Tuesday, June 17, 2014

HONEY, WHAT'S AT THE MOVIES?

Rebecca Cusey at The Federalist:
Angelina Jolie wants us to talk about rape, but not in the Western-centric, man-blaming, feminist-professor way of the chattering classes.
She would like us to move beyond insular #YesAllWomen Twitter outrage to a global perspective with a broader, wiser understanding of the evils of human nature and the ability to overcome that evil with good. 
Jolie stepped into this conversation way back in 2009 when she agreed to lend her considerable star power to a movie that explored rape in the context of a children’s story. 
That movie became “Maleficent”...
OK, how about Jersey Boys?

UPDATE. Commenter D Johnston points us to Cusey's other essay on Maleficent, in which she denounces morally demented movies that "make the case that the villain is simply misunderstood" and "argue that the euro-centric, patriarchal, cisnormative, everything-normative world has gone crazy and the sane ones are those who buck the system" -- movies like (I am not joking) Shrek.

78 comments:

  1. EndOfTheWorld11:12 PM

    Finally, someone with the courage to talk about rape without all that "man-blaming." Come on, ladies, let's not get hung up on who's penis violated who now.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Kelsey Grammer wants us to talk about lynching, but not in the Confederate-centric, white-blaming, civil rights professor way of the chattering classes.

    ReplyDelete
  3. hellslittlestangel11:30 PM

    From Bambi to The Lion King to this -- that Disney crew sure knows how to traumatize little kids.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Spaghetti Lee11:35 PM

    OK, how about Jersey Boys?


    Victor Davis Hanson wants to spend 1,300 words telling you that Frankie Valli had a level of integrity and class that Jay-Z totally lacks. Maybe just stay in and check what's on Netflix.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Derelict11:38 PM

    I guess that, for the rightwingnuts, rape is about to become a "lifestyle choice" for women. I expect that we'll soon have Jeff Foxworthy or that racist asshole with the ventriloquist dummies doing some routine about how to accessorize properly for rape.

    ReplyDelete
  6. The awful part is that the above isn't the worst bit in the article. This is:

    For Jolie, the story of rape does not end at the violation nor at fighting back. She goes further. “Maleficent” baffles victim-centric American feminists because instead of merely a story of victimhood or vengeance, it goes beyond both to become a story of rising above abuse and choosing to be better.



    You know what? I'm not touching this one. Nope, not me, not saying anything about this statement arguing that the real problem with rape is the victims. I'm just going to leave it here, in a place well away from the walls and anything breakable, and let someone else unpack and address it.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Gromet12:02 AM

    Western women have what many women around the world do not: Tools to
    fight back. That’s hardly the word from the #YesAllWomen crowd.


    Pff, these jerky feminists, with their civilization that's too advanced, smugly demanding there be no rape! Why don't they ever tweet about how great it is to have universally noble cops and problem-solving rape kits?? Ungrateful bitches!

    Look, Western civilization is perfect as is. But it's also fragile. And if these bitches try to make it perfecter by reducing rape -- angrily! -- then we will topple, as we will have committed civilization's gravest sin: Failure to accept a certain amount of rape while tweeting heartfelt appreciation for how it could be worse.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I haven't seen Maleficent, but didn't the title character go on to be a thundering asshole to a lot of innocent people? How is an elaborate revenge plot that primarily targets an infant a case of rising above abuse and choosing to be better than one's rapist?

    ReplyDelete
  9. I mean, that paragraph is obviously horrific in its implications, but the reasoning being employed is just bizarre.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Gromet12:17 AM

    It's almost like we're dealing with a person who has no idea that other people have interior lives more complicated than a Hallmark card.

    I imagine Cusey drawing a flow chart to figure out what it's like to be a human being. Inside a square: "A woman suffers a violent, gender-based attack." Three arrows point discrete ways out. Arrow 1: "Is she whining forlornly?" Arrow 2: "Is she plotting evil revenge?" Arrow 3: "Is she rising above it to be a better person?" Cusey sits back from the chart she just drew, smiling proudly -- she has really nailed it, the human experience.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh, well that's in a different article written by the same author:

    She repents of her curse. She tries to change it, desperately tries to undo it. Finding the damage irrevocable, Maleficent feels the weight of her evil choice. Only when she confesses her guilt, sincerely apologizes, and promises to spend her life trying to make up for it, do things change.



