Saturday, 6 June 2009

Phantom of the Opera

xposted from my LJ


Phantom of the Opera teaches girls bad, bad, orful thingz!
Of course, to call it a two-and-a-half-hour musical about rape vastly understates the bizarreo-world factor of this musical, although it's hardly an inaccurate statement.

At first, I was merely staggered by what this show must do to thirteen-year-old girls. I mean, it's just utterly designed to be seductive to anyone who doesn't want to own their sexuality and is drawn to any sort of narrative of submission, ordeal or apprenticeship. I should have, in fact, been all over this shit. At thirteen, I surely would have been. And the gaggle of girls that age we saw in the bathroom surely were.

....What a completely bizarre and vaguely intellectually offensive show. Man, when this first came out, gender and sexuality scholars must have been like "happy birthday to me" -- what a goldmine of crazy!
Where do I even begin?

Perhaps with "It didn't make me any less dominant..."

I wanted to be Christine for a few months, sure.

Then I asked myself "Why shouldn't he be singing my music?" and it was all over but the shouting. :)

And of course, rather than asking whether stories like that one attract people who have D/s leanings, we have to ask the same old tired "won't people get D/s leanings from this?" question.

And, honestly, what all the stories like this about D/s-y romance taught me was not "Be submissive!" but rather "If you be your dominant self, you will never be happy. Dominance is for the villains, and the villains are always either vanquished or voluntarily give up what's presented as their only chance for companionship because they realize they can never be themselves without doing harm."

These stories do not tell you that D/s is harmless, or is awesome, and I'm always stunned when feminists say they do. These stories are very, very, very clear about erotic power dynamics' destructive potential. They have to be. It's not socially acceptable for them not to be.

It may well be socially acceptable for them to be in romance novels and such geared toward adults, but all the stories I was allowed to see as a youth? None of those said that submission ultimately leads to fulfillment. They said, as I stated above, that dominance was what made the villains hot. The villains, by definition, lose.

Submission is something the heroine experiments with -- Hell, gets hypnotized into experimenting with -- and ultimately rejects. Do you really think Christine has the same dynamic she had with Erik with Raoul?! Yeah, right.

Why, when we examine this stuff, do we ask how it will affect a child we assume to be a vanilla tabula rasa? Why don't we ever, ever, ever ask what this says to people who are already dominant or submissive? Because they usually say "Your relationships are tragedies waiting to happen." If not "You're gonna grow up to be a homicidal maniac who can never be responsible about sex and love, kiddo. Sorry to tell ya, but we thought you should know."

If y'all need me, I'll be cranking Point up to max volume (and, yes, it is about rape, and yes, that is problematic. But FFS, the guy is a homicidal maniac! It's not like the show says "woo, rape!")...

...provided I can freaking find my copy of the OCR, anyway.


Anonymous said...

I can't think of anything better to say than my comment over at your LJ, so I may as well repost it here:

Not seen Phantom of the Opera, but that whole thing of Because they usually say "Your relationships are tragedies waiting to happen." If not "You're gonna grow up to be a homicidal maniac who can never be responsible about sex and love, kiddo. Sorry to tell ya, but we thought you should know." is exactly what I grew up with, and exactly why I was convinced for most of my teens and a few years of adulthood, that I was destined to be a serial killer and not a nice person at all.

All the people in fiction who had desires like mine were evil murderers, rapists, bad guys - and always ended up getting shot, or imprisoned, or otherwise coming to a grisly end. Fiction didn't give me any way to see myself as someone positive or good in society.

And these themes aren't limited to musicals, or mass-media - they go right back to the old fairy stories told to kids (Beauty and the Beast, for example, the "villain" only wins the girl when he gives up being "beastly" and dominant).

Anonymous said...

Have you seen this?

electronic doll said...

I don't especially like Phantom, because I don't especially like musicals, except for the costume joy.

But I do like villains, and anti-heros, and anyting with a touch of the sinister: masks, dungeons, ropes and evil plots. I couldn't be a submissive, or enjoy submitting, if there weren't people who wanted to put on those black hats and tie me to the train tracks. So here's my support for anyone who wants to take on the role.

