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Well, well, well – look at this. Is the conversation about #rapeculture starting to take on a shade of sanity?

16 Oct

These two articles are only tangentially related to the main story today, but they demonstrate just how schizophrenic mainstream, feminist-influenced media has become.

This is Maria Kang, the mother of three children, who is *gasp* not a lardass, and who feels like other women can make the decision not to be lardasses themselves.

The horror!

maria

She got called all kinds of names by women who feel “fat-shamed” by Maria and her three gorgeous sons and her sculpted abs and Maria is just such a bitch to point out that when it comes to weight, for most of us, it’s “your body, your choice”.

Blah blah blah BEAUTY STANDARDS blah blah blah FAT ACCEPTANCE blah blah blah SEXUAL OBJECTIFICATION blah blah blah….

http://jezebel.com/fit-ab-baring-mom-issues-faux-pology-over-judgey-faceb-1445844576

Nothing particularly surprising about that, except when you consider it next to this article about Melissa McCarthy.

melissa

Now all of sudden the bitchy whiners are on the opposite side of the fence.

HER COAT IS TOO BIG WHY DIDN’T YOU OVERTLY SEXUALIZE HER WE CAN’T SEE HER TITS OH MY GOD THIS IS SEXIST AND FATPHOBIC AND I DEMAND TO SEE MORE SKIN

http://www.thegloss.com/2013/10/10/fashion/melissa-mccarthy-reese-witherspoon-penelope-cruz-shailene-woodley-elle/

What

The

Fuck?

Could you pick a goddamn side here?  Are we sexualizing actresses and forcing them to display their bodies in a totally demeaning way that simply needs to stop, or are we not?  Is it only acceptable when fat women are sexualized? Why would that be?  Do we have an agenda here, whereby fat lumpy women are the only acceptable objects of sexual desire?

The incoherence is turning the conversation about bodies and objectification and sexism into a joke that even the thickest plank can recognize.

And the same thing appears to finally be happening with #rapeculture.  We have the “new Steubenville” all over the news today, with two young teenage girls alleging they were raped by local football stars, one of whom happens to be politically connected.

http://www.kansascity.com/2013/10/12/4549775/nightmare-in-maryville-teens-sexual.html

It’s the same story, all over again.  Daisy liked Matthew and she found his attention flattering.  Daisy and Paige got hammered one night and Daisy texted Matthew and a meeting was arranged.  Everyone drank a whole lot of alcohol and sex happened.  Rather than pledging his undying love for Daisy, Matthew took her home and left her semi-conscious on her front lawn in freezing temperatures.

That was a dick move, for sure.

But what if it hadn’t happened that way?  What if Matthew had tucked her into his bottom bunk and wrapped her up in his favourite flannel sleeping bag and greeted her the next morning with some toast and tea and asked her to go steady?

couple

Would it still be rape? Or just a hilarious story they recounted to the cheerleading squad about how it all began?

http://judgybitch.com/2013/10/10/hypothesis-its-only-rape-when-he-doesnt-fall-in-love/

Maybe Matthew did rape Daisy.  Maybe it all went down just as the two girls claim it did.  Maybe it was straight up voracious sexual predator takes down innocent prey. The trouble with that story is that the PREY MADE HERSELF VULNERABLE.

Cue the screams of “victim-blaming”…. Don’t fucking bother leaving your comments on this blog, because I won’t publish them.

seatbelt

Wear your seatbelt.  It’s a sensible precaution if you get in an accident.  The accident may not be your fault, but it will be your fault if you get severely injured by failing to take that reasonable precaution.

Wear a helmet when you ride your bike.  It’s a sensible precaution if you get in an accident.  The accident may not be your fault, but it will be your fault if you get severely injured by failing to take that reasonable precaution.

 

It’s not victim-blaming.  It’s victim-preventing.

And finally, some voices come out of the dark to state the obvious:  Emily Yoffe at Slate earned herself a mountain of hate by writing The best rape prevention: tell college women to stop getting so wasted.

 

Young women are getting a distorted message that their right to match men drink for drink is a feminist issue.

As soon as the school year begins, so do reports of female students sexually assaulted by their male classmates. A common denominator in these cases is alcohol, often copious amounts, enough to render the young woman incapacitated. But a misplaced fear of blaming the victim has made it somehow unacceptable to warn inexperienced young women that when they get wasted, they are putting themselves in potential peril.

http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2013/10/sexual_assault_and_drinking_teach_women_the_connection.html

Emily’s solution to this problem is to try and move the cultural conversation towards attaching shame and stigma to being black-out wasted.