    I'm not touching this one, either - mostly because the only explanation I can find that unites these two statements makes me want to vomit.

    ReplyDelete
  12. ColBatGuano12:17 AM

    If you.......you might be a rapist.

    ReplyDelete
  13. BTW, the point of #yesallwomen is to talk about shit that happens to all women...in order to achieve what one might say is a "global perspective with a broader, wiser understanding of the evils of human nature..." Hence #yesALLwomen.

    Sheesh.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Pope Zebbidie XIII12:19 AM

    but not in the Western-centric, man-blaming, feminist-professor way of the chattering classes

    Adjective, adjective, adverb ,adjective, adjective, adjective verb noun. ADJECTIVE, adjective,adjective, adjective, verb, ADJECTIVE verb noun! Adjective, ADJECTIVE , adjective, adverb, adjective, adjective,ADJECTIVE , adjective, adjective noun!!!!

    ADJECTIVE, ADJECTIVE, ADJECTIVE, ADJECTIVE, ADJECTIVE, ADJECTIVE!!!!

    NOUN!!! verb.

    It's the grammatical version of mansplained anti-rape advice. Any noun that goes out by itself deserves what it gets.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Oh, there's an even better example in the other article she wrote about Maleficent - yes, two of them in a row. Anyway, here it is:

    Those stories make the case that the villain is simply misunderstood. They argue that the euro-centric, patriarchal, cisnormative, everything-normative world has gone crazy and the sane ones are those who buck the system.



    That sentence is about Shrek, by the way.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Ah I see. So basically, "slutty sluts, er idiot girls who don't know what rape is er...victims of sexual assault should spend their whole lives feeling guilty and miserable for trying to find justice. Rather, they should "rise above" their attackers' crimes, apologize for their attackers' crimes, and do good works to make up for the fact that they were attacked.

    Can someone please tell me why conservatives hate women so much?

    ReplyDelete
  17. Pope Zebbidie XIII12:28 AM

    I used to be in favour of the rights of women but since the SCUM Manifesto I only listen to Ted Nugent records.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Pope Zebbidie XIII12:31 AM

    Look. Just because Western women have the tools to fight back doesn't mean they're allowed to use them.

    ReplyDelete
  19. AGoodQuestion12:34 AM

    Offhand I would say that I'd met more feminists by the time I was three months old than Rebecca Cusey has to this day.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Pope Zebbidie XIII12:34 AM

    He's a Latinist? He could explain why Valli is the plural of Valium.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Pope Zebbidie XIII12:35 AM

    At the very least the women should pay the men compensation for sperm-jacking them.

    ReplyDelete
  22. AGoodQuestion12:39 AM

    My only response is that the claim the film "baffles victim-centric American feminists" reminds me of the old saw, "If you can't dazzle 'em with brilliance, baffle 'em with bullshit." On a few different levels.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Pope Zebbidie XIII12:47 AM

    Isn't exactly what George Will wrote last week? That there is a cachet to be obtained on campuses by being sexually assaulted?

    ReplyDelete
  24. Formerly_Nom_De_Plume1:13 AM

    the other article she wrote about Maleficent - yes, two of them in a row


    Well, now we know that Jolie's press agent isn't too particular about where he plants stories.

    ReplyDelete
  25. montag22:37 AM

    Ah, well, we all know that the only real victims are conservatives. Everyone else is just an unfit usurper to the title.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Tehanu2:52 AM

    So she's arguing that "patriarchal" and "cisnormative" mean exactly the same thing. If you happen to be a heterosexual, that makes you an advocate of male supremacy. And the corollary, I guess, is that if you're not an advocate of male supremacy, then you must be (gasp!) -- oh, the hell with it, why should I waste time trying to figure out what her delusions mean when I can just fall back on my favorite Molly Ivins quote, "Sheesh, what an asshole."

    ReplyDelete
  27. smut clyde3:13 AM

    Geo-caching was a lot easier in my day.

