Tag Archives: #natalieportman

Suck it, Huckabee.

4 Mar

So, here’s the thing. Full disclosure. I was born out of wedlock. At the age of 17, my parents, both of whom were still in high school, had a newborn daughter to take care of. Plenty of people told my mother that she should have an abortion or give me up for adoption, but she didn’t. She had the support of my father (they married the following year and are still happily together) and her family, and here I am. Two more kids later and my family is incredibly close — I couldn’t be happier.

I realize that this isn’t always the case, and I’m sure we’ve beat a lot of statistics. But you know what?  Regardless of the numbers, my mother made a choice. Well, she made several. And so did my father. They chose to have unprotected sex, my mother chose to keep me, they chose to get married upon turning 18 because they were—and still are—madly in love.

But if anyone—man or woman, in love or not—wants to have sex before marriage, that’s their choice. Having a baby when you’re a teenager or a single parent might not be the most glamorous thing, but since when is life about glamour? Life is about the choices you make and doing what’s best for you. Marriage may still be something important in our society, but sex is a primal instinct & desire and there’s no way around it. It’s going to happen, so maybe we should be a little more open about it and teach the younger generation about it instead of bitching and shaming people who are just being human.

Yeah, I’m talking to you, Huckabee. You said this on Monday (thanks, WaPo):

“You know Michael, one of the things that’s troubling is that people see a Natalie Portman or some other Hollywood starlet who boasts of, ‘Hey look, you know, we’re having children, we’re not married, but we’re having these children, and they’re doing just fine. But there aren’t really a lot of single moms out there who are making millions of dollars every year for being in a movie. And I think it gives a distorted image that yes, not everybody hires nannies, and caretakers, and nurses. Most single moms are very poor, uneducated, can’t get a job, and if it weren’t for government assistance, their kids would be starving to death and never have health care. And that’s the story that we’re not seeing, and it’s unfortunate that we glorify and glamorize the idea of out of children wedlock [sic].”

[Ed note: Many people like Mr. Huckabee love to shame women for having sex out of wedlock, but they don’t want them to have access to abortion, or access to health care, or access to food stamps, or access to anything, really, that they need to get by. So if you want to acknowledge, Mr. Huckabee, that single moms and their children need help, great. But have the morals to stand behind them and actually give them some goddamn help.]

Apparently, this was an interview with Michael Medved, who responded to Portman’s statement that her fiancé, Benjamin Millepied, gave her the most wonderful role in life by saying he “didn’t give her the most wonderful gift, which would be a wedding ring!” Yeah. Sure. Because a shiny piece of jewelry and marriage are all women have to look forward to in life. Gag me.

And now, the Huckster is backtracking. Oh, you didn’t mean to insult Natalie Portman and all of the single mothers out there? Well, you insulted a hell of a lot more people than that. Women who have sex before marriage run the risk of revealing their actions publicly if they happen to get pregnant. What about men? They show no outward signs that they’ve bumped uglies. And what, if a woman gets pregnant and wants to keep the baby (not that you think abortions should happen anyway), she should automatically marry the man?

I disagree. I don’t think that any of that bullshit is true, and I don’t think that Natalie Portman’s pregnancy is glorifying having children out of wedlock. I think that Natalie Portman’s pregnancy is inspiring as hell to a lot of people. Here’s this incredibly intelligent, talented, generous, and funny woman with an Ivy League education, an Oscar, an amazing career, who is engaged to the love of her life and about to become a mother. Hot damn, if that doesn’t encourage people to reach for their dreams and embrace their life choices, I don’t know what does.

My mother might not have an Oscar and she didn’t go to Harvard, but she made her own choices, dealt with her decisions, and took life as it came at her. She’s brave and strong and a hell of a woman. (Happy birthday, Mama! Thank you, for the choices you made.) I’m glad that she had the freedom to make those choices and my parents did what made them happiest, rather than simply getting married because I came along.

