The New Feminism



If there’s one thing that screams “empowerful,” it’s visible buttcheeks.

Stand aside, hairy-legged femi-Nazis, because there’s a new feminism in town. And it’s wearing some really tall heels.

Parents looking for role models for teenage daughters: Finally there is a show for you.

“Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search for the Next Doll,” which is to have its premiere on Tuesday night on the CW network, may look like just another reality show with attractive, slinkily dressed women preening for the camera in the hope of a shot at stardom.

But “Pussycat Dolls Present” is about female empowerment, the show’s producers explained to a group of television writers and critics here in January.

In theory, there’s nothing wrong with women dancing in their underwear. But we aren’t living in “theory.” We’re living in a society wherein women in their underwear on TV are there primarily for male pleasure, and to remind all other women of our inferior status — and to make a lot of money for male-run enterprises. And in our supposedly post-feminist society, spending a shitload of money on make-up and fancy lingerie, tottering around in toe-pinching high heels, and twisting your body into painful — but, lower back be damned, sexxxy! — positions is now empowerment. According, of course, to the dudes who are making a lot of cash from “empowering” these women.

For the uninitiated, the Pussycat Dolls are a female singing group whose six members slither through their music videos dressed like Barbie’s nasty cousins. In their best known song they ask the musical question: “Don’t cha wish your girlfriend was a freak like me?”

Dismiss immediately whatever pornographic inferences such a performance might bring to mind, said McG, the music producer and film director who is an executive producer of “Pussycat Dolls Present.” The Dolls, McG said, are simply making a heartfelt inquiry: “It’s just like saying, ‘Don’t you wish your girlfriend could be free and comfortable in her own skin and do her own thing, like me?’ ”

Here are the lyrics to Don’t Cha (which, full disclosure, is one of my favorite songs to listen to while I run on the treadmill). No, it is not about being comfortable in your own skin. It is about — surprise, surprise — a big ole catfight, wherein the Pussycat Dolls are in competition with another (less freaky, less “raw”) girl for a man. Groundbreaking shit, right?

When one reporter said his 17-year-old daughter looked at the group and their antics as a giant step backward for women, the Pussycat Dolls’ founder, Robin Antin, became defensive, invoking female role models who follow the Dolls.

“There’s a reason why people like Scarlett Johansson, Gwen Stefani, Cameron Diaz have all been so interested in what Pussycat Dolls is all about,” she said. “They feel that it is empowering to get up there and dress up like a Doll. It’s fun, and it’s something that every girl in the world — she may think one thing, but I think inside every girl in the world wants to do it.”

She might think it’s bad for women, but we all know that it’s a waste of time for women to use their puny lady-brains. Deep inside, she wants nothing more than to be a porno Barbie.

Now, I think there’s something to be said for the fun of burlesque, and I think there are ways that burlesque shows can be done which aren’t necessarily feminist, but also aren’t straight-up anti-feminist. The Pussycat Dolls are not that show. “Dressing up like a Doll” does not sound particularly powerful. And yes, many people — myself included — think that playing dress-up can be fun. I think it can be fun when a woman performs a burlesque show, or when a woman performs male-ness, or when a man performs as a woman, or when we show that gender and “sexiness” are largely performances. Pretend. Dress-up. Ways to emphasize that both femininity and masculinity are the result of a lot of effort, and men and women are made rather than born.

But the creators of the Pussycat Dolls show aren’t about dress-up or gender-fucking or making a statement about how thoroughly false the entire thing is — and how that falsity can be turned into a pretty good time. They’re about making this an identity, about further equating female sexuality with pleasing men and being a toy (they are “dolls,” after all).

When another male writer asked what kind of women truly aspire to the Dolls’ aesthetic, McG responded: “You must understand the fundamental paradox of a gentleman of your age asking that very question.”

He added: “Being a step backwards for women suggests it’s in the service of men. Under no circumstances is this in the service of men.”

On the contrary, he said: “There’s even a position to take if this is, frankly, third-wave feminism.”

