Showing posts tagged girls

"Women of L.A" : The Anti-Female Anthem of 2013 

There’s a guy in my neighborhood who dresses like Jesus Christ. He walks around Fountain, in Hollywood, just doin’ his thing -  petting dogs and saying “hi” to everyone. Jesus My Neighbor, and most of the people in L.A., are pretty great.  I’m super lucky to know a lot of smart, kind, weird and wonderful people in the city. And my lady friends are especially fantastic.

But you wouldn’t know that by watching “The Women of L.A.”

“The Women of L.A.” is a music video/story about a guy (DJ Lubel) who moved to LA (from NYC) only to be told by his LA friends that no one gets laid in L.A.

No one.

Why?

Because the women in this city are awful! 

After the expositional introsketch, the song kicks off with a trio of women (including Internet-lebrity Taryn Southern) breaking down exactly why they’re not pulling down their lady pantaloons for guys in L.A.:

Hey you, yes it’s true
We will make your balls blue
We’re the women of LA
We ignore cause you’re poor and you’re not Pauley Shore,
We’re the women of LA
From Westwood to Brentwood
Never would touch your wood

Wrapped in a “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” homage, DJ enters to address the heart of the issue - that he is rejected by women left and right in Los Angeles because, well, he just doesn’t meet the high standards of the L.A. female population:

This is a story all about how
I moved to Hollywood and get shot down
By girls so hot that you can’t kiss
When your face looks like Andy Dick

The scene is set. Lights, camera, action on:
- Cartoonish women telling us why they’re not having sex with DJ, for shallow reasons I’ve never heard an actual woman (not on a low rate hour long drama) utter.
-  DJ  justifying the use of these stereotypes, by hiding behind self deprecation.

Now that we’ve established that these fictional women, the kind of women who get in cat fights in water troughs on “Dallas”,  are not nice, they’re about to get more not nice. Number one, they do lots of drugs.

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Hence all the insults, like, until you’re “paid like Nic Cage, go get laid at Rage” - a gay bar in West Hollywood. 


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(DRAG QUEENS)

What’s worse than not being able to rock it with a hot girl? Having to get busy with a gay dude-looks-like-a-lady. Which is a thing because you know how all gay men will have sex with anything cause they’re gay?  Because that’s how gay people work. You just put a butthole in front of them and they’re happy as clams! Gay people are funny cause they’re gay and they do gay things! Jokes! 

It wouldn’t be a true song about Los Angeles if the Valley wasn’t promptly skewered. And not only the Valley, overweight girls who live in the Valley!

This is top shelf pussyimage

(NOT VALLEY GIRLS)

You should try the Vall-ey

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(VALLEY GIRLS)

And the music cuts out completely. Just like a record scratch at a party! You know, like when something UNBELIEVABLE happens! Like overweight girls! Whoa! It’s funny ‘cause they’re not rail thin! Who loves chubby girls? No one! Who saw GIRLS this weekend?! Who read Rex Reed’s IDENTITY THIEF review? POINT PROVEN! Jokes! 

DJ’s complaining that hot girls won’t go to the bone zone with him, but then, he won’t go to the bone zone with chubby girls from the Valley. Can you believe a person could have such a Grand Canyon lack of awareness about what he’s doing? He’s doing the very thing to these Valley girls that he’s complaining is being done to him by the hands of hot girls. What a fun little circle of bullshit!

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(WEST HOLLYWOOD GIRLS)

All you need to know about these girls is they love kale juice, Lululemon, and talking about working at CAA. Which all seems like normal women trying to build a career for themselves in L.A. while staying healthy, but we’re quickly reminded that these girls get plenty of $$$ help from their dads! Unlike guys in L.A., who have never spent a dollar of their parents’ money, because guys are men and they do men things, like make money. 


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(BEVERLY HILLS GIRLS)

Persians. Too much perfume. Hair. A simple boiling down of a type of woman, a city and a culture, all at once. It’s like magic…but sad and hurtful. 


And for no reason, other than to probably drive views, Jaleel White shows up.

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He does an ill placed rap where he almost smashes a TV. Well, he hits it real hard with a bat, but nothing breaks. Perhaps he’s not mad enough about the boots he hasn’t been knockin’?


Question: What’s the best AIDS musical to get a misogynist’s point across? RENT, of course.

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Five hundred twenty four hundred six thousand women,
Have rejected me in LA County.
Five hundred twenty four hundred six thousand dollars,
Is what you need to get pussy.

Finally, someone put a number on how much it costs to buy another human being! Or at least, a vagina. 

What has to be the worst scene/lyric in this whole five minute tirade against girls, are these lyrics:

They don’t drink on dates
Cause they’re afraid of DUI
One wine’s not enough
To get between my thighs

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First of all, date rape. Secondly, shaming a person for not drinking enough?!  Incredible. Remember earlier when that girl was snorting cocaine? What a loser! Remember just now when that girl wouldn’t drink a lot? What a loser!

