Clowns & Jokers

Stuck in the middle.... Left, right, centre. It's a mess out there.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

It has a name: Raunch Culture

Something's been bugging me for ages and ive never been able to really put my finger on it - other than to say i am fed up with knickerless Britney, Paris Hilton and some dirty internet footage, Jordan and her boob jobs, Abbey Titmuss and Rebecca Loos celebrated as celebs for doing nothing more than shagging someone famous..... Im fed up with GQ, Maxim, Loaded and a variety of soft porn bullshit boys magazines that set girls up on the cover like a couple of grinning bimbos which the models themselves seem to buy into, unquestioningly, and would probably babble on about being 'empowering'.

On the back of a post at ATW on teenagers aspiring to have kids as fashion accessories (nothing new really 'i want a brown baby like all the other mothers on the estate') it got me thinking about role models and all this sort of stuff again. It has a massive influence. I was looking up figures and found this:


Which of these professions appeals the most to teenage girls?

Glamour model 63%
Lap dancer 25%
Teacher 3%
Doctor 4%
Lawyer 3%
Nurse 2%

In a poll conducted by mobile entertainment providers, www.thelab.tv over half of British teenagers between the ages 15-19 would rather take their clothes off for a living than enter the professional sector. The seemingly endless media coverage of celebrities such as Jordan, Abi Titmuss and Lucy Pinder has sparked a shift in the professional ambition of Britain's teenage girls as they see glamour modelling as more appealing than more traditional jobs such as doctors and lawyers.

Looking up the stats I also found this. A book that tries to pinpoint it all.

"Levy cleverly leads us to explore the role models women aspire to emulate. We are not pursuing the confident, self-determined, powerful, free ideal the women’s liberation movement would have dreamed for its daughters. Instead, our icons are porn stars and strippers and prostitutes. Paris Hilton and Jenna Jameson flaunt their successes in the pornography industry, and in doing so seem to earn our adulation", "that a number of female Olympic athletes saw fit to pose nude for Playboy before the 2004 games in Athens, for instance..." says it all really.

This comment struck a chord for a number of reasons:

"Every once and awhile, a book brings together cultural trends that until then were rattling around unconnected in the back of our minds. This is one of those books. When and how did porn suddenly become mainstream and cool? It wasn't that long ago that it was a back-room thing, and now it's sexy and desirable. Girls don't want to be pretty anymore -- they want to be "hot," which apparently means something that used to be called "slutty." Read this book, and a lot of contradictory cultural trends suddenly come into sharp focus. A great analysis of modern American trends".

Tom commented on the ATW post:

"I think teen magazines (both lads' and girls') play a part in all this too.You walk past the magazine racks and the covers of Zoo & Nuts are just porn in your face. What image of women do those mags create for the 13-20 year old lads who buy them?"

Very true. It does cut both ways and does create this vicious spiral. There's been a relentless media drive towards this sort of consumerist 'ideal' which then gets heaped back onto young men and women growing up as they grapple with it all. Some power struggle. It has really all gone off the deep end when women buy into all this crap and see it as 'empowering', when the media churn it out for a fast buck ad nauseum and when tacky models are known by name by some blokes and are seen as aspirational by some girls.

"Our popular culture, she argues, has embraced a model of female sexuality that comes straight from pornography and strip clubs, in which the woman's job is to excite and titillate - to perform for men. According to Levy, women have bought into this by altering their bodies surgically and cosmetically, and - more insidiously - by confusing sexual power with power, so that embracing this caricaturish form of sexuality becomes, in their minds, a perverse kind of feminism"

Apparently this book which is two years old, will 'create many aha! moments for readers who have been wondering how porn got to be pop and why feminism is such a dirty word'.

Having just used that word pop on that thread myself, Im inspired to read the book.

Labels:

22 Comments:

At Sunday, 25 February, 2007, Blogger MonicaR said...

Lap Dancer??

Holy Crap!

