2:54 pm - 03/15/2014

When You Try So Hard but You Can't Succeed


These days, it seems like every celebrity from Beyoncé to Jennifer Garner is using their influence to attempt to dismantle gender stereotypes. Whether it's the Cover Girl #GirlsCan campaign lead by stars like Katy Perry or the #BanBossy effort spearheaded by Sheryl Sandberg, there's a growing trend towards incorporating female empowerment into pretty much everything except sandwiches (someone, please come up with a feminist sandwich).

The latest to join the femtastic bandwagon is Jennifer Lopez, with a new video that's sure to make waves. In it, she exposes one of the oldest sexist stereotypes in the music video book, asking, "Why do men always objectify the woman?"

The video begins with a conversation with J-Lo's backup dancers, joking while a boring, dorky white guy proposes all these bad ideas for where J-Lo should film her next music video. First, he suggests a water-park (ugh), a carnival (double ugh) and then the zoo (super ugh), to which all of them respond: booooring.

Then backup dancer #1 points out, "If she was a guy you wouldn't be having this conversation at all." Backup dancer #2 says, "If she was a dude, they would have her up in a mansion with all these half-naked girls or maybe in a yacht." To which dancer #1 responds, "Why do the men always objectify the women?"

Yes, backup dancers! Why do the men always objectify the women? And why isn't J-Lo the one making this very important point about the industry she herself dominates? The awkwardly titled song title "I Luh Ya PaPi" is all about loving her man, but the music video is all about her turning the tables on gender roles in music videos. It features her on a yacht, hanging out in some castle surrounding by (we can only assume) everyone but her "papi."

The backup dancers spend most of the time "objectifying" the men, and by "objectifying" I mean by mostly pointing at their genitals and making faces.

Oh, and pouring things down their genitals to get more eyeballs on their brand placement.

However, as soon as the boy singer enters the mix, tables that were previously turned just go back to the same boring place.

This is what happens when feminism becomes "popular." It's done imperfectly.

J-Lo's intention may have certainly been honorable, but is she really flipping the script? In the end, what does her video actually do? It treats men in the same old sexist way and it doesn't even do it consistently. The male rapper in the clip still gets to perform fully-dressed while backup dancers prance around him.

To tear down gender stereotypes, we need to think outside of the box. Unfortunately, J-Lo may not be any different than the male rappers she's criticizing.


What do you guys think?
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vanishingbee 15th-Mar-2014 08:05 pm (UTC)



therearewords 15th-Mar-2014 08:08 pm (UTC)
he can help me make me feel well

(or is this your subtle comment in support of objectifying men?)
vanishingbee 15th-Mar-2014 08:11 pm (UTC)
you tell me tbh

gypsy_leerose 15th-Mar-2014 08:43 pm (UTC)
hellicoptajuuce 16th-Mar-2014 12:51 am (UTC)
that vpl
iprevail 15th-Mar-2014 08:06 pm (UTC)
I think people need to lighten up.
therearewords 15th-Mar-2014 08:07 pm (UTC)
"This is what happens when feminism becomes "popular." It's done imperfectly."

bangorilla 15th-Mar-2014 08:20 pm (UTC)
what is this logic even
therearewords 15th-Mar-2014 10:23 pm (UTC)
"I only like it before it's cool", Graham.
_twenty 15th-Mar-2014 08:08 pm (UTC)
meghan_trainor 15th-Mar-2014 08:08 pm (UTC)
i'm glad that feminism is becoming a term of pride again and not something one wants to distance themselves from (talking about how a lot of pop stars were like "i'm not a feminist, i love men")
beatofmy_drum 15th-Mar-2014 08:10 pm (UTC)
omg how about just let people do whatever they want

this has all become nonsense.
iprevail 15th-Mar-2014 08:11 pm (UTC)
i read your comment in gene's voice and it was wonderful.
alwaysonlybe 15th-Mar-2014 08:34 pm (UTC)
I did too, and in my head he yells the word "nonsense."
vector_pole 15th-Mar-2014 08:11 pm (UTC)
What kind of 360p screenshot?
iprevail 15th-Mar-2014 08:12 pm (UTC)
adeluxe 15th-Mar-2014 08:30 pm (UTC)
turkish_popstar 15th-Mar-2014 08:47 pm (UTC)
microminiscrew 15th-Mar-2014 08:15 pm (UTC)
It treats men in the same old sexist way hahaha stfu.
The rest is ridiculous too, but
my_dear_watson7 15th-Mar-2014 08:16 pm (UTC)
And here I was, half expecting this garbage was from Jezebel or XOJane.
winegums 15th-Mar-2014 08:24 pm (UTC)
hahaha xojane is so messy, there's like a 500-page thread on some forum just bitching them out for how bad they are. The xojane people apparently come in too sometimes to whine about how mean people are being and the flounce.

