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SEXIST BEATDOWN: The Persecuted Tan of Megan Fox Edition

Hey, you guys, Megan Fox! Oh, my goodness, I love Megan Fox. I don’t even know WHY; she just seems like such a jerk all the time. But a fun jerk! Like, you could buy her a drink and be jerks together. She’d say super-awful things all the time, and they’d all be entertaining and ill-advised and obscurely like 80% correct, but still terrible, and you’d love her for it. She’d be like, “so, basically, chicks hate me because of my sweet-ass rack. And yet, that very sweet-ass rack pays my rent! So I don’t care, really!” And you’d be like, “oh, Megan Fox! You are so irrepressible! Do go on!” And then some chicks in the back would be, a little too loudly and eagerly, like, “it’s not the rack! It’s what the rack says about patriarchal beauty standards! Also, the fact that you would dare question our motives in regard to the rack! We hate you more for thinking we hate the rack than we did before now, when we were hating mostly the political implications of the rack, so shut up and don’t ever imply that we have less than pure and noble reasons for hating, er, intellectually critiquing your rack!” And you’d sort of silently be like, “hmmmmmmm.” But you wouldn’t say anything, because you wrote for a feminist blog! And the chicks would come for you next! You would fail to stand up for your friend Megan Fox, and it would be very sad. And then she’d say something awful about her boss!

Oh, did you hear about the thing with her boss? This is real, actually. It is not just my Megan Fox fan fiction (WHICH I DON’T WRITE) (AND DON’T HAVE AN ENTIRE DRAWERFUL OF AT HOME) (THERE IS NOT A SERIES IN WHICH WE ARE BUDDY COPS, BY THE WAY). Megan Fox was saying terrible shit about her boss, who is Michael Bay, and also disgusting, for years. This terrible shit: It seemed pretty accurate. Like, for example, she pointed out that the Transformers movies were not good, and also that he was a fucking pain to work with because he was gross, and you wouldn’t think either of these things would be too terribly controversial. BUT THEY WERE. Because while she was saying all of this terrible stuff, people were like, “Why is that chick with the rack mouthing off so much? She seems like such a bitch.” And then she finally said something about him making her tan too much, and being verbally abusive, and he fired her, and people are now, like just now, noting that it was actually pretty risky for a B-list starlet to point out the abuse and exploitation that she went through while working for one of the more powerful directors out there. And that she still should have maybe done it anyway. Uh, whoops?

Anyway, you all know why I love Megan Fox now, apparently. But let us discuss the subject! Even further! With Amanda Hess of The Sexist!

ILLUSTRATION: Also, apparently, this happened. It is Heidi Montag auditioning for the much-coveted role of No Longer Megan Fox Girlfriend Lady in “Transformers 3.” And DON’T SAY YOU WEREN’T WARNED.


SADY: Why, hello! I come to you today in a great spirit of mourning. For an icon has fallen.

AMANDA: In the great battle of Bay v. Fox v. Robo Alien Monster Truck?

SADY: YES. The battle that shall define our times! Sort of! Basically, I’m kind of sad and kind of happy that I called this. Back when Megan Fox was mouthing off about Bay, everyone was like, “she’s only doing this because it helps her career.” And it’s just, like… How often does a woman speaking her not-entirely-complimentary mind about a much more powerful man HELP her career? We wanted to punish her then, and I’m getting a vibe of distinct celebration because we can SEE her getting punished now. By, um, being dropped from “Transformers.” Surely the worst of all fates!

AMANDA: Haha, right? Allow me to reproduce this quote from the FOXNews take on the kerfuffle: “If Megan was indeed verbally abused, and pulls back the curtain on what is really going on in Hollywood, and tells her story to the right person like Oprah, she could reach icon status,” said Associated Press pop culture reporter Natalie Rotman. “There has been a long history of tyrant male directors in Hollywood. If Bay really did verbally abuse Fox and she is the first to speak up to a bully director, it could make her a pioneer.” So, the choices for women in Hollywood are: Star in the third installment in a really really really really awful alien robot blockbuster series, or become an icon … by rejecting the idea that you, MEGAN FOX, are a sickly pale excuse for a Hot Girl.

