The Dawn Chorus

Fresh Australian Feminism

Posts Tagged ‘love’

On Adulthood And Gender

Posted by Mel Campbell on February 14, 2009

I have been pondering the difference between boys and men and between girls and women. I don’t know if I am a girl, a woman, or Britney Spears. But there have been shifts in what adulthood really means – not just the traditional milestones of acquiring houses and babies, or losing interest in hedonism, but “putting away childish things”. So many people are adults on their birth certificates but not in the way they conduct their lives.

There’s also been a fair bit of discussion online recently about the Manic Pixie Dream Girl (never Manic Pixie Dream Woman). She is a stock character who whose free-spirited whimsy and excellent taste in indie culture awaken in the sensitive but emotionally constipated hero a new lust for life. She has no inner life of her own, and seems to exist purely to interact with the male protagonist. Cases in point: Elizabethtown, Garden State, Along Came Polly, Breakfast At Tiffany’s.

Are there Manic Pixie Dream Boys (who are not gay)? Back in 2004 we met the whimpster – that sensitive, boyish hipster who is passive-aggressive in a relationship, draining his girlfriend of emotional energy, yet when she finally gets sick of trying to ‘fix’ him and leaves, he’s shocked and devastated, as if he never saw it coming.

More recently, Jezebel coined the term new bromantic for the more charming and masculine but still sensitive and fragile dude (eg Forgetting Sarah Marshall) who yearns for a woman to believe in him.

It’s not an especially original thought, but I can’t help feeling resentful that men are repelled by a woman with needs and insecurities, whereas women are not only expected to put up with neediness in a man but also to actively seek it out. Women quickly learn that they must hide their needs and insecurities from men, lest they be branded ‘neurotic’, ‘obsessive’ or ‘high-maintenance’.

Aren’t neediness and insecurity childish traits? Surely a key marker of adulthood is a certainty about what you want and your ability to get it for yourself, rather than a reliance on someone else, a parent-figure, to get it for you?

Happy Corporate Love Day, all. Buy yourself some flowers. Take yourself out to dinner. Don’t wait around for someone to tell you you’re special and cherished; know it in your own heart.


Posted in Relationships, Sex And Love | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

Hookup Hangups

Posted by Mel Campbell on August 4, 2008

I’m not sure if Australians really use ‘hooking up’ as a catchall term for casual sexual activity (except deliberately, where a tone of yearning-for-Brooklyn coolsiness is called for) – among friends I’m more likely to discuss “disco pashes”, “picking up” or even “wearing the white shorts”. Nonetheless, it’s a deliberately vague term that encompasses everything from making out at parties to one-night stands, friends-with-benefits or even fleeting relationships.

However, that vagueness often seems to escape media commentators, who draw up a dialectic of Gen-Y sexuality that’s pithily summarised by Salon‘s Tracy Clark-Florey:

…increasingly, young women are being told they are either respecting or exploiting themselves; they’re either with the “Girls Gone Wild,” sex blogger set or with the iron-belted and chaste.

Tracy begs to differ: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Media Watch, Sex And Love | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Your “OMG Lesbians!” Coverage Continues: Lindsay Lohan Edition

Posted by Clem Bastow on July 8, 2008

I make no secret of my distaste for the tabloid media’s ‘lesbians = hot chicks kissing’ tendencies, but I have to admit I was rather surprised by the relative subtlety with which The Daily Telegraph/ handled Lindsay Lohan’s “confirmation” of her relationship with Samantha Ronson.

Lohan and English-born DJ and musician Samantha Ronson have been virtually inseparable since the start of 2008 and despite leaks that the pair were lovers they kept it secret.

That is until Lohan’s 22nd birthday party when she came out loud and proud.

“I just wanna live a happy healthy year, continue on the path that I’ve been on and be with the person I care about. And my family.

Whether or not that choice of words constitutes a “revelation” in the world of celebrity gossip remains to be seen, and naturally the Tele then undid their “good” work by quoting trash rag The Daily Mail in turn quoting “a source” waxing idiotic about which “roles” Ronson and Lohan were playing at home (because, you know, someone has to be the femme and someone has to be the butch, because that’s how all lesbian relationships work).

But it is rather sweet that after all this evasiveness (and really, why wouldn’t you be evasive if you had meat-headed paparazzi following your every move) and all the frankly hideous attention from the gossip bloggers (Perez Hilton, I am looking squarely at you), Ronson has simply posted a photo of Lohan and herself on her MySpace as ‘confirmation’, just like any other couple in love in the “MySpace generation” would do:

Is it possible that even the News Ltd stable can see that love is love, no matter what gender, sex or sexual preference you are? Signs probably point to “I don’t think so!” but for now I’m content to bask in the glow of young love.

Posted in Blog Watch, Celebrity, Media Watch, Relationships, Sex And Love | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »