Sunday, September 21, 2014

TheFineBros on Rape Culture

Ok I swear I am not making this up.  The FineBrothers actually tweeted this.

"In light of recent controversy on YouTube today, today's Teens React is important to watch as it relates to discussion about rape culture."
Then as I was expecting them to tweet out a serious topic they then posted this.

"Objectification of women is something not discussed enough, and hope this episode helps in the conversation. "
That tweet linked to this video.

You Got To Be Joking Right?
I went through their twitter feed and their YouTube channel nothing else than this reaction to Anaconda has been posted.  I will cover the "controversy" later on but first I want to address the FineBros.  How exactly does showing a bunch of young teens a video of a black lady with butt implants further the discussion of rape culture?  Well thankfully that is answered at 7:21.  

"The term 'rape culture' has been used to describe our society, saying that we don't even realize that we are surrounded by the objectification of women across society, including the media which some say leads to the mistreatment of women."

Sadly the teens in the video parrot what they were taught in school.  Sex sells and because it sells it is sexist even though there are countless examples of ads targeted towards women that feature scantily clad men.  

Still how does Nicki Minaj shaking her butt implants for fame have anything to do with rape culture?  Short answer, it doesn't    No, this was just internet marketing 101.  Anaconda is currently a hot topic and the FineBros are just the latest to cash in.  

Now some of you may be asking what rape culture is.  First is the conventional definition that I gleamed from EverydayFeminism.  Essentially it is how we as a culture think and talk about rape, sexual assault, and general violence towards women.  When people talk about rape culture, they point to examples of marketing campaigns that feature women being dominated.  Such as this one below.

When people talk about Rape Culture they point to cases in which a woman's dress or intoxication level is discussed rather than the man who took advantage of her.  When people talk about rape culture they point to people who make jokes about rape and sexual assault.  Yes I am not making that up, jokes.  People are upset because of jokes.  The list goes on and so forth, you can Google more if you like but I think I summed it up.

Next is the unconventional definition of rape culture.  One thing that is surprising about rape culture is that rape is not frequently discussed.  Rape Culture for the most part is a first world problem.  Note I said rape culture, not rape.   Men and women in America don't get raped, but it is no where near the level where an actual CULTURE of rapists exist.  Read about World War 2 and the women and girls who were "spoils of war"

“In fact victims could be as young as twelve years old. ‘The NKVD group attached to the 43rd Army discovered that German women who had stayed behind in Schpaleiten had tried to commit suicide. They interrogated one of them called Emma Korn. “On 3 February,” she told them, “frontline troops of the Red Army entered the town. They came into the cellar where we were hiding and pointed their weapons at me and the other two women and ordered us into the yard. In the yard twelve soldiers in turn raped me. Other soldiers did the same to my two neighbours. The following night six drunken soldiers broke into our cellar and raped us in front of the children. On 5 February, three soldiers came, and on 6 February eight drunken soldiers also raped and beat us.” ’ Three days later the women tried to kill the children and themselves by cutting all their wrists, but evidently they had not know how to do it properly.”  
Anthony Beevor, The Fall of Berlin 1945

What you will not hear when you talk about rape culture is parts of the world where kidnapping and forcing a woman into marriage is normal for their culture.  

Now why isn't anyone talking about these type of abuses?  Simple, it happens to other people in other parts of the world.  World War 2 wasn't the first time women and children were the spoils of war and it certainly won't be the last.  It is so much easier to talk about how nail polish that helps women detect for date rape drugs promotes rape culture (no I am not making that up) than to discuss a young boy held down as he watches his mother and sisters gang raped in a war zone.  

In short Nicki Minaj is doing what she wants to.  She is shaking her butt implants and relying on Sir Mix-A-Lot's Baby Got Back for the base of her song.  I remember a time when music artists tried to change the world.  Now apparently it is about who has the best butt implants.  Oh well, she makes more money in a day than most of us make in a year so I'm happy for her.  Hopefully she is wise and invests it properly for the day when her youthful appearance won't be her sole marketing angle.  Madonna for example, used to be all about her sexuality, but she has changed with the times and has shown even later in years her music can speak for itself.  Will people still listen to Nicki when she is old enough to be a grandmother, only time will tell.  

Now on to the "controversy'
As far as I can tell the controversy is over Sam Peper's latest video prank.  This is based on the twitter replies the FineBros received.  

Note:  Currently the video is showing removed by YouTube, however at the bottom of this blog post is a copy of the video for those who have not seen it.

Sam Pepper is nothing more than just your typical prank channel but he specializes in approaching women and doing weird things with them such as using a lasso to rope a girl or just walking up to them and start kissing.  He has been doing this for a while, but apparently everyone has decided that his most recent video was going to far.  For the record I think his entire channel is trash, but people still flock to see them.  His view count dwarfs my own.  However, I am too much of a gentleman to follow his path to YouTube fame, or any of these prank guys for that matter.  I guess the only channel that I do enjoy is MediocreFilms but his channel is not really focused on pranks.  The pranks he does pull are innocent and don't cause harm or distress to others unlike much of the other prank channels.  

Still I am at a loss as to why everyone is only now upset at Sam Pepper.  His video is wrong, clearly so, but this is normal for his channel.  He is not a small YouTuber, people have known about him and have done colabs with him knowing full well the content he produces.  

Anyway my friend LaciGreen on her Tumblr wrote up the best piece on this Sam Pepeper video.   I suggest you read it, clicking it will open a new tab.

HappyCabbie on Twitter
LaciGreen on Twitter
TheFineBros on Twitter
HappyCabbie on YouTube

Update:  TheFineBros have dropped Sam Pepper from their series YouTubers React.  Additionally he has been banned from Vidcon, and Playlist Live.  Still my question is why all the outrage now?  He's done these type of videos before and in some cases even worse than pinching girls on the bum, such as the one using a lasso to latch on to unsuspecting females.  I think everyone who is dumping on him only now is doing so because its the current talk of the internets.  True fault does not lie in the places and venues that have banned him, but rather with those who prior to today had no problems using him and his fame in their promotions.

YouTube has taken down the original Sam Pepper video but here is a copy for those who haven't seen it.