Superstar - The SSL Review

Okay - I'm just going to admit that my posting-every-3-to-4-days schedule that I had kept the last couple years is not something I'm gonna keep up with at the moment. I'll get back there, but I'm just going to be completely honest and say I'm going for a once a week situation for a while until things with my move and new job and all the stuff that goes with that get more settled.

So that's that. Now, I'm here to write a post, and that post is an SSL Review of none other than Superstar starring Molly Shannon as Mary Katherine Gallagher. I was staying at my sister's house last night while we were on a quick visit back to Indy. After much too long of searching through streaming media services (because that shit always takes way too goddamn long), we settled on watching this classic, and I might even say actually quite funny, 90's SNL flick. My teen niblings (this is a real word for nieces and nephews - look it up)  hadn't seen it before or hadn't even ever seen Mary Katherine Gallagher smell the sweat under her own armpits. They liked it too.

Seriously, I remember thinking this movie was pretty hilarious back in the day, and although it had largely horrible reviews, I say fuck those reviews - I was pleasantly surprised at how dumb and funny I still found it. It's a solid watch, and -bonus- there was one tiny little line in it that made it SSL Reviewable, so all the better for me.

An SSL Review, for those that need a little refresher is a review specifically of any discussion or depiction of female orgasm, female masturbation, or the clit. I critique the realism of the depiction/discussion and also write about what the depiction/discussion says about our cultural understanding of female sexuality and orgasm as well as what the depiction/discussion adds to our cultural knowledge on those subjects. I try my best to just stick specifically to those SSL Reviewable moments and often don't talk much about the quality of the rest of the movie...unless I want to talk about it. See all the other movie SSL Reviews HERE and the TV SSL Reviews HERE.

The line was small, but I thought a telling one and worth a review. Enjoy.

Buttons, Holes, and Poles: the line in question
It's not easy to explain exactly what was going on in the plot, but here's a quick summary to get you into the feel of the movie. The Catholic high school that Mary Katherine Gallagher attends is hosting a "Let's Fight Venereal Disease Talent Contest" sponsored by a Catholic magazine, and the top prize is a chance to be an extra in a Hollywood movie with positive moral values. Mary Katherine Gallagher wants to be a SUPERSTAR, so she enters the contest and hilarity ensues.

That's the background that you actually don't really need. So anyway, at one point the Priest/principal of the school says to a student in relation to the venereal disease theme of the talent contest:

"Girls have a button, boys have a pole, and wicked touching takes its toll."

Here's the deal. Pole does not rhyme with button. It rhymes with hole. The writers could have used hole to equate with boys' poles, but they didn't. They, quite correctly, used button. Button insinuates clit and hole, well, insinuates vaginal opening.

Let me be clear. Penises are the male pleasure organ in the same way the clitoral glans (the lady-button) is the female pleasure organ. Lady-holes are not the female pleasure organ.

The father was wise and correct in his comparison even though it is way more common, I believe, to hear people equating the penis in boys to the vagina (as in the hole) in females. That's a bullshit comparison because the vagina, contrary to popular belief, is not a thing like the penis that can be stimulated into orgasm. You might think it would be because we so often see women depicted as orgasming from penises ramming into their vaginal holes, but that's just some myth. In fact in all of scientific literature, stimulating the vaginal canal has never been physically shown to cause orgasm in a woman. It just hasn't.

But stimulating the button or the pole sure the fuck has - numerous times.

So, my point here is that I feel like there was a conscious decision by someone in the writer room to say button instead of hole as a way to sort of give props to the button, and I think that's important because the button does not get near enough props. It's sadly and stupidly always being seen as second pleasure fiddle to the hole even though it is so clearly not just the first fiddle but really the only fiddle game in town (if we're talking about orgasms). I know that's a lot of metaphor, but I think you get my drift.

THE BUTTON, NOT THE HOLE, IS EQUIVALENT TO THE POLE, and the more we hear that out loud, the more likely it will sink into our cultural brain that lady-gasms come from clit stimulation and not poundings.

Satan Ain't No Chump
I have an honorary SSL Reviewable scene too. One of the weirdo gals in Mary Katherine Gallagher's class likes to act like she is kind of possessed by Satan, himself. She brings Satan up a lot, but she's cool though. Anyway, at the end of the movie we see random couples getting together and kissing in that end of the movie sort of way. When it cuts to her, though, she starts pushing her dude's head down out of frame like she's telling him to eat her out.
I just like it because I like anything that insinuates women like to do sex stuff other than getting banged...but especially getting eaten out - because a tongue on one's clit is, well, it's a lovely thing and we should be reminding everyone of that more.

The Vulva Rating
So, I might be wrong that the choice of button instead of hole was a conscious love-the-clit choice, but even if it wasn't, it still said button and not hole. That in and of itself is a little victory for the lady-gasm given that the clitoral glans - the literal thing that causes female orgasm - is so often ignored in our sexual discussions yet the hole where penises go in, babies come out, and orgasms don't seem to be stimulated from - is constantly being brought up.

Obviously, I also LOVE seeing a girl depicted as desiring oral sex given that clit licking is a viable way to actually orgasm.

These were small choices. They weren't over-the-top orgasm equality progressive, but they were small wins towards orgasm equality.

I give Superstar a 4 out of 5 vulva rating.


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