When females direct, female nudity advances the plot

On Salon, Daniel D’Addaro writes:

In the run-up to Sunday night’s “Girls” season premiere, the old repetitive war over the show’s content took on a new dimension: Radio shock jock Howard Stern attacked neither the youth nor the perceived entitlement of showrunner/star Lena Dunham, but her display of her body. Stern called Dunham “a little fat girl who kinda looks like Jonah Hill and she keeps taking her clothes off and it kind of feels like rape … I don’t want to see that.” New York Post TV critic Linda Stasi took a similar tack, calling Dunham “a woman with giant thighs, a sloppy backside and small breasts … compelled to show it all.”

In trying to figure out why so many are offended by Lena Dunham’s nudity, D’Addaro interviewed people from editor Jane Pratt of xoJane (“It may not be that she’s driven to show us her body however that body looks. It may be that it’s just part of the story line”); to SF nude activist Gypsy Taub (“Nudity in our society is associated with sex, and a nude woman is automatically considered a ‘slut’ and someone who is asking to be disrespected or raped.”)


In an interview with Metro on January 8, director Sarah Polley expressed what appears to be a similar view on female nudity to Dunham’s. Here’s the question and response:

There’s a scene featuring a forest of female pubic hair: a bunch of women showering at the gym. We don’t see that much in Hollywood films. I know. Women’s bodies in films are either highly objectified and sexualised or, past a certain age, made fun of. In North American films, there’s no sort of routine nudity so I wanted something that wasn’t particularly eventful for them in that moment.


Famous art critic John Berger said: “Men watch. Women watch themselves being watched.” In Hollywood,  over 90% of directors are male. We’ve all grown up saturated with those images. Could it be that all of us, women and men, have almost no idea what women look like through women’s eyes or from the perspectives of women’s experiences? What does that vantage point show us? Anyone know? Hopefully, more female directors will get the courage and opportunity to give us their best guess.


You Pussy!

Here’s a link to an old favorite on the net, an article I wrote for Salon nine years ago, the beginning of the movement to rehabilitate the word “Pussy.”

Tell me, have we made any progress?

Not much. If ever there was a word in need of rehab, it remains this feline expletive STILL reserved for wimps.

Here’s a brief, edited (I hope legal) excerpt:

You Pussy!
By Margot Magowan
“What a pussy!” shouted my friend Joe. He was complaining to me about a business partner who backed out of a deal at the last minute. Joe wanted sympathy, but I was snagged on the word “pussy.”
Suddenly it struck me as wrong that the word “pussy” is used to imply cowardice or ineffectiveness. Why must we equate weakness with the female sex organ? Why have we for so long?

I began to wonder how one — how we — might take the wussy out of pussy.

Is it possible to change the meaning of the word, to restore to “pussy” its deserved glory? Could we use pussy as a compliment? Could pussy denote someone or something as cool or heroic or impressive?

At the moment, “pussy” isn’t even used to slight women directly. It is reserved for men, used among them to make fun of one another. It’s “sissy” for male heteros. It’s the politically correct big boy’s way of calling somebody a fag. And, please, don’t get me started on “pussy-whipped.”

Click here to read the full article. Let me know if you want a T: they are black with “Team Pussy” written in pink cursive and come in baby doll and regular sizes, one dollar from every sale goes to the Woodhull Institute.

Thanks pussies!