I wrote a song, here’s the first part:

It makes me sad this is a thing
I’m a woman in L.A.

Look, I’m sure DJ Lubel didn’t set out to make something misogynistic or anti-women.  

This is what makes it so horrifying. He doesn’t even know what he’s doing. It’s the attitude of “I’m a guy, how dare these women reject me!? “, implying that women are here to serve men, despite how women feel. Which was a fun idea back when it was called “The Donna Reed Show.” And because he is blind to what he is doing, he doesn’t realize the degree to which he is completely dehumanizing women to the point of denying that they have their own wants and desires and thoughts and opinions, all so he can promote a series of LA clichés that were sort of acceptable before 1985. 

DJ, and others who like the video, I believe, think it’s all in good fun.  It’s exactly like when my mom says something hurtful to me, cause she’s passive aggressive and Irish, and then says “Just kidding!” As if “joking around” is an acceptable excuse to act like a total jerk face. 

There’s also a deep river of anger throughout “Women of L.A.”. I get it. Dating is hard. People are mean. It happens to everyone. Last year, I went on about 40 dates, all with guys who were not right for me. I paid for my own meals and my own drinks and I spent a lot of money.  But, I don’t hate the entire male population of Los Angeles because none of those guys worked out - because it’s unfair to use hurt feelings and resentment to attack an entire gender. 

Last year, I met DJ. I was dating his friend (pre-40 dates nightmare). My boyfriend played me this song and I remember saying “oh, this is the worst idea, how could a person write that, etc.” Despite that, I gave DJ a birthday present. Cause he’s a human being, and it was his birthday and I wanted him to have a fun birthday present. Which is why it makes me doubly sad/mad that I am writing this piece. I feel like if it were the 80’s, I would have taken the demo tape and burned it, so this never happened. But, I don’t have a time machine and this didn’t happen in the 80’s and this whole scenario is impossible so I shouldn’t waste everyone’s time with it. But just know, I had the thought.

My point is, I know DJ, and he’s a nice guy. And he deserves to be loved and have a great relationship with a great girl. In the meantime, there’s a lesson to be learned about how to not vilify, demean, degrade and disrespect an entire city of women just because you can’t get your dick wet. 

Pussy’s not a right - it’s a privilege. And if you want it, treat the things wrapped around pussies (women) with respect and dignity.

It’s what Jesus would do. Jesus my neighbor.



(special thanks to Alex Fernie (@ferniecommaalex) and Allison Hord (@hordie))

Pretty Funny (Minus the Funny)

I don’t understand a lot of things. I don’t understand why my neighbor is pursuing a career as a 1990’s electronic music artist. I don’t understand why the ice cream shop near my house considers two scoops of ice cream one scoop.  And I don’t understand how women, educated journalists, can be so unfair when writing about other women.

Alessandra Stanley of the New York Times was saddled with the task of writing a review of  NBC’s newest show, “Best Friends Forever.” The article “Old Pals Falling into a New Dynamic” starts off strong by setting up the premise of the sitcom, the tone of the show, joke quality and a serious review of the acting. JUST KIDDING! She kicks off her article by ripping right into the looks of star and writer Lennon Parham.

“Ms. Parham, who is funny and appealing, has the pleasant, ordinary looks that are usually reserved for sidekicks”

Ms. Stanley is right to make this point. In the history of ALL OF TV, there has never been a woman driving a sitcom who has looked like a normal person. Except for Lucille Ball. And I guess Ellen DeGeneres, Roseanne Barr, and of course, my comedy idol, Bea Arthur.

Ms. Stanley marches forward with her unique brand of media criticism, mixing random and personal observations to prove her point about this new era of “interesting” looking women on TV. This would be an opportune time to discuss how talented, funny women, have taken things into their own hands by creating careers and names for themselves, thereby circumventing the system by which women are cast only for their looks and ability to set up/respond to the joke delivered by the male lead. But it’s more Ms. Stanley’s style to prove her point by bringing other successful female leads into the fray and describe their looks. Like Whitney Cummings:

“Whitney Cumming, a sexy comedian with an Olive Oyl figure.”

Sure, “Olive Oyl” is not an outright mean way to describe a woman’s body. It would have been meaner to describe Cummings’ body as a “skinny, nothing pile of skin covered sticks”, but “Olive Oyl figure” has a more whimsical feel to it. And take what Ms. Stanley says about Lena Dunham:

“Lena Dunham (“Tiny Furniture”), doesn’t look like a Hollywood actress pretending to be a Brooklyn slacker; she looks like a Brooklyn slacker, and not the Zooey Deschanel kind.”