No, there aren't a lot of stories that have happy endings for villains. But the same goes for submissive heroines. You always end up with some awful vanilla prince who is taking you away from your engaging and exciting lifestyle with your masked stranger. Bastard. And then it has you painted as meek, and unthinkingly subject to the whims of whichever bloke (and it's always a bloke) snatches you up, for good or for evil.

I think a lot of tales are missing the epilogue. The bit part way through their honeymoon, where Beauty suggest that Beast tries a little rough and tumble to get back to the good old days of animal attraction.

Also - re Legend of the Seeker - don't read the books, whatever you do...

Trinity said...

"But the same goes for submissive heroines. You always end up with some awful vanilla prince who is taking you away from your engaging and exciting lifestyle with your masked stranger. Bastard."

Hee hee! Yeah.

jemand said...

I guess to be fair there is an underground of religious communities who DO produce literature for their girls promoting "submission" in all things as the only way to properly be a wife (and wife is the only proper way to be female).

But that has NOTHING to do with healthy D/s relationships where both parties are enjoying their particular kink.

Just wanted to mention it though-- there is children's literature advocating domination and submission along gender roles or you'll face hell. And to be honest, even among long term D/s couples in BDSM, I'm pretty sure the number of subs who aren't allowed to have a preference for a particular kind of toothpaste for their sensitive teeth because their partner prefers something else is... probably nonexistent, yet I did find such a story in the context of religious spousal abuse under the name of "submission."

I really don't have any trouble distinguishing between the two groups, pathological religious submission and kinky sex-positive submission, but maybe popular culture can't separate the two.

Brie said...

Interesting post. I always thought the Phantom (the charactor) was a creepy perv, not a responsible dominant lover. Afterall, he lies, manipulates, and lusts after her since she was a child. The movie version strongly suggests he used to spy on her in her dressing room. However, I still think the overall story is one of feminism.

As an orphan child, Christine is drawn to him as a figure of authority and, therefore, safety. She is orphaned again, when she realizes he's a crazy serial killer. This time she turns to Raol as her protector and guardian, and looks to him as her source of safety.

But, in the end, it is Christine who has to rescue herself, Raol, and the Phantom. She does this by sacrificing herself for Raol. She offers to go with the Phantom. But this time she is not doing it as an innocent, but with full knowlege of herself and her former mentor. She has the strength to give up everything she wants out of love and compassion for another human being.

Perhaps it is the strength of Christine's selfless love that finally allows the Phantom to realize what true love is. Or perhaps it's because Christine comes to him steeped in the truth, rather than as part of their joint illusion, that he is forced to realize the truth about himself. Either way, it's at that point that he realizes that he can never posses her if she does not come to him freely. I like how this transformation occurs in him after she kisses him. It is the kiss of true love that transforms him from a Beast into a man, although it is true love of a more complex nature than people usually think of.

Anonymous said...

wjf, ifocp jo rmwivzns r svcwt.
auqq rbmfkrml n hp k!
tud xxx videos
, wogn ce ls h slsu f.
fivsel ovwkfz wnij e xbua. rdx, bbw xxx
, joqi q pelckryt c fhyzhb je dejc qbk.

lcr ls ipx.

viagra pills said...

This is a very nice blog,I have seen this variety of post after a elongated moment. I value your endeavor for compiling such post.


Anonymous said...

ohbc bgjic Large Tits ihabtm p sv d luw

Generic Cialis said...

Hi there,
Really nice job,There are many people searching about that now they will find enough sources by your tips.
Also looking forward for more tips about that

ファロム said...

Hey, Great post **

Generic Aspirin said...

Thank you for sharing to us.there are many person searching about that now they will find enough resources by your post.I would like to join your blog anyway so please continue sharing with us

Networking solutions said...

There are may person searching about that now they will find enough resources by your post,

Seo Services India said...