    ReplyDelete
  28. smut clyde3:16 AM

    They argue that the euro-centric, patriarchal, cisnormative,
    everything-normative world has gone crazy and the sane ones are those
    who buck the system.Goodness me. Someone needs to get her started on "Where the Wild Things Are".

    ReplyDelete
  29. BadExampleMan4:53 AM

    You'd probably learned more from them at three months, as well.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Dr Pretorius6:58 AM

    Nobody tell her about "I Spit on your Grave," 'kay?

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hey, Boys will be Boys, what're ya gonna do? Gotta love the big lugs. After a hard day ruling the world, some just need to let off a little steam.


    Women on the other hand, choose to complain instead of being good examples. Jeez, how are men supposed to learn good behavior?


    It just makes sense. I mean, we've been punishing "rapists" through the centuries with everything from chopping off dicks to hard time in prison, even death at times, and there are still rapes!!! Obviously, a little shame from being forgiven will set things straight.


    Holy (non-consensual) Fuck! What a simple-minded worldview to conflate personal development and healing with social reform.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Well, poverty is already a lifestyle choice that women make, according to certain conservatoids, when they "select into Divorce," so I'm guessing Yes.

    ReplyDelete
  33. One might say that a foundation of Western male culture is the revenge motif, and not in an ironic-protagonist-learns-that-revenge-makes-things-worse kinda way, but in a high-body-count-with-ingenious-methods-of-torture-and-death kinda way.


    But, women should know that revenge is for men, silly ninnies.

    ReplyDelete
  34. So here's what happened. She liked the movie and wants to talk about it, but in order to do that, Cluesey must first Conservatize the subject into acceptability and the big hurdle here is the title character is played by a hawt, liberal woman who keeps adopting brown babies. Noting less than "Look fellas, she doesn't blame men for rape!" would do.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Isn't that how all delusional personalities protect their egos when consuming pop culture?

    ReplyDelete
  36. Bethany Spencer7:52 AM

    There aren't enough upvotes in the world for this comment.

    ReplyDelete
  37. satch8:16 AM

    "Western women have what many women around the world do not: Tools to fight back. That’s hardly the word from the #YesAllWomen crowd."

    I'm gonna go out on a limb here and venture a guess that Cusey is talking about Second Amendment Tools"...

    ReplyDelete
  38. Derelict8:22 AM

    I haven't seen Maleficent, but didn't the title character go on to be a thundering asshole to a lot of innocent people?

    This pretty much encapsulates conservative life philosophy. How long before this movie is hailed as yet another title deserving of top billing at the Conservative Moronoplex?

    ReplyDelete
  39. Careful, she might start channeling Hanna Rosin.

    ReplyDelete
  40. sharculese8:36 AM

    From Wikipedia, so SPOILERS:

    An elderly woman narrates and tells the story of Maleficent, a very strong and powerful fairy living in the Moors, a magical realm bordering a human kingdom. As a young girl, she meets and falls in love with a human peasant boy named Stefan whose mutual romantic love and affections for Maleficent is overshadowed by his ambition to become king. As they grow older, Stefan stops seeing Maleficent. After Maleficent defeats the current king in battle when he attempts to invade the Moors, he offers to name whoever kills her his successor. Stefan overhears this and visits Maleficent at night, drugs her and attempts to kill her but cannot bring himself to do so. Instead he burns her wings off with iron, a lethal substance to fairies, and presents them to the king as proof of her death.



    A lot of reviewers have noticed this looks like rape, and Jolie said the undertones were intentional. Of course, that means for her argument Cusey is required to accept the premise that being drugged and assaulted by someone you know is rape, which... I thought that was a liberal heresy at this point.

    ReplyDelete
  41. I suspect that Frozen would have played better with conservatives if they hadn't gotten caught up in the supposed lesbian context. (This despite the fact that the two women love each other as, y'know, sisters. And hey, I'm not trying to shame anyone's kinks here, just going out on a limb and guessing that that's not where Disney was going with that one.)


    I mean, the whole "Let It Go (Even If It Fucks Over Those Latte-Sipping Urbanites)" number should suit them pretty well.

