Here’s my philosophy on minority opportunity and equality: Equality isn’t when an African-American becomes the head coach of an NFL team, equality is when shitty African-American coaches have just as much chance of holding a job as the shitty white ones do. Right now it’s only the best of the best of minorities (by race, gender, religion, etc.) that are given a shot. That’s not real equality, or even real opportunity. When the minority can be just as stupid,corrupt, incompetent or as vulgar as the majority, then we’ll be getting somewhere.
Let’s take this same concept and take a look at some recent moments in pop culture and see how it pertains to women. Bridesmaids really was a watershed moment for comedies. Just as crude and offensive as any of Apatow’s work. Will this be an outlier, or will we see more films like it? HBO’s new series, ‘Girls,’ provides a take on being a woman in contemporary society that we haven’t seen. Here’s a great piece in the Huffington Post explaining the show’s popularity. Money quote:
[...]Women will never fight with each other on TV the way they do in real life, which last week’s episode of “Girls” masterfully disproved (I’ve been watching TV for decades now, and that’s the first time I’ve seen the kind of awful, probing-for-the-weak-spot fights I’ve occasionally had with my sister or best friends). Another deeply ingrained given: Women on TV can be quirky or occasionally sad, but they can’t actually be deeply flawed. As Michael Arbeiter pointed out, most female characters on television are somehow representative of Women as a whole, which is a pretty restrictive state of affairs. The great leap forward of “Girls” is that it’s “hardly a statement about gender at all. It’s a statement about humanity,” Arbeiter wrote.
But it’s not just fictional characters. Female celebrities are now acting just as boorish as their male counterparts. Earlier this month, Gwyneth Paltrow unleashed her inner gangsta on Twitter:
Not to be outdone, Rihanna shared this exchange, also on Twitter:
We expect that kind of language/attitude from male celebrities, but are shocked to hear it from women. But perhaps that is changing. Where once there was only Ripley, we are now inundated with kick-ass female heroes. Where once only Phyllis Diller or Joan Rivers could land a big gig, now female comedians are everywhere. Check out this Nike video. Adweek’s headline is: Nike Gives Voice to Generations of Ass-Kicking Women.
In a larger context, how do the actions of Rihanna jive with the current political climate in this country? 2012 has been dominated by issues around women’s rights. Maybe if you’re being threatened with the erosion of rights that directly affect your control over your sexual organs, telling people to stop ‘riding my dick’ is a reasonable response, perhaps the best response.