I don’t believe any of these statistics will move in the right direction until binge drinking joins smoking, drunk driving, and domestic abuse as behaviors that were once typical and are now unacceptable. Reducing binge drinking is going to require education, enforcement, and a change in campus social culture. These days the weekend stretches over half the week and front-loading and boot and rally are major extracurricular activities. Puking in your hair, peeing in your pants, and engaging in dangerous behaviors have to stop being considered hilarious escapades or proud war stories and become a source of disgust and embarrassment.

Fair enough.  It really is getting rather nauseating, watching drunk young women act like base animals in the street. This girl is actually shitting on the sidewalk, in full view of pedestrians.

shitgirl

Seriously?  Gross.  Her friend joins her a few minutes later to urinate on the same piece of sidewalk.  Disgusting.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2461512/Swansea-woman-pictured-defecating-street.html

I’m delighted to see Emily at least tackle the problem, but “stop binge drinking” is not going to work anymore than prohibition worked.  The real solution is for both women and men to have a sense of loyalty and solidarity with their friends.

You never leave your man behind.

Or in this case, your woman.

It’s deeply ingrained in male culture.  The Marine who drops back to help a little boy finish his 5K race.  I defy you not to cry.

That feeling used to be part of female culture, too.

You play for a team, and you keep each other safe.  Every person I know who is over the age of 30 greets that idea with “well, duh”.  Why don’t young women do this anymore?  Why don’t they protect each other, not from “ooh scary rapists lurking everywhere”, but from their own impaired judgement?

It must be partly because women simply don’t think they should be held responsible for impaired judgement, but also because the mantra of “strong, independent woman” forecloses the possibility of “stupid, irresponsible girl”.

Daisy and Paige were stupid.  Paige is now coming forward with her story, claiming the boys “separated them and made them drink more”.  Oh really?  So they forcibly dragged you into separate rooms and sat on your chests and poured alcohol down your throats?

Really?

I doubt it.

http://jezebel.com/the-second-alleged-maryville-rape-victim-speaks-it-wa-1446110042

Daisy and Paige let each other down.

Apparently, there is video footage of at least one couple having sex.  Perhaps it really does show an assault.  Perhaps not.  Whatever it shows, that shouldn’t stop us from pointing out that girls like Daisy and Paige and the Steubenville girl and every other girl who wakes up after a night of shit-faced idiocy feeling ashamed and grubby and used played a part in her own degradation.

Thank you, Emily, for bringing the conversation more into the mainstream.  I hope she doesn’t get fired for stating the obvious, but you know, I won’t be surprised if she does.  Wait ‘til Amanda Marcotte reads that piece!

witches

There’s gonna be a storm of cackling witches over at Slate, out for Emily’s blood!  Poor dear.  Take a page from the British Bulldog, and hold fast.

The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.

Winston Churchill

Lots of love,

JB

Should a woman in a bikini expect to be taken seriously? No, dipshit. She should not. Neither should a man in a thong.

22 Aug

Thong alert:  some images may be NSFW

Trigger Warning:  Image of Amanda Marcotte

jessica

This is Jessica Rey.  Among other things, she is a swimsuit designer and her website features the catchphrase “Who Says It Has To Be Itty Bitty?”. Her swimsuits look like this:

rey 1

rey 2

rey 3

They’re so cute!  They’re also mostly sold out.

http://www.reyswimwear.com/

I imagine there are many reasons some women prefer one-piece swimsuits over the itsy bitsy teeny weeny bikini kind, but Jessica has a pretty specific reason for offering women her stylish and more modest designs.  Jessica, you see, appears to believe that women who dislike being treated like gobs of walking meat should perhaps consider not presenting themselves as gobs of, well, walking meat.
laugh

Oh, Jessica, you silly little goose!  I mean really now.  Come on.  That’s too ridiculous! What a riot!  Who believes that?  Who actually thinks there is some sort of relationship between what you wear and how you are perceived?

amanda

Not Amanda Marcotte.  Oh, I know. She doesn’t like thongs and yoga pants, but that was AGES ago!  Thongs are out, bikinis are in!  It’s fashion, people.  These things tend to change, and opinions change with them.

http://judgybitch.com/2013/03/27/%EF%BB%BFladies-you-can-wear-anything-you-like-except-yoga-pants-and-quit-with-the-thongs-you-porny-whores/

Both Jessica and Katelyn Beaty think that if women want to be taken seriously they should consider dressing to reflect that desire.

