Quick Hit: A lovely lesbian wedding.

The New York Magazine featured “The Lesbian Bride’s Handbookâ€? yesterday, which is not necessarily a handbook but more of a way-too-adoroble story of Ariel Levy’s wedding. (Reminder: Levy is the author of the oh-so-controversial Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture.) Congrats to Levy and her wifey. (And that hot-ass dress!)

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26 Comments

  1. legallyblondeez
    Posted April 30, 2007 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    The word “wifey” makes me want to gag. Just FYI. Visions of the little wifey cooking and cleaning and tending to her family, never thinking of herself, or for herself.

  2. Posted April 30, 2007 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    Because I never had the chance to say my piece on the book….
    I just read the Ariel Levy book, called, “Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture.� The book basically says that women who take part in societies endless attack on women’s liberation – through things such as being a stripper, taking part in videos such as “Girls Gone Wild,� being overly sexual on TV, etc – are actually reversing the hard work that our earlier feminists have put in.
    Meaning, the women who are engaging in the above-mentioned occupations or events think that they are empowered because we have gotten to a point in our culture where it is ok, accepted, and fun to show off our bodies. Um. No. It is not. According to Levy, these counteract the original ideas of equality because it is still a man’s world, and the ones who are getting paid off of, and being titillated are men. In various interviews, women who are strippers, etc. say they do not enjoy their jobs, and the very fact that we are commodifying women’s sexual prowlness, identity, beauty, etc. is debilitating for women on a whole.
    Further, she also talks about tomboys. I am not a woman who wears makeup, deep v-necks, has manicures and pedicures, nor one who wears pink, glitter or heels. Nope. I like my brown-colored clothing, my Chucks, and wife-beater tanks. In the book, Levy says that if one is not wearing frou-frou clothing, sipping martinis, and being, well, feminine, then she is also doing her part in reversing the hard work of the feminists who came before us.
    Why? Because if being equal to men means losing the identifying factors of being a female, then all we are doing (by dressing and acting the way men do) is wanting to be like men; emulating men. That is not equal, she says, instead, it is a culture of men.
    Hmmm. I see her point, however, I have been educated in areas that include gender.
    First, like everything else in the world, there is nothing that is black or white. While there may be the societal definitions of both male and female, there are also people who are biologically male, but present as a female; and biological females who present as a male. There are biological females who present as a female, but identify with being male, and so on. Really, there are many combinations. Therefore, I do not think that we moving towards an all-male society just because we act like men. Why? Because who said what a man is supposed to be like, look like, act like, etc? Not me. Why could it not have been that women are the aggressive population, and men are the demur ones? Why is it that we cannot move beyond the stereotypes and molds that some culture hundreds of years back set up? The answer is simple. In order to maintain the status quo of male culture, power, and enslaving women to their duties of motherhood, housewife, homemaker, etc – even in the career world women still only make 80 cents to every dollar a man makes.
    How interesting that an author such as Levy thinks she is empowering her audience by telling them that their prowlness is not for themselves, but for men at large; but in actuality, what she is doing is perpetuating the stigma and role that we are supposed to play.

  3. some cat
    Posted April 30, 2007 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    prowlness? what’s that?

  4. UltraMagnus
    Posted April 30, 2007 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    There are some parts of Levy’s book I agreed with and some I didn’t but I did like how she pointed out that for women we are still basically playing the role of virgin (britney spears pre-mental breakdown) or whore (paris hilton) and that when female sexuality is presented through the media or entertainment those are the only two extremes we get, there’s nothing in between and women aren’t allowed to have a spectrum of sexuality.
    That’s the biggest lesson I took from her book, along with her comments that a lot of young women are performing sexual acts and not getting any sexual pleasure for themselves, which made me sad when I realized there was a lot of truth to that.
    We can all debate the book and it’s good that we can, but I think what she was trying to combat was this notion that absolutely everything a women does is “empowering”. There was a post quite a while back where I pointed out that usually when women are told something is “empowering” it’s often something that is sexually pleasing to men. Not that men can’t ever have sexual pleasure, or women can’t want to please men, but I find it curious that the sexual is all women get to be “empowered” by, especially when there’s money to be made from it.
    Add to that, when you are a stripper or a porn star or perform in a GGW video, you can feel empowered by the experience but over all you don’t have men in the audience going, “Gosh, I wonder if she feels empowered by flashing her tits for a trucker cap?” I can bet you dimes to dollars 99.9% of people won’t give a shit as long as they get to see the goods.
    Not that that means women shouldn’t do what makes them feel good, but I think Levy has a point that we have to take a look at society and question WHY it is that we are doing these things and acknowledge that society has a bigger influence than we’d like to admit.

  5. donna darko
    Posted April 30, 2007 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    If showing skin is so empowering and indicative of social status, why aren’t men walking around naked?

  6. UltraMagnus
    Posted April 30, 2007 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    If showing skin is so empowering and indicative of social status, why aren’t men walking around naked?
    Donna, didn’t anyone tell you that rule is only for us womenz as we are the only one’s with something to prove:)

  7. UltraMagnus
    Posted April 30, 2007 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    Dang it, that should be “ones”. Sorry.

  8. donna darko
    Posted April 30, 2007 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    UltraMagnus,
    We’re the most empowered.
    Because we show the most skin.

