Gawd, this book again
My fellow writer and co-worker Amargita explored this book ("Too Fat, Too Slutty, too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman" by Anne Helen Petersen) for a bit in one of her latest articles. I was inspired by this to compile a list of women I truly think are "unruly" but who are ignored by the mainstream press and popular culture ( I mean, women who REALLY ARE...)
(And by the way...what about the women who aren't loud and obnoxious? The ones who get pushed around by the loud and obnoxious ones?)
I have found that "bitches" tend to be mean to everyone, even their fellow "sisters".
At the same time though, I applaud them. They have a right to exist. I am glad that they exist. They do serve a purpose.
But I also think they suck.
The author had this list of women who are unruly: Serena Williams, Melissa McCarthy, Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, Nicki Minaj, Madonna, Kim Kardashian, Hillary Clinton, Caitlyn Jenner, Jennifer Weiner, and Lena Dunham. Each one of these women represents a PHYSICAL affront to the status quo for the most part- something physical, about their bodies, their appearance, their demeanor, has been deemed too offensive to society (by the author). Thrusting women's physical presence in people's faces is a favored feminist trope currently, espoused also by non-American feminist groups like Pussy Riot from Russia, an example of "unruly women" that checks all the boxes, though are not mentioned in this book. (Pussy Riot and its cousin group Femen engage in "protest" acts of vandalism and sexual aggressiveness to assert points of feminism, Femen particularly indulging in nudity to get its point across.)
So maybe movie stars and music stars can wield power in regards to improving media representation of women, showcasing women in more powerful positions, but it doesn't and shouldn't make them the leaders of a feminist movement, as this author would have you believe. At one point she declares that Lena Dunham, Beyonce, and some other movie stars are now the leading feminist icons!
A few of the women on this list I have never even heard of, and the rest of them I KNOW the majority of Americans haven't even heard of, because you have to exist in a certain bourgeoisie elitist milieu to have heard of them (guilty as charged!)
But even I am not so competent in this arena (maybe I'm too old, but I do also admit willfully trying to ignore up and coming new movie stars and pop culture figures; ignore them and they will go away, just like white nationalists.) I had no idea who Abbi Jacobson, Ilana Glazer, or Jennifer Weiner were, so their unruliness has been lost on me ( and probably most of the population of this country).
Serena Williams, fine. The one black lady she has on the list, yeah I agree with that. She is obviously ridiculed for being a muscly black woman, and this was the way that Michelle Obama has been mocked too; I give you that one. ( I do not have any women of color in my list because I didn't happen to have one and I wasn't going to pretend to have one either.)
But all of these women are celebrities. They're also liberal-leaning political dilettantes and hypocrites. Say what you like about right-wing haters like Phyllis Schafly, I am sure they are unruly, ball-busting women too in their own way ( just not in a pink, Hollywood kind of way).
I'll even admit that Hillary Clinton has to be a tough lady to run for President, but this book did nothing but apologize for her political faux pas under the guise that all criticism of her could be chalked up to misogyny.
And Lena Dunham? This is the voice of a new generation? A privileged young white woman who has no political analysis except to piggy back on petty pseudo- feminist outrage and feels that exposing her body to everyone is somehow improving matters?
Here is MY list of "unruly women", who with the exception of one, emanate from the world of politics, journalism, current events, and philosophy, (OKAY, and so I only have four, but I only get so much space, and it was SO IMPORTANT what I had to say about each one.)
CAMILLE PAGLIA is the original anti-feminist feminist, but I never scorned her. Granted, I didn't take much interest in feminism when I was younger, and I did think she was a little annoying with her fawning over Madonna and her sort of a tacky, provocative-for -the hell-of -it presence (probably created by mainstream media for shock value), but she has stuck to her guns and I believe she is re-emerging in popularity. She has a unique take on women and feminism, with which I don't completely agree, but which I find refreshing. She also comes from an immigrant, working class background and emphasizes the need to know world HISTORY and GEOGRAPHY, to EDUCATE YOURSELF, elements which I am sure inform her opinions and view of the world. She's a lone wolf who is allowed to exist in the cultural medium but I do believe does ultimately make most of her decisions to please herself and not pander to mainstream media. A Bernie Sanders supporter with criticism that smacks of the right-wing, she lets out stunning quips of criticism that can hold you over FOR DAYS....
