Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Heidi Montag is NOT a feminist hero

Heidi Montag: Reality "star"... republican... and feminist hero???

Feministing reported last week that Ginia Bellafante (of the NY Times) wrote a piece on the MTV reality show the Hills, in which she referred to Heidi Montag as a "feminist hero."

Defying our expectations, Heidi has emerged as a kind of feminist hero this season, climbing her way to a bigger position at the event-planning company where she orchestrates Nascar parties, and refusing to acquiesce to the demands of her fiancĂ©, Spencer, that she get herself home on time. Her career-mindedness sets their relationship off course. Heidi identifies the problem with no name: a boyfriend who sits around an apartment decorated to look like an ’80s video arcade while trying to deny Heidi a real wedding with the glory of registering. Her groundswell of self-assertion begins when he insists on eloping, prompting Heidi to declare, “This isn’t, like, Spencer’s relationship and you decide what we do.”

Can we say gross?

Of all the amazing women out there doing amazing things, the NY times highlights Montag as some sort of return to classical feminism? Its a god damn conspiracy is what is it!

But then again Bellafante was the writer who famously asked (on the cover of TIME magazine, no less) "Is Feminism Dead"

Feminism is dying only if you consider Heidi Montag to be the face of the movement...

Montag has recently come out as supporting John McCain for the White House. (Yes, I linked to Perez Hilton)

No self-respecting feminist should vote McCain-- not with that record on women's rights. This is the guy who said:

Q: "What about grants for sex education in the United States? Should they include instructions about using contraceptives? Or should it be Bush's policy, which is just abstinence?"

Mr. McCain: (Long pause) "Ahhh. I think I support the president's policy."

Q: "So no contraception, no counseling on contraception. Just abstinence. Do you think contraceptives help stop the spread of HIV?"

Mr. McCain: (Long pause) "You've stumped me."

Got that ladies? This guy can't get behind sending condoms to Africa to stop the spread of HIV. He's just STUMPED.
I mean, I always knew Montag had bad taste in men but really....... she has no excuse here.


The Red Queen said...

If Montag is a feminist icon then Girls Gone Wild is total female empowerment.


Amy said...

AGH. Someone needs to explain to them what the definition of "feminism" is.

You made a good point about her supporting McCain. I've heard women call other women "traitors" for voting for Obama instead of Hillary, which I think is ridiculous. But I can wholeheartedly support the idea that you cannot be a feminist and support McCain. No way.

Tobes said...

Yes Amy exactly. I think it'd be completely fair for a feminist to support either Obama or Hillary but I call bullshit on anyone claiming to care about women's rights and voting McCain... or republican period. Maybe someone can find me a republican canidate who would prove that theory wrong, but I've never seen one....

Anonymous said...

I am a feminist and voting for McCain. I believe winning the war against fascist, androcentric Islam is more important than educating children on rubbers.


Pretty sure there was an article floating around recently where Heidi and Spencer claimed that all of the arguments on the show are completely staged and that they're really totally drama free. Because of course, the only thing more feminist than airing out your dysfunctional relationship with a total douchebag on TV is pretending to air out your fake dysfunctional relationship with a total douchebag on TV. She's truly an inspiration.

Adrienne said...

Wag of the finger, Tobes.

Whoa, friends, when did feminism become an exclusive club that you have to haze to belong to? Like I have to burn six bras and tell off eight oppressive men before I get to be at the beginner's level; to get to the winner's circle I have to eschew all men and only listen to music and read books written by women, and use sea sponges instead of tampons, and wear clothing that was woven by women for women, that is not revealing or exploitative.

The reason the world needs feminism is not only because men oppress us, we also need it because we oppress each other. The feminist movement is about a woman's right to CHOOSE, no matter what she's choosing. Kudos to Heidi for choosing John McCain. Years ago, Heidi might not have been allowed to vote at all. How dare we belittle her for her CHOICE? Isn't that what 'the enemy' does to us?