SADY: Ha, yeah. Fair enough!

AMANDA: I love that Megan Fox is speaking out against Michael Bay, who legitimately sounds like an abusive douchebag. But I am also amused that Megan Fox could be a pioneer in the important feminist cause of “Actually, I Am Hot.” But I pretty much love everything about Megan Fox, largely because I know a lot of people hate everything about Megan Fox? To the point that there is actual cultural commentary from news sources speculating that Megan Fox not being in the third Transformers movie could hurt her career. How does that work?

SADY: Right. I mean, I do wonder, because she has been affiliated with that franchise ABOVE ALL OTHERS! Mostly because she has not ever stopped talking about how hideous working with Michael Bay is. Most of her other stuff has died an inglorious, potentially Diablo-Cody-related death.

AMANDA: Even though she got her start dancing under a waterfall in an American Flag bikini for him. How could this relationship ever sour?

SADY: Right? I really did think that those two kids could work it out! But I think it’s interesting that she has this new second life as a Feminist Pioneer thanks to the fact that we can see her statements actually have negative consequences for her. Because before, when she was saying all this, the official party line was, “Megan Fox seems like such an asshole!” It’s like, the second we could identify her as a victim, we started listening to stuff she’d been saying for years. Because now she could be officially embraced as an underdog.

AMANDA: Right. I remember when she was complaining about Michael Bay making her go look at all the Egyptian pyramids. And everyone was like “What a bitch!” But deep down I know that a trip to the pyramids with Michael Bay was probably teeming with his authoritative douchery. You just know it was!

SADY: And then there was that “mystery” blog post or whatever about what a bitch Megan Fox was for not enjoying the pyramid trip, which plenty of people speculated was written by Bay himself. I mean, I doubt that Megan Fox has suffered more than anyone else on the planet. I just genuinely think she’s a girl who can’t stop herself from complaining when she suffers. Which, you know, as a whiner and occasional asshole myself, I found myself deeply in sympathy with that response. And I think that what she’s talking about probably isn’t unusual, for Hot Girls; she’s just whiny enough to talk about it.

AMANDA: Yes… And all the complaining about Fox “mouthing off” about directors was always actually about how moviegoers think Megan Fox is hot and talentless, and therefore she is only allowed to provide masturbation material, and no personal commentary on what it’s like to be professional masturbation material. And now Michael Bay comes out and says, “You are only useful as masturbation material, and also, you are a few shades too pale and a couple sizes too small to be good enough masturbation material for me, at the current juncture.”

SADY: Right. “There are other women to whom I and the American public would prefer to masturbate! More unfamiliar, and potentially younger, and more inexperienced women! BRING FORTH THE AUDITION BIKINI! We will meet at the Audition Waterfall to discover America’s next great boner!”

AMANDA: Yeah, and it really makes you wonder what these people expect of Fox as an acting talent. Her role in Transformers, most specifically was her gyrating on alien robot cars for a couple of hours and gratuitously bending over in front of Shia LaBeouf some. And people are like, “Sheeee’s teeeerrrrrrriiiibbbbllleee!”

SADY: RIGHT? Like, when was she asked to be anything other than terrible? Was there like a point in “Transformers 3” where she would be required to recite a soliloquy from “Hamlet?” Is that why they cut her?

AMANDA: I really think that criticizing her acting skills is a way to weasel out of the truth of the situation, which is that people demand female characters that actually aren’t characters, but rather bodies. And when an actress like Fox embodies this expectation perfectly, they blame it on her lack of skill, not on their fucked up desires.

SADY: Yeah. I mean, I have seen her act, and she IS really, really bad at it. But it’s not like she was playing Margaret Thatcher, you know? And, like: Fox seemed pretty aware of that throughout. She was never (or rarely) like, “I would like to become a Serious Actress, and take on Oscar-worthy roles of massive cultural importance in tomorrow’s film classics!” She was just like, “yep. I’m a Hot Girl. Being Hot isn’t always necessarily something that I’m into! But it’s my job! And I hate it sometimes, just as you hate the data processing that you do.” She seemed so self-aware of the whole thing, being an object with a date of expiration. And now her genius is that she’s been loud enough for the date of her expiration to be announced all over as if it weren’t happening every day to every other Hot Girl in the business.