Això és realment interessant, ets un blogger molt hàbil. M'he unit a la seva alimentació i esperem que busquen més del seu missatge meravellós. A més, he compartit el seu lloc en els meus xarxes socials !

Buy Lexapro Online said...

I really enjoy reding your posts as I learn a lot from them. I also broaden my thinking as far as what I can use and do with things

Sildenafil Citrate said...

this is one of the best posts that I’ve ever seen; you may include some more ideas in the same theme. I’m still waiting for some interesting thoughts from your side in your next post.

Allegra said...

I just found your site and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your posts.In any case I'll be subscribing to your blog and I hope you post again soon

extreme bondage sex said...

Great website, looks very clean and organized. And very interesting to read Your the article!

Generic Viagra said...

I wonder how you got so good. This is really a fascinating blog, lots of stuff that I can get into. One thing I just want to say is that your Blog is so perfect!

extreme lesbian bondage said...

I was interested know about it.

Anonymous said...

I'm wonderingDiablo 3 items how you bought delicious. This is a fascinating blog site, many stuff that I will enter. A very important factor Among the best to say is thatgw2 gold your Website can be so ideal!

Andrewpshc said...

2. Increasing Your Skill Set: Take an online course, learn a new software, attend a seminar, etc. Whatever you consistently put off because you can't afford it, allocate your PayPal earnings to it and finally knock this goal out. He embodied what life, in my eyes, should be about: Thinking freely, not being afraid to make a stand, to live for what you believe and not for what society tells you to believe or how you should live your life; To go with your gut even if a million people dont see it your way - if you can justify your thinking and stance, be brave enough to see it through. 3. Website design: There are also interviews which are ceremonial. The reviewer has already made up his or her mind to hire the candidate, and the meeting is perfunctory. The courtesy interview on the other hand, is a pretense of interest. There are some professionals who believe it exhibits a lack of respect toward the job applicant. At the least, it leans to an incredible disservice to the applicant, and a waste of time for both parties. If conducted carelessly, it can leave the candidate with a bad taste in the mouth. Why then, do recruiters, headhunters, former colleagues, Fortune 500 companies, etc. conduct courtesy interviews? 13a) At which times of the day are you at your most productive?

Seacanoeist Mark said...

I liked your article, I will share your article to everyone!!

WoW gold|Diablo 3 Gold|RS Gold|Cheap Diablo 3 Gold

Anonymous said...

A huge dick in my pussy,a new warm wet tounge up my own arse and cum
and also pussy juice all over me. Fuck, ozzy

Look at my web page :: hcg injections
Also see my webpage > hcg injections

Anonymous said...

ωhoah this blog is wonderful і love
reading your аrticles. Stay up thе gooԁ work!
You unԁerstаnd, mаny people are
looking round for this infоrmаtion, you can aid them greatly.

My ωeblοg ... achat cialis

china tours said...

All's for the best in the best of all possible worlds! I have not see post good enough like yours here. You can learn more:China tours | China tour packages | China travel packages

jake lee said...

Well done girls, I've runescape gold often wondered where all rs gold this newfangled blogging would get you buy runescape gold and there you Aion Kinah Kaufen are, large as wow gold life (well larger than postage stamp size anyway) on the front page of The Times. Congratulations on being cheap runescape gold their best blog for family cooking.

He was
hurt in the first GW2 Gold quarter of Tuesdays win over thee
Philadelphia 76ers.

Learn Chinese said...

Are you still looking for a native Chinese speaking teacher? We’ve got it covered. We carefully select every teacher through an individual interview, followed by a special training and a consultation session. All our instructors have a teaching certification and at least 3 years' teaching experience.I am a Chinese teacher,you can learn more about Free Chinese language info: Learn mandarin online 1-on-1 | Learn mandarin Chinese online

Study Chinese online said...

The best place to study mandarin online is in China. However, we understand that it isn't always possible to move here to study Chinese language. The next best thing is to study with our experienced teachers in a virtual classroom. Online students enjoy the same excellent way of mandarin online lesson and custom designed courseware that we provide for our face to face clients.