Ryan Gosling Wants to Cuddle & Read Me Julia Kristeva.

Via on Oct 12, 2011

Is this what a feminist looks like? (Millions of women hope so…)

Ryan Gosling Feminist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Photo: Feminist Ryan Gosling)

So maybe Ryan doesn’t really want to cuddle with me and read me Julia Kristeva.

Quel dommage.

It’s a funny thing, though. I’ve noticed lately that it has become increasingly acceptable to be sexist, objectify, and lust––as long as you are a woman. If I were a male blogger, and stuck up a picture of some cute starlet saying all she wanted to do was cater to my needs, it wouldn’t be seen as funny or cute. Definitely not “mindful.”

And yet, when I was hanging out with some female friends recently talking about celebrity crushes and the benefits of combining Ryan Gosling and some frosting, it made me stop and think. Why is it OK when we do it? Isn’t the point of being a feminist (or a humanist) that we all want to be treated equally? If it isn’t OK for men to objectify, why do we think it’s acceptable behavior for women?

Is it the cougar phenomenon? I’m not “cougar age” yet, but you’d have to be hiding under a rock somewhere not to notice this trend. Women in their 40′s aggressively hitting on younger men? If it’s sad and creepy when men do it, why is it suddenly OK for women? We may have come a long way, but if that is where feminism gets us, we’ve come a long way in the wrong direction!

So what is the answer? It doesn’t seem in keeping with being a mindful, compassionate woman to talk about men like they are merely of value because of their bodies. If we don’t want men to leer at us in our yoga pants, why would we do the same to them?

A male friend said that it isn’t the same because men don’t mind being treated like sex objects.

I can’t answer that one. Maybe some of our male readers can shed a little light on that for us. In the meanwhile, I will keep my sexist comments to myself. Should Ryan Gosling show up on my doorstep wanting to snuggle and read to me, I would treat him as an equal. I would not “accidentally” drop things on the floor so I could leer at him as he picks them up. I would not make him clean my house shirtless as I sat reading, glass of wine in hand and making lewd comments as he worked tirelessly. Really, I wouldn’t! Because, after all, I am a feminist. I believe that we should all be treated with respect. Even Ryan Gosling.

(Photo: Socialite Life)

 

About Kate Bartolotta

Kate Bartolotta is the strongest girl in the world. She is the love child of a pirate and a roller derby queen. She hails from the second star to the right. Her love of words is boundless, but she knows that many of life’s best moments are completely untranslatable. When she is not writing, you may find her practicing yoga, devouring a book, playing with her children, planting dandelions, or dancing barefoot with her heart on her sleeve. She is madly in love with life and does not know how this story ends; she’s making it up as she goes. Kate is the owner and editor-in-chief of Be You Media Group. She also writes for The Huffington Post, elephant journal, The Good Men Project, The Green Divas, Yoganonymous, The Body Project, Project Eve, Thought Catalog and Soulseeds. She facilitates writing workshops and retreats throughout North America. Heart Medicine, Kate's book on writing, is now available on Amazon.com You can follow Kate on Facebook and Twitter

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24 Responses to “Ryan Gosling Wants to Cuddle & Read Me Julia Kristeva.”

  1. molly says:

    hahah!!! excellent :)
    i think you should send this to ryan gosling

  2. Guest says:

    it is equality= they aren't going to stop objectifying us, so now we have to objectify them too, otherwise we are stuck still being only the (female) objects.

  3. Guest says:

    You might want to fix the typo in the heading so it makes sense…

  4. elephantjournal says:

    #
    Claudia Weil I have thought this before. Some guys SAY they don't mind being treated like an object. However, if a group of big, hostile, scary looking women started giving a young guy explicit verbal crap when he was walking down the street minding his own business, he MIGHT have a problem with it.

    #
    Guido C Tamburini not the objectification – it's the power disparity that's an issue. Notice that all depictions of golden eras when women were objectified (all the Mad Men, Pan Am whatevers on TV, for example) depict those objectifications as empowering. What hogwash.

