Sunday, 22 January 2012
the purity bear: a morality tale of terror
Not boys, mind, just girls.
Once again a case of the old, old Victorian gender double-standard, as well as that very old trope from near the beginning of creation itself: 'it wasn't my fault, the woman tempted me.'
Women: such power we have. It is really rather astonishing to realise the implied danger we are to poor, weak men.
This line of reasoning has been used over time to regulate how women behave, what women wear, who they are allowed to speak to, as well as control over their bodies. Not to control women could lead to the undoing of all men.
The other way in which to read this need on the part of some men over the course of history to regulate women's behaviour is that women, left to their own devices will just naturally get it wrong: women are the inferior sex whose weakness was demonstrated by the primal archetype of Eve, who fell so easily into temptation. Women can't be trusted to make decisions and need to be looked after for their own sake, as well as to ensure that the world doesn't go to hell in a handbag of wrong choices. It is, therefore, the role of men to make the moral decisions, etc.
Which brought to mind a youtube video friend Fran had posted up on my facebook wall at the beginning of the week:
Leaving aside questions arising from the video, such as:
*what gives with the close-up shots of the rather tensed hands? It is, I suspect, supposed to be symbolic of sexual tension, but instead conveys all the suppressed passion of a damp sponge.
*is it just me, or is that 'cuddly' purity bear actually just downright creepy? And why does is sound unnervingly like Darth Vader? Looking at the laddie, I truly don't believe the force is quite *that* strong with him.
Hmmm, as I said, leaving aside the above rather worrying questions, what we read from this little morality tale is that this girl is either:
a/ utterly naive and unaware of her vixenish, voluptuous powers: does she not know what forces she might unleash in the boy? She could bring his utter ruination upon him.
or - b/ quite the hussy to suggest the boy come in when the parents are away. Lordy, letting the lad in might lead to... coffee. Here we see her moral inferiority letting her down. It is up to this poor benighted lad to man up, and be strong for both of them.
Which of course, he does, triumphantly.
You know, in the end, this lass could really have done with some extra sex ed. classes on the benefits of abstinence. Had the male not made the 'right' choice in our little video morality tale, I picture a bleak future for our young woman.
Possibly after opening up her parent's house one too many times, leading to one too many coffees, she ends up one evening on a massive coffee buzz that prevents her from going to sleep once the chap has left ...after coffee.
Restless, she gets up, dresses, and ends up walking the streets.
Given the jerky uber-caffeinated movements she is making as she briskly walks the streets, a passing police car slows down so the police inside can more closely observe her.
Said police pull over and question her, however, high on the caffeine she is speaking so rapidly that the police think she is high on other substances.
She is taken down to the station where she is put in a cell until morning, with the thought that she will have come down from whatever drug she had been using.
Alas, mixing with the wrong company in the shared cell, by the next morning she has gambled away her parent's home, car, and time-share in Florida and finds herself hideously in debt to a scar-faced woman with a wooden leg called 'Hilda' - the woman's name is Matilda.
Knowing she has no home now left to go to, she embarks on a life of crime with Matilda, falls in love with with a string of no-good men, takes up drinking whiskey, and learns to spit.
By 25, she is a ruined woman, with several children from different men, an alcoholic gambler, and the inheritor of Hilda - Matilda having come to a bad end in a ping-pong incident in a Siberian bar.
Having been in and out of jail more times than she has had hot breakfasts, and now working as a barista in a church crypt which is now a decoffinated cafe, she pauses to reflect on that fateful evening many years back, when, having asked her boyfriend in for coffee... he fell into temptation, and said 'yes'.
A silent tear falls down her cheek, as she regrets the fact that when she was 13-16, she did not have the opportunity of extra sex ed. classes discussing the benefits of abstinence...nor indeed, the dangers of coffee.