I made issue #14 of the Feminist Carnival of Sexual Freedom and Autonomy (yea me!), which reminds me that I should give you an update on that media and relationships survey I’m participating in…
The survey is based on your TV and movie viewing habits of the past week, which means you’re reporting on your holiday season habits. Personally, my sitting-on-my-butt and watching television &/or films time has been very limited by holiday stuff — but also because TV programing has sucked the past month. This means I’ve watched mainly The History Channel and NatGeo (which, unless you categorize this watching as “news” puts your viewing in the “other” category on this survey) and it has had, upon reflection, little to do with my relationship values — other than to find great pleasure in the fact that my partner also likes geek TV.
I’ve also snuck in the occasional TCM (and other old film) viewing. This has been secretive alone-at-night-while-working movie watching — but not because it’s some naughty or guilty pleasure to watch a “chick flick”. Writing, being a solitary pursuit most enjoyed by night owls, lends itself to complete remote control domination when one is well, you know, screwing around and not working. However, my point is, that the movies I’ve watched (including The Pleasure Seekers, My Sister Eileen, and Sabrina) were retro films, if not all Classic Films with capital C & F, and as such it’s damn near impossible for a feminist to watch those films and not giggle, smirk, or groan at the sexist roles and actions. They are entertainment (served with an equally entertaining side dish of snark that I am unable to turn off) not some map for relationship bliss.
If they were, then I guess my first tip in getting a date would be to go out drinking with your sister & two fellas, walk drunkenly to a gazebo, and have the four of you burst into song, dance, and imaginary instrument playing a la My Sister Eileen. But then, you’ll also end up with some other guy… Which involves some lying, lots more song and dance, the Brazilian Navy, and lots more…
My point is, if I (and any other intelligent sentient being) can realize that musicals are fantasies, why would anyone expect to find tips on relationships & romance in such films?
Oh, and I also watched Elf; and that didn’t make me think that I might have missed an opportunity to mate a real elf and get myself closer to Santa’s Nice List.
So, over all, my feelings regarding media and relationships have neither changed nor become more enlightened by this survey process. While there’s still weeks to go (and I am interested in what may come from the experience), I’m still amazed that there are people out there — that I’m sharing this same world with — who honest to gawd, still base their real world relationship expectations upon images in film and television.
May gawd help us all.