AMANDA: Yeah, and I wonder what people are actually looking for actresses to do with the Hot Girl role. Do they want them to act their way out of the Hot Girl paper bag and turn a deliberately 2-dimensional character into an actually compelling performance that makes the Hot Girl actually seem like a real person, even if she’s not supposed to be one? That sounds unreasonable. I think I’ve figured it out, actually. I think they want a Hot Girl who could also go put on a fake nose and play fucking Thatcher or whatever and win that Oscar, but also sometimes want to play dumb and sexy for the movies, because they like it. The Hot Girl transition does not appear to be in the cards for Megan Fox anytime soon though. I have perused her future projects on IMDB, and they are predictably hilarious. But also probably not as bad as Transformers 3.

SADY: PROBABLY. She has apparently done a voice-over for “Pokemon!” So when the live-action motion picture experience comes to a theater near you, I guess we know who that one Hot Lady Villain with the blue-haired sidekick will be.

AMANDA: Like, in one movie the plot is described as this: “An angel under the thumb of a ruthless gangster is saved by a trumpet player down on his luck.”

SADY: “The U.S. military makes a scarred bounty hunter with warrants on his own head an offer he cannot refuse: in exchange for his freedom, he must stop a terrorist who is ready to unleash Hell on Earth.” Is Megan Fox the scarred bounty hunter? Or Hell?

AMANDA: I WISH. In that one, she plays an olde-tyme strumpet love interest of an old western bounty hunter seeking revenge on John Malkovich for burning his face off (OR SOMETHING). I really hope they have scenes together. Fox and Malkovich.

SADY: Oh, God. The strange facial decisions! I cannot even imagine! She does shoot a gun, sexily, in the previews, if I recall correctly. But there are no olden-tymey motorcycles for her to hump/fix whilst the camera lingers lovingly on her ass, one would imagine.

AMANDA: Haha. I’m sure the camera will find something to dwell on, with that whole olde-tyme strumpet business and all.

SADY: I mean, that’s the thing. People have been calling Megan Fox “ungrateful” since forever. And I can’t figure out what she’s supposed to be grateful for. Being in the worst-reviewed film franchise of recent years? Having her ass used as a plot point and/or focus of interest for sweaty dudes who have, FOR WHATEVER BIZARRE REASON, a really strong interest in “Transformers?” Knowing the role she plays in the fantasies of said sweaty dudes, and/or professional film critics, who write her ass up as one of the view interesting points in said film franchise? Money? Sure, money. I’d be fine with money. But I get creeped out when a dude looks down my shirt on the street. Megan Fox has been, since high school, a professional Shirt down which to Look. People are just so bitter that she’s not into it! She’s not even NOT into it; she does it all the time. But she’s not like, “ohhhh, I just sit at home in my lacy underthings thinking about all you sweaty dudes and the hot things I’m going to do with your action figures when we meet.”

AMANDA: Amazing. I recently read another account of her “complaining”: In said “angel under the thumb of a ruthless gangster is saved by a trumpet player down on his luck” movie someone on set took a camera photo of her while she was standing naked in some sort of glass circus cage? For some plotline? And they sent the photo around the Internets, and she was rightfully pissed about it She was basically like, “You’re taking a picture of me naked while I’m working. I’m trying to work over here and you’re being an asshole.” And that’s the thing—people want to pretend that this sort of thing isn’t “work.” That it’s the easiest thing in the world to be what Megan Fox is, and that she is just a lazy ungrateful bitch because she makes it clear that it is work and not her personal sexy fun time.

SADY: Right. Because this “plotline” (!) that “required” her to be naked also probably “required” her to be, like, at the very least conscious of how she was standing and moving and etc. etc. etc. And it was a controlled environment, and this and that and the other. And then some dude is like, “oh, great, you’re naked! Clearly this is consent for me to send my iPhone picture of the event to the entire Internet!” Like, what was she supposed to do? Wait, don’t tell me: Be quiet and autograph something for him.

AMANDA: Like his penis.

