- Dollhouse-Joss Whedon
- Echo vs. Adelle DeWitt-mother battle
- Langdon-twisted father figure
- Echo/Dolls-cyborg fetish/power source
- Echo/Dolls-Disposable women/save men
- Power dichotomy between the dolls/Rossum
- Who *really* holds the power in the House?
- Tabla Rasa-Is the idea really conceivable/matrix similarity.
Now if I can just narrow it down to one idea and start writing in time to submit to the journal. *sigh*
Since I seem to use this as a savin place for ideas while at work-
Pin-up girls have an unusual position in our cultural history. During World War I they became key parts of the war morale that helped to keep our fighting boys spirits high and to assist women in earning money of their own to support their families.
There is a pin-up revival going on in our culture today. Some would argue that the pin up never truly left us, that she only slide into the background or the underground. While many alternative lifestyle followers have always embraced many of the pin up girl styles they are now becoming more commonplace in the popular media and it by this that I mean there is a revival going on. Many women are returning to the ever classic look that the pinup’s made famous. These women of the classic pinup world were not of the stereotypical body style of the media models of today and many women are finding new agency in claiming their association with it. The pinups and burlesque dancers of the early 40s and 50s were curvaceous and soft, not boney and stick thin. The look of the pinup with their corsets and garter belts is becoming popular again as women are finding that they take a personal joy and sexiness in themselves when they slide on the silk thigh-hi stockings and attach the garters to them. Stiletto heels are making a comeback along with high-waisted “granny” panties made of silk and lace. Pointed full cup bras worn with a corset are seen as the new lingerie craze. Suddenly the desire to appear sexy without “selling the farm” is everything to these women who are embracing the look of the pinup.
While many of the pinup looks are popular within the rockabilly and alternative cultures they are appropriating it with their own style and flair. Many women are taking this classic look such as pencil skirts and halter tops and decorating them with skull or leopard prints in hot pink and black! Many of these girls are covered in tattoos and piercings, taking nothing away from the beauty of the pinup but only adding to the uniqueness of the look. Imagine Betty Page herself with a beautiful tattoo down one perfectly formed leg highlighting its natural curve and beauty. While some of these girls are modeling for themselves others are trying to make career out of this and are taking what could become a very positive movement and twisting it into nothing more than yet another mis-appropriation of women. While at heart groups like the “Suicide Girls” began with the best of intentions ( I believe) they have missed the larger point-they promote only women who fall into the popular image of what a woman should look like, albeit a tattooed and pierced woman. They have no (or few if any) women of color, butch-ish appearanced women, and no women who do not fall into the not stick thin category. This works to defeat the entire purpose of a revival of any true pinup culture. They are not the only downfall, shows such as LA Ink do not help much more-showing only perfectly coiffed and shaped women. Yes they do show women that fall outside the “normal” appearance of your everyday woman by using women who are heavily tattooed, pierced and have not normal hair colors, but where are the women who fall into these categories that are academics, accountants, teachers, CEO’s? Where is the rule that suddenly dictates that a person is judged solely on their hair color or tattoos they have? I worry about the day coming when I don’t have my job which allows me to have all of these things with no worries. With my education and resume I should never have a problem finding employment but if I wish to maintain my hair color I will. Hair color should NEVER be an issue on how I do my job! I got lucky, I work for an old school punk who said “his world wasn’t right if my hair wasn’t pink”. I went on a job interview and I was the one who brought up my hair color, I’m sure (even though I offered to change it) it was a factor in why I wasn’t offered the job even though I was the most qualified. Ok, wow I just totally got off topic and on a rant. Apparently I am unable to focus on anything right now, between that-my sucktastic life, wanting more ink, and being miserable-bad combo to try to start a new essay to try to get published.
When people learn that I am a part of the fetish scene it either shocks them or they act as if they expected it. Based on appearance I assume is why they would expect it-gee, a good little goth chick-hot pink hair, all black clothing-of course she’s into that freaky fetish scene. Yet when I’m dressed in my professional clothing at an academic conference or a business dinner and somehow it comes out that I live within that circle they often act as if I’ve committed the ultimate sin of drowning a puppy. “You go to those things?” Of course once the shock passes comes the next expected reaction-curiosity-“So, what are they really like? Is there lots of sex going on at those parties all over the place?” *eyeroll* Why must everyone think that fetish equals mass orgies and debauchery? I must have missed the memo telling me that all fetish participants and parties entail orgies and group sex, my mistake. Sorry, all. An interesting dichotomy does seem to form though, I do find that it is not only the men who instantly jump to the assumption that it’s all about group sex, women do it just as much. Men though, tend to have a different attitude about it. “I’ll bet there’s lots of sex going on at those parties, huh?”-All macho and manly and like ‘yeah that’d be me alright, swinging my dick around all proud and strong, hitting all the hotties, having all the chicks on me cause I’m the hottest thing since sliced bread’ attitude. While the women tend to have this attitude of “people who go there don’t have to have sex with lots of people do they?-all shy and almost disgusted sounding but still with an almost ‘curious cat, well maybe I’d want to go if I got a chance to do things I wouldn’t normally do because I’m too unsure of it in my everyday life, and well it’s just a fantasy place so I wouldn’t *really* be doing anything real anyways’ attitude.