(their makeup site, xovain, is worse. They're mostly worse at applying makeup than Temptalia)
my_dear_watson7 15th-Mar-2014 09:03 pm (UTC)
The clapbacks on their forums are always entertaining, but it's cutthroat over there. It used to be amazing to watch Twitter tear them to pieces, but now it just feels like they're fueling the fire for pageviews and of course Twitter is so hyperbolic it can't see when it's being baited.

I've not been over to their makeup site, but now I have to check it out lol.

Edited at 2014-03-15 09:04 pm (UTC)
tx5mym5 15th-Mar-2014 10:50 pm (UTC)
XO Jane is ridic with their anyone can write an article site. There was a black lady who wrote about how she relates more to Hannah on GIRLS than Olivia Pope on Scandal like that makes her a special snowflake. Guess what? I don't watch or relate to either of them, so I'm more special than you!
libre_m 16th-Mar-2014 02:36 am (UTC)
Though they're bad in different ways, I can't make up my mind as to which is worse.
illiade 15th-Mar-2014 08:16 pm (UTC)
Wait, feminism hipsters are a thing now? And I get what I think they're trying to say, but it has to start somewhere. I wonder if the writer liked the Hard Out Here video?
saintvlas22 15th-Mar-2014 08:18 pm (UTC)
I'm loving that video more and more.

I need more man hos just lounging around doing nothing.
buffy_usa 15th-Mar-2014 08:18 pm (UTC)
I don't care much for the song she's done more catchier tunes but this article... sometimes people really overthink things. the guys are hot.

Edited at 2014-03-15 08:19 pm (UTC)
mollysdevice 15th-Mar-2014 08:18 pm (UTC)
This is what happens when feminism becomes "popular." It's done imperfectly.

This sounds so hipsterish to me. Like, when has feminism EVER been done perfectly, with out excluding anyone, or ignoring some group's problems? Never. It's always been imperfect because it's created by and maintained by humans. While these are not ideal ways to beak the gender stereotypes, they are attempts, which means people are starting to actually give a fuck, which I'll take.
bienenkiste 15th-Mar-2014 08:26 pm (UTC)
winegums 15th-Mar-2014 08:28 pm (UTC)
mte @all of this. Of all the things to get all 'it got too popular and these plebes touched it, now it's ruined!!!' bs about...
loveumbrella 15th-Mar-2014 08:34 pm (UTC)
People need constant reminding that feminism is an ideology, and all ideologies have different people supporting it, which results in different points of view within the ideology. And yeah, some of them are ~imperfect (idk about this particular video, I haven't seen it), bc I don't believe all lifestyles and/or opinions are valid from a feminist point of view.
loonylolydarko 15th-Mar-2014 08:44 pm (UTC)
yeah but attempts at feminism are not the same as commodified feminism used to push albums. The popularity of the SJW and blogs in that vein have made "feminism" cool without the message really getting through

I mean sure we can take it but it's fair to still have high expectations
mollysdevice 15th-Mar-2014 08:52 pm (UTC)
I see where you're coming from, and I agree, but everything has to start somewhere, and I expect it to get better over time as it gets more attention and more people start pay attention to it. For now I will take it being cool and at least some of the message getting out there. Hopefully it will open a path for more of the message to get through to the general public and become more informed about the struggles women face and the fight for equality.

Edited at 2014-03-15 08:53 pm (UTC)
x_butterfly19_x 15th-Mar-2014 08:58 pm (UTC)
petecarl 15th-Mar-2014 09:36 pm (UTC)
libre_m 16th-Mar-2014 02:41 am (UTC)

Thank you.
I'm very much over these articles that seem to really say that unless you 'do feminism' so that the author is perfectly satisfied with it, and its meets their specific standards, then you shouldn't have tried.
To be clear, I like a decent critique as much as anyone, but this is really just 'you tried, you failed, you're terrible'. And what message does that send? That only the privileged few can even attempt this? How's that for equality.

I feel like a lot of "academic" feminists (and I use the term loosely) miss the point, which is that as long as you start/keep the discussion going, and get people thinking about gender rights, privileges and differences, then you've done a good thing - you've got people thinking and discussing.
whimsicalwoo 15th-Mar-2014 08:23 pm (UTC)
Who gives a fuck if it's not feminist. It sure as hell isn't setting feminism back either.

I love the hand wringing that goes on when men are the ones being objectified. See: Magic Mike etc.
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