“Under no circumstances is this in the service of men.” That is a mind-fuck so thorough that I’m not sure where to start with it.

I love it when non-feminists decide that they will define “feminism” in order to suit their own aims. Third-wave feminists have enough trouble trying to explain that “sex-positive” doesn’t always mean “totally ok with all pornography and traditional female subjugation.” The backlash is in full swing, and part of it involves using feminism to suit your own, non-feminist aims: Selling sexist shit as “empowerful,” fear-mongering about Femi-Nazis, arguing that feminism created the mainstreaming of pornography, or deciding that a woman is a real feminist if she embraces every requirement of traditional femininity. When conservative writers and talking heads complain about “feminism,” they take one of two tacks: Either they emphasize the non-conformity aspect and harangue hairy-legged femi-Nazis for trying to ruin it for the mens, or they blame feminism for things like Girls Gone Wild and the sexualization of girls.

Now, we all know that the Pussycat Dolls phenomenon is backlash politics at its best, not Third Wave feminism. I think you’d have a hard time finding an actual feminist who thinks that the Dolls are a sign that the revolution has come and we won out.

I am deeply troubled at the use of feminist language to promote things that are decidedly anti-feminist, and that only serve to keep women in their place as either virgins or whores. But I’m further troubled by some of the feminist response to that phenomenon, as exemplified by books like Female Chauvinist Pigs. That response seems to be, “blame the sluts.” Which isn’t particularly helpful.

Younger women may have more choices today than ever before, but we still don’t have a full array. Younger women are presented with an image of male-defined “sexiness” as the best way for them to be attractive, fun and desirable. Dancing on the bar or flashing their breasts secures them the positive attention that they probably wouldn’t get from being the smartest girl in class. It’s the new way to prove that you’re “fun” and “independent” if you’re “doing it for me.” And while men are fully permitted to be both sexual and serious, and otherwise possessive of complex identities, women who seek male attention are pushed into the sexbot role. The Pussycat Dolls are making a lot of money — certainly much more than they would make if they wore long pants and button-downs. I would guess that they’re making more money than most Congresswomen or lawyers or businesswomen. They aren’t stupid, and they’re rational actors. This benefits them. They do it.

It also benefits the dudes who put groups like this together, market them, direct their videos, and profit from their record sales. Those dudes get to earn the cash without having to get their chests sliced open and a hunk of saline jammed in so that their bodies can be adequate play-toys. They get to earn the cash without politicians, writers, parents, and feminists telling them that they’re horrible immoral sluts. They get to earn the cash without the threat of being replaced by the next girl who’s willing to go a step further, who looks a few years younger, who’s better at shutting up and doing what she’s told.

But it’s easier to blame the girl who’s shaking her ass for money than it is to blame the guy who’s paying her to do it, or the guy who’s profiting from it. And it’s easier to shout “feminism” in order to give your misogynist endeavors some credibility than it is to actually evaluate them, cut the “empowerful” shit, and at least admit that what you’re doing is thoroughly and unapologetically using women’s bodies to please men and to make things a little bit harder for the rest of us.


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About Jill

Jill began blogging for Feministe in 2005. She has since written as a weekly columnist for the Guardian newspaper and in April 2014 she was appointed as senior political writer for Cosmopolitan magazine.
This entry was posted in Entertainment, Feminism, Gender, Music and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

50 Responses to The New Feminism

  1. norbizness says:

    This needs to be cut off at the knees with a simple proposal: make the word “empower” and its many offshoots a neologism, like “embiggen” or “cromulent” or any number of Rich Hall-penned Sniglets from the 1980s (“potentator” = the largest potato chip in a newly opened bag).

    That way, when people say it, we’ll assume they’re making a joke.

  2. Roy says:

    It’s fun, and it’s something that every girl in the world — she may think one thing, but I think inside every girl in the world wants to do it.

    Oh. For gods sakes.

