Jim McKay's 1996 feature Girls Town came out at an interesting time. It was released a few years after riot grrrl was co-opted by the mainstream and Sassy folded, but a year before Spin Magazine attempted to capitalize on a cultural moment with their problematic Girl Issue and Alex Sichel's coming-of-age drama All Over Me received a limited theatrical release. It made its stateside cinematic debut two days before Annette Haywood-Carter's Foxfire, an adaptation of Joyce Carrol Oates' novel that also focused on a teenage girl gang, which helped launch Angelina Jolie's career, attempted to do the same for Calvin Klein model Jenny Shimizu, and represented a liminal period for former child actress and Rilo Kiley frontwoman Jenny Lewis. While Foxfire is better-known, I'd argue that Girls Town evinces more progressive gender and racial politics.
Relative to Breillat's other movies, 2001's Fat Girl is fairly tame until its problematic conclusion. Documenting the misadventures of fifteen-year-old Elena (Roxane Mesquida) and her younger sister Anaïs (Reboux) while on a family vacation, the movie highlights the disparity between the girls' attitudes toward sex despite their shared virginity. The older sister, who is slender and conventionally attractive, is interested in entertaining men's spirited advances and harbors a romantic naïveté when embarking on a dalliance with Italian law student Fernando (Libero De Rienzo) that she mistakes as more than a fling. Though only twelve, Anaïs, whose beauty is often ignored because of her size, is far more cynical. She wants her first time to be with someone she does not love and watches in horror as her sister gets played, her warnings ignored.
Oh, Ken Buck. You make my job so easy, what with your refusing to prosecute a rapist because you thought the victim had had an abortion. Maybe you've heard of the Douchebag Decree, and you got so excited that you tried to be as outrageously bigoted as possible so that we would give you a shout-out? Was that it? Or are you...oh no... you are... just a HUGE DOUCHEBAG ALL ON YOUR VERY OWN.
I imagine you'veheard by now that last week's fifth season premiere of 30 Rock contained a rape joke. The particular scene people are talking about is one in which Pete (Scott Adsit) is telling Liz about how relaxed he's become since Jenna (Jane Krakowski) became a producer: "This morning I made love to my wife. And she was still asleep, so I didn't have to be gentle." We are provided with a visual. Quoth Liz: "That is one of the most upsetting things I have ever imagined." Pete: "Oh yeah?" And we get another visual.
Let's get one thing out of the way: whatever this little moment was, it was certainly about a "rape." I wish this went without saying, but of course if you click on some of the links in this post you will find people (usually male people) in comments sections saying hey, butt out, this is what happens in long-term marriages all the time! I didn't realize it was such a turn-on to have sex with people who are literally unconscious but apparently some people are into that. In any event, sad to say, like many rapists who don't think they are rapists because they are really very nice people and pay their taxes and have never lurked in dark alleyways in major urban areas, the salient question in any analysis of whether rape has occurred is whether or not your partner has consented to sex. Unconscious people can't consent because they are unconscious. Tautological, I know, but there you have it. So, hence, rape.
Ben Roethlisberger. He's a quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers! He's the youngest Super Bowl-winning quarterback in NFL history! He's one of the NFL's highest-paid players, with a $102 million dollar five-year contract! He's a rapist! And he's not just an All-Star on the field, folks, he's also our second Douchebag Decree All-Star! (Applause.)
Roethlisberger, right, with a fan in Milledgeville, Georgia. Someone please submit this photo to this blog.
Whether it's his offhand-way of dropping misogyny, his female-rating system that puts how-many-beers-til-she's-hot-Yalies to shame, or his website that requires only the most minimal of minimal perusals to incite any feminist, it's not difficult to dislike Tucker Max. He's been utterly dissed by the Hater, called a "gender traitor" by Glamour's Ryan Dodge, and this is most definitely not the first time he's been called douchebag. But as a self-professed asshole, Tucker Max would no doubt affectionately embrace this week's Douchebag Decree title. Therein lies the problem: a compelte willingness to embody--and market--being a D-bag.
And with a movie based on his best-selling (yep!) book I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell coming out Sept. 25 and a second book Assholes Finish First coming down the pipeline (customers who bought this item also bought The Complete A**hole's Guide to Handling Chicks!), Tucker Max isn't going off the radar any time soon. But why care?