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So Much For “Young Privilege” November 6, 2010

Posted by FCM in authors picks, books!, entertainment, feminisms, pop culture.
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this is the “car scene” from “fried green tomatoes“.  anyone who has seen the movie probably remembers this.  for anyone who hasnt seen it or doesnt remember it, our protagonist evelyn couch (played by kathy bates) is an extremely unhappy, timid, overweight housewife who becomes empowerfulized over the course of the film, by interacting with octogenerian jessica tandy and reliving scenes from tandys kinda-sorta lesbian past.  (in the flashbacks, the kinda-sorta lesbians, played by mary stuart masterson and mary-louise parker are our protagonists.  jessica tandy may or may not have been one of the kinda-sorta lesbians, that parts not ever made entirely clear, even in the book, as i recall).

this scene documents the beginning of evelyns transformation: after being bullied her entire life, in this one moment, she decides shes had enough, and goes ballistic on two teenaged girls.  notably absent from the film (of course) is evelyn couch going ballistic on any actual men.  or even adult women for that matter.  which is kind of an important point.  i mean really.  teenaged girls, while they can be extremely bitchy and bullying (to other girls and women) are actually a pretty easy target.

now, in thinking about and discussing “intersectionality” there is often made mention of something called “young privilege” (or youth privilege, or age privilege) whereby young women are said to oppress old (or old-er) women with all their youth-related power.  such as…well, being highly fuckable for starters.  and being able-bodied and thin and stuff (you know, except when they arent).  and its true, isnt it, that fuckable young women are kind of regarded with something approaching “favor” in certain situations, by men.  who want to expose said young women to the mens dangerous male sexuality, sooner rather than later, thank you very much.

now, assuming for a second that this kind of “favor” is something thats beneficial to young women (and it is a HUGE assumption, isnt it, and it needs discussing, as dangerous male sexuality is hands-down the greatest threat to ALL women, and perhaps particularly young women who can and do become impregnated by dangerous men) as this scene from “fried green tomatoes” illustrates, being older has certain advantages too.  or at least…up to a point, one womans aging *might* minimize certain vulnerabilities that that one woman was exposed to when she was very young.  such as some women accumulating some amount of wealth, credibility and social status (usually through their interactions with dangerous men who can choose to grant her these things, or not).  or in more concrete terms, as evelyn couch very astutely notes, “i’m older, and i have more insurance.” 

(of course, as jessica tandys predicament illustrates, aging beyond a certain point tends to take much of these accrued benefits away.  she is old, in poor health, and lives in an assisted-living facility with no family to take care of her.  aka.  shes extremely vulnerable.  to dangerous men.  i mean really.  what else is there to be vulnerable to?  the elements?)

this next clip puts the “car scene” in context.  before she became empowerfulized, evelyn couch was bullied assaulted physically and verbally by dangerous men.  or, one dangerous teenaged boy, who can be said to represent all boys and men, when you are a woman, and here, pretty clearly is meant to represent evelyns rather normal routine of being abused by “life”.  because being physically and verbally abused by boys and men *is* just life, when you are female.  and, like, something about a “feminist” bullying her by mentioning masturbation, and offending her delicate ears or something.  i dont know:

anyway, after evelyn “transforms,” even when she was empowerfulized and had some very progressive goals, like taking a vulnerable older woman out of the system and into a loving home (and she had some very regressive goals too, like “making her own money now” by selling fuckability i mean mary kay cosmetics to other women) she still had to bat her eyes at her disgusting tool of a husband to get his permission to do it.  or at least, to get him on board.  i mean, its only fair isnt it?  he lives there too (-oooo!!!111!11)  and as her disgusting tool of a husband very correctly notes actually, taking an old woman out of an assisted-living facility and into your own home is easier said than done.  thanks to the male medical and legal systems that favor blood-relatives over, you know, a non-relative who actually has your best interests at heart.  and who would scrutinize and punish you for it if something went wrong.  like a hundred-year old woman dying, on your watch, if you arent a “professional” caregiver or medical provider.

fortunately for the plot i suppose, jessica tandy dies right after this, and evelyn never has to actually face the reality of male institutions that would have very effectively crushed her empowerfulized fantasy with endless procedural obstacles.

so what we have in these scenes is something kind of interesting, from a privilege-analysis standpoint.  we have women representing three age-groups, who all likely share the same or similar background.  as in, they are all female, white, probably working class, and live in the same community.  the only obvious variable here is age.  are we honestly supposed to believe that the fuckable teenaged girls have all the power here?  i think not.  as evelyn shows with her “tawanda” incantation, it doesnt take much to put these allegedly “young-privileged” teenaged girls back in line, with something almost resembling actual power.  literally, more insurance.  a social and economic safety-net, that thoroughly-unfuckable evelyn has garnered by aging (and aligning herself with dangerous men over time) and which jessica tandy demonstrates is actually very easily lost in the exact same way it was originally gained: by aging, more.

