Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Gender Wars and the Montreal Comiccon

  I ventured out to the Montreal Comiccon this past weekend, on a pilgrimage to see my boyhood hero Adam West (the only true Batman), and also to see Spiderman creator Stan Lee speak, and watch him shout out his battle cry "Excelsior!!!" That was all very nice but, what I wasn't expecting to see were the plethora of beautiful women dressed up in skintight clothing, posing as various 'super-heroines'. Of course, a cynic would say "they're just there to satiate the wet dream fantasies of the disempowered geek males"….to which I would say: "yes, and your point is???

 PD Cafargo, my 'Escape From The Abyss' co-editor, while looking for reviews of the Comiccon on the net, came across a review by a woman who made note of what she termed 'lecherous old men' taking pictures of scantily clad women. I feel this outdated and reactive judgement of male behaviour is actually the result of a form of 'self-hate' which then manifests as a deep seeded resentment of the 'males of our species'. Learning this information touched a nerve with me, as I can remember several instances throughout my life where I was either accused of being 'sexist' or had witnessed this parochial mindset in action.

Latex Clad 'Super-Vixen'
When I was attending university, there was a 'topless' protest by women down a busy Montreal street (unfortunately I was unable to support this protest due to a softball game I had that day) These shirtless and braless women were demonstrating against the injustice and double standard which exists regarding toplessness in public spaces. The following week an article was published in the school paper reporting on this protest, accompanied by a photograph showing crowds of men watching the demonstration. The caption of this photo read "dozens of lecherous guys" Is not the whole purpose of a demonstration to have your fellow citizens  witness ones discontent about a perceived societal injustice? Yet , the message conveyed in that report's judgement was: for a male, to show concern or solidarity with this cause is considered to be 'lecherous'…well, the irony is that it's this same kind of mindset which regulates these double standards regarding public toplessness in the first place, and answers the question of why it's 'against th' law'.

Years later I was walking through an upscale commercial district not far from home.
In the window of an avant-garde crafts store was a professional printed photograph of four or five very attractive and completely naked women. My friend Rob and I followed the guidance of our hormonal impulses and proceeded to examine the photograph up-close. We were commenting to one another, and disagreeing, about our preferences in body types of the women in the picture. At that point we were verbally assaulted by an older women who commented to us "those are PEOPLE you know, not OBJECTS" (as if I didn't know) and then rambled on some more, sternly condemning our activity. My friend reeled back in laughter, not unlike a child caught with his hand in the cookie jar, while I just stood there bewildered. 

As most of us know, we rarely think of the right retort in moments of contention, for the mere fact that we've been caught off guard, and don't generally live our lives from a defensive position, nor could I figure out for that matter, what exactly I had done wrong. The fact was, we were simply admiring a photograph of four or five very attractive naked females placed by a person in a store window. One in which the four or five women in the photo were conscious of what they were doing (and quite probably well paid) and were unlikely drugged or coerced into posing naked for that photograph.

This kind of unconscious reactive and anger based denial of our primal impulses is an undercurrent in western culture, and probably other cultures too. It's possibly a residual effect of the repressive 'Victorian era', but most probably a reaction to the abuses and imbalances of our imposed and perpetuated patriarchal hierarchy. A hierarchy which often desecrates the feminine qualities in both men and women. It has a predisposition to vault those men and women who exemplify masculine qualities above others, and leaves those who have not mastered or question the importance of these qualities 'out to dry'. This Hierarchy is a system I often challenge in my posts, yet until it is properly recognized for what it is, and we understand to what degree most of us are complicit in it's perpetuation, it's unlikely we will positively change or evolve at a rate that many of us feel we should. 

I'm not one who enjoys pornography, and I find prostitution and strip clubs to be ghettos of despair. I will however not apologize for deriving sexual pleasure from gazing upon the majesty of a physically beautiful women. As an animal created by planet Earth, I claim my right to partake in the enjoyment of all aspects of it's natural splendour.  I see beauty everywhere, In actuality, I prefer clothed women to naked ones, a sense of style, to me, is far more exciting. I often find that some women who happen to be physically beautiful can seem less attractive the moment they open their mouths, and of course the opposite is true too, where women who appear average looking become more delicious the moment I taste her wit and behold her exquisite mind.

The Lovely Ms.Gray
 This brings me back to the Comiccon, and my photo of the latex clad 'super-vixen', This woman has been given a gift(s) and must thoroughly enjoy the act of being admired by men…GOOD!  (I'm sure Justin Bieber and Brad Pitt enjoy the attention and admiration they get from women too). Many women are gorgeous in their own right, yet their beauty can be at times interrupted by something as innocuous as a mildly 'Durante-esque' proboscis, just as another women's beauty can be detracted by the girth and sheer circumference of her highly gelatinous and monstrously oversized posterior. I'm not making a mean spirited mockery of physical imperfection, but merely pointing out how nobody is perfect, and how beauty, unlike morality, is relative.  My latex clad 'super-vixen' suffers from the imperfection of her self-imposed decision to have 'fake implants' surgically inserted into the fatty tissue of her breasts, and for the fact she is promoting the glorification of the patriarchal hierarchy in the glamourization of 'gun culture', yet I see her beauty despite her glaring imperfection(s).

 We are sexual beings, it's something to celebrate, yet the contempt many people have for those who dare express it and openly admire it, reveals to me more about the insecurities and frustrations of those passing judgement. 

 At the Comiccon, I also had the good fortune of meeting the legendary 'Sci-Fi Babe'  Erin Gray, of 'Buck Rogers' fame. After working up a bit of nerve, once again my partner in lechery Rob and I, introduced ourselves to Ms.Gray and confessed to her the important role she had played during our 'formative adolescent years'. She laughed and explained how she gets stopped 'all the time' by men our age, who admit to her being their "First". She even mentioned how six WOMEN recently approached her and admitted the same thing. What made, and still makes, Erin Gray so attractive is not only her 'rocket body' but her wit and friendly disposition…oh, and the fact she'd still look good wearing that metallic catsuit. Most importantly though, she's a friendly and vibrant person!  This is what I feel always separated her from say, the 'Charlies Angels girls', or the 'Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders', who at the time were pretty, but revealed to me very little in the way of character.

So until the next Comiccon there's always Julie Newmar (Catwoman), Diana Rigg (Emma Peel), and Linda Carter (Wonder Woman) for overgrown adolescents like me to look forward to objectifying..."Excelsior!!!"

Dirty CT  September 2011

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