 
At Sunday, 25 February, 2007, Blogger MrSmith said...

Girls don't want to be pretty anymore -- they want to be "hot," which apparently means something that used to be called "slutty."

I wonder if perhaps it has to do with offense etc? 'Slutty', as a word, is on a par with 'whorish' and the use of the word to expose such behaviour for what it really is tends to make people burst into flames and start shrieking invective. Really it's what I believe the Americans call a lose-lose situation.

Still, looks like a good book recommendation. Thanks for that.

 
At Sunday, 25 February, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes it's all very sad. As I have said before girls have to be taught from childhood they are a sexual object and also inferior. They think they have to fight back by being just as smutty and foulmouthed as the boys but in my view this has just added to everyone's degenerative outlook on life.

 
At Sunday, 25 February, 2007, Anonymous alison said...

Yes some context for you, Mr Smith.

For you women are on some sort of sliding scale between saintly virgin and whore. It doesnt take much for you to want to deploy the latter.

 
At Sunday, 25 February, 2007, Blogger MrSmith said...

"For you women are on some sort of sliding scale between saintly virgin and whore. It doesnt take much for you to want to deploy the latter."

Ahhh, you're wanting to be psychic and read my mind again now, are you? Good luck with that, God knows you've not had much luck with it thus far.

 
At Sunday, 25 February, 2007, Anonymous alison said...

Why would i want to read your mind when i can read your posts.

 
At Sunday, 25 February, 2007, Blogger Tu s. Tin said...

I remember the first time I heard the song "I'm in love with a striper"
Hope that one never got to you.
All I thought was Oh my god!
Then we wonder why girls would even concider lap dancer. some other lyrics out there are just as bad ... I myself loved the song from nellie - ride with me.
But basically he says to the girls - your only invited if you suck d- - -?
... and everyones not just his?
This is a topic I have trying to understand for years and years and years. Really it has been going on forever and like everything trends run in extremes. Victorian day values don't look to appealing either.

 
At Sunday, 25 February, 2007, Anonymous alison said...

I dont remember that one, no. Blimey. We got the lyrics 'Dont you wish your girlfriend was hot like me?'....

Im watching Americas Next Top Model at the moment. A bunch of vicious nasty little gays with lipgloss, wearing dresses, telling this terrified teenager that if she doesnt PUT OUT on her first nudie shot then she's finished, in the next shot she is dressed as a teenage schoolgirl whilst pulling her legs apart, pushing her about and telling her to look horny wearing mans clothes. Course when she flaked she got the boot.

Im almost through this book. You agree with so much of it you rush through it at a rate of knots. Ive just got to the bit in this book where Mr Hefner wannabes try to make out porn is all ok as 'mass consumerism' and that women 'get the joke' and 'want in on the action'. Do we want to get the joke? Sure some women might do but Id rather they keep their joke top shelf myself. Wanna gawp at nude girls? Wow. So nothing changes! lol. Just dont put that out as mainstream pop culture. It has got into pop culture and it is a problem. I dont see why teens and pre teens should be forced to make sense of it all.

 
At Sunday, 25 February, 2007, Blogger MrSmith said...

"Why would i want to read your mind when i can read your posts."

To be accurate, you would have to change that to 'mis-read your posts'.

 
At Sunday, 25 February, 2007, Blogger Tu s. Tin said...

are the ones who get it blonde? (sorry I had to) I think the jokes on them. I don't think it's funny.
I have always thought of sex and nudity as beautiful things really, guess thats the part that makes me most upset about "porn" - both the soft and hard core type.

 
At Sunday, 25 February, 2007, Anonymous alison said...

Nah i didnt. Lets hope you dont misread that book Mr Smith, youve missed the point so far.

