What Rough Beast?


by Phyllis Chesler

Have I grown “too long in the tooth,” become unfashionably old-fashioned? Have I finally lost my radical edge and become—oh dear God—a boring traditional? Do I belong to an era that’s well on its way out, to a time long gone by? Am I—of all people—suddenly prudish?

I. Am. Not. And yet I, am mortally, mightily, offended, even shamed by all the beautiful actresses on stage and on the Red Carpet at the Academy Awards wearing haute couture in which their perfected breasts are half-bared and with skirts slitted right up to their hips. I mourn the loss of less-is-more, the glamour, style, and dignity of yore.

Therefore, I salute Cate Blanchett, (Louie Vuitton) Jamie Lee Curtis, (Dolce & Gabbana), Michelle Yeoh (Dior), Michelle Williams (Chanel), Stephanie Hsu (Valentino), Andrea Riseborough (Alexander McQueen), and Malala Yousafzai (Ralph Lauren) for their silky, sparkling dresses which dared leave something to the imagination.

This view of mine is only seemingly contradictory given my position on niqab and the burqa, even on hijab, now that women in Iran and Afghanistan are risking beatings, prison, and death for demanding the right not to be forced into covering their hair. However, while one might oppose the burqa, one need not necessarily embrace nearly bare-breasted female singers and actresses, crawling around on the floor like savage animals, imitating orgies with the Devil.

None of the male actors, musicians, producers, editors, screenwriters, or sound effect mavens at the Academy Awards bared any part of their private parts. Most wore suits and tuxedos. A very few wore shirts open to their mid-chests but there was nothing seductive or eye-catching about it, nothing “provocative” to see there.

Such half-naked dressing is a dreadful form of appeasement, a dangerous, terrified conformity. Pre- adolescent and adolescent girls copy this style. They are soon prey for perverts. Music videos celebrate writhing, half naked women, almost bare-breasted, almost bare-assed—and they’re famous, presumably wealthy, they’re the new role models for the masses.

Have we truly entered a new kind of barbarism, birthed a terrible Second Coming? If so, as the great Irish poet once wrote:

“And what rough beast, its hour come round at/last,/Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?”


35 Responses

  1. I agree about the nakedness. It was unfortunate. I didn’t understand the poem, but that has nothing to do with my opinion.

    1. The Second Coming
      Turning and turning in the widening gyre
      The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
      Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
      Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
      The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
      The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
      The best lack all conviction, while the worst
      Are full of passionate intensity.

      Surely some revelation is at hand;
      Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
      The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
      When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
      Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
      A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
      A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
      Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
      Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
      The darkness drops again; but now I know
      That twenty centuries of stony sleep
      Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
      And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
      Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

  2. For women it’s either cover yourself to the eyeballs, or writhe around half-naked. And it’s all about how a woman should appear to the men of her society, nothing about her dignity as a human being.

  3. I agree with Phyllis’ shock at the dresses, slashed and cut in the most revealing ways, as I felt it too. I felt more entranced by the sparkles and lace on those women who felt a dress-up occasion was an opportunity to wear colorful, beautifully designed, ruffled and hand-worked threads to show their delight in being there, rather than almost nothing at all. Some of our younger presenters should not have revealed their secrets, and at least worn something over their less attractive parts. I don’t think I’m prudish; I just looking forward to seeing what lovely lines, colors and shapes that clothing designers can create, that young women, and even older women look absolutely gorgeous in.

  4. exactly. The “naked dress” fashion, wherein all that is truly concealed are nipples and pubis,
    flashed before billions on TV…one’s first thought must always be sexual because there is no way to avoid the onslaught. This in turn devalues the wearers’ sexuality –“So much flesh all around me–such a surfeit. It’s cheap.” So this is where our hard-wrought Second Stage feminism has landed.

    1. But the naked get the rave reviews some one actually was showing people who idd not fit with the new carpet color the Rock because his Jacket mached the carpet and most of women were fully coverd alot of these women just look like tramps and womder why men look down on them some may as well have been naked they showd it all

  5. Why buy a cow when milk is so cheap?

    Doesn’t decent dressing add to one’s dignity, elevate the conversation, and not cause sex to be the bottom line of everything? Isn’t sexualizing everything supposed to be a male trait?

