This is the subject feminists preach high and low. I understand why feminists believe we should be beyond appearances, especially when it comes to the workforce. Not everyone was born beautiful, but good people can always do good things. I do believe people should let their merits shine.

Still, in relationships, people have the right to decide what they like, both man and woman.

Feminists are not so lenient when it comes to men in this regard. As soon as a man expresses his desire for a bombshell woman who is a stay-at-home mom, these feminists are on the prowl. I can understand…unless this feminist gives the pass to a woman who expects a bombshell man with a well-paying job.

So often, I’ve heard women complaining about the kind of “job” their boyfriends/spouses have, or what their man wears or what they don’t like men wearing (the man bun, socks with sandals, etc). And that’s fine if you have standards. But he’s entitled to standards as well. If you don’t want him judging the way you look or your occupation, why are you doing it?

This is made worse when it’s coming out of the mouth of a so-called feminist or a “perceived” feminist.

These feminists get angry when men are talking about how hot a female celebrity is, but have no qualms with talking about how hot a male celebrity is. Really?

This is especially common in the Kpop industry. There are many articles about the objectification of women in the industry, which is noticeably true, but the industry’s fans are dominated by females…making the male idols ten times more popular. And it’s not because these guys are the most talented guys in the world. It’s mostly because they look good. Thus, the male “idols” are ten times more objectified than their female counterparts. They are literally just pretty “ideals” to most of these teen girls and young women (2030 crowd). It’s gotten to the point the Kpop male stars wear makeup and get plastic surgery just to appeal to these fans!

And yet, all anyone wants to talk about are the females wearing makeup and getting plastic surgery…

If we’re going to stop objectification, we need to stop it everywhere. But if you still want some hot guys to look at in the entertainment industry, why not let men have the same pleasure?

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Men Can’t Hit a Girl, But a Woman Can hit a boy

I’ve run across many feminists who abhor physical abuse, and I don’t blame them.

However, it’s oddly silent when women are doing the abusing. Most feminists assume that women have good “reasons” for being physically aggressive to their spouses/boyfriends.

In my honest opinion, physical aggression and violence is physical aggression and violence, and it’s never right.

Consider the Chris Brown and Rihanna issue. We don’t know who started that fight, but we know Rihanna was left with bruises and had to be hospitalized. Chris Brown went down for that, and rightfully so.

Solange attacks Jay-Z in an elevator, got caught on camera, with Jay-Z not hitting back, but she gets cheers from feminists…not criticism.

Anna from Frozen punched Hans in the face, when he never touched her once throughout the film, and yet this movie is for feminists? Let’s reverse those roles and see how fast the feminists come marching in front of the cinemas…

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So many times while I’m working with my children, the girls will hit, push, and shove the boys, and get away with it, causing the young men to get angry and cry about the injustice. And remember, when boys and girls are children and adolescents, the girls are usually taller and stronger than the boys. Why do we condone physical abuse from women, but pull out the pitchforks exclusively for men?

We need to stop physical aggression across the board. It’s never right.

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4. Lady Feminine and Lady Masculine

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Next, I want to talk about Lady Feminine and Lady Masculine. I will start with Lady Feminine.

This is the kind of feminist that believes a “real” feminist is a woman who honors femininity and doesn’t “act like a boy”. She never truly knows how to define what she means by “boy”, she just knows a girl shouldn’t act like one. Yes, I know, surprising, right? There are self-proclaimed “feminists” out in the world who use these kinds of derogatory statements, statements often used by male chauvinists.

But she calls herself a feminist…

This is the feminist that took on the title because it gives her status in the female community. She never really researched the term, it just makes her look good to call herself that.

I ran into such a feminist once. We were on the subject of Frozen Versus Mulan. I spoke about how Mulan was just as empowering as Anna and Elsa, if not more so, how Mulan saved all of China basically by herself, how she saved her own love interest, how her dreams consisted of bringing her family honor, and how she took initiative in her relationship. I felt that Anna and Elsa did nothing by themselves, I spoke about how Elsa ran away from her responsibilities, how Elsa acted like a victim, how Anna received help to get up a mountain (but Hans and his men found it only having been in the land a short while), how Anna’s dream consisted of dancing at a ball and meeting a prince, and how neither saved the day in any way (without destroying it in the first place). You know, similar to a topic I’ve written on this blog. And you know what she said? “Well, at least they didn’t have to dress like a man to prove how strong they were.”

Dress like a man? I asked her, “What do you define as dressing like a man? Last time I watched, Mulan was wearing armor and her hair up in a bun. Who said that a woman can’t dress like that and still be considered ‘dressing like a woman’?” No reply. Maybe she felt I was trying to strawman her, but the statement still stands. Clearly, she felt that to be a truly empowering, strong, “feminist”, you had to look like a “woman” (i.e. wear a dress) and represent everything girly.

This poster had several supporters, those who felt that womanhood should be honored and that women should stop trying to be more and more like men, and should try convincing men to be more like “women”. And I’m assuming their definition of woman was “wearing skirts and dresses and dreaming of romance”.

I understand their point, but again, how do we define this “womanhood”? Because my “female” experience never consists of dresses, hardly consists of makeup, and is hardly domestic. I truly enjoy being able to speak my mind on the internet, hold leadership positions, and I enjoy being single, without man or children.

And if these women wanted to step away from being more and more like men, maybe we should revert this society and take it all the way back to the 19th century. Perhaps these women should leave the internet and stop speaking their minds. That was once a male role. Maybe they should quit their well-paying jobs and stay at home, waiting for their fathers to take care of them or a good (or bad) husband. Maybe these women should stop wearing pants, shorts, t-shirts, and sneakers…

Oh, but they won’t. Somehow, now these things have become a part of being feminine.

If feminine qualities have evolved and changed over the last century, there is no way femininity is that limited.

Feminism is advocating that women receive the same “social and political rights” as men. I’m sorry, but these women are doing the opposite by claiming that a “woman” can’t wear armor without being labeled as “looking like a man”.

Despite that some cases like the one above exist, however, there are actually far more feminists against the traditional “feminine” values. I don’t think it’s any more progressive to be Ms. Masculine and assume that a woman that upholds traditional feminine values can’t equally want other social and political rights equal to men. These women tend to just want a balance for everybody, and there’s nothing wrong with that. There are things she likes about the patriarchy and things she doesn’t.

If feminism is supposed to allow women to have more choices in the world, why are we trying to limit any woman’s self-expression? And if we want a woman to wear armor and still be labeled as “looking like a woman”, we equally shouldn’t consider “dresses” a “woman” thing, but a human thing, right? We should just look at these things as clothing styles, tastes, and interests. The sooner we start accepting that clothing varies by culture and taste, the sooner we realize that clothing doesn’t define gender or sex, the sooner we all can move along happier in our lives.

The sad part is, though, men aren’t lucky enough to have the same “social rights” as women regarding femininity in today’s society. So I guess that would give women more rights than the ones men have. And thanks to Ms. Double Standards, it enables men to continue to see these roles as separate (since they are stigmatized by these women from entering into the feminine world). Since all they have is what is deemed “masculine”, men will hold onto it, even barring women from it, just as they have been “barred” from what is deemed “femininity”. This means we really need to get pass the gender stereotyping.

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5. The User and Abuser

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The title refers to women who use the feminist title just for gain, perks, to get back at people, or to get out of sticky situations, but have no real interest in issues that affect women. Thus, she ends up abusing the title of “feminist”. This title could also refer to a woman who uses feminism as a title when convenient, but drops it when she has to do physical or laborious work, work actually considered “for men”.

She’s different from Ms. Double Standards in the fact that she may not actually have double standards. However, she recognizes that feminism gives her a certain power that it doesn’t give men, and she’s willing to fall back on it when she makes a “mistake”. She also knows when to play the “feminism” card and when to play the “traditional” card, making her a walking contradiction.

If you’re not following me, let me start giving examples. I knew of one young lady in college who liked the attention and company of many men. She slept around with most of the guys on her campus. In high school, her parents allowed her to get plastic surgery on her chest and butt. She definitely took advantage of the male attention.

Of course, she ended up pregnant. The moment she ended up pregnant, she claimed the man who impregnated her actually “raped” her and she filed a claim to get him kicked out of college. When the school refused to do this, she gathered some feminists from her school, rallied against the board, claiming they ignored serious issues that affect women.

Now, sure, she may have been raped. We don’t know what happened behind closed doors. But there was no real way of knowing whether she was lying or telling the truth, either. There was no physical evidence that she was raped. And the feminists that supported her only supported her because she was a woman who used the magic words.

The real problem is the fact that the young woman may have felt she had to lie. Our society has made it so a woman feels like a slut when she makes a “consensual” mistake. It is easier to catch a woman who made a mistake than a man (women get pregnant), so she often gets called the “stupid” one. And the physical consequences are more severe for a woman than a man (though a man may experience social/financial consequences), so women often try to find any support they can.

But lying and tearing someone down because of a mistake you made? That’s not only irresponsible, that is anti-feminist. It makes women seem like manipulative and fickle creatures who aren’t capable of making their own responsible decisions. It should not be supported by other feminists. I think more investigations should go into these “rape” outcries.

Anyway…

There are other incidents of the “users and abusers” I’ve encountered when working with children. Yes, it starts as early as five years old. I think I’ve mentioned how girls will often hit and shove the boys without consequence, right? Well, often times, I run across girls who are vicious bullies, but as soon as their parents are called, they turn on the tears and blame the male for “provoking them”. The manipulation works, with the male often being blamed as the bully, even when facts prove otherwise. I don’t blame the girls, who are just children. However, I blame society for enabling this manipulation, the feminists who support this destructive behavior or choose to ignore it, and the parents who just don’t have a clue.

Another example of this kind of feminist is one who has failed at a sport, job, debate, or anything else, provided that the “rules” were just and fair, but complains that she was discriminated against because she “is a woman”. Feminism does promote women receiving the same equal opportunities as men to go for the same jobs, play the same sports, and enter the same mental competitions. However, there is a difference between opportunity and success. Sometimes, some women just can’t do the job. Sometimes, a woman may lose a debate or a chess match. It’s not always the system setting up the women to fail (though it can happen and has happened at times). Many times, some women just can’t do the job as well as another person, and that is okay. We can’t blame the system when it is convenient and march our way into all the colleges we don’t get accepted to or into all the sports teams we’ve been rejected from. Sometimes, we have to be objective and analyze whether we were denied based on gender/sex or based on our actual skills (or lack thereof).

There is another type under this User and Abuser label. She’s the woman who is always strong, powerful, and in control until she really has to do a “man’s” job. What do I mean by that? I mean the one that has to serve in the military.

Luckily, in the USA, many women don’t have to experience being drafted into military service. But in many other countries, the draft is a very real part of life. Often times, women are exempt from military service because they are deemed too “weak” to do the rigorous training the men do.

Most feminists have been offended by this, but I recently ran across a self-proclaimed feminist who said she did feel women were “too weak” to be drafted in the military. In one conversation, she mentioned how women should be allowed in male-dominated fields, how women were strong, and how they were capable of having children and then going back to work. But when the topic of military service came up, she mentioned how her “menstrual” would hold her back and how she wouldn’t be able to take having to exert herself physically because of cramps.

Well, no one said military service was easy. Even men struggle through it. But there are many ways women could serve in the military, offering their intellect, their agility, hands or anything else. I presented this idea to the “feminist”, and her response was “That’s just not for women”. This was coming from a woman who claimed women were “strong” and capable of handling male-dominated fields. But as soon as the idea of mandatory military service came up, she was suddenly the docile mouse. This showed me that she was ready to use feminism when she wanted to use it, but not ready to assume the responsibilities that came with feminism. If we advocate that women be treated equally to men, we should expect the same things of women that we do men. They should have the same responsibilities. They should take responsibility for what they’re advocating.

Apparently, some women just aren’t ready for true feminism-the kind that doesn’t make their life more cushy, that is.

These kinds of feminists confuse the heck out of everybody, which sets the feminist movement back. What do you want? Do you want equal rights or not?

All of these gray/grey areas leave room for anti-feminists to poke holes.

Did I mention that some of these women get paid off of feminist propaganda? It’s more of a business for them, nothing personal.

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6. Feminazi

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Yes, I used it. I used one of the worst insults to describe a feminist. I don’t always like to throw this word around, but if you’re acting like one, you are. Many people throw this word around unjustly, but there are a group of “feminists” that this word applies to.

Before I lay it thick on them, I do want to admit that I respect the feminazis more than all of the above feminists. No great movement is good without radicals, right? A radical movement can be an effective movement. For starters, at least most of them know what they stand for and aren’t full of the major contradictions other feminists are known for (unless they also fall into the other above categories). These women have gone beyond just fighting for equal rights; they are ready to destroy any “male-dominated” society. These are the women that are strictly focusing on the “patriarchy” and nothing else.

While I applaud them for getting down to the gritty business, sometimes these women seem to be trying to create their own little strict feminist regime. They are “puritanical” in a way, insisting that everything caters to women, the female sex, and her issues and needs, whether it be in a movie, music video, song, or book (like Nazi Germany). In fact, she may insist that there not be a male present AT ALL when the story is directed to a female audience. Romance is misogynistic to most of these women.

This is the woman that gets angry if she goes into a movie and sees one or less lead female characters. This is the woman that can analyze and find all the misogynistic undertones of everything, intentional or not. She can see the misogyny of video game characters wearing pink, the misogyny of a female character crying, the misogyny of women talking about their relationships, the misogyny of reality show fights… I have to admit she does her homework.

Despite her “intelligence”, she can be very annoying. I can’t understand how these women can enjoy anything when they are constantly worrying about how men are perceiving them or representing them all the time. If these feminists were really so tired of the misogynistic undertones, wouldn’t they have made their own little collection of cult films, books, and music exclusively for women, by women, with female leads by now? That would work better than trying to boycott or protest every little bit of entertainment because of some “misogynistic undertones” they’ve discovered. And it’s easy for them to find, too. They can read misogyny in the different ways we perceive the color of the sky. That’s how obsessed they are.

These women are also very particular about who should benefit from the movement and who should be supporting the movement. Oh yeah, some of them want to control who supports the movement. I’m sure most of us are aware that men can be feminists, right? Not the feminazi.

These are the women that aren’t just looking at feminism as a movement for equal rights. They include all the issues women face in the world, no matter how crazy or petty, like fights with their families and friends and women-on-women crime, among others.

You will certainly find some man-haters among them somewhere, too. They aren’t too friendly with men. In relationships, they are very particular about the men they like, if they like men at all. But these women are often so sensitive, even lesbian women have a hard time dealing with them (since they like to point out how we are all so conditioned by the patriarchy every 5 minutes).

All cynicism and sarcasm aside, I understand their need to bring “light” on issues that truly affect women. I appreciate the points they bring out regarding the social restrictions, expectations, and labels that have been placed on women. However, the feminazis need to step back and look at the forest sometimes. They are too caught up in these ridiculous, petty, and really unimportant details. After reading their propaganda, it’s hard to enjoy anything anymore.

Most of the feminazis are so caught up in getting rid of the “patriarchy”, which is riddled with some things that limit women and which do encourage women to be more “like men”, they forget that there are also good things that have come out of patriarchy that we can and have benefitted from. GASP. I don’t think the feminazis can handle that sentence. But it’s true. We all enjoy male inventions, like Apple, internet, cars, and much more. Sure, they were created in eras where women were limited, and yes the efforts of women to bring those inventions out there have been ignored, but they are still good inventions. If you don’t want a patriarchal society, move out to a remotely isolated place and create your own town full of women. That’s what a few Kenyan women did. See? Women of action, not talk.