Here, there is freedom for individual women to practice modesty not primarily to preserve men’s sexual purity, but to preserve their own dignity. To show in outward form the inward truth that they matter to society for their minds, their leadership, their passions, and their talents—talents that have nothing to do with how many heads they can turn. Modesty can become a form of female power.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2013/08/21/modesty_and_female_power_the_one_piece_bathing_suit_isn_t_going_to_get_women.html?wpisrc=flyouts

Rather than debate the efficacy of modesty, which I really don’t care about, let’s talk about how these standards apply to ALL THE HUMANS.  Oh, I can hear you sighing already.  We have to talk about ALL the humans?  Even the boy ones?  Again?

Ugh.

Amanda says:

The mere fact that women’s modesty is constantly being debated is evidence enough that women aren’t yet equal. If we want women “to be taken seriously,” we should, umm, take them seriously, and stop linking dignity to fabric.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2013/08/21/modesty_and_female_power_the_one_piece_bathing_suit_isn_t_going_to_get_women.html?wpisrc=flyouts

Well, props to Amanda for getting at least one thing right.  When it comes to dressing with dignity, women are definitely NOT equal to men.  They are way, way beneath them, and ladies like Amanda would like to keep them there.

Of course, that’s just a generalization.  Men can fail at the whole dignity thing, too, and when they do, feminists will be first in line to mock them.

Pop Quiz for Men: have you ever taken surreptitious shots of women’s assets when you are out and about in public spaces?

ass

You fucking creep.  You’ve probably never been laid.  You live in your mother’s basement, don’t you? You’re a disgusting pervert and you should be arrested for violating…. …. Well, I don’t know what, but SOMETHING!  And one guy actually was.

Thanks to a tip from a group of anonymous Redditors who are sick of seeing the CreepShots community gleefully post teen upskirt photo after teen upskirt photo while telling the “internet morality police” to “fuck off” and stop ruining their fun.

http://jezebel.com/5949379/naming-names-is-this-the-solution-to-combat-reddits-creepshots

Pop Quiz For Jezebel:  Have you ever published shots of men’s assets, taken without their knowledge or consent, either to drool over them or mock them?

jeggings-for-men

http://jezebel.com/photographic-evidence-of-why-men-should-never-wear-jegg-1053182772

hammer

http://jezebel.com/5992630/ten-questions-for-jon-hamms-penis

Ha ha ha! You rock, Jezebel!  That is so funny and edgy and cool and look at those two penises!  I love your double standards! They’re so …. hypocritical?

angry

So let’s talk about appropriate attire, double standards and the art of being taken seriously.  I’ll preface everything I am saying with the caveat that I DON’T REALLY CARE WHAT YOU WEAR, but I do expect you to own your choices.  You don’t get to dress in a deliberately provocative manner and then scream when you provoke a reaction.  Whatever that reaction happens to be.

You want to wear this?

racist-lincoln-tee_design

Go right ahead.  At your all white sorority, it’s probably a screaming riot.  Go out in public, and expect to get your ass whooped, and justifiably so. Boo hoo. Consequences.

There is a very simple reason women are disproportionately treated as sex objects while men are not:  women are far more likely to ACT AND DRESS LIKE SEX OBJECTS. When you dress in a manner that puts your sexuality front and center, expect to be treated as if your sexuality is your defining feature.  YOU ARE THE ONE DEFINING IT.

Sorry, lots of all ALLCAPS screaming today, but whether or not a woman is perceived as being sexual first and foremost depends on what she is wearing and how she presents herself AND THE SAME FUCKING STANDARDS APPLY TO MEN.

Oh hello, doctor!

sexy doctor

Chef Wowza!  How ya doing?

A man in a chefs outfit with a rose in his mouth

Ooh, officer.  Is that a gun in your holster or are you just happy to see me?

cop

You can frame my walls, baby.

sexy-construction-worker

Oh, dude.  No.  Just put it away.

thong

Men can show up at work in any of these outfits.  They are incredibly unlikely to do so, and if they do, you can be pretty sure they will be fired on the spot.  In the dubious event they are actually permitted to do their jobs, who thinks they will be treated with gravity, dignity and respect?

