Madame Tussauds Face Backlash Over Nicki Minaj Waxwork

Earlier this month it was revealed that the multi-award winning queen of rap, Nicki Minaj, had received her very own waxwork figure at the renowned Madame Tussauds. What seemed like a positive affirmation of her accomplishments and work soon turned revealed itself to be a victim of the insidious racism and sexism that envelopes our culture, with Minaj positioned in a sexualised, vulnerable position in her waxwork. Bent over on all fours, the piece is supposedly a homage to her famous “Anaconda” video.

But the difference between the video and the waxwork is control. In the video for Anaconda Nicki Minaj is very much in control of her body and sexuality. She decides when to dance, when to expose herself, and who gets to touch her (that’s nobody, by the way - the video ends on a scene in which Drake reaches out his hand to touch her ass and is rejected). Her waxwork, on the other hand, portrays her as a sex object, open and vulnerable to the mercy of the visitors to the museum. It is overly-sexualised and insulting.

Instead of depicting Minaj as a powerful, inspiration, and overall bad-ass woman, Tussauds instead decided to focus purely on her sexuality. Not her music, not her business, not her achievements – her sexuality. What other celebrity can say that their waxwork has been presented in the same way? Is Channing Tatum shown half-naked, abs out, chaps on, as per his appearance in Magic Mike? Is Lady Gaga almost completely nude as she has been in many of her album covers, photoshoots, and live appearances? No. So why Nicki?

As expected, visitors to the museum have flocked to the waxwork to take their photograph with Nicki in various sexual positions. And I don’t know about you, but looking at a photograph of a fully-dressed man mounting Nicki Minaj’s glassy-eyed waxwork whilst pulling on her hair makes me feel physically sick. It may not actually be sexual assault, but it damn well feels like it. And whilst Nicki has said on Instagram that she loves the waxwork (though there are rumours that she initially expressed her disappointment, before removing the comments due to backlash) she has yet to respond to the photos of her waxwork clone being fondled, groped, and molested.

Tussauds have responded to complaints, stating that “It is unfortunate that this visitor decided to behave so inappropriately and we apologise for any offence this has caused. We do have staff monitoring guest behaviour in the attraction and do our utmost to ensure our wax figures are treated respectfully, but on this occasion clearly one of of our hosts was not present.” And, in the couple of days since the photos began to emerge, they have clearly changed their mind about what they initially thought was a good idea and have announced they are going to redesign the set around her so that nobody can gain physical access to the model.

That’s great, but it’s not really good enough. As fellow musician Azealia Banks wrote on Twitter: “As much as that woman has accomplished, they had to put her on all fours… Why not standing up with a mic in her hand ???” Redesigning the set for the waxwork isn’t an efficient response to the overwhelming complaint and backlash that this model has received. If Tussauds wanted to bother to at least pretend to show Nicki Minaj a single iota of respect, they would melt that waxwork down and create a new one that depicts her as she truly is.

The Queen of Rap.

Words by Sophie Elliott

Lauren Stardust

“This is what I was wearing today when two women saw fit to laugh at me in a restaurant while I sat and ordered food with my partner.

It started with one pointing me out to the other.

I watched while the friend "casually” stretched and turned to face me, her head whipping back around to confirm her shared opinion of what I as wearing. They both began to laugh.

I sighed, willing to let it go… but it didn’t stop.

Finally when the friend pulled out her phone to take my photo over her shoulder (disguising it as a selfie) I had had enough.

I got up from my table approached them both and simply asked “I’m sorry but are you both laughing at me?”

They responded that it wasn’t the case, but the obviousness of whole façade made the bullshit buzzer go off in my head.

“Oh good! I was starting to feel really self conscious!” (I finished) and went back to my seat.

What these two women subjected me too today is a symptom of Internalised Misogyny:

“involuntary internalization by women of the sexist messages that are present in their societies and culture.” (for further reading http://everydayfeminism.com/2014/07/choice-feminism-internalized-misogyny/)

I haven’t mentioned the women’s age or what they were wearing because it’s not relevant.

