The Classic Battle

One day early last week, on Facebook, I posted a picture of a male actor – you would know him, he was amazing in that thing about the thing (won an Oscar!), with an even more amazing body – posed provocatively, wearing only a micro-Speedo.   I was very pleased at the way the picture focused on his … um, attributes. When I posted the picture, I was hoping to get a bunch of likes and exploit the man, you know, as you do.

Right about now, there are two groups of readers.  Half of you wonder where the picture is, and the other half said, “Well, now, that just isn’t right.”  Okay, so there is also a third group, comprised of members of both groups, who are trying to bleach the picture of the Speedo out of their brains.

Of course I didn’t really post any picture like that.  But I have to wonder; were you more outraged over the idea that I would exploit someone for “likes,” or was that outrage brought about because it was a man?  Men don’t commonly get exploited and paraded around for their bodies instead of their talent; that is a privilege usually saved for women.  In fact, it’s expected.

I belong to a Facebook group that focuses on films from the “Golden Age of movies.”  The ground rules are simple: be respectful, no politics, no religion, and discuss classic era movies.  Shouldn’t be too hard, right?

In any group, there is bound to be the one who pushes the rules to the limits.  In this group, one guy not only pushes the limits but crosses them over and over, to the giggling joy of his caveman supporters.  He continues to  post pics of actresses in their most sultry persona and one, he even cropped to be sure her breasts were on clear display… in fact, it was just her breasts, so if he hadn’t mentioned who the actress was, there’s no way you would know. Unless you’re a breast aficionado.

Not all of the actresses he ummm … discusses … are from the classic era either. A cropped, very risqué photo of Catherine Zeta Jones, who is truly a lovely woman (inside and out from what I understand), was duly submitted for inspection and I don’t think she was even born in the classic movie era, let alone acted in any movies from that time-period.  His pics, as no doubt intended, elicit the usual responses from other men, suggesting graphically what they would like to do to the women, among other lewd comments.  The moderator keeps deleting the posts, but somehow the guy is allowed to remain.

Finally, a female member took a stand against this sorry excuse for classic movie discussion.  She made a post about how she’s tired of seeing it, that it’s disrespectful, goes against the rules of the group, and stop being assholes basically – though she was very nice and polite about it … more so than I would’ve been.  Predictably, her post was met by a bunch of men jumping on her saying,  “Just block the guy, choose your battles, it’s not important, get over it, scroll past it, let it go, grow up, stop being a snowflake,” and  complaining that she was “on her soap box,” and that it wasn’t a real problem so why complain, etc.  One guy, who I guess was trying to “help,” said “Agree with the concern, and more, but believe part of the solution is to stay calm and positive. Just breathe.”

As is the norm, although the post she made was calm, cool, and anything but hysterical, she was, quite literally, accused of being hysterical and over-reacting.  The reactions came, of course, from men who have never had to battle these types of attitudes and comments personally; in fact, these same guys are the very culprits who keep feeding the caveman’s posts in the first place.

I am sure there are lots of good guys in my group, too, just like in real life.  Most likely, they stayed quiet throughout all of this to simply keep clear of the scuffle – just like in real life.  The women, as could be predicted, came out in full force to support the female member’s post, rallying around her in true “girl power” form.

The problem is, this idiot guy and his rude followers probably genuinely don’t even perceive a problem.  But come on! Why on earth should a woman have to block someone, scroll past lewd pictures, or just suffer sexism silently? I mean, this question is relevant every day of our lives, but especially in a freakin’ group meant for classic film discussion of all places!  Then, God forbid, a woman has the spiritual fortitude to confront the men and call them out on their overt sexism … well, then she’s down-played, ignored, ridiculed, and gas-lighted.

Sexism is real, and it plays out nearly every single freakin’ day in women’s lives. Women are taught to ignore it, deal with it, cope with it, and never act on it or they’ll be perceived as “over-reacting” or being “hysterical;” it is, after all, just boys being boys.  When can women unite and finally say, “Enough is enough?” If not now, when!? Sexism is so pervasive that it shows up everywhere and anywhere, even in an innocent group on Facebook that was formed to discuss classic movies.

Granted, this is a small group on Facebook.  Alarmingly, though, Facebook tends to be an interesting and realistic mash-up of the real world. Meaning, the people who are your Facebook friends or fellow group members are representative of a small microcosm of who you would find on the street every day.

Frankly, I think I need some new friends.

With Deepest Apologies to Susan B. Anthony

Let’s play a game of Guess Who. Here are the clues:

This person recently suggested that young female voters should stay away from the voting booths because they’re not properly informed of the issues on the ballot. This person justified this claim by saying the reason they’re not informed is because “They’re like healthy and hot and running around without a care in the world.” This mysterious figure tied this healthy dose of sexism by suggesting that not only should they not vote, but that these women should instead “go back on Tinder and Match.com.”

So, knowing all that, who do you think made these comments? Rush Limbaugh? No. Donald Trump? Nope, wrong again. Now, you’re starting to rack your brain a little. It’s not Rush and not Donald. What pig-headed man would possibly be so out of touch with the opposite sex, so deeply entrenched in his rampant misogyny, so disconnected with the reality of the youthful voting population that he could say things so grossly improper on national television as if it were good advice?

Answer: No man. It wasn’t a man who made these remarks at all (Ha! You gender biased people you!) but rather Fox News’ own Kimberly Guilfoyle. The full article on her sexist rant (sexist against her own gender, mind you) can be found HERE.

Well, I for one am glad Ms. Guilfoyle has her finger on the pulse of the nation’s youth. These women, nay, girls who think they should, like, maybe vote or something are nothing more than airheads and idiots addicted to their smart phones on their hunt for online love from a man who can tell them how to vote correctly. Don’t leave it up to the girls themselves. Which is fine. It’s not like they really matter. What’s that? Young women show up to the polls and vote in larger numbers than their male counterparts?  Really?  How interesting. Well, they can’t possibly be informed on the issues though unless they’re about fashion tips or lip gloss, so best for them to stay away. Wait, what? Young female voters are primarily interested in issues ranging from health care to pay inequality all the way to gender discrimination? Well, that’s like, a lot of important sectors.  Girls are really interested in those things? Wow. Go figure.

I don’t know where Ms. Guilfoyle is getting her information from, but how terribly off target she is about the mentality of young American women is waayyy past the point of offensive.

To assume that 1) girls across the board are skipping through life dreaming of cocktail dresses and who they’ll let buy their drinks at happy hour so much that 2) their brains are too packed with superficial information to try to learn about voting issues and 3) there’s a good chance they wouldn’t care about the issues even if they did find an extra crevice of grey matter not occupied by OKCupid messages is utterly absurd and she should be ashamed of herself.

Of course she issued a half-assed apology that sounds like it was written by an intern at Fox’s PR firm just to save the station a little face. It did little to redeem her in my eyes. Good luck with keeping her on the payroll, Fox. The fact she wasn’t fired immediately astounds me. But then that’s Fox News for you. The longer she stays at the desk, the more confident I am that this world is going to hell in a hand basket.

Trying to discourage women to vote, especially at this very crucial point when serious change can be made that will further the fight for equality for women across the country, is appalling and should the likes of Ms. Guilfoyle continue pushing for selective voting they’ll have only themselves to blame when they end up with no rights and no laws on their side.  Unfortunately they’re taking the rest of us women down with them.