Monday, July 23, 2007

Warm Gooshy Feelings

I want to make Steven Dutch and honorary McBastard because of his mini essay Three Chick Flicks and Their Unintended Message.

In it he summarizes and criticizes three movies, a music video, and the entire genre of chick flicks in general by pointing out the double-standard between men and woman in regards to adultery. "It would be hard to make a film glorifying a man who left a loyal wife for someone with fewer wrinkles. On the other hand, films aimed at women regularly glorify women who cheat on a loyal husband because her emotional needs are unfulfilled." In fact, the latter is the subject of every Lifetime Network original movie that I have ever had the misfortune of watching. Some women apparently eat that shit up like it was a bag of Dove chocalates. Dutch then sums up the premise of all chick flick, Oxygen Network, Oprah-approved tripe: "The underlying premise seems to be that physical attraction is shallow but emotional needs are deeper and more legitimate." In fact, this is not only what chick movies tell us, but it is also the sentiment of popular psychology.

"Sorry, I reject this premise completely." There is not need to continue, Mr. Dutch. Please continue. "The quest for emotional satisfaction is every bit as superficial and shallow as the quest for big breasts, and a lot more dishonest. Or perhaps I should say that the kind of emotional satisfaction people pursue is superficial and shallow. In all the examples [of chick flicks given], emotional satisfaction is defined as warm gooshy feelings. None of the women find emotional satisfaction by, say, working at a women's shelter or volunteering for the Peace Corps. The equivalent behavior among men is easy to define. Nobody ever pretended a desire for big breasts represented anything profound. Contrary to popular psychology, this is not a society where people are out of touch with their feelings. This society wallows in feelings. If anything, what most people in this society need is precisely to get out of touch with their feelings for a while."

He goes on from there to apply his assertions not only to movies but also to society on the whole. The last part of his essay is a bit confusing, though, until you realize that this is just one of his many essays on pseudoscience in our modern culture. Overall, it is a refreshing read for anyone who has been accused of 'showing too little emotion.'


  1. there's a difference between "showing too little emotion" and being an introverted zombie.

  2. The difference is subtle, I'm sure.

  3. I have to say, there's something to be said for those who express their emotions more subtlely than others. I, of course, am someone who willingly spills my guts at the merest provocation. But those who tend to be more subdued have their own distinct value. I have a friend who has only told me twice (in our six year friendship) that he loves me. But those two times were so rare and precious that I know I'll treasure them forever. I distinctly recall each instance, and because he's so guarded and not as expressive as others, it means THAT much more that he verbalized his feelings at all.


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