What a skill! Calling out the average looks of one woman by insulting the “conventional beauty” of another. It’s like a weird competition all women are participating in, where no one really knows the rules and there’s no winners and everyone is sad. Also, TV fun fact - Zooey Deschanel’s New Girl character neither lives in Brooklyn nor is she a slacker. Way to watch TV, person who is paid to watch TV!

The most insidious thing about Ms. Stanley’s piece is that she seems to think she’s doing something worthwhile by pointing out the plainness of the actresses. What it comes down to is that for it or against it, discussing either the attractiveness or the “normalness” of a woman’s looks still means that you’re keeping it in the cultural zeitgeist. It’s not relevant, dude! This is supposed to be a review about a half-hour sitcom, not a piece about beauty trends in TV. When was the last time a review of Two and a Half men felt the need to go into how Jon Cryer is “such a normal-looking man?”

All in all, here are the terms used in this piece to describe women in comedy: “not conventional beauties,” “jolie laide” (French for “pretty-ugly”), and “pleasant, ordinary looks.” Add similarly overused “not the meanest” adjectives like “interesting” and “unconventional”, and you’ve got the perfect list of “not the meanest” way to characterize the “not hotness” of a woman.

Slate.com, not to be outdone, threw their own hate hat in the ring with an article that does nothing to hide its real intention with the tear inducing title “Is Rachel Dratch Too Ugly for Hollywood?” Written by, yup,  another woman. In the article, Torie Bosch explores an argument that Dratch makes in her new book “Girl Walks Into A Bar…” Says Dratch:

“I am offered solely the parts that I like to refer to as The Unfuckables. In reality, if you saw me walking down the street, you wouldn’t point at me and recoil and throw up and hide behind a shrub. But by Hollywood standards, I’m a troll, ogre, woodland creature, or manly lesbian. … Trolls, ogres, and woodland creatures can be done with CGI, so that leaves yours truly to play the bull dykes.”

But Ms. Bosch doesn’t buy the argument that Dratch is too “ugly for Hollywood”. Her deep journalistic desire to get to the bottom of this problem pushes her past this obvious solution (that Dratch is too ugly to be hired in Hollywood, in case you forgot what we were talking about) to a more complex explanation -  that Dratch’s looks aren’t to blame for her lack of success, but rather she’s unsuccessful due to her talentlessness as a comedic actress. Yay! A definitive answer! Just goes to prove that every problem has a solution because life is super simple.

Bosch herself wrestles with the theory that Dratch’s lack of success is due to her lack of talent. Despite her real feelings, she’s confused about what to think because OTHER cool woman think Rachel Dratch is a talented comedienne. Bosch writes:

“That comedy sisterhood is part of what so makes me want to like her: She is considered hilarious by women whom I consider hilarious.”

How will Torie ever be besties with Tina Fey if she doesn’t like Rachel Dratch? Will Amy Poehler ever let Torie sit at the “cool table” if Torie’s down on Dratch? And if Torie can’t laugh at Dratch’s jokes, she’s never gonna get high with Maya Rudolph on the soccer field during study hall! WHY IS HIGH SCHOOL SO HARD?

Dratch has a book out, one that Torie (I guess?) likes, or at least that’s what I imagine she means when she writes “I’d rather read another Dratch memoir than watch her in a sitcom.” But really, why dive into Dratch’s book “Girl Walks Into A Bar…” when there’s a bunch of space on the page to compare Dratch to another comedienne?

“But maybe the best rebuke to Dratch’s argument at the moment is Lena Dunham, whose HBO comedy Girls is about to debut to already rave reviews, despite that fact that she spends significant time in the show examining her rolls of fat.”

Wait, so the point of all this is that Rachel Dratch is not “too ugly for Hollywood” because fat Lena Dunham’s doing just fine? I feel like I’m reading the transcripts of vodka fueled vitriol spewing out of the freshly glossed mouths of a bunch of shitty 16 year old girls who have been binge drinking at a slumber party. You know what kind of party I’m talking about. The kind that’s over only when someone gets stabbed with cuticle scissors. On purpose.

Why is it nearly impossible for women, even journalists, to talk about other women without bringing up looks? I don’t know. But I do have a solution. Stop talking about women’s looks in articles that have nothing to do with women’s looks. I did it. I didn’t once mention the looks of Torie Bosch or Alessandra Stanley. I wrote about how shitty they were to other women in their articles without once mentioning anything about what they look like. I didn’t even Google image search them. I promise It’s possible to talk about the merits of a woman’s creative work without talking about how weird her hair is or how much her butt weighs. All it takes is retraining your brain to stop being a superficial dick.





Special thanks to  Lindsay Katai for reading this a million times and copy editing and helping in general!  

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Gel nails, frank sexual discussions, L.A. Noire, reproductive rights, tacos, AG jeans, hugs, deadpan, Armani luminous silk, LGBT equality, sarcasm, Downtown Abbey, fair and balanced government, & side eye.

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