Women who go to work wearing this:

women sleeveless

Will get all the same respect as a man wearing this:

men sleeveless

This mechanic can work on my car:

mechanic

So can this one:

girl mechanic

Both of them will remain in my mind as meat because their chosen attire has requested that I see them as human meat for my viewing pleasure.

This mechanic doesn’t want to viewed as a walking sex toy.

mech 1

Neither does this one:

mech 2

Only one of the four mechanics above is likely to scream and thrash and cry that she is being objectified and denied her humanity and sexualized.

It mystifies me.  It really does.  What is the point of wearing clothing and accessories deliberately designed to enhance your sexuality and then screaming that the only thing anyone ever values you for is your sexuality?

The honest truth is that UNLESS you consciously and knowingly put forth your sexuality as the aspect of yourself you most want people to see and value, they won’t!  Men, for example, notice a woman’s EYES AND SMILE long before they notice her rack.  Unless she’s shoved her puppies into a push-up bra and left her shirt half undone.

secretary

Women, too, will notice a man’s EYES AND SMILES before they check out his height and they will almost never notice his package because men TEND NOT TO DISPLAY THEIR DICKS overtly.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2398812/Men-notice-womans-eyes-smile-breasts-according-research-Murine.html

You can be sure if crotch cleavage ever becomes popular, women’s eyes will be traveling to the crotch area pretty rapidly.

man-cleavage

Crotch cleavage will NOT becoming a trend anytime soon. Know why?  Because it’s ridiculous. Absurd.  Stupid.  It invites people to dismiss the man displaying his MagicJohnson as an idiot.  Someone not really worthy of respect or admiration.  Really?  Your dick?  That’s what you have to offer?  That’s how you want to be defined?

How is it that men seem to get this, while women do not.  If you dress to emphasize your sexuality you are implying that your sexuality is what you have to offer.  Not your skills, or talents or passions or even your conscientiousness.  Put your tits front and center, and you will be valued for your tits AT YOUR OWN REQUEST.

bikini

If you want to wear a bikini at the beach, go right ahead.  Wear it anywhere you like.  But understand that walking around virtually naked is not going to lend any help if your goal is to be taken seriously.  As if you have something to contribute other than your ass.  Assuming of course, you DO have something other than that to offer.

Men at the beach wearing this can expect a certain reaction.

Businessman Promote New Mobile Phone Network on The Serpentine

It’s unlikely to involve respect.  Is there a man alive who doesn’t understand that?  Show up at the office pool party wearing this:

man thong

And you have just blown your career straight to hell.  Unless you’re an underwear model. Or a porn star.  And ladies, show up at the office pool party in a string bikini, and expect the exact same response.

The alternative is NOT a burkha.  Bullshit.  Jessica Rey has provided lots of alternatives.  The world is full of alternatives.  All it takes is for women to understand that what you wear CAN and WILL have an effect on those around you.  Not all those effects will be positive.

Sexuality at work is a powerful thing. No doubt about it.  But ladies, if you are going to wield that sword for your benefit, understand the blade cuts both ways.

http://judgybitch.com/2012/12/06/hey-career-ladies-sex-your-way-to-the-top-and-if-that-doesnt-work-sue-the-bastards-for-sexual-harassment-2/

Now go put some fucking clothes on.

Lots of love,

JB

When men look at women, it’s sleaze. When women look at men, it’s just plain good fun. An American Apparel case study in hypocrisy.

23 Jun

Booty Alert: some images may be NSFW

 

Late post today, but I was hosting a luncheon for the parents of a good friend, who are visiting from out of town. Lobster bisque and homemade bread. I cheated and bought the butter. I’m so lazy!

 

lobster

 

After a very lovely lunch and visit, I popped open my Buzzfeed app and one of the lead feeds was “The Five Sleaziest American Apparel Panty Ads Of All Time (NSFW)”.

 

http://www.buzzfeed.com/copyranter/the-five-sleazist-american-apparel-panty-ads-of-all-time-nsf

 

American Apparel comes under regular fire for its apparently “sexist” advertising, and in keeping with our theme of lusting after human bodies, I thought today we would explore a little slice of objectification hypocrisy.

 

http://jezebel.com/315570/american-apparel-ads-sexy-or-sexist

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2325474/American-Apparel-branded-sexist-degrading-ads-unisex-shirt-featuring-half-naked-women-g-strings-fully-clothed-men.html

http://www.policymic.com/articles/42717/think-american-apparel-isn-t-sexist-maybe-this-will-convince-you

 

Let’s start with the PantyTime ads.

