Monthly Archives: August 2014

some thoughts on a modern twist

So thanks to Netflix I got around to watching the modern version of The Stepford Wives. A few years ago I organized a showing of the original for a Halloween fundraiser so I’m quite familiar with it and have given the film a lot of thought over the years. What it means as a feminist. There are no good men in Stepford. Just like in reality all men benefit and to varying degrees perpetuate the sex caste system.

In the modern version this is all turned on its head. What was once really just a fierce female triad becomes a gay male inclusive triad of misfits who don’t quite understand or fit in with the town of Stepford. In the original the first woman to change before the eyes of two of the characters bemoans in a consciousness raising group that she feels her husband only married her for her looks and has never loved her. Now we get to learn the lesson that PATRIARCHY HURTS MEN TOO. Or actually not patriarchy, but an obsession with perfection. (More on that later) As the gay best friend character ends up throwing out all his designer clothing and becoming a log cabin republican candidate.

The main couple move to the small town of Stepford after an attempt on the wife’s life. Of course the fact that she was nearly killed by a man is portrayed as her own fault and her faults as a mother and wife for not baking enough and letting her sappy beta male husband wear the pants even though he’s not qualified to at all are also portrayed as character flaws. Even though she begs him not to leave her and agrees to change for him he plots with the men’s association behind her back to turn her into one of the creepy sex robot women the town is overrun with.

I’m going to give away the whole film now so if you haven’t seen it and are enough of a masochist to 1) want to watch it, and 2) not want SPOILERS, discontinue reading.

We see the main character, played by Nicole Kidman become the perfect femme-bot wife and attend a grand party with her husband. Inexplicably her husband dumps her with the president of the men’s association and we see him go back to their headquarters and destroy all the femme bot technology. As he does this the women in the town suddenly go haywire and stop working. The husband’s remote controls no longer work and the women are VERY angry, as well as our GAY BEST FRIEND who is just disgusted at the outfit he’s wearing (teeheehee).

The main character then confronts the leader of the men’s association and he learns she never actually was transformed, it was all an act because her husband is a real man (TM) and didn’t turn his wife into a machine against her consent. (see nice guys, not all men etc). The leader of the association is then revealed to be a ROBOT himself because surprise surprise who is actually behind this fucked up shit? A WOMAN!!!!

A woman who was a scientist, who was accomplished, successful but got a little too old and smart so her husband had to screw around on her. This of course made her go crazy and become obsessed with creating the perfect world of robots. All the men of the town who wanted these robot wives were duped by a female puppetmaster.

So obviously the old witch dies and everything is restored to normal. The husbands even learn their lesson and are forced by their wives to do chores and go grocery shopping (THE AGONY!) Of course nobody gets divorced. Who would divorce someone over something as petty as turning you into a robot sex slave?

So what we have with this retelling of a classic horror story is a great example of how patriarchal reversals work culturally to obfuscate male’s role in creating and perpetuating the oppression of women.

We have the patriarchal lesson that women do it too so men are off the hook. These mythos of happy homemakers and domestic goddesses actually come from the minds of women, not men. Men are lovable dupes who are never responsible for their actions and we must forgive them no matter how fucked up what they do to us is.

The whole terrifying point of the original Stepford Wives is lost but oh isn’t it funny?

Two thumbs down.

I highly recommend watching the original.

Reclamation

I’ve spent this summer in bed. My already sickly body subjected to further atrophy as I struggled to heal from a broken bone, stitches and nerve damage. I’m not there yet but I can now type a bit. I’ve had a lot of time to think and connect with the truth of my life.

We all have a life purpose. Its easy to forget at times because that is the nature of the reality we live in. Everything is structured to make us forget. I’ve been wandering from myself for a long time and even now its hard to face some days. The traumas, betrayals, abuse and horror I’ve lived through don’t really mean much to me anymore. They’re facts of my life like where I was born or what color my eyes are. What really began to make me crazy was realizing how conscious I was through most of it. I’m not saying this universally as a woman, I’m sure other women are unconscious of the disturbing ways in which they betray themselves and their sex but for me it was always a choice and living with that, reintegrating and forgiving myself for it has been a real challenge. The day I broke my arm this year I chose to go against my own intuition strongly telling me not to leave the house. Here I am, someone who tells women to trust their intuition above all else and getting smacked with some serious consequences for not following my own advice. Ironic.

As a radical feminist who happens to also be a mystic I’ve been trying to understand why my path has led here and I wanted to share it with all of you. Radical Feminism is spiritually about reclamation. We are seeking the total connection to our authentic female selves which have been waged war upon by men.

Mary Daly talked of herself as pirate. She saw herself usurping the usurpers, giving us back the tools to connect with our own divinity and power. This kind of stuff is important to me. Not because I think you need to be spiritual or identify with it to be on this path but because we can’t properly do anything for ourselves if we can’t act from that place of trust and power.

Men fear women’s power, this is why they go out of their way, despite having us almost completely enslaved as a caste to reinforce terror in us. This is why they beat, rape, mutilate and slaughter us. The funny thing about it is that we don’t even believe in that power that makes them so uneasy. Without believing in it we are more easily trapped by them. We need to stop reacting to them and behaving in ways that tell them we are concerned with what they think. Its time to reclaim our role as agents in our own destiny as a people. We need to imagine what we would be if patriarchy had never existed and become that. We must love and cling to one another as if we’d never been hurt by anyone. We must go into the world and shape it as if she were ours to act upon. There is no time like the present to embrace the dormant amazon within.