The Celebrated Art of Shaking Your Ass – I Mean, Singing

Beyonce.  You have a great butt.  That doesn’t mean I want to see that much of it.

I know, I’m a curmudgeon.  “You can’t give a good vocal performance without giving a lap dance in a revealing outfit, you know.  And a truly inspired performance requires grotesque facial expressions,” said the modern western world, which, I hear, used to put out some pretty impressive art, literature and music.  Now it just puts out.

I would like to see more big-name female singers act as if they expect to be taken seriously without wearing thong-type getups in front of other people.  But perhaps, in  Beyonce and Miley’s defense, that expectation would be unreasonable; maybe quality is boring and needs a little used-to-be/should-be taboo behavior to spice it up.  [Or, in Miley’s case, maybe quality is too difficult to achieve.  I don’t know – maybe she sucks on purpose, like most pop singers these days, who want to sound modern or distinctive or nasal-as-fuck for no good reason.]

Why can’t women just sing songs?  Why can’t we just be happy with them singing songs?  Why do we need them to degrade themselves??

I remember learning about this feminism thing in school.  I thought back then that it was about equality.  It turns out it’s about providing males with the most explicit images of ourselves we can conjure (don’t freak – it’s ART), so they’ll pay attention to us, oh God, please, just pay attention to us – but don’t be OBVIOUS about staring at our boobs, you pigs! …all the while insisting that it’s just another form of self-expression, and how dare you question our motives.

Girls, I don’t care if you look like Beyonce or Lena Dunham or Jay Leno: Stop.  You can display your talents and be successful and sassy and whatever else you want without behaving like the world is your own personal pornography.  Have some standards.  They don’t have to be that high, but they could easily be higher.  Just do art and stop begging us to look at your asses by acting in such a way that NO ONE CARES THAT MUCH ABOUT YOUR ART ANYMORE because they’re all talking about your ass because you won’t stop mooning us.  You don’t have to try that hard!  If you have an ass, people will look.  Trying too hard isn’t sexy – it’s repulsive, pathetic and degrading.

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6 Responses to “The Celebrated Art of Shaking Your Ass – I Mean, Singing”

  1. I agree somehwhat, women need to stop shaking their ass in order to get attention. With that said, feminism, at least true feminism, isn’t about flaunting your body in order to get male attention. Misrepresentations of feminism is why so many men and women hiss at the word. Feminism is about equal respect and recognition as a human being. By allowing feminism to be slanted, what chances do we have of ensuring that women will one day get the recognition they deserve?

    The problem isn’t simply that women are being “pornographic.” The problem is that there is a demand for pornography, and a large market of women to supply that demand.

    The media and entertainment make it so hard for women to receive attention without ass assets. Instead of blaming individual women who conform to these demands in order to achieve some decree of success, we should be criticizing the conventions and systems in place that perpetuate female degradation. Telling women to stop shaking their asses, though a sensible piece of advice, is a preventative measure that hinders the development of a cure.

    • True feminism seems to be whatever feminists say it is, and they say a lot of weird things (remember the bit about boys and girls having no biological differences beyond appearance?). I’ve heard all kinds of things from professors, our culture’s supposed intellectuals, too many nonsensical things to believe that “feminism” can be defined purely as what it was.

      The second part of the pornography problem, as you’ve described it, could be solved if women refused to participate. If all women just decided, “Hey, I think I’m not actively going to try to be part of some voyeur’s fantasy ever,” well, that could make for a very interesting society. I wonder how men would react?

      Also, I probably should have said that I’m not anti-ass-shaking. It’s just the way it’s often done today is so tasteless – not cute, not edgy, not even sexy. Not anything appealing. I’m honestly flabbergasted that women are making themselves unattractive in their attempts to gain attention, although they use sex to get that attention. It makes no sense to me, but I guess it works. I just think they’d still get plenty of attention shaking it in a way that’s actually appealing. But I suppose that’s been done… It’s all been done, and that’s why we have Lady Gaga. But she’s a topic for another day.

  2. The thing about boys and girl having no differences beyond appearance is bullshit, even the most mediocre of scientists could prove that. That belief belongs to a specific sect of feminism.

    I guess would be incorrect to say feminism in general means this or that, because there are so many different camps preaching different things. I don;t agree with everything manufactured with the tag feminism attached to it; a little skepticism is good. I am coming from my understanding of feminism.

    Do you really think that if every woman decided not to engage in pornographic activities that would end porn all together? So much porn produced involving women is already non-consensual. If women miraculously decided not to engage in pornography there would be a crap load of angry men, and I doubt they’d say “well, women have the right to express their bodies in which ever manner they please, I guess I won’t engage in any pornography anymore.”

    We could sit in front of our desks going back and forth about who’s to blame, but I think it needs to be a co-operative effort between men, women and society.

    Women using sex for attention is another issue I could write a paper on, but sleep is calling.

    • Do I really think that if every woman decided not to engage in pornographic activities that would end porn all together?

      No. As you point out, that won’t put an end to sexual violence. I don’t know what will, other than fear/efforts not being worth it, which is why I repeatedly encourage women to study and practice self-defense and become proficient at fighting with multiple types of weapons. There will always be people who are up to no good – keeping this in mind is a good first step to staying safe.

      I happen to think that, while men tend to be physically stronger than women, women have our own power – a certain mystique, if you will. But seriously, women have great power to change cultural norms, probably more than men do, because we have the ability to motivate them to be better. Men have done a lot of wonderful things, but if there were no women, and dudes just like, fell out trees instead of being born, what would they do all day? Probably wrestle, make beer, drink the beer, wrestle some more, pop their joints back into place and uselessly contemplate the universe before scratching themselves, falling asleep and waking to do the same damn thing.

      I believe men and women are good for each other. I also believe it doesn’t do much good to just tell men what they ought to do. If being assholes doesn’t get them what they want, they will modify their behavior.

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