Easy A

Last night I went to see Easy A with Husband and a friend. It’s basically a movie about how Olive (Emma Stone), a girl with a pretty non-existent/good girl reputation became the school slut all because she lied about having sex once, which then escalated into more lies and corsets with red. Since it’s a comedy – and based on the previews – I assumed it would be a very glib, light-hearted representation of School Slut mythology. Although I’d love to see a well made movie about this subject, I completely accepted the fact that this was not that movie. Besides, I have a crush on Emma Stone, especially after finding out her middle name is Jean. She’s not a true redhead, but I can forgive her for that. Some women were just not meant to be blond. (Or, in the case of Lady Gaga and Tori Amos, brunette.)

So, back to the point, this isn’t criticism so much as it is observation and notation.

If this were a documentary and not a Mean Girls-esque movie, Olive would not just be teased and ridiculed by a small group of super Christians. It would not just be one horny guy trying to force himself on her and lewd gestures at one party from a small group of guys who sheepishly stop doing it after a few seconds. It would be worse.

People that she’s never talked to before will write “SLUT” in lipstick or permanent marker across her locker. They’ll ask her if she really blew the whole football team in the locker room after practice, just so they can have the pleasure of laughing at her to her face. They’ll blame her for break-ups. They’ll casually grope her breasts or ass while passing her in the hallway, and if she complains they’ll say she shouldn’t dress like such a whore. They’ll say she wants it. And she’ll never be asked out on a date because “she’s the kind of girl you have fun with, not the kind you date or take home to mom”.

Maybe that was all years ago and things have changed, but I would bet an orgy with a basketball team that it still goes on everyday in schools all over the country. Not just high schools, either. Fourth, fifth, sixth grades… things can start getting ugly really quickly.

I won’t get into what actually happened in the movie too much because it’s new and there are probably many people who haven’t seen it, or even heard of it yet. Despite some really dramatic moments acknowledging the consequences of (sex-related) lies, the movie maintained a sense of humor. I can always appreciate that.

The only thing that bothered me was that the movie made a big deal about Olive lying and that it was her fault and her responsibility to clear everything up, and yet there was little to no accountability for the people who lied and spread malicious rumors about her being a “dirty skank”. Now, in my opinion those people don’t matter anyway. There will always be those kind of people. Haters, you might say. And a lot of decent kids behave that way just because they get caught up in what’s going on. You can create (weak) connections with other people by talking shit about a common enemy. If you’ve got some fresh gossip, people will crowd around you and listen closely to every word. It doesn’t even matter if it’s true.

Still. How about a little acknowledgement of responsibility from the rumor mill? How about, “I’m sorry that I didn’t listen to you when you tried to tell me you didn’t sleep with that guy,” or, “I’m sorry I told everyone that you blew three guys at a party”? Sure, she blurred the boundaries of responsibility a whole lot with her clothing, her attitude, and her lies. But roles are not something created by one person.

At least she ended her ‘This is how it really happened’ live webcast with something to the effect of how it’s no one’s business who she has sex with or how often.

girl party

I’m working on a painting for a friend’s birthday. Sofia Arnold and Stacey Rozich are influencing my progress pretty heavily, along with long time love Allison Schulnik.

Sofia Arnold

Stacey Rozich

Allison Schulnik

I suppose I shouldn’t be making paintings and just giving them away, but that’s my prerogative and it helps me stay motivated. She’s counting on It. I told her, It will exist. And so It shall.

Not that motivation has been difficult lately. There are also other paintings. Princesses and horses and ghosts and seeds and bricks.

“you should see the other guy” keeps running through my head. Wearing a leotard.

Cats and goats and SATAN

My “reference” folder is out of control.

Here’s what I was researching about three months ago + yesterday morning when I was busy not being able to sleep.

A couple of the prints are pretty obvious if you know anything about art history – Albrecht Durer. It’s hard to miss that “AD” signature. There’s also a Francisco Goya drawing in there.

Reading about witches, witch hunts, witchery, etc. Primarily mapping the timeline – starting in Europe – and the things that tended to lead to accusation, method for “proving” the woman or man was a witch.

Hiroshi Sugimoto

I had a dream not too long ago that I was performing on a stage for a handful of men and one woman. Over the course of my performance, I became more and more changed – seaweed, barnacles, shells, crabs, octopus. They were all over me. Most of the men didn’t seem to see it. Or I assumed they didn’t because they were still interested, giving me That Look. (But maybe they did. And maybe that’s why?) One of the men tried to intervene. I stood on stage after the performance, dripping sea water onto the hardwood stage, spot lite still on me. I watched him argue with the others.

I’m not off the hook either.

The Last House on the Left, 1972

I watched Wes Craven’s The Last House on the Left (1972) the day before yesterday, knowing full well that it was going to be difficult for me to stomach. Horror films aren’t exactly my thing to begin with, and this particular film deals with a truly horrific ordeal for two young women. I could shrug it off as a movie, but rape and murder aren’t fiction, only this particular instance is fiction.

Like The Virgin Spring, there is a “bad”  girl (Phyllis) and a “good” girl (Mari). Although, Craven more explicitly demonstrated the way that the innocent girl is not so in the black and white sense. She drinks, she talks about sex, she doesn’t wear a bra, she says, “tits” to her parents when talking about bras, and she’s more than willing to “score some grass” before the concert. This may be in part the bad girl’s influence, but the good girl is nonetheless intrigued.

Mari: The leaves are really beautiful.
Phyllis: Yup, they’re really starting to change. I guess winter’s comin’ on!
Mari: Yup, Hey! I changed this winter!
Phyllis: What do you mean you changed?
Mari: I mean my breasts filled out!
[Phyllis laughs]
Mari: I mean they were nothing last summer!
Phyllis: I didn’t know you last summer!
Mari: Well, they have!
Phyllis: Well, congratulations!

And an even “uglier”, “animal-like” woman (Sadie) was in on the rapes and murders. Ironically, she refused to have sex with Krug earlier in the movie because of her newfound female independence. She reminds me of women who decide to be “one of the boys” because it’s better than being one of the girls. Safer, anyway.

Takes one to know one, I suppose.

It’s not really a good movie. I was watching the whole time for special moments or stills to take, but nothing much struck me as interesting. Beyond the implications of being really sickening.

Texas plays

It’s raining. It was raining in my dream this morning, too. There was a naked girl and I gave her a piggy back ride, running through a parking lot. The idea behind this was that if I carried her, people wouldn’t be able to see as much of her body. Men would stop leering. Her menstruation blood left an ink blot on the back of my sweater that looked like a voice recording. I couldn’t carry her, she kept sliding. People were staring. We ran.

Yesterday I spent a few hours working in my sketchbook, today feels like it will be similar, with some painting mixed in there. My studio and the kitchen are right next to each other with a swinging door separating both rooms from the rest of the apartment. Most of the time I prop the door open, but if I decide to close it, it’s like Rapunzel in her tower. And I cut off all my hair, so you can’t fucking come in.

Unless you bring me a soy dirty chai latte.

I’ve had many studios, including my bedroom years ago, which I turned into a studio when I got rid of my bed to make more room for painting. It’s tricky, figuring out how to make a space work. If it will work at all. This is one of the better studios I’ve had, despite it’s rather small size.

A bluejay christened it when he found himself trapped in here a couple months ago. In some cultures, poop is a good sign. I’ll take it.