#Problematic: Playboy Covers Up, J. Law Writes A Letter For Lena & Amy Schumer Hurts Khloe’s Feelings
Happy weekend people. As I write this a bachelorette party that is Air BNB-ing across the way from my home is in the street. One is yelling at the closed front door, “Stephanie, Stephanie!” I think Stephanie is taking too long to put on her cat eye. It’s not even 4pm. Two are sitting on the sidewalk. “No one stands while they wait for an Uber in the south,” I think is what they assume. I can’t imagine how these broads are going to handle themselves at 4am. I just heard one of them say, “So you guys did anal?” “Yeah, and then we went to dinner at my parent’s house,” the other cooed. I should probably shut my window, but I can’t help it, these women are encapsulating the exciting time we live in. And I hope we all have as good of a weekend as they are about to. So now that we’ve set the scene, let’s get problematic.
1. No Mas Nudes
Ah sexuality, the age old phallic sword in the multiple-holed stone. They say sex and money rule the world, but what happens when dialing back on the sex means more money? Everyone loses their ever-pussy-loving minds, that’s what.
In announcing that it will no longer show nudez, as to have a bigger readership and online presence, iconic publication Playboy has effectively sent everyone into a frantic fit of some kind of combination of masturbating and sobbing. But what does it all mean? There’s plenty being said about America backsliding into some form of puritanical prudishness, but is that really the case, or just the knee-jerk reaction of men who apparently can’t find regular ‘ol porn online, and women who want to sound cool.
Playboy is the zenith of female objectification in many ways. Beyond the magazine, the parties and culture of the mansion itself are rumored to be the place where dignity goes to die. And beyond that, if you want to bring equality into it, there is no Dongs magazine, geared towards women, that gets sold on newsstands everywhere, in which ladies can freely peruse a rainbow of dick next to ads for American Spirits that make it still feel connected to the real world. Call me a prude, but maybe Playboy is *gasp* regressive.
Now, I am all for sex positivity, exhibitionism and some, as Rihanna sings, “S&M,” but that doesn’t mean sticking up for an antiquated standard of women existing, splayed and oiled, for the male gaze. In America, sex positivity has always been centered around this very restricting expectation, when really it would behoove us to be far more, eh how do you say, french about the whole thing. But isn’t that kind of what’s happening here? Isn’t whatever wave we’re on now-feminism, and the past few decades of sexual revolution reaching a peak of health when perhaps breast feeding in public can be more acceptable than a girl spread eagle for fringe fame, a meh pay check, and so a man has something to jerk it to while he takes a shit?
If anything it’s a sign of the much more progressive times that Playboy has also suggested that this shift in direction will bring a focus back to their ’70s-era journalistic probing of lore. What’s really problematic here is that any classing up of our culture has to be lamented as prudish—this is the same foundation of social ills like rape culture and hazing, but spouted off intend by bloated has beens who want to pretend that they belonged to a better time, when in reality they are just unfit for this one.
As #Problematic as … the porn industry bastardizing the word “facial”:
2. Jennifer Lawrence is Lena Dunham’s Cool Crutch
Jennifer Lawrence wrote a much applauded piece for Lena Dunham’s email blog Lenny Letter this past weekend where she rebuked Hollywood for taking advantage of her financially, and regretted her own inability to negotiate contracts, for the fear of not being liked. She did a good job of showing how the wage gap affects women of every profession and socioeconomic class. But more importantly Lawrence made it abundantly clear how internalized it has become for women to back down—even Hollywood’s top actress doesn’t want to rock the boat by asking for the same paycheck as the boys. And that is a powerful point.
What’s problematic here is Dunham coming out of the gate with her new format for herself, Lenny, completely using Jennifer Lawrence for credibility. In one swift hit of the “enter” key, Dunham sent out an e-blast of relevance, riding on the back of one of America’s most affable ladies. It just makes me feel bad, because Jennifer is clearly not even trying to be a writer in the piece (even though it is a riveting read), and also isn’t known for being the in your face activist a la Dunham’s style, but here she is being heralded as their voice of the week. By association Dunham gets to purport equal fame, equal friendship, equality with the person everyone wants to be best friends with, and hand deliver a note from Jen to their inbox. I don’t know, maybe Lenny Letter is actually the A-list Swift Squad of literary nightmares, but it just feels like Jen got swindled on this one, and if anyone is willing to dupe America’s best friend, it’s Lena Dunham.
As #Problematic as … Lena Dunham in your email:
3. Amy Schumer is “Keeping Up With the Kardashians”
And now, in what can only be described as, “a strange turn of events,” I will now defend Amy Schumer. Unless you’ve been living under a stack of old VHS’s, you know rampant feminism exploiter turned STAR! hosted “Saturday Night Live” last week. Her opening monologue was by far the high note of what feels like a fading SNL right now (with the exception of anything Kate Mckinnon does). And to say that is a compliment to Schumer. I firmly believe the less tolerable parts of her schtick are the forced, if not sometimes contrived expansion of who she once was as a comedian for the big time arena.
But doing stand up is clearly where Schumer feels at home, her feminism is the self-referential, non aggrandizing kind, and she hits just as often above the belt as below. And in doing all of this Saturday night, she took to not our first family, the Kardashians, for fodder. She remarked upon what is currently undeniable, which is the fact that this most recent and heightened iteration of Kardashian fame, seems to require every member of the family to air not he side of caution regarding their natural appearances. She used this to make a joke about how “Khloe used to be ours,” meaning Khloe used to be the most relatable to us before her weight loss. Queue the pissy tweet from Khloe about how she’s on a “healthy journey” now, and there’s “no need to tear down others just to make urself feel better.”
All of this just makes me so sick—that the Kardashians have no sense of humor or self awareness about their images, that they want so badly to dominate the world, while also completely micromanaging our reaction to their domination of it. If that’s the case, then they should be required to stay in that bubble they’ve made for themselves. Stay off television programs that aren’t their own, get the fuck out of all the art shows, and please stay off NPR. Let Snapchat, Twitter and E! fashion recaps be your world, Kardashians, because that’s what you deserve—a world that reflects back your own.
But also for the sake of fairness, I have to say what’s really problematic here is that Amy Schumer has followed a similar path to the Kardashians, that is desperately becoming “hotter” as fame crescendos. Schumer is far more caked in make up, cinched at the waste, and in higher heels than she was pre-super stardom, and isn’t that the same thing?
As #Problematic as … the way “Trianwreck” devolved into the same kind of rom com it was pretending to parody: