Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Seen

a People magazine photograph of TV host Ty Pennington in a bubble bath in his apartment, playing with rubber ducks and a toy truck and laughing with his mouth wide open
Television Host and Grown Man Ty Pennington playing with toys in
his bathtub while giggling uproariously, in People magazine.

Every conceivable thing about this picture annoys me—which has nothing to do with Ty Pennington himself (although, for the record, I find him insufferably annoying, too). It just invokes so many different horrendo narratives of the Patriarchy: Boys will boys (and men will be boys, too); women are grown-ups but men are children; it's adorable when men are immature/refuse to grow up/are just Big Kids, etc. All of which have dire consequences for women (and lots of men, too), perhaps especially straight/bi women disconnected from advanced feminist ideas who partner with infantile men in an emotionally discordant relationship that our culture incessantly assures them is adorable and fun.

And there's a lot of intersectional and class privilege stuff going on there, too, especially in the context of the larger article, which is all about the custom redesign of his Manhattan condo.

I could spend the next hour deconstructing all this stuff, but it would really just be a long way of saying this picture aggravates the shit out of me.

I don't know to whom it's supposed to appeal, exactly. But it ain't me.