And there are privileges, especially in western societies, that women have enjoyed as a result of this “oppression”. Women have never had to be drafted, they’ve been able to mostly stay at home instead of slaving in the outside world, and men have been expected to show chivalry towards women (even if some didn’t) by opening doors, pulling out chairs, and giving jackets to women when they’re cold.

Some of the women from the good ole’ days would hardly agree that they were actually oppressed. Many agreed with their set “roles”. Of course, some women didn’t, because we’re all individual. But neither did some men. We have had very defined separate roles in society, and much of the “rules” were written by both men and women. These “roles” were always decided by the lifestyle lived by both the men and women. If a woman lived an agricultural life, she wasn’t expected to work in the home. If a woman lived in an urban area, she was expected to do housework. And some women took pride in being homemakers. I hardly call that oppression, considering the term refers to prolonged cruel or unjust treatment or control. There may have been more boundaries, but that was for both men and women. Some women in the west were not treated cruelly, unjustly, or controlled at all. Many women decided the roles they wanted and lived comfortable lives.

As long as men exist, patriarchal thinking will exist, and as long as women exist, matriarchal thinking will exist. Each gender thinks about their own self-interests, first and foremost. We can’t get rid of one to uphold another. The only way to live peacefully with one another is to work out our ideas together, to remove the ideas from both systems that just don’t work or don’t lead to a comfortable life, and keep the things that enhance the quality of all of our lives. As an African American, even though White Supremacy exists, it’s not realistic to try to remove white people from positions of power. It’s best to rise in that system and then implement our ideas, causing a blend. I feel the same way about Male Supremacy.

While most women want to be seen as strong and independent heroes, we are also very individual and don’t mind seeing romance here and there. There is nothing wrong with marriage or relationships. It’s how we continue our human race. There’s also nothing wrong with a man saving a woman, as long as we know that the feeling is mutual. Women can’t always do the saving. That’s just not realistic. While we do want to focus on shedding stereotypes, it’s not always bad to enjoy or even fall into some of them every once in a while.

There are women out here who really do need to fight their patriarchal systems. They are in countries that truly oppress women. We should observe how their patriarchy is destroying them, especially if there is nothing good coming out of it. But some of us are actually living in a society where it’s really not fair for either side, men or women.

The feminazis have to ease up a little. That’s all I’m saying.

The following videos are not by a feminist, however, I think she makes some interesting points:

Food for thought…

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7.  Transfeminist Dictators

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For those who are unaware, Trans people are people who are labeled a certain sex at birth, but identify as the opposite gender.  There are many transmen and transwomen who also identify as feminists, and often times stand with other kinds of women against rape, sexism, and misogyny.

Despite this, however, there are some trans feminists who criticize other feminists in an effort to protect their identity.  This is what makes some of them the most cringeworthy feminists of all.

I don’t think there is anything wrong with being a trans feminist, especially if you are a transwoman.  After all, feminism is for them as well, supposedly, right? However, I do have a problem with trans people trying to “censor” certain topics, and I do have a problem with trans people dictating the way other women in the movement address their own anatomy biologically.

I get that trans women want to feel included in the movement, and certainly there are certain aspects of the movement that apply to trans women.  However, not everything in the movement has to apply to trans women and women should not be forced to censor themselves when talking about issues that affect their everyday life. What they fail to understand is that many feminists experience oppression based on their biology and not just because of social gender representation. Trans women must respect this.

Examples of topics that trans people have tried to censor include:  pregnancy, abortion, menstruation, breast cancer, vaginal disrespect, and/or Uterine diseases or conditions, along with other biologically “female” issues.  Many trans women are sensitive about these topics because most of these topics do not concern them and their own biological make up.  As a result some trans women have even said that women should not talk about these issues at all in order to avoid “excluding” trans women.  One example of this involved the latest Women’s March On Washington, when women dressed as vaginas in order to make a political statement.  Transwomen criticized the movement, and it was not because the costumes were ridiculous, not because women were representing genitals in front of thousands of children, but because they felt the march was “transphobic” and “cissexist” and exclusive.  Yes.  They did not like the idea of women wearing what they referred to as “pussy” hats or vagina costumes, making the trans women feel somehow like they are less than women.

Apparently, the trans women did not get why the women were marching with vagina hats and costumes in the first place.  This was a political statement, a statement to a man they felt offended the vagina or “pussy”, a genital that the majority of women have in the world.  So why should they not wear vagina hats and costumes? I understand that some trans women have different genitalia, but that does not mean the feminists should not speak up when they feel vaginal disrespect.  Just because you’re the kind of woman that doesn’t go through this, doesn’t mean majority of other women don’t.  Feminists should be able to address all issues that affect all kinds of women without feeling guilt. A woman should be allowed to talk about her body and her own anatomy. After all, that was one major issue throughout history. The vaginal anatomy has been the root reason why women have always been considered sexually inferior, considered unclean, and receptive, not assertive. Their genitals affect them as women, so these women should be able to speak on it. Walking around with “vagina” hats wasn’t the best way to get the idea across, it was a little extreme, and it doesn’t actually define a woman totally, but regardless of my personal opinions about the costume, they should be allowed to try to get their points across without being labeled “cissexist” or “transphobic”. It is not “cissexist” or “transphobic” if they talk about their biological bodies, especially if it has something to do with the way they are treated in society.

Historical “science” used to distort all kinds of “facts” about women based on the “uterine” genitals. Therefore, it is not right to repress their voices just because it makes you, as a trans woman, feel “uncomfortable”.

There are issues trans women go through that other women do not experience, and that is okay. Would it be right for other women to try to censor a trans woman’s voice because other women do not experience the same things? No, it would not, because those issues are serious and need to be resolved for the mental, emotional, social, and physical health of society. It is the same thing when it comes down to women with vaginas.

These kinds of trans feminists also try to “censor” other feminist causes, too.  They even try to censor the feminists’ use of words.  They insist that feminists not refer to their own anatomy as “female”, despite the fact that scientifically the definition of female involves a certain kind of anatomy and function.

The hypocritical part about these trans feminists is that they will be the first to tell you that you cannot define them; they insist they can only define themselves. So why is it their job to dictate what another feminist defines as female?

Oh, and by the way, not all feminists like the word cis either, though most trans women insist that women who are not trans refer to themselves as such. A cis woman is a woman that identifies as the gender aligned with her sex. What about the feminists that don’t honestly believe in gender?  This is what I mean; trans women cannot tell other women how and in what manner they should identify themselves and their anatomy.  It would be best if these types of trans women stopped insisting that every issue in the movement be about them. I get the feeling that some of the feminist trans women are just too sensitive to be in any movement.  They are apparently sensitive to almost everything in every movement.

And this is not all transfeminist, mind you. I have run into some very supportive trans feminists, women who talk about their own issues as well as the issues others face. Those women are helping us all move forward. But those women that get whiny over every little thing in the movement? Just have several seats.

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At this point, I want to wrap this up by re-emphasising my appreciation for most feminists and their efforts to try and push us toward a more inclusive and progressive society. However, I just had to bring this issue out. There are certain feminists that have been evolving out of the movement and I think it’s time someone warned others about them. They are mostly holding women back.

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think about my list. Do you agree with my list, that these feminists are cringe-worthy? Are there any others

you would like to add? I’m open to discussion.

15 of the Most Powerfully Unique Girl Groups Ever In Music History

22 Dec

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There have been dozens of music groups formed around the world, and there will continue to be music groups out there for centuries to come. Each new act brings in a new wave of interest, and music groups bring us more than one entertainer at a time.  The early heart of the USA began with bands and groups. With the rise of interest in bands, the U.K. made it a phenomenon. Just recently, Japan and Korea have brought that phenomenon to the modern age.

Read my article on Hallyu.

Girl groups tend to be of particular interest, as mostly women dominate the music industry today. Since the 1910’s, the days of vaudeville, females have always managed to grab attention to themselves in catchy musical numbers. Groups were the easiest way to do this, as harmonizing in sync was always a challenge. Those who did it right easily impressed an audience. Of course, in most female groups, a heavy amount of emphasis is usually put on a group’s physical appearance. There’s nothing more attractive than a ton of women with beauty and talent, right?

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And yet, ever so briefly, one female group would rise out of the ashes like a phoenix. A group that just didn’t seem to fit into the box designed for them. Those are the women that are making it on my list as 11 of the Most Powerfully Unique Girl Groups Ever in Music History.

This article is not about fame particularly. Fame is a general description. Fame could mean anything. Many female groups out in the world might be bigger than the ones I’m covering in this article. But “power” to me does not equal record sales alone. “Power” comes in the form of the differences one has made or how one has contributed to the industry. I can tell you right now that many of the most popular girl groups in the world, from the USA to Japan, have all been extremely famous for none other than their good looks. There are three things that usually define girl groups:

1) Enhanced good looks and trendy clothes

2) Melodious, seductive vocals designed to draw in physical attention

3) Relate-easy music that is missing a “personal” touch or any real depth

While all of these traits are not bad, many of them are cheap selling tools and don’t necessarily make a group…Well, unique. Isn’t it better to have high record sales and unique traits?

This is not to say anyone I’m listing is ugly, can’t sing, or doesn’t have music that people relate to. But the groups I’m listing have so much more. I want to give them the shine they deserve. The groups I’m listing are hard to imitate as a result of what they have done for our music industry. With just good looks and melodious voices, it’s easy to make carbon copies in a matter of minutes. In fact, groups have been that classic since the vaudeville days. I’m reviewing those girls that just didn’t fit that standard, capish?

The following list will cover these genres: Rock and Roll, Pop, R&B, Hip-Hop, New Jack Swing, Rap, Dance, Electronic, Heavy Metal, Rock, Punk Rock, Pop Urban, and Country.

This list is in order from the first group to the last group to debut. It’s hard to rank these groups because they are so unique.

1) Goldie and the Gingerbreads

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With a name like “Goldie and the Gingerbreads”, you wouldn’t think this group made much of a difference. But they did. Goldie and the Gingerbreads may not be anything special today (or maybe they are), but at the time they arrived on the scene, there were no girls in the Rock and Roll scene. Female bands never attracted a large audience neither were they ever signed to a major label before this group. Yes, the four to five ladies of this band were the first to be signed to a major label. They were the first to break into a genre that was mostly dominated by men. If that doesn’t make them powerfully unique, I don’t know what does.

Even to this day, Rock and Roll is a genre that is notorious for its male artists. But for all of you who don’t know, these women stood out among all the other women who were mostly soloists and sang mostly Pop music, Showtunes, and Soul. They were the first women to be visually seen on live television with instruments in their hands. These women were not dolled-up like the Supremes, but they shined because they took a chance on a genre most women wouldn’t have even dared to try.

They weren’t million-dollar sell-outs. I don’t think the world was truly ready for a female Rock and Roll group at the time. But you rock-band girls can thank these leading ladies for their unique contribution.

The 1960’s was a time when women were really starting to make an impact on the music industry, and the era is considered the Golden Age for female artists.

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2) Fanny

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Fanny is recognized as pioneering the female band identity and “sound”. It’s a sound that has traveled down even to modern bands like Paramore and The Dirty Youth. They were the first female band to release an album on a major record label. Just like Goldie and the Gingerbreads, these ladies paved the way for future female bands. The difference is that they helped female Rock stars gain the respect they deserved in an era where female Rock bands hardly got any attention or respect. Even David Bowie was a huge fan of their work. These women were the first to be considered full-fledged rockers. Before this group, women hardly played their own instruments, and when they did, they hardly played very well. This group played just as well as all of the other male rock bands.

This band carried controversy wherever they went. Even their name carried controversy, as many people thought of it as a sexual term, though the group insisted it meant to reflect the “female spirit”. This group was also outspoken and hard in vocal sound, which was so unlike the “lady-like” women of the era. Because of their unique traits, these women were said to have conquered even “male chauvinists” charts.

Two of the four members were from the Philippines, so they were probably one of the first major female Asian rock stars in American history. Two members of the four were also some of the only female artists of the time to openly express themselves as lesbian and bi-sexual. They were thus thought of as a “Lesbian” band. This also made them very unique. One heterosexual member stated that even though two members weren’t lesbians, “men didn’t know how to take them” at the time, and many lesbians were attracted to the band.

This group of women were really some of the first ladies to openly express their sexual desires in general. Their song “Butter Boy” was banned from some radio stations because most stations thought the song was “too explicit”. We can definitely say this group had the unique power that no other group showed in the early 1970’s. This group showed that they were more than pretty faces with melodious, sweet voices. They were a power machine ready to chart new territory.

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3) The Pointer Sisters

The Pointer Sisters, moved from duo, to trio, to quartet, were the first black group ever to create a Grammy-Award winning Country song. Many Country lovers may know of their song “Fairytale”. Even to this day, many consider this song a Country classic.

Now, they were by no means a Country group. That’s what made this win such a random experience. It was surprising that a R&B and Soul group would break through the industry with one Country song. I think it was the unique way this Country song was sang. They combined the “soul” of the group with the authenticity of Country music, giving Country music the “soul” many artists have adapted today. This Country song ended up being their first Grammy win ever!

The Pointer Sisters were lovers of Country music, and were country girls at heart, even if that was not their main genre.

They made themselves known as a group that was willing to try many diverse genres and styles, which was considered unusual for black group artists at the time. They tried Soul, Funk, and Bebop, but also Rock and Electronic!

This set them apart from other African American groups, and helped pave the way for African Americans to try more diverse styles of music. For all of you African American Country stars, you can thank their contribution to the Country world. The world may have been closed-minded when it came to four African American girls singing Country, but at least they stole a Grammy for that Country song. I couldn’t ignore this group and saw fit to add them as one of the most powerfully unique girl groups ever in music history.

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4) The Runaways

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If you don’t know The Runaways, you don’t know Rock. The Runaways were said to be the first hard-edged, female Heavy Metal band to ever step into the music scene. Sure, Fanny gave us pure Rock. But The Runaways gave us the edge and the female Rock image. When it came to music charts in the USA, sadly, this group did not do any more than the other two bands, but they became a phenomenon in Japan.

This group is widely known for their unusual Rock song “Cherry Bomb”. It has the catchy hook “ch-ch-ch-ch Cherry Bomb”. This song made them stand out on stages throughout the USA. They did not have the usual image for women. They gave wild performances on stage that were similar to their male counterparts, and they wore the raciest outfits. That was something hardly done in this era in time. They were not standard, that’s for sure. They didn’t portray themselves with the “flawless, feminine” images handed to so many women during the “Disco Era”. Their music lyrics were bold. They didn’t mind being called “Bad Girls”. There is no question about it. They had to make this list of powerfully unique girl groups.

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5) Salt-N-Pepa

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Salt-N-Pepa is a notorious female Rap group that became popular at a time when men dominated the Rap and Hip-Hop scene. In fact, they were one of the first female Rap groups. Salt-N-Pepa influenced the female image in Hip-Hop culture and Rap culture. Anyone into Rap knows Salt-N-Pepa. Many female rappers and Hip-Hop artists to this day are still heavily influenced by the Ladies of Rap, including the notorious TLC and Lil’ Kim. Even Nicki Minaj and Iggy Azalea get their sexy image from Salt-N-Pepa. Without Salt-N-Pepa, there would be no sexy female Rap songs.

