#Problematic: Dolce & Gabbana Goes After Gay Parents & Michelle Obama Dares To Miss An Open Window
Hi, America, I’m Sally Field. (I’ve just really always wanted to say that, sorry.) It’s that time of year again, the neon, electronic bacchanal better known as spring break. The future leaders of the free world are heading to their nearest beach towns to indulge in a series of coming of age activities—oral sex with strangers, whip-its, sand, betrayal and alcohol poisoning. What is perceived now as a celebration of invincibility and freedom, they will one day use to measure just how happy they are to not be in the midst of their flavored vodka phase anymore. We all have to learn the importance of selectivity in sexual partners and beverages somehow. Anyways, I think the moral this week is that adulthood isn’t so bad, as it’s been week for elevating moral standards. Even Kanye got his doctorate.
Eva Mendes said that if you want to keep your husband, you should put your fucking sweatpants away. She got a lot of flack for that sounding anti-female empowerment, but as the mother of Ryan Gosling’s child, you should probably shelve your judgement and take out a pen. Also, can we get over this phase of equating gentility and the desire to wear clothes that don’t double as burp bibs as being antifeminist? It’s trite. It’s reactionary. You’re probably wearing sweatpants while you write about how angry you are about benevolent advice from a woman with a better life than you.
Another woman who likely doesn’t own sweatpants, Jessica Lange, gave us all a lesson in what it means to be the supreme. Outfitted in a black dress, with a glass of red wine in her hand, she responded with a few bats of her eyelashes and a hair flip when asked at Paleyfest if Lady Gaga signing on for the next “American Horror Story” made her regret leaving the series. That’s one classy “fuck you.” So there you have it, your adult lady handbook—no sweatpants, and less is more. But I guess we could talk about some problems too.
1. Dolce Doesn’t Want Your Synthetic Leche
In a move that truly speaks to the power of religion, two incredibly wealthy, successful gay men with their own fashion label have found a way to isolate the gay community from their brand. Domenico Dolce, of Dolce and Gabbana, spoke to Panorama magazine this week about his conservative stance on gay parenting. He asserted, “The only family is the traditional one. No chemical offspring and rented uterus: life has a natural flow; there are things that should not be changed. I call children of chemistry, synthetic children. Uteri [for] rent, semen chosen from a catalog.” Apparently it takes half of one of the most successful gay couples of all time to say what all the Republicans are thinking. Don’t ask this guy what he thinks about Pope Francis.
Elton John in all of his glory took it upon himself to call Dolce the fuck out. John and long time partner David Furnish have had two children with the help of IVF, and obviously have a whole hell of a lot of ground to stand on. He posted a photo to Instagram of the fashion designers with the caption, “How dare you refer to my beautiful children as ‘synthetic’. And shame on you for wagging your judgmental little fingers at IVF — a miracle that has allowed legions of loving people, both straight and gay, to fulfill their dream of having children. Your archaic thinking is out of step with the times, just like your fashions. I shall never wear Dolce and Gabbana ever again. #BoycottDolceGabbana.” Perez Hilton, Ricky Martin, Courtney Love and Madonna have all also followed suit in shaming the regressive sentiment.
Honestly—and I say this actually as someone with a gay father—what’s problematic is there’s an underlying superficiality to the whole ordeal. There are so many double standards in the fashion industry, and this one seems to be a flavor of the month. There has yet to be any real discourse, outside of windswept social media blurbs, from the gay community on the implications of the message the famous fashion house is putting forth. Dolce and Gabbana openly haven’t supported gay marriage for years, and for the same antiquated reasoning, and it never caused a boycott. Obviously, when you bring children into the conversation, things are going to get rightfully more heated, but not necessarily to a more seen-through conclusion. Elton, the crocodile-rocking legend himself, was unfortunately spotted two days after his comments were made, tiny dancing into an LA studio with a D&G bag. His rep gave a half-assed, “Yes, he was carrying the bag, but he hadn’t been shopping and it should not detract from the original message or boycott.” He hadn’t been shopping, you guys.
As #Problematic as … Paris Hilton being allowed to own animals:
2. FLOTUS Should Have Her Open Windows
Michelle Obama, in all of her understated elegance, went on “Ellen” and let the world know how grateful they should be for their right to a goddamn breeze. The first lady was responding to a simple and fair question from Ellen—what she is looking forward to when life after the White House is over, when she can live a “somewhat normal life.” Obama said she was looking forward to the simple things, like being able to open a window. This, coming from someone who admitted she hasn’t been able to roll the window down in a car in seven years, seems like a completely sound answer. The mother of two children, the wife of a two-term president, Michelle Obama has earned the right to roll a window down. She said that moving into the White House was like “trying to drink out of a fire hydrant.” What she was describing was the overwhelming way in which her and her family’s lives changed so drastically, all at once.
The internet has taken to some nasty shaming of the First Lady that’s completely uncalled for. She did use the word “hard” to describe the circumstances her position dictates for her. Yes, it is a jump to describe a life that is innately privileged in those terms, but it takes a complete lack of perspective or context to condemn her for it. And yet, that’s what people are doing. I don’t think it’s unfair to say that if this same sentiment came from Laura Bush, the world would be celebrating her simplicity. To admonish Michelle Obama, one of the most relatable first ladies in our history, for saying an incredibly relatable thing is indicative of how hostile the country is to the family as a whole. It’s disrespectful to say the least. Obama went on to preform a choreographed dance to Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk” with Ellen and some backup dancers, and everyone needs to uptown fuck the hell off.
