Saturday, December 20, 2014

WYMBFOS 3: Sexy concept haters... where do I even start...

Wow, it has been so long since I started this "series" I should probably reiterate that it stands for "Ways you might be full of shit" and I actually had to go back searching through my published posts to remember that. Anyway, my last one actually happened to be on slut-shaming, and this is a bit similar, but it is also about "slut"-lover-hating and many aspects of sexual performances and sexual objectification and everything.

So gather round kids, because I hope to open up your world to what a complicated bitch life is.




We hear all the time a bunch of shit-talking about girl groups doing sexy concepts. They get hated on for selling out and perpetuating objectification, and guys get hated on for enabling it all. Even when there is no sexy concept but the girls are being all unnaturally cutesy and pandering, they are hated on for presenting themselves in this childish way because that also doesn't represent the whole of what girls are. We have already many times examined the hypocrisy in this with all the male concepts of hyper machismo or goofy/silly flower boy shit that also doesn't represent the whole of what guys are yet receive no criticism, but this really only scratches the surface.

The fact is, sexism is a real issue in the world, and girls are negatively affected by it all the time. They can grow up with narrow views of themselves or what they ought to be, where their worth is found, and how they make it in life. Even if a girl is raised in a thoughtful and supportive home where she learns to value herself for the right reasons and have a strong identity in herself, society altogether can still continually harass, attack, and degrade her because of its own problems apart from her mindset or confidence in herself. That is a real issue, and media can be a part of what makes this happen, so it is worth paying attention to, however, if we focus on media we forget one important thing: We are discussing media as if we are above it.

When you have two parties talking about how dangerous some media is, can you still say it is dangerous among those parties? If we're talking about some very sexualized performance, criticizing the possible positives and negatives, do they really apply anymore? Can the ladies really say they are made to think they have to live up to that image if they are standing there telling men they don't have to live up to that image, thus they reject that possible message from the performance? Sounds to me like they have overcome the danger. Are the men really prey to objectifying women because of the performance if they are trying to explain why it's a special exception? Sounds to me like they see the difference between girls they relate to and a stage show.

Clearly we aren't worried about ourselves when these things are debated, we are worried about "those other people" who might be brainwashed one way or the other. Perhaps children who shape their gender identity through watching it, or just some general clueless jackass who will feel good being shallow watching the show and want to feel good being shallow all the time and being inconsiderate and disrespectful of women. But hold on a moment, is it really the media that controls that? You could say well where there is smoke there is fire, but then the question we need to ask is: Why aren't we those people? If in debating higher-criticism of media we demonstrate that we have transcended its effect, how did we get that? Was it by media? Hmmm, no, it's still the same shit. So if the solution for us wasn't by changing the media, why would changing the media be the solution for "those other" people?

You see, if these media portrayals of gender roles or even ethnicities, social classes, or whatever is "cool" these days is making a problem, is the real problem the media, or that we are letting our views be dictated by media? A long time ago, mankind was even more tribalistic than now. People took identity with "their" people, believed any random shit about anyone different from them in looks, nation state, or religion, and went around killing the fuck out of each other over it. We like to think we're a bit better than that now in this time of "world peace" but our biology didn't significantly change, and neither did our instincts of tribalism. We are still born to believe any random shit we hear about "those people" from "our people" until someone comes along and explains to us that such a passive approach is a dumbfuck way of thinking and living, and these days, media portrayal would be that source of random shit about the great other that we need to get over passively accepting.

One might think well if it is the leading source, then you fix that source and there you go, problem solved. But there is one incredibly big problem with that: The source is not the information itself, it is the bad instinct to believe in generalizations. So you aren't solving the problem, because you'll maybe get over sexism, only to believe in some other shit about whatever group of people. And even if you somehow defy every law of logistics and capitalism and you could magically get huge and varied role representation for men and women and transgender and all the sexual orientations and expressions and ethnicities and social classes and religions and nations and whatever the fuck else separates us AND get everyone to watch it all... some new way of dividing people would be made up in the middle of it.

That, my friends, is an instinct. The only way to overcome an instinct is to be taught it is an instinct and be aware of it and get yourself in control of it. We don't need media to show every variety and shade of every precious snowflake individual there can be in the universe to get the lesson of "everyone is different, despite what you may initially assume" into your head. All you need is for that lesson to be directly transmitted to you until it finally fucking sinks in and you see it everywhere and take on the habit of drilling it into your head yourself. It's kind of like every other way your parents taught you to not be a biting, hitting, stealing, lying, screaming, spitting, mess-making selfish little jackass in a hundred different ways when you were a kid until it finally got it through your thick skull that they were just trying to tell you to be considerate of others and then you could figure out the rest of the infinite possibilities of applying that lesson yourself.