Many feminists disliked Rap and Hip-Hop because many of the lyrics were sexist and many of the music videos objectified women’s bodies. But when Salt-N-Pepa came on the scene, they gave women a new perspective about Rap and Hip-hop. And they gave women and Hip-Hop a new image.

Salt-N-Pepa was no different from the men in Hip-Hop…But that’s why they were so unique. Salt-N-Pepa turned the tables around on men. Salt-N-Pepa were not afraid to wear sexier-looking clothing and were not afraid to talk about sex and men. This took away the “innocent, conservative” image so many modern women were portrayed as having at the time. They were not shy of men, that’s for certain. Thus, Salt-N-Pepa stood out as bold, confrontational women that were worthy of respect in the Hip-Hop community.

They were also one of the few Rap groups that had a female DJ. Even today, most DJs are male. They certainly proved that women could hang with the boys. This makes them perfect for the list of Powerfully Unique Girl Groups Ever in Music History.

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6) Dixie Chicks

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Very few Country bands get recognized as it is, let alone, female bands. But Dixie Chicks are a name worth mentioning, and they are probably the only female group that gives a respectful nod to the Country music scene. In fact, they are considered the top-selling female band of all time, selling more than 30 million albums around the world! They are also currently the biggest selling Country group in the modern world. They have won 13 Grammy Awards. They are still the only Country band to have two certified RIAA diamond albums one after the other. This is a far leap from the bands before them. You can honestly see that they have made people notice female Country bands.

What made the Dixie Chicks so unique? Well, they came out at a time when the only female bands gaining popularity were either cute, lively girls jumping around in leotards and pigtails or were hardcore women trying to make their name in the Heavy Metal scene.

The Dixie Chicks were originally a Bluegrass genre group. And they used to dress up as cowgirls in their performances. They were certainly a bold, quirky girl group then. Well, someone decided they needed an image change. They were transformed into the Dixie Chicks we know today.

The Dixie Chicks were one of the few successful group acts of the modern age to write and co-write their own music. Many of their song lyrics brought a lot of controversy to their generally conservative fan base. Two such songs, “Sin Wagon” and “Good-bye Earl”, were both controversial.  “Sin Wagon” openly talked about sex. The song popularized the phrase “mattress dancing”. “Good-bye Earl” was a song about the premeditated murder of an abusive husband. Many radio stations removed this band from their playlists as a result. These girls’ bold words didn’t just stop there.

After 9/11/2001, the world was very sensitive when it came to the words “terrorism” and “war”. In 2003, President George W. Bush decided to invade Iraq. One of the Dixie Chicks members boldly announced at a performance in the U.K. how much she disagreed with America going to war with Iraq. She expressed her disappointment with Bush, and even said she was “ashamed he came from Texas”. Many Americans may not have liked what she had to say at the time, but you have to admit, that was pretty gutsy of her to boldly announce an unpopular opinion.

And it’s all of these traits that make them one of the most powerfully unique female groups ever in history.

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7) TLC

TLC

TLC, to this day, is the best-selling American female group of all time, and the second most successful girl group in the world. They were the first female group to be certified RIAA diamond. They have sold more than 65 million albums worldwide. They have had TEN Top 10 singles, four multi-platinum albums, five Grammys, and many other honors. They have recently had a critically acclaimed direct-to-tv movie based on their success, where two of the members had a hand in the movie direction. You may know this group as the opening vocalists for the Nickelodeon TV Network’s  1990’s sketch-comedy show All That. They’ve even managed to pick up some Nickelodeon blimps along the way.

Now that you know their awards, let’s get down to what made this group so unique.

They were really the first of their kind. Their sound is timeless and define what modern music is today. They were the first females to take a Hip-Hop image and apply that image, normally seen on female rappers, to the New Jack Swing and R&B genre. They spread Hip-Hop to all genres outside of Rap. They exuded all of the sass of Rap, but also the class of R&B.

TLC were tomboyish, unlike the other girls of the era. In fact, they popularized the “tomboy image” most of us know: The cropped tops, the baggy jeans, and the wild hairstyles. They were certainly not afraid to be different.

Best of all, their music. TLC did not pull punches when it came to the messages they spread in their music. They weren’t like Salt-N-Pepa, who talked about how much they loved men and sex. They weren’t like En Vogue or any former pop girl groups, who brought a sweet, seductive imagery to love and break-ups. They talked about real-life situations that most people were afraid to discuss. They didn’t care about using profanity, either. TLC was “playful” lyrically, but “empowering”. The most striking part of this group was the rapper, Left-Eye. She was notorious for her unique raps. That gave their music a personal stamp, and set them apart from other girl groups in the R&B and New Jack Swing genres. Most vocal girl groups did not have a rapper in them until TLC.

TLC never concealed their weaknesses from the public. Many times, they conveyed their weaknesses in their music. But they never made excuses for their weaknesses. TLC encouraged being better and doing better, and unlike most female groups, they talked about social issues that really mattered. “Waterfalls” was one song that comes to mind. The song criticized drug dealing and unsafe sex. It also had a Rap segment that revealed Left-Eye’s own battle with alcoholism. Their music always had a personal touch that made them reach out and touch their fans in ways no group before or after them has.

This group even highlighted the idea that some women DON’T feel pretty in the pop song “Unpretty”, and they were probably the first group to ever make a song like that.

And hey, they knew how to call a “Silly Ho” out when she was acting like one.

These girls also stood out with their colorful music videos and outrageous style, which was not usual among female R&B groups.

TLC was such a big sensation, they were the only female group in the 1990’s that had a member start her own production company! In fact, how many women are even doing that today?

Their success only came to a halt after the untimely death of Left-Eye. If that had not occurred, this group would still be bumping the charts to this day.

TLC set the stage for many Pop, R&B, and Hip-Hop female groups and solo artists who came after them, such as Aaliyah and Destiny’s Child. They even inspired a J-pop group, Speed, and a K-pop group, 2ne1, all the way across the globe! TLC pushed racial boundaries, appealing to all kinds of cultures and backgrounds. You shouldn’t even wonder why these leading ladies made it on the “Most Powerfully Unique Girl Groups Ever in Music History” list.

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8) Bikini Kill

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Known as the Pioneers of the “Riot Grrrl” Movement in the 1990’s, an underground feminist hardcore punk movement, Bikini Kill was considered the most radical feminist group of them all in the 1990’s. With their fiery performances, hard-core imagery, and in-your-face lyrics, this group stood out in a sea of Rock stars in the 1990’s. This group was not even completely female. 3 of 4 members were female. They had a MALE feminist in their group as well, who was the lead guitarist. And yes, there is such a thing as a male feminist!

Even though they had a male, I still think this group should be considered, considering over half of the members were female. In fact, I think because they had one male, that makes their group even more interesting! One male…In a group with female radicals? No wonder they stood out!

This group didn’t only support feminists, but they were also highly against racism and spoke out against “White Supremacy”, despite the fact that they were an all-white band. This band was against injustices of every kind.

This group pulled no punches. Their music is harsh and hardcore. Even the titles are a little offensive to some, so I apologize if I offend anyone reading this article…They definitely melted away any stereotypes left of women, and they were not afraid of what anyone said about it. They have the sound that flipped right over into the 21st Century into modern-day punk rock groups, especially with songs like “Rebel Girl”.

They weren’t as big as they could’ve been. It was partially by choice. Bikini Kill shunned major labels and the mainstream Rock press. So, you can already tell they were pretty controversial. They are the description of “bad girl”.

This band worked with one of the members of The Runaways! So their sound was inspired by one of the Queens of Rock. It’s no wonder they are just as powerful as the ladies that started it all. Yet, Bikini Kill makes their own impact on the industry, and they continue to stand out in a sea of mainstream carbon copies.

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9) Spice Girls

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The group that made “Girl Power” happen, taught us to “Spice Up Our Life”, and became the icons of the “Cool Britannia” wave, I introduce to you the Spice Girls, the reigning Queens of the Pop Group industry. Spice Girls is the most successful female group of all time. They are still the best-selling female group of all time. They are the biggest British group since the Beatles. They have sold more than 80 million albums worldwide.

These figures do not include their huge marketing profits. Actually, their global grosses estimate up to $800 million a year in US dollars!

The Spice Girls have broken many records, started many trends (such as the Jack Union dress Geri Halliwell wore), and have pushed international boundaries. Even their Reunion Tour in 2007 was a success!

What made this group unique? Question is, What didn’t make this group unique? This group was unique in all the ways you can describe unique. If you set this group in a pile of group artists, it would not be hard to spot them. Trust me, I did this.

The Spice Girls were originally designed to appeal to young girls. Shocking, right? There were five girls that were marketed as having five distinct personalities so that each consumer could relate to at least one of the girls. The Spice Girls pulled off a sense of individuality and diversity that most groups fail to pull off. Not one member out-shined the other, as a result. This became a strong group in the industry.

Through this diversity, the group introduced the idea that women are diverse creatures. Before the Spice Girls, many women in Pop groups were portrayed as one-dimensional. In this group, we had your girly “Posh” Spice, but we also had your “Sporty” Spice, too. There were enough representations to please every kind of woman, and thus the Spice Girls was also appealing to an older female crowd as well.

These distinct personality traits were specified with matching attire. Melanie C (Sporty Spice) wore sporty outfits, mostly cropped tops, sweat pants, and sneakers. Emma Bunton (Baby Spice) mostly wore baby-doll dresses and her hair in pigtails. These are just examples of the outrageous fashion statements made to create perfectly distinct images.

Their lively, upbeat personalities brought the already infectious music to life. Their music was really unusual when you get down to it. “Wannabe” was the Spice Girls’ break-out song. The song was anything but normal, and it made this group stand out from the very beginning. From the music video down to the lyrics, the Spice Girls conveyed a free-spirited, youthful nature that was often missing in women of the 1990’s and before the 1990’s…Until these women stepped on the scene, of course.

Another part of the group that was unique was their racial diversity. Particularly, they were the only  female group in the 1990’s to include a woman of color in a majority-white group. It showed that two races could play and sing along in harmony. The Spice Girls emphasized friendship and loyalty among women, and including a woman of color made this message stronger. It made the group even more popular around the world.

Unlike most artists, the Spice Girls showed a love for the media-driven industry and they had fun with fame. These girls were all confident and extroverted.

The Spice Girls had multiple talents that made each member stand out. Melanie C could perform a smooth back flip, as you might have seen in the video “Wannabe”. Melanie B was a pretty good rapper who added her Rap stamp whenever she could. Others, like Emma, could sing very well.

The Spice Girls were open-minded women who did not fit the mold of the usual Pop group. But their bold take on Pop culture is something that made the unconventional girl group stand out. Many groups from all around the world tried to imitate them. Many failed to live up to the same height of fame as the Spice Girls. They are just, well, too unique.

You should have known they would make this list. They are definitely five of the most powerfully unique women in the world.

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10) SPEED

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SPEED is the most successful girl group in all of Asia. They have sold more than 20 million copies in just three years. They were the only female artists in Japan to achieve the Dome Tour. They were introduced as the younger sisters of the Queen of “Hip-pop”, Namie-Amuro. Over the last two decades, J-pop music had become a global phenomenon. Due to the rise in interest in Japanese animation, Japanese Pop and Japanese Rock music became of interest, and eventually became a sensation all on their own. Japan is currently the second-biggest music empire in the world. The “group culture” traveled over to Asia in the mid 1990s. As a result, group artists have become the biggest trend in Asia throughout the current 21st Century.

SPEED was one of the groups to come out of the popular J-pop craze. But there was always something different about SPEED in comparison to other girl groups in J-pop. SPEED brought Hip-Hop and R&B to the J-pop group scene. They intertwined hip-hop with pop, popularizing Hip-Hop style in Japan and used more “solemn” expressions on their album covers in comparison to other J-pop female groups, displaying an “attitude” not commonly associated with Japanese girls. Their huge contribution to J-pop is the reason many people call them the “Japanese Spice Girls”.

However, their main inspiration was TLC, so you can probably already guess what kind of image they portrayed. Unlike the girlier Morning Musume and other groups like Morning Musume, SPEED presented a more confident, tomboyish image. In fact, though they performed upbeat songs, they didn’t over-emphasize their cute traits, unlike the other female artists in Japan. These girls expressed themselves in ways that gave Japanese girls, and Asian girls, a fresh empowering image. In some music videos, they even mirrored boy groups from the 1970’s and early ’80s (with the suits and microphones).

They also didn’t fall into the number of female J-Rock groups sprouting in Japan.

At the time, it was uncommon to hear Japanese girls rapping. Today, it’s probably nothing special, but back then, it was very different. They introduced a new style to the Japanese Pop world.

This is also one of the first girl groups to disband and come right back together like glue. In 2008, the members came back together after disbanding in 2000, and vowed to stay together and grow old together. They demonstrated a group loyalty that is uncommon in the “group industry”.

Their fresh, urban image and their undying loyalty is why I added them to this list of Most Powerfully Unique Girl Groups Ever in Music History.

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11) t.A.T.u

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t.A.T.u is a Russian duo that sang within the Pop and Rock genres. Their music is multilingual, and they have recorded many songs in both Russian and English. t.A.T.u has sold over 15 million records for both their Russian and English albums, and has had one of the “best selling albums by a girl group”. They are considered the most successful Russian act in the world. They are one of the most successful female acts of the early decade. They were the first group ever to be awarded the IFPI Europe platinum award “for the same album in two different languages”.

The group garnered much attention with the song/single  “Ya Soshla S Uma“, which is “All The Things She Said” in English. Music journalists and critics praised the song, and it is considered one of the best songs of the early Y2K era. The video to the song garnered even more attention and controversy. In the video, it showed two girls in school uniforms kissing one another. At the time, it was something unusual, even in the Y2K era, and it was even more scandalous in Russia. The song focuses on a young girl being tormented by society for being in love with another girl. At the time, there were very few songs that focused on outright lesbianism, and there were very few songs like it that garnered the same success. The video received a lot of harsh criticism from the public. Many even considered the video a promoter of “pedophilia”.

This was not their last controversial video. Many videos that followed carried intense messages. In fact, all of t.A.T.u’s videos were bold and daring.

Despite their success, many adults did not deem their “image” appropriate for children.

Their name is an abbreviated form of another Russian word that means “This girl loves that girl.”

t.A.T.u shocked the world in other ways. NBS advised the duo to stay away from “kissing” or commenting on the Iraq War in one of their performances. The girls mocked NBC by wearing songs that said “Khuy Voyne!” across the front, which translates as “F*** the War!” During a break in their performance, they also decided to kiss, blocking their faces with their hands.

Many other controversies followed the group, but one thing was certain: this group definitely was one of the greatest stamps on the pop world. With the controversial image of a Rock star, the group redefined Pop music, and brought a more “rebel girl” energy to the genre. They produced one of the first Pop songs that focused on “lesbian love”. Though the girls have openly stated they are not actual lesbians, their presentation left a unique impact on the music industry.

Yet, even with all of the scandals, their debut album, 200 Po Vstrechnoy, became certified Gold by RIAJ in Japan and still sold over 2.5 million copies worldwide. The album, also named 200 km/h in the Wrong Lane in English, reached the top 10 spots in many Western countries.

Their powerful impact on the Pop world is why they made it on this list.

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12) Tsu Shi Ma Mi Re

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As mentioned before, Japanese music has influenced the world. Japanese animation brought attention to many artists in the nation.

Tsu Shi Ma Mi Re is an eclectic J-Rock band. They have garnered attention in the USA through Texas’s SXSW and from performing at Anime Conventions. They are known for their unusual sound. It’s really hard to call them “Rock”, as they are known for their blend of many different genres within one song.