    Yeah, that sounds like a really empowering message- “Look, I know that you think that this is sexist bullshit, but, seriously, deep inside, you really want to strip down to your undies and put on a show for men. You want to be viewed largely as an object. Come on. Admit it.”

    I like that it’s every girl in the world, too.

    I guess if you’re just going to make shit up, you may as well aim big.

  3. Sarah says:

    Well, according to Ms. Antin, you can be a Pussycat Doll and be empowered…but only if you’re really, really hot, as evidenced by the really, really hot women who are also interested in appearing really, really hot.

    Ooo! I bet all the contestants will be really, really hot, too!!

    Wouldn’t THAT be a show, though? Some girls with a few extra pounds, maybe some cellulite here and there, perhaps–gasp!–an A cup or two competing to be the most “empowered” they can be?

    (Alas, I guaran-fucking-tee that somebody’s weight will be mentioned in this show…)

  4. Thomas says:

    In fact, dancing in one’s underwear for a national television audience is so empowering that all of the producers are also contestants … right?

    *crickets*

    Right?

  5. Morgan says:

    This is especially sad because it is replacing Veronica Mars, for now. If it gets better ratings, I am official disgusted with American culture.

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  7. Lesley Plum says:

    They feel that it is empowering to get up there and dress up like a Doll. It’s fun, and it’s something that every girl in the world — she may think one thing, but I think inside every girl in the world wants to do it.

    Which, even if true (beyond highly doubtful), has absolutely nothing to do with gender stereotypes, what men find sexy, and women being brought up to want to please men. Of course not.

    /sarcasm

  8. Thomas says:

    I think there are ways that burlesque shows can be done which aren’t necessarily feminist, but also aren’t straight-up anti-feminist.

    IMO, what it means is mostly determined by the relationship between the performer and the audience. TPD are not even trying to do burlesque ironically, of course … but an act that was trying to be ironic about sexual performance and traditional presentation of female body as sex object would have an awfully hard time doing so for a broadcast television audience, because that audience does not have the tools even to recognize subversion if it smacked them on the collective schmeckle.
    Performers in front of a specialized audience with whom they share a collective frame of reference can do much more to comment and criticize; as in queer burlesque and drag shows.

    I have at times said that, as one end of the spectrum, the relationship between performer and audience is so close that the performance is really interaction (as in the case of an erotic image sent by a model to a single recipient that he or she knows well). TPD is at the other end of the spectrum, casting its performance to the general mass of television watchers. Even if they were trying to do something admirable (which they are not), they couldn’t.

  9. Katie says:

    Hey, now! Female Chauvinist Pigs does not say “blame the sluts!” It dedicates page after page, time and again, to differentiating Levy’s judgment of women’s decisions to perform certain behaviors when those behaviors don’t 100% match their own desires from Levy’s judgment of women’s decisions to perform whatever behaviors 100% match their own desires.

    “Slut-blaming” judges women’s decisions to perform certain behaviors regardless of what the woman wants.

  10. norbizness says:

    Morgan: No need to wait for the ratings to come out; Road Hogs starring martin Lawrence and John Travolta made five times as much as David Fincher’s Zodiac over the weekend. Actually, the fact that most network television hasn’t collapsed upon itself into a singularity of hyperdense cultural pollution is a pretty damning indictment unto itself.

  11. ellenbrenna says:

    I do not know that men are allowed to be sexual and serious…they are just not expected to be publicly sexual therefore they get taken seriously. They are not expected to put on displays of their sexuality no matter how irrelevant sex may be to the matter at hand. Women, on the other hand, are expected to be sexual at all times.

    Men are allowed to mask their sexuality for other purposes but if men dressed, or were pressured to dress or act the way women act in public (i.e. emphasizeing their secondary sex characteristics but not TOO MUCH) they would be taken a lot less seriously. .

