"Cherchez La Femme-
The phrase embodies a cliché of detective pulp fiction: no matter what the problem, a woman is often the root cause."
I've been thinking a lot about this concept lately. Admittedly, I read tabloid magazines more than any one woman who considers herself an intellectual and feminist ever should. However, I have to say that while reading these rags makes me part of the problem, its also quite often a fantastic study on our culture and the way in which women are depicted within it.
I'm sure if I never looked at these tabloids I'd certainly have a much less cynical perspective and hostile feelings about it all. But alas, I do, I'm drawn into the wreckage. The sick thing is I often find myself being part of the beast, "Oh wow, look at so and so's cellulite!". Making myself feel better about the ridiculous standards I feel held up to as a woman by putting other women down. What the fuck? That wasn't the point- I'm horrified. So for a while, I put them down and don't open a single tabloid. I remember women are my allies not my enemies, and that these magazines represent a cattiness I detest.
Then, inevitably some headliner will pull me in; "Brad Is Sleeping On the Couch!". I have to look. The couch? Really? I thought the couch was reserved for lazy, big-gutted, farting, mid-western husbands-not Brad Pitt.
The thing is, mostly what I find disturbing about these stories is that women are usually to blame for all the trouble. Angelina's too controlling and too harsh, while Jennifer Aniston is too meek and clingy. Then there are the young "party girls". They are criticized mercilessly for drinking and hooking up with famous male actors who are at the same clubs doing it along with them.
But of course- the guys never get any heat for it. These men are acting totally appropriate for the way powerful, single males should be. The girls however, are "seriously troubled" or "at it again, friends are worried". How often do we point out how many women these guys are hooking up with in a negative way? Of course not. Because if a single male is dating a "string of starlets" he's idolized, envied. While an actress doing the same is looked upon as "skanky" and unstable.
Then lets look at the marriages. If the woman cheats, she is a piranha, but if the male strays, its usually because wifey drove him to it. She was (again) "too controlling", "letting herself go", or God forbid-"too preoccupied with her career" (something men in our society are lauded for).
Then, there is of course, the single vs. married issue. Single men are dashing catches that no woman can seem to trap, while single women are sad, pathetic creatures who are doomed to "drive all men away". Case in point, George Clooney. Clooney who is going on 50, has only ever been committed to one constant companion, his pet pig Max who even shared Clooney's bed till he died recently (RIP Max). Could you imagine what would be said about a single actress in her late 40's who slept with a pet pig every night? I'm sure "friends" would be "worried" and "deeply concerned". But not Clooney, it only adds to his charm.
I'd also like to go on the record for a moment while I'm on my tirade to say that this shit about Gerard Butler being a sex symbol is just that, a bunch of shit. I'd love to see a woman that chubby with a bulbous nose be considered hot. Just once.