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December 05, 2012

Puff Piece: Ashley Judd Mulling Run for Senate In Kentucky

I would usually dismiss this as something that just isn't going to happen, but the country is becoming more liberal, more stupid, and more celebrity-addled.

Ashely Judd wrote a "political" or something piece for the Daily Beast a while back, which I wrote about at the time. She's an adherent of Trivial Feminism, a pop philosophy which concerns itself wholly with Weighty Matters such as Body Image and Healthy Weight. (See what I did there.)

The last time we saw this Sage she was pondering why "The Patriarchy" was talking about her Puffy Face on gossip blogs. You know, all those gossip blogs written by, and read by, heterosexual male members of The Patriarchy.

[Ashley Judd:] The Conversation about women’s bodies exists largely outside of us, while it is also directed at (and marketed to) us, and used to define and control us. The Conversation about women happens everywhere, publicly and privately. We are described and detailed, our faces and bodies analyzed and picked apart, our worth ascertained and ascribed based on the reduction of personhood to simple physical objectification. Our voices, our personhood, our potential, and our accomplishments are regularly minimized and muted.

[Me:] "The Conversation." Something to control women. As you'll see, it's created by The Patriarchy.

Seriously? I can't imagine the last time I thought about Ashley Judd, nevermind the last time I had The Conversation about her face or body or whatever.

Little secret: Men don't have The Conversation about most women. They have The Conversation about women they specifically think are hot or near-hot. They argue about who is hot and who is not hot.

But the point is, you sort of have to be in the mix of People Who Might Arguably Be Hot to have The Conversation centered around you.

They don't have The Conversation about fading actresses, you know.

Straight men have never discussed Oprah's weight fluctuations. Because she was never hot.

Ditto Carnie Wilson. Guys do not talk about Carnie Wilson. Women do.

Christina Aguilera? Maybe. She was hot once. Maybe getting there again.

I know this is a cruel thing, but men's cruelty really consists of saying nothing at all, doesn't it?

It's really a woman thing to knock the looks of someone who isn't really a stand-out in the first place.

I'm not trying to say Men Are Better. I'm trying to say Men Are Different, and we are not sitting here worrying about Ashley Judd's puffy face.

Now, if Megan Fox got bad plastic surgery, we'd notice, and say something.

Ashley Judd?

Sorry, that's a woman thing.

After discussing The Conversation about her Puffy Face, and the various speculations about what is causing it (which I didn't read, because I don't care), she gets to villain.

That women are joining in the ongoing disassembling of my appearance is salient.

They are not "joining" it; they are driving it. They are well-nigh the sole participants.

Patriarchy is not men. Patriarchy is a system in which both women and men participate.

She's determined to rope me into this.

I did not notice the Puffy Face and still, as I write this, have not bothered to look fro a picture showing your allegedly Puffy Face.

I do not care.

Women care. Not men.

The point of this semantic game is to do precisely what she claims she's not doing -- she says "The Patriarchy is not men," but in that case, why use the words "The Patriarchy," which, if you look it up (Latin roots!), is all about men?

She does a little soft-shoe to change the definition to mean "Not necessarily men" but insists on using a term that means "necessarily men."

I think my point here is that she's a shallow but pompous, empty-headed but faux intellectual wannabe and this will probably not play well, even given the shifting IQ level of this country. I know she won't talk about her Puffy Face and The Conversation and The Patriarchy on the campaign trail, but this sort of stupidity is in her bones, and she won't be able to avoid saying similar things.

Not that this is that offensive -- it's just that it demonstrates how trivial her thinking is. Must be nice to be a very rich woman in a very rich, technologically advanced country and think one of the biggest problems that grips us is The Conversation about female celebrities' bodies as had by The Patriarchy of people who aren't patriarchs.

I renew my objection that this is not thinking, and this is not philosophy-- this is a fake philosophy, an intellectual woobie and a spiritual poison, a trick by which the dumb can sound smart, and a trap by which the smart become stupid.

I don't know how I can prove this, but here goes anyway: Ladies (of the trivial feminism bent), there are truly interesting and important philosophical questions out there apart from Lookism and Positive Body Image and The Male Gaze and the rest of this very very low-IQ Easy Bake Oven Zen for Retards you get from Cosmopolitan.

I think that should sort of stand as a basic rule: If what you're saying can be said, and in fact frequently is said, in Cosmo, it's not philosophy and it's not politics. Sorry, it's not. As I wrote:

[W]hen I see a woman whom I rather like and respect filling her head with such nonsense -- thinking about Gender Issues, as it were, once every seven seconds -- I feel bad that she's been conned, and that her brain is simply not firing on all cylinders, clogged, as it is, with bubblegum and sillystring.

I guess it's not really my place to tell anyone else "You can be more than this. You can cast your gaze further than these comforting, but cramped, nearby shores."

So I won't tell them this.

But this is what I think about them. I think it's frankly sad, and I think it's actually a betrayal of women to fill their heads with this Cosmo Confuscianism -- and to insist to them that they're Not Really Women unless they are constantly deranging their thoughts with sabotaging their intellects with Meditations Upon a Bra-Strap.

I don't find it so terrible when I see dumb women do this -- fine. Dumb things for dumb people. Fools need their foolscap, too.

But when I see smart women so trapped in trivia, I do cringe a little. And I do nod -- very condescendingly -- when I hear assertions like "I am a serious, intelligent woman, and therefore I will now write about the silliest bubblegum mock-politics imaginable for the next hour, or the next ten years of my career."

I think my biggest problem with this form of Trivial Feminism is this: It's the constant insistence of, "I am more than my Gender."

And my response is the same as it's been for 20 years: "Yes, I agree. In fact, I always have agreed. I'm kind of waiting for you to not only say that, but to begin acting like you believe it, too."

The deep end of the pool has plenty of room. Time to get out of the Gender Studies shallows.

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posted by Ace at 01:07 PM

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