Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Victoria's Not So Sure About Her Secret

I was supposed to get my bitch in the mail this afternoon.

Bitch. You know, the magazine?

Instead, when I unfurled the stack of bills, crap masquerading as bills, and bills masquerading as crap, I found Victoria's Secret.

You know, the catalogue?

I looked at the cover for a second. Then I looked at it again.

Folks, I was terrified.

This is ostensibly a magazine targeted at straight women.

It looks like "lesbian" porn made for straight guys.

18-year-old me is not amused. 

Yeah, I know.

But WHY?

Do I have sex hair?

There are many things this photo says to me.

None of them involve me wanting to have what she's having.

When I see these women in these magazines, I think they're sexy. They're attractive. But they're not for me, are they?

They're supposed to be a woman's physical ideal. What you can look like if only you buy that tiny teddy. Which makes it even weirder that they're giving me, their (presumably) straight reader, such bedroom eyes.

She clearly wants you in her bed. Yes, you. 
I guess it's not too weird, if you don't think about it.

Victoria's Secret just wants to sell what society has decided constitutes sexy clothes and undergarments.
What's the best way to advertise that these clothes are sexy?

Show sexy people wearing the sexy clothes while projecting as much sex appeal as possible.

It seems so self-explanatory.

Unless, of course, you're a woman attracted to women.

Then, it's just really fucking confusing.

On one level, I can understand that the photos are idealized images meant to get straight women to buy shit. On another, I feel attracted to them and yet understand that I'm not the target audience for this attraction.

Now, I don't want to malign the choices of any other lady-lovin' lady, but when I see these pictures they're more of a turn-off than anything.

Because women know what it takes to look that good.

It takes tanning beds.

It takes a styling team.

It takes the longest, thinnest bodies and even then it takes the highest heels.

Sometimes it takes plastic surgery.

It takes long-ass acrylic nails, and lady-lovin' ladies certainly don't wear those.

You know why.

Think about it.

This is not to say that these women aren't real.

Their images are airbrushed, certainly. But they are women who have won what our society sees as the genetic lottery. And I'm personally fed up with shoving groups of women under the bus in pursuit of the "real" woman.

Real women have curves.

Real women don't.

Get the picture?

Coming back from that brief tangent, I'm trying to say that these women are clearly being targeted as ideal representations from the male point of view because the patriarchy wants men to think that women just look like that.


More on Teh Patriarchy later.

Women who love women look like a lot of different things, but far fewer than you think look like the women above.

As the kids would say, "sick."

This is Robyn.

She's a Swedish popstar.

My gaydar was pinging all over the place with this one, but she's actually confirmed she's straight.

Now, if the models of Victoria's Secret looked like her, I'd likely be feeling a lot less cognitive dissonance while looking at the magazine.

I think it'd be pretty difficult to convince me that Robyn isn't sexy. Even if you're not attracted to her, you can't deny that she has that raw fierce quality that just can't be airbrushed out. She's herself. She doesn't take shit.

To me, this is queer.

You can be gay or bi and not be queer.

Queer is breaking boundaries in any way you can. It's fire and glitter and twisting under and over fences.

Queer is used as a verb nowadays. "I like how she queers cinema," I might say about a filmmaker. Or "I'm trying to queer the gothic romance."

On the most surface level, this can mean breaking expected norms of romantic attachment by making a same-sex couple the center of a novel.

On a deeper level, it can mean questioning the validity of the very term "same-sex".

Queer rejects stability, not because it's bourgeois (although I'm sure some people reject it for that very reason) but because stability tends to mold things into patterns, and patterns tend to solidify oppression.

This doesn't mean we're running all over the place screaming our flaming little heads off (although, again, I'm sure it does for some people.)

We work to make the world a place for EVERYONE to LIVE.

So, Victoria's Secret.

I'm probably better off not knowing, anyway.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

I Made a Thing

This explains everything ever.

Wimminz Issues

I wanted to write about something substantial today, but my brain had other ideas.

My brain still wants to talk about Thor. 

I'm not going to pretend that it was the best movie of ever, or anything like that. Watching it in 3D gave me a bit of a headache, and the glasses--being on top of my own and all--gave the characters dim little double shadows. Plus, everything was really dark. Not metaphorically. It was dark because we were all wearing tinted glasses.

So, I'm not going to talk about Loki this time--there may or may not be a picture of him on my my desktop right now--because there are other feministy things that need to be discussed.

Like wimminz.

There were four wimminz in this movie. And though none of them were REALLY fleshed out, they were endowed with feminist magic dust.

See Jane.

Jane is an astrophysicist. And she's dressed like a normal person.

She even has a cute animal tee on under her normal person sweater.

She does cool sciency things, and when Thor tells her to run away, she doesn't. And she helps with logics and stuff.

She doesn't need to be rescued, and neither does her wisecracking assistant, Darcy.

Wearing normal attire, as well. And nerd glasses. And looking like me.

The thing is, women aren't particularly sexualized in this movie.

Need I remind you who is?

You're welcome.

And, the thing is, Thor's hotness is remarked upon. By the wimminz.

When Jane hits him with her car at the beginning, Darcy takes one look at him and says, "Does he need CPR? Because I totally know CPR."

I would say that this is an incredibly female-friendly film, especially considering that Thor gets punished and redeemed of his fratboy ways.

Then there's warrior goddess Sif.