How they present themselves does not affect me.

It doesn’t change my life in any way.

Women are constantly judged for everything. It’s inescapable.

Let me get one thing straight.

I am fully aware that I dress like I’ve been fucked by a unicorn.

I know because I dress myself every morning… and would you believe? It’s deliberate!!!

I don’t wake up and think “Gee, I wonder how I can appeal to strangers today?”

Our patriarchal society makes strangers -of any gender- think it acceptable to humiliate a woman based on how she woke up that morning and got dressed to please herself.

So next time you catch yourself critiquing someone’s appearance negatively (In particular, how women dress) maybe try to think instead of why you feel the need to make that horrible assessment?

Are you intimidated by them? Are you sexualising them? Are you repulsed because they don’t adhere to your standards of beauty?

Then ask yourself why any of those things bother you in the first place.“

#feminism   #feminist   #internalisedmisogyny   #patriarchalsociety

Source

If you want to know what’s wrong with how superhero movies treat women, look no further than the posters.

When studios aren’t blatantly cutting their female heroes out of the key art, they’re making them look like this. Accentuating their curves and body over battle readiness: 

It’s been ten years, and the position hasn’t changed:

And the Fantastic Four aren’t the only ones:

But don’t worry, not every woman in a superhero movie gets this treatment. There’s also a pose for the love interests:

This is obviously disheartening, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Studios can stop the over sexualization and objectification. Maybe if they follow The Dark Knight Rises’ lead?

Women are men’s objects of sexual desire because that’s how to biologically reproduce. I have to explain where babies come from because you’re stupid and indoctrinated. Did you understand that? Probably not.

Manslation: Look, I might’ve missed out on a few biology classes, so what? You can’t tell me that “objectification” isn’t an essential part of the human reproduction process. In fact, FEMINISTS have been trying to trick me with tall tales about sperms and eggs, but I know better since the last time I ogled a lady she had a baby on the spot.

6

So, maybe people have already seen this, but this is a piece by Megan Murphy at FeministCurrent.com and a small snippet of the comments the article received and allowed.

Megan Murphy herself concedes that the naked female body isn’t inherently sexual and for the male gaze but insists that Laverne’s photoshoot is objectification. 

She then precedes to mock what she calls Laverne’s body as a “cartoonish version of a woman””. This kind of language surrounding trans women is not new. I can’t even count how many times I have seen trans women referred to “caricatures” “imitations” and “masquerades”, language layered over the top of each other to mock the very idea of a trans woman and to pick apart her body, but in the name of “feminism”. 

Bodily autonomy pushed aside in order to reduce Laverne to some child who is not capable of making decisions for herself. A decision she made to express her pride in her own black, trans identity becomes fodder for women to infantilise her  and ridicule her. 

But don’t worry, she justifies not allowing Laverne her own bodily autonomy in the comments section, because apparently you cannot aim for collective liberation while having control over your own body and sexuality. 

We need to remember that this kind of feminism exists, the kind that will speak about black, trans bodies with contempt and breeds transphobic “gender critical” nonsense. 

A 2009 Princeton University-based study led by psychologist Susan Fiske revealed how commonplace objectifying women — especially those who reveal their bodies in any way — truly is.

The study found that when men were shown images of “scantily clad” women, the region of the brain associated with tool use lit up. Some men included in the study even had zero brain activity in the area of the brain used to gauge another person’s thoughts, feelings or intentions, according to National Geographic’s coverage of the study.

Fiske and her team also found that men largely associated bikinis with “I” action verbs (like “I grab”) and images of modestly dressed women with third person action verbs (“she grabs”), suggesting that men largely see women as sentient humans rather than objects only when not distracted by their bodies.

The next time someone says sexism isn’t real, show them these shocking role-reversal images.

“These images say it all. The first half of the video shows some pretty shocking “sexy” ads featuring women. The second half of the video replaces the women with men.

For decades, advertisers have portrayed women in demeaning, subservient, and often sexualized ways.

