Monday, September 29, 2008

Scarlett Johansson's progressive cleavage

Rather than a mere excuse to post photos of Scarlett Johansson displaying her ample cleavage, the starlet's nuptials -- she reportedly tied the knot over the weekend with her "soul mate," some actor I never heard of -- are an occasion to reflect on how traditional marriage has become countercultural and politically incorrect. (But don't worry, we'll also get in plenty of cleavage.)

Two years ago, Johansson seemed to suggest she was dangerously promiscuous:
"I get tested for HIV twice a year," she declared. "One has to be socially aware. It's part of being a decent human to be tested for STDs. It's just disgusting behaviour when people don't. It's so irresponsible."
Which means that I'm not a "decent human being," because I have never been tested for HIV. Avoiding HIV is not all that difficult, and 20 years of monogamy kind of eases one's worries on that score. Johansson denied being easy, but was rather ambiguous about it:
"There does seem to be a mistaken belief out there that I am sexually available somehow which is not to say that I'm not open-minded about sex. . . .
"Yet I wouldn't say I'm a serial monogamist, either. I mean, I went through periods of time when I was, ah, single. But when I'm in a relationship, I'm in a relationship."
What is important to Johansson image-wise, you see, is that she not be seen as a prude -- only unenlightened troglodytes are judgmental about promiscuity -- yet she is simultaneously careful to convey the idea that she is not a total slut.

Johansson's concern about displaying the appropriate bien pensant tolerance toward sexual promiscuity is essentially political, as she made clear with her remarks to Cosmopolitan in November 2006:
"We are supposed to be liberated in America, but if our President had his way, we wouldn't be educated about sex at all," she told Cosmopolitan.
"Every woman would have six children and we wouldn't be able to have abortions."
In other words, because Republicans are in favor of traditional morality, all enlightened people must mock and deride traditional morality. One must be "educated about sex," scoff at people who have large families (my wife and I have six children), and defend abortion as the sine qua non of personal liberty.

However, notice that the enlightened Johansson never says whether she has actually had an abortion. This would not be a fashionable admission, any more so than it would be fashionable for Johansson to go into the details of exactly why she felt so at-risk of HIV infection as to have herself tested twice a year. The personal may be political, as the feminists tell us, but one doesn't get points for progressive enlightenment merely by protecting one's self-interest. It is important that the bien pensant advocate progressive values in a disinterested and selfless manner.

And thus it is altogether fitting that Johansson, having publicly expressed her disdain of traditional morality, should now take the seemingly incongruous step of committing herself to that most traditional of institutions, marriage.

This is not hypocrisy, however. In the eyes of our enlightened progressive elite, only conservatives can ever be accused of hypocrisy. Johansson's marriage only demonstrates her sublimely enlightenend tolerance -- she defends an abstract right to engage in sexual deviance, even though she herself is so blandly bourgeois. What counts to the progressive is that everyone must agree that there is no such thing as "normal," much less any old-fashioned conception of "right" and "wrong."

It is this posture as a Platonic philosopher-king (or queen) that is the essence of progressivism. You can be as rich as you want, so long as you engage in the proper public displays of sympathy for the poor. You can outspokenly disdain violence and appropriately emote about the rights of criminals, but this is not inconsistent with employing armed security guards or living in a gated enclave. And you can get married at age 23, so long as you publicly scorn any suggestion that traditional morality is in any way superior to other modes of behavior.

If you can't quite grasp the underlying principle involved in all this, it is merely further proof of your inferiority. If you were truly enlightened and well-meaning, the apparent contradictions would be as invisible to you as they are to Scarlett Johansson.

By the way, don't dare accuse Scarlett Johansson of failing to uphold feminist ideals because she so frequently displays her abundant cleavage. The failure is entirely yours. How dare you enjoy staring at her cleavage, you sexist swine!

Remember: Equality Is For Ugly Losers.

UPDATE: Dr. Melissa Clouthier shows her cleavage progressive enlightenment by linking me.

UPDATE II: Damned with faint praise by Clark Stooksbury.


  1. my wife and I have six children


    A bit on the low side, but that'll keep you out of trouble.

  2. I agree with much of what you wrote about Scarlett J., but I have a soft spot in my heart for her because I saw a video of her with our troops in the Persian Gulf, signing autographs, shaking hands, and posing for pictures with them. Also, I liked her in Lost in Translation.