06 May 2006

Stupid Girl

Is this good - pointing out serious problems with modern society - or bad - women hating other women - ?

9 Comments:

Blogger Carl Weaver said...

I think this video and song are more than just anti-feminist. I saw this one before and thought the song was dumb because it was judgemental based on how people act on not on who they are. A better song would have been about doing positive things, but it is popular right noe to draw on hate. Maybe it always has been, but I see it especially now, with the culture of gangsta rap and that type of (laregely) unthinking nonsense.

Don't get me wrong - I like a lot of the poetry that comes out of this movement but the sentiment is often negative or else misdirected.

9:01 PM  
Blogger witchy-woo said...

I saw the video with the sound off though I have heard the song on the radio.

Just looking at the pictures, it seems to show the ridiculous indignities women are expected to undergo for the sake of approval from the male gaze. I didn't get any 'women hating other women' from it - more, why do you need to put yourself through this??

And I think the little girl is key. Do we want our daughters to experience the same indignities - or worse - in order to feel accepted and valued by society. And, if so, valued for what, exactly?

Actually, thinking about it a bit more....I think the song and video say a hell of a lot more about modern men and their shallow appraisals of women as people than it does about women and our relationships with one another.

11:43 PM  
Blogger Anne Walk said...

girls who don't fit the hyperreal sexualized image of "girl" sold to us daily like the song because it makes them feel better. they are not "that" therefore, they are not stupid. it's a message of comfort.

sure. i think there's a lot of anger by women because the standards are set in such a way that only a small percentage of women can be "appropriate" subjects of the male gaze - and gaze they do, with lust and adoration - and who doesn't want that?

i find myself wondering how this song would've been received had it been sung by someone who doesn't fit the criteria themselves. of course, we'll never know. women who don't wouldn't have the opportunity to become a music star in the first place.

1:30 PM  
Anonymous Luke said...

I like the video, as much as I'm going to criticize it below... but I think there are some issues with it. A minor one being..Pink has sworn that the scene in which she runs into the glass door isn't a knock on the Olsen twins...but I don't see why not. If she's going to call out Paris, Jessica...I don't see how she can leave out those two who she claims to "love."

I think this is what Jewel's "Intuition" video tried but failed to do: make a stinging social commentary on female raunch culture. What I don't like about the video is that the only alternative Pink suggets beyond the Jessica/Paris model is to partake in the most male-dominated helmet sport of them all: football. To me, the end message doesn't seem clear enough. It can be read as "do what you want" or "do this because the other girls are doing that" or "do this because men do it and they have power." I think it leans most to the latter two. It would've been interesting to see a really unique alternative to the media images...she says what she doesn't like..but doesn't present any positive female models.

However, I think she's right in addressing some of the gender identity messages that girls/women get in media... but I wish she'd get into more of the double binds but that's just me.

10:52 PM  
Anonymous jen said...

How does one compassionately de-construct? This is a challenge.

I like Ani D's approach in the song "Not A Pretty Girl".

7:49 AM  
Blogger Carl Weaver said...

My feeling is that if the message is, "do this because others do that" then it is a message of reaction rather than simply being who you are and making space for that. It's kind of like people who go out of their way to dress differently than others because they want to make a statement about who they are. Ultimately, they are still letting the current trends dictate their action and expression.

9:06 AM  
Anonymous Elise said...

I think she should have picked up the piano.

3:07 PM  
Anonymous tekanji said...

I'm still resisting seeing the movie at this point. After listening like 3 times to the song (it plays often on the radio station I listen to), I now switch to MP3s as soon as I hear the theme. Maybe the video will change my impression and I'll see what others are seeing. Maybe not.

What it boils down to for me, I think, is that while I do hear a critique of male culture in the song, doing so by emphasising "stupid girls" who buy into it is not acceptable. It pits woman against woman, sets up a false hierarchy of "good" girls versus "bad" ones (virgin/whore dichotomy, anyone?), and takes the blame off the root of this behaviour: the patriarchy.

Can we really teach our daughters and sons to love and respect each other as human beings by exposing them to a song that the most memorable line is, "I don't want to be a stupid girl"?

7:12 PM  
Anonymous Mr said...

1. Pointing out women's complicity in enforcing sexism is totally relevant, and that is what Pink is doing. Men are not the only enemy--the enemy is within. So on that level I found the video really powerful and useful.

2. I thought the part with the little girl was problematic--on the one hand, it's cool because it really serves to bring home the fact that these are the messages little girls are getting...but at the end when she chooses the football it seems like it reinscribes the idea that "masculine" things are superior. I don't know how to get around this "tomboy" concept...

All's I know is, the part where she's like, "whatever happened to the dream of a girl president / she's dancin' in a video next to 50 Cent" totally gave me the goosebumps (in a good way). On the one hand we need to criticize men's behavior, but we also have to teach ourselves and our daughters how to live feminist lives--women exploit themselves just as often as men exploit us, and this video I think is just addressing that issue, which is a real one. Sorry for the long comment.

5:01 PM  

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