and of course, what stands out in the mind when watching these clips is that the violent, abusive teenaged boy is actually all of these womens greatest threat.  and hes the only one that no one goes after, and the most likely to cause actual, tangible harm to any woman who dares try.  and notably, in the kinda-sorta lesbian flashbacks, the most dangerous character of all is mary-louise parkers violent husband, who nearly kills her a bunch of times, and when kinda-sorta lesbian mary stuart masterson actually kills him (or has him killed) the male legal establishment leaps into action, and very nearly ruins (lets face it, ENDS) her life, and that of big george, the black male servant/friend, who helped her cover it up (or who actually killed the guy himself, another point thats intimated at but not made entirely clear if i recall).*

and the kinda-sorta lesbians were young women too.  and they didnt oppress anyone with their youngness.  not by a long shot.

so…what does all of this illustrate about “young-privilege”?  other than that analyzing it is likely to induce a migraine?  welp…i think whats pretty clearly illustrated here are certain realities that we all live with every day, but that pomo feminism seems unable or unwilling to honestly address.  namely, that men and male institutions are womens greatest threat.  and that “bullying,” when men do it, is actually violent and demonstrably harmful, whereas other kinds of “bullying” only induce hurt feelings.  and that standing up to a “bully” or someone who hurts your feelings in some way, is actually easy and unlikely to induce any lasting change, whereas standing up to actual men and mens institutions is pert-near impossible, and is actually extremely and demonstrably dangerous.

and that “young-privilege” has nothing, really, to do with being young.  and it has nothing to do with “privilege,” either.  so, what does it have to do with, and why are all teh pomos so interested in discussing it?  this is not a rhetorical question.

this is likely to be the first in a series on pomo-privilege logic fails…stay tuned for part 2.

*the bewilderness has reminded me that it was sipsey who killed the abusive husband!  we are lead to believe almost until the very end that it was either msm or big george (or perhaps the local transient) who did it, but in a twist, it turns out that the msm/big george mystery was a false choice.  and that sipsey, the black woman friend/servant had actually killed him with a frying pan.  it probably hurts someones feelings that i forgot that.  and i do apologize for forgetting it.  my bad!

Comments

1. factcheckme - November 6, 2010

although not one of my favorites, i always liked this movie. i read the book too, and as usual, i seem to recall liking the book better.

enjoy!

2. Let'sGetReal - November 6, 2010

Interesting analysis of how “young privilege” is just part of the same old, same old, the male hierarchy. As an older woman, I have not felt “young privilege” from young women. Mainly I feel concerned because of the way feminism got twisted into some sort of fuckability deal, well that’s the funfem deal. Statistically speaking, older women are more likely to be poor, but there are a group that has gotten the privilege from insurance once her personal oppressor dies.

To my mind, the whole economy, ecosystem, infrastructure are collapsing and this will likely pick up speed. This is where the “young male” likely gangs will try to take over by force and rape. This will include both old and young women as it usually does in countries being brutalized by war.

3. Sargassosea - November 6, 2010

Quickly, while I think on this post a bit more:

“Flagg is openly lesbian and was at one time the partner of author Rita Mae Brown, who outed her.[3] Despite her openness regarding her personal life, Flagg removed a substantial portion of the lesbian content in the book Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe in order to make the film Fried Green Tomatoes more commercially viable.” – wiki

I suspect that she ‘removed a substantial portion of the lesbian content’ of the book too; the reality of publishing for women.

4. thebewilderness - November 6, 2010

In the film Idgy/Ninny did not die at the end and was shown to be the bee charmer with the jar of honey at the grave site.
It was Sipsey who beaned the abusive husband with a frying pan when he tried to steal “his” child.

The film was weak and predictable, but the characters and the talent was superb.
Although I did not read it, it is safe to assume that the book was significantly better. They almost always are.

factcheckme - November 6, 2010

It was Sipsey who beaned the abusive husband with a frying pan when he tried to steal “his” child.

oh crap! yes, you are correct. sipsey (the black woman friend/servant) did the deed, and she along with mary stuart masterson and big george (the black male friend/servant) covered it up. by boiling his body for barbeque and serving it to the cops, who were investigating the “disappearance” of said abusive prick. its hog-boiling time! who actually killed him was kept a secret until the end. it was all very hush-hush and the cover-up was immediate and thorough, even the local minister was in on it, and i dont think that mary-louise parker was ever told exactly what had happened. we were supposed to believe it was either MSM or big george (or possibly the local transient) and the truth was very unexpected when it was revealed.

