Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Break Up

National Public Radio and I are not exclusive, but we have been going steady for a good long time. I know NPR sees a lot of people. And I'm not lonely-- Democracy Now! is more like my primary lover when it comes to media outlets. But NPR and I have a nice, stable relationship. We each have our own rooms. We see other people. We travel a lot together along I-35 and I-70. We wake up together except when Scully puts a Selena CD into the alarm clock/radio. So. . . no monogamy. But dependably together at some point each week & usually each day. Think nice, reliable, friendly sex.

So what the fuck is this about?

This photo montage to women enduring the shame of their husbands? Politely titled "Spouses in Scandal" on the website but "Standing By Their Men" when you open the gallery?

Let's walk through why our attention is being focused on this (& no, I don't actually think it is more evidence of a cultural/media plot against Hillary Clinton proving--proving!--that sexism is so much worse than racism. But is it sexism? Sure)

I hear all the time from westerners about how arab/middle eastern/non-western/two-thirds world women experience "honor crimes" because the culture (all one culture, you know) holds women responsible for upholding the community's honor & essentialized values.

So what is the point of that photo gallery?

A demonstration project of women as the platform for shame, pity, disgust, humiliation and dishonor.

oooohh, can you imagine the shame? another man! a prostitute! how humiliated she must be? my god, i just, i don't know what i would do. i don't know how she can stand there next to him. . . . . . . . .

It just feels so dishonest, so jerry springer, so needless. What are we supposed to gleam from looking at these pictures of men--and "their women"? Are we supposed to look at those pictures and deconstruct the ways this culture expects women to civilize men, shore up their dignity, connect them to state-sanctioned family structures so they aren't running wild or having secret liaisons with men in airport bathrooms? Are we supposed to look at "these women" who utterly failed in their highest social obligation to put forth a pretty image of a happy family?

I don't have any idea why that gallery was up there or what anyone is supposed to do with it.

Hmpf. I know I'll be back. But NPR? You're on the couch for now.

1 comment:

scully said...

Take that NPR! You tell'em baby.