SADY: “Megan, I have a pitch for you! It’s about a down-on-his-luck iPhone camera user and a starlet imprisoned in a glass cage who can only escape through utilizing her secret superpower. Her secret superpower is giving blowjobs. Also. Anyway, we’re auditioning for the part later, if you’re interested! If you are not interested, I will tell the Internet what a bitch you are, also. That is another part of my movie. For which I am casting. Right now.”

AMANDA: “Also in this movie the cure for ungrateful bitchiness is handjobs.”

SADY: Wow. I really think this could be Megan’s comeback!

28 Comments

  1. smadin wrote:

    So, basically:

    MICHAEL BAY: [EXPLOSIONS] [BONERS] [EXPLONERS].

    Friday, May 28, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Permalink
  2. Crito wrote:

    I am starting to think that Megan Fox is the best thing about the Transformers movie.

    The whole bikini audition thing is just disgusting. I might expect it from high school football players hazing cheerleaders, but not from a grownup.

    Oh, wait. I saw Transformers, and it was obviously not directed by a grownup.

    Friday, May 28, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Permalink
  3. Crito wrote:

    @smadin: Exploners + Mansplainers = MANSPLODERS

    Friday, May 28, 2010 at 2:38 pm | Permalink
  4. Eneya wrote:

    In short – if you play a sexy dumb thing, be a good sexy dumb thing and be grateful that some dudes masturbate while thinking of you and don’t dare to comment that this is just work and actually a shitty one.

    Otherwise one would think that an actress that plays sexy dumb thing have rights and dignity and are actually human. And we can’t possibly have this, could we. Because this would mean that every person deserves his/her rights to be kept and one’s work doesn’t change that.

    Hmmm.

    Friday, May 28, 2010 at 2:54 pm | Permalink
  5. Skye wrote:

    I may not stop laughing for a year. Thank you for this post.

    Friday, May 28, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Permalink
  6. RebeccaS wrote:

    I remember when the whole “OMG Megan Fox said Transformers isn’t good!” and I thought, “Heh, she’s honest.” Then Bay got all huffy! And I was like, “Wait, he thinks his movies are really good? Like, not just good-for-what-they-are, but objectively artistic? Oh, honey.” (Disclaimer: I enjoyed the first movie! I am a geek child of the 80s and I squeed when Optimus Prime showed up.)

    Friday, May 28, 2010 at 3:31 pm | Permalink
  7. solara wrote:

    Yeah . . . I squealed pretty loudly when Optimus Prime came on screen, and when the BBEG (big bad evil guy) for Transformers 2 came on also. But they were not exactly great works of art, or even terribly original. And, since I hate Shia le whatever (and watched the movie mainly to see him in pain, and Megan Fox being sexy hot) I’ll be seeing Transformers 3 on video.

    Thanks for cheering up my Friday afternoon, guys.

    Friday, May 28, 2010 at 4:10 pm | Permalink
  8. belmanoir wrote:

    I would SO read fanfiction about you and Megan Fox being buddy cops.

    Friday, May 28, 2010 at 5:29 pm | Permalink
  9. CassieC wrote:

    That’s the whole “working girl” euphemism thing: can’t ever admit that it’s work. It’s like fight club that way, but fight club was manly, and being a hot girl is girly and stupid and SHUT UP!

    The patriarchy can’t have its pinups going around mouthing off that they’re bored silly and think the P is kinda dim and overbearing to boot, no sir. That, right there, kills boners.

    If women would just say what they think, well, dim overbearing guys would never have boners again. The tragedy!

    Friday, May 28, 2010 at 7:40 pm | Permalink
  10. Andrew wrote:

    I’ve only read the intro so far but I had to comment because I’m so excited that someone besides me likes Megan Fox for the same reasons I do. High fives to you, Sady.

    Friday, May 28, 2010 at 7:46 pm | Permalink
  11. Andrew wrote:

    Wow, and the actual conversation was EVEN BETTER! I love both of you so much right now. And always, really.

    Friday, May 28, 2010 at 7:53 pm | Permalink
  12. soveryunhip wrote:

    I love you guys. Also, Eneya’s comment.