it probably hurts someones feelings that i forgot that. i am sure i will be hearing about it!

as for the end of the film…jessica tandy “left” the nursing home and the staff started cleaning up her room, stripped her bed and started peeling all her paper roses off the wall. i recall that she died (the staff apologises to evelyn and evelyn begins to weep, and down come the flowers) and then theres a jar of bees or honey or whatever at the grave site that evelyn finds. wasnt there? but was jessica tandy still alive? or was it left to the imagination? and if she left, where did she go? did they find each other at the end? omg. this is too funny. the evelyn/jessica tandy part of the movie was the least memorable, and it wasnt even about them really. but now i want to know. perhaps a visit to blockbuster is in my future.

factcheckme - November 6, 2010

i also dont remember ANY of the differences between the movie and the book. i just remember liking the book more, which always is the case. movies are terrible, arent they?

5. thebewilderness - November 6, 2010

In the film they met at the grave site and went home together.

The film contained a food fight that was supposed to be symbolic of the lesbian relationship in the book.

factcheckme - November 6, 2010

that sounds familiar…although i was left with the distinct impression that she died, and everything after that was wishful thinking. how did jessica tandy get to the cemetary? wasnt it all the way across town? and was she supposed to be magically able-bodied enough to leave the facility without anyone questioning it? maybe i am thinking about the book? heh. dont tell me i have to make a trip to the library too. actually, i have a post in mind about “even cowgirls get the blues” and i dont want to own it, so maybe i will be headed to the library anyway.

i kind of rememeber the food fight too. was it msm and mlp and the boy-child trying to lighten the mood of a too-serious meal or something? i hate symbolism. why not just come out and say it, is my motto.

6. factcheckme - November 7, 2010

so thinking about “young privilege” evelyn seems to actually have the most power here out of all the women. if young-privilege operated the way the pomos say it does, she wouldnt (the teenaged girls would be the most powerful, AND they would be oppressing both evelyn and jessica tandy).

but evelyn would also be in a position to oppress jessica tandy, wouldnt she? i mean, IF young-privilege were real, and operated in a bottom-up fashion based on age. but in reality, evelyn is the only one in any position to help her, and if anything is going to get in the way of that, its going to be evelyns husband OR an oppressive male institution that would not easily allow a non-relative to care for an ill, elderly patient.

would evelyn CHOOSING not to help, or if she were prevented from effectively helping jessica tandy by oppressive male institutions be evidence of EVELYN oppressing jessica tandy based on age? or evidence of evelyns “privilege” for that matter?

this pomo shit makes no sense.

7. annoying reader - November 7, 2010

In the book, it was made clear that Cleo Threadgood (the character played by Jessica Tandy) was NOT Idgy, but was married to one of Idgy’s brothers, although I think it’s implied she may have had a crush on Idgy herself. Not sure if this was mentioned in the movie. It is also very clear in the book that Idgy and Ruth are lovers. In the book, Cleo dies at the end, although in the movie they change it to have a “happy” ending. I’m enjoying the discussion, but I wanted to clarify a couple points.

factcheckme - November 7, 2010

ok that makes more sense. not annoying at all. thanks!

8. FAB Libber - November 7, 2010

You explained it beautifully FCM

so…what does all of this illustrate about “young-privilege”? other than that analyzing its likely to induce a migraine? welp…i think whats pretty clearly illustrated here are certain realities that we all live with every day, but that pomo feminism seems unable or unwilling to honestly address. namely, that men and male institutions are womens greatest threat. and that “bullying,” when men do it, is actually violent and demonstrably harmful, whereas other kinds of “bullying” only induce hurt feelings. and that standing up to a “bully” or someone who hurts your feelings in some way, is actually easy and unlikely to induce any lasting change, whereas standing up to actual men and mens institutions is pert-near impossible, and is actually extremely and demonstrably dangerous.

What pomo DELIBERATELY tries to cover up is the “power behind the faux-power”. It is a distraction technique, pure and simple, and a very effective one. Get all the oppressed classes fighting among themselves (as to who has it worse, aka the Oppression Olympics) and everyone is too busy engaging in that to look at exactly who is doing the oppressing. Much better to focus on the structure and application of oppression and the oppressors, rather than how it affects the oppressed. I can sum up how it affects the oppressed: Badly. Degrees of badly. Wrong. Unfair.

The two clips you used were an excellent illustration of challenging power or perceived power. If Jessica Tandy had pushed it more with that young dude, she would have been physically assaulted; he could have pulled a gun/knife and killed her too. In many similar situations it would escalate to that point much earlier in her challenge, I have seen it myself. Some dudes out there have a hair trigger, no matter how small the challenge.

Males rule by violence and the threat of violence.