They are sort of punk Rock with some influences of Noise and Pop. Yes, “Noise” is labeled as one of their genres; it’s not meant to be a joke. They combine their sweet vocals with guitar riffs and drums. They have been described as deliberately “ironic”. One example of this irony is “Tea Time Ska”.

Their name even hints at this genre blend. Their name blends the family name of the bassist, the name of guitarist, and the name of the drummer. “Mamire” also means “mixed up” in Japanese, giving a nod to their unusual mix.

This group is also known for their strange lyrics. They have been labeled as “quirky” and “idiosyncratic”. They mostly talk about death, food, and sex, sometimes blending all three within one song! Their biggest irony is their sweet vocals hiding their dark messages. One song that reflects this is the song “No Miso Shortcake” where the listener is invited to eat the brain of the singer. Another song, “Kamaboco (Fish Cakes)”, have all the girls playing the role of food ingredients in a pot, with one ingredient being left out of the pot. “American Hamburger” focuses on a girl who is fat and loves to eat, but is “still beautiful”.

Many of their strongest songs express the inevitability of death.

Their songs about sex carry a unique image, which separates them from the other more “innocent” J-pop/Rock groups that exist in Japan. They are certainly not afraid to talk about a man’s genitals. They even often talk about the consequences of teenage sex and the hard reality of teen pregnancy, such as in the song translated as “Pregnant Fantasy”, which is also the title of one of their albums.

Their strong music style and strange story-telling make them a compelling group that is worthy to be on this list.

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13) Hang on the Box

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Hang on the Box, shortened to HOTB, is a Rock band that formed in Beijing. This band stood out in Beijing because they were so unlike all of the female artists existing in China. China is known as a conservative country by most foreigners, but these ladies put their own stamp on the nation. They have stepped out of the “feminine” roles usually placed upon women in the nation. Honestly, Rock itself is still an underground genre in China, among males and females.

Hang on the Box is the kind of band that sings about sex and relationship issues in a straight-forward way, also often described as “politically forward”. You probably wouldn’t find too many females recording or performing the songs they do without getting banned. Heck, you probably wouldn’t see too many notable Chinese girls in a Rock band! Because of their bold impression, they were the first Chinese Rock band to appear on the cover of Newsweek’s magazine.

Hang on the Box has been known to talk bluntly about their resentment regarding the Chinese music industry in their songs. They often talk about the “cuddly pop idols”, who are deemed “nice” and “suitable”, and their distaste with such “ordinary” girls. They have stated, “The nice girls don’t play rock, so we don’t need more nice girls.”

The band singer/songwriter has often stated her opinions on the Chinese industry itself. She has insinuated that she deems the Chinese music industry “inferior” to the Japanese industry, mentioning, “The Japanese work hard and keep improving on their music careers, that’s what I admire a lot. In China, people are still conservative.” The band also greatly admires the Western industry, and hopes to tour in Europe. The band has stated, “We feel we don’t suit in Asia”. Despite efforts by the government to snuff the band out, the band continues to make music and tour.

Their music has been described as “cheerful and hilarious, deadly serious, and personally political”. Though they speak fluent Chinese, they prefer to speak English. They are not a band that is afraid to use profanity, which is highly unusual among women in China. They could really be described as one of China’s strongest feminist bands.

This group packs a punch in the Chinese music industry and breaks all stereotypes about China. They are definitely one of the most powerful female music groups in the world.

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14) 2ne1

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K-pop group 2ne1 is considered a “top-tier” group in Korea, selling 27 million digital downloads in 2012 alone! This group is not just a household name in Korea, but are also well-known and respected among their many global fans in the K-pop community. Their fans call themselves “Black Jacks”. They were YG Entertainment’s break-out group and are considered the second most popular K-pop female group in the world.

What drew people to 2ne1 was their fluency in English. Many of the members have studied in western countries and were able to communicate with western audiences through mainstream western sounds and flawless English, something most westerners were not used to hearing from eastern nations.

Since the Hallyu wave, mentioned above, K-pop has taken over the “group music scene”. “Gangnam Style”, by rapper and entertainer Psy, also made K-pop an even bigger phenomenon.

2ne1 stepped on the scene before Psy became a sensation. In fact, when 2ne1 stepped on the scene, many girls were following the “cute, aegyo” trend started by SM Entertainment’s Girls’ Generation. All of the girl groups were competing with one another to be the next to produce an even better image of “innocence”, something some people felt was missing in the music industry in western countries.

Then 2ne1 burst on the scene. 2ne1 represents the “21st Century” and a “new evolution” of K-pop music. 2ne1 was not “sweet and girlish”. From debut, 2ne1 portrayed themselves as Rap/Hip-Hop idols, which made them more compared to fellow YG boy group Big Bang than to any female group out at the time. These women did not wear the girly school uniforms or the sweet “melon-drop” outfits, neither did they sing with “lighter-than-normal” vocal pitches or with “puckered lips” to emphasize their cuteness. While all of the other girls dressed like twins, 2ne1 was known for their strong individuality. While the other girl groups sang with light, melodious vocals, 2ne1 had powerful vocals. Eventually, 2ne1 grew to express more feminine qualities, but they kept a mature, sleek edge about them. As a result, 2ne1 helped the world take female K-pop groups seriously.

2ne1 showed confidence, edge, and a unique identity. 2ne1 wore bold, bright fashions. They often tapped into even edgier styles by trying Gothic and even Cyberpunk looks. This group brought “swagger” to the modern-day K-pop industry.

This group is also not afraid to use profanity in their music, which is literally unheard of among most female groups in Korea. This group emphasizes “female empowerment” and “standing out, no matter what anyone says”. 2ne1 is one of the groups that have the most creative freedom, and have had more of a “hand” in their music than most other groups. 2ne1’s lyrics have the depth that most K-pop songs are missing. One such song that expresses the depth that other girls are missing is “Come Back Home”. The video reveals a darker side to Korean life that most foreigners may not even be aware of. In the video, the male lead seems to be addicted to a drug. It appears to cause trouble with his girlfriend, played by member Dara. This kind of imagery is hardly seen in most female K-pop videos, trust me. It brings out a burning truth that most people would rather ignore in favor of the innocent bliss found in other videos. The overall video captures people living in a virtual cyber world. It really is a deep video.

In another video, 2ne1 combines a “Gothic” style with R&B, two styles usually not combined.

2ne1 changed any misconceptions foreigners had of Asian girls.

2ne1 gives it hard to K-pop. Is it any surprise that two of their inspirations are two of the most powerful leading ladies, the Spice Girls and TLC?

For those of you who weren’t aware of their huge influence on the Pop world, now you know. 2ne1 was definitely going to make my list of the Most Powerfully Unique Girl Groups Ever in Music History.

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15) f(x)

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“Powerhouse” label SM entertainment (known as the biggest Korean label in Korea) introduced f(x), the multinational, quirky, unconventional group in 2009. f(x) is an extremely popular K-pop group that debuted just months after 2ne1, and their popularity has seen significant growth in 2014, being labeled as “Hipsters” by American Fuse TV Channel. They are known for having one of the highest number of sales for their physical album copies in Korea, a feat that is challenging in the “digital world”. Music critics usually praise the quirky group for their bold contemporary sounds. Like 2ne1, they were also different from the other “twin-like” groups. Instead of debuting with a cute song, f(x) debuted with the song “Lachata”, a Funk-Pop song, and with a retro-boyish image. Since then, however, f(x) has tried everything…

f(x) is known for their distinct characteristics and strong individuality, similar to the Spice Girls. The only difference is that f(x) doesn’t have to try too hard to be distinct. One member of their group particularly stands out the most: The androgynous member, Amber Liu. f(x) is the most widely known Pop group in the world to have an androgynous member. Sure, there are many groups that try a more “boyish” look as a theme, but this member’s main style is “comfortable” and “boyish”, even in her everyday life! She is often compared to China’s S.H.E. member Ella Chen. Unlike Ella, however, Amber does not often act “girlish”. Tomboyish girls are rare in Korea, let alone, the ones that actually dress more similar to the boys. Amber Liu’s boyish charms stole the hearts of many Korean and global fans, something no one predicted would happen. Some K-pop fans even think she is more handsome than some males in K-pop boy groups! This gave the impression on the K-pop world that f(x) was a group that wouldn’t fit into the “cookie-cutter” K-pop industry, where women were mostly designed to appeal to the eyes of men.

Another similar trait f(x) has to the Spice Girls are their multitude of talents. In fact, f(x) has an even longer list of talents than anyone on this list! Some play guitar, piano, the drums, dance, sing, ice skate, act, and can perform acrobatic flips, to name a few. Victoria is seen performing her famous, flawless flips onstage and in the MV “Chu”. When f(x) debuted, they were advertised as “Asia’s Best Female Dance Group”, emphasizing that this group would have strong choreography. They received a lot of praise for their complicated dances.

The biggest trait that makes f(x) stand out in Korea is the fact that over half of the members are…Well, not Korean! Amber Liu is Taiwanese-American, born and raised in Los Angeles, California, USA. Krystal Jung is Korean-American, born in San Francisco, California, USA, though she has lived in Korea mostly her whole life. Victoria Song was born and raised in China. The two other Korean ladies, Luna and Sulli, are not even from the same city! With this mixture, there were many language and cultural barriers the group had to overcome. f(x) was one of the first well-known female multinational groups in the world.

This strong multinational reputation was made even stronger when Victoria, the Chinese member, was placed as the leader of the group!

At one time, the girls had a hard time communicating with one another. Krystal spoke both English and Korean, so she helped Amber understand the other two Korean girls and helped the Korean girls understand Amber. Amber spoke a little Chinese so she communicated with Victoria. Still, two of the girls struggled to adjust to a completely new country. It was especially overwhelming for the leader, Victoria, who was expected to speak on behalf of her group, but wasn’t as fluent in Korean as other members. Yet, f(x) overcame this obstacle. They managed to convey a “chemistry” that would usually be challenging in a multilingual group. This makes f(x) appealing to many nations outside of Korea, as they have three completely different national influences, and are least likely to be biased or prejudiced when it comes to foreigners.

Even their debut song, “LaChata”, reflects their international influence.  The title of the song is in reference to the Portuguese word “Chata”, which translates as “boring”.

f(x) is known as a group that changes styles all the time. They are known as a group that “never follows the trends”. I would rather say they are a group that steps into new styles comfortably and with ease, even when they are following the trends. They are unique most of the time without even trying.  Mostly, they are not as deliberate as other unique groups. f(x), their name, is a mathematical function. If you insert a number in place of the variable “x”, it can become anything. f(x) is the kind of group fans always expect the unexpected from. f(x) changes their image every comeback. They are known for their eclectic sense of style and their “experimental, boundary-pushing” sound.

Their music is anything but normal. They are, in fact, avant-garde, which makes them stand out not only in Korea, but among groups around the world. And not just with sound, but lyrics. f(x) is known for their strange metaphors, like in the song “Rum Pum Pum Pum”. The song compares first love to a growing wisdom tooth.

What really helps f(x)’s album sales are their creative album covers. The cover of their 2013 album, Pink Tape, drew attention to itself because it was designed to look exactly like a pink VHS tape. From front to back, the boxed cover could easily be mistaken for a 1990’s VHS, and many people bought the album just for decoration.

f(x) is also known for sounding more like the boys than the girls, and have been compared to “brother” group Shinee in sound.

f(x) really made a statement when they underwent another transformation for the song “Red Light”. f(x) was known for their colorful MVs and quirky fashions. The “Red Light” video showed the girls as fierce, dark, and sassy. They were noted as not following the “feminine, sexy” girl group trend that has been emerging in Korea. They had a distinct military-style, and started many fashion trends with their MV and teaser photos, such as the bowler hats, the eye-patches, and the “one-eyed” make-up. The video itself was controversial. It was meant to be a social-conscious song with a deeper meaning “other than love”, as member Luna pointed out. Between burning books, ringing phones, two-colored-eyed cats, and strange mannequins, the video garnered much attention, gaining 2 million views on Youtube within two days! It is possibly one of the most unique pop songs in the world. The strange chorus transition also made it stand out, as it gave f(x) that unique quirk they are known for. To add, the song received controversy when KBS, a broadcasting station in Korea, deemed the song unsuitable for broadcast because the song used the word “Caterpillar”, which was in reference to an American diesel-fueled organization of the same name, also abbreviated to CAT.

f(x) is also a group that is known for having a little more creative freedom than the other girl groups, especially when it comes to style and music. There are just certain things f(x) can pull off and get away with that other female K-pop groups can’t.

f(x) certainly knows how to keep their fans on their toes, and it is this “element of surprise” that helps them make it on this list of 15 of the Most Powerfully Unique Groups Ever in History.

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So, that’s all folks. Leave me a comment and let me know what you think of the list. Do you agree with the list? Are there any other powerful groups in the world that you feel should be added to this list? I will be updating as I discover more unique groups. Were there any artists you were introduced to because of this article? Please share your opinions in the comments’ section below.

The Bechdel Test Amendment: The Bly Test and The Socratic Test

24 Oct

Dykes_to_Watch_Out_For_(Bechdel_test_origin)

I recently just heard about the Bechdel test. As someone who is all about equality, I am surprised I’m the last to know about this examination. I heard about this test when I was in a debate about whether Frozen was a feminist movie or not. I was told, “At least the movie passed the Bechdel test”.

The Bechdel Test was a short, three-step test designed in the 1980’s by cartoonist and feminist Alison Bechdel. She had a character in her comic strip, Dykes to Watch Out For, that presented the idea. The character said she would not go to the movies if the movies were missing certain standards. These were the following requirements:

1) It has to have at least two women in it who…

2) Talk to Each Other About…

3) Something Besides a Man

Later someone added a fourth requirement:

4) The women must be named characters

I know, the requirements are amusing, but very well-thought out. It’s a good start, considering the ideas were formed over 20 years ago. This three-step standard seems to have become the deciding factor over whether a work of fiction is female-suitable, and thus whether the fiction makes it “feminist”-friendly.

Again, while I think the standard is a good start, I think the test is too simple and is flawed. Critics have pointed out the flaws. While I think it was an amusing strip, and good for a short read, I don’t think it’s thorough enough for people to go off of full-throttle. Here are a list of flaws:

1) While it mentions that a movie should have at least two main characters, it doesn’t specify whether those two females should be important to the story or influential (which the Mako Mori test covers, more on this later).

2) It doesn’t cover content. While there may be females in a movie, the content could be very sexist or very stereotypical in nature.

3) The idea of whether a man is included in a story conflicts with true feminism. Feminism is the idea that the genders are equal. The exclusion of male roles would not be fair or equal. It would also not make a woman’s movie equal that of a man’s because every “male-oriented” movie includes a woman in it. The extent to how much a man should be mentioned isn’t specified. Does this mean that a woman can’t even mention one man at all with another female? Does this mean that she can talk about a man, but not exclusively? Does this mean the content should exclude a relationship between a man and woman? Could a woman have a romantic interest that’s male, but still not talk to another woman about that love interest? There are too many blurred lines here…

So, if we only let the Bechdel test alone decide feminist content, we would be glossing over greater fictional issues.

mako mori

The second test that comes after the Bechdel Test is the Mako Mori Test. The standards for this test is as follows:

1) At least one female character…

2) Who gets her own narrative arc…

3) That is not about supporting a man’s story

I think Law and Order: SVU passes both tests…

This broadens the requirements a bit more, but still fails to cover content or gender equality. We are in the depths of the 21st Century. It’s time to bump up the requirements.