Tu - not sure! they seem to be a) synthetic and b) rich? - theyre the female chauvinist pigs she refers to. Them and the media.
There is a curiosity value to it all (porn) but most of it makes me distinctly uncomfortable. Its very easy to be sucked into that culture for curiosity and when it gets to soft porn its so in ya face. I think a lot of the bland titty-mag soft porn stuff seems like a bit of a ya-boo-sucks to feminism and a way of alienating women. Only its backfiring a bit when teenagers want to be lapdancers and glamour models. And prancing gay mincers are telling them how to look.

 
At Monday, 26 February, 2007, Blogger MrSmith said...

"Nah i didnt. Lets hope you dont misread that book Mr Smith, youve missed the point so far."

Translation:

'I'm right, you're wrong! Nyah nah-nah nyah naaah!'

How very convincing.

 
At Monday, 26 February, 2007, Blogger james higham said...

Top post, Alison. I've been thinking similar things to the rant you opened with.

 
At Tuesday, 27 February, 2007, Anonymous alison said...

Thanks James. I think there are many elements to this issue.

 
At Tuesday, 27 February, 2007, Blogger CityUnslicker said...

Good and interesting post Alison.

However, the lads mages etca re more likely to have followed a trend rather than created one.

being a doctor or a nurse requires hard work and effort. Taking your clothes off is easy. hence girls want to go for the easy option to earn money?

Everyone can see Paris Hilton is an idiot, but a very rich one. I can see the allure here. i don't like it either, but it does make sense.

To change it we would need to make being a doctor or lawyer easy and a lap dancer more difficult. Solve that one...

 
At Wednesday, 28 February, 2007, Anonymous alison said...

Cityunslicker

Its really more that women who make a mint in this industry which appeals precisely for the reason you state then justify it and repackage it as liberating and girl power. It then went mass consumer on us and because its 'ok' appeals more to kids. If we had a bit focus on role models in the professions you state and less of our hangup on crass we would get a few more kids feeling that way about being a doctor.

Girls are obsessed with self image so when its packaged up 'as the way to go' and submliminal career option c/o Maxim, MTV and co its tough.

I think the lads magz created their trend. It really was a ya boo sucks response to feminism. The latter made a mistake in ostracising blokes rather than making them see it as positive in the 70s. Didnt take much for them to grab the 'initiative' after that!

 
At Wednesday, 28 February, 2007, Anonymous alison said...

p.s CityUnslicker youre from Bromley - i grew up there!

 
At Thursday, 01 March, 2007, Anonymous Steve said...

Alison, CityUnslicker raises an interesting point here.

Girls may want to be lapdancers or strippers for the same reason as people go onto shows like the X Factor - they think it will lead to meney and/or fame without having to do too much work.

The cultural Zeitgeist means that this is now more acceptable than it was even ten years ago.

Combine the 'normalisation' of porn with the cult of celebrity, the desire for fame and the aversion to hard work and bingo! You have a generation of young girls wanting to be lap dancers.

 
At Thursday, 01 March, 2007, Anonymous alison said...

Yes it all compounds itself. A combination of normalising porn which was off the back of lad culture, a general dumbing down of ambition through celebs, and cheap celeb at that, a general dumbing down of ambition fullstop. I also agree that we shrug our shoulders at it for fear of being seen as prudes thx to a liberal outlook that swung too far the other way. Its a combo of factors.

I was interested in why it became acceptable to legitimise it and more specifically why I felt that i had to go along with it - which is what this book sort of investigates. Her point about the female Olympic athletes taking their kits off for the ladz was key. Even those that have pursued great careers feel that somehow they need to do that to be accepted. So any role models that are pretty healthy follow the soft porn route. Even motherood gets all sexual and has to go naked(Demi Moore, Britney again).

 
At Thursday, 01 March, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So any role models that are pretty healthy follow the soft porn route. Even motherood gets all sexual and has to go naked(Demi Moore, Britney again).



good point

 
At Tuesday, 06 March, 2007, Blogger Wolfie said...

Bloody well said Alison.

 
At Wednesday, 07 March, 2007, Anonymous alison said...

Hi Wolfie, hope you are well...and Cheers

 

Post a Comment

<< Home