9. sonia - November 7, 2010

that food fight was awesome and their chemistry was cool, I have always found Mary Louise Parker pretty attractive on a lot of different levels, but yeah it was watered down as fuck so that it could be acceptably interpreted to the American moviegoing public as a “friendship.” I wasn’t aware Flagg was lesbian but she ttly kicks ass.

Youth privilege. I dunno. A mentor told me when I was about 24 that I better get a solid idea in my head about what other ways I was valuable besides my appearance “now” before the culture allowed me to be devalued by some stupid sell by date.

Great advice

10. rainsinger - November 7, 2010

actually, i have a post in mind about “even cowgirls get the blues”…..

Great! Maybe you can let me know what that movie was all about. I had to force myself to sit through it.

11. factcheckme - November 7, 2010

Mainly I feel concerned because of the way feminism got twisted into some sort of fuckability deal, well that’s the funfem deal.

yes, that is what fun-feminism is all about. its male-identified PIV-centric consumerist hedonism. spend your way to empowerment!!!11!1 please men with your vagina because you CHOOSE to, not because thats exactly what they want, and they would take it from you (or someone else) if you didnt give it to them willingly so why put up a fight–your way to empowerment. ????? i would say its a joke, but its so pathetic and sad it actually makes me want to cry.

and this pomo shit is on my radar BIG TIME. its taken me awhile to figure it out actually, because its rather ingeniously disguised isnt it? damn. i spotted it pretty quickly with the transpolitics, but this other stuff is more difficult. mostly because not many feminists are going to tell a woman who is upset that she isnt making any sense…i mean really. i will tell a transwoman that in a second, but thats because they are MEN.

factcheckme - November 7, 2010

What pomo DELIBERATELY tries to cover up is the “power behind the faux-power”. It is a distraction technique, pure and simple, and a very effective one.

yes, i am starting to realize that this shit is deliberate. hello! the absolute last thing the pomos want is for feminists to understand PRIVILEGE, and what it means, and how it operates. because the second we understood that fully, it would become too obvious that men are the fucking enemy, and that this isnt going to change. male privilege exists because all men have the power to impregnate all women. male privilege exists because all men know this, and all women know it too, and this vulnerability and mens exploitation of it is acted out in male/female interactions and on womens bodies EVERY SECOND OF EVERY DAY. female bodies are vulnerable to maleness, BY DEFINITION. and men exploit this constantly. and it has nothing whatsoever to do with hurting our feelings. mmkay? nothing at all. its about destroying womens lives, and benefitting at our expense by the damage INDIVIDUAL MEN DIRECTLY CAUSE, through PIV-related medical events and trauma-bonding, and by impregnating us and leaving us with no social or economic safety net to deal with the consequences of their dangerous male sexuality.

but nobody wants to talk about that, because all the fun-fems still think they want to play house and make babies, and they want to believe that men can be feminists too. because its too painful to think about being with an anti-feminist man, or an abusive man, or a man who abuses his male privilege. but guess what? pert-near all of them do. it kind of goes with the territory. at least, it always has, and it doesnt seem like this is going to change anytime soon.

an honest analysis of privilege, and what it is, and how it operates (and how it doesnt) is going to reveal exactly what the pomos are trying very hard to hide.

factcheckme - November 7, 2010

heres a link to the trauma-bonding post, in case anyone missed it. i also added it to “the intercourse series” tab.

https://factcheckme.wordpress.com/2010/06/11/trauma-bonding/

12. Undercover Punk - November 7, 2010

Ahahahaaaa!! I was totally thinking about this scene a few weeks back! So classic.

YAY! Let’s analyse “YOUNG privilege”! It’s an especially interesting phenomenon because EVERYONE has it at some point in their lives. We are all “young” at one time. And then, assuming we do not meet an early demise, we are all, inevitably “OLD” at some point as well. So no ONE escapes being BOTH places on this particular hierarchy of social favouritism. Which makes a wonderful discussion!

“Young privilege,” however, as you point out, affects WOMEN very differently than it does men.

a social and economic safety-net, that thoroughly-unfuckable evelyn has garnered by aging (and aligning herself with dangerous men over time) and which jessica tandy demonstrates is actually very easily lost in the exact same way it was originally gained: by aging, more.

As we all know, men tend to GAIN in social authority and economic stability/mobility as they age. Women, the opposite. And for women, even in the prime of her YOUTH, “young privilege” is very much dependent on the alliances she can build with MALES, who are seduced by such “female youth.” The “young privilege” does not benefit women in terms of intellectual or professional authority, nor towards any meaningful kind of self-sufficiency. No, actually, “young privilege” as experienced by or granted to females is primarily a fuckability benefit— which is a “Social privilege” only to the extent that young, fuckable women are exposed to or rewarded with material power that is already in the HANDS OF MEN and/or the social CREDIBILITY/attention that women are able to gain by virtue of… their association WITH MEN! !!!!!1!11!!!!

are we honestly supposed to believe that the fuckable teenaged girls have all the power here? i think not. as evelyn shows with her “tawanda” incantation, it doesnt take much to put these allegedly “young-privileged” teenaged girls back in line, with something almost resembling actual power. literally, more insurance.