  9. VeriteBlesse
    Posted April 30, 2007 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    I never understood why Levys book was so controversial. She was concerned about the trend of women performing a sexuality they didn’t feel. She made an important distinction between being a sexual object and being a sexual subject. I didn’t feel it was anti-sex at all.

  10. VeriteBlesse
    Posted April 30, 2007 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    I never understood why Levys book was so controversial. She was concerned about the trend of women performing a sexuality they didn’t feel. She made an important distinction between being a sexual object and being a sexual subject. I didn’t feel it was anti-sex at all.

  11. donna darko
    Posted April 30, 2007 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    I haven’t read it nor do I intend to.
    UltraMagnus, nice comment @ 4:34 btw.
    some cat, rowr. prowlness = prowess.

  12. werechick
    Posted April 30, 2007 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    I have to agree with Verite. I’d say more, but “seconded” sums what I was going to say, anyway.

  13. Posted April 30, 2007 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    She’s a lesbian? Wow. I guess I just assumed she was hetero, for no apparent reason, and that she was writing about various aspects of lesbian social scenes as an outsider. Fascinating! (It’s actually the hetero stuff she might or might not be an outsider to, depending on her experiences.)

  14. Bird
    Posted April 30, 2007 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    Personally, I found Levy’s book a real eye-opener. Like any author I read, I agree and disagree with some points, but overall, I thought it was a powerful statement that put into words the discomfort I feel with GGW, Suicide Girls, pre-teen thongs, and many other things.
    Levy made the point that mere sexual liberation isn’t real freedom; it’s like the shiny chunk of glass many young women are accepting instead of the real deal.
    Sure, we should be free to express our sexuality in any way we choose, but that way seems more chosen for us than we like to admit.

  15. Mina
    Posted April 30, 2007 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    “If showing skin is so empowering and indicative of social status, why aren’t men walking around naked?”
    In some cultures the men are both more empowered and walking around exposing a lot more skin than the women are…

  16. donna darko
    Posted April 30, 2007 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    Touche.

  17. Nancy in NYC
    Posted April 30, 2007 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    Ah yes, another Jewish lesbian makes her mother proud–and ashamed. And proud. And ashamed. Go Ariel!

  18. Ninapendamaishi
    Posted April 30, 2007 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    I really disliked the book when I started reading it, because I guess I feel she makes to many generalities about young women and their intentions. However, she was trained as a journalist, not a researcher. Ultimately, I came to Verite’s view:
    “I never understood why Levys book was so controversial. She was concerned about the trend of women performing a sexuality they didn’t feel. She made an important distinction between being a sexual object and being a sexual subject. I didn’t feel it was anti-sex at all.”
    I would encourage people to read it trying to keep that in mind. She’s definitely not anti-sex. Which is not to say I agree with the interpretation she has of every example she uses, just that I think she makes a lot of good points that rang true to me and the things I see happening around me.

  19. Ninapendamaishi
    Posted April 30, 2007 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

    “”If showing skin is so empowering and indicative of social status, why aren’t men walking around naked?”
    In some cultures the men are both more empowered and walking around exposing a lot more skin than the women are…”
    Levy wasn’t complaining about nudity in and of itself, or engaging in nudity because one if comfortable with it and chooses to do so. She was complaining about nudity done as performance, because the girls doing it feel it’s empowering or are seeking male attentioin.

  20. UltraMagnus
    Posted April 30, 2007 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    In some cultures the men are both more empowered and walking around exposing a lot more skin than the women are…”
    And also in some cultures women can breast feed in public and not be seen as a threat to the innocent children or a temptation to the oogling men around them.
    Oh wait, that’s not this culture…dang it…

  21. UltraMagnus
    Posted April 30, 2007 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    Also, how do you define “more empowered?” cause that pretty much describes any patriarchy.:)

  22. Ninapendamaishi
    Posted April 30, 2007 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    I think that’s what Mina meant, that it’s possible to both be naked and more empowered than the other gender. (I.e. I think she was arguing against the idea that women showing more skin than men in our culture is directly symptomatic of our patriarchy or somehow feeding into our patriarchy. I provided a counterpoint that I don’t think that was really what Levy was saying.)
    Of course, this could all be some miscommunication, I’m just interpreting what I understand.

  23. donna darko
    Posted April 30, 2007 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

    I’m kidding around.

  24. Mina
    Posted May 1, 2007 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    “I think that’s what Mina meant, that it’s possible to both be naked and more empowered than the other gender. (I.e. I think she was arguing against the idea that women showing more skin than men in our culture is directly symptomatic of our patriarchy or somehow feeding into our patriarchy. I provided a counterpoint that I don’t think that was really what Levy was saying.)”
    Exactly. As for mainstream American culture, not all women are pressured by our patriarchy into showing more skin. Some of us are pressured into showing less skin because our skin doesn’t meet their standards (too much acne, cellulite, scarring, stubble, wrinkles, and/or whatever).

  25. donna darko
    Posted May 1, 2007 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    We have to understand the larger context of stripping, porn and GGW videos. It doesn’t just feel good for women to show skin. As (Levy and) UltraMagnus said

    We have to take a look at society and question WHY it is that we are doing these things and acknowledge that society has a bigger influence than we’d like to admit.

  26. Bird
    Posted May 1, 2007 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    Too true, Mina. And some women are pressured by the patriarchy to cover up because their religious group demands women be “modest.” None of these women (be they nearly nude or wearing high-necked dresses) are making genuinely free choices about how to clothe/unclothe their own bodies.

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