Emma Watson gave a UN speech over the weekend in which she declared herself a feminist, called for women’s equality and a loosening of gender roles.
Emma represents an archetype emerging in this culture that – judging by the success of characters like Katniss Everdeen, Lisbeth Salander and Anastasia Steele – girls in particular are hungering for, a femininity with fire in its soul.
It was originally Jo from Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel LITTLE WOMEN: the unconventional sister in the March family who had a temper, a desire for adventure and independence, and a fierce determination to be a writer. Like Katniss, Lisbeth and Anastasia – or Arya Stark, Sarah Conner, Ripley, Buffy, Xena – Jo embodies the Artemis archetype, characterized most of all by an indomitable will.
An archetype is a recurring pattern of human behavior shared across cultures and mythologies. Jung believed that archetypes live within the collective unconscious: we know them and respond to them on a deep level. We project them onto others; we sense them activated within ourselves. In her book GODDESSES IN EVERYWOMAN, Jean Shinoda Bolen put forth the major Greek goddesses as female archetypes, each one representing a different way of being in the world.
Although one archetype tends to be prominent at any given time, different stages of our lives can call forth different archetypes.
Everywhere you look – on billboards, in magazines, on Victoria’s Secret runways – you see sexy Aphrodite. In a recent issue of Esquire, Tom Junod drew some online fire with his In Praise of 42 Year Old Women, which was actually in praise of 42 year old Aphrodite women.
You see the goddess Demeter in the so-called soccer moms: packing their kids into minivans, running errands in yoga pants. click here
“It’s very difficult for people to wrap their minds around the concept of a man actually balling up his fist and hitting a woman…The video forces you to take it in. There’s no escaping. You can’t dance around it, you have to deal with it. That’s why video really becomes crucial for this cause, the fight against domestic violence… People say: ‘That guy is so nice when he’s with me. What did you do? What did you say to him? He’s cool. I play golf with him. I can’t imagine him doing this.’ Women are simply not believed.” — Robin Givens
A woman with a famous and/or wealthy man is suspect.
I was a kid growing up in Canada when Wayne Gretzky announced that he was leaving the Edmonton Oilers for the L.A. Kings.
Let’s think about this: man decides to leave Edmonton, Alberta, to go live in one of the most exciting cities in one of the most charismatic states, and is paid an insane amount of money to do so. But rather than admitting that Gretzky might have been making a sensible decision, many people blamed –
his blonde, nubile, American-actress wife. I remember conversations on the playground in which kids denounced her as a slut and a whore. She was stealing Gretzky away from us! Never mind that Gretzky was a fully functioning, intelligent human being with a will and reason all his own. She was – say it with me, boys and girls – a golddigger, forcing him into the, uh, coal mines and general brutality of Beverly Hills.
I remember when Robin Givens admitted, on-air, that her husband, Mike Tyson, physically abused her. She was reviled and denounced as a – wait for it – golddigger. I remember thinking about Robin when a very pregnant Denise Richards left Charlie Sheen, practically fleeing in the middle of the night with a toddler in tow. Sheen had a well-documented history suggesting that he was, shall we say, a difficult personality. But in online forums and tabloid magazines, Denise Richards was the one at fault. Never mind his addictive tendencies: the gambling, the hookers, the cocaine. She was a golddigger.
Since the day that Eve manipulated Adam into eating the apple (no doubt by flashing her breasts and promising him a blowjob afterwards), women have been regarded as rather shady characters. If she’s not a virgin in white, she can’t be trusted. If she cries rape, she’s out for money or attention or revenge. If her sexuality is not safely contained within a monogamous relationship, she’s a homewreck waiting to happen. The combination of female sexuality, intelligence and autonomy especially unsettles us. There’s a name for those kinds of women: femme fatale. Whether it’s Jezebel or Glenn Close in the movie FATAL ATTRACTION, she will lure an innocent man to his doom (unless she’s thrown out of a tower window or stabbed and shot, respectively.)
Granted, Jezebel and the Glenn Close character are extreme examples – and fictional. Janay Rice is neither. She is a woman in an elevator who got cold-cocked by her famous boyfriend. Then he dragged her unconscious body out into the hall.
True seduction is meeting the person where they already are, then leading them to a place where they didn’t know they wanted to go.
True seduction doesn’t involve pick-up lines. It is not one-size-fits-all.
True seduction involves the ability to see things from another person’s perspective, get inside their head, find points of genuine connection.
True seduction is about creating an experience for the other person that surprises and ultimately satisfies. Exploitation is about taking something from them, and ends in lack and regret.
Great storytelling is the best seduction of all.
Voltaire once said that the difference between conquest and seduction is that everybody wants, on some level, to be seduced.
True seduction involves the gift of artful and focused attention. We become what we see in others. We become what others see and call forth from deep in us. click here
“If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution.” — Emma Goldman
I got a kick out of this short and punchy post by online maverick Ashley Ambirge.
As she explains:
The internet popularized the concept of “finding your tribe,” and while Seth Godin’s book by the same name is right on the money, the term itself has become cliché, stale, trite, boiler plate, and fucking offensive…
I’m tired of seeing my Twitter feed, my blog reader, and every single “newsletter” that comes into my inbox be another vomit party of #sameshitdifferentday. I’m tired of seeing yet another call to, “live your best life!” (give me a break), or “Join the tribe!”
I’ve also noticed all those calls to join someone’s “free community!” so I can self-identify as a [insert cute tribe name here] and buy their products and services. As with most of the clutter that fills up Internet airspace, I’ve made a habit of tuning them out.
Blame, if you wish, Lady Gaga, who rose to stardom partly on the brilliance of her social media savvy, galvanizing a deep online community of hardcore fans known as “Little Monsters”. Books on branding and marketing have done a deep-dive into the success stories of Gaga and other tattoo brands* —
*(By tattoo brands I mean: brands that people love and self-identify with so intensely that they tattoo the brand logo on a chosen body part. That is when you know you’ve truly made it: when someone immortalizes your symbol on their ass.) click here
A young woman takes naked pictures of herself and texts or emails them to a lover, or keeps them for her own amusement. There is nothing wrong with this.
There is, however, something very wrong with anyone who seeks to exploit or humiliate that woman by violating her trust and/or basic right to privacy by splashing those images online.
Equality begins with a woman’s ability to have control over her own body (….including naked representations thereof).
I mean, I’m all for desire, and the things we do and the games we play when we’re caught in the zesty back-and-forth of mutual lust.
It’s human nature to find each other attractive.
It’s human nature to want other people to find you attractive.
But a person’s sexuality cannot be divorced from the person herself (or himself): that hot body comes complete with an inner life, a personality, hopes and dreams, a range of emotions, family and friends, an intellect, and the will to consent. Or not.
When you deny a person all that rich interiority – when you deny a specific group of people that, and you do it thoroughly and consistently – you strip them of their humanity. You flatten them out. You reduce them to a two-dimensional existence.
That’s when it becomes oppression. click here
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