So, a new meme has gone viral and it’s got me wondering whether or not this is good for feminism. Oringinally, the blog “Fuck Yeah Ryan Gosling” posted pics of the actor with captions like the following:
While all of these posts are’t entirely sexist and some of them seemed to indicate the opposite, I am more interested in the new blog that was created a few days ago. Feminist Ryan Gosling takes pictures of (you guessed it) Ryan Gosling and inserts captions more like the following:
So, is this “legit” with feminism? Let’s talk.
My guess is that people will be 50/50 on this but I am interested to hear people’s reactions to these blogs. When I first heard about this, it was through GoogleNews, who apparently thought I’d like the article titled, “Why Feminists Love Ryan Gosling.” I don’t know if that means I Google feminism too much or Ryan Gosling….Either way, the article gives the background on the two blogs but then it concludes with a paragraph on “why Ryan Gosling?”
“It goes beyond looks. He was raised by a single mother to whom he’s close, and he waxes lyrical about his female co-stars and ex-girlfriends. Guys love him too – he kissed Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn on the Cannes red carpet, and co-star Steve Carrell says he’s “even more attractive on the inside”. He loves his dog, is self-deprecatingly funny and recently broke up a street fight in New York. On top of all this, he’s a good actor. Basically, he’s perfect.”
Well, I’m not entirely sure how much this entered the thought processes of either blogger, but I think it’s worth noting.
Also, he finds “Hey Girl” funny.
If that video doesn’t upload correctly, you can/should check out Gosling’s response to “Hey Girl” here:
where he actually reads off some Hey Girl classics. I, obviously, didn’t create this video. It’s from an MTV interview.
Regardless of Gosling’s like or dislike of the blog, I think it’s important to discuss the implications of these blogs for feminism. Are they funny? Do they make fun of feminism? Will they be taken as a joke on feminism? Does it raise awareness on sexism present in memes and viral pictures? Etc.
I don’t want to speak for others here so I’ll give my opinion in hopes that we can have a constructive discussion after.
1) I think they’re funny, and by that I mean hilarious. One of my personal favorites:
2/3) I don’t think they seek to make fun of feminism. Now, I think the more difficult question is whether or not people will misinterpret them as a joke on feminism, kind of a, “this is funny because no one understands that silly women shit.” But for me, I’ll take the good with the bad. I think it’s hard to find humor anywhere these days that isn’t derogatory in some way, shape, or form. Feminist humor??? Does that even exist? We know it does, but you see my point. It is lacking. The fact that Feminist Ryan Gosling has provided me with something I can laugh at while not feeling guilty outweighs the risk that people will misinterpret it. I think the only thing in my mind that would make it less humorous would be if Gosling was offended by bloggers using his pictures. From the looks of that video, that doesn’t seem to be an issue.
4) I think a residual impact of the videos is that it can raise awareness about sexism in viral media. For me, I have always noticed things like that but when I really started to think about these blogs this week, it got me thinking about other memes that people post regularly on Facebook, etc. This seems to be a fresh and funny way for feminists to challenge sexism. I think humor can be a very useful tool to combat negativity because it almost becomes an instant mediator. Here, I am thinking of how Dick Gregory used his comedy routine during the Civil Rights Movement to break down racial divides. In my opinion, I think we can learn from this blog’s use of humor and the global response it incurred and apply it to other areas of concern. I’ll stop here because I want your input but I’ll leave you with a few more “thoughts.” Happy Thursday!