The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]


Why Wonder Woman Was Always Wonderful …
August 4, 2017, 6:15 am
Filed under: Attitude & Aptitude, Comment, Culture, Empathy, Insight, Women

So as we all know, the recent movie ‘Wonder Woman’ was a massive success.

What is even more gratifying is that it was a movie that studios had resisted making for years – thinking it would never be popular.

Now I am sure if you were to ask them what those reasons were, they would have many – but I’m also sure that if you were to hear them, the overwhelming reasons we’d determine from their answers would be sexism and prejudice.

But this isn’t about the movie, it’s about the 70’s TV show.

OK, so there might be people who come on here who have no idea what I’m talking about, but decades ago, Wonder Woman was a TV show staring Lynda Carter.

While I remember it, I don’t remember much about it other than it was different to the usual 70’s superhero TV shows of Batman and The Six Million Dollar Man.

But here’s the thing, while I categorise it as a classic ‘entertainment’ show from my childhood, a recent interview with Lynda Carter makes me realise it was so much more.

Not that long ago I met someone who asked what my earliest memories about black people on television were.

When I thought about it … it was Huggy Bear from Starsky and Hutch and the adopted brothers from the show Different Strokes. As soon as I said it, I realised the significance. My frame of reference for any black person on television during my formative years was a guy on the edge of society and 2 kids ‘saved’ by a rich, white person.

Fuck, that’s horrible.

But imagine how it must have felt if you were a black kid in the 70’s.

Fortunately I grew up with parents who would never let me get seduced by those media stereotypes – not to mention a diverse group of friends who made sure I would never define someone by their colour or gender – but I know not everyone is like that.

Which leads back to Lynda Carter and Wonder Woman.

While all the plaudits for female empowerment are going to the recent movie, the fact is the star of the original TV show was endeavoring to do that decades ago.

While the significance of her actions may have passed me by, I imagine if you were a little girl in the 70’s watching it, it didn’t.

Having a show about a ‘super woman’ must have been good in itself, but having a show where the lead actress approached her role by saying, “… she didn’t have any particularly super X-Ray vision or anything, she just wasn’t going to put up with anything from anybody” must have been absolutely empowering and inspiring.

Seriously, when I read that, I wanted to stand up and cheer

Role models are vital.

Not just for ‘minorities’ to feel heard and valued, but for the majority to not allow prejudices to be nurtured.

So while society may be focusing on the empowering actions of The Spice Girls, Cindy Gallop, Gal Gadot or Emma Watson … it’s worth remembering and celebrating the original Wonder Woman – literally and metaphorically – Lynda Carter.

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This Video Sums Up The Reality Of Men Pretty Perfectly …
January 20, 2017, 6:15 am
Filed under: Attitude & Aptitude, Insight, Men, Women

Protector.

Defender.

Leader.

Enforcer.

Strength.

Courage.

Honour.

Guardian.

All words that pretty much sum up what a bunch of imposters men really are.

Of course we don’t want to admit it.

We talk a big, big game … but when we are called upon to step up to the plate, that’s when so many of us reveal [even though we do our best to hide it] we’re most definitely the weaker sex.

The reason I am saying this is because I recently saw a video that laid out the whole ugly truth in startlingly undeniable detail.

You better sit down, it’s going to be hard to watch …

Seriously, why Cindy Gallop isn’t all over this video?

All her arguments would be won in an nanosecond.

OK guys, I know I’ve broken the ‘male code’ by revealing this in public, but I have blog posts to write so it had to be done. And on the bright side, now we know why Marilyn Monroe said “Women who want to be like men lack ambition”.



What The Hell Is Going On With Women’s Advertising?

So this is going to be an interesting post because I run the risk of being called sexist, old-fashioned, out-of-touch and basically a grumpy old bastard.

However, given I’ve been called waaaaaaay worse over the years – and mainly on this blog – I’m going to keep going regardless.

So a few weeks ago I wrote about a Dior advertising campaign that makes their new lipstick, resemble a cigarette.

Some – basically, John Dodds – argued that I was ‘seeing’ what I wanted to see, but in one of George’s comments, he linked to two photographs that seem to have been inspiration for the style of shot and both of them featured a cigarette as it’s main ‘prop’.

I know that’s not undeniable evidence, but I feel the circumstantial evidence – not to mention the product name, ‘addict’ – makes it seem likely this was the intention behind the imagery. Or should I say, that specific imagery.

Now don’t get me wrong, there is a whole host of shit spouted in mens advertising.

Puerile. Sexist. stupid.

I’m in no way defending that, it’s basically what I write about every single week.

However, I am kind of shocked at how much advertising aimed at women seems to project an image that seems totally at odds with what I’ve been led to believe women like.

Of course, this is nothing new.

Worse, this is something that men helped push.

But while I am a 45 year old man with all the taste and sensitivity of an otter, the fact is I am amazed at some of the stuff I’m seeing out on the streets these days and without doubt, the worst offenders are the beauty category.

Again, this should not be a surprise given the unrealistic body imagery they have been peddling for years – admittedly created by men – but it seem beauty brands have decided their female empowerment messaging [if that is what it was] is not getting enough attention and so to counter this, they’ve adopted the strategy of recreating some of the most sexist advertising of the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s and simply replaced the man with a woman.

What am I talking about?

This:

Look at it.

Seriously, have a really good look.

Tell me that is not just a crass attempt at recreating a crass ad from the past 20 years.

First there’s the language … “stays on even when you get off”.

Wow, that’s clever isn’t it.

Now let’s look at the imagery … from the young mans dishevelled appearance and unbuttoned jeans to the totally unsubtle shot of the woman’s heels rammed into the walls of the lift to convey she has fucked the poor guy senseless.

It’s all so blatant.

No subtlety, no grace … it’s just tragic.

I don’t even know if they’re trying to target young women or old … it’s just bizarre.

And before anyone accuses me of being sexist, I just want to be clear that the male ads that depicted this sort of thing, were equally as pathetic.

Now some may say this is the ultimate demonstration of ‘female empowerment’ … where a woman can act exactly in the way men have and still do.

Maybe this ad taps into the desire women have to be able to get away with the shit men have gotten away with for centuries.

Maybe, by me finding this demeaning to women rather than empowering, I’m showing I’m old and insecure.

But the thing is I think women are worth more than this.

Don’t get me wrong, they’re also worth more than the superficial ’empowerment’ messages brands have been pushing for years – messages designed to sound good but ultimately constructed to sell their products – but they’re absolutely, definitely, comprehensively worth more than this.

I’d love to know who did it.

I’d love to know the rationale behind it.

I’d love to know who they were trying to target.

I’d love to know if this is the sort of thing intelligent women want to rally around.

But most of all, I’d love to know why all these brands are only focused on female equality.

Why go for just equal.

The thing is, as I talked about in a post about Brian Clough a while back, I have absolute faith that if women were in charge, they wouldn’t aspire to do what men do, but to do things better, which reminds me of the Marilyn Monroe quote:

“Women who want to be like men lack ambition”.

Maybe it’s time brands and advertising embraced that viewpoint as well.