  12. Thomas says:

    ellenbrenna, YES!! The only patriarchally approved expression of male sexuality is predatory/acquisitive. Guys at the watercooler are expected to be circumspect and euphemistic about their wives’ sexuality, and to simply refuse to acknowledge that their daughters are sexual; but they don’t get any funny looks for referencing women as prey or possessions. Men, in professional circumstances, have leeway to say some pretty shockingly misogynist things. Other men have space to point out that those references are crude or unprofessional, but criticizing those remarks as woman-hating or sex-negative draws funny looks. Depressingly enough, when a man is willing to make feminist critiques of this discourse, if he’s not in a position where counterattack is possible, he just gets written off as too far from the mainstream to matter: “eh, that’s just Thomas. You know. Women’s Studies and all. Dude, don’t say stuff like that around him. He gets all offended.”

  13. Hugo says:

    Echoing Thomas and ellenbrenna. This is why it’s so vital that men do this brave and often disheartening work. And it’s why getting allies is so vital — winning over one man at the water cooler at a time…

  14. Mnemosyne says:

    “There’s a reason why people like Scarlett Johansson, Gwen Stefani, Cameron Diaz have all been so interested in what Pussycat Dolls is all about,” she said. “They feel that it is empowering to get up there and dress up like a Doll. It’s fun, and it’s something that every girl in the world — she may think one thing, but I think inside every girl in the world wants to do it.”

    I wouldn’t mind doing it, but I’d rather be an astronaut first. Being a Pussycat Doll is actually pretty far down my list of fantasy jobs.

  15. The Pussycat Dolls. Dolls. Dolls, fuckers! (not you guys)

    How empowering can it possibly be to actively pursue a role that’s explicitly described as that of an object?

  16. RacyT says:

    Fun with Oxford online!

    Ah, language. How telling it is, no?

    pussy• noun (pl. pussies) 1 (also pussy cat) informal a cat. 2 vulgar slang a woman’s genitals. 3 vulgar slang women considered sexually. 4 slang a weak or effeminate boy or man; a male homosexual

    doll• noun 1 a small model of a human figure, used as a child’s toy. 2 informal an attractive young woman.

    empower
    • verb 1 give authority or power to; authorize. 2 give strength and confidence to.
    — DERIVATIVES empowerment noun.

    As they used to say on Sesame Street, one of these things is not like the other…

  17. arielladrake says:

    “There’s a reason why people like Scarlett Johansson, Gwen Stefani, Cameron Diaz have all been so interested in what Pussycat Dolls is all about,” she said.

    Yeah, cos everyone knows Gwen Stefani knows all about empowerment. Like how she ’empowered’ the AsAm girls who are contracted to never speak English and dress identically and follow her around. Stefani’s interested in the Pussycat Dolls because she has ‘dolls’ of her own, who she refuses to treat like real, breathing, women of colour.

    I don’t think that retort achieved what Antin intended.

  18. Roy says:

    RacyT – good point. It doesn’t hurt to point out that “Pussycat” is generally “one that is weak, compliant, or amiable.”

  19. Ipomoea says:

    Morgan Says:

    This is especially sad because it is replacing Veronica Mars, for now. If it gets better ratings, I am official disgusted with American culture

    .

    I was going to say the same thing. Replace Veronica Mars, arguably the best female role model on TV (with the exception of President Roslin, maybe?) with… the Pussycat Dolls?

    Hmm. One fights crime (and to stay on the air) using her smarts and not her body. The others fight… I don’t know what. I can only hope the ratings are awful, they pull it early, and show some VM reruns from first season.

  20. meggygurl says:

    I think it is telling of our culture that a show like that will most likely have ratings that blow a (brillant and feminist) show like Veronica Mars out of the water.

    Is watching a tiny blonde girl use her brains and resources, not dress like a hooker, and not need big strong men to justify her role in life really so hard for young girls to watch? What kind of message that I know 5th graders who are excited about the Pussycat Dolls show and I know 22 year olds who think Veronica Mars isn’t sexy or boy crazy enough?

    Sorry. Tangent. I don’t normally comment, but I am so annoyed by this crap pile taking up my Tuesday nights at 9. I think I’m just gonna watch Smarter Then A Fifth Grader.