 

panty

 

panty 2

 

What, exactly, are the objections to these ads? Are they tasteful? Well, I guess that depends upon your taste, but you have to be some kind of killjoy to not enjoy campfire tent sex. A dancing fire, endless stars above you, the smell of pine trees, a brook babbling nearby. I’d say the hiking lady looks to be in for an evening of some melted marshmallow fun!

 

tent

 

Aside: Don’t try that. Melted marshmallows are total hell to get off. They taste sweet and they’re warm and gooey and they’re fun to eat off a willing body but they stick like some sort of glue NASA uses to repair the space station. Trust me on that one.

 

Let’s take a look at what the Swedish Lady Mafia thinks about American Apparel. In an act of epic bravery and rebellion, the Mafia had a male model mimic the pose of a female model advertising a shirt? Maybe the product is the shirt? It must be.

 

shirt

 

It’s a stark way of showing how men on the website are predominantly shown fully clothed and standing in modest poses, while women are often shown in various states of undress and striking sexually suggestive poses.

 

http://www.dailylife.com.au/dl-fashion/when-men-pose-the-same-way-women-do-in-american-apparel-ads-20130523-2k21u.html

 

You know, I agree. The lady on the counter is sexy. The guy on the counter looks foolish, but all that demonstrates is that we have very different ideas about how male and female sexuality are played out. We want different things from men than we do from women.

 

Let’s take a look at this assertion: men on the website are predominantly shown fully clothed.

 

Oh, really?

 

man 2

 

man 3

 

man 5

 

man 4

 

That’s taken off their home screen! Who knows what loveliness lurks deeper into the site?

 

http://store.americanapparel.net/category/index.jsp?catId=cat33156

 

Calvin Klein featured an epically objectifying advertisement this past Superbowl, and while a few commenters called it out for sexism on Twitter, most of them gave a huge whooping cheer! Here is Jezebel celebrating an ad that has little to do with the product and everything to do with lusting after a body.

 

http://jezebel.com/5981495/calvin-kleins-super-bowl-debut-97-abs-3-underwear

 

Why is this ad okay?

 

Oh, that’s because it’s a MALE body being objectified.

 

 

Let’s talk about the rationale behind hating the American Apparel ads in particular. The central issue, the key point of contention is WHO OWNS THE GAZE. Who is looking? What thoughts do the images invite? With whom does the viewer identify?

 

I’ve discussed before a film theorist named Laura Mulvey who wrote a paper about representation in which she claims that men own the gaze on film. Men look, women are looked at: ergo, men objectify women.

 

And obviously, that’s very, very, very bad.

 

http://judgybitch.com/2013/01/14/the-moment-i-knew-feminism-was-a-crock-of-shit/

 

Let’s start with the male gaze (and I’ll assume everyone is heterosexual in this discussion). When a man looks at an image like this:

 

bubble

 

He is supposed to experience a strong reaction of desire. The ad is designed to illicit very explicit images in men’s minds. The bubble draws attention to her mouth. What would you like to replace the bubblegum with? The stockings frame her barely covered ass. Would you like to uncover it? Those are no fragile nylon stockings, either. They look pretty robust. Rough and tumble. Her hair is already tousled and messy. Can you imagine making it even more dishevelled? And then what? And then what…..

 

The ad wants men to visualize strongly sexual imagery. You want to fuck her. For male viewers, American Apparel is attempting to create an association in their mind whereby American Apparel = sexy, hot, powerful, desirable, dominant. The company is hoping that the next time a man who has seen the ad walks by a store window, he might just recall those feelings and pop in and pick up a blue shirt.

 

That’s how advertising works. Create an association, then transfer it onto a product, which you will then purchase BECAUSE of that association. Seems to be working, too. American Apparel is back to profitability.

 

http://www.businessinsider.com/american-apparels-first-profits-in-years-put-the-ceos-sex-scandals-in-the-rearview-mirrow-2013-3?op=1

 

I looked for some men objecting to American Apparel’s blatant attempt to appeal to a very animal sort of sexuality, but I couldn’t find one. Seems like most men are perfectly comfortable managing their desires and emotions. Go Daddy has some of the raciest TV spots out there, and gets called out as sexist routinely, but…

 

When GoDaddy aired its first Super Bowl spot in 2005, it was a $100 million company few people knew with a 16% market share. Fast-forward to 2012, and GoDaddy is a $1.1 billion company with a 52% market share.