Who looks like this in the comics.

I mean, come on. You can't fight like that.

Sif is awesome because when Thor's rallying everyone to go on a mission, he says, "Who convinced everyone that a woman would be the best warrior in the realm?" and she says, "I did!"

I liked that part.

Then, there's Thor's mother, Frigga.

She's awesome because she kills things when she has to.

So, see Thor. You won't be Thorry.


I'm really sorry about that.

Oh, and

I couldn't help it. If you click on it, you can zoom in and see his cute little twisty mouth, all plotty and devious. Awww!

Saturday, May 14, 2011


It was my dad's birthday. We had already watched three consecutive episodes of Buffy--fifth season conclusion, not exactly bunnies and butterflies*.  I had then, for some reason, decided that we should follow this Buffybinge by seeing Thor. In 3D.

I don't know how many movies you've seen in 3D, but it's a bit like being horribly, horribly drunk. Everything's distorted and flying into your face and you're sinking, confused, into your seat and laughing like it's keeping you alive. And then there's Frost Giants everywhere and--

Actually, that last bit's just Thor. Though I wouldn't be surprised if Frost Giants were the reason I feel so dazed while watching other movies in 3D. WHERE ARE YOU HIDING, FROST GIANTS???


So, my dad and I went to see Thor and the first thing I noticed was this:

Not too shabby.

Even though Thor is kind of a douchebag for the first half of the movie, I certainly wouldn't say no.

And then I saw this.

Ohai, Loki.

Broody? Check.
Smart? Check.
Lithe? Check.


He's the fucking GOD of mischief.


I grew up reading about Loki the Trickster. How he nearly ended the world 2987163987 times. How, when he tricked someone into killing someone else, he was tied to a rock deep underground and left for eternity, a serpent dripping acid onto his face.

Talk about angst.

In Thor, which is based on the Marvel comic books of the same name, Loki and Thor are brothers, sons of Odin. I don't remember this from the mythology, so I'm going to be lazy and assume that's it's specific to the comics. In the movie, Loki appears at first rational, sensible, and highly intelligent, especially when compared to his loud and boastful older brother. Later--SLIGHT SPOILERS--Loki becomes sort of insane (I'm not revealing why, because you should see the movie) and more angsty.

And evil.

Hooo boy.

It doesn't hurt that actor Tom Hiddleston is an absolute beauty in realsies.

Judas, you've got competition.

* Actually, there were bunnies. Which were interpreted by some *coughcoughANYAcough* to be a portend for the end of the world.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mama's Day

My mama's wearing the most badass patterned socks. I can see them peeking out beneath the hem of her jeans right now, checkered indigo and violet, splashes of green vaguely reminiscent of a wriggling worm. She's knitting a sweater, and it looks pretty good until you look at it closely. Well, it still looks pretty good then, if two-toned sweaters knitted from different lots of yarn don't bother you.

She got new glasses this week, round like the seventies. Round like hipsters.

Not that the seventies were round, or anything. I was referring to the glasses people wore IN the seventies. And hipsters.  But you probably got that just from reading.

When she graduated college, she wore sunflower-patterned culottes that stuck out under her gown. Scandalous!

My mom was my fashion icon. When I was younger, I would borrow her shoulder pads and tape them to my chest*.

I thought that's what they were for.

I don't remember if this lead me to believe that women in the '80s had naturally massive shoulders.

Basically, the only thing that's remained awesome since the '80s is my mom.

Once we were in the car, and I said, "This stop is Croton Falls," in imitation of that strangely preppy recording on our local train.

She thought I said, "This stuff is Crump Balls."

This is why I love her. Happy Mother's Day, Little Little!


Littlest Little

*This was before that time I stuffed her bra with socks and wore it around the house, or the time I strapped it to my head like a silky earmuff necklace.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

But I'm Still in love with Judas, Baby

From the first time I watched the video I knew it was terrible.

That was last night.

I've watched it about 120983649871 times since then.

Maybe it's because I really am in love with Judas. I've always been in love with Judas.

Judas is my Spike.

He's my Faith.

He's everyone I've never wanted to date and a few that I have*.

I could say that Judas is mizzundastood, yo, but I don't know him. Why is he so interesting? There shouldn't be anything interesting about the bad boy/boi anymore.

Even in the video, he's a misogynistic, drunken, completely clueless asshole. He poured beer on Gaga's ass in the ritual bath, for shit's sake. Who DOES that?

A tool.

Of the Patriarchy**.

I don't even know if I can go into why he's still so appealing without writing some annoying, overdone ode to the bad boy that you've all heard and don't particularly want to hear again.

Is it internalized oppression? Why am I attracted to dangerous, unhealthy masculinities? Should it make me feel any better that Jesus is also way hot in this video?

**Crickets Chirping**

Right. Well. Unsolved mysteries and all that.

This blog is about celebrating the fabulous and queer, sometimes with a side of glitter. You see, when I saw that video...and then I saw it again, and again, etc...I just...

Fuck it.

I knew I needed something to do. I needed an outlet to discuss the intersections of queer and mainstream culture. Appropriation. Femme visibility. Bi visibility. Politics.


Hey, did you see the part where Gaga draws a cross on the corner of his mouth with a lipstick gun?

*most of which, apparently, exist in the Buffyverse.
** stolen from Vag Magazine, the parody-feminist web series.