    Screw you CW.

  21. Ismone says:

    I’m with Katie about Ariel Levy’s book “Female Chauvanist Pigs”–I think what she is really opposed to is a sort of compulsory, homogenous sexual display. Not sluts, but women engaging in slut-shaming by pretending to be “one of the boys.” Not having multiple sex partners as a young teenaged girl, but having multiple sex partners as a young teenaged girl because it gives you status even though YOU DON’T EVEN ENJOY SEX. Does she paint with too broad a brush? Sure. But I think she does a good job pointing out that sex-positivism has been commercialized beyond recognition, and that feminism is supposed to be about choices, not about one type of appropriate sexual or gender expression.

  22. Tobes says:

    Amen! I am so pissed about my beloved Veronica Mars. Here I go tooting my blogging horn but I must link…

    http://tobestalks.blogspot.com/2006/07/more-tv-and-films-for-feminists.html

    HOW CAN THEY GET RID OF VM for the PCD!! SO FREAKING MAD.

    Also… I would like more discussion on why we are dissing Female Chauvinist Pigs– I really enjoyed that book!

    ~Tobestalks.blogspot.com

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  24. I had mercifully forgotten the Pussycat Dolls completely. My first reaction on seeing them on Vegas (I like James Cann OK) was how boring and unoriginal. Just another girl group with interchangeable woman set up to make money for some male producer. Sort of a bad flashback to the Ronetts but with out the distinctive voice.

    The men behind this are so full of it it’s amazing. Empowered and its derivatives have been totally drained of any meaning by now and need to be retired for a decade or two. It can’t be a coincidence that the Spice Girls may be going back on tour soon.

    Kudos to the one reporters 17 year old daughter though. Too bad she wasn’t there to call bullshit on Antins’ answer.

  25. Daisy says:

    Reiterating some other folks: I don’t think it’s fair to say that Female Chauvinist Pigs comes down to “blame the sluts.” In fact, I think Levy was saying the same thing you did — that women play roles like those of the Pussycat Dolls because there’s something in it for them and they know it.

    Other than that, though, very well said.

  26. Marya says:

    They feel that it is empowering to get up there and dress up like a Doll. It’s fun, and it’s something that every girl in the world — she may think one thing, but I think inside every girl in the world wants to do it.”

    There’s something empowering about dressing up as a thing, as an object?

    I couldn’t bare to finish reading the article.

  27. Jessica says:

    How innovative: the Spice Girls + a catfight + Fergie-style male fantasy wardrobe + grrrl power.

    This coming from a gal who works out to their craptastic pop music (including Don’t Cha), dresses similarily for costume parties/drag shows, and knows full well that none of it is remotely empowering.
    Fun? Yes. Influenced by the patriarchical society we live in? Of course. Feminist act? Rarely.

  28. JM says:

    Of course, Veronicas Mars had a subplot about evil feminists making false accusations of rape, didn’t it? So maybe the two shows aren’t completely dissimilar.

  29. Isabel says:

    Of course, Veronicas Mars had a subplot about evil feminists making false accusations of rape, didn’t it? So maybe the two shows aren’t completely dissimilar.

    This is up for debate, but… it worked in the context of the show, because it wound up being not about OMG FEMINISTS HATE MEN AND WANT TO DESTROY THEM, but this specific group of feminists wanted to seek revenge on one specific frat for actions they saw as largely responsible for putting one of their best friends in a mental institution. So while I had the same misgivings at the beginning of the season, the fact that the motive was revenge, and not some abstract ideology, turned them from caricatures into characters.

    Plus, as has been said before, Veronica kicks ass on many, many levels (the original opening of the show featured a voice over by her, as a 17-year-old girl, saying “I’m never getting married”! what other show on TV would go for that? she CARRIES a TASER!)

    I couldn’t bare to finish reading the article.

