"There is difference and there is power. And who holds the power decides the meaning of the difference." --June Jordan

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Sticks and Stones

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So, I saw Knocked Up last night. It was bursting at the seams with feminist issues, but there's just one joke in the movie I want to call out. There's a part in the movie where a wife interrupts her husband while he's with a group of his male friends and demands to speak with him alone. As he is leaving the room to go speak with her, one of his buddies yells out:

"Don't let the door hit you in the vagina on the way out."


Oh, I get it! It's funny, because having a vagina means being a woman. And being called a woman is an intolerable insult. Nobody wants to be a woman! Especially a husband -- a man who should be "wearing the pants" in the family. He should be telling her what to do! Not the other way around! Ha! *knee-slap*

If only I had a nickel for every time I've heard a male insult another male by calling him female. In a culture where women are socialized to be and to be seen as weaker, saying he's doing something "like a girl" or simply calling him a "pussy" is the best way to cut a man down to size. I was disappointed with the joke, but I can't say it surprised me. Art reflects life. And I suppose art cannot be free of misogyny as long as life is downright full of it.

4 comments:

Cara said...

It's amazing how these things seem in so much that you hardly even notice them, anymore. These kinds of jokes are just a part of life, you know? It's really fucking sad.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I took the title alone as reason enough to steer clear of this movie--"knocked up" is just about the most insulting term for pregnancy I can imagine. Such disgustingly violent connotations. Sometimes I wonder if I'm the only person who thinks this way...

Dewey said...

Yeah, I've been avoiding this movie for similar reasons as anonymous.

You know what's really confusing to me? When I hear women saying things like "you throw like a girl" or "crying like a girl" or whatever. I get that there's a lot of self-hatred out there in misogyny land (and I've seen a shitload of it this week) but these just seem so pointless somehow.

Tracey said...

dewey: I know, I hate that, too. People say things like that so casually, too, and I doubt they even realize how insulting they are.