So, back to sexy concepts and objectification. You see that censoring it isn't going to fix the problem, especially after realizing all the things Kpopalypse pointed out not too long ago. This is partially because it doesn't teach us how to master our instincts of generalization that make a person apply the presentations of one entertainment sector to all women everywhere, but also because the instinct to view women sexually is a whole different instinct to be mastered altogether! Yes, it is a double whammy. And in fact, viewing that, you come into a very difficult realization. In pressuring a person to stifle their natural drives and enjoyments of their sexuality... you are being exactly as controlling as sexists when they pressure you to act more sexually than you prefer! Oh no! When did I become such an asshole? Hey wait, wasn't I just telling men to not be assholes? Oh wait, that's right, I was conflating the men who treat women like assholes because they like sexy concepts with the men who like sexy concepts yet don't treat women like assholes because of my generalizing instinct... shit.

But wait, the fun has just begun, because this brings up a very important topic to consider that pisses everyone off: Freedom.

Consider a lovely... generous woman like Hyosung. She truly enjoys putting on a show and people enjoying her for her sexiness. I mean, there are a million ways she could be making money, a lot of them more lucrative, and she could even be in the same position but just generally more conservative like Jieun, but no, she goes all out, and that is because she decides to do so. She likes it. She has said so many times. That is her freedom. She has some sexual qualities that she is really proud of, that are wonderful to her and others, and they aren't everything that there is to her, but others appreciate them, and she wants to be appreciated for them by those people. And yet, because of how it might influence some children and dumbasses, you would say that is unacceptable and she shouldn't be doing that? Let's flip this around.

I have a gay friend who has this aspect of himself that he likes and is proud of, his sexuality. It's not everything that there is to him, but it is a part that some men appreciate, and he wants to be appreciated by those men who like those things about him, so he expresses it freely, and wants to be supported for who he is in this aspect of himself. And yet, because of how it might influence some children and dumbasses, there are people who say that he shouldn't. And you know what? That friend of mine has some good friends. They say he should be free to be who he is and like what he likes and express himself how he wants to, and if it causes issues with the kids, we just need to explain things properly to the kids, and if it causes problems with dumbasses generalizing traits/roles and treating people poorly, we need to straighten those people out, too. The important thing is that he can be free to be himself and live the life he loves.

But you know, aside from all this. Man, what does objectification even mean? Many have looked into it, and it turns out it's actually extremely fucking complicated, but there are some basic things I want to make clear. If you genuinely love someone, and you love the whole of who they are and are very close to them and supportive and interested and engaging and interactive with their every facet... how many of those facets can you appreciate at once? Is it all of them all the time always, or is it like a stream of little things, one at a time, all becoming some kind of ocean of memories and impressions that melt into one big feeling you call love? I don't know how experienced you kids are, but for me it is definitely the latter. Part of that means I like one thing at a time, depending on what we're doing, and it's certainly extra hard to verbally express appreciation for more than one thing at a time, given the nature of words and all.

Aside from love, I find this is generally true of the way I appreciate anyone. I appreciate the qualities of my friend as he demonstrates those qualities, and I appreciate my family the same way, and I appreciate service people for the way their life affects mine, which is through their service, and I appreciate artists for the way their art affects me. It seems perfectly okay to have a limited way that I appreciate many people in my life, especially in services or other professional exchanges. I do remember they are people, too, but I'll never know them in depth, so I just accept that they are people with their own needs so as not to be an asshole, and otherwise enjoy the thing they are providing me. The thing artists provide is expressive, so it can come in layers, be it the performance, the meaning behind it, their personal thoughts and feelings behind it, or what they publicly show of themselves. Even so, I still only appreciate this stuff one thing at a time.

So if Hyosung is up there putting on a very sexy show, and I'm appreciating her in that moment for that very sexy show, even if I'm not appreciating anything else at that time, am I objectifying her? I suppose I could be, if I somehow forgot she is a sweetheart as revealed most of the rest of the time, or didn't know all the hard work she put into being so hot and dancing so sexily, or all the sacrifices she makes as a person to be a star, etc. But I'm not doing that, I'm just appreciating the part she is sharing in that moment, which she likes being appreciated for sharing. How is this different from any way that I appreciate anyone else? Well, at this point most people jump onto a whole different ship, and instead of talking about someone who clearly likes it, they talk about someone who maybe might not.