    This is one of the funnier typos I’ve seen :)

  30. icy says:

    umm.. I just picked up Female Chauvinist Pigs, and as a young women who grew up right as the hyped up sex culture started up, I have to say, it was an eye opener. I don’t mean as a “blame the slut”. I didn’t take that away from Levy’s book at all.

    In fact, from Levy’s book, I took away that the message of feminism has become completely warped and misunderstood, “look, shiny!” and “empowerment” are just completely entangled. Years ago, we used our sexuality behind the scenes, now we tramp it out. And worse. And now, its young women who don’t know what we’re doing but we’re trying. And we’re floundering.

    I saw her book as a commentary on this next generation of young women who sorely lacks strong guidance on femininity and womanhood.

  31. Elizabeth says:

    The Pussycat Dolls have a television show?

    The revolution has come!!

    Sisters, we have won out!

    /kidding

  32. Oh, GAWD. It’s freaking Orwellian. White is the new black?

    One of the primary message of feminism, is that women are treated by men as consumable/disposable objects instead of human beings, and this is a BAD THING. Even in the “modern” US women are still members of the Sex Class whose services (sex, caretaking attention) are rented, leased or bought and then USED. So how, exactly, do the Pussycat Dolls advance the cause?

    That said, I love burlesque. It’s complicated. Both masculinity and femininity are mostly artificial constructs that are fun to play with, which is why movies like Torch Song Trilogy are so moving/endearing/entertaining. I’m also a dancer and love playing dressup and being sexy (by this culture’s definition, which requires a great deal of artifice). I love the attention I get from men who place a high value on what I look like in drag.

    (I also get VERY noisy when these men forget my humanity and start behaving as though they’ve just made a high-end purchase, but I notice this only confuses them.)

    I’d never call my sexbotty behavior feminist, not in a million years. Any cash-for-flesh exchange (even if the consumption is only visual) is antifeminist by definition. Still, self-described feminists do antifeminist things all the time, and if the PCDs want to call themselves feminists I’m not going to get in their way because watching them perform is a lot like looking into a trick mirror (one that makes me taller, skinnier and more XXXtreme). There but for the grace of the Goddess go I.

    It’s a wonder our heads don’t all explode.

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  34. Morgan says:

    isn’t Gwen Stefani already a pussycat doll?

  35. Frumious B says:

    It also benefits the dudes who put groups like this together, market them, direct their videos, and profit from their record sales.

    What about when women put together groups and make money off them? Is the exact same dance in the exact same costume suddenly empowering when women are the marketers? Lots of women these days put together their own sexually-charged dance troupes and perform in clubs calling it feminist. I think they are off their rockers but I’d sure be interested in hearing a cogent explanation of why they are not.

  36. exangelena says:

    I’ll join the chorus that Female Chauvinist Pigs and Ariel Levy have been unfairly maligned. First of all, while she does cite a lot of anecdotal evidence, some of the “sluts” that she criticizes are Paris Hilton, a woman who works with the camera crew for the ever-feminist Girls Gone Wild, and the lovely Judith Regan, who attempted to profit off the murder of a battered woman. People who have influence/power in society and promote antifeminism, should be criticized, even if they are women. And although she doesn’t write about men in the book that much, she cites some pretty disgusting examples, like men who start screaming at some random women to strip for Girls Gone Wild and plenty of asshole misogynists. Also, even though raunch culture is supposed to be “empowerful” for women, it’s really a display for men’s gratification and they get to do the same antifeminist thing they’ve been doing for millennia.
    One thing that I thought was interesting in her book was something like, “If you’re the exception to the rule, the rule is still that you’re a loser”. So women who act like they’re like a male chauvinist pig, are still buying into the idea that women are inferior. I think a lot of the book was a wakeup call, that women should stop collaborating with the patriarchy, even if it’s cool and fun.

  37. exangelena says:

    In the second sentence, the woman who works for GGW is *not* Paris Hilton.

  38. Spatterdash says:

    I hate the word empowering and the rhetoric that accompanies it, as it’s just a case of co-opting the language of feminism to support the structures of patriarchy.
    And if dressing up like a sexual fantasy gave you power, George W. Bush would make speeches in a leatherman outfit.

