I must be growing old. Is there a new wave of feminism in America? So I was watching TV and I saw an ad for the new Pussycat Dolls reality show – The Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search for the Next Doll. For those who don’t know, the Pussycat Dolls are a 6 member scantily clad girl band with such sexually-charged hits as “Don’t Cha (Wish Your Girlfriend Was Freak Like Me?…don’t cha wish your girlfriend was raw like me?…)“. Their dance routines simulate moves one would expect to see at a strip club. The reality show is a contest in which they hope to find a 7th supposedly sexy, scantily clad girl to join the group. Yes, instant fame and riches for the lucky winner (or will there be?), but that’s not my point.
Why did I hear one of the contestants (or was it the producer?) say that “this is about female empowerment“. My eyes popped. What is so empowering about vapid, shallow, catty, talentless girls acting slutty?
Female Empowerment Redefined
I must be growing old. When Spice Girls came out a few years ago with their “girl power” anthems, I laughed but joined in “…if you wanna be my lover, you gotta get with my friends… I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna really really really wanna zigazig ha…slam your body down and wind it all around…” Don’t get me wrong. I have sung along to “Don’t Cha” at times, but I have not deluded myself into thinking that it is a song about female liberation. It is sad and scary to think that todays elementary school girls have the Pussycat Dolls’ stripper attire and stripper moves to aspire to. The Pussycat Dolls objectify women. The girls are women. Grown women. Only one of them actually sings while the rest just exist to look like what society says is pretty and dance seductively in their lingerie. Mark Perigard in the Boston Herald writes “nothing demonstrates female empowerment like dressing like a stripper, stroking yourself naughty and singing about your sexual freakiness.”
They make the Spice Girls seem wholesome! Sigh!