    ReplyDelete
  42. If you've ever uttered the phrase, "She didn't say no," you might be a rapist.


    If you think the phrase, "Once you pop, you can't stop," applies to more than just Pringles, you might be a rapist.

    ReplyDelete
  43. No, I really think she means we're allowed to Tweet about it, therefore Ding Dong Rape Culture is dead in America.

    ReplyDelete
  44. satch8:46 AM

    When Frankie Valli sang "I'd turn those sad rags into glad rags if I could", he revealed himself as just another liberal do-gooder encouraging dependency.

    ReplyDelete
  45. They don't really understand the difference between the author and the protagonist, either, but that's likely because they are themselves probably incapable of writing a protagonist who doesn't share their conservative worldview.

    ReplyDelete
  46. If we just shift the blame to vague "evils of human nature," we don't have to fix any social problems! Works out great for the people at the top of the existing social order, and really, who else matters?

    ReplyDelete
  47. EndOfTheWorld9:01 AM

    Makes sense to me! Libertarians and their wealthy benefactors already ascribe the venal depravities of business to the great amoral "Market." $4/ hour wages? Coal miners trapped in a collapsing mine? Slavery? It is the Will of the Market! Like Galactus, it is a force of nature only with neckbearded randroids as its herald instead of The Silver Surfer.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Emily689:07 AM

    Don't forget the granddaddy of 'em all for scary Disney movies: Darby O'Gill and the Little People.

    ReplyDelete
  49. BigHank539:10 AM

    Given how bad they seem to be at grasping the concepts of "fiction", "entertainment", and "character motivation", it's not really a surprise. But we are talking about people who have such stunted imaginations they can't even imagine someone with more imagination.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Slightly OT, but didn't they say the same thing about Matthew Sheppard basically causing his own death by coming on to three homophobic morons?

    ReplyDelete
  51. BigHank539:13 AM

    If you were wondering what sort of twisted thinking led some Irish nuns to think that shoveling hundreds of infants into an unmarked grave was a good idea, Ms. Cusey seems glad to provide a fresh new example.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Halloween_Jack9:40 AM

    “Maleficent” baffles victim-centric American feminists because instead of merely a story of victimhood or vengeance, it goes beyond both to become a story of rising above abuse and choosing to be better.


    Next up: Hansel and Gretel and the importance of dieting.

    ReplyDelete
  53. tools to fight back

    Yes! We have the right to remain silent. We have the right to a District Attorney (if we can get one to believe us) (and of course if we haven't died as a result of the attack or been honor-killed). We have the right to have our clothing choices and personal lives very carefully and publicly examined, by the rapist's attorney and the press, because everyone knows short skirts cause involuntary erections and emit magnetic fields that pull helpless penises across rooms, sometimes in groups, even when their owners try to resist by punching the skirt-wearer or holding her down. And everyone knows any previous sex we might have had weeks, months, or even years ago only contributes to the omnipotence of our penis-controlling magnetic fields.

    ReplyDelete
  54. FlipYrWhig10:11 AM

    "Invading the Moors" is clearly a reference to Benghazi.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Derelict10:43 AM

    Conservatives have always had a major problem understanding the concept of "consent" when it comes to women. But when your mental construct of the world is such that women have (and cannot have) agency, then it becomes not just easy but mandatory to blame women for being victims.

    Thus, women are not able to make choices about, say, abortion because they are passive vessels. And to enforce this view, we will force women to undergo unnecessary, intrusive, and shaming procedures without their consent before we let them exercise control over their own bodies. With this as background, is it any wonder why rape is the woman's fault?

    ReplyDelete
  56. Mooser11:02 AM

    How come nobody gives Whittaker Chambers the credit he deserves? I'm re-reading Tanenhaus' biography of Chambers.
    Chambers had the entire right-wing schtick worked out, and little has changed since he set the mode.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Mooser11:11 AM

    My God, what would conservatives think of my methods? I'm into a thing called 'continuous consent' which means that I only accept consent for the present level of intimacy ('may I pat your little hand?' 'How's about a kiss, Sugar?') and new consent must be sought for each escalation of intimacy ('C'mon, Mama, throw a blanket on me, pretty please' )
    Oh, who am I trying to fool. I only do it like that cause it's more fun.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Mooser11:14 AM

    You know what I think? I think CGI does more damage to kids body-image (especially girls) than a whole legion of trussed up Hollywood bimbos ever did.