“When I touch you feeling your skin; When I touch you deep within.” (Wolfsheim) In Intercourse by Andrea Dworkin she speaks in depth about the idea of touch and the things associated with it. She says that “touch is a central form of cognition, taking the place of intellect and logic. Nothing substitutes for it or equals it in importance.” (Dworkin, 38) She goes on to say that “touch is the meaning of being human…the basis of human knowledge.” (Dworkin, 38) This sense of touch has been demeaned throughout history thanks to men like Plato who have helped to encourage the ideal that touch is a lesser sense to be grouped with taste and smell. Often the only people in our society that can connect to their true sense of touch are artists who have felt the beauty and sensuality in the clay or sand that they work with their hands. There are some who can feel this way with someone else during sex. Dworkin feels that skin is a detriment to this touch being truly allowed and sensed. Society uses the skin, which should be a “conductor” of sorts for these truly holy of feelings as a shield instead of a magnifier. In order for people to truly feel this kind of sensuality and touch one must loose that skin-shield and be naked before another person. There have always been legends of relationships that make “your skin tingle just at the thought or simple passing touch” of another person. There must be some truth to this legend just as there must be to all myths. This obsession with touch is in all aspects of our culture and many people do not even realize it. In many of our movies, we witness women and men in sexual encounters which simulate this “electricity” that the touch of this mythological oneness is supposed to bring. In our media advertisements the same type of thing is there. It pervades our society and leads to the curious question as to why so many people do not realize that they do not experience this true feeling of pure sensuality. “Time stops just by touching your skin lightly with my fingers, and eternity draws near.” (Dworkin, 39) Many people are going to think that they have experienced this feeling but in reality they have not; when they truly feel it something will change. “When you’re touching skin with someone else it seems that your sense of smell undergoes a transformation. Nothing matters, except being skinless, naked beyond nakedness, this sex that goes beyond intercourse even as it is a metaphor for intercourse. Nothing matters, except the need for touching each other that unites two people, physically fuses them and simultaneously isolates them together from any society outside themselves, any need or obligation outside their need for each other.” (Dworkin, 39) This touching has become something that our society must learn to embrace on this level that Dworkin was speaking of. Only by shedding your fears and being truly naked, not only physically but emotionally, with someone intimately can this touching, this feeling of coming together unlike two people ever have before be achieved. The passing touches, the lying side by side and just touching, skin to skin in any manner, the thrill of it, the sheer happiness it causes when you are with that person is simply indescribable. Rowe-Evans tells us that our body is our personality and that is something that must be remembered and taken to heart. All of these things are something that our society often forgets and tends to take for granted-these tender times of touching.
So my paper was accepted to SEWSA (South East Women’s Studies Association) and I am glad but nervous at the same time. I have come to realize that many people in the “women’s studies” group are just annoying and have WAY too many “DUH” moments for my liking. Don’t get me wrong-I have my fair share of DUH moments but mine are more because I think that most things are so obvious that everyone should realize it, while these others are more along the lines of “oh I really didn’t notice that” or “Are you serious?” type of things. Maybe I’m too harsh or too judgemental, I know I can be a real bitch about most things but come on people, you spend 2+ years working on a master’s degree there are certain things you should take away from the program even if you don’t pay attention all that much just because all your classes beat it into your skull. Why is it that the women’s studies program works so hard to beat down the other women in the program, shouldn’t it be about solidarity? About working together to reach a common goal of advancing women into a higher place in our society? Instead many people, both professors and students work against each other and tear each other down, destroying any small amounts of self-confidence a person may have. This I feel is very detrimental to the program both on an academic level and on a larger societal level. How can women ever hope to overcome the patriarchal powers that have held them down in a subordinate place when they are behaving in the same manner that men have for so many centuries?
