Male Gaze

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve created female characters for studios and the crew thinks of sex the instant I cinch her waist and flare the hips—women included. No one ever thinks that an hour glass is the natural shape of a woman’s body and that the woman would find great fun in adorning her shape as an aesthete. Oh, no, for in their mind every thing a woman does in an effort to attract men. I say bullshit! Libidinous Men, you may love the short skirts of this type of girl, but the legs (and void) under that pink umbrella aren’t for you.

Yes, I have the luxury of being cephalic, but I still chaffe at how people can think a woman’s life revolves around a man in our post-ERA world. Baby Boomers fought hard and won the right for a woman to survive on her own, so male attention isn’t need for existence. She now can be a doctor, lawyer, banker, too—and a rock star! Men: it’s not about you. It never was about you. En masse, the sexual partnership was about what resources you had. In a post women’s liberation world, a woman no longer needs to have your kids to earn a roof over her head. Yes, there are the “San Francisco Marina Barbies” who dress just for men, but learn to tell the difference between a flirt and an artist. If you can’t smell the peroxide from yards away, you will definitely tell by the style: Marina Barbies all look the same. These women aren’t artists who wear a design for the day, they are wearing a failsafe trend to get a man. Conformity. They display the same lack of imagination as their targets: corporate guy looking for a trophy wife who peruses the club with the same cocktail everyone else has. Mojitos anyone? The creatively dressed girl who dresses for herself won’t follow the latest trend to a T. She’ll wear a mix of vintage and trend. Menswear (great shoes and vests!) and women’s wear. She’ll mix it up to make a design her own for she has goals of her own, projects of her own and a life of her own that does not involve serving a man. She is not the Patriarchal Feminine.  


Oh, and don’t raise that warrior argument. I know plenty of tall, burly females and one dainty gunner’s mate, who served in the military.

HipChick Comics celebrates the female artist and an artist will always  find a way to design their existence. That doesn’t mean, I as an artist, dress to the nines every day, but my ensemble is always interesting. Not really stylish, but interesting no matter how informal. When I do dress up, usually for the ballet or a concert. It depends on the venue; tulle for ballet and high heeled boots, buckles and whatever corseted goth, new wave, glam rock, mod, punk style the band is sporting for concerts. I live a theatrical life and so do my artist friends. My L.A. muse who is the inspiration for Jennisen of KlashkaTse, used to call be me up at random and ask me to go out with and play make up. This was code for a day of shopping. Jen looked fantastic in stylish clothes, especially Todd Oldham and vintage Rockabilly, but she valued her lovely face most of all and would scour the counters of Barney’s for lipstick and perfume. She’s a lovely woman and I’m proud to be her friend. 

“Nothing hurts when you’re a beautiful girl”

-Mister Sister by Kate Pierson

Pretty girls get called a bitch as she walks down the street by random, jealous, strangers. Pretty girls are punched by jealous kids in class while an indifferent teacher’s back is turned. Pretty girls who are too beautiful for the mass audience to relate to, don’t get the film roles that would’ve been available to them during Hollywood’s Golden Era.  The most beautiful women you’ll see in LA are producer’s assistants and servers. They may drive BMW’s, but their dreams were dashed by casting directors within the first six months of their arrival in LA. Plain Janes and Girl-Next-Door hold power in the film industry now. Pretty girls who had dreams end up as trophy wives for insecure men. Beautiful girls advance the lives of their husbands, yet they really enjoy financial autonomy. They live their lives laboring under their husbands who seek to conquer between the sheets what they can not dominate on the world stage. Being a pretty girl is a life of sexual slavery when a woman pretties herself up just for a man. Plenty hurts for a beautiful girl who must pay for her keep behind closed doors in a Patriarchal society. 

So how does a girl distinguish herself from M.R.S. candidate? A short skirt worn with a thigh scabbard would be Sakura and Artemis’ way of saying “phuck off, I’m not a commodity”, but for those who aren’t militant, this message would be too strong. For Nami, what better way to say “This slit of my Halston a-line skirt with strapped sandals is a design, not an advertisement” than being a rich bitch executive? Even Mikka, a former courtesan can wear one her shear, beaded numbers and still convey that she’s off the clock, so long as the ensemble is worn in the proper settling, such as a night at the theater where the production is just as dazzling as she is. Nevertheless, there are still those who will misunderstand. The complaints of mixed messaging by the adrenal minded will never cease, but what matters to a gril is what herself and her social circle knows is true. She bought everything herself: the clothes, the car and the house. She is free of the confines of marriage for she is independent. This is the archetype of Aphrodite, not Hera or Demeter. 

I will not deny that there are pitfalls of being independent. A sad example are pill baby children which created a criminal class during the period transition from the Patriarchal to Matriarchal households from the 70’s through 2000’s. GenX bore the brunt of this transition as latchkey kids and lack of money once they turned 13. Yes, I get it, but Gen X is also wiser than their Baby Boomer ERA establishing parents and have taken single parenting to the next level: not breeding until one’s educated. There are more single Black mothers (the demographic that gets the most grief from the Pat Buchanan’s of the world) with bachelor degrees than not. Therefore, they can cast a wider safety net to fund their children through high school. However, this is a statistic only NPR followers would know about. It’s he Rush Limbaugh crowd that needs to be convinced single motherhood and women’s independence is improving. The complaints of conservative groups is that Madonna was setting a bad example for being a single mother for not every woman has $57,000,000 million in the bank. The criticism revealed the linch pin of the yoke: marriage is of the the survival children—and so they won’t become the wards of a society that doesn’t want to pay for them. Money. Was THAT all? A talented woman can her own living and her own luck without a husband. She can extract the genes of the man she wants without having to obsess over keeping him or suffering the imbalance of power in a marriage that leads to sexual subjugation. Now the patina of money woes is no longer the major issue, the real fear that lies in men who insist on this system reveals itself: Women are no longer for sale to the uglies among them anymore. 


The first dude is probably Gay or a trusted aesthete. The second dude should know #1; when he’s over the hill and  #2 how to recognize platonic relationships of newer generations. Don’t be a Biden, get with the program!

Yeah, uggos and losers like short skirts, too. Ick. It makes me wanna produce an instant burqa with the wave of a magic wand! At least we don’t have to unwanted men now. If we do marry for depth rather than beauty, then it for companionship- but we are no longer forced to pass on their genes.Think of the children! Our bodies are our own! Vote for progressive judges and legislation so that they’ll remain our own! Rock on Madonna, Siouxsie and Cher. You’re all proof to the world the a woman can dress fierce and not be owned by anyone. Imagine Madonna and Siouxsie without their dramatic eyes and Cher without her costumes. Performance art would be reduced to mere shock value without these qualities. Kathy Acker will go on to splash blood and paint on herself, but it’s Madonna who cuts her climax short while performing Like a Virgin to turn to the heavens to implore, “Why is this wrong???”, spurring her audience (many of whom were in college by that time) to find the answer in their women’s studies and other sociology courses. Cher in her costumes, which don’t offend the Heras in the audience, because her body, sans breasts and greatly flared hips, is considered inoffensive. Finally, Siouxsie, who sings of the Old Wisdom of Chthonic, reminding the male gaze that her makeup represents the old order that scares the shite of them! So, no. The fuck-me-pumps on a rock star, avant guard visual artist, girl-who-loves-fashion, aren’t for men. They’re for HER and the social circle who appreciate her as a work of art. Women are not for sale or fresh fruit for the picking. Evolve.

-Ashanti

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