I got a lot of my practice in debating Sexism in Art through dating and/or hanging out with dudes who liked Eminem. (“But the women he’s talking about are bitches and sluts!” Um, you’re seeing them entirely through his perspective; of course they’re portrayed that way. “But it’s satire!” Yeah, the point seems to be that when women get hurt, it’s funny. “But he’s just expressing his feelings!” His feelings are what I have a problem with; the fact that they are feelings doesn’t place them above criticism, especially not if he puts them out there in the form of “art.” “I mean, a lot of men feel that way about women or their moms.” Widen eyes, back away slowly, call police.) For a long time, the sight of his face or the sound of his name made me physically ill: it was proof of something I’d heard about but never really believed, that lots of people, maybe even the majority of people, did not regard women as fully human, because here was a guy who could just say that raping or killing us was OK if we hurt his feelings, and all he was getting was attention and movie deals and money and praise. It made no sense to me, because: hadn’t feminism happened? Wasn’t everything supposed to be OK now?
(1) EMINEM STILL THINKS THAT HE IS RELEVANT. The video opens with Eminem intoning “djoo mees mi?” Ha ha ha ha, pause for breath, NO.
(3) HE TALKS ABOUT HIMSELF IN THE THIRD PERSON, STILL, BUT NOW MORE LIKE YODA. Sample lyrics: He does not mean to lesbian offend, but Lindsay, please come back to seeing men, Samantha’s a 2, you’re practically a 10. Um, aside from the fact that he clearly does mean to offend lesbians: “he does not mean to lesbian offend?” Does he to offend no longer seek? Sexually threatened by lesbians is he? The smooth face of a surly nine-year-old he has, to be a hairless monorchid suspect him I do; a woman teams for him to switch, improbable find I it. Smart his lyrics people do call when no books read they do.
(4) SERIOUSLY, HE’S REALLY THREATENED BY LESBIANS. Other sample lyrics: Portia, what’s Ellen DeGeneres got that I don’t? Um, a vagina? Valid reasons for not growing facial hair? A FUNCTIONING MARRIAGE?
(5) HE’S THREATENED BY VAGINAS IN GENERAL, ACTUALLY: So, yeah, he just sort of walks up to some woman dressed like Uhura and gives her the Vulcan Death Grip, stuffs Kim Kardashian in a woodchipper, notes (in the third person, again) that “the enforcer, looking for more women to torture, walk up to the cutest girl and Charlie Horse her,” and faces off with a bunch of butch girls in a threatening wasteland known only as Planet Womyn. You know, the usual. Then, later, in the same verse, he takes on noted wuss-rock champion John Mayer and his beige paramour, in the wussiest way humanly possible, as if attempting to out-wuss him in an epic Wuss-Off from which only one Wuss King can emerge wusstorious: “Forget them other men, girl pay them little attention, a little bit did I mention” – returned the Yoda-speak has! – “that Jennifer’s in love with me John Mayer, so sit on the bench, man I swear them other guys you give em an inch they take a mile.” That sound you hear – Eminem bragging about how he hates women, then pleading for the attention of women who are done with crude, unfeeling cads like that guy who sang “Your Body Is a Wonderland” – is Eminem frantically scrambling for an audience.
(6) EMINEM STILL THINKS THAT HE IS RELEVANT. OTHER THINGS THAT EMINEM THINKS ARE RELEVANT INCLUDE: Lindsay Lohan and Samantha Ronson (over) John Mayer and Jennifer Aniston (over?), Sarah Palin (SO over), Rock of Love which initially aired in 2007, Kim Kardashian’s reality show which also initially aired in 2007, the 2007 film Transformers, the 2005 film Dukes of Hazzard, the 1988 film Rain Man, the 1960 film Psycho, the 1957 film Jailhouse Rock, that Star Trek movie that has been Coming Soon since approximately the dawn of time, and Amy Winehouse, who – have you heard about this? – is on The Drugs. Oh, and: the video opens with him dressed up like Brett Michaels. You know, some flavor-of-the moment musician who used to be shocking and threatening, and is now just some dim Ghost of Outrage Past, and can only get attention by participating in a celebrity-culture sideshow, of which joke he seems tragically unaware that he is the butt. It’s funny, because Eminem thought he needed to dress up.