Right. Fuckability is not power. Thank you.

13. Sargassosea - November 7, 2010

I’m at the point in my life where I ‘am’ Evelyn. But there was a time when I was “younger and faster”, too. Someday I’m going to be even older and more physically limited.

In all three of these cases my rapeability has not been compromised in any way, shape or form.

And that’s the bottom line. Isn’t it?

factcheckme - November 7, 2010

In all three of these cases my rapeability has not been compromised in any way, shape or form. And that’s the bottom line. Isn’t it?

well, yes. i believe that this *is* the bottom line. i think that LIBERATING WOMEN FROM DANGEROUS MEN, and from dangerous male sexuality, is the whole point of feminism. and that we are all vulnerable to dangerous men, to differing degrees only, depending on our individual situations and how additionally SOCIALLY AND ECONOMICALLY vulnerable we are due to other -isms. if there werent dangerous men laying in fucking wait for any of us to become vulnerable, nothing else would really be that bad. i mean really. whats the worst thing that could happen to any of us? its sexual violence, including mandatory PIV and up to and including rape-murder. THATS WHY issues of poverty, housing and employment discrimination, the glass ceiling etc matter so much. its not just because the deck is stacked against women becoming SUCCESSFUL under the current economic system. although thats certainly part of it. NO. its because of what happens to women, and what we know is the inevitable outcome for women, when we arent self-supporting. its that we then become economically dependant on dangerous men. individual dangerous men (as in compulsory het partnerships and mandatory PIV engaged in for partly or purely economic reasons) or we become vulnerable to all men, as a sexual class, due to homelessness and attendant repeated rapes, and/or “work” in prostitution and porn.

ffs. why else are we even here? this pomo doublethink garbage is just pandering to men, and a complete denial and dismissal of whats so problematic about men, to women. and its deliberate. thats the thing we need to grasp. that men and male-identified women are DELIBERATELY moving the goalposts here, so that we dont zero in on men and dangerous male sexuality, and start seeing it for what it fucking is.

factcheckme - November 7, 2010

As we all know, men tend to GAIN in social authority and economic stability/mobility as they age. Women, the opposite.

theres an obvious caveat though. and its represented here by evelyn, the middle aged one. the very old and the very young might be similar to each other in having little social or economic capital. but evelyn seems to have more than either one of them. within this demographic, specifically white, working class small town etc, this seems to be an accurate depiction. which means that “young-privilege” doesnt operate the way the pomos say it does. FULL STOP.

also, jessica tandy is more likely to have a nest egg than the teenagers, although the teenagers might have a safety net in mom and dad. and jessica tandys need to negotiate mandatory PIV in het relationships may be over (although she will never be free of the threat of rape) while the teenagers are just beginning down that horrific road. so how does AGE give the teenagers privilege, and how are the older women OPPRESSED by the teenagers youth? how is evelyn oppressing jessica tandy for that matter? its just nonsense.

It’s an especially interesting phenomenon because EVERYONE has it at some point in their lives. We are all “young” at one time. And then, assuming we do not meet an early demise, we are all, inevitably “OLD” at some point as well. So no ONE escapes being BOTH places on this particular hierarchy of social favouritism.

yes, which also means that alleged “youth-privilege” is absolutely unlike any other “privlege” that feminists talk about. its not innate, and you are absolutely guaranteed that SOLELY BY THE PASSAGE OF TIME, you will be both the oppressor AND the oppressed. so…old people have had their shot havent they? i mean really. they had “young privilege” once and they made the most of it at the time, now its the young peeps turn to enjoy their youth. right? right?

NO. SENSE. its as if…the word “privilege” has no meaning, and anything can be called a privilege because there are no criteria for what constitutes a privilege, and no rules regarding how privileges work. *touch little finger to chin* interesting.

dr.evil

14. sonia - November 7, 2010

Great thread, and also-

I think that on an individual basis, FCM, you have hit the nail on the head. If a chick starts working and living independently of male support at a reasonable age- 25-35, and invests her energy in herself and her female friendships, what kind of personal capital and privilege has she accumulated by Tandy’s age, in addition to lots of fabulous experiences? So she has no social capital in terms of fuckability but she probably has a lifetime of great experiences and a nice home of her own and can travel when she wants to and lots of options if she’s taken good care of her body and doesn’t have any major illnesses? Okay, maybe not Tandy’s age, but let’s call it 55, 60. Assuming she isn’t a shopping addict😉.

