A Bombshell, Bogotá style – Part 1 by Laura Montoya

Last weekend I watched the 2019 movie Bombshell. I had not heard about it, and I ended up seeing it for the suggestion of Prime’s “you might enjoy this” algorithm. I had no idea about the story of Gretchen Carlson and Megyn Kelly’s legal battle for sexual harassment against Fox News’ master Roger Ailes. The movie was not very long, but it was intense. It portrayed really well the misogyny expected to be found in such a workplace led by a mighty, egotistic man like Roger Ailes.

Bombshell – 2019

A good part of the movie, we join Kayla Pospisil, Margot Robbie’s fictional character, in her quest to become a host in the news. So we go with her into Roger’s office and witness what an interview with that man was. It was about “loyalty” and intended to “prove” that she had what it took to earn a place in one of the most competitive work environments. **Content warning: description of workplace sexual harassment to follow** Obviously, it meant that she had to sleep with him because how else could a woman with a hot body prove she is competent? Immediately she was forced to show him her legs because legs sell good on T.V., and then we get to see her underwear because he was too turned on and couldn’t stop himself. **End Content Warning** Thanks to Robbie, we also feel the panic, surprise, and horror of a naïve girl trying to get a dream job in the real world.  

Continue reading “A Bombshell, Bogotá style – Part 1 by Laura Montoya”

Seriously?! Let’s Blame Feminism for the Creation of a “Wimpy” Nation by Michele Stopera Freyhauf

FreyhaufIt is so easy to blame feminism for the ills of the world – mainly because of continued misconceptions and misunderstandings about the definition or meaning of feminism. Feminism is responsible for poverty, bad leadership, wars, the polar vortex, the list goes on. Feminism is still considered a derogatory term that serves to incite prejudice against those who label themselves as one.  In fact, negative connotations surrounding feminism are exacerbated in today’s culture, especially in the media.  Fox News seems to be the poster child of “femiphobia” – a term coined by Stephen Ducat and defined as “wanting to repress every man’s feminine side and demonize the feminine and gay wherever we see them.” Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Nick Adams, in a recent interview, illustrate this femiphobic viewpoint by blaming feminism for raising a culture of “wimps” and “wussies” and thus compromising the U. S.’s national security and weakening its global presence.  In other words, feminism is to blame for the problems of the world.

According to Adams, men around the world are no longer allowed to be “manly” and that this phenomenon is a “dangerous” problem:

American men are of course very susceptible to it. It’s really important particularly in America given the leadership role that America has in the world that American men be allowed to be men.

What does in mean to be a man and how is Adams defining that stereotype? While I am aware of the discussion of gender identity and roles even gendered stereotypes, this post is not about what those roles mean.  Rather, for this point of discussion, I want to address the issue of masculinity, feminism, and what it means to be a “wimp” as portrayed by popular media.

Original photo: http://poasterchild.deviantart.com/art/Feminism-Not-406854334
Original photo: http://poasterchild.deviantart.com/art/Feminism-Not-406854334

With that caveat in mind, I ask the following questions:

  • Is the author suggesting a move to a “hypermasculinity”?
  • Is Adams identifying masculinity with aggression and violence in a world where feminists and perhaps all women are demonized?

In a society dominated by the “alpha male” character trait,male  honor and pride are paramount. Is Fox News telling men to replace so-called passive behavior with pride, abrasiveness, authoritarianism, and arrogance–in such a world if where women are demonized, then assaultand rape will follow.  The call for “real men” or “hyper-masculinity” therefore provides a real potential to move us further towards a misogynistic rape culture of violence–in the direction of barbarianism.

Continue reading “Seriously?! Let’s Blame Feminism for the Creation of a “Wimpy” Nation by Michele Stopera Freyhauf”

Selfish Working Mothers Destroying the Natural Order? by Gina Messina-Dysert

Gina Messina-Dysert profileIt was nearly twelve years ago when I sat before my then pastor in pre-cana counseling and was told “how nice it is that you are trying to help women by working in a domestic violence shelter, but now that you are going to be married your role is to be a wife and mother.  Working outside the home will no longer fit into your life.  Your duty is to have children and care for your family.”

Our conversation continued and according to my pastor, God was not concerned with what I had to offer my community, but rather with how many children I could bear and raise as Catholic.  In that moment, I was told that my life and my efforts were of little value and that having children was the one thing I could do as a woman that would make my life worthy.  How funny – or sad – that in the 21st century, women’s worth continues to be tied to her womb and all other efforts are not valued.

Just this last week Pew Research released a report stating that 4 in 10 households have mothers who are either the main or sole breadwinners for the family.   Continue reading “Selfish Working Mothers Destroying the Natural Order? by Gina Messina-Dysert”

Women being “Raped too much?”: Fox News, Liz Trotta, and Rape Culture by Gina Messina-Dysert

I may be a bit late to the conversation, but it is impossible for me not to comment on the infuriating statements made by Liz Trotta on Fox News about the staggering 64% increase in sexual assaults against women in the military since 2006.  Responding to reports from the Pentagon about women serving in combat, Trotta complained that money is being wasted on women in the military who are “raped too much.”  The statements by the Fox News pundit well demonstrate the existence of rape culture within our society and the continued problem of victim blaming and double victimization experienced by women who have been raped.

In her rant, Trotta claimed that women want to be “warriors and victims at the same time.”  She argued that women who want to serve in the military should expect to be raped and not raise such a fuss about it. She also alleged that “feminists” have demanded too much money to fund programs for sexual abuse victims.

“I think they have actually discovered that there is a difference between men and women. And the sexual abuse report says that there has been, since 2006, a 64% increase in violent sexual assaults. Now, what did they expect? These people are in close contact, the whole airing of this issue has never been done by Congress, it’s strictly been a question of pressure from the feminists… You have this whole bureaucracy upon bureaucracy being built up with all kinds of levels of people to support women in the military who are now being raped too much.”

First, I must ask, is there an acceptable amount of rape?  Trotta’s tone is outrageous as she implies that we should expect rape to occur if women and men are going to be in such “close contact” with each other.  Rape is not about sex; it is about violence.  Thus, the disturbing notion that men in the military rape because they cannot control their sexual urges is one that is ill-informed (not to mention a major insult to all men!). Continue reading “Women being “Raped too much?”: Fox News, Liz Trotta, and Rape Culture by Gina Messina-Dysert”

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