Rashida Jones Talks Bluntly About The “Pornification Of Pop Culture”

rashida-jones

Do you remember when actress Rashida Jones tweeted about she is sick of the “pornification” of pop culture and how she wants all “those” pop stars to stop acting like whores? While some praised her for her boldness and honesty, she also received quite a backlash which led to her responding about it and giving further clarification.

She is going to be a new columnist for Glamour Magazine in spring 2014, but this piece she wrote, expanding her thoughts on what is wrong with the portrayal of women in the media was a pretty damn good start.

The actress isn’t here to slut-shame anyone, she is here to start an important conversation on a larger scale. She tweeted and hashtagged #stopactinglikewhores and got a lot of negative responses from people saying she was just as bad as the people she was calling out, by labeling them whores. But her intentions were not that, and she cleared that all up because what she had to say was actually pretty spot on.

She is of course alluding to people like Miley Cyrus and her VMA’s performance with Robin Thicke, and others like Rihanna who have no qualms about posting pics smoking weed and getting naked.

“I consider myself a feminist. I would never point a finger at a woman for her actual sexual behavior, and I think all women have the right to express their desires. But I will look at women with influence—millionaire women who use their “sexiness” to make money—and ask some questions. There is a difference, a key one, between “shaming” and “holding someone accountable.” she starts off.

“The poles, the pasties, the gyrating: This isn’t showing female sexuality; this is showing what it looks like when women sell sex…in pop culture there’s just one way to be. And so much of it feels staged for men, not for our own pleasure.”

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She goes on to explain that while sex is not an awful thing in and of itself, its a matter of overkill and saturating our consciences and minds with just one type of image of young women.

“Even if adult Miley and Nicki have ownership of their bodies, do the girls imitating them have the same agency? Where do we draw the line between teaching them freedom of sexual expression and pride in who they are on the inside?”

Rashida talks about the feud between Miley Cyrus and Sinead O’Connor which was really sad to be honest. Sinead was genuinely trying to give Miley some great advice and foresight, but Miley responded in an immature way calling her crazy. For someone who is really trying to prove she’s an adult and can do what she wants, shouldn’t some human decency and decorum come with that?

The Parks and Rec actress ends by giving some good suggestions to pop stars and label execs to prove that all parties are responsible for what young girls ingest on a daily basis in pop culture. The responsibility does fall on the entertainers to create imagery that will elevate a girl’s thinking, not breed insecurity.

The the record label execs she asks them to think about their own moral parameters when marketing young pop stars and how they would want to be seen in the same position. To women in general, she says: “Let’s at least try to discuss the larger implications of female sexuality on pop culture without shaming each other. There’s more than one way to be a good feminist. Personally, I loved the Lily Allen “Hard Out Here” video—a controversial send-up of tits-and-ass culture. She helped start a conversation. Let’s continue it.”

She also includes men in her call to action, saying as half of the population they should be willing to have a say.

“Don’t sit around and let women beat one another up while you intermittently and guiltily enjoy the show. Speak up!”

The final suggestion she gave was specifically to popstars, because she is determined not to just go quietly into the night with this issue. It is important and we need women of influence in every sector be willing to speak out even if it makes them unpopular.

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“Please stop saying you don’t want to be role models. Because, guess what: You are. You want to sell millions of albums? You want to sell out a tour? You depend on the millions of people who adore you. So maybe just consider some sort of moral exchange program…”

She encourages them to write music that isn’t just about sex and superficiality, as we’ve all seen that before, its a broken record. It is time for something different! We view it like this, there is a reason why Bob Marley’s music is still popular today, where as many many pop stars who were once ridiculously successful are never heard of again after their time because they weren’t producing anything of worth that penetrates or elevates our thinking in any way.

“Perhaps every eleventh song or video, do something with some more clothes on? Maybe even a song that empowers women to feel good about some other great quality we have? Like, I don’t know…our empathy, or childbearing skills, or ability to forgive one another for mean tweets?”

Rashida you said it brilliantly. It’s not about slut-shaming and just continuing this cat-fight for generations to come. It’s about banding together as a gender and finding ways to show why we are worthy human beings. Sure, we should celebrate physical beauty, but also the rest!

How can we as women start changing our mindset toward each other today? If we don’t, life is just going to continue to be “hard out here for a bitch” and a never ending parade of eye-rolls and sighs.

8 Comments

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