DIANA JOHNSTONE is a bloody political genius. All you need to do to understand "the world" and its' current political forces is to read her two books "Fool's Crusade" and "Queen of Chaos: The Misadventures of Hillary Clinton". Everything fucked up in this decade began way back in the 90's with the Clintons and the destruction of Yugoslavia.
THEY. THEM. THOSE TWO DID THAT.
This is a woman whose devastating and accurate political analysis of the world is pure magic...it's just so good, it shines because it's so perfect and heavy with its precision and accusation. She explores how modern-day feminism is a movement exploited by the elite for geopolitical goals like the ascendancy of a certain political candidate based only on her gender, the annihilation of Russia (Pussy Riot and Femen) and even the further destruction of Syria.
Of course, she registers barely a blip on the mainstream radar and you have to really search for people like her; anyone celebrated by the mainstream you have to really suspect.
LESLIE HALL is so weird she causes people to literally shit their pants on the internet. Her videos and persona are so unique she truly confuses and astounds people, a true guarantee of "uppityness" (whatever the hell "uppityness" is).
She is unique and fearless, there is just NO ONE ELSE LIKE HER.
She has made something out of nothing, the greatest achievement any artist can attain. Her music, her lifestyle, her attitude, her gold pants and sequined gem sweaters, her boldness, her incredible energy.
She has all the key ingredients of a true artist, as determined by the 3 Tier Devilish Turn Criteria for Greatness:
1.She has capitalized on and created something with existing trends that she is really into:
Leslie is into crafting - sewing, knitting, macrame, what have you. Her videos take place in thrift shops and craft stores. Absolutely brilliant, given the trend of thirty-something women influenced by liberal feminism and Bust magazine to return to women-oriented crafts that were eschewed by feminists of the Second Wave.
She has unwittingly capitalized on the body positive movement, fearlessly using her overweight body for dance, against the prescription of society (how's that for uppity in regards to physicality?) But funny, she never gets naked...
2.She has not forsaken where she comes from - another true indicator of greatness in an artist. She promotes her hometown of Ames, Iowa in her work.
3. She has followed her own instinct and not let others compromise her art; there were no rules. At the same time, she's been able to find sympathetic collaborators and has helped create an artistic movement in her city.
Leslie Hall is the music and artistic equivalent of the dynamic, unique force that is sorely needed in politics today.
I don't see much chatter about her anymore, and she is part of a new band, has created a new project called Neon and Nude, but she is ever in a trajectory of creativity and greatness.
Alex Jones had no idea who he was talking to in this interview with CELIA FARBER many months ago regarding refugees and crime in Sweden (or if he did, he didn't let it show, but I think he did). You wanna talk about conspiracy theories and truly controversial topics? Stuff Alex Jones in all his conspiracy glory would never touch in a million years? HIV dissenters are probably one of the most radioactive topics out there (scientists and other individuals who question whether HIV causes AiDS or not, see I even have to explain it ). It's something you rarely hear about anymore, but its adherents are likened to Holocaust deniers. Celia Farber was one of the first and only journalists to cover this topic in the eighties and nineties. HIV dissenters experience punishments and repercussions that critics of safer, more cush topics rarely endure (but on a par with vaccine dissidents, another topic she covers in her online writings).
Writing about Trump and racism and pedophilia in the Catholic Church ARE NOT controversial topics, and nobody is gonna punish you for those.
Voltaire supposedly said think about who you're not allowed to criticize, and realize who controls you. It's truly gutsy to criticize a individual or an entity in that prestigious category.
So I admire other women too, ( and other MEN) but of course, this was an article about women, and these are the women that are currently burning in the forefront of my mind and have been a source of great inspiration lately.
But none of them work in Hollywood, and with the exception of one, physicality has no bearing on their influence or work: they fill the media and culture, society-at-large with their thoughts and ideas, not how they present physically; they are "unruly" because of their willingness to be genuinely controversial. It's a completely different arena, and a much more positive one in my opinion, albeit I admit I don't see why the two can't exist in tandem. But while I think they should both exist, I feel Hollywood feminism has blotted out the sun of intellectual women.
And even though the passage below focuses on Pussy Riot and Femen, two feminist groups from Europe who were not mentioned in the Petersen book, I think it dovetails well and explains precisely the direction modern feminism is going and happens to be taken from a book written by one of my ladies (read all the way to the bottom). They're perfect examples of "unruly women" in the Hollywood sense who are not truly liberating but useful in political manipulation. (Taken from Diana Johnstone's book "Queen of Chaos: The Misadventures of Hillary Clinton":)
Cora Mandrakes is a Wiccan.