    Friday, May 28, 2010 at 9:25 pm | Permalink
  13. Tavi wrote:

    A+, duh. On a disturbing note, I always thought Michael Bay kind of looked like Warren Jeffs.

    Friday, May 28, 2010 at 11:01 pm | Permalink
  14. Nomie wrote:

    I do not want Megan Fox to play Wonder Woman, as I have seen posted about the intertubes today. But I think she generally has a pretty good take on what her job entails – and what it should not entail, to wit: harassment and abuse. And right the fuck on, Ms. Fox, for talking about it. For whatever reason.

    Sady, I would totally watch the show where you and Megan Fox are buddy cops.

    Saturday, May 29, 2010 at 12:37 am | Permalink
  15. Gayle Force wrote:

    I love Megan Fox because she refuses to stay in the “dumb, sexy ladyobject” role. Because that ladyobject is never supposed to point out that it’s an act. And that’s the thing: it IS an act, and Megan Fox correctly identifies it as work. It’s a job. And I think men get a little upset that, indeed, she really isn’t all about their [BONERS].

    Saturday, May 29, 2010 at 12:48 am | Permalink
  16. firefly wrote:

    Crito: “I might expect it from high school football players hazing cheerleaders, but not from a grownup.” Isn’t that worse, in a way? It’s sad that our cultures lets both hormonal teenagers and grown men to think it “normal” or “typical” to abuse women this way.

    Saturday, May 29, 2010 at 12:40 pm | Permalink
  17. Travis wrote:

    I never really understood the Internet fascination with Megan Fox, and I’ve been completely unaware of the Megan Fox hate that’s been going on. I just assumed that somehow MF became some sort of hybrid creature: half sex object and half Internet meme, like Chuck Norris with pretty nice boobs.

    Personally, I associate the Transformers movies with Micahel Bay first (who’s a hack and a joke, and who I hated before the movie was even OUT because of what a jerk he was to Transformers fans), and Shia “nononononononono” LeBeouf second. LeBeouf should really stick to penguin roles.

    All the Megan Fox hate reminds me of guys who go to strip clubs and talk about how this or that dancer “was totally digging on him”. Her refusal to validate the delusions of horny males even if it would help her career makes her, if not a great actress, at least a very professional one.

    Saturday, May 29, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Permalink
  18. smadin wrote:

    @Tavi:

    I always thought Michael Bay kind of looked like Warren Jeffs.

    AAAAAAAAAAH. I am never going to be able to get that association out of my head. So, thanks for that.

    Saturday, May 29, 2010 at 9:07 pm | Permalink
  19. T. wrote:

    Oh, anybody remember that thing with her fan and that rose? She and her bodyguards had been trying to make their way through a teeming crowd of sweaty boners. On the way, one of those sweaty boners held up a rose near her and said “I love you, Megan!” and she didn’t notice, because of course she didn’t. How could she? The next day, blogs were going on about how bitchy she was for ‘ignoring’ that one kid.

    So, apparently we actually expect our Hot Girls to literally be omniscient mythological goddesses who have a thousand arms to accept all our roses and a thousand mouths to say they love us back.

    Sunday, May 30, 2010 at 2:55 pm | Permalink
  20. Eneya wrote:

    T. it’s about how women are perceived. Women are someone that you’d (we are speaking from male perspective now) like to fuck, so being nice/dumb elevates the chances you have in your brain that she’ll say yes. Because there are hundreds of women who wouldn’t sleep with you (still male perspective), have dignity, are “bitchy” and want some bizarre things as “treating them as human beings, not just walking sex dolls who’s only desire is to sleep with you.

    On the other hand, men are never called “bitchy” when they act macho or to cool to have time for fans. Because this is manly and alpha… being cool. And you want to be like him, you want to be able to ignore all those squeaking fen, because you are awesome (also male, did I mentioned that I am speaking from male point of view?).

    Of course, this attitude is highly stereotypical and not all men are like that. But it explains a bit, doesn’t it?

    Sunday, May 30, 2010 at 7:14 pm | Permalink
  21. julian wrote:

    As usual I haven’t much to say other than that I totally agree with all said here. Tiger Beatdown for the win.

