Olympia-by Manet (1863) by Wikipedia
The Cognitive Gibberish of "Isms"
I probably shouldn't bother and just get back to my own work, but each morning I tend to hunt around the alternative news sites. Today, I waded into the battle between Sinead and Miley, hoping to find something amusing instead of just debilitating, oppressive cognitive dissonance. The problem, as usual, stems from ideologies . Once the dreaded three characters "ism" come out, it's all opinion dressed up as fact and theory from there on out. It's a battle of opinions on what the "ism" truly is, and what it allegedly represents, and the list of characters and caricatures who don't define the ism properly because the writer defines the ism better, and the purity of the ism is what they really have in mind, blah blah, f*cking blah to the nth.
You guessed it. Today it's "feminism."
To call out a concept so highly charged, so packed with emotionalism as is feminism you have to be off your meds these days. Well, I am sober, if that counts. I don't have any problem with equality. That's not the question here.
Feminism, like other ideologies, is indefinable and subject to change each time a new author employs it. A common pattern is that a writer will take a stand by disparaging several other women for their purportedly un-feminist views, as she defends someone else over controversial behavior or statements.
In this case the writer is Ruth Fowler, the victim is Miley Cyrus and the evildoer is Sinead O'Connor:
Sinead said, after she was obligated to respond to one of Miley
Cyrus' recent remarks citing her own work, was:
"It is in fact the case that you will obscure your talent by allowing yourself to be pimped, whether its [sic] the music business or yourself doing the pimping."
Sinead expresses an informed opinion about distracting the public with sex and diminishing the impact of Miley's own music. Sounds like a reasonable idea. The blitz of noise surrounding Miley Cyrus recently had nothing to do with her actual music.
"Nothing but harm will come in the long run, from allowing yourself to be exploited, and it is absolutely NOT in ANY way an empowerment of yourself or any other young women, for you to send across the message that you are to be valued (even by you) more for your sexual appeal than your obvious talent."
Not necessarily true in America, as the "harm" tends to pile up in bank accounts. Talent is probably optional. It is Sinead's heartfelt opinion here that emphasizing sexual attraction over ability is a negative, and she may be completely correct on that front. This is a larger conversation between men and women, and so how men respond to women who behave like that is quite relevant. Like it or not impressionable young women will take cues from successful music stars and mimic them. It isn't all that irrational to comment on the implications.
"None of the men ogling you give a sh*t about you either, do not be fooled. Many's the woman mistook lust for love. If they want you sexually that doesn't mean they give a f*ck about you."
That's Sinead's view. She does not use the (other) "f" word once, nor does she hide behind a tangled web of obfuscation. The "feminism" card is supplied by Ruth Fowler, who uses it fourteen times in her response to Sinead O'Connor.
Fowler's opinion of Sinead lacks fairness, at the least:
"...Sinead who, quite frankly, comes across as patriarchal, paternalistic, ragingly conservative and a bit of a (c-word)."
Really? Examining the implications of simulated sex on stage equals all those things? Patriarchal? Come on, you'll have to provide better support than that for these accusations.
"I'm sure Amanda is just acting out of concern for Sinead's mental health problems and severe decline after a once brilliant career""
Sinead must be nuts to boot!
I really must be nuts too if I eventually press "Post" on this. Fowler opened her vicious attack with an extended rant against open letters, and that those who employ them should probably be sent to the camps. I'm getting pretty darned terrified by now, but let's look at what the hell version of "feminism" we can all disagree on. Right after this line from Fowler, "...you probably deserve a kick up the vagina."