Glossitch makes an important admission here.
Men who don’t like women – and there are an awful lot of them – frequently make art that a male-dominated establishment considers to be amazing, but which a high proportion of women consider to be crap. You didn’t know this? That’s because up till now we haven’t said.
For women, witnessing misogyny in “great” film and literature is akin to being one of the subjects in The Emperor’s New Clothes. You can’t help but notice something is wrong, yet no one else seems to notice, so you worry that the problem lies with you (and of course you can’t say anything – anyone who fails to see the finery is a simpleton!).
Like so many women of my generation, I’ve spent years pretending to laugh at “ironic” sexism, refusing to “stigmatise” extreme pornography and bestowing serious, straight-faced analysis on the useless art of self-styled genius men. Why have I done this? Because I want to be thought of as someone who has a sense of humour, someone who’s open-minded, someone who’s intelligent. I want to be seen as someone who “gets it”, even when I don’t.
Deciding a work of art is irreparably flawed just because the entire worldview underpinning it, the characterisation, the narrative drive, the humour, the whole lot relies on the assumption that women are not fully human – well, that’s a bit naïve, isn’t it? Shouldn’t I be able to get over that?
Well, no. No, I can’t and I won’t. I’ve struggled with this “hang on, is it just me?” feeling ever since I watched my first James Bond film at eight years old and concluded that rape, in some circumstances, must be OK. From now on I will be the little boy in the crowd pointing out that the misogyny-in-art Emperor is stark bollock naked.
I don’t think it’s really true that “women” haven’t said. Women considered to be cool by normal people, as instructed by television haven’t said. Misogynist art is a huge part of what Andrea Dworkin’s Intercourse and Pornography are actually about. Welcome back to the secon wave. I hope you enjoyed your time in neoliberalism.
Not everyone realizes that Lacan was a troll taking advantage of this very phenomenon.
In his seminars, highly intelligent people were persuaded to listen attentively to propositions which were for the most part obscure, incomprehensible and entirely without explanatory value. Some of the intellectually more confident members of Lacan’s audience objected to just this fact. Paul Ricoeur, for example, who had himself made a deep study of Freud, attended Lacan’s course during the 1960s and found himself unable to understand a word of it. Instead of remaining silent about this he recorded the fact that he found Lacan’s discourse ‘uselessly difficult and perverse in its proclivity towards suspension.’
Claude Lévi-Strauss himself, having attended Lacan’s courses, later recalled that ‘as far as what I heard went, I didn’t understand. And I found myself in the middle of an audience that seemed to understand.’ At the same time, however, he was impressed by Lacan’s personal magnetism: ‘What was striking was the kind of radiant influence emanating from both Lacan’s physical person and from his diction, his gestures. I have seen quite a few shamans functioning in exotic societies, and I rediscovered there a kind of equivalent of the shaman’s power.’
Returning to Glosswitch, there’s absolutely nothing naive or weird about rejecting something whose underlying worldview is tainted. Imagine how much less time she would’ve wasted doing the patriarchy’s work if she was like, “You know what? Fuck spending my free time allowing these assholes to modify my preferences.” Because that’s the point of the media. It’s supposed to change your behavior, usually not to your benefit.
The whole idea of effective propaganda is that it doesn’t seem like propaganda. It’s the underlying worldview, the assumptions that are brought in without argumentation.
Fox News is not especially bad in terms of ideological brainwashing. The media is ideological brainwashing, especially “non-political entertainment.”