What if the decision for sexy concept wasn't made by the girls, but by the company because sex sells, and they just have to shut up and deal with it? Well, that is a very uncomfortable situation to consider, but how does one go about solving it? By forbidding sexy concepts? If so, then you are forcing your own conservative concepts on the girls who would like to do sexy concepts, and you are no different than the ones who would force sexy concepts on the resistant. So the issue isn't the concept, but who is controlling the concept, and you aren't going to give the artist control of their own concepts by forcing their concepts to be a certain thing. And this is even aside from the point that anyone jumping into a high competition market is inherently accepting shit that they don't want to have to put up with in order to win. If they don't like sexy concepts, they probably also don't like getting up at 4am for dance practice when they went to bed at midnight after dance practice, but they took it on as the sacrifice for the goal.

Finally, while I could actually get far more complex in viewing the social interactions and intentions and challenging presupposed notions, I want to keep this basic like I have so far and just address one final thing before you cry yourself to sleep from my prolonged ranting. Another judgement you hear against sexy concepts is that they are dumb. Like, literally unintelligent, cheap, easy, having no worth because they are not cerebral. And while I believe Kpopalypse and I have gone quite a ways in proving that notion wrong, especially comparing those that failed with those that succeeded, I just want to directly posit this notion: Maybe the shit you like is just as dumb, just as cheap, and just as easy.

What are the foundations of acceptable artistry? Talking about your feelings? Yo, anyone can feel shit and yap about it. Not hard. Style, bling, status? Shallow, cheap, simply observing and reflecting society. Talking about the issues? Too easy. All you have to do is be able to recognize something is fucked up. Saying that something is fucked up when something is fucked up is not, as we have observed here in this article, meaningfully addressing the true nature of that thing. Singing well or playing instruments? That is a matter of hard work, self control, study or professional guidance, and determination. Oh hey, guess what, being cream-of-the-crop sexy requires all of those things, too! Face it. If you hate sexy concepts and try to get them shut down, it's because someone told you it is worse than something else, and you never stopped to ask if that is really, objectively true.

Alright. Now, the next time someone yells curses at your favorite idol for shaking her hot ass, you can say "Hey, that's... well... actually a lot more than it is worth getting into for you, so I don't give a fuck" and stop feeding the trolls.

13 comments:

  1. bro, i didnt care to read.. plz add some pictures.... its just a wall of text no one will be bothered reading it, plz edit it and add pictures and all like kpopalpyse. Sorry i have single digit IQ

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  2. All of this ideology of "objectification" is largely a cover for social conservatives and radical feminists to try and impose their anti-sex views on society.

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  3. Re objectification, copy-pasting from my FAQ: "Entertainers ARE objects for exploitation – which of course doesn’t mean that they’re also not people, but the full depth of a person’s personality isn’t truly perceivable via popular culture media anyway, so entertainers go for what makes a memorable first impression. Welcome to how the world really works."

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  4. This is a very well written article/essay and I'm glad I read it.

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  5. Why aren't there any pictures for me to fap to?

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    1. The Hyosung dance practice link is right in the middle. It was supposed to be your fap intermission.

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  6. The straight text was intimidating, but once I got into it, you made some good points. It was surprisingly poetic at times, too, particularly the section about the different facets of people.


    And life IS a complicated bitch, isn't it?

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  7. Damn well written, but a pity it won't be read by the unintelligent flock.

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  8. Wow, this is very thought provoking, I especially enjoyed the concept of facets and how we are prone (or restricted to) appreciating the facets of people in a cascading order opposed to all at once. Really, the only harmful components of sexy concepts are when they're forced onto underage individuals - and that's a no brainer, though the morality of adult entertainers being coerced into them is debatable. Sexy concepts themselves, especially when considering your words, are just a form of entertainment and expression, the harmful effects come from those that perpetuate harmful ideals and mindsets.

    A bit unrelated, but on the topic of the media 'tainting' the audience, the result is the other way around - (warning, another no brainer) as humans a lot of us have some brutal urges, and expressing them through fantasy sex and violence has a pattern of satisfying them, rather than turning us all into gun toting serial murderers with a sex addiction. So keep the sexy concepts coming - and thank Hyosung for your health!

    Anyways, thanks for sharing! (Also, the paragraph of 'What are the foundations of acceptable artistry?' is great and I wish I could embroider that shit and hang it in art museums, d a m n.)

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    1. Welcome to the SJW moral crusading. They slutshame sexy concepts while avoiding cute concepts. 2015 is so gonna suck

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