It seems extra strenuous to tack on more requirements. Even meeting these requirements is challenging. One of the reasons it’s so challenging is because there are not enough women influencing entertainment beyond being an entertainer. Though women have influenced literature, there are hardly any women producing music, music videos, or movies. One in six directors, writers, and producers are actually women. I’ll bet the greatest number of females are singing, dancing, or modeling…Being an image for the camera rather than behind it…

Another reason this is all so challenging is because it’s easier for male-oriented movies to appeal to both genders, but it’s harder for female-oriented movies to do so. Many times, female-oriented movies have to cave some of these requirements in order to get box office hits. Let’s face it: Men will not support a woman if she’s not attractive. Men make up viewer numbers, and if they don’t watch it, it will have a harder time being bigger than a male-oriented movie that gets viewership from both males and females.

The third issue is whether the standards match reality. The reality is that some women themselves are only interested in movies that deal with men and/or traditional feminine interests. Look at the success of the Twilight series. Look who wrote the series: A woman. In order to meet these standards, there needs to be a complete re-working in the mentality of the next generation.

To add, there are women who audition for stereotypical roles in movies, write about stereotypical lifestyles, and present stereotypical images in music videos all the time. If they support it, the issue will persist. As long as up-coming actresses settle for any female role, even if that role is stereotypical in nature, directors will continue to represent women the way they want to. The real question is: How does the modern female see herself, and will these views conflict with another female’s idea of “equal”?

Read my article: Feminism Today: Is it Real or Overrated?

The fourth issue is the true goal of all women. Is the Bechdel Test designed to promote a feminist agenda or some other form of female empowerment? We have to remember that female chauvinism and misandry still exist…Do women really want a movie that is equal to a man’s? Or do they want a movie that exclusively represents women and her glory? Women are not all united in what they want, so pleasing women on a universal level is difficult.

What is the difference between feminism, chauvinism, and misandry? Click me and Find out

The Bechdel Test hasn’t done enough to put men and women on the same level. This depends on if this is really what women want…

The Bly Test

Because of the above issues, there needs to be stronger, firmer lines and boundaries. I decided to write an amendment to the Bechdel Test. I decided to create my own modern, 21st Century test called the “Bly Test”. These requirements are for the ULTIMATE feminist movie. If you readers agree with my test, then you can set it as your standard. If you don’t, feel free to comment on my draft. I will always consider possible flaws in this draft, but I at least want to begin somewhere new.

Why the name “Bly”? I am inspired from Nellie Bly, a daring female reporter who invented Investigative Reporting. She went undercover as a mentally insane person and wrote about her experiences in an asylum. She also traveled around the world in 72 days! That female dared to do what no female before or after her would do and she broke ground in the reporting industry. This new test I’m thinking of is made to break new ground in fiction. If Nellie Bly can dare to be a different sort of writer, why can’t women dare to be something different in writing? Nellie Bly wrote about exciting stories with herself as the main character! And her stories would probably pass both the Bechdel Test AND the Mako Mori Test, if ever someone gets around to writing her story or creating her live-action movie. I’m really surprised there are no movies on this woman…

bly

That aside, I have my own standards. So, here I go.

1) The fiction has to have a female lead character…

2) With her own Story Arc…

3) That should not be supporting a Man…

Very similar to the Mako Mori Test. Sure, there are plenty of female lead characters in movies today. So, keep it rolling. We need more women playing the lead and not the lead love interest…I will keep it moving…

4) There should at least be one or more female supporting characters…

Yes, this bothers me. There are a lot of lead female characters, but I notice that all the other supporting characters tend to be male, especially in animated movies. For instance, in Mulan, Mulan was a strong female heroine, but she was the only one. All of the other supporting characters were male. Princess and the Frog had one female supporting character that provided comic relief, but the rest were male (Yes, I’m including the alligator and firefly). In male movies, most of their supporting characters are male, with one female love interest. Sadly, women only choose males for most of their support, too. It’s okay to have a love interest, but one work of fiction should still include more female characters as support. Even Hunger Games had more male supporting roles than female. Divergent took a risk and ended up having more female supporting characters, but the lead support was a male love interest…Not that this makes the movie different from a male-directed movie.

5) If it has elements of comedy, Main Female Character and/or Female Supporting Characters Must Provide Comic Relief and Personality…

Many females do not get respect for being funny. More male comedians get respect than females. I was very pleased when Terk from Tarzan and Dory from Finding Nemo provided comedy. Both female supporting characters did not turn out to be love interests. I was very grateful. Even Thor had one female comic character. I wish that more movies made women entertaining, and not dry and serious all the time.

And main female characters are usually even more boring, moral, and serious. Women seem irritated and defensive about everything. I don’t think that’s how they should be represented. Even Katniss Everdeen, Tris, and Hermoine seemed overtly serious and focused.

I find because women lack “personality”, they lack entertainment value. They are so serious, so focused, determined, defensive, and ambitious, they are too serious. We need some recklessness, some drama to the character, some humor from her.

6) All Female characters Must Be Named.

As was added to the Bechdel Test, it will also be added to the Bly Test.

7) The Female Must Have a Goal, Dreams, or Aspirations…

I shouldn’t even have to mention this, but I will. Just in case.

8) And the Female’s MAIN GOALS In life Must Not Lean Toward Fashion, Romance, Social Status, Singing, or Dancing.

We are missing a strong group of females in the sci-fi or technology genre. Most lead females, especially in fiction geared to children, focus on fashion, social status (like Material Girls or Mean Girls), romance, and music, like dancing and/or singing. The problem are these goals focus a heavy lot on appearances and the body. We need more characters that aspire to be rulers, adventurers, or even women who discover something or invent something. I would love a female to lead a story like Atlantis the Lost Empire. I’m not saying there should be no fashion, social status, singing, romance, or dancing AT ALL. BUT I feel women need to move away from these hobbies and goals just a tad bit more. It would do some good to have variety. Women should show the world that they have various interests and that they are capable of intelligence.

9) Female Lead Must Not Focus on Her Looks, Not even to Impress Love Interest, to Satisfy Herself, or to Impress Viewers/Readers.

Women in fiction focus entirely too much on fashion and pretty looks. Even Frozen‘s Elsa decided to dazzle the crowd with a glittery dress when she could’ve expressed her freedom with the clothes she had on. I have more to say on this on another article. A female must use her actions to impress the audience/reader, as well as any love interests or admirers. Is this so hard to ask? If women themselves focus so much on their own looks, how can anyone ever think women are anything more than pretty faces?

Surprisingly, Alice in Wonderland accomplishes this.

10) The Female Must Save the Day Without the Assistance of a Male.

The female must take down the final villain all on her own, with no assistance from a male. Mulan accomplished this.

11) If there is a female villain, She Must Be A Strong Female Villain and/or Rival, who isn’t evil because of her appearance or a broken heart. If he is male, he must still be a strong opponent, even if the hero is a female…

12) And they should have Female Minions

I’m so tired of these weak female villains who turn out to be victims. We need some seriously ferocious female villains. That’s what I appreciated about Divergent. Why must a woman only be evil or have ambition when a man is her motivation for wanting revenge or anything else in life? And I know a villain isn’t flattering, but sometimes a movie is as good as it’s villain. Look at the Joker from The Dark Knight? Even a good female anti-hero would suffice, one like Jack Sparrow. Women are too, well, stuck-in-the-mud with righteous views. Why can’t women be good super villains or confusing ani-heroines? Why should female heroes only have villains that are easy to take down? That was what was disappointing about Frozen. Aren’t women strong enough to be challenged in a a great way? Villains test the strength of main characters. Without a good antagonist, how can we admire the hero? And what better way to challenge a female heroine than with another strong female antagonist?

13) All female animal characters should not be defined with a bow or with the color pink.

As if all girls like pink. I hated pink as a child, and I still do. It’s my least favorite color. I’m the least attracted to characters in pink, which is why the Pink Ranger in Power Rangers was my least favorite Ranger…The bow thing just adds to much girlishness. This wouldn’t happen if #4 was exercised. Once you use the bow on one character, what will you use on the second female? Oh, maybe something pink. How frustrating. Again, this is why I liked Terk and Dory.

There is also a sad lack of female minions. The male minions even take center-stage over female minions.

Basically, if a movie meets these requirements, some of our feminist problems will be solved. There would leave no room for women to complain. We covered adventure and action because without fashion, performing arts, and romance, what is there left in genres? Sci-fi, action, adventure, or family drama is left! We covered women being a main character for once. We covered women having a shot at supporting other females, and we even covered villain equality. We covered content and goals. Everything else should be up to the creativity of the writer. If we put too many rules on this, it would actually be limiting.

The Socratic Test

While putting standards on a movie that is geared towards women with female leads is challenging enough, it’s really not enough to equalize the genders. There are still challenges. Really, to achieve a completely feminist movie experience, we have to alter our views of men in movies as well. Really, the reason many women are portrayed so stereotypical is because men are also portrayed as one-dimensional. The roles that our men play influences the  roles that will be pinned on women and vice versa. If women have stereotypical views of men, how can they expect men to open their minds on women? If men have very rigid views of themselves, they will be rigid in the way they view women. For instance, if a woman expects a man to be the bread-winner in the household instead of stay-at-home dad, to be the brave one, and to suck up all of his emotions instead of crying, then who does she think should play those roles? It will fall back on her. It will have a reverse effect.

I remember reading the comments’ section on Youtube about the recent “Brony” movement. You know what was sad? There were women who said they wouldn’t date a man who liked ponies. Many of the girls had the nerve to say, “They want a manly man”. What, by chance ladies, is a manly man? If you think that a man should be a certain way, if you are that way, do you believe that is “acting like a man”?

Read article on Bronies: Brony Movement

Read up on the Feminist Frequency, as she talks about tropes dealing with men and women: A Real Feminist

Therefore, the next challenge rises.

The Socratic Test is named after the Greek philosopher who was the principal founder of many of the modern philosophies many westerners go by today. He believed that people should be concerned about the welfare of their family’s “souls”. He believed virtue could be taught, and that successful fathers did not necessarily make successful sons. He believed that each person had their own virtues separate from their upbringing, and he encouraged men to develop friendship and love among themselves. He believed that good virtues were more valuable than possessions. I believe he had the best idea on life for men.

Socrates, AC Grayling

The biggest problem is again, deciphering what is real and what is ideal. So, if any of you disagree with these standards, feel free to comment and explain why you do.

The problem with this test is that some men are very traditional and very rigid. In fact, men tend to be more closed-minded in this regard than women. Thus, men still admire the tropes that have actually been to the detriment and decline of men. It leaves men trapped in stereotypes and limits the options men have.

So, here are my standards for male and female-oriented movies:

1) The male protagonist must not have the main objective of winning a female love interest, she must not be the reason for his goals, neither must the Villain use her as leverage. 

I can’t tell you how many male movies are like this. In fact, what male movie does not have a woman as his main objective? Most males seem to do everything to impress a woman. And worse, the villain always uses her to get under the main protagonist’s skin.

This goes for female-directed movies, too. Most of the men in these movies serve no other purpose than to be the love interest. Their goals in most media is geared towards women. Even in a music video, the men are portrayed as showing interest in the woman while she just shyly rejects him. His goal throughout the video is usually to obtain a WOMAN. This shows people that men live their lives through women, and without women, they don’t have a life.

In fact, if we omit the women out of every male-oriented movie, for many, there would be no story.

I’m not saying there should be NO women or no female love interests. But she should not be the main goal or a reason the villain finds the hero weak. If this stereotype is omitted, that would be the end of damsels-in-distress, therefore, fitting a feminist agenda as well as showing more sides to men.

Superman fails this so strongly. Pretty much, every super hero movie existing today does.

2) The Story must not be focused on Sports if the male is the main character.

I’m not saying that the male lead can’t have an interest in sports, however, I don’t think the movie should be sports-focused. There is a heavy load of men missing in other professions on the big screen. This is especially evident in the black community. Black men are only portrayed as successful when they are athletes. This limits their options. Even movies about famous historical figures center around African American athletes. What about Black inventors? Artists? Dancers? There are other famous historical black figures that are male.

Again, I’m not saying a male can’t be interested in sports. That’s unrealistic. But the main goal of the story should not be driven by a sport.

3) The lead male must be a good character with a clean background.

I’m tired of the bad-boys-gone-good tropes, especially in female-directed movies like Endless Love, Twilight, Divergent, and many others. Why can’t men, especially love interests, be portrayed as good guys? It’s no wonder boys have such pressure to act bad! The highest number of crimes in the world are committed by men. And it’s all attractive until someone gets hurt. We can do better than that.

Men are always associated with chaos. For once, I challenge a producer, director, and screen-writer to create a character who doesn’t commit a crime or doesn’t intentionally harm someone. I dare them to create a character without a “bad past”. These portrayals aren’t always realistic anyway (Twilight). They glamorize a life that is not real. I had one girl tell me she hopes to find a man like Edward from Twilight…A vampire, she said. Face palm time.

I’m including “playboys” and “pimps” in this category. I’m not including men from the slums or “the streets” if they did nothing wrong on those “streets”. This especially applies to black men. This is why people don’t respect black men. They are portrayed as thugs and men who don’t have any stability or money unless they are committing a crime or pimping off some women. I’m tired of these tropes.

I’m not including one minor mistake the main character makes. That’s passable.

4) Violence should not be encouraged as the only way the main male protagonist solves his problems.

In almost every single movie surrounding men, violence is usually the main theme. It’s as if men do not have more intelligent ways of solving their problems unless someone is dead. Perhaps they could use their brains? Perhaps he could use other tactics, just like in Atlantis the Lost Empire.

In fact, Atlantis the Lost Empire passes the Socratic Test. Drumline also passes the test.

So let me know what you think about my amendment! You think it would work? What other additions do you think I should add to the Bly Test and Socratic Test? Leave a comment and let me know.

My Frustrations with the “Modern Woman” and Her Feminist BS (Inspired from “Ladies First” by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel)

13 Oct

ladies-first

The other day, I got a hold of a VERY inspirational book called Ladies First: 40 Daring American Women Who Were Second To None. This book is for intermediate learning, and I think it’s good for girls of tween-to-teen age to read. It’s just as impressive, if not more-so, than the American Girl book series. The real gem is that this book introduces girls to adult female figures who have done great things. This helps girls to realize their possibilities. And I just don’t want to say this to preach to girls about them thinking about their “future”. I literally think the book will inspire girls to “think” rather than “dream”.

I’m not the first to jump on the feminist brigade, but I have touched this base before:

To read more articles on feminism:

Frozen-A feminist movie?

Feminism, Chaivinism, and Misandry: The difference?

One thing I can agree with this book about is the fact that many of women’s achievements have been greatly ignored or scoffed at. As I flipped through this book, I recalled great forgotten figures in my own memory. This book focuses on 40 women who have been the “first” to do something. All of these women are of different races and social backgrounds, which makes the book even more appealing for me. As a woman and an African American, the book sparked my interest immediately. Some of my favorite female role models showed up. Wilma Rudolph, the “fastest woman in the world”. Madam C.J. Walker, the first African American self-made millionaire. Carrie Catt, lead woman suffragist at the Turn of the 20th Century. Hellen Keller, the first blind and deaf person to achieve a higher education. But then there were so many other women I knew nothing about that did so many exciting things!

