Sunday, April 3, 2011
Where do I start. Where the fuck do I start on this topic. Despite how much it looks like I'm trying to be sycophantic, I'm not trying anything. Yes, I have lied in the past in order to fit in with somebody else's opinion, and to make it easier for them to like me, but that's not the case now. I think it's called pandering, well that's the word that springs to mind anyway. I probably don't have any right to prattle on about feminism, or the problems faced by women, since I don't really have the... em... relevant 'qualifications'... to warrant an opinion... but I still think I'm entitled to make observations regarding the world I see every day. And having your girlfriend call you a feminist does help matters. This is going to be a tandem rant tying in both my distastes of capitalist culture and of blatant inequality that seems to be going on, in my humble view. And, in this case, I think these two things have developed together, capitalist ideals allowing such things to take place, even fuelling the creation of such things. Such things I'm referring to are cosmetics, specifically make up. I might include fashion in this rant too. The delicate threads of fashion, make up and capitalist ideology all being woven together into a beautiful sheet, which in turn is suffocating womankind. And on top of that, popular media these days seems to have been brought into the fold. Why? Because everyone wants money. Everyone wants to hop on the bandwagon and attain all the wealth they can muster. But why? What are they going to do with all the money? Nothing. Nothing relevant. Buy an 80000 dollar umbrella stand like a disgraced American bank guy did? I'm not sure who it was but I heard a comedian talking about it, so it must be true. It's unnatural. I think it's completely unnatural to feel the urge to use make up, to disguise the true person you are underneath in order to make it easier for the world at large to accept who you are. Or as is important these days, to accept what you look like. Shite, this is going to sound very mean, but it's the only way I can think of explaining it. I'm going to make a few presumptions and generalisations, just so as not to confuse my point. I'm focusing on the primary driving force for men and women, apart from maybe food, the need for companionship. Despite how big a loner and how moody and individualist you might be, deep down, every human needs companionship. Even if it's just for a small amount of time. Humans are animals, they've just learned how to do a few funny tricks. Talking, thinking, music, cheese in a can, Star Trek. A few funny tricks. In my opinion, the best, most effective way of attracting a mate is through natural means. By following the primal, natural animal buried beneath all the funny tricks I've learned. Any games, any additions, any disguises just get in the way. And I think that as humans have invented the modern world they've somehow forgotten, or tried to push away the fact that they're animals. I'm only mentioning religion once, as I don't want to get eternally bogged down in religious arguments. According to the Bible, God gave humans dominion over all the animals. Let's cut through the bullshit of that, first of all. Humans are no better than animals, and people who think they're above such wretched, dirty beasts really have to shift their point of view. Despite all the shaving, cleaning, sometimes incessant grooming, people are still animals. And I really think that capitalist culture, of which we're now all a part (unfortunately), has deluded the majority of people into thinking they're better than that. Because animals don't walk and talk, animals don't have two cars, a holiday home and clothes. Animals are dirty things that live on farms or in the woods and aren't capable of intelligence. I think society has tried to convince, and succeeded in doing so, people that if you don't buy their latest products, don't remove every strand of unsightly body hair they're nothing more than a mere beast. And nobody wants to be seen as being below their peers. So you buy into it. You start reasoning that this body hair shouldn't be there and must be removed. What will people think if they catch sight of the fact that I'm actually an animal? Maybe they'll revoke my iPhone or my expensive handbag. And now I'm getting to my point. These models of how a person should act, applied far more to women than to men, were established long ago, before feminism was a blip on the horizon, and became an integrated part of society. And they've only evolved as time has gone on, egged on by the incessant drum beat of capitalist optimism. Ads that promise happiness, acceptance, the social group full of committed friends who can help you through the battlefield that is life, and only for $29.95 a month*. Postage not included. If you just fit in, succumb to the pressure to buy anti-aging cream and slim down for the party season, then the great capitalist god, who I call Consumor, jokingly, will reward you with all the things you need to convince yourself you're not an animal. Animals have hair on their legs and under their arms, so that means I won't be seen as one of them. But without the patriarchal economic model there wouldn't be any pressure. Greed is good, as Michael Douglas said. I think the male penchant for increased aggression is the driving force behind such a statement (I know it's a film, I'm not thick, but I think it accurately describes the nature of the economy). And in order to attain more and more wealth, to feed that need for something, the missing thing that seems to drive the vast majority of men, a new product is brought out. And nine times out of ten, this new product further reinforces one of the “roles” that all people “should” conveniently slot into. The social dynamo, life of the party, a one-dimensional, eternally-happy person, who's sole purpose is to facilitate other people and put up an iron clad front. Okay, I am a grumpy, anti-social bastard, but that has very little to do with the point I'm making. Back on topic now. I think make up and other mainstream cosmetics are the largest, if not one of the largest, areas that have been invented and developed by these greedy arseholes in order to fill the void that causes such ruthless aggression. And once the majority of people sign this social contract, I'm imagining a fountain pen drawing blood and the pen being used to sign a piece of ancient manuscript, it becomes accepted. And those who don't abide by this contract, signed in your own blood, aren't accepted, or aren't allowed into the club. What club? The club of people who think they're anything more than animals? The people who are convinced that the way forward is through falsifying your looks, through using naked make up (I've heard it called that) to fool the club members into thinking that your skin is artificially unblemished, since imperfections are unacceptable. And the kicker, here's the real fun bit, the really tasty, juicy morsel that fills your mouth with the taste of sour, acidic fury; the make up costs a fortune. So in the pursuit of acceptance, the wallets of these capitalist tycoons are lined. How convenient. It's almost as if the two are linked isn't it? As a woman, if you don't fit into this role, of removing any extraneous body hair, of buying the latest chemical shite that's advertised as the cure to aging, of coating every visible surface in an impeccable, unblemished sheen, then life can be made very difficult. And if life is difficult then that makes everything else resonate that bit more inside your head. It makes the things that might be missing feel that much further away. So while these “mighty”, superior men in their indestructable ivory towers are laughing maniacally like Batman villians, the majority rules and succeeds in convincing people that without these products they're incomplete, and all to make money. Because that's all it's for. There's no other hidden benevolent force at work, it's just a means to an end. But that's wrong. It's so wrong to prey on the need that people have deep within to belong to a social group, to have companionship if only for a moment. And for profit. Since that's what it comes down to. These fields are being extended to men now, but that's another matter entirely. I wrote this one aaaaages ago, but I didn't feel up to posting it until now. The lady does make these things easier to post.