At the end of 2013 we can say that the person of the year is a woman: in culture, society, media and politics, it was women who set the tone for the last 12 months. Of course, it's ridiculous to state this on the pages of Wonderzine, who already regularly reports on the victories of feminism, so we asked the man, deputy, to sum up the results of emancipation. Goshu Birger, chief editor of Afisha. Themselves, as they say, asked for it.
In early March, the American feminist culturologist Anita Sargsyan released the first video in the series "Tropes vs Women in Video Games" - that video games were created by dorks to raise new dorks. Sargsyan chose the right target for the crusade: games are now really becoming the most important cultural medium and more than others influence the formation of young people. And most importantly, often, due to the insignificance of the plot, they are built on the classic banal chauvinist images. For example, the archetype "maiden in trouble", about which Anita talks about in her first video: there is a princess imprisoned in a tower, and a knight who rides to save her. A woman appears as a helpless and inanimate thing, a prize fund, a man as a muscular hero who will simply come and take it. This is how thinking develops in children, in games brought up.
Meanwhile, exactly in the same month, there was a game called Bioshock Infinite, which also began with the "maiden in trouble" path. The hero - a typical bumpkin - is trusted to find and bring a girl imprisoned in a tower, but the hero turns out to be not very much a knight, and the captive, whom he gets to at the very beginning of the plot, first of all, in a big way, pokes the savior over the head with a textbook of quantum physics. And then Elizabeth will regularly tear the space-time continuum and over and over again save the hero from death in order to save his soul in the finale.
Aggressive girls with horn-rimmed glasses are not the best guide
These two counterexamples are not out of sync between feminist criticism and contemporary culture, but, on the contrary, are the result of one phenomenon. Many people in different parts of the world came up with one thought: it's time to take feminism away from feminists. Because let's be honest: aggressive girls in horn-rimmed glasses who blurt out “misogyny”, “patriarchy” and “objectification” are not the best conductor of any ideas, even correct ones. Feminism needed a rebranding, and it has been happening over the past few years (you can count, for example, from the launch of the Jezebel website). This year, its results have become obvious: on the one hand, criticism of pop culture has flourished, like Anita Sargsyan's, and on the other, there are ubiquitous examples of a new culture that respond to this criticism.
For example, on TV. In The Fall, where Gillian Anderson dominates all male characters in every way. In Top of the Lake, in which for the first time in a scene of sudden oral sex in the outhouse, the subject is a woman and the object is a man. In The Good Wife, in which the main character achieved emancipatory enlightenment and instead of being torn between two men, she began to skillfully play them. Male TV channel FX has completely turned into a messenger of emancipation: if in the first two seasons of American Horror Story, women's topics were still at least somewhat veiled, then in the current one, the idea of the similarity of the stories of blacks and women in America (in both cases - a long and still unfinished deliverance from slavery). In the biker masculine tragedy based on "Hamlet" Sons of Anarchy, the local Gertrude does not at all look like an eternal victim. Even in the show about Soviet spies in the United States, The Americans, the female character is many times more interesting than the male. And in Orange Is the New Black there is simply no place for men.
In the video games that Anita Sargsyan took on, things are not so bad either.Banal plots are becoming a thing of the past, and besides Bioshock Infinite there is, for example, The Last of Us, in which another chauvinist trope - "manic pixie dream girl" - is deconstructed in much the same way as "a maiden in trouble" in "Bioshock". There's also the touching indie story of Gone Home about two sisters; and even Tomb Raider, once the benchmark for female objectification in games, has relaunched this year: Lara Croft is now a complex and emotional character, whose story is much more interesting than her forms (however, you still have to stare at her pretty ass in shorts 80% of the time). In pop music, Justin Timberlake had to return because Beyoncé, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus and others literally occupied the entire space. In independent music, The Knife disguises feminist manifestos as songs, while Pussy Riot doesn't even disguise. In the cinema - "Sweetheart Francis", "Gravity", "Cops in Skirts", "Stoker", "Vacations" and "Hunger Games" and a dozen more films about interesting, non-uniform and heroic women.
