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emmy [AT] curious-notions {dot} net
February 2011
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of great social and political import

I was totally going to post this yesterday and do a sad little Music Monday. I failed. If someone wants to know what I’m listening to: Mercedes Benz by Janis Joplin. (That’s a Grooveshark link. Youtube link is here.) It’s an old song that I’m listening to because of a conversation that happened as a result of the Superbowl Ad (Super Bowl?). I adore scratchy voices so I’m not even caring what she’s singing, I’m just loving the sound of her voice.

I also love that she’s a woman. That sounds weird. Lemme ‘splain. I listen to a lot of men in music and lately I’ve been noticing how much of our world view, our societal point of view is created by men. So I’ve been trying to consciously pick female points of view. Which has been interesting.

I think a lot about women in society and how most bigotry is systemic. I spend a lot of time reading meta type blogs. I read a lot of blogs by some very perceptive people who are really good at noticing systemic bigotry. I’m not, so it makes me grateful for the blogs that these people write. Because I’m good at finding myself uneasy, but not noticing or understanding why, but these people are.

But in consciously picking my world view influences, I’m noticing something. The male point of view is comfortable. Male voices and turns of phrase and perspectives are all more normative. Female voices and turns of phrase and perspectives feel different. I can’t tell if this difference is purely because as a society everything IS from the male perspective or if it’s a personal issue. Maybe it’s because I AM female. I’d love to try this experiment out on a guy. Pick books, movies, music and articles produced by women and see if the world feels a bit more uncomfortable to them or if it feels more comfortable.

There was (yet another) article from some online magazine/journal/newspaper about how romance novels are pretty shitty and shouldn’t be used as any kind of real life …standard. Plenty of people jumped all over the article, especially because the author of said article admitted IN the article to not reading romance novels. My favorite kinds of snobs are those that are snobbish over things they’ve never experienced. So someone posed a question after reading the article; If you assume that romance novels really are just women’s fantasies, why are men’s fantasies on Super Bowl commercials while women’s fantasies are considered something to be dismissed/talked down/laughed off? We don’t take things that women like or think about seriously. We don’t let women’s fantasies have the same legitimacy as men’s.

What if we can’t even recognize what it would look like if female fantasies WERE considered normative and were on Super Bowl commercials? What if part of the discomfort I feel is because the women produced media is being produced by women in a male tinted culture? I dunno. I’m not even sure how much longer I can keep up my experiment. There’s not enough stuff produced by women, even if it’s meant for men.

(Linda, the title of the post is from the song Mercedes Benz by Janis Joplin. It cracks me up. It’s not meant to be a commentary on the content of the post. AT ALL.)

(ETA: If you didn’t get what I  meant about women in a male tinted world, to wit: Specifically “a teacher at his school came up to him and asked if he was the kid whose mother wrote “trashy romance novels.” I think my mouth dropped open. I asked him what he said. He looked at me and said, “I told her no. You write Superromances.” LOL. So, suck it, random teacher implying I write crap…to my kid.” Jeepers people.)