This Week in Women: Misogyny in Hollywood, the Music Industry, and Politics
This week has been quite the ride, hasn’t it? I, along with most of the rest of the world, needed to take a personal day after Beyoncé dropped her visual album, Lemonade; Amanda Peet wrote an insightful essay about aging; Donald Trump is being the sexist dolt that he is; and Kesha‘s horrific legal battle with Sony took a dismal turn. When does the ride end? Never. It’s this week in women: the misogyny edition!
How Hollywood Wants Women to Age
Amanda Peet wrote an essay for Lena Dunham’s Lenny Letter titled “Never Crossing the Botox Rubicon” that expounds on the unrealistic expectations that women in Hollywood are subjected to. In it, she admits to caring about the way she looks as well as the shame that comes with having such thoughts. Yet despite this, she vows to not get plastic surgery—her one form of protest against Hollywood’s standards.
But to assume that it was easy for Peet to come to such a decision would be wrong. Peet describes the unrelenting discord between being an actor and being human that’s intrinsic to Hollywood and the movie industry. As an actress, she says it’s her job to care about her looks. Yet at 44 years old, she’s destined to be replaced by her younger counterparts. She’s already seeing it happen, and cites Alicia Vikander as one such counterpart. “I’m constantly pushed out by younger talent, like Alicia Vikander,” she wrote. “You might think, Wait, she’s 27 and a gorgeous movie star, and you’re 44 and a low-tier, TV-mom-type; you’re not in the same ballpark. But she is squeezing me out. She’s in the hot center and I’m on the remote perimeter. The train has left the station and I’m one of those moronic stragglers running alongside with her purse caught in the door. Everyone’s looking at me like, Let go, you bullheaded old hag! There’s no room for you.”
However her main reason for not getting plastic surgery has less to do with Hollywood, and more to do with her daughters. She’s afraid that, if her daughters end up anything like her—”go[ing] to college, tak[ing] Feminist Texts and Theory, and stop shaving their legs and armpits,” they’ll never forgive her for giving in to the demands of our patriarchal society. “Letting my face age naturally will be my ace in the hole,” she wrote. “My counterclaim. Proof that I didn’t pander to the male gaze.”
Banks vs. Bey
Ever since Beyoncé premiered her visual album, Lemonade, on HBO this past Sunday, nothing has been the same. In her hour-long film, she revealed her husband, Jay-Z‘s, infidelity, as well as her own personal battle with it. In a variety of emotional chapters, Bey showed us more self-doubt than we’d ever seen in the queen before. So naturally, Lemonade didn’t sit so well with rapper Azealia Banks.
This heartbroken black female narrative you keep trying to push is the Antithesis of what feminism is
— BRUJA DEL BLOQUE (@AZEALIABANKS) April 26, 2016
You keep crying over a man and perpetuating that sad black female sufferance and it's Not good for what we're trying to accomplish here
— BRUJA DEL BLOQUE (@AZEALIABANKS) April 26, 2016
In Banks’ humble opinion, Bey should have stood strong against her adulterous husband and not, as she put it “keep crying over a man and perpetuating that sad black female sufferance.” Personally, we think that denouncing any women for exposing her most vulnerable self is what’s bad for feminism—but that’s just us! Women contain multitudes (as they say); to have doubts, fears, or show weakness should not make a woman less deserving of respect.
All we know is Azealia better watch her back, because we can only imagine that the Bey Hive is watching her (Insert bee emoji and lemon emoji here).
An Update in Kesha’s Case
Kesha‘s mother, Pebe Sebert, has dropped her counterclaim against Dr. Luke, the Sony producer who allegedly raped and abused Kesha, while keeping her essentially imprisoned under a strict recording contract.
After Kesha made her abuse public, Dr. Luke filed a lawsuit against her and her mother, claiming the two threatened to tarnish his name and spread rumors in order to get Kesha released from her contract. Pebe’s counterclaims included “intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress based on the alleged abuse directed at Kesha.” Despite the obvious torture that her daughter has had to endure—and despite Dr. Luke never following through with his promise to let Pebe be more involved in Kesha’s career—Pebe dropped the case. It’s clear, she explained, that this legal battle has no end in sight.
And yet, amazingly, we do have some good Kesha news to report. The singer just released her first track in three years,”True Colors,” a collaboration with EDM artist Zedd that they debuted at Coachella last week.
— kesha (@KeshaRose) April 29, 2016
The “Woman Card”
Donald Trump, Republican presidential candidate and political joke that’s gone on for far too long, claimed he gets more love from female voters than any other candidate in the running. In other words, his target this week was none other than Hillary Clinton—or “Crooked Hillary,” as he endearingly refers to her. Trump is convinced she only has female votes because of her gender.
“Frankly, if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don’t think she’d get five percent of the vote,” Trump apparently said at a news conference. “The only thing she’s got going is the women’s card. And the beautiful thing is, women don’t like her. Look how well I did with women tonight.”
Aside for this remark being over-the-top sexist, it’s also wrong. Polling agency Morning Consult had been asking voters since November 2015 to choose between Clinton and Trump if the candidacy came down to it. Clinton is winning with 48 percent over Trump. The poll shows that Clinton has always had more support from female voters than he has.
On May 17th, Trump will sit down with FOX News anchor and his personal nemesis, Megan Kelly, for an interview. And if we know our Trump, then we know he’ll be dishing out some more top-notch misogyny. We can’t wait.
Stay tuned to Milk for more of This Week in Women.