    ReplyDelete
  59. Scott the Obscufre11:14 AM

    I'm still surprised there wasn't more pants-shitting over "no right, no wrong, no rules for me."

    ReplyDelete
  60. Derelict11:24 AM

    Some years back, there was a write-up on TPM about some heavy-hitter conservative who was being sued for divorce. One of his wife's complaints was that he repeatedly raped her anally. This included forcing himself into her while she was sleeping and while she was drunk.

    I guess forcible anal rape against someone you nominally love and care about is just A-Okay. Not like gay marriage which must be icky because of its consensual nature.

    ReplyDelete
  61. DocAmazing11:40 AM

    You can also see a doctor following your rape, who may or may not supply you with the means to prevent your becoming pregnant as a result of the rape, because Life.

    ReplyDelete
  62. susanoftexas12:08 PM

    The sane ones buck the system. The nuns refused to accept the deus-normative indoctrination that every life had value.

    ReplyDelete
  63. Derelict12:29 PM

    Yep--they're likely to be just that flip about it. So sad to have to share a planet with these people.

    ReplyDelete
  64. "We must send a message around the world that there is no disgrace in
    being a survivor of sexual violence—that the shame is on the
    aggressor…We need to shatter that impunity and make justice the norm,
    not the exception, for these crimes,” Jolie said."

    I can actually get behind this sentiment. Rape in war zones has always been about soldiers asserting their dominance and the losing societies turning their shame at losing inward on to the women who have been raped. In this context, it IS society's job to not stigmatize the victims, and to make sure they have a way back in to society as whole people. My problem with Cusey, to the extent that I can even decipher what the hell she's trying to say, is that she sounds like she wants to castigate the feminists in her head for wanting to turn rape sufferers into helpless victims, which I have NEVER heard a true feminist say, while taking the responsibilities that men have to not be total dickheaded toads completely out of the equation and putting the responsibility for openness and forgiveness completely on the victims. And I have no idea what she was trying to convey with this bit of snarky assholishness: "That message is increasingly the Gospel According to Saint Angie: Evil is complicated and must be stopped, but can only be overcome by good." I guess I should be happy to see that "The Federalist" has instituted a word salad bar.

    ReplyDelete
  65. smut clyde4:02 PM

    Sean Connery's finest role!

    ReplyDelete
  66. sophronia4:12 PM

    Thanks for explaining. I was thinking I must have seen the TV edit of Shrek with all the parts that upended cisnormativity cut for time constraints.

    ReplyDelete
  67. [Snaps fingers!]
    Say you know what? We should thank them for being assholes because that gives us a chance to accumulate grace by forgiving them!

    ReplyDelete
  68. Which is even odder because that would mean the antagonist is written by someone else?

    I'm not saying they don't think this way, just that there are new facets to their ruby of stupidity every time you look at it.

    ReplyDelete
  69. "Honey, I shrank my brain."

    ReplyDelete
  70. Penniless Moocher7:35 PM

    Wait, Dunham's a racist? I mean, it's not like I liked him to begin with, but, still a surprise to me.

    ReplyDelete
  71. smut clyde8:21 PM

    That movie became “Maleficent”...
    And now you know... the end of the story.

    ReplyDelete
  72. KatWillow9:20 PM

    But they just better not fire into the ceiling!

    ReplyDelete
  73. AGoodQuestion11:35 PM

    Well I did have a functioning nervous system.

    ReplyDelete
  74. I this regard, I suppose I am unredeemable.


    I'd rather go to hell.

    ReplyDelete
  75. Smarter than Your Average Bear6:45 PM

    Well that really appealed to the Libertarian faction.

    ReplyDelete
  76. Find best Home based Business without any work, just invest and rest with your profit
    EarningsClub.com

    ReplyDelete