Ok so this whole passage really struck a chord with me and maybe it will with some of you (I recommend this book to all who don’t mind some heavy metaphysical feminist reading):
“This entire book is asking the question of movement, of Spinning. It is an invitation to the WIld Witch in all women who long to sping. This book is a declaration that it is time to stop putting answers before the Questions. It is a declaration/Manifesto that in our chronology (Crone-ology) it is time to get moving again. It is a call of the wild to the wild, calling Hags/Spinsters to spin/be beyond the parochial bondings/bindings of any comfortable “community.” It is a call to women who have never named themselves Wild before, and a challenge to those who have been in struggle for a long time and who have retreated for awhile.” (Daly, xlix)
As I study for my comps that are coming up, I have to re-read a number of books that I read during my degree seeking, and as I do it I am finding things that strike me more than they did the first time. My area of expertise that I will be given an essay to write on is Women’s Spirituality so I’m paying close attention to those works. I just started re-reading Mary Daly’s Gyn/Ecology and am reminded of how strong her words are and her belief in what she writes. She does not just split words to make them more noticeable she gives them new meaning-Gyn/Ecology-Daly means this to be a female centered wholeness with the universe. I had forgotten how metaphysical she is and then I started to read the Preface (yes just into the Preface) and am struck by her strength against Christianity-“God represents the necrophilia of patriarchy, whereas Goddess affirms the life loving of be-ing a woman and nature.” I’m going to let that reverb through my head for a while.
So, Vandana Shiva has released a new book that talks about what she views as being the three major problems facing our planet: 1) Climate Chaos-the threat of global warming to our survival as a species, 2) Energy Chaos-the effect of Peak Oil meaning the end of cheap oil, and 3) Food Chaos-a crisis that is happening due to the emergence of this climate chaos, energ chaos, and the globalization on the poor. Overall she suggests that we, as humans, must “power down energy and resource consumption” and “power up creative, productive human energy and collective democratic energy to make the necessary transition.” (4) Her main idea centers on how democracy needs to be returned to the poor and the land, it needs to be de-chemicalized and pure to nature. As I continue to read this book Soil Not Oil I am sure I am going to be posting more thoughts on it as they form.
OK, so I had to rant about about my current college somewhere and since I’m babbling about academia here it seemed a good place.
This is the beginning/idea stage of a paper I’m writing that I needed somewhere to just rant about that I could access anywhere, feel free to comment on this idea if you have any ideas on it, they are always appreciated.
In The Fifth Element the character of Leeloo is a complex and unique creature. She begins the film as being presented as an alien brought back to earth to save it from a dark entity determined to destroy the planet. By the end of the film she appears to be a what many would consider a “normal, complete female”. I tend to have a very different view of her. In my view Leeloo is an incarnation of the goddess herself. This “supreme being” which has been returned to the planet will become the mother of all humans, giving life to them through her own sacrifices. (Like Eve continue with this idea)
Leeloo is comprised of the portions of humanity that were supposedly sent
to another planet for safekeeping or so it is suggested. This “supreme being” as they call her will be returned to humans when it is needed most. The men who discover this being assume instantly that this being is going to be a male, if it is to have a gender at all. They are quite surprised to find a woman when they open her hypobaric chamber. Imagine her shock when she is awakened in a sterile, medical setting rather than in a comforting, nurturing setting which is most likely what she was expecting. Her reaction is not shocking.
Leeloo seeks out the priest since in her mind she knows that he will be
able to take her to the appointed location. In ancient cultures the servants of the goddess were normally female priestess’ but in this interpretation it is men who serve the goddess, Leeloo. The priest knew that she would be returning to save the earth from this dark threat so he was waiting for her. He attempts to take on the role of a father figure and this does not go over so well. The priest plays an important part throughout the movie for both Leeloo and Corbin. At the close of the movie he is the person who leads the group to the temple, the priest who takes the disciples to the place of worship in order to complete the necessary ritual. He does this but then is unable to give them the information needed to fulfill the closure.
Her connection to Corbin Dallas is an important part in the context of
this movie. Corbin is on a heroes quest. Joseph Campbell talks about a heroes quest as being “…” Corbin is presented as a sad, lonely man who has no love in his life outside of his cat. He has lost everything to live for, no one to share his life with, no job and no real passion. Leeloo, literally, falls into his life and he protects her. Again we see this father figure step into the picture. This role changes as he travels through his own tribulations attempting to discover a reason to live for.
When the dark entity that is threatening the planet finally reaches the
point that Leeloo must become the savior of the human race all things must work as one to assist her. You see the characters in the movie racing around trying to make this “weapon” work to stop the entity. Eventually one of the accidentally discovers that it is the elements that make up the earth and all humans themselves that must be used to activate the weapon. “Wind blows…Earth for Earth, Fire for Fire, Water for Water.” They have forgotten one integral element for all creation-Spirit. Leeloo cannot be the final element until she is made “complete” by Corbin’s expressions of love for her and for humanity as well, “…” Many would argue that this is a sexist part of the film that she must be made whole, it is not only Leeloo that is being spirited with his love, Corbin is reached the end of his heroes journey here. In his expression of love for Leeloo he has completed his journey, he has repaired his broken “spirit”, he has found something on this planet worth saving. The goddess and her consort are made one in spirit and as such the “weapon” is able to save the planet and destroy the ultimate darkness which was threatening it. It is possible to theorize that this darkness may have been the embodiment of all evil, anger and selfishness on the planet (even though it was presented as an alien being).
The metaphors are very strong in this vision.