I think that we really do get better with age as long as we invest in certain principles that you, Sheila, and me keep refraining-

MAKE YOUR OWN MONEY AND KEEP IT! Then can’t nobody fuck with you (unless extenuating circumstances, but you can avoid 85% of the heartache).

15. SheilaG - November 7, 2010

Sonia, you got it— save, invest and reinvest– repeat the last three words of this over and over until each income hurdle is broken. Keep at this and you’ll get somewhere. And don’t get a damn degree in social work or elementary education, women puleezzz!

factcheckme - November 7, 2010

If a chick starts working and living independently of male support at a reasonable age- 25-35, and invests her energy in herself and her female friendships, what kind of personal capital and privilege has she accumulated by Tandy’s age, in addition to lots of fabulous experiences?

in general, of course this is true, if you can make it happen. and i’m not sure if you were talking about the film clips or not, but in evelyns case, the reason she was better off as a middle aged woman than the teenagers was because she was married to a working/middle class man. she didnt even have a job, until she got all empowerfulized and started selling mary kay. so in her case, i’d say that unless hubby has damn good life insurance and has paid off the house, shes going to lose all her accumulated “insurance” with a quickness after hes dead. so even what she accumulated “by aging” was mostly or all due to her aligning herself with men, or a man, and doing so OVER TIME. and i still wouldnt call it a privilege, since she literally had to “sell” her pussy to him, in order to get what she had. in other words, it was kind of an EARNED benefit wasnt it?? and not an unearned one.

and none of this supports the idea of “youth privilege” of course. none of it.

factcheckme - November 7, 2010

if she wouldve or couldve done it the way you are describing though, perhaps by the time she was tandys age she wouldve been very well off, as you say. which AGAIN does nothing for the pomos and their youth-privilege concept, does it?

16. SheilaG - November 7, 2010

Are we talking about fictional women here?

factcheckme - November 7, 2010

i am speaking about the women in the clips. i do not believe that “fried green tomatoes” was a documentary. 😛

but just to clarify, i know that the characters in FGT werent real, but i think that the power dynamics displayed in the clips were realistic depictions, which is why i used them.

factcheckme - November 7, 2010

sonia introduced a hypothetical.

17. sonia - November 8, 2010

I guess in regards to Evelyn, and I feel free to speak because being a woman from a Southern family I’ve seen the movie 3486 times, she was even kicking ass after being married for 20 years and losing her mobility due to an eating addiction she adopted to cover her depression/repression in that marriage and housewife role. She starts breaking out of her depression because of the stories Tandy tells her and then she tells that douche lord she’s married to about how she’s gonna start doing shit- taking classes and all this kind of thing, and she starts feeling really good about herself. Of course it’s all portrayed in staying-in-your-marriage empowerfulizement marshmallow goodness, but at any age if a woman decides to break out and better herself, within 5-10 years she can really become a whole other person. It’s never too late, and I guess my only point was to support the point that youth privilege is a mirage for women. Just another lie that things suck for us outside the parameters of what dudes want us to be. I think if Evelyn was a real person and she went as far as to knock that wall out without her douche’s opinion, she’d eventually leave, get a master’s in something and go help elderly women for a fantastical salary and travel and kick ass. Women do shit like that all the time. My grandma left my grandpa when she was like 50 and went and built a career and totally dominated her state at it. Youth is overrated, especially for women.

18. sonia - November 8, 2010

and yeah, Sheila- not to reopen a sore point from before, but for sure leave those paid dishrag degrees alone!

19. FAB Libber - November 8, 2010

so…old people have had their shot havent they? i mean really. they had “young privilege” once and they made the most of it at the time, now its the young peeps turn to enjoy their youth. right? right?

On the surface it is supposed to look like “everybody gets their turn”. Except, the costs, at all stages are not factored, which you addressed later:

so even what she accumulated “by aging” was mostly or all due to her aligning herself with men, or a man, and doing so OVER TIME. and i still wouldnt call it a privilege, since she literally had to “sell” her pussy to him, in order to get what she had. in other words, it was kind of an EARNED benefit wasnt it?? and not an unearned one.

Of course the young women have to maximise their fuckability factor by spending all disposable income (which makes it mandatory to snag a dude).

The middle aged women have usually “paid” their 20-30 years service (which would include unpaid housework and child rearing).

The older women may be lucky to be out of the middle cycle, or are widowed, and are most likely to have lost most of the “privilege” by this point.

But, as FCM said earlier, doesn’t matter which stage of this “privilege cycle” the woman is supposed to be in, all could suffer rape or violence from males at any time.