    #
    Nicole Wagner In this case I don't think women are objectifying men, they're enjoying the view and that view is not his sole virtue whereas with women our looks can be the only thing meaningful. We look at Ryan Gosling and love his body but ALSO love his personality, charm, what have you. If that's how women were treated like – "she's smart and talented, oh an she's good looking! "Compared to, "that chick is hot and Maybe she's smart and talented "

    #
    Kate Fields Bartolotta Good comments all! The one thought I have @Nicole (and I'm only speaking for myself here obvs.) is that while I might admire Ryan Gosling's talent…the discussion I was having with friends wasn't really about how smart & talented he was, it was complete physical objectification. Something I notice more & more women doing…curious as to how men might feel about it…
    10 minutes ago · LikeUnlike
    #
    Kate Fields Bartolotta ‎@Claudia "big hostile scary looking women" LOL

    ‎@Guido so…if power disparity is the issue, then does that make it ok since women (sometimes) are less empowered in our culture? Is it an act of empowerment to objectify someone? Not trying to be argumentative…trying to draw the idea out further.

  5. Andrea Balt Andréa Balt says:

    This was both fun and interesting to read Kate.

    I do believe there's a difference in the way we, as women, are turned on by men (even when using the same obscene words to objectify), compared to their kind of "turn-on", if merely as a biological factor, we are built differently. ¡Viva esa diferencia!

    Regardless of our hormonal differences though, we should never turn them into eye-candy in the name of vampire feminism. There's nothing more embarrassing to feminism than women drooling over muscle, even if we have to cover our mouth in more than one occasion.

    I personally find Ryan Gossling amazing as a painting and drawing material or as a model for a class on artistic anatomy. Perhaps it's just me, growing up among wolves but I think a manly chest should have at least two hairs.

    But maybe in real life his looks are not so extreme or abs so tight. Maybe in the pictures he’s just holding his breath and can’t wait to get home and read Julia Kristeva out loud to his dog and has no clue about all the cougar-drooling and all the wars that are being fought over his chest. Or not.

    Well, despite his good looks, he's a great actor.

    • Ooh Vampire Feminism! Andrea…you are really helping me get my halloween situation sorted!

      I agree though – no one (male or female) wants to be simply eye candy. I know Gosling has both gained & lost weight for movie roles…seems to be more concerned with the actual craft of acting than being a "celebrity." And interesting that note – great actor despite his looks. I agree.

      I'm with you on the chest hair…viva esa diferencia indeed. Nice to have a contrast from femininity – both physically & emotionally.

  6. samwise says:

    lol at how you said you're not cougar age yet!

  7. dan says:

    My 2 cents: I think feminism (of the equality variety) fails when it recognizes and discusses only the violence in men, while ignoring it in women where it is just as present, but expressed in different ways (often self- and inward-directed (as with men), but most usually in “innocent” comments and behaviors, and of course when women are physically violent it is somehow cuteified, not just sensualized as men’s is); if it is to be about us and equality, it needs to be honest assessments of all of us.

    We are constantly bombarded with desires from the media and ourselves, but are told to save them for the diary/therapist, so I think friends sharing “what they’d do” is great. While objectifying people or fantasizing about a media-construct (Goslings, Monroes etc) is escapist (and perhaps undesirable because it takes us out of our senses/reality), I don’t see violence inherent in it, or in escapism generally. However, when we think that we can make those imaginations real, we have to control, and when they involve people some violence against them is an ever handy tool.

    What I’m getting at is: cream up with Gosling all you want, just recognize the fantasy for what it is and don’t accept nastiness from/to your self or others (um, unless recognized and with consent ;), though I’d call that escapist).

    • "If it is to be about us and equality, it needs to be honest assessments of all of us." Exactly!

      For what it's worth…I am not as gaga over Ryan Gosling as the article might seem…just an easy pick to illustrate a point about the way we treat each other (and not just fantasy/escapism.)