  39. Dan S. says:

    This is one of the funnier typos I’ve seen :)

    I saw one a while back somewhere about ‘looking for the sex discrimination angel’ (=angle). – that was pretty good too . . .

    And if dressing up like a sexual fantasy gave you power, George W. Bush would make speeches in a leatherman outfit
    .
    Not that it does, but still: one word – codpiece.

  40. Splatterdash: Remember the flight suit? Remember the talking heads falling all over themselves to talk about how it emphasized that certain part of his anatomy? The breathless assertions that one look at that package would silence any criticism of Bush as leader and commander-in-chief? It was one of the more pathetic displays that the teevee’s talking heads have put on in some time.

    It was the most hamfisted assertion of male virility as authority that I can remember, addressed to men as well as to women. I was astounded at how well it seemed to work, at least on the beltway types.

  41. Robert M. says:

    Everything you need to know about this article, and the show, is right here:

    …said McG, the music producer and film director who is an executive producer of “Pussycat Dolls Present.”

    This egotistical cobag upstanding representative of post-modern manhood got his start directing mainstream rap music videos, which are well-known for presenting positive views of women and female sexuality; from there, his big break was directing the groundbreaking feminist manifesto Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle.

  42. Laurie says:

    And if dressing up like a sexual fantasy gave you power, George W. Bush would make speeches in a leatherman outfit.

    Thank you SO much. I so did NOT need that image in my head. *sigh* Now I gotta go wash my brain….

    The only other thing I have to add to the discussion is that I’ve heard the Pussycat Dolls. Once. (On “Dancing with the Stars”.) I had to fast forward through it — the combination of pseudo-disco (lived through it once, thanks) and pseudo-sexual gyrations made it impossible for me to watch/listen to. Gah! Empowerful, my ass. (And NOT just because the word makes my grammar bump ache.)

  43. Huh. That “Don’t You Wish Your Girlfriend Was Hot Like Me” song… now, I’m just a hyperchicken from a backwoods asteroid, but really, the only time I’ve ever heard it has been in the following television spots:

    The spot for the new season of American Idol’s “best of the worst” auditions where an overweight woman in a bad wig and clunky glasses murmured it to an appalled Simon.

    The spot for Norbit oh, you know, that movie Eddie Murphy was nominated for an Oscar for. The one where he dresses in drag and a fat suit to tell the daring story of how disgusting fat women are.

    The spot for Wild Hogs that movie with Martin Lawrence and Tim Allen and John Travolta and William H. Macy about a bunch of men who go riding motorcycles across country to prove they’re not gay (seriously, if you read the NYT review, it’s a tired rehash of some of the most canned Hollywood homophobia themes you’re likely to see). In said television spot, some overweight, balding dude is singing it during Karaoke at what appears to be a street fair to the dismay of Martin Lawrence.

    Yeah, that song just reeks of empowerment.

  44. mythago says:

    What about when women put together groups and make money off them? Is the exact same dance in the exact same costume suddenly empowering when women are the marketers?

    Is a pimp not a pimp if she’s female?

    The article would bother me less if it weren’t for the straightfaced bullshit of the promoters.

  45. arielladrake says:

    that movie Eddie Murphy was nominated for an Oscar for.

    Um, wasn’t he nominated for Dreamgirls? Or is my sarcasm meter broken today?

  46. Check your sarcasm meter :)

  47. zincink says:

    “every girl in the world wants to do it”

    Pussycat Dolls Present” is about female empowerment, the show’s producers explained:

    I think the producer might be on crack.

    Lets me ask you this question…If it is “Empowerment”..why did they cancel the making of the Pussycat Doll which was supppose to be available at your local Toys R Us?…

    Is their next show going to be Drag Queens USA for the gay male population?

  48. Pingback: the Hathor Legacy » Blog Archive » I Read the Internets - 3/10/07

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