“When considering misogyny in culture, the most obvious examples are usually found in everyday lowbrow media – sitcoms like Two and a half men, beer commercials, lads mags, gross-out comedies etc.
It’s pretty easy to shoot this stuff down.
What I find worse, however, is highbrow misogyny. Culture which is considered to be “great art” is often just as misogynistic as lowbrow culture, but it gets a free pass a lot of the time, because its artistic merit is assumed to outweigh any negative stereotypes of female people that it might perpetuate.
You can find it in the work of literary monoliths like Roth and Updike, and pretty much every other celebrated male author. You can find it in supposedly intelligent TV series like The Sopranos. You can find it in at least 82% of french cinema. And you can find it in the work of serious pop artistes like Nick Cave.
I was browsing a bookshop the other day, and came across this:
It’s the cover of his new book. It’s so edgy and fresh, right? It’s so damn hip in this day and age of amateur porn. Oh, Nick, you’ve shown us all how zeitgeisty you are. We get it – you are not only a man of substance, but you’re also down with the cool kids.
From a synopsis I skimmed, it seems the book is about a womanizer, his son and a serial killer. The usual stuff – sex and death. Of course, the best representation of sex and death is a woman’s headless body. But since Nick is so unbelievably bleeding edge, he took this one step further and gave us just a woman’s crotch instead. But unlike the lads mags and beer commercials, it’s classy when Nick does it – because he is a serious artist, remember.
Of course, I would never expect anything else from Nick, considering this is a man whose greatest hit was a song about bashing Kylie Minogue to death with a rock.
There once was a time when I used to suffer through books, films, TV, music, theater and poetry laced with misogyny, because they were considered great works of art that all educated people should be familiar with.
No more. Life is too short, and I’ve come to the conclusion that any work which dehumanizes half the world’s population as a matter of course is not great art at all – on the contrary – it lacks an insight into the human condition on the most fundamental level.
If an artist cannot help injecting misogyny into his art, then he is no artist. He should give up, stop wasting everyone’s time, and start writing for Two and a half men.
I expect to see Nick Cave listed on the credits rather soon…”
Yes. And please note, trendy tumblr blogs with ‘arty’ photos objectifying women are still objectifying women. And I’m embarrassed that you follow this blog, I think i’m probably doing something wrong