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Posts Tagged ‘romance’

jasmineThis shit is nothing new. I’ve seen this all over the place, all the time. But since I learned feminism, I’ve avoided clicking on these ridiculous links. But I wanted to revisit the brainwashing of women, so I took a look at this slideshow. There’s nothing much to be said about this, like I said, it’s pervasive, and critiquing this sort of thing would be a pretty dull project. I was surprised by how angry I felt, so I decided to share. So many women read this crap and act on it. It makes me sick.

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A Wise Man?

A Wise Man?

Gender Agenda seems to be on a big relationship kick lately which I am so down with, as I told Munzi I’ve been planning to write a post about relationships for a few months, but I was taking a haitus from blogging for a few months, but now with my new NYRs in hand, one of them being to write at least a page a day, and blog more often, I really have no excuse.

I’ve spent quite a few months thinking about het-romantic relationships and power, basically since I attended an Evan Greer workshop/concert back in November. How can we we create radical hetero-romantic relationships that avoid reproducing the same sort of hierarchies and power dynamics as the larger society around us? Is it possible to have non-hegemonic hetero-romantic relationships? Could it be possible to queer hetero-relationships? When sex is added to the mix is penetration violent? Does it have to be? Is it possible to reconceptualize certain sexual acts so that they aren’t about penetration? And what about other sexual acts– heterosexual couplings aren’t always/often (ever?) about making babies, canĀ  be a bit more imagination in their sex lives do some good?

I often find myself in hetero-romantic relationships, and pondering these questions is something I often do. But not something I often talk to my partners about. Usually I get as far as: “If I’m being a patriarch you’ll tell me right?” Usually they think I’m being ridiculous. So maybe communication about these things is the first step towards radicalizing hetero-romantic relationships.

And so far I’ve been privileging the issues of gender/sex within a hetero-romantic relationship, but, just like all relationships, power is complicated by race,ethnicity, age, class, ability, and so on and so forth. And these are just as serious, as I can tell you from arguments with one of my girlfriends from high school where she would tell me I was being sexist, and a patriarch because I wouldn’t listen to her side of something ( I found her opinion racist and offensive, btw she is white), and I would shout that she was being racist and a bigot. So I don’t know what the point of that anecdote was except to elaborate that things can get complicated and messy. (Oh, and to point out that the idea of someone not being racist because they are dating a person of color is as absurd as saying that someone couldn’t be sexist because they date women).

So what does this have to do with John Cusack?

I’ve watched a lot of movies over the past few weeks: a conservative estimate would be around 70. I’ve watched a lot, a lot, a lot of romantic comedies, possibly my favorite genre of film. I’ve also watched a couple of John Cusack movies (I want to include 16 Candles as a Cusack movie, but it really isn’t). I’ve watched High Fidelity four times in the past two weeks, and thats the one that sticks with me most, but I also watched Tapeheads (which, if you haven’t seen is absolutely brilliant though not considered a good movie). There are two quotes from these movies that really stuck with me. The first is from High Fidelity:

What came first, the music or the misery? People worry about kids playing with guns, or watching violent videos, that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands, literally thousands of songs about heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery and loss. Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?

I thought that this was fantastic, and the other quote came from Tapeheads, soon after Samantha Gregory (Mary Crosby) tells Cusack’s character Ivan that media is power, and goes on about how she wants the power, then proceeds to begin hooking up with Ivan then says:

How’s the representation?

I thought that was fantastic.

So where do we find our models for hetero-romantic relationships (and all relationships). As these films so eloquently explain, media is power. And the representations of hetero-romance throughout various mediums greatly influence the ways we interact. So I guess if I/we want to find these radical, non-hegemonic hetero-romantic relationships we need to stop just depending on these templates, and begin to use our creativity and imaginations.


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