On Bieber and gender

Posted on July 31, 2012

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okay, Now I’ll be the first to admit i laughed. it was not a full on LOL, but a chuckle nonetheless. I saw this picture on Facebook, and i’m sure it’s currently being circulated amongst vast networks of peers, and everyone’s having a good laugh. But I really wanted to take a minute to highlite the inherent oppressive foundation on which jokes like this lie. Yes, i’m going to play the stereotypical feminist who can’t take a joke.  Don’t like it? Fuck off. This is my space 🙂

Let me first say, I think justin beiber is a complete tool. The things he says about abortion are gross, uneducated, and i believe manipulative.

I don’t think that Beiber Fever is a crazy unexplainable phenomenon experienced by hormonal tweens. I think it’s an interesting response to a male figure who isn’t embodying our heightened and polarized ideas of gender.

I also don’t think the constant barrage of negativity or mocking of his femininity is unexplainable either.  It makes perfect sense in a culture where femininity or qualities that seem “soft” are mocked and are the basis upon which a “strong” identity is contrasted, to give it superior meaning.

I think the tension between fandome and trolling obscure common threads between both identities, which rest upon a hierarchical structure and a sense of the feminine as other and something to be degraded and controlled (though probably not consciously).

Just an interesting (to me) example of how gender policing functions on many levels. He’s not a “real” man, yet young women idolize him.

It’s all convoluted in my head, and I just lost my channel of unweaving these threads (train of thought) thanks to a phone call (I get to go swimming, though!). hopefully these fragmented thoughts make some sense, and hopefully I will return to this (though realistically i probably will not, because i’m always off on another tangent). until next time, i’ll sum up my thoughts with this: I dislike very strongly pop culture and icons. and I dislike jokes based on denigrated one category of peoples. and I dislike that i’ve been socialized to respond positively to such jokes; even the last five to ten years of unlearning hasn’t weeded it out completely. We’re all products of our environment, but that doesn’t mean we cannot decolonize our minds.