    1. Remove God from the equasion and everything falls apart and it has been gradually happening hence when everything made is all about sex, everything is all about sex. It is the contraceptive mentality. Real research absolutely reveals the real TRUTH. Truth is out there and we, as humans, are obliged to find it and not buy into what is spoon fed to us. People want to balk about modesty but it is what is needed. Feminist hate men and they have turned women inti all they hate, that is men! Women are sinking lower and do not even know it.

      1. Does that mean you agree with the dress code enforced by the adherents to the MURDEROUS IDEOLOGY of ISLAM?

  6. Pingback: Too Complicated
  7. Is it possible that some celebrities have nothing to show for their popularity but their bodies? They gather rosebuds while they may, before wrinkles in time produce dismay.
    Suppose there was no one to blame; then what would you say?
    If fans are thereby attracted, perhaps they prefer ephemeral beauty to frozen, unchanging Venus de Milo or David.

  8. recall talking to a fashion photographer some years back who did allot of work in miami telling me that he was quite surprised to see that the models in scant bikinis got no attention from men. I am appalled at the fashions on display at awards ceremonies and the MET gala. started by Pat Buckley who personified class and dignity. I recall quite well spending time at magazine stands looking at the haute couture on covers of beautifully dressed women.
    I am sick and tired of this and was really pleased at a great deal of class and style for this oscar presentation. I also recall when being dressed like some of these tramps would result in arrest.

    1. Leaving something to the imagine, holds the viewer’s attention.
      Exposing everything, you’ve seen one, you have seen them all.

  9. Apparently, Hollywood has not learned from the “me too’ movement. Hollywood actresses wanted to be taken seriously, but they are now doing a terrible dis-service to the entire entertainment field. I’m not sure what the naked actresses are trying to prove. They surely are not role models for young, impressionable girls, as they are sending the wrong message about what true femininity and womanhood is all about.

    1. Sorry, Karen, but you are incorrect on all points. The #MeToo movement was a farce and the only reason some of the men, like Harvey Weinstein, were taken to task were because they were no longer useful. Some of those women knew exactly what Harvey Weinstein was but they continued on anyway. As for the role-model part, these women are what young girls want to emulate. Men used to be accused of thinking with there little heads. If you were honest, you would see that women do exactly the same thing. Not mansplaining, just voicing my opinion.

  10. 1. Indoctrinated sheep….only following peer group pressure to keep-up with the crowd. Only ambition is to “out-nekkid” the previous atrocity.
    2. Desperate females trying to attract attention from feminized “male metrosexuals”.
    3. Direct attack on Biblical teaching of modesty.

  11. I loved all the classics back in the day, I have not watched the Oscars in a long time, they no longer have the class they use to

  12. I equate today’s fashion to the decline in morality, respect, and no God. Prophets have always counseled us to dress modestly. This counsel is founded on the truth that the human body is God’s sacred creation. Respect your body as a gift from God. Through your dress and appearance, you can show the Lord that you know how precious your body is.

    We need to bring back God into our culture and world.

  13. I agree that the nakedness isn’t fashion at all. It is public display of satanic degradation of a woman’s body. It does not portray respectful dignity. All and any woman that publicly dresses in such perverted naked apparel looks like a professional prostitute needing business, not a professional talented singer or actress. Fashion should enhance beauty, dignity, respect and admiration. Also for as attraction to men, it should ignite curiosity and imagination.

  14. Art has to suffer as do all things that go against the grain, the Academy Awards are no exception…..Their anti American antics, colossal disrespect for the audience by subjecting them to rants and raves about their political dislikes have earned them a loss of the audience who pay upfront to go see not the movies of “their choice” but those of the highly politicized wokers that now run the show……Academy of rewards for the zoo….

  15. I fully expect that the red carpet interviewerss will have NOTHING to comment on but jewelry, belts, hand bags and shoes as the stars will be naked.

    1. All that have noticed the way they were dress are all so true. What are these women are thinking dressing that way You are all correct.

  16. I did not watch the “awards” because I couldn’t care less what a bunch of actors say or how they insult everyone who doesn’t agree with them. That being said, women have dressed badly since Cher was actually good looking. Some do have grace and style but the younger the actress the worse they dress.

  17. A night of nudity at the residences of ‘The Munsters’ and ‘The Addams Family’ will be the design inspiration for the 2024 Academy Awards. ‘Tales from the Crypt’ would be an appropriate theme.

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