    Sunday, May 30, 2010 at 11:52 pm | Permalink
  22. Kripa wrote:

    Now don’t get me wrong, I sympathize with Megan Fox for pointing out that Michael Bay is horrible to work with, and Lord knows his auditions are gross and misogynist.
    But why the fuck are you such a fan of hers? She noticed that Mr. Bay is a sexist sack of shit. Big fucking deal. His making her audition in a bikini washing his car didn’t tip her off? All right, well, I suppose I’m glad MF is calling him on it now.
    But still. She herself hasn’t been female-friendly. Her comments about women have been pretty heinous. You just glossed over that entirely. Yeah, fine, go ahead and have a beer and keep talking about how uggo women hate on her for being beautiful and that’s why women suck. Or something. I mean really? No, just…no. Ms. Fox does not get a free pass with me, even if I take her side against Michael Bay.

    Sunday, May 30, 2010 at 11:56 pm | Permalink
  23. Eneya wrote:

    Kripa, I don’t like Megan Fox and in the rare occasions I read her interviews, I am baffled by the sheer stupidity in them.

    OK, she is not the poster child of feminism, nobody is saying she is. What we comment here is not what kind of person or a feminist (for example) she is but what she did and why. You are just switching the topic.
    We can’t wait for the perfect person with the perfect motives and attitude, because when he/she comes and speaks her/his mind, it’s rarely a popular person or is ignored.
    That’s the reason, at least for me to enjoy her actions.

    They can’t shut her up that easy and she is working in an industry that rarely has women in her roles and positions who describe what happens.

    This is what counts.

    Monday, May 31, 2010 at 7:21 am | Permalink
  24. Kripa wrote:

    Eneya, forget not being a poster child of feminism. Might as well say that Sarah Palin, or the Twilight franchise, “isn’t the poster child of feminism.” Fox has said stuff that’s outright misogynist and slut-shaming. Let me be clear: I’m as glad as anyone that she has spoken up.
    But Sady opens up with like, an *ode* to MF, and that really really turned me off. And in light of the fact that Sady made a post on Liz Lemon-ism not too long ago? I feel like Sady’s opening paragraph *here* just completely undercuts that.

    Monday, May 31, 2010 at 10:51 am | Permalink
  25. Eneya wrote:

    I think Sady was sarcastic. :)

    If Palin happens to say something good, I will be glad for that too, or if it’s Mayer, I will be genuinely surprised but still.

    I am just saying that if we comment on the negative actions of popular women, there would be one hell of a big series of rants. And although there are reasons for that, it’s very tiresome to be negative all the time.

    “90 percent of the population of the planer are idiots” is quite a popular saying and some days, I really feel like it’s true. But still, when there is something positive, be positive about it. :) We know that Megan Fox is irritating and misogynistic.

    Tuesday, June 1, 2010 at 8:35 am | Permalink
  26. carovee wrote:

    An angel under the thumb of a ruthless gangster is saved by a trumpet player down on his luck. .

    They are remaking the Rat Race? With Megan Fox in Debbie Reynolds’ role? I’m sad that these days a dame can’t be down on her luck without ending up naked in a glass cage.

    Tuesday, June 1, 2010 at 5:19 pm | Permalink
  27. kingead wrote:

    Kripa, maybe you should have read beyond that “ode” then? (And nice use of “uggos,” by the way. So classy!)

    Sady, I’m looking forward to an unexpected leak of your buddy cop fanfiction.

    Wednesday, June 2, 2010 at 10:21 pm | Permalink
  28. sarita wrote:

    I saw a post on io9 about Fox’s replacement and thought y’all would “enjoy” her audition:

    Rosie wore a white, see-through lingerie top and panties. Shia [LaBoeuf] was there to run lines with her. It was a formality, she had the part, but she had to meet Shia to see if they gelled. Having her in as little clothing as possible was just the icing on the cake. When she walked down a staircase in that outfit – wow.

    Congratulation, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, and good luck!

    Read here: http://io9.com/5554088/awesome-tron-legacy-billboard-how-sexy-will-transformers-3-get-plus-when-youll-see-tony-stark-next

    Thursday, June 3, 2010 at 12:08 pm | Permalink