It seems the only women recognized in the world are Amelia Earhart and Susan B. Anthony. Beyond those two, the other women fall behind. I like that this book brought out the record-breaking Nellie Bly, and her two major dares: She went undercover as a mentally insane person, enrolled in an asylum, and wrote about her experiences. She also took up a dare based off of the fictional book Around the World in 80 Days…and made it around the world in 72 days! Nellie Bly was determined to be a ground-breaking reporter, and was a great inspiration to me as a writer.

The other woman that struck my interest was a more modern hero: Katherine Switzer. She was the first woman to run the Boston Marathon at a time where women were considered too weak to run. She hid in a bush, and secretly ran with other men. She also dressed in “gender-neutral” clothing, signed herself up, which was against the rules, ran a race and won it. When she revealed she was a woman, she caused quite a raucous that proved women were capable of doing daring stunts.

Wilma Mankiller got a lot of heat for being the first female Chief of her tribe. I respect her so much. Despite living with racial prejudices, she had to deal with sexism and many other challenges.

Elizabeth Blackwell was the first woman to receive a medical degree. Her story is a bit funny. She tried to enroll in several colleges and was rejected. Colleges usually had a board of members, usually consisting of staff, decide who enters. But one college in particular let the students vote. When she signed up for their college, the students, being young, thought it was a prank. So they accepted her for laughs. Soon, they realized she wasn’t joking!  She became the first woman who could legally practice medicine.

So many stories, all entertaining and beautiful. I can’t begin to capture them all in this article.

Despite the beautiful stories and wonderful achievements of these women, something was missing. These women were the “first” of their kinds, true enough. But there was something I was looking for…and sadly, I only found that in one woman in this book. I was looking for ingenuity…INNOVATION. Basically, a female INVENTOR. We need more “Tinkerbells”.

The only female in this book that invented something was Madame C.J. Walker. She was the ONLY woman who took up something that was not championed by men first. And what she created was exclusively interesting to women alone and not everyone. To add, it held so much controversy because the Black Community at the time claimed she was trying to make black girls’ hair “feel more like white girls”. Many of her products helped tame and straighten black girls’ hair, and many black people felt it was an invention that promoted “self-hate”. Sure, Harriet Quimby was the first female to receive her piloting license, but did she invent the airplane? No. Sure, Nellie Bly wanted to be an exciting reporter (and she did invent Investigative Reporting, something never done before), but did she invent newspapers? No. Of course, we know that many women have been excluded from history books, even when they did invent something. Though what’s stopping us now, I can’t imagine…

What I was looking for was the recognition of females who really “broke ground” in something that had never been thought of. I was hoping that old stereotype of women not being able to think outside of the box, of being too “scared” to dream up new things, would be broken with this book. But sadly, it was not. It was my only disappointment with this book.

I’ve been trying to find books of female inventors as a project. Sadly, I have come up short. I have been looking for women who invented great things, not just for maternal needs (like Kitchen items, baby items, food, fashion, cosmetics, and other things that only interest traditional women and no one else), but something scientific, electrical, tech: things that interest all age groups, genders, and backgrounds. Things that are “cutting-edge”. Two women showed up: Stephanie Kwolek invented Kevlar, a rod-like molecule that is used on bullet-proof vests, skis, radial tires, break pads, suspension bridge cables, helmets, and hiking gear. Another woman was Mary Anderson, inventor of the windshield wiper. Thank you, Mary! These are women that MEN can respect because they invented things that even MEN use today!

These women are hardly recognized for their achievements, and I thought it necessary to note them here. I am so tired of women being associated with only child-birth and the kitchen. Aren’t women capable of so much more? Maybe. Who knows. Maybe not…

Another thing that was sorely missing in this book was the list of YOUNG women. No one in the book was under the age of 50. Or even rather 60! It was almost as if progress stopped after a certain generation, and a new generation of dim-witted females rose to bring physical pleasure to men on television and movie screens. The large number of females became movie stars, models, and famous singers. In fact, the field is over-populated with women. The glam and glitz of everyone treating a female like a Goddess, her having to be lazy and taken care of by someone else, and the fact that she gets to wear so many “cute outfits” drew in women…and returned them to their traditional state-of-mind, though with modern masks. Then the rise in teen pregnancy outside of wedlock, which sadly stifled many young girls’ progress…Oh yes, and now the rise of dead-beats, since women can now “take care of themselves”.

I’m not here to scoff at these achievements. Being an actress, model, and singer is hard-work, and there are men there, too. But I find men to stretch themselves among a variety of talents (Sports, acting, music, science, etc), whereas women tend to limit themselves and follow each other…or rather, MEN. They are attracted to a life of ease, not a life of excitement, thrill, adventure. Men are naturally more curious about the world and our existence today, and it almost seems that all women are interested in is their boyfriend, his life, their social life, and what outfits they are wearing to so-and-so’s party. Don’t we think that the world of the celebrity is a little too over-populated with women? Perhaps, just maybe, we might be able to find women who, I dunno, want to try other things. Maybe I’m hoping for too much…Isn’t it fun to be both a celebrity and a scientist? With the money these celebrities make, I’m shocked none of them have truly taken advantage of this. No wait, I’m not shocked.

My big question is: Where are our modern women? Our modern women are a large consumer crowd, buying Galaxy and Apple phones and other products, spending hours on video games, and wearing fashions invented by WHO? MEN. There are more male fashion designers! What? But what have women contributed to the modern world? Modern women can no longer live on the breath of the women of the past. What are WE doing today? Are we progressing into greater women, becoming stronger feminists or…digressing from the main point of feminism?

When I look at women today, talking all of their feminist bull-crap, which usually surrounds how men look at them, I laugh to myself. Feminism today is nothing but a bluff. It’s a bunch of butt-hurt women, who before their precious hearts were broken by their “boyfriends”, they hardly thought of women empowerment. What they really become are female chauvinists and/or misandrists. You know why men today don’t respect women? Because women don’t respect themselves. They talk the “female game” after they have already burned their bridges. In fact, all of these women are just…TALK. What HAVE these women done to prove themselves? What amazing feats have they conquered? And I’m not scoffing at the small contributions that are not any less significant. After all, I’m a small contributor, as an educator (that’s how I’m able to get a hold of books). But maybe that’s just it. We women have been thinking too small. We’ve been too satisfied with our “small” efforts. We lack insight. We want to force men to respect us through loud words and open minds, but we have not applied anything to action. Are we too afraid to go against the grain? Are we too shallow to achieve a larger brain capacity?

I recently asked a question about women inventors on Yahoo Answers, as I was trying my project. One response I got was from a male. He answered: “The extreme lack of female open source programmers proves women’s brains are different. [There] is no discrimination in that work at home field.. Women just aren’t interested in tech.” Could I get angry at such a bold statement? Could I rant and rave that he is wrong to judge women, or that he is wrong about our minds being different? No. I couldn’t. You know why? Because logically, I have no modern examples to prove him wrong. Have women created I-pads, XBox games and consoles, or touch-screen cell-phones? Have women created social networking websites like facebook, youtube, and twitter? Are women today even INTERESTED in technology? NO. And yet, we use these things more than men do. Are we doomed to follow men the rest of our lives without inventing anything that interests the consumer world? Or are men truly the “greater” part of our species as humans?

Women hold on to child-birth as the beauty of their gender, but it is the very thing that links them to animals, not to a greater species more intelligent than a horse, cow, rabbit, or fish. Whereas men can say that their inventions and intelligence have proven them to be greater than any living male species on the planet. Have women thus shown men that they are inferior? This has to change.

It’s ignorant to say that men have bigger imaginations than women. But it appears that men are more than likely to follow through with their dreams and make it a reality. Women will only invent things that are practical for everyday living…but not usually something for entertainment, like video games. BORING.

Come to think of it, as much as women shop, I’m surprised that there haven’t been any women who have created major department stores or super markets, such as Walmart…But I’m a little more relieved that women haven’t fallen into that stereotype. Still, it just further proves that women have hardly invented anything noteworthy outside of items that are exclusively used in the home, and have just ridden on the success of men.

The goal of this article is to bring new thoughts on women’s progress to the plate, and inspire a stronger future for women.

My Experiences with Woman-hood and My Push for a Better Female Experience

If I sound like a self-hating female to you, you might be on to something. Currently, I can’t psycho-analyze myself and expect to be objective, but I can tell you that my experiences with the women in my life and my own womanhood have been nasty.

I grew up with a mother who was girlish on the outside (into fashion, make-up, etc) , but not fond of the main fundamental points of woman-hood: child-birth. My mother did not plan to have me. When she was pregnant with me, she was in her early twenties. I know, many women have had children much younger than that. But the thing is, my mother was not ready to have children. She wanted to have fun and live life. My mother even told me she thought of dropping herself down a flight of stairs so she could miscarry. I know, who would tell their children this? She says that I have grown to be a blessing in her life as an adult, but she always discouraged pregnancy. Not only does my mother suffer from a “youth syndrome”, where she never wants to be called grandmother, but my mother also wants to live her life and has made it perfectly clear she will not support me by baby-sitting or taking care of any child I accidentally have. At first I thought to myself, “All parents say that at first”. But then I think about how she’s always treated children…She really always felt children were holding her back. She got rid of the two children who came after me. She just couldn’t be pregnant. My mother was into her looks and having fun. She always dumped me and my sibling with baby-sitters. I never bonded with her. You know how mothers usually hold their newborns in their arms once they have them? Not my mother. She refused to look at me until later. This is what she told me from her mouth. My mother went out partying the day after I was born and stuck me with a baby-sitter. I’ve never had a mother who “bonded” with me. I don’t even understand mother-daughter bonds. I always think, “Won’t they get sick of each other after awhile?”

Thus, she instilled her own ideas in me. She thought of pregnancy as a curse that would end a young woman’s life. She thought of pregnancy as something miserable, something to mourn about. Well, for her, it was. She was always deathly ill. She almost died having me. She was always tired, and everything was expensive. She felt she lost herself as she felt she had to take care of someone else. It always felt like obligation rather than love…I grew up hating woman-hood.

Eventually, I began to form the same thoughts. However, I would always think to myself. I would always say, “If pregnancy is this horrible, and having children is such misery, why was I born a woman?” I used to be so jealous of men. I was jealous of how they could have sex with anyone and never get pregnant. They wouldn’t need “protection”. Men could have many children and never know them by name. And it wouldn’t matter if the men accepted responsibility, except to the women stuck with the children. I grew up thinking that men lived a lucky life. Nothing could ever hold a man back from living life. In this way, I envied the fact that this made men young forever. They never had to take responsibility if they didn’t want to. And of all the moral BS you can throw at them, it was still their choice. For women, it never felt like they had a choice. It just felt so limited. With men, life was just pleasure. With women, it seemed pleasure always came with pain.

I didn’t grow up viewing babies as humans with feelings. Women would tell me how beautiful it was, but due to my upbringing, I just couldn’t understand it. Child-birth is beautiful? It seemed stressful, hard, and limiting to me.

Even as I grew up, this up-bringing has stayed with me. But now I’m older. I no longer believe that everything my mother taught me was right. My relationship with my mother grew very tense as the beliefs I developed began to differ greatly from my mother’s. First, I grew into a tomboy, which was a far cry from my prissy mother who just wished I would wear a dress and heels sometimes. My appearance was the only thing she paid attention to when it came to me. And at these times, she found many moments to look down on me and execute her critical judgment. Thus, I ended up resenting all the glitz and glamour that most women were into. Fashion was not fun or a way for me to value myself. It was just another chore. So no, I don’t believe in dressing up to impress men. If I liked a guy, I would just tell him. If he likes me for who I am, just like I to him, then he’s worth my time. When I sense superficiality, I’m gone…I’ve been taught all men are superficial…So, I just stopped caring altogether. This was a far cry from my mother. It was her only expectation of me, and it was the one expectation I had a hard time meeting.

Second, I began to work with children. I’ve seen that children are a responsibility, but I’ve also learned that they can be your best friends. Like any human, it is about how you treat them. Children know when they are loved. Through examples of some good mothers, I’ve seen that children haven’t limited them, but helped their mothers in many ways. Still, that in-born fear stays with me, and I just can’t have children.

Well, literally. My doctor told me that if I had children, I wouldn’t live. I’m frail. Woman-hood has cursed me. My own menstrual cycle has been monstrous. It has been so severe, that I become extremely ill. I’ve fainted twice in public during my school days. I’ve…gruesomely…puked. It was also these moments that I envied men. Why were women stuck with such awful bodies? My self-hatred grew. Why couldn’t we share the pain?

My own hatred with the women in my life and with my own woman-hood has put distance between me and other women. It caused me to distrust women greatly. It’s the main reason I can’t be a lesbian, even if I tried.

Don’t worry. It’s no better with men. Though I’ve always gotten along with men better than women (which is why I enjoy their company more), I never trust men, so it’s hard for me to be deeply involved. I’ve hurt some feelings. None of the father-figures in my life have been trust-worthy, from my father on down. They have all been liars and cheaters. I was even told that “All men cheat” by several men. At one time, this made me question why any woman would want to deal with men at all. But in my family, I have found some good men and bad. This was more than I could say about the women in me life…

However, as I grow into a mature adult, I realize there are ways to resolve my relationships with the genders, and thus humanity. I’ve thrown myself into studying the genders. I’ve found that both genders have a lot to work on in order to iron out the kinks created by the ignorance of our ancestors.

I am determined to create a brighter future for women who want more out of life, who want to strengthen their self-esteem and confidence. I am determined to look at woman-hood as something to be proud of. What I wanted to know most, what I needed to resolve in my heart, is whether our bodies limit us truly, or whether we are as capable as men?

Through the Ladies First book, I’ve seen women with large families…and yet they have still done great things. Many of these women have had husbands, have lived hard, simple lives, and have had much opposition. Did it stop them? No. If they didn’t let anything stop them, what stopped my mother? What is stopping women now? Nothing.

I’ve realized that all of woman’s obstacles has made woman a strong gender. She is responsible, driven, and practical. She is capable of many things, despite her own weaknesses. I realize that this marginalized position gives women the chance to do great things. Where a white man will just be labeled the first person if he is, a woman can be the first person and the first WOMAN. Men will only be recognized if they are first. But if a woman does it first, and a man does it second, he won’t be recognized as the first man to do anything. I know this sounds unfair, but it just shows us that maybe men are not so lucky after all, even if most of them feel lucky. Her obstacles truly makes her worthy of respect when she achieves something because we know how hard it must have been for her. 😉 So much so when this woman is of a marginalized ethnicity. This is why I now appreciate my woman-hood.

But there is always room for improvement. Perhaps there is more women could be doing.

What is Stopping Women Today?

1) Child-birth

The greatest excuse women have is having children. Many women give up their goals when they begin to start a family. And hey, some women choose a new passion in life. And that’s alright. But why is it that men always continue their careers after they have families? This doesn’t apply to all women, but a good number. I will give an example. Lacy from the band Flyleaf was the lead vocalist. She made the band as great as it is today. The moment she got pregnant, what did she do? She quit the band. She gave up her career. If she’d have been a man, a new baby wouldn’t have stopped her. And heck, there are a lot of celebrities who have children, but still continue their careers, like Beyonce. I know raising children is a hard job as it is. But I don’t think it’s any harder for women than men. Men have it built in their mind-sets that they have to provide for their families. That should be built in a woman’s mind-set, too. Even if you have a husband who takes care of you, you have to think of “eventualities”. I know it’s scary to think about, but sudden deaths and lay-offs occur. If you haven’t developed a skill, how will you continue to help your family survive when the Mr. can’t? It’s something to think about. Single mothers, you are capable of so much. It’s amazing that you are the main provider as it is. Still, ladies, don’t let it limit you from shooting for great.