  8. Julian Walker yogijulian says:

    what if the whole subject of "objectification" is a red herring? men and women naturally respond to various physical indicators that drive desire. this is biological and largely based in various traits indicating fertility, health, vitality, youth etc all of which we innately find attractive because it suggests that the possessor of these qualities would be a good candidate for reproduction.

    in primal biological terms straight men generally find feminine qualities like a certain hip to waist ratio, soft skin and hair, full lips and breasts etc attractive because they indicate generous amounts of estrogen and fertility – straight women typically find masculine qualities like broad shoulders, chiseled faces, stubble and lean muscle attractive because these indicate generous testosterone and the ability to be a good protector and provider.

    just because this is the biological legacy of our evolution does not mean that is all there is to men and women! how often have all of us found someone very physically appealing but lost interest quickly of their intelligence, humor or values were not a good fit?

    i think an integrated honest perspective would include the inevitable aspects of our innate biological drives and associations, as well as the more substantive mental and emotional cues that are equally if not more important to us all. bear in mind that just because i, as a man, point out the biological basis for attraction and appreciation of physical attributes does not mean i think an oppressive status quo should not be reformed!

    when we "objectify" i would imagine there is a brain function going on in which our genetically and environmentally programmed patterns of the ideal features of the opposite sex is being compared to the features of the person we are looking at – when it is a good match we get a jolt of dopamine and adrenaline and feel focused and excited or nervous.

    now sure – it seems that men are more visually stimulated than women, so this activity is something from which men seem to get more pleasure. yes, women have been egregiously oppressed – but i think even in a completely fair and equal world humans will still at times "objectify" and men will likely do it more than women.

    as far as feminism goes, i am completely on board with full equality for women – indeed for all human beings, AND i think when anyone is reduced to merely being a sex object there is something awry and this can be oppressive. BUT for most people enjoying the physical attributes that evoke desire, fantasy is an entirely natural process that is connected to our evolutionary imperatives to reproduce and have healthy offspring – we all look at one other and have responses to one another's appearance.

    a lot of the activity of objectification has to do with fantasy – in this case ryan gosling is a good fantasy stimulator for straight female and gay male brains. so what? i also observe that the basis of this piece is that not only is he physically attractive but sounds sensitive and smart – that kind of combination in the gender/sexual ID of our preference makes any of us drool!

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  12. alrishi says:

    Kate, when you and your friends were lusting after Ryan Gosling, you were not objectifying him as a sex object, you were objectifying him as a success object. Women objectify just as much as men, but they have different triggers. The thing that makes it a double standard is that women's objectification of men is seen as Ok, whereas men take shit if they ever show that to women. Many women have been touting their moral superiority over men because they treat men as more than sex objects, but they fail to realize that they objectify men as success objects. Take someone who looks like Ryan Gosling, and with the same talent, charm and sense of humor, but who wore a "Trainee" badge while he bagged your groceries; I suspect your reaction to him would be far different.

    Whatever our triggers are for lust, men and women look for more than that when choosing long term partners. Honesty, integrity, character, sense of humor, etc. is just as important to men as to women. Women can get caught up in their lust for a successful but morally repugnant man just like men can get caught up in their lust for a beautiful but morally repugnant woman; the moral superiority of women is unfounded.

  13. Thanks Ren! I agree…I don't consider men the enemy…but objectification maybe "enemy" type behavior? Either way – well said:)

  14. I agree that it's ok for women to date younger men (and men to date younger women, and women to date younger women, men to date younger men, in whatever combination works.) What I was referring to as "sad and creepy" was aggressive pursuit of any person at any age simply because of his physical attributes. Treating people like meat = not cool.

  15. Thanks Emma! I kept looking at the headings & just didn't see anything! I agree that we are different, but of equal value. That is why equality is important to me…not that we all be genderless, but valued equally. Thanks for reading!

  16. Julian Walker yogijulian says:

    nice recommendation! will check it out… are you familiar with helen fisher's great book – why we love?

  17. Haven't read it, but always looking for good reads. Thanks for the suggestion!

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