Francois Ozon: I think women understand the film more than men. … I think women can really be connected with this girl because it’s a fantasy of many women to do prostitution. That doesn’t mean they do it, but the fact to be paid to have sex is something which is very obvious in feminine sexuality.
The Hollywood Reporter: Why do you believe that is a desire? I really don’t think that’s the case.
I think that’s the case because sexuality is complex. I think to be an object in sexuality is something very obvious you know, to be desired, to be used. There is kind of a passivity that women are looking for. That’s why the scene with Charlotte Rampling is very important, because she says [prostitution] was a fantasy she always had but never had the courage to do it. She was too shy.
How did you come to the conclusion that is a theme in women’s sexuality?
It is the reality. You speak with many women, you speak with shrinks, everybody knows that. Well, maybe not Americans!
This is the French director Francois Ozon, whose film “Young & Beautiful” — about a Parisian teen girl who becomes a prostitute — screened at Cannes. At first I was inclined to think, ‘Oh, those French men!‘ but I do think this exchange is worth a closer look because it reveals a lot about his somewhat limited view of women’s sexual fantasies. Keep reading »
Last week, I was in a conversation on Facebook in which I admitted to not liking kids. (My comment: “Real talk: I don’t actually like babies, actually, or children.”) I thought about taking it down as soon as I posted it. An hour later, I was still thinking about taking it down. No one paid much attention to the comment; it’s not really a secret among my friends that I feel this way, although one friend wrote “Yikes,” which I’m still not sure how to respond to. Nevertheless, I felt like I had crossed some serious line. I post everything I write — mostly personal essays that connect to my political beliefs — on social media. As such, this status is definitely not the first time I’ve insulted someone with my beliefs. Yet affirming my dislike of children on Facebook seemed like a whole new level of evil.
But still, I didn’t take the status down. Keep reading »
The first MMA fight that I saw was by accident. I was visiting a friend at her apartment and her boyfriend and his friends were watching the last battle in a trio of fights between Quinton Jackson and Wanderlei Silva, two notable MMA fighters. I’d always had a healthy respect for the craft of boxing but this was unlike anything I’d ever seen. The extreme violence of it paired with the variety of fighting styles in the ring was especially jarring.
It was awhile before I saw my next fight. But this time it was between two women: Cristiane Santos and Gina Carano. I watched with a couple girlfriends of mine. All three of us were interested in fitness. We wanted to not only tone our bodies but also incorporate some kind of self-defense into our weekly workouts. The fight between Carano and Santos piqued our interest in not only learning how to fight in self-defense, but also in taking our fitness regime to the next level. Keep reading »
Something nice for a change: here’s a clever new video from the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault about “breaking the box” of society-prescribed gender stereotypes. Boys can cry. Girls can play football. Taking advantage of a drunk woman doesn’t make you a “man.” It’s 2013, everyone!
What do you think of the PSA? [Feministing]
“Are you going to grow your hair out for the wedding?”
Obviously my stylist needed to know, because she was standing there with scissors. But family members? Dress shop employees? After the hundredth time telling people “No,” it got a little tiresome.
The question, in and of itself, isn’t offensive or stupid. It’s probably just small talk. After all, it’s incredibly uncommon to see short-haired brides, especially represented in mainstream wedding-related media; it’s understandable why people ask.
But there are an awful lot of preconceived notions about weddings and femininity and the all-importantness of a one-day event packed into that deceptively innocent sentence. Keep reading »
Hey, masculinity and femininity are totally constructions. That’s some Women’s Studies 101 stuff right there. Nevertheless, there are times when we just really want to dig in and fulfill our essentialist ideals. That’s likely why a thread on Reddit last week blew up — men were asked, “What thing do you do to make yourself feel manly?” and a range of responses came in. Everything from “running my hands through my chest hair” and saying “‘make it double’ while ordering a drink,” to “fixing things around the house without calling a professional” and “cooking meats, preferably on a BBQ” were mentioned. And while none of these things necessarily embody maleness, they are telling social markers for what we’ve come to expect of masculinity.
So in the spirit of sharing, we’ve come up with our own list of things that make us feel “feminine.” Even if “femininity” isn’t really a real thing. Check out our list and share yours in the comments.
Keep reading »
I love hippies … I just don’t always understand what they’re talking about. Case in point: an uber-New Age-y piece Alanis Morissette penned today on The Daily Beast about the “divine feminine.” Well, it’s sort of about how everyone needs to reconcile the “divine feminine” and the “divine masculine” within themselves and that will bring peace and harmony to the Earth. Or something. Keep reading »
Big news in science land: A new study from UCLA’s Department of Psychology has found that Republican women have more feminine facial features than their Democratic counterparts. Researchers examined the facial features of women in Congress and rated them based on adherence to standards of “gender-typical femininity.” Those faces were then judged by students, who were asked to guess which political party each face belonged to. The students were apparently, surprisingly, accurate in matching faces that ranked high in femininity with conservative politics and those with more masculine features as more liberal.
Oh boy. Keep reading »
When Helen Gurley Brown passed away earlier this week at the age of 90, female journalists and writers came out en masse to laud Brown for her contributions to the sexual liberation of women and heralded her a feminist icon.
It’s true that Brown’s incredible 32-year reign at Cosmopolitan marked a sea change for women’s publications, offering a fresh, sexually liberated image of women “having it all” (which in Brown’s world meant sex, money and power). Brown wanted women to harness their femininity to get ahead, and many took to her female-forward, pro-sex message. But let’s not pretend Helen Gurley Brown’s “stiletto feminism” — to borrow a phrase from Washington Post writer Kathleen Parker — wasn’t also problematic. Keep reading »
“The flower to me means strength with femininity. I think that a lot of people say things like ‘You run like a girl.’ That doesn’t mean you have to run soft or you have to run dainty. It means that you’re strong.”
– U.S. 800-meter champion Alysia Montano, currently competing at the 2012 Olympics in London, on the flower she wears behind her right ear when she races. Montano began wearing the flower years ago, because though she always ran, played, and competed against the boys growing up, she never wanted to be thought of as one of them — and she wanted to remind them that they were being beat by a girl. Her opponents now may be other female athletes, but the flower has become her trademark. Love it. [Yahoo News]