Tuesday, May 05, 2009

"One day it's empowerment when it suits their purposes and the next day it's exploitation."

Marc Rudov, the author of The Man's No-Nonsense Guide to Women: How to Succeed in Romance on Planet Earth was on O'Reilly last night talking about bikini moms like Valerie Bertinelli. He makes some very good points about how women, on the one hand, want to show off their bodies and on the other, say they are exploited by men. "They exploit themselves," he states. "One day it's empowerment when it suits their purposes and the next day it's exploitation."

You can see Rudov's site and the video here.

Labels:

28 Comments:

Blogger Major-General said...

Sounds about right.

9:14 AM, May 05, 2009  
Blogger MikeT said...

There is no hope for the women who behave like this. You could show them a women's magazine that is cover-to-cover about sex, beauty, etc. and written by women, and somehow men would still get blamed for it even though all of the corporate women behind it would call themselves "strong, independent women."

The fact is, there is a large portion of the female population that will never accept responsibility itself and its behavior. It's only slightly smaller than the portion which invariably responds to arguments with pure emotion and cattiness instead of counterpoints.

9:24 AM, May 05, 2009  
Blogger Elusive Wapiti said...

An interesting exercise is to pick up a women's beauty magazine like Cosmo or Glamour or Self and compare it side-by-side with a men's mag like Men's Health or even a lad mag like Maxim. Compare the amount of female skin in each. Then tell me which camp is more exploitative of women's sexuality.

We men are told that it's natural and healthy to look at and be attracted to images of the female form. While the former (natural) is true, the latter (healthy) certainly is not, and I'm tired, even offended, that I'm constantly treated to images of some random chick's body when that space in my brain belongs to my wife and her alone.

There's a reason why modesty for women (and men to a different and lesser extent) is so important.

9:34 AM, May 05, 2009  
Blogger GawainsGhost said...

Thank you for posting this, Dr. Helen. I had never heard of or seen Marc Rudov before, but his wesite is invaluable.

I especially liked his description of McCain as a "Cadaverick" on his blog. But you have to scroll all the way down to find it.

http://thenononsenseman.mensnewsdaily.com/

9:51 AM, May 05, 2009  
Blogger Josh said...

Thanks, I really needed a laugh. That was hilarious.

Let me see if I got that.

1. Some women dress provocatively.
2. Men can be tempted to behave badly around provocatively dressed women, which can lead to abuse.
3. Therefore all women--including, incidentally, women who do not dress provocatively--are responsible for their own abuse; because women, as a collective, objectify themselves.
4. Therefore it's okay to fire women if they are abused and need to take time off.

Oh, and mom + bikini = nazi.

brilliant.

10:05 AM, May 05, 2009  
Blogger pockosmum said...

You obviously did NOT get it.

10:25 AM, May 05, 2009  
Blogger Novaseeker said...

Let me see if I got that.

1. Some women dress provocatively.
2. Men can be tempted to behave badly around provocatively dressed women, which can lead to abuse.
3. Therefore all women--including, incidentally, women who do not dress provocatively--are responsible for their own abuse; because women, as a collective, objectify themselves.
4. Therefore it's okay to fire women if they are abused and need to take time off.
No, it's simply that you can't call Maxim "exploitation" while calling People "empowerment". Can't have that both ways, I'm afraid. Rudov is just pointing out the hypocrisy of some women picking and choosing when displaying female skin is exploitation by men or empowerment for women.

To be honest, all of this is just a reflection of the female version of a midlife crisis. The iconic female fear is generally that her husband/partner/lover will leave her for a younger, more attractive, woman. One way of allaying that fear is to parade women 45+ around on magazine covers and on Cougar reality shows both as an effort to (1) make older women feel sexier and more secure and (2) encourage men to see older women as just as physically attractive as they do younger women (a kind of wish thinking programming).

10:40 AM, May 05, 2009  
Blogger J. Bowen said...

You know, if you treat women like little children you don't have to worry about what they say. Think about it. A child says things that make absolutely no sense and as a consequence you don't take them serious. Women do the same thing. So why take most of them seriously.

