Mouse rant blog vent mouse.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Women: We only have ourselves to blame

In our rush to avoid the word "man-hater", sometimes the arguments get downright surreal. Right now, of course, the ongoing "post-feminist" trend is to blame oppression in women's lives as simply the fault of women themselves. Of course, the old stand-by is that if women are over-worked and stressed out, they only have themselves to blame for "wanting to have it all". Just them, and not their husbands who won't help around the house, not the government for refusing to address childcare problems, not crafters of economic policy that makes it nearly impossible for a family to subsist on one income, and whatever you do, never, ever blame unreasonable male expectations of women. No, it's just women's fault; they brought it on themselves.
And now this essay about the upcoming remake of The Stepford Wives that says that if women feel the pressure to be perfect, plastic beauties, well, who or what could they blame besides their own selves?

It is not men (or at least, not men alone) who do this to us. Indeed, Paramount's Web site for "The Stepford Wives" hardly mentions husbands. Instead it addresses the female viewer, showcasing "before" and "after" photos of the character played by Bette Midler much like those belonging to "Swan" contestants, and inviting us to upload our own photos for a personalized "Stepford Makeover."

That tiny aside "(or at least, not men alone)" is the only concession she makes that plastic surgery might be something other than what women put on other women and on themselves. Plastic surgery isn't about adhering to a beauty standard that closely conforms to the wishes of a certain class of wealthy white men; no, it's about women's love of fairy stories like "Cinderella".

Narratives of physical transformation can be read as symbolic of our desire to be seen, and loved, for who we really are — and to find love, recognition and acceptance that transcends stereotype, class, age, poverty and physical imperfection.

And since this is a universal feeling, I'm sure that we will have the male equivalent of "The Swan" any minute now.
No, actually, The Stepford Wives is all about class, money, sex, and physical imperfection. It's not so much the underbelly of stories like "Cinderella" as the horrific amplification of My Fair Lady, where this time Henry Higgins is able to use technology to effect a change in the stubborn, lower-class, imperfect lady by just killing her and replacing her with a compliant robot.
Like it or not, the story is a caustic criticism of a society where women's lives, bodies and desires are so subservient to men's. The wives in Stepford that have been "transformed" are not objects of mystery and envy to the untransformed wives, but are regarded with pity and horror by the untransformed women and as refreshingly subservient by the men. It is a criticism of a peculiar standard that the behavior of women should mirror the desires of men, and not just any men, a certain class of men, the rich white snobs who view a wife as just another status symbol like a house or a car.
Look, I didn't write the book. In fact, a man wrote the book, the same man in fact who wrote Rosemary's Baby, another horror story about how society feels that women's bodies belong first to their men and then to the community at large, but certainly not to themselves. It's withering in its assessment of men who feel entitled to women's subservience, by outright stating that such men are incapable of even understanding that women are human beings and not just low-quality playthings that need an upgrade. The women aren't glorying in finally becoming themselves! They aren't even there are their "transformations".

Via Feministing.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gee... I totally missed the message of Rosemary's Baby when I first saw it. :^)

Julian Elson


Blogger Amanda said...

I think there's alot of ways to read it, but that's what I picked up on immediately. I think my interpetation is bolstered somewhat because the writer also wrote The Stepford Wives.


Blogger BlondeSense Liz said...

I saw the original many times but hadn't read the book. Maybe the new version of the movie is different from the last version? The Times article goes on and on about Cinderella and women feeling the need to be perfect. .. that was NOT what Stepford Wives was about as I recall. It was about sucky white men. That movie came out when I was in college. We were horrified as it was the scariest movie since the Exorcist as I recall.

Your take on the story was right on. Women were so disregarded by men that they were replaced by robots in Stepford. What the hell does that have to do with Cinderella or plastic surgery anyway? That's completely different and falls under a different heading altogether, I believe.

I have to write a letter to that broad who wrote that Times piece and tell her to read the book or watch the movie before she makes commentaries like that. Sheeesh.

Good job Amanda


Blogger Jack Naka said...

Nice blog. Please check out my beauty salon cincinnati site. It is all about beauty salon cincinnati informations.


Blogger Enlargement said...

Interesting blog you have here, I landed here on accident. I was searching for something else and came across your site. I found it pretty interesting and entertaining. I got you book marked.

I will pop back in from time to time to see what you have new here.

My site is a bit different than yours, but just as entertaining and educational, I run a body makeover related site pertaining to body makeover related articles.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice Blog

Best Wishes

I have a site 80 million Down Loadable Movies If you have the time stop by.


Blogger Bloggy said...

I really liked your page and it is related to man gold dress watch, until next time!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

heh cool blog you have here!

I noticed you have a nice blog, read all of your links kept me interested for a good time! well done :)

Thanks for a good read instead of some of the other stuff people post here!


Blogger musica said...

We Offer The best methods to Stop Premature Ejaculation to learn more please click the next link Premature Ejaculation and visit our web site about Premature Ejaculation or

retrogade ejaculation or
Pre Ejaculation
or Male Ejaculation
or Stop Premature Ejaculation or

Premature Ejaculation cure or
Premature Ejaculation treatment or
Premature Ejaculation help or
prevent Premature Ejaculation

Also we Offer:

We offer help for acne cure you can find information in

acne cure or
natural acne cure or
natural cure acne treatment or
acne home cure or
nature cure acne


Also we Offer:

We offer help for dog obdience you can find information in

dog trainer or
dog training or
dog obedience


Also we Offer:

We offer entertaiment and you can get this visting

Download music or
free Download music or
free music Download or
mp3 Download music or
mp3 music download or

Download music or
free Download music or
free music Download or
mp3 Download music or
mp3 music download or


Also we Offer:

We offer help in penis enlargement visit

Penis enlargement or
Penis enlargement pills or
Penis growth


Also we Offer:

We offer help in search engine position visit

search engine positioning or
search engine position or
internet marketing or
blog submitter or
blog or


Also we Offer:

We offer help in Travel bargain visit

travel bargains or
discount travel or
discount airfare or
airline tickets or
cheap hotels


Blogger Google Page Rank 6 said...

Increase your Adsense Earnings

I noticed you have adsense ads on your page, Would you like to increase your earnings from them, Free and Legitimate way to make your clicks increase.
Come see my Blogger blog and it will tell you more.


Blogger wlbcpa said...

Just 4 Women. I want to introduce you to a website that is an internet resource for Women. Get answers, tips and ideas all in one place. Women


Blogger Kim said...

From time to time we find a blog interesting enough to read. Yours is in that category.

My partner and I have this interesting example marketing viral tool. It is a cool and effective example marketing viral tool.


Blogger Kim said...

I love your post. Interesting indeed.

We have this free article pro submitter tool that may interest you. It is a totally free article pro submitter tool.


Anonymous Penis Enlargement Surgery said...

Your blog is creative Keep up the great work. Maybe you could stop by my site sometime here: kegel exercises prostate cancer


Blogger KWBKTKDP said...

I read your blog and it was really cool, here please check out mine

I have a PSP Software site/blog. It pretty much covers PSP Software related stuff.


Anonymous Jelqing said...

On the same subject line, it's interesting how many people look for information about excersises to make my penis larger . I also like learning more about excersises to make my penis larger One of the sites I find very informative is excersises to make my penis larger I've learned alot from them.


Anonymous dog obedience said...


You've got an excellent blog here! I found it whilst I was looking for articles on dog obedience to include on my website:

Feel free to swing by sometime and have a look.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I think you have a great blog here, if you get a chance, check mine out. It's about PSP movie download software PSP movie download software. Let me know what you think



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home