The new Amy Winehouse doco is getting a lot of good reviews; some more substantive than others. One particular perspective stood out to me, and it’s gripping title; Patriarchy, male entitlement, & capitalist greed killed Amy Winehouse, not boozing by Meghan Murphy definitely caught my eye..
Meghan states>> (sic) “As I watched her very public and publicized downfall, as she was abandoned to her addictions, depression, now-apparent eating disorder, and struggles with the pressures of fame, I noticed the different treatment she received in the media.
Male substance abusers are often afforded a certain level of respect no matter how much they drink or use drugs — women, less so. Framed as “trainwrecks,” unfeminine and embarrassing, both pitied and mocked — women are meant to maintain composure and class in a way men aren’t expected to. Generally, drunkenness in men is viewed as normal and acceptable whereas women who party are portrayed as messy, trashy, slutty, and deserving of any “punishment” they receive (see: the victim blaming of rape victims who were under the influence when assaulted) for their unladylike behaviour.
As pointed out by Molly Beauchemin in Pitchfork, “Men who grapple with issues that coincide with art and fame are canonized in death.” Indeed, male addicts are romanticized as troubled artists while women who struggle with addiction or mental illness or both, as the two often go hand in hand, are seen as disasters. Kurt Cobain is one example Beauchemin offers who has most certainly been painted as tragic and as having suffered, but also as a universally-respected genius. (Conveniently, many have blamed Courtney Love for his heroin addiction and his death.) Amy, in comparison, hasn’t been treated with anywhere near the respect Cobain was and her death was seen by many as expected and deserved.
I watched Amy on Sunday night, prepared to feel sadness and loss, but less prepared for the level of anger I felt as I left the theatre. She didn’t die, as the media told us, because she was a lost cause who cared only for boozing and nothing else. Amy died because the men in her life were selfish, careless, capitalists who faked compassion for cameras when it was convenient, but only in order to boost their own “careers,” fill their bank accounts, and satisfy their own needs. More broadly, she died because of a culture built on greed, misogyny, and individualism”.
Full article: > Feminist Current