“Everything in the world is about sex except sex. Sex is about power.” Oscar Wilde
This gif’s widespread use as shorthand for the concept of ~weaponized femininity~ has always bothered me, and I’ve never understood why it’s become so popular. I mean, sure, at first brush, it seems obvious: here is a studiedly beautiful woman who, with the simple gesture of placing a cigarette between her lips, has dozens of men wrapped around her finger, vying for her favor. But just take a minute here and look at her face. She’s not reveling in this, you get the feeling that she didn’t even expect it, this woman is upset and overwhelmed by the amount of male attention she’s getting.
Because this is a pivotal moment in a movie about a woman who is forced into prostitution.
Giuseppe Tornatore’s Malena came out in 2000, and starred Monica Bellucci as the titular Malena, a young wife whose husband is off fighting for the Axis Powers in WWII. Beautiful and shy, Malena tries to keep to herself, but finds it increasingly difficult as word of her husband’s absence attracts not only the attention of all the men in town, but the bitter jealousy of their wives and lovers. She does nothing to encourage any of her suitors, and instead spends her days caring for her aging father. But this uneasy peace in her life is shattered when she receives word of her husband’s death, and she’s left to fend for herself in a town where half the people only care for her body, and the other half hate her for it.
In the rest of the film we see the following: Malena’s relationship with her father destroyed as a result of sexual slander, Malena taken to court by a jealous neighbor who swears the young woman was sleeping with her husband, Malena’s rape by her lawyer as “payment” for her legal fees, Malena’s entry into the world of prostitution, and Melena’s public beating, stripping, and humiliation at the hands of the town’s women when the Americans arrive at the end of the war. Her husband appears in the third act, somehow alive, and he reclaims his wife, restoring her to respectability, and the townspeople begin to accept her once more, now that she is on the arm of her husband, and has, as some of the women whisper, ‘put on a little weight”.
But in spite of all of that, the film isn’t Malena’s story. Instead, we see her life through the eyes of our narrator, a young boy who by turns worships her and is disgusted by her “fall”. This is his coming of age, his discovery of himself through Malena’s trauma and the specter of female sexual jealousy.
In short, this is not a woman’s movie. Malena’s beauty is a cage, something that draws awful, selfish responses from the men around her, responses that she is forced to endure as a result of her situation. And what’s worse, her looks isolate her from women, none of whom can see past her smoky eyes and hourglass figure to the heartbroken widow who needs a friend.
So you know. Use gifs if you like, weaponize that femininity in the most numbskulled, reductively simple way possible, because lipstick is ~how you control men~ and Sex Is About Power, like Oscar Wilde said. Just remember that in this film, and so tragically often in real life, that power doesn’t rest in women’s hands.
and this is why we cosplay
those two dudes made each other’s days.
Chris Evans and Stan Lee on the set of The Avengers
#this makes me really sad #because if you ignore the wiring and all the cameras and such #it looks like steve was just at that cafe #and he just happened to encounter one of his old friends from before #and at first he doesn’t recognize him because the man is short and wrinkled and old #but then he looks into his eyes #and they’re a little more worn and a little more sad #but he knows those eyes #and he remembers the laughter that used to play in those eyes #and when the man recognizes him #at first it’s awkward and uncomfortable #because how do you tell what would be an old friend that you’re just like you were when he last saw you #seventy years ago #but then he just gives you this small grin #and he’s got that same laughter in his eyes #and he says ‘long time no see huh rogers’ #and then for just a couple of minutes they’re laughing and talking as if nothing ever happened #as if seventy years hadn’t happened #and in the back of his head steve knows that it’s not the same and that it should be weird #but just for a few minutes#he lets himself forget #lets himself pretend #and just for a few minutes #the future isn’t so bad
this is what is going on in scotland right now.
dont ignore this.
there is NO coverage of the rioting on the news which is why its so important that you dont ignore this.
please stay safe if you live in scotland.
wat rings u got bitch?
Thus the myth of the knight lumbering around like Frankenstein is busted
This myth bugs me to no end, so let me clear it up here and now:
A made-to-measure suit of full plate armour is (and ergo was) less cumbersome to wear than, say, an ill-fitting all-weather coat. It was expensive as heck, but the movement it afforded was surprisingly non-restrictive. Also remember that the men who wore these suits were usually quite physically fit (medieval knights - who were among the few who could afford the armour - were trained to fight from around 6 years-old), and were accustomed to training while wearing them.
Plate armour was moderately heavy, granted, but the weight was optimally distributed over the body, meaning the mostly costly aspect of wearing it was increased fatigue. It’s not heavy in the same way a hiking backpack is heavy. Any accounts of a knight being unable to rise after being knocked down were most likely because he was injured, dehydrated, or just plain exhausted - all of which being common in battle anyway. Regardless, it’s unlikely that it’s because his armour prevented him from moving… and the fallacy of knights requiring cranes to get onto their horses is just stupid.
The idea that full plate was sooo impractical is ludicrous; if it were, people wouldn’t have bothered with it.
"But plate armor is increadibly heavyyyy! Only giant musclemen can even move in iiiit! It’s completely useless against agile unarmored foooooes! Women can’t even put it oooon, its sole weight will nail them in one placeeee!"
If it’s not “the distraction factor" that people use to try to justify ridiculous female armor, it’s "agility".
We’ve featured another video that dispelled many myths about field plate armor, but the performers weren’t as agile as the noble knight above.
Partially this myth survives I think because like Dungeons and Dragons always insist on selling up the idea that heavier armors come with heavier agility penalties. And to a certain extent, there are certain activities I wouldn’t expect to be able to do while wearing plate armor.
- Rock climbing without tools or ropes
- High diving and synchronized swimming
- Aerial gymnastics
- Dancing en pointe
Okay I don’t do any of those things but you get the point.
Practical armor is made to allow at least a fair amount of agility for it’s wearer for a simple reason: The best defense is not to be in the way of the attack, that way you don’t suffer any of the impact.
Or to put it a simpler way: Lots of safety gear is uncomfortable and encumbering, but was the last time you heard someone propose that workers should just go without - that way if there’s an accident they’ll be able to get out of the way quicker?
I blinked one day and when I opened my eyes, it was normal to have an American army battling Americans on American streets. No one even calls it a war. But it is.
Don’t forget this crazy shit actually happened.
Don’t forget this shit is STILL happening