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I was pleased to read Jessica Wakeman‘s interview with Diablo Cody this morning, because it features Hollywood’s most hated woman talking about Hollywood’s other most hated woman—-Megan Fox. The talking, incidentally, is a major source of the Cody-Fox hate fest. People hate Diablo Cody for talking about being an ex-stripper (above), a big part of her unlikely success story; people hate Megan Fox for talking about being a hot girl in movies. Cody has been talking a lot lately to promote her latest film, Jennifer’s Body, which stars Fox as a hot high school girl who eats boys. Let the hate-fest begin.
How have Cody and Fox become so successful while inspiring such vitriol from the general population? Because both have found that success by acting like objects, and objects aren’t supposed to talk about being objects (they’re not supposed to win Oscars, either).
Men tolerate women who take off their clothes for money (or in Fox’s case, almost all of her clothes), because men like to watch naked ladies. Feminists tolerate women who take off their clothes for money because they know that the patriarchy encourages women to make a living objectifying themselves for men. But neither group really likes to hear women talk about taking off their clothes for money. Why? Because men don’t like their objects to be people, and feminists don’t like men’s objects to be feminists. Naked women who can speak for themselves don’t help dudes get an erection. But they also don’t help feminists argue that the lives of naked women are being destroyed by the men who like lookin’ at ’em.
Granted, Cody generally catches the hate of the objectifiers, while Fox courts hatred from feminists. But it’s the same shit: Cody rose above her stripper past to win a trophy, while Fox is still working as a hot girl. Neither women ought to be considered better fit to talk about what that’s like.
Which is exactly why it’s interesting to hear people like Diablo Cody and Megan Fox run their mouths. One, because we never hear enough from the stripper perspective, the professional hot-girl perspective, the sex-worker perspective, or the porn-star perspective (the insanity of the Fox/Cody backlash is a perfect example of why that’s the case). And two, because those are exactly the women that feminism intends to represent—-those that have been objectified for the benefit of men. Of course, Megan Fox doesn’t speak for every hot girl and Diablo Cody doesn’t speak for every ex-stripper, just as Sasha Grey doesn’t speak for every female in the porn industry. But it’s a hell of a lot better than people who aren’t strippers, sex workers, and professional hot girls insisting on speaking for them. We may not always like (or understand) what they have to say. But when these women talk, the worst thing we can do is tell them to keep their traps shut. After all, both Cody and Fox identify as feminists, even though we tend not do them any favors. Since we know that they don’t speak for all feminists, everywhere, what are we so worried about?
That being said! Here’s Cody on feminism:
K, here’s a problem that is holding back feminism and you see it on the blogs. We all hold each other up to an incredibly high standard in a way that men do not. Let’s say a woman directs a movie that’s not very good—everybody piles up on her. It’s, like, “No! You’re representing us! It has to be perfect!” And that’s not how it works! Women should be allowed to make bad movies. Good movies. Porno movies. Terrible made-for-TV movies. Women just need to be out there directing as many movies as men do. We don’t all have to be the model woman—what we need is to be more visible. We really, really are tough on each other.
And Cody on Megan Fox:
She really makes people angry! Girls hate her, don’t they? . . . I appreciate [her sense of humor]. I do not know her very well. Even having worked with her to this extent, I don’t know her very well because she’s very private and mysterious. But I’ve [heard] these things come out of her mouth. I’ve been present for some of these interviews and she is totally fearless. What she is saying is completely genuine. It is not a front. I think people think she’s trying to create some kind of image for herself that she’s not, but she’s a really, truly eccentric person. . . . I don’t think people know how to process her at all. I think it’s one of those things where she does not fit the mold in any way and it freaks people out!