Rapper A $ AP Rocky in the song "Wild for Tonight" reads directly: "At these outings, the boys and I will get drunk and we will disrespectfully call women bitches." This is, for a second, hip-hop culture, in which calling a woman a "bitch" is like calling a biological mother "mom", and this word "disrespectful", worn into the track, is a messenger of great change. Meanwhile, a scandal erupted with Robin Tike's song "Blurred Lines", which unambiguously praises misogyny and almost approves of date rape. The trick here is that this song was originally created for a scandal - and 10 years ago it would have been an ordinary pop song, and today it is excluded from the playlists of student radio stations. (Meanwhile, old-school feminists are recording a terrifying parody in which they respond to Tike's subtle hints with the phrase “get ready for castration, we are fucking this world of men” - and thus remind once again why everyone does not like them.)
In 2007, the management of Gawker Media wanted to attract a female audience to their sites: this is how the rebranding of feminism appeared - Jezebel
In general, if in 2006 Time magazine made a mirror cover and named the reader "Person of the Year" (because of social networks), and in 2011 - a participant in mass demonstrations, then in 2013 the editorial staff could easily repeat the trick and put on the cover of a woman. A woman who this year found an acceptable compromise between the chauvinist world and feminist extremes. She is not shy about objectification - because she understands that beauty is her weapon, and she herself is not averse to considering a handsome man as an object. She does not disdain cosmetics (because she just likes to be beautiful) and can still forgive the world that they want to see women as pretty (after all, she herself does not tolerate stupid men and would be glad if they invented some some powder for the brain). She does not tolerate chivalry, but she also does not hesitate to ask for help with a heavy thing - she understands that she cannot lift the thing simply because she does not have enough strength, and the floor has nothing to do with it. This is a strong, independent, intelligent, sexy, in the best sense of the feminine woman, which modern culture has invented for us - glory to her, honor and praise.
If you think about it, this woman was created by men - with rare exceptions like Orange Is the New Black. Ken Levine wrote the game Bioshock. The Fall, co-starring Gillian Anderson, was coined by Alan Cubitt. American Horror Story was created by Brad Falchuk and Ryan Murphy (maybe someone will accept the reality that both are gay), and in total only two of the seven writers working on the show are women. Top of the Lake is two-thirds male. In addition to Karin Dreyer Anderson, The Knife also has her brother Olof, and even though the latter, in the promo accompaniment to the new album, appeared with his back and in a wig, all the same, the group's ideology is his ideology too. The site on which you are now reading this, even though it is currently led exclusively by the female editorial staff, was invented in the depths of Look At Me by men.Hell, even men are behind Pussy Riot - not so much the husband of Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Pyotr Verzilov, as President Putin, who provided the girls with fame and influence along with a prison term (even if he probably did not want this). And, in the end, there is also a man behind Anita Sargsyan: her ideology was inspired by a certain Jonathan Mackintosh, who, apparently, is still the gray cardinal of Anita's YouTube programs.
Why would he - and other men - need this? To make money. In 2007, the management of Gawker Media wanted to attract a female audience to their sites - this is how the rebranding of feminism, Jezebel, and then revenues from banners on Jezebel appeared. Around the same time, Anita, inspired by Jonathan, started blogging Feminist Frequency and by 2012 had gained a solid audience on it, after which she asked for money on Kickstarter for a series of videos about video games. She needed only $ 6,000 - Anita scored almost $ 159,000. This did not affect the quality of the videos, that is, feminism helped her (and, apparently, Jonathan) earn $ 150,000.
If emancipation is liberation
then at this stage it can be considered already completed
Everyone else also made money, following the emerging trend in time - and at the same time creating the very woman from the non-existent Time cover. This woman, to be honest, is the same fiction and fantasy, like a helpless princess from a castle or a magic “manic pixie dream girl”. Not that they did not exist in nature (after all, “princesses” and “fairies” also sometimes meet in life), but it’s a shame, perhaps, to suddenly find out that this proud image of feminists was at some point expropriated by the capitalist patriarchy and turned into a marketing tool.
However, they say the same: if you love, let go, and all the cultural baggage of this year can be regarded as one big sign of love. And if emancipation is liberation, then at this stage it can be considered already completed. Previously, after all, men came up with images of barefoot, pregnant and kitchen women, today - a girl who can kick in the head with a quantum physics textbook (after having read it from cover to cover) and who, most importantly, must be respected and taken on an equal footing. It will be great if this girl now comes up with something herself. Or, at least, it will hit you in the head.