Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The "Delusional Default" in "Aggie Boys"

So, I'm sure if you're reading this blog, then you have definitely read Starling's excellent post on Schrodinger's Rapist over at Kate Harding's. And if you haven't, well, don't feel bad, but head on over anyway, because the post is excellent, and although its comments are 1000++ strong, they're still worth reading.

Among the comments was this gem:
Women Want My Attention is a delusional default, since just over 50% of the population is married and a significant number beyond that is partnered. So really, the default should always be Not Interested Unless Otherwise Signaling.
 Serendipitously or otherwise, I listened to this Youtube video:


For those who can't see it, never fear! Because only a few certain bits are relevant to this post anyway. The context of the video is as follows: in The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas, every year after the major football game, if the Aggies win, they are treated to a night at the Chicken Ranch, the titular Texan whorehouse. The Chicken Ranch was a real whorehouse way back when, and it's called that because during the Depression, the women there asked men to bring chickens to them as payment, instead of money, since everyone was so tight on money, and the women used the chickens as an extra source of income, eggs and whatnot.

The scene opens with a few of the girls in the living room watching the football game finish, and a couple others enter, asking, "So who won?"

"Aggie," says one of the girls, waving a little flag.

"Aw shit," sneers the asker.

"Yeeeeeehaw," they all chorus, with a distinct eye-rolling sentiment attached, since that's what these posturing boys belonging to the football team too.

So the guys start singing about what they plan on doing once they get to the Chicken Ranch, and a lot of macho posturing happens:
We're gonna whomp / and stomp / and a-whoop it up tonight
Those little gals won't never ever be the same
They're gonna love it when we whomp / and stomp / and a-whoop it upall right
It's even better than an Aggie football game

[spoken: Better than a football game?!]
And then we're gonna show them all a thing or two
We're gonna demonstrate just what a champion would do
Now, this macho posturing is laughable precisely because they are looking forward to an excursion to a whorehouse. That is, a place where women are sexually experienced. And they think that these sexually experienced women - who job it is to service men sexually and have probably been at it for a hella longer time than these boys have been playing football - are going to be all that impressed and will "never be the same" once the Aggie football team have visited.

As if the Aggie football team hasn't ever visited and left the women of the Chicken Ranch just rolling their eyes -- yeeeeehaw.

It really brings to mine Helen Huntington's eye-rolling frustration at the question, "why don't more women approach men?"
Why don’t women approach men more? BECAUSE YOU GUYS ARE FUCKING BORING. Sheesh. All of you are real people with real lives and have some real knowledge or experience to say something interesting about. But nope, when you decide to bug me, you almost invariably trot out the same few subverbal semi-sentences that the last 500 guys did. And the more sure you are that you’re being original, the more sure it is you’re just repeating what other guys are saying.
Viewed with this knowledge and acknowledgment, the posturing of the Aggie song becomes all the more pathetic, eye-roll-inspiring. The amount of work women have to put into hiding their sexual experience in order to fulfill this manly-man fantasy of deflowering innocent girls is further illustrated later on in the movie, which you can see in the following clip from 3:55 onwards:


Jewel, the black "mammy" figure of the film, is laying out ballgowns on the living room couch, and the following conversations ensues:

Chicken Ranch girl: Do we have to wear these ballgowns again?
Jewel: Yes you do, and I don't wanna hear anymore bitching about it. Miss Mona likes to create something special for the boys. It's like a graduation dance!
 The note of resignation and "omg do we have to go through this drivel again?" tickles me, because it reminds me of the same drivel women are taught to have to go through - dress up nice for a man, be nice, behave sweetly, be his fantasy, because your purpose is to please a man, and certainly your desires aren't a factor.

Now granted, in this context, it's the women's job to deliver that fantasy. However, I think it really does illustrate the kind of pressures that girls and women are under to perform, all the time, having to wear these ballgowns again, just for men who are under the delusion that they are hot shit when they are just another dudely-dude.

1 comment:

  1. When I was reading Huntington's comment, the first thing I thought was, "Hang on. That's still some dude harassing some lady with questions of her availability."

    I mean, if she did say that every time she approached a dude with questions of availability his brain imploded, I can understand.

    But her comment was all making the assumption that the default is still the same old default that it was -- guy pursuing girl, who is worried that guy is intent on girl's harm.

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