11:39 AM, May 05, 2009  
Blogger randian said...

Tammy Bruce completely ignored Marc's exploitation/empowerment point. I expected better.

Her point about Phelps was absurd. One guy vs hundreds of women? A pretty woman with no accomplishments whatsoever can get herself on dozens of magazine covers, but 7 world records gets a man couple of covers if he's lucky.

3:22 PM, May 05, 2009  
Blogger Helen said...

randian,

I agree about Bruce, I was a little surprised--maybe she didn't get the gist of his point?

5:08 PM, May 05, 2009  
Blogger Francis W. Porretto said...

Is anyone really surprised when a woman, a member of America's premier self-defined victim class, imposes a double-bind on men, such that no matter what we do, we're cast in the role of villains? Isn't that what the militant feminists have taught women to do -- have urged them to do in the name of "sisterhood?"

Brethren of the Y Chromosome, take some comfort in knowing that they're the majority of them are even more confused then we are.

5:19 PM, May 05, 2009  
Blogger MB said...

"You know, if you treat women like little children you don't have to worry about what they say. Think about it. A child says things that make absolutely no sense and as a consequence you don't take them serious. Women do the same thing. So why take most of them seriously."

-----------

I would agree - because that's reality - except that society simultaneously excuses them from any responsibility (don't believe it? - look up Mary Winkler for starts) and gives them quite a bit of power.

It's bizarre.

It's like giving a child a machine gun and then ignoring everything it does.

5:57 PM, May 05, 2009  
Blogger ray_g said...

"One day it's empowerment when it suits their purposes and the next day it's exploitation."

My biggest complaint about modern American women is that in almost every area of life they think they can have it both ways. They say no, they are not interested, but then they get mad when you don't call. They want to be independent but call a man when they have a flat tire. They want the excitement of a 'bad boy' yet expect to be treated with kindness and respect. I could go on.

You may call me a misogynist, but I'm surprised by how many women agree with me on the above comments.

I know not all women are like that, because my sister certainly isn't, and many of my female friends from high school and college aren't. But if they are 5 or more years younger than me (I'm 52) or grew up in a city vice rural, they sure seem to be.

6:33 PM, May 05, 2009  
Blogger randian said...

They want to be independent but call a man when they have a flat tire.I find it supremely amusing when a single woman with kids, who receives copious amounts of child support or federal/state subsidy, calls herself an "independent woman".

10:13 PM, May 05, 2009  
Blogger Kristen said...

If you see women as individuals, unless the SAME woman dons a bikini and then claims to be exploited, there is no contradiction. "Women" are not a cultlke group who all think the same and have the same opinions. Some women find showing skin to be exploitative, while others find it empowering.

I am not stating my opinion about this "exploitation" topic, just pointing out that the argument is a little silly.

11:00 AM, May 06, 2009  
Blogger Joe said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3:31 PM, May 06, 2009  
Blogger Joe said...

As Kristen says, this is a false dichotomy.

...women, on the one hand, want to show off their bodies and on the other, say they are exploited by men.

But the women who show off their bodies aren't claiming they are being exploited. Quite to the contrary; many are strong willed women who get quite annoyed at the accusations that they aren't doing this by free choice.

(Plus there's something very creepy about the the woman as temptress meme. Good God, haven't we moved beyond that already?)

Oh, and Valerie Bertinelli is, and has always been, totally hot.

3:33 PM, May 06, 2009  
Blogger Novaseeker said...

Some women find showing skin to be exploitative, while others find it empowering.Yes, but this places men in a box. When we say we like to see women in bikinis on magazine covers, we are derided (by some women) as shallow, sexist exploiters. If we say that we think women shouldn't be on magazine covers in bikinis, we are derided (by presumably other women) as puritanical, controlling, insecure pseudo-patriarchs.

Rudov's point is this: no matter how we approach this, some women will find fault with it, and that fault will generally be a fault they associate with men as a class.

6:18 PM, May 06, 2009  
Blogger Acksiom said...

And that's why long ago I came up with a standard response to such fault-finding and other similar complaints -- one which makes explicit the grossly conceited attitude behind them:

"No, I don't like your behavior; you change to suit my personal preferences."