And that is what keeps getting forgotten in all these “which women are more privileged” discussions, because it is the males. Take the young dude, right from the start he has the power and control of the car park confrontation. Even though some could argue that it was youth power, it isn’t, it is the threat of violence power. Male power. The rest is just set dressing.

20. Let'sGetReal - November 11, 2010

In my opinion, for women, youth is when men try to steal your power. The more fuckable you are, the more they see you as a likely target to steal your power.

There are many ways they can steal your power, but the younger you are the more tempting it is for them to do this.

21. FAB Libber - November 12, 2010

The more fuckable you are, the more they see you as a likely target to steal your power.

There is also the “currency” factor. Females are little more than currency among males – like showing off with a new car. Although, they do have their currency system a little backwards – in fucking an obviously patriarchy compliant female who adheres to the artificial beauty standards, surely that is not much of a challenge? In fucking a really young woman/teen who does not know any better, that also is not much of a challenge.

I didn’t say it made any sense or logic.
Females are only objects in their little games between males.

factcheckme - November 12, 2010

actually it makes perfect sense FAB libber. the common thread is that its womens VULNERABILITY that gets men hard, across time and place. dworkin drove this one home in “intercourse” when she talked about joan of arc, and how joan was actually beautiful, but also strong and protected, so the men left her alone. meanwhile, homeless crack addicted street prostitutes and as she says “toothless bawds” from history are being fucked, and fucked, and fucked some more. it has nothing to do with beauty, and men definitely do NOT like a challenge. quite the opposite actually. see the “whats fuckability got to do with it?” post for more on that.

factcheckme - November 12, 2010

“fuckability” is a euphemism for vulnerability. DUH. its so sick and so obivous, isnt it? once its pointed out.

22. sam - November 12, 2010

An old Playboy joke

He: Can I come home with you tonight?

She: No, I need my beautysleep.

He: That’s all right, I’m not interested in any part of you that’s beautiful.

factcheckme - November 12, 2010

Ew!

23. Social Worker - November 13, 2010

I’ve started mentally adding the tagline, “Stay Fuckable!” to every commercial or ad I see geared towards women. It’s really fun when you say it out loud in a fake, peppy, commercial voice.
It’s obvious to most here, but still fascinating to see how women are marketed to when you add that line.
Even with what seem to be “neutral” items like detergent (everyone wants to have clean clothes and dishes, right?), if you add the “Stay Fuckable!” tag, it refocuses you on what they are really selling.
So, come on girls, buy Tide and…”Stay Fuckable!”

24. FAB Libber - November 13, 2010

Even with what seem to be “neutral” items like detergent…

This reminds me of the old ads of the 1950s, where the housewife had to be done up to the nines (ie fuckable) whilst doing washing complete with vacuous smile.
http://planetoddity.com/shocking-sexism-vintage-ads/

With 50-60 years hindsight it is easy to see the mocking at women & femininity in these ads, but it was largely invisible at the time due to the cultural brainwashing for women to be/act this way. Today’s version is overt sexiness. Unfortunately most young women indulging in this cannot see the mocking behind it, even though most radfems do. This comment probably belongs over in the threads at UCP, but I do see a bit of an overlap.

To summarise and try(!) to bring it back on point; the overt fuckability behaviour and dress aimed primarily at young women, which is seen as ‘privilege’ (in reality doggy biscuit rewards) is a mass delusion, and the true mocking of femaleness is hidden from contemporary view.

Today’s “fuckability empowerment” will become a rather obvious joke in about 30 years, as the next swing of the pendulum will swing back towards some version of “chaste empowerment” (cycling between madonna & whore fashions in other words, but still rooted in PIV mandates).

factcheckme - November 13, 2010

FAB libber, that is an excellent point. it *is* very much a joke isnt it? the pearls-and-heels vaccuuming women of 50s television seem absolutely ridiculous today. it makes me very angry actually to think of this being a deliberate mocking of women, even at the time. is this what you are suggesting? and it makes me REALLY mad to think of fuckability mandates today, and overt sexiness being a mocking of women, currently. because its not a fucking joke. dangerous male sexuality isnt funny. womens vulnerability to dangerous men, increased by women spending money they dont have on disabling and painful clothing, isnt a joke. its deadly serious. again, are you suggesting that this is deliberately mocking, currently? or is it something absurd that will only be revealed as such after the passage of time, when certain things have gone out of fashion?

ugh. i am so sick of women being the butt of mens jokes. its not like we would be like this, if it wasnt forced on us, BY THEM.

25. FAB Libber - November 13, 2010

Yes, I am absolutely 100% saying that there was a mocking of women back then, and now. The problem with the now is that most of the population is immersed in the culture and cannot see it. Using the 50s illustrations clearly shows the mocking, even though it was invisible then.

