Decorative Flower
Her Realm, Personal website and blog of Cole
Dec 30

Come to the Feminist Side, Kaley Cuoco

If you’re sick of my feminist rants, this post isn’t for you. But, then again, I am not the friend for you. So go away.

Today, the Internet is atwitter with an Interview with Kaley Cuoco, the actress who plays Penny in The Big Bang Theory. In this interview, Cuoco explains why she’s not a feminist, and it essentially boils down to “but sexism doesn’t hurt me!”

Sexism looks like a fairy tale to Kaley Cuoco.. because she's attratctive

Sexism looks like a fairy tale to Kaley Cuoco.. because she’s attratctive

It’s not difficult to understand how Kaley Cuoco might not feel discriminated against. After all, she is young, talented and attractive. On the surface, misogyny keeps her afloat rather than pulling her under. But if she weren’t so thin? If she wasn’t a bubbly blond? Chances are that the effects of sexism would be more noticeable for her.

And in the year 2014, the issues that women face are different than they were 50 or 100 years ago. We can vote and own property. We can keep our last names when we marry, and we can work outside the house if we want. There’s a lot of progress, but this just means that we have to focus on those little subversive ways that sexism and misogyny still exist in our everyday lives, even if we as women don’t notice them. If we don’t always pick up on them as women, who are being antagonized, how would a man who is unaffected? Many times, they don’t.

When you look more closely at Kaley, you can see how she’s been a victim of misogyny. The thing we have to remember is that people revere her not because they respect her but because they want to own her. Men want to possess her. Indeed, that’s the entirety of a multiple-season plot arc between Cuoco’s character Penny, a “slutty, dumb blond”, on The Big Bang Theory and the nerdy guy to whom the character is now her fiancee. Penny might not be the brightest bulb, but at least she’s cute.

And as long as sexism exist, we’re going to keep hearing “at least she’s cute,” as if a woman cannot possibly be attractive and intelligent or talented. As if a woman’s talents mean less than her naturally or hard-earned beauty. As if a woman who isn’t attractive will never, could never, be enough. Even though she has benefited from sexism in this way, I am sure that Cuoco has been on the other side, especially in Hollywood. Sleazy producers and directors? Being judged more harshly for her looks than male actors? Making less money than her peers? Kaley has had to deal with all of those, even if sexism provides her some minuscule perks in comparison.

Kaley seems to understand that maybe she’s “because I’ve never really faced inequality,” but I’d love to her show more depth when she thinks about these things, and perhaps an interview with People mag isn’t the place to be deep, but wouldn’t it be a wonderful world if it were?

I hope that Kaley Cuoco surrounds herself with women who aren’t afraid to tell her just how they have been discriminated against, and how sexism still occurs, albeit sometimes in a more subtle way than can be difficult for people like Kaley to understand when they’re not constantly barraged by the waves of misogyny. Perhaps with people close to her pointing out their experiences, she will listen, and she will want to take up the feminist mantle because, at the very least, she wants to help other women.

Mar 26

On “Conscious Uncoupling”

So the media is all abuzz with stories about Gwyneth Paltrow and whats-his-face are splitting after ten years of marriage. Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t give two flying fucks about the couple. She’s an airhead with no sense of reality and he makes horrible music. Okay, I don’t know her, but I’m sure this is the case.

I am sad to see a family breaking up, and ten years seems long enough that they should work on it, but maybe her awkward usage of the term “conscious uncoupling” indicates that they have. I don’t know about you, but I don’t consider most breakups to be done in a conscious or thoughtful way. They all seem so sudden — to one person who has no idea that her marriage or his engagement had been wrong to the other person all along.

So the idea that a couple has some together to talk about things that aren’t working and to try to improve them seems like a smart one to me — even if it’s alien to many people. It’s certainly in the best interest of children, who don’t need to see their parents fighting while they try to stay together “for the family” or parents who are fighting through their divorce because they can’t find an agreement when it comes to who gets what.

I think that people need to put at least as much thought into breaking up as they do getting together, and perhaps if people put more thought into coupling, they would be less likely to uncouple.

Everyone is thinking about the awkward wording and focusing on the issue through a macro filter. However, I think the more important issue is how we look at relationships when we think the idea of someone consciously breaking up with someone and being able to remain friends. Of course, I’ll be the first to admit that I sometimes wonder what went wrong with a couple when they seem so willing and able to remain friends and people who care about one another. But maybe it’s better to cut your losses early so you can maintain those type of relationships for your own sanity, the benefit of your children and everyone around you.

And maybe through conscious actions and discussions, you might actually find that your relationship might be worth saving and that all you need to do is remain mindful during the every-day life. Living consciously really makes everything better, so why not “uncoupling,” too?

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