4:32 AM, May 07, 2009  
Blogger ray_g said...

"If you see women as individuals, unless the SAME woman dons a bikini and then claims to be exploited, there is no contradiction"

"...this is a false dichotomy."

No, it is not. In the behavior I am talking about, it is the same individual. And in the political and sociological commentary area that Mr. Rudov is talking about, it is the same group of vocal activists.


"imposes a double-bind on men, such that no matter what we do, we're cast in the role of villains?"

There are certain questions that women ask that I won't answer, and areas of discussion I refuse to get involved in. When women ask me why, I explain that it is a potential trap, and I'm not falling for it. I get mixed reactions to that.

11:29 AM, May 07, 2009  
Blogger Alex said...

To be honest, all of this is just a reflection of the female version of a midlife crisis. The iconic female fear is generally that her husband/partner/lover will leave her for a younger, more attractive, woman. One way of allaying that fear is to parade women 45+ around on magazine covers and on Cougar reality shows both as an effort to (1) make older women feel sexier and more secure and (2) encourage men to see older women as just as physically attractive as they do younger women (a kind of wish thinking programming).That hurts and I'm not a middle aged woman.

3:01 PM, May 07, 2009  
Blogger JG said...

"That hurts and I'm not a middle aged woman."

-------

Live by the sword, die by the sword.

I remember in my first job out of college - I was dirt poor - some of the female secretaries my age were talking about how big their house was (they married an older established guy who paid for it all) and how they were going to quit work as soon as their husband reached some threshold of earning or position.

Women get the advantages when they are young, but then society seems to see it as a great injustice when women move over the age 40 line - and have to pretty much produce like men if they want money. Although most of them have some money left over from the exploitation phase when they were young, and some are handsomely set for life.

But what a tragedy: Older women have to work like men if they want money.

6:47 PM, May 07, 2009  
Blogger JG said...

"Working like men" = doing something useful, not getting money because of your great smile.

7:29 PM, May 07, 2009  
Blogger wolfboy69 said...

"You know, if you treat women like little children you don't have to worry about what they say. Think about it. A child says things that make absolutely no sense and as a consequence you don't take them serious. Women do the same thing. So why take most of them seriously."Because they have the legal ability to kick you in the crotch (figuratively speaking). That makes what they say a little more worthy of being taken seriously.

12:19 AM, May 08, 2009  
Blogger kentuckyliz said...

Mr. Rudov's major argument was, why pay attention?

Because these are current or former Hollywood celebrities well known to us, who have had decllining careers, and unflattering photos are published of them looking like the rest of us normal middle aged flabby people, and they're shocked, and we cluck at their fall, and then they get to be paid celebrity endorsers for some diet plan for successfully losing the weight again. I pay my WW meeting fee and don't get a big endorsement contract, because I was never a celebrity.

It has to do more with celebrity than women--or men. I've seen the TV commercials for weight loss programs starring former pro athlete MEN who lost the weight. Mr. Rudov doesn't seem to be all that concerned with their "exploitation."

Sorry, he didn't make much sense. I can't think of any one of these women who claim they were being exploited.

He treats "women" as one giant lump--so if one woman says she's empowered and another one says she's exploited, he thinks it's all One Woman ("They") saying the same thing. I disagree. I think it's different women who say things about empowerment or exploitation.

I don't exactly see men getting all hot about plain, modestly dressed women, and we don't idolize them in the celebrity press.

Tammy Bruce made much more sense, I think. And even O'Reilly did. They made sense and Mr. Rudov seemed like an irrational whiner who made some very basic high schoolish logical errors.

9:50 AM, May 09, 2009  
Blogger 9988 said...

smilinfaaeod,nteoyma,alsosor,itnbtween,huonHappie-notistig-mA-aouie~shapp<-ectation............

11:45 AM, May 24, 2009  
Blogger 9988 said...

Hi!hello..............................................................................

11:46 AM, May 24, 2009  
Blogger 9988 said...

............................................................................

11:47 AM, May 24, 2009  

Post a Comment

<< Home