Not everyone has the resources and support that my mother had. As my smart and lovely friend Jeneice said, when sharing this story with me:

Also, his stuff about most single moms being uneducated and poor isn’t…because of us glorifying wedlock. That’s a bigger problem rooted in so much more than women running around and having sex. Maybe we should look at why these populations are so uneducated and single. Maybe we should work to provide them with more education, more assistance, and/or something other than abstinence-only education instead of using them for your benefit when you want to shame others. But nooooooooooooooooo. Why don’t you work to fix the problem, Mr. Huckabee, instead of trying to shame a woman who can handle it because of her job and education? GAH. GAH. BRAIIIINNNNN. Ugh.”

Ugh, indeed.

P.S. Suck it, Huckabee.

This post brought to you by Dawn. (Editor’s note from Rachel)

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Black Swan: Perfection, Reality, and (yup, you guessed it) Sex.

27 Dec

Retro Poster for the film designed by LaBoca

Black Swan. If you haven’t heard of it, you should definitely watch the trailer now, and then go to the theater. Seriously, I haven’t been this moved and excited about a film since Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

Anyway, if you have heard of it, you’ve probably read about how it’s this psycho-sexual thriller that pits Natalie Portman (good) against Mila Kunis (evil).  Here’s the thing, though: I think that if you go into the movie thinking this is going to be some hot, sexy lesbian battle for power, you’re setting yourself up to (possibly) miss the point and the beauty of this movie. Yes, there’s sex (more on that in a minute), but the movie is deeply psychological and leaves you questioning reality, a la Shutter Island.

So why am I so into this movie? At first, I was completely taken aback by the cinematography, the striking visuals, the simplicity of & reliance on black and white (and of course, the stirring pops of red)…but after conversations with friends and my second viewing of the film, I realized it was more than that.

Without giving anything away, this movie is for anyone who has ever stood in their own way; anyone who has felt repressed by themselves, society, and the people they keep closest to them; anyone who has sought perfection. And who hasn’t, really?

This movie forced me to consider real-life repercussions of identifying with what’s playing out on the big screen. Sometimes I want to be perfect and that yearning ignites a sense of competition with myself and with others. Does that drive occasionally take over? Do I lose myself in it? I guess I’d have to answer ‘yes’ to both of those questions. But is that bad? At what point does it become bad? Furthermore, what the hell is “bad” in this case and why should anyone but me get to decide that? Talk about reevaluating your own shit. (If that doesn’t make sense, definitely go see the movie…)

And of course, about that sex scene

Several of the men I know have only shown an interest in seeing the film because of the publicity surrounding the sex scene between Portman and Kunis. While I’ve got to admit that it is a beautifully crafted, intense, and sexy scene, it makes me think about double standards surrounding sexuality and arousal.

I was talking with my friend Pat about how it seems that society is okay with two girls getting it on and that it’s okay for a woman to be turned on by said girl-on-girl action. Yet our society remains so homophobic.  What gives?

Pat and I tried to figure out what a possible explanation could be, and all that I can think of is that girls making out and lesbian sex scenes don’t necessarily show an acceptance of homosexuality/bisexuality, but a further objectification of female sexuality. To me, that double standard trivializes female sexual experience.

I majored in art history and I saw a lot of nude/naked (yes, there’s a difference) figures in my classes. I appreciate the beauty of the human body and of human sexuality. I’m cool with two ladies doing it, two men doing it, whatever. But why are we, as a culture, so damn obsessed with lesbian action? And not even all lesbians, only the “hot” ones. I think it’s bullshit. Those women are not making out or having sex for your pleasure, but for their own. And the same goes for gay men. Whether you’re turned on or disgusted by either, get off your high horse because it’s not about you; it’s about fulfilling a basic human need and/or expressing feelings. (End rant.)

Regardless of your motivations, I hope that you’ll see Black Swan and find something to take away from it.

Thoughts? Comment here or head over to Twitter and tag us (@mislabeledblog) and use #blackswan and #femalesexuality to keep the conversation going!

This post brought to you by Dawn.

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