And, going back through those vintage ads, check out the ad for Van Heusen ties. I have only just realised today that the tie is a phallic symbol (this ad makes it obvious). That is why women, when they wear a business suit, should NOT wear a tie, else they will get a hostile reception by males (seen as trying to usurp maleness by use of their symbol). The servile position of the woman in the ad is pukeworthy, yet in its day, female subservience and self sacrifice were promoted as virtues.

26. FAB Libber - November 13, 2010

Speaking of restrictive clothing, check out this article about Catherine of Aragon.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/you/article-1326591/Was-Henry-Vllls-wife-anorexic-Catherine-Aragons-secret-problem.html

Overall the article is probably a poorly researched thesis on Catherine’s anorexia, but the object status and functionality of being a female does show in her story. And this is the story of a “privileged” female.

Sorry, I got off track again. The main point was really that portrait of Mary Tudor, now that is restrictive clothing. Any wonder these women were subject to so many miscarriages. This is a slight variation on the fuckability model, it is the pregnability model.

27. Undercover Punk - November 15, 2010

oh, oh, oh, the vulnerability is SUCH a joke! I mean, those crazy high heels I see ALL. over.the.place.in.2010. are for pain and stumbling. Nothing else. It just KILLS me that the platform at the toe/ball of the foot prevents you from being able to bend the toes AT ALL.

FCM, your focus on the $$$ really opened my eyes to the financial drain of excessive adornment (as it pertains to femininity). I think it was “we make less but have to pay more,” that really stuck in my craw. I don’t know why I missed it before, but I’m glad you didn’t. And that you kept at it. Thank you.

28. Undercover Punk - November 15, 2010

And that Catherine of Aragon link is FASCINATING, FAB Libber. Thanks for that! Disordered eating is a major woman-issue. And it sounds like Catherine was a slave to the system she was born in, a pawn used by those in power. An extreme example, maybe. But I can see the threads of helplessness in every woman’s situation.

29. FAB Libber - November 15, 2010

FCM, your focus on the $$$ really opened my eyes to the financial drain of excessive adornment (as it pertains to femininity). I think it was “we make less but have to pay more,” that really stuck in my craw.

The concept has been in feminist analysis for a long time actually, for as long as I can remember anyway.

Compare haircuts, male & female, even if you are getting a really simple cut, female cuts are 3-4 times the price.

Compare shirts or t-shirts that are relatively the same in style, the female ones will always be more expensive.

Compare shoes, for the same price range, the women’s shoes are always cheaply made crap, as well as being impractical and uncomfortable. When you get into the better range that are more of a close comparison with men’s shoes, then they are more expensive.

30. Undercover Punk - November 15, 2010

The concept has been in feminist analysis for a long time actually, for as long as I can remember anyway.

That’s exactly why I think there is value in feminist repetition. Of course it can get tiring, cause most of the time you’re thinking “I know, I know, I know!” But sometimes it takes a certain moment in your own life, or a particular phrasing to get something to sink into your hard head.

31. FAB Libber - November 15, 2010

I just didn’t want you to think it was a particularly new concept, it isn’t.

Most of what the 2nd wave analysed is still valid, what we discuss now are either tweaks to or expanding the original, or dealing with modern adaptations that really aren’t that far removed from concepts.

32. FAB Libber - November 15, 2010

… aren’t that far removed from the original concepts or problems.

(possibly makes more sense)

33. Undercover Punk - November 15, 2010

Yup. And I also know that I’m not the first one to observe that everything assigned to women isn’t objectively Bad, nor is everything assigned to men objectively Good. Far from it, actually.

factcheckme - November 16, 2010

actually, the first wave got it all right too. as i learned in jeffreys “spinster” the pre-WWI feminists had PIV on lockdown (to borrow UP’s phrasing!) and transforming mens behavior, including sexual abuse of children and dangerous PIV-centric sexuality was front and center. the male sexologists and their deviant sexual categories (LEZBIANZ!! FRIGIDEZ!!) and normalization of PIV and seperate spheres based on “””science””” put an end to all of it. and as jeffreys notes, the REASON the suffragettes wanted the vote was SO they could have a political voice ABOUT sexual abuse laws, prostitution laws, rape laws, abuse of power rape laws, curfew and mandatory STD screenings (for women but not for men) and so forth. it was NOT a watered down “equality” model like what we have today. they didnt want the vote because men had it. they wanted the vote so they could change mens fucked up system to benefit girls and women. just an FYI! i hope everyone reads this book. seriously. its one of the best books i have ever read, and i still havent finished it. its not even that long, i just havent gotten around to finishing the last few pages.

34. FAB Libber - November 16, 2010

pre-WWI feminists had PIV on lockdown (to borrow UP’s phrasing!)

ROTFLMAO
I love the expression.


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