2) Physical Appeal

Ladies, I know appearance is important to a certain degree, but it isn’t everything. Women need to actually stop focusing on their appearance, and yes, risk losing the interest of their partner. We were not born glamorous. We were not born fake. Don’t take away the beauty you were born with by obsessing over looks. You will expose the real man when you show the real you. These music celebrities focus so much on their appearance. They dress up in glamorous clothes and make-up and this influences young girls to think that appearances are important. It’s alright to do this. It’s not wrong, it just doesn’t give girls many options in the world. I think other professions should be promoted more in the home, on the internet, and on t.v. screens.

3) Traditional Viewpoints

There are still women out here who believe that a woman’s place is at home, taking care of babies, and in the kitchen. I was watching Wife Swap on Lifetime the other day, and I just couldn’t believe there were so many women who believed women should be at home, while the man should be a “man” and work. Well, in my opinion, a man who stays home with the kids has just as much of a job as a man working with the public. And I feel if it makes a man less valuable, it should make a woman less valuable if she sits on her butt all day, too. After all, a human at home is no different, no matter the gender. If you belittle a man who stays at home, wouldn’t that mean you are belittling most women who stay at home? But that’s a subject for another day…

There are also women out here who throw me the bull-crap that women are more nurturing, and thus they have to give up their careers when they have children. They believe it’s the woman’s job to bond with the kids. I disagree. It’s BOTH parents responsibility to bond with the children, but it’s also BOTH parents’ responsibility to house, clothe, and feed their children. Some women want to be spoiled and pampered like children while men never get to experience such privileges. And many of these women don’t appreciate their “servants” aka men. This is coming from one episode on Mom Swap that sickened me. This spoiled rich lady had her husband bring her breakfast in bed. He did all the cooking, all the cleaning, and he worked. And all she did was shop, whine, and boss her husband around! She acted like a child! I couldn’t even believe she was an adult! And she thought her life was so hard because she had to spend time with her daughters…

4) Laziness

This brings up my next point. Some of these women today are just plain lazy. They would rather let the men invent everything and they just enjoy the ride. Women are too tired to work their brains.

OVERALL,

What’s missing in our world are women who have the guts that the women in this book have. The ability to dare. As modern as it’s supposed to be, feminism has only been an idea. I have yet to see any women today stepping up and trying to push the envelope. Where are our inventors? Where are our modern women who have an imagination that thinks larger than our existence? Where are our women who push for the respect of the world?

Hopefully, in the future, we see a female topping Apple products. I hope to see a woman create a major video game title. I hope to see a woman burst out her “inner child” and create a more advanced future. Perhaps that woman could be me. I want to do more, just as I’m encouraging others to.

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think about modern feminism and progress. If you know any modern women who have made the same differences, please tell me them and I will take back what I have said. Though I’m still pushing for more women to do great things. Walk the walk, don’t be about talk.

Five Songs, Female Empowerment, Three Messages: Destiny’s Child, Beyonce, Christina Aguilera, Little Mix, and Fifth Harmony: Which do you think carries the STRONGEST MESSAGE?

18 Jul

download2

Here comes “Ms. Controversial” here, with another controversial topic…

Wow. Just came across five songs that seem to all represent the same theme: female empowerment. They didn’t all debut at the same time, yet the message they send is equally strong and relevant for today.

From first glance, you might think these songs are “feminist songs”. But that’s not entirely true of all of them.

Lesson #1: There are three ways women represent female empowerment : 1) Through Feminism 2) Through Chauvinism 3) Through Misandry

What’s the difference?

Definition of Feminism: the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men

With Feminism, it brings out the idea that women are EQUAL to men, are capable of the same opportunities, whether they try and succeed, or try and fail. It is the idea that women have the same feelings, wants, desires, and need for freedom that men have. It is the idea that women can take care of themselves much the same way a man could.

It is NOT the idea that women don’t NEED men at all, that women are BETTER than men, and that women are exclusively different from men in the fact that they’re prettier, stronger, and have their own interests, desires, and feelings. It is not the idea that women have better thought patterns and views of the world. These ideas are more closely associated with female chauvinism.

Definition of Chauvinism: the denigration, disparagement, and patronization of either sex based on the belief that one sex is inferior to the other and thus deserving of less than equal treatment or benefit

And outright hate for men for any other reasons, a deep prejudice, is more likened to Misandry.

Definition of Misandry: A hatred of men

Dictionary.com’s definitions

Angry feminists, exasperated with the lack of equality, can often turn into female chauvinists in their life-time. Women suffering from break-ups, rape, or other socially harmful relationships often become misandrists. They end up HATING men. Many end up feeling women are superior in what they can do, or rather many result to over-emphasizing their importance in a hetero relationship out of frustration because it may seem like the men in their lives don’t “respect” them as equals.

But what we must understand is that female chauvinists, misandrists, and feminists are not the same thing. In fact, there are differences. Feminism benefits MEN. It encourages men to stay home for a change, cook, clean, sew, wear nice clothing, enjoy ponies, and anything else, even if it’s not stereo-typically “male”. Chauvinism, sets out to make the “lesser” gender look bad, weaker, evil, or just useless. It builds up one gender above another, and encourages the “lesser” gender to be more like “it”. Misandry is just outright hate towards men, and it’s very clear. It is usually evident which message is which by the opposite gender’s responses…

Most men respond to feminist material as “this is cool and dope”, much like the responses towards Mulan and Hunger Games. Men usually end up respecting the women to some degree rather than feeling resentful. However, the response towards chauvinist and misandrist material is usually “I hate women, femi-nazis”…etc.

Misandry just produces an outright war, a complete battle of the sexes, and makes the genders bitter foes.

Which brings me to my views on these five songs by Destiny’s Child, Beyonce, Christina Aguilera, Little Mix, and Fifth Harmony. All five songs represent female empowerment. But tell me, which ones represent feminism and which ones represent chauvinism and misandry?

Destiny’s Child-Independent Women

This song is how many years old? 14 years old! And yet, the message is still strong and clear. Destiny’s Child has always been known for their strong “female empowering” messages. In fact, they created a trend of it, and it just followed Beyonce into the next chapter of her career.

This song focuses on a woman buying everything for herself and working hard for what she gets. It encourages women to contribute 50/50 in a relationship. It even warns women about the sacrifices you have to make in order to be independent by stating that independence is not easy, but emphasizes how women still should strive to rely on themselves, even if the road is difficult. And even though the beginning of the song creates the picture that women don’t need men, it focuses on creating a relationship that is fair and equal, working hard for what you want, and even treating your man to a “watch” every once in a while for a change, though they are reminding the man to appreciate it. I say this song is for Feminists.

Beyonce-Who Run the World (Girls)

Beyonce continues the Destiny’s Child tradition of female “empowerment” in this next song “Who Run the World (Girls)”. Only this time, the language is stronger, the beat is more intense, and the feeling is even more powerful than any she ever created with Destiny’s Child. You can’t ignore the point with this song. It is very controversial in it’s direction.

From the introduction, “We run this Motha”, to the bridge line, “You’ll do anything for me”, it is apparent that this song is showing the world just how powerful women are. This song emphasizes how women can use their power to easily strip a man of his. The “persuasion” a woman has (that apparently, a man doesn’t have) can melt a man’s hate for a woman, even if women come “at his neck”. This song presents the idea that, in fact, men can only admire the strength of women as they bare the children (something a man is incapable of doing), and STILL get back to doing “business”, just like men. Basically, women can have children AND work, while men can only handle ONE of the two.

Gentlemen, doesn’t this song make you a bit uneasy as you listen to it? It’s almost as if someone is trying to threaten you, take something from you, and make you feel weak or powerless. You know what that uneasy, insecure feeling is? Intimidation. This song feels like it is for Chauvinists.

Christina Aguilera-I Hate Boys

Christina Aguilera carefully saved this song for her album Bionic, and quietly slipped it in the music industry without a music video. With a catchy chorus hook, anyone would ignore the hidden message…unless of course, you got wind of Youtube and lyric videos. Well, you can’t ignore the “I hate boys” part. Her other song, “Vanity”, off of the same album, carries the same tone…

The song carries some strong controversial words: “I hate boys, but boys love me” alone states that Christina hates boys, but they just can’t seem to get enough of her. She says she’s just a “tad” bitter towards men in this song. She states that men are only good for “fruit” and not “bananas”. The chorus repeatedly says she thinks boys “suck” and that her “friends agree”. She expresses how happy women would be if men weren’t around, and how boys are so immature, they rarely turn into men, but then again, they are “dogs”. “Inflated Egos”, “Little Dicks”, “Spit-em-Out”, the insults hardly end. She even states that we should “pack them up and ship them out”. WOW. The tones give a slap to the male face. I wonder how many men think she’s so hot now…Probably plenty of men do.

This song feels like it’s for Misandrists.

Little Mix-Salute

Little Mix’s “Salute” has a sick drop and pumping beat with a message that encourages women to stand together in numbers. This song is a chant that can get any woman’s day started.

While the song flows nicely, simply encouraging women to do their best, not really mentioning men at all, aside from the one chauvinist line “we don’t need no man”, which can be taken in any way, this song repetitively encourages women to be like strong, fearsome warriors. It states that women are more than pretty faces, which women are. The song could’ve been categorized in the feminist category if…

…the video wasn’t so derogatory. Having men on leashes? Snapping their harnesses like whips? Let’s reverse roles and put women in those leashes. Oh, what an outcry it would bring! The video is in the chauvinistic category. While the song itself is neutral, the video can and does distort the message. We, the viewers, are left unclear.

This song carries both messages.

Fifth Harmony-Bo$$

Fifth Harmony’s name-dropping song is one of the popular songs of the summer. Their hit adds to the “female empowerment” trend that’s taking over music and movies, one mission at a time.

Fifth Harmony swings between feminist and chauvinist. The song exposes the fact that most people confuse feminism with chauvinism, and it shows how that confusion influences what women expect from the world. The song encourages women to be strong and hard-working, like “Michelle Obama” and “Oprah”, to get paid, and to be confident, which all support feminism. However, the song contradicts it’s air when they ask to be treated like a “lady”, which is not getting the same equal treatment as men (because men can vary in the way they treat each other, and as Susan B. Anthony said to the “bulls” breaking up her organized movement, “Beat me and throw me in jail like you would a man!’), when it says they “run this house”, and when they say they “ain’t thirsty for no bae”, which is different for men. Most men feel like they need girlfriends, and often sing songs about trying to get the girl of their dreams. In fact, name one man who doesn’t have a woman in his video. Lightly, it creates an exclusive difference between men and women, creating a light image that women are slightly better than men in the way they think, which serves to their advantage. When they state that they “run the house”, they paint the picture that the home is not run by two equal partners, but one dominating the other, the dominating partner being the woman.

I’m sorry, it makes it difficult to know what girls want when they demand to get treated like a traditional “lady”, but also expect to be treated equally by men. Do you observe how men treat each other? Can we really have the best of both worlds?

So, tell me what you think. Which song carries the strongest message? A message you won’t ever forget? Can you tell the difference?

Read My Frozen Examination Below if You’re Interested:

Is frozen a feminist movie?

Is Frozen a Feminist Movie or a Sexist Movie?

12 Jun

frozen

I know. It has been, what, six months since Frozen arrived in theaters? And yes, people are still talking about this movie. I recently just heard “Let it go” on the radio.

Frozen has received surprisingly positive reception and has walked away with an Academy, Golden Globe, and Oscar Award, despite the severe plot holes, unintelligent lyrics, and half-done character development. What’s going on with today’s critics? Did Disney promise them a piece of the pie? Or did the beautiful animation blind them to the fact that this was a poorly written story? It’s no wonder we put little faith in any of these award shows anymore…

https://soratothamax.wordpress.com/2013/12/01/disneys-frozen/

That aside…

Frozen is also getting all kinds of attention for being a modern iconic movie that promotes feminism. This movie is getting all kinds of attention for doing something “different for women and Disney” when it is just that: different…as in, the first sexist movie ever to come out for female children. And different isn’t always good.

Here were some of the reasons some people have claimed this movie to be a symbol of “feminism” in comparison to Disney’s former movies:

1) There are two strong female characters in the movie who have goals and dreams, unlike Disney’s other characters.

2) Anna bravely searches for her sister instead of sitting back letting a man save her sister.

3) Elsa becomes queen without having to marry a man.

4) Anna decides who she truly wants to marry instead of being betrothed.

5) Frozen teaches girls not to fall in love with the first idiot (usually in the form of man) that comes along.

6) Frozen shows the world that women don’t need a lover (usually a man) to provide their icky kisses in order to save the day. The “day” can be saved by someone else who loves her (preferably a woman, and preferably a family member).

While many of these ideas are good in theory, and encourage girls to be smarter in choosing boyfriends in the future, or rather, not to date so soon at all, this movie doesn’t exactly push REAL feminist values.

Though I do think it’s important for all children to be a little more realistic when choosing mates…That also includes boys.

To add, many of these points just aren’t valid. Disney has only had two, yes TWO, Disney heroines who relied on a kiss to wake them up. The other heroines worked hard. In fact, Cinderella worked harder than Anna and Elsa ever could. She wasn’t born into nobility. Sure, she seemed to rely on a man to get out of her poor situation, but Anna relied on Kristoff to get up an ice mountain…

The other heroines like Belle, Princess Jasmine, Esmeralda, Kida, and even Meg were all feisty, brave, and intelligent. All of them were independent. Esmeralda saved Quasimodo. Meg was a bit of an anti-heroine, which Elsa failed to be…Belle read books (which Anna seemed to do little of). Princess Jasmine was much more cautious in love than Anna was. And Esmeralda, Meg, and Jasmine both conveyed as much sex appeal as Elsa did when she decided to “slit” up her dress…

Tiana worked hard and helped her Prince out of financial debt. In exchange, he helped her get her restaurant. It was a fair exchange. Mulan was never saved by anyone! Neither was Ariel! Ariel was bright, intelligent, and curious. To add, she also saved her prince. So what are people talking about?

I think it’s because Elsa is the first “emo” character. Maybe that’s what it is.

What is feminism?

Feminism has been misconstrued in today’s society. Many people today think feminism is the idea that women can do any and everything better than men. People think feminists carry the idea that women don’t need men at all. Many people think feminists HATE men. This is because many women who are bitter or angry with men have come to hate men (especially if they were in a poor relationship with a man). Many of them thus end up forming SEXIST generalizations about men, and then end up hiding behind the label “feminist”. But it makes it bad for the real feminists.

Here’s an example of someone who has misconstrued what feminism means:

Time magazine (and other magazines) asked Shailene Woodley (Felicity: An American Girl Adventure, Divergent, and The Fault in Our Stars) if she was a feminist. She stated,

I don’t consider myself a feminist because I love men. I think the idea of ‘raise women to power, take the men away from the power’ is never going to work out because you need balance. With myself, I’m very in touch with my masculine side. And I’m 50 per cent feminine and 50 per cent masculine, same as I think a lot of us are. And I think that’s important to note.

Yahoo article on Shailene’s objection to feminism

See how confused Shailene is? And based on the comments, other people are confused, too. Many aren’t, but understand why she wouldn’t WANT to be one. I can understand, too. Feminism has come to mean something totally different from what it used to mean. It’s no wonder people step away from the word as if even the word is a monster.

Dictionary definition-Feminism-the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men.