From ads that have used the “It’s so easy, your mom could do it” line of thought to inexplicably sexualized looks at what a “real woman” does, the advertising industry’s approach to women is dripping with misogyny.

Still, it all seems so normal.

At Upworthy, we tell stories for a better world.Like us on Facebook to get them first:

But what happens when you flip the script? What happens when men re-create these same ads? As this video shows, not only does this look awkward, but it’s even a bit silly.”

See more ad reversals here

20 things women care more about than being attractive to random men:

1. Where do I want to be in five years?

2. Should I ask for a raise?

3. Do I want children?

4. Should I write a book?

5. Should I get this mole on my butt checked out?

6. Is an IUD the best birth control option for me?

7. It is time to stop stealing WiFi from the neighbors?

8. Will I make rent this month?

9. Why does the guy I’m dating keep using the banana emoji?

10. Should I go back to school?

11. Will 3-D Doritos ever come back?

12. Should I run for office?

13. I wish I could unfollow people’s babies on Facebook.

14. Is Greece going to be OK?

15. What ever happened to Cherry Coke?

16. Do I say “just” too much?

17. I wonder if Iran will reach a nuclear deal.

18. Do I need a Boston cream doughnut right now?

19. Why didn’t I get that Boston cream doughnut earlier?

20. I wonder how far I have to walk to the closest Boston cream doughnut.

Got that, former Disney CEO Michael Eisner?

anonymous asked:

Why is it ok for women to look at shirtless pics of Captain America or Han Solo but if guys look at Princess Leia in a bikini it's wrong?

Because when Cap is shirtless (when is Han Solo shirtless in the franchise?) it is an expression of power. When Cap is shirtless in Captain America: The First Avenger, he has just emerged from Howard’s awesome body building- hero making machine. (Get me one of those pronto, I want to be a muscular deity too). This image is one of control, power, heroism and strength. 

When Leia is put in that bikini it is the opposite scenario. It is about stripping a powerful female character of her strength and agency for seemingly no reason but the male gaze. 

xxx

You know how people say that we need to refer to ourselves as “period havers” or “bleeders”?

Well, I’m watching Criminal Minds and there is an episode where a serial killer refers to his female targets as bleeders. And they literally profile him as misogynistic and objectifying his victims. You know. Just sayin.

8

Alabama sorority faces backlash over abundantly white and objectifying video

University of Alabama Alpha Phi’s Bid Day video is notably short on information about the sorority’s activities, philanthropy or even its role on campus. Instead, it’s a montage of white girls in short dresses and swimsuits dancing, posing and frighting with the camera. It quickly caught criticism, with one writer explaining in perfect detail why it’s so “unempowering.”

other people aren’t here to be your hobby or fetish

Fetishization is super dehumanising. Basically it’s when you have a creepy fascination with a category of people who are marginalised for traits you don’t have. It’s like seeing real people as really interesting animals or like abstract concepts or a porn category.

You can fetishize people for their orientation, race, ethnicity, disability, mental illness, religion, for being trans – basically any trait people are marginalised for, other people will use that marginalisation to fetishise them. Often the fetishisation is sexual, sometimes not. (Academics and health professionals, when working with populations they’re not a part of, can and do fetishize their subjects/patients.)

Fetishisation involves:

  • “othering” a person for having traits you don’t - thinking of yourself as “normal” and them as something other than “normal” (exotification falls under this - “she’s hot because she’s different/exotic!”)

  • reducing the complex experiences of marginalised individuals into homogenized stereotypes and tidy little stories to be enjoyed by people not marginalised for the same thing

  • seeing people or groups of people as symbols, abstract ideas, aesthetic accessories, sexual objects, props for your self-aggrandising “saviour” role, etc., instead of as complex human beings with autonomy

  • creepy fascination that reduces real people to a “hobby” or “interest” for a privileged person

Basically it’s an insidious form of objectification that relies on extreme othering to make it seem okay, and it’s extremely disrespectful and harmful.