As #Problematic as Disney princesses:
3. “Gay” Is Not Synonymous With “Predator“
Kevin Spacey is not an openly gay man, but it is a widely held belief that he is a homosexual. Big deal. So is Frank Underwood, pretty much. And yet, Gawker’s Defamer took it upon themselves to field a correspondence with anonymous tip senders to source stories of when Spacey has hit on men in unsolicited instances. As though he were a known child molester in a new suburban development, and they were the mommy bloggers trying to smoke him out, they asked for more anonymous users of the internet to leave their alleged experiences with the actor in the comments of the already unnecessary and disgusting published story.
This is essentially a hate article. It acts on the pretense of knowing that Spacey is a sexual predator because he is gay. For how much internet trolls are hated by the masses, especially journalists, to validate them as truth-seekers is deplorable. I guess they are called “defamer,” and might just be holding up their end of a corrupt integrity bargain, but the story not only offends a great actor’s character, but also that of homosexuals everywhere.
What is incredibly problematic is that most A-list actors, steeped in all of their privilege and wealth, are ass-grabbing philanderers of the nobodies who sneak into private Hollywood parties. Why is it acceptable for them to source completely unverifiable accounts of unsavory encounters with Spacey from the endless realm of internet assholes, and publish them as an online condemnation of him being a perv? If he were straight, the idea would never have crossed their salacious minds. They’re in need of a swift Underwood-style verbal assault, if not a secret push in front of a train. Goodnight.
As #Problematic as … Doug Stamper:
4. Men Don’t Trust Women
Literally, that has been a revelation on the internet this week. Normally I wouldn’t give a flying freak flag about something posted on VerySmartBrothas.com, but this week Huffington Post and Salon decided to toot the horn of one of their writers to a disproportionate level.
Granted, the title of the original article by Damon Young is “Men Don’t Trust Women—And That’s a Problem,” but this realization is presented as a never-before-heard “aha” moment in male feminism. Now, and we talked about this last week, a lot of feminists were angry with Aziz Ansari for getting quite a bit of praise for his pro-feminist stand up. The argument for which was that he was over-simplifying complicated topics, and getting too much attention for it. I happen to disagree. I think Ansari was just being observational about the way men physically threaten women, and how their obliviousness speaks to the very root of how far we still have to go. That’s not over simplifying anything, and actually being very blunt about it.
Where Ansari is rising above the accepted, yet inappropriate behavior for men, Young on the other hand is trying to get applause for succumbing to society. He says, “It took five months of marriage, eight months of being engaged, and another year of whatever the hell we were doing before we got engaged for me to learn something about my wife.” That thing he is referring to learning about her is that he did not trust her feelings, or rather her emotions or reactions to her own feelings. He doesn’t condemn that idea either necessarily, but rather convey an attitude of how unfortunate it is that he’s been conditioned to think that way, and a “gee wouldn’t it be great if that wasn’t the case” mentality. Even though he points out that it is an internalized societal problem, in so many words, he acts as though it’s acceptable, as though every man actually doesn’t trust the emotions of women. The self-indulgent nature of a man wanting to get credit for reaching some landmark of understanding of humanity because he doesn’t trust his wife is indicative that the conclusion here isn’t that ground breaking. He also likens men not trusting women to whites not trusting blacks, which is just as over-simplifying as his main argument, and illustrates his complete failure to grasp the complexities of the topic of which he’s speaking. At least he’s cool with his wife wearing her snuggie over her onesie, what a stand up dude.
As #Problematic as … pro-life organizations losing it over Glitter Bombs For Choice:
5. The Divine Secrets of Ashley Judd
Ashley Judd—actress, activist and founding member of the Yaya Sisterhood—has made the move of a century. Judd is a sports fan, something that scares men almost as much as the vagina itself. God forbid a woman have an opinion, let alone one about sports—that is after all, a man’s world. But hey, isn’t the whole world? Patriarchy, amiright? Well, Judd is standing up for herself and women everywhere, and it’s pretty badass.
The internet is a scary place, that’s not a secret. It’s inherent anonymity is a weapon. It rears its ugly head in many ways, but Twitter is probably its favorite playground. This is where celebrities, and anyone who is visible in art, politics, literature, music, or contributes to society in any meaningful way is cut down by mean spirited people with nothing better to do. Just as a writer I’ve been told I deserved to be raped, among other things, by feminists, by men, by anonymous whoever’s, and for what I just considered to be doing my job. Women with opinions are attacked in a way that is bone chilling. Men obviously are not exempt from online hate-spewing. But it is women who can have a completely commonplace tweet turn into a firestorm of “your pussy smells like garbage I hope you die” madness.
That’s exactly what happened to Judd when she tweeted what would have been considered a playful, sport-loving thing from any man. During a March Madness game last weekend (a controversy within itself, but that’s a different story), Judd tweeted about the opposing team, “playing dirty & can kiss my team’s free throw making ass.” I don’t know who her team was, or who the opponent was, and I very much do not care. Nor is it relevant. What is relevant is that the tweet is a pretty whatever thing to say. Sports happen. People say sporty “kiss my ass” things. The game ends, and you go home, floss the popcorn out of your teeth, and go to fucking bed. Judd on the other hand was bombarded with such severe hatred and threatening language that she is potentially seeking legal action. Furthermore, she wrote a pretty revolutionary op-ed for Mic.com. Not only does she very bravely talk about her own experience with sexual violence, she takes a thoughtful, eloquent stance against all of the behaviors that contribute to the absolute circus that is our gender upside-down world.
“…I must, as a woman who was once a girl, as someone who uses the Internet, as a citizen of the world, address personally, spiritually, publicly and even legally, the ripe dangers that invariably accompany being a woman and having an opinion about sports or, frankly, anything else.”—It’s unfortunate that she must, but thank fucking god that she did. Twitter trolls of the world, eat a dick.
As #Problematic as … Ruth Bader Ginsberg not being immortal: