I read, or rather, skimmed through an article I found on yahoo.com. It said that new studies found that modern day super heroes aren't good role models. And I thought, duh. Violence and sex are the only things that are seemingly glorified in the movies I've seen. but that topic sent me thinking back to this movie that Seth brought home called Tough Guise. It's really interesting because, as I once was a raging feminist (no shaving, no makeup, and even denying the things that come with being a woman) I just thought about the pressures the world puts on women to conform and submit. Now, even though I still think the pressures put on women (I will come back to this) are immense, I realize even more that there isn't one sex that is more of a victim of the world than the other. Both men and women are screwed over by our culture's value of prestige, wealth, and all things material.
In the documentary Jackson Katz talks about how the media is largely to blame for the violence and, to me, demoralization of society. haha. that's big but i think it's probably true. One of the most interesting points to me was when he compared action figures (Luke Skywalker, even) back in the days that they first appeared on the market, and now....the arms, legs, and chests of these male heros are so freaking big the original figures look scrawny.
It is interesting to think our society moves more and more into the habits of consuming (images, values, ideals) to escape our own realities, that the product is going to be (beauty muscles brains) accessible yet disappointing all the while. Look at how many problems arise out of fake, outer beauty, or what it is to be an ideal "woman" (bad self esteem at the very least) and look at the complications that come from being a manly man (lack of sensitivity or vulnerability, violence, anger), but most of all the most damaging and most vital to recognize since it encompasses everything it is to live a meaningful life, is that we're disconnected from creation or from ourselves as a part of creation.
I believe as of right now, maybe men are stronger biologically and maybe women are a bit more sensitive. And maybe it's opposite sometimes, or neither of these things sometimes. It really shouldn't matter, probably. As individuals, we are great, but as a whole we are better. Guys compliment girls, girls compliment guys, guys compliment guys, girls compliment girls. It's when there are expectations that are often fed to us by images or expectations handed down after generations that we are seemingly trapped in a facade of what it is to be man or woman.
I don't have the answers or even know much about all this, but in my own life, this issue of roles, societal expectations, unfortunately kind of rule my life at times. Confession: I, like so many (I hear it doesn't really ever leave!!!!!!!!!) struggle alot with self confidence. It takes me forever to get dressed--to the point that it's obsessive. (I know it sounds trivial, but I see myself more concerned with vanity at times than I am with doing other Real things) It's this lose lose situation. I don't like wearing makeup or showering really, but then I realize maybe I can't get away with that--maybe I should probably put a bit of effort into "getting ready". But then I "get ready" and feel just as insecure, if not more, than when I got started. And then I want to go makeup shopping to fix it. Or maybe I need some new clothes. When really all it is is this never ending pressure on looks (looks that can or cannot be bought--i think there can be both the pressure to look together or disheveled--but in all cases, it's a pressure to "look" or express a look) to get ahead, to get some sort of acknowledgment, or something.
I know what I should do and what we all should do, but it's so deeply rooted in our psyche to be successful in some sort of way (in looks, or reputation, material wealth, or even immaterial wealth) that it's nearly impossible just to rest in doing good or being good and, frankly, not caring how others see me.
Sometimes what's best when I experience the troubling weight of insecurity is to walk around and be distracted by people (when, for me, I would rather sit secluded rather than be seen in during my insecure rants), to be surrounded by the real and true. Gardening helps, and seeing little kids helps, and knowing that my husband loves me and cares more that I like good things helps and hearing him say, "having kids is going to be a real liberating thing for you :)" helps.
oh. and i love crap like this. I love Beauty and the Beast; but even my love of the movie and reluctance to "give it up" is kind of a dead give away of the subtle ways media influences. a sweet children's movie is easy to dismiss. it's nostalgic and eye candy but i don't really know that there's anything that redeeming about it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CWMCt35oFY&feature=related the end is the best.