Granted I don't know much about this situation, since I have no idea who Heidi Montag is, but given from the excerpt you provided, I would say hurray for her for standing up for her career and for what she wants in her relationship. Isn't that how women's rights gets started, anyway? A bunch of pampered housewives suddenly stop and say, "Wait a minute... I deserve better than this."

For the typical viewer of her show, I would say that she is at least a good start at a feminist hero. It would be a lot easier for her to agree with her fiance, elope, and quit her job to take care of him in his bizarro apartment. By taking this small stand, she's showing young girls who watch her show that they don't have to give in, even if he leaves. Screw him.

Tobes said...

You're right, feminism means women have a voice (whatever it may be) but I still gotta say, if you use that choice to vote for someone who is "100%" committed to overturning Roe v. Wade and other womens rights--- then you're a poor poster child for "feminism."

She has every right to her choices but I still stand behind my disgust at them. And I'm really torked that any writer would use someone like her as the example of "Today's feminist."

What's next-- the Girls Gone Wild Feminist? Paris Hilton the feminist? Phyllis Schlafley the feminist?

Sure, all these women benefit from feminism and use its successes to further their lives... but are they an icon of feminism? NO. And they shouldn't be labeled as such.

I wish Heidi the best of luck voting McCain and hope (for her sake) that she never needs ever needs reproductive choices. I also wish her the best of luck with her bizarro boyfriend.

If she decides, "screw him" best of luck with that too :)

Sarah said...

Heidi Montag is not a feminist icon for every reason Tobes already said and here's another: the show is completely lame and scripted and has not one once of realism so either way, she's just playing a part. But she and Spencer are both morons and deserve each other.

Reading my post, I realize it is more geared towards the fact that The Hills is lame and has nothing to do with feminism, sorry for getting off-track Tobes, oops :)

Tobes said...

I've watched approx. 20 minutes of "The Hills" total and I'd have to agree with Sarah that it seems lame.

All that aside, my beef isn't so much with Heidi as the woman who tried to label her a feminist when, sorry, all evidence is to the contrary.

Of course you don't have to burn your bra to be a feminist (hello urban legend!) but seriously... I do happen to be one of the people who think that if you claim to be a feminist, you should support women's rights to choose their reproductive destiny...

That doesn't mean you have to TAKE birth control or HAVE abortions. You don't even have to like those things but I believe part of being a feminist is acknowleding that other women have a right to these choices...

And by voting McCain you say women don't have those rights.

Feminism isn't an exclusive club but I'd say there are some rules... like I wouldn't call anyone a feminist if they claimed women should be paid less, or women have to stay home or women have to work... that might be a good idea for a post come to think of it. What are some general guidelines for being feminist...

Adrienne said...

But Heidi WASN'T calling herself a feminist, the columnist was. Heidi never said, "look, I'm a feminist hero who is conservative and tied down to a douche bag." The columnist gave her the title. So the gripe should be on THAT lady for not knowing what she's talking about.

Tobes said...

True that, Adrienne. I should have directed my anger more specifically at the (crazed) author of that article.

I just guess some of my pent up hostility at Heidi Montag came out in the post. She's just a "celebrity" that rubs me the wrong way.

Sarah said...

My irritation had nothing really to do with Heidi in terms of being a feminist, according to that dingbat, but moreso the fact that she's famous as all. She can't act, she can't sing, and even her skills at frolicking on a beach are questionable. Mostly, people being famous for nothing is irritating and that's what my rant ended up being about. And it's not just her, it's pretty much the entire cast of the show. Don't get me wrong, I loved the original Laguna Beach because they at least made it feel like it wasn't as scripted, and for the most part it really seemed it wasn't. But when MTV realized how much money they could make from it, they invested more in it, thus, we have to suffer through Heidi trying to sing, Spencer trying to direct, Lauren attempting to design clothes, and Brody Jenner mooching off them all. I know way too much about this show. Gross.

P.S. Perez loves to point out the incontinuities from scene to scene, Tobes, it's pretty funny sometimes, you should check it out :)