So feminism is not believing that women can do everything better or without men. It’s the belief that women should be given the exact same opportunities to do the same things as men (whether they try and succeed or try and fail, as long as they are given a fair shot). It is the belief that the two genders are EQUAL. And as one Yahoo writer points out, it also benefits men. In a feminist situation, men will not think they have to have the jobs all the time. It introduces the idea that a man can stay at home, cook, and clean for a change. Or places can open up on dance teams and cheer-leading teams for boys…Though boys started cheer-leading in the first place…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheerleading

So, if we look at feminism as being equal to men, would we really say Frozen is advocating equality to men, or is it promoting female chauvinism? Chauvinism: The idea that one gender is superior to another.

A Lack of Male Character Development

It’s alright to say women don’t always need men, because yes, women are capable of taking care of themselves if they choose to be single. But Frozen takes this concept to a different level. We do need each other to a certain degree. We both live in this world. Ideas that promote the uselessness of a man is just as damaging as making men out to be Gods…

If a man went around saying, “I don’t need no woman”, he would be labeled a misogynist…But back to Frozen.

There are only three supposedly “important” male characters in the whole movie, and a couple of male trolls. Not one of them are important to the story. All of them are useless.

Kristoff is simply in the story to serve as a lover and to be the chauffeur for Anna (which she could’ve taken herself on her own journey up the mountain, if she was so “strong”). He was a card-board box character that didn’t need to exist. Doesn’t that sound exactly like how women “of the old days” were portrayed? Oh, but then, we complained that it was sexist. Is making Kristoff a useless lover in a traditional male role (ice lifter, because men are so “strong”…) ANY different? He has no family, no interesting back-story or dreams, and when he could have served a purpose, he failed to do so (knowing about the Anna incident but doing nothing about it…).

Then the other male character is an evil, selfish, douche who’s only goal was to improve trade relations. He was the weakest villain ever, and he only served to teach Anna that men are pigs and only care about themselves. Even if, from a woman’s perspective, this is true, it doesn’t make it any less sexist. Sexist movies in the past, despite everyone’s beliefs, took three turns: women would either be useless, objectified, or absolutely evil.

Look at the 1930’s, 1940’s, 1950’s , and even 1960’s movies. They Drive By Night, DetourThe Ten Commandments, and Gone with the Wind all portrayed women as absolutely evil and no good. Most movies had a “vamp-like” character in them. It made men respect women even less. It made men think of women as conniving, wooing snakes, only bent on power. Isn’t that the EXACT same message Frozen gives to women about MEN? Is the movie not also portraying a man as a snake only focused on power? Come to think of it, so did Maleficent. So what do you think it’s doing to the young female mind?

But then, it was called “sexist”. Now that the roles have switched, we want to call them “feminist”.

And that dumb snowman, Olaf, was it? He served absolutely no purpose but to provide cheesy comic relief, as did the male trolls and the horse. Similar to the female friend in Thor.

If you want to send a message that women don’t need men, why don’t you just OMIT the men altogether? In fact, this story would’ve been way better without them. Kristoff was such a distraction, the true bond between Anna and Elsa barely evolved. The villain was thrown in at the last minute because, oh darn, Disney changed Christian Andersen’s story so badly, they lost their only villain: The actual SNOW QUEEN.

So no, this movie isn’t a feminist movie, it is sexist.

And while we’re at it, let us have Anna punch Hans in the face. Imagine if that scene was replaced with a man. We would’ve thought this movie was misogynist, even if the woman was a psycho. How is punching a man, when he’s never touched her, making her equal to a man? It just makes her abusive and volatile. Tell me, if a lady “played” a guy for his money (similar to what Hans tried to do to Anna), do you think he should punch her? No? Why not? It seemed to go over well when Anna did it.

SEXIST POINTS

How else can you tell the movie is sexist? Because both men and women can’t enjoy this film. It is NOT equal in direction or presentation. This film is bent on making men feel bad about who they are, and making women feel vindicated. Feminism’s goal is to help women earn a man’s respect, and vice versa. How can a man respect this film when it’s girlish at the core, but puffs out sexist views while it’s at it?

For example:

1) Elsa proves how free she is by (obviously) doing what she always wanted to do: Put on a pretty, sparkly, sexy dress, and decorate her home, like the average traditional woman would do. This same “freedom” also causes her to leave her kingdom and her sister destitute. Instead of setting things right and taking responsibility for her actions (like Disney’s male characters would’ve done), she is forced to go back to the kingdom in chains. No, she didn’t go off on an adventure to explore the world or try to figure out if there were others like her. Oh no. She decorated a home and wore a new dress.

Let-IT-go-Disney-660x330

2) Anna dreams of romance, dancing at a ball, and dressing in fancy clothes…which is traditionally feminine, too.

Thanks for representing Venus, the epitome of traditional femininity...

Thanks for representing Venus, the epitome of traditional femininity…

3) Anna is still basically saved by Kristoff because apparently she couldn’t find the ice mountain by herself…without a man’s help.

4) Anna and Elsa have pretty dolls on the shelves, while Kristoff’s toys look just as boring as ever. And how many outfits do you think he comes with? Oh, I forgot. They made him the “stereotypical male” who doesn’t care about his appearance AT ALL. So Equal.

disney-store-frozen-classic-kristoff-doll-profile

5) Most of this story is spent on Anna and Kristoff’s relationship. Only 29 minutes and 43 seconds were spent focusing on Elsa, out of 106 minutes! Anna and Elsa had very little interaction with one another, and yet, we were supposed to believe this was a sister story? This is still a movie focusing on the traditional feminine genre of romance. Despite his romantic role, Kristoff is still a pointless figure. If only this story had a clear goal…

6) While the movie was trying to push a message meant to encourage girls not to fall in love “at first sight”, the movie’s message was contradictory. It was ridiculous that Anna only knew Hans for a couple of hours, thought she was in love, and entrusted her whole kingdom to him. We knew that was going to end badly. But crap, she only knew Kristoff for a day, and also claimed to be “in love”. What’s the very difference?

7) Having a woman or man save the girl is no better if the damsel-in-distress is STILL A FEMALE.

There are some other points mentioned here: Frozen Review

I know feminism isn’t the idea of breaking all traditional rules or anything (though lately people seem to think that’s what it represents). It’s the idea that men and women are created equally, which may break some rules, but not all.

But if that’s the case, what’s so wrong with having the loving man in your life kiss you to save the day, especially if he has done nothing else in the whole film? That does nothing different than a girl using superficial pretty dresses and home decorations to represent her freedom, neither does it do anything different when it comes to a woman wishing and dreaming to dance at a ball. It also doesn’t make a difference whether a male or a female saves the girl. The female is still acting “in distress”. She’s still being saved by someone.

There is no way a little boy can learn about feminism from this film. This movie won’t help men understand women or respect them. Rather it sends the sort of message that makes men hate them, fear them, be bored, or confused by them. This is why most of the people who hate this movie are male. Again, how is this movie feminist? How does this movie prove that women are indeed equal to men, and not above them? Is this movie showing men that women are just like them, or is this movie placing distinct differences between the genders? Sounds more sexist to me. This movie is the epitome of female chauvinism.

10 Reasons Frozen Can Never Equal a Man’s Movie

While this movie thinks it’s doing something by trying to equal men, the only thing equal about this movie is the success of the movie. Sure, it has the same box office success as most animated films where males are the main characters, but that’s where the equality ends.

Most movies geared to men have several factors that Frozen is missing:

1) Long adventures with many obstacles, and then a huge fight with a villain

Does Frozen have that? No. They barely even have a villain. And then, the “villain” is so weak, it’s almost as if he could be broken in two by Elsa. I guess women only deserve a villain that can’t do much harm. After all, they are women. A huge action-fighting scene can’t POSSIBLY be in a girl’s movie…

Really, Hans isn’t even the villain. He is a weak antagonist. A minor adversary. There is a difference.

Definition of villain: a character in a play, novel, or the like, who constitutes an important evil agency in the plot.

Hans was not the important evil agency in this plot because he was not the main obstacle throughout the whole movie. Elsa was.

Definition of antagonist: a person who is opposed to, struggles against, or competes with another; opponent; adversary.

Really, Elsa is the deuteragonist of the story, and she acted as both villain AND heroine. She is the person who froze the land, ran away as if she didn’t care to fix it, and sent an ice monster to attack her sister, Anna, the true main character of the story.

2) Male movie “anti-heroes” don’t play the victim

The “half” antagonist in this movie, who we usually call the “anti-hero”, Elsa, proved to be a victim. Elsa’s “evil powers” did little damage beyond bringing snowmen to life and prettifying her new castle. Whoopy, she “accidentally” almost kills her sister, though all the love in the world could’ve broken that spell a long time ago. And who cares if the land was covered in ice in the summer? Their main export is ice! Another sappy character, playing the victim. Doesn’t happen to males.

3) Men always have ladies as prizes in the end of their movies

While women may not like this point, equalizing a man’s movie would mean having a man as the prize for once. Does Frozen have a man as the prize for once? No. Men never portray themselves as having total and complete independence, like they don’t need a woman at all, but rather portray women as a goal or a prize to be won. How many female movies do that? I can think of one, but I’ll save it for last…

Frozen has copped out on the idea, “I’m so helpless when a man is around, that I’ll have to make a man completely unimportant to feel more important”. Have women fallen to the idea that they only have two options: I’m either saved by a man and useless, or I’ll do everything myself without any man at all? There are other options, you know: You can save the man…

Or maybe Disney was too busy focusing on rising above the reputation they’ve been stamped with. They have the reputation of presenting the idea that women need men in order to “get things done”. Though, how Frozen proves otherwise, with Kristoff leading the way for Anna, is beyond me.

4) Men usually risk their lives for a damsel, often putting themselves in harm’s way

Did any Frozen female characters do this? No, they mostly risked their lives for each other. But the man was just…there…for whatever reason. How did Anna show Kristoff that he was special to her? What sacrifices did she make for him? She did nothing. Why was he there again?

And again, the female was the one in distress. Not surprising.

5) Men usually do fall in love at first sight of a beautiful figure

While women may not like this point, to equal a man’s story, and make it truly a little different, why not have a woman fall head over heels over a man’s beauty…and him still be a great guy? Again, only one movie equalizes this point…

6) Male characters are usually losers who prove themselves to the world through courageous acts

In movies where males are the main characters, the males are usually looked at as losers who show the world that they are brave, courageous, and can protect others.

While Elsa could’ve done this, all she did was prove to herself that her powers were helpful, but she wasn’t courageous or brave about it. She only fixed the mess she made. What feat did she conquer other than her own inner demons? Elsa isn’t even considered the main character. Anna is, and she was never looked at as a loser, and so never had to prove herself.

7) Male movies are starting to portray better female role models

The Matrix, Harry Potter, How to Train Your Dragon, it doesn’t matter. They all have good, strong women in their movies, and most of the villains are male. They don’t make women seem like evil arse-wholes.

But Frozen, quite frankly, does that to men.

8) A Male’s goal is usually to gain honor, fame, or respect

Frozen follows the same old female tradition of setting love and a good social status as a goal. Another “social status” flick, like any other catered to women.

9) Male characters focus less on the fashion or their charm, and more on their worth as human beings

Females focus too much on trying to charm a crowd and look “prettiful”. Yes, I know it’s not a word. Anna’s greatest quality is her charm. Anything beyond that…pointless to discuss. Elsa obviously loves to charm us in pretty gowns.

10) Male protagonists usually make mistakes and suffer consequences

In male movies, even the protagonists make mistakes, and have to suffer consequences. Example: Hercules wouldn’t listen to Phil when he was trying to tell him about Meg.

Anna and Elsa are just victims. Elsa never apologizes for anything she does, though she froze her whole kingdom and didn’t even care what happened to her sister.

Disney’s Breakout

With all of the above mentioned, it makes you wonder why people really look at Disney as breaking from their traditional ways of doing things, when they really haven’t. Their female characters still wear pretty dresses meant to sell merchandise. That will be the day when their female main character looks plain, drab, ordinary, or ugly…

And why is Frozen looked at as the first movie to break from social norms out of all of Disney’s movies? The only truly feminist movie I’ve seen is Mulan. Oh, but maybe she’s too Chinese to be considered an actual feminist…Or maybe these kids today are too young to remember her…

No, I know what it is. She wasn’t wearing a dress like a normal girl, and didn’t act like a normal girl. Wait, isn’t what we consider “normal” similar to what is traditional?

Maybe it’s because it didn’t pass the Bechdel test

Or maybe it’s because she finds a nice guy in the end…

But her movie fits all of the above standards for being just like a boy’s movie!

Mulan equals the boys in every way. 

mulan

1) She starts off as a loser, and earns her honor, fame, and respect, much like the boys usually do.

2) She wants to bring honor to her father, not her mother, and follow in his footsteps.

3) She also chose her own romantic partner, and got to know him much more than Anna did Kristoff (which was still love at first sight because Anna only knew Kristoff for one day). And yes, Shang was a physical hunk. He was very much objectified and loved for his beauty.

4) She saved a whole country, much like most men do, rather than just one single person.

5) Her villain was a fearsome war leader. And though, yes, he was an evil male, he didn’t suddenly become the villain because he broke her heart. He was generally the enemy of the whole freaking clan, including the men of the land. As the saying goes, a good story is as good as the villain…

6) She defeated a whole army, all by herself!

7) She actually sacrificed for and saved a man, not another weak female character, getting a battle wound in the process.

8) Mulan made some serious mistakes. She lied about her identity, stole her father’s armor, and ran away from home. But she recognized her mistakes and made up for them.

9) Very little merchandising can come from this movie, much like in male movies. Unless girls want to buy her armor…

She honestly has one pretty dress. Most of Mulan’s playsets consist of war materials and a tent.

10) In the end, she wins her prize: Her man, much like male movies…

11) All of the males had personalities, not just Mulan, and all of the main characters helped Mulan defeat the villain. They were all useful in some way.

12) Mulan never dreamed of love, romance, freedom, lots of fancy clothes, none of the traditional female hopes and dreams. She dreamed of finally knowing where she belonged and honoring her father (much like Hercules).

So, Mulan equals the movies usually geared toward males. And guess what? Mulan earns the respect of males. It is a gender-neutral story that people of both genders can enjoy. There are more males who consider Mulan a better movie than Frozen. And I’m talking about adult men. They can enjoy this movie and still respect women. When they see Mulan, they see that a woman’s feelings, ideas, desires, hopes, and dreams are no different from theirs. They realize that women are capable of taking down a whole army, surviving a brutal military camp, making their fathers proud, and taking a pursuant role in a relationship by impressing a man with her strength, instead of using her particular charms or her beauty.

Frozen does none of that. While Frozen shows men that women are brave because they can go on adventures to save their sisters, they fail to show that they can find directions on their own and survive a deadly forest without the assistance of a male to escort them. While these women have goals, hopes, and dreams, they don’t seem to mirror the same hopes and dreams as males. They are indeed traditionally feminine in nature. And of course they can’t make their fathers proud, they are orphans…

But does that mean they can’t impress men with their strength instead of their beauty? Anna is simply a pretty figure with a charming personality at the ball when she falls for Hans, even if she was a little quirky. Though Elsa doesn’t have a love interest, she never fails to dazzle the audience with her elegant gown in the solo “Let it Go”, possibly to appeal to the eyes of future toy consumers. Why else would she change her clothes?…Yet, she didn’t use that freedom to go explore the world…Or find others like herself…Or read some books…

So, that’s my spin on this feminist issue.

Women, don’t use feminism as a means to gain power, it’s not right, even if you feel vindicated.

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

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