 

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/advertising/story/2012-01-19/godaddy-sexy-super-bowl-ads/52686084/1

 

Sex sells. To men and women both.

 

Now let’s talk about the female gaze. As a woman looking at the bubble image, you are supposed to imagine being that woman. You are supposed to understand that she evokes a powerful response in men. Men want her. They desire her. She has power over them, and that power has the potential to lead to lots of benefits. You are supposed to want that power for yourself, and when you slip on your own pair of knit stockings and barely there panties, you will feel it. Buy our products so you, too, can control a man’s gaze and make him want you.

 

body

 

Oh dear. Well, now we have a problem. Nearly 40% of women in American Apparel’s target market (18 -35) are overweight.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obesity_in_the_United_States

 

How are those chubby ladies going to look in stockings and panties?

 

fat

 

Tsk, tsk. Not so hot. And that makes women feel a sense of loathing. Confronting a body that men want and desire and long for makes women who fall well short of that ideal sad and depressed and unhappy.

 

One response has been to feature more fat bodies in advertising, like the Dove Beauty Campaign tries to do. But it doesn’t work. Women still dislike their fat bodies.

 

dove

 

http://www.policymic.com/articles/37333/dove-beauty-campaign-not-enough-to-combat-body-image-issues

 

We live in a culture saturated with the idea that problems belong to someone else. Whatever the issue, the solution is for someone else to deal with it. And if it is someone else’s responsibility to solve the problems, it’s probably someone’s fault the problem exists in the first place.

 

Here are the reasons commonly given for obesity:

 

Toxic environment

Genetics

Food deserts

Poverty

Contaminated food supply

Big Government and Big Business Conspiracy

High fructose corn syrup

Soda

Fast food

 

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/obesity-prevention-source/obesity-causes/

 

Here are the real reasons for obesity

 

You eat too much

You don’t move your body enough

 

The first list are all problems for someone else to solve. The real list has one solution: YOU.

 

When women are confronted with images of other women who clearly put some effort into what they eat and how much they exercise, it triggers anger and anxiety and a search for someone to blame. If women don’t live up to the images in the media, well then, we have to change the media. And if men continue to desire those fit bodies, then we have to change men, too.

 

http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/fat%20is%20beautiful

 

size 22

 

It’s all about making other people change rather than accepting responsibility for yourself and deciding that it’s your body and your choice and you CAN choose not to be fat.

 

boredom

 

Here’s how we know that the feminist response to women being objectified and thereby dehumanized in advertising is a straw man argument: the same standards do not apply to men. If objectification is bad and wrong and morally reprehensible, and causes us to view the objectified as less than human, then it’s bad when women do it to men, too, right?

 

Er, nope.

 

HOM

 

Let’s go back to the gaze. When men look at this ad, they are supposed to want to be that guy. Buy HOM briefs, and you can be sexy like him! Or just get as close as you can. There is little teeth-gnashing and sobbing in the media from men who are confronted with these unbelievably fit, gorgeous men. Few cries of “sexism”. If anything, guys look at these images and decide to hit the gym.

 

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/trans_m.htm

 

In the same way that American Apparel ads are designed to trigger explicit sexual imagery in men, ads like HOM are designed to trigger explicit sexual images in women. Here is man, displayed for us, in total masculine magnificence.

 

What would you like to do to him? Are you on top? He’s already leaning back. Seems like a good choice. His socks and underwear frame those beautiful thighs. Wouldn’t they look good underneath you? The tattooed bicep. He seems a little dangerous. This could get rough…..

 

Oh my.

 

david

 

This ad appeared in Elle magazine!

 

Here he is again.

 

elle

 

Women are invited to turn their gaze on a beautiful man and let their imaginations run free. And that’s okay. It’s totally okay. It’s more than okay. It’s pretty damn spectacular. Jezebel runs a regular feature called Thighlights, in which women openly slobber over a specific male body part.

 

Mark William Calaway, Phillip Jack Brooks

 

thighs 2

 

thigh 3

 

http://jezebel.com/5933428/if-you-try-and-dont-succeed-thigh-and-thigh-again/

 

Jesus. Look at the package on the guy in red.

 

blush

 

Oops. I mean, he seems like a really nice person.

 

Pretty long-winded today, but my point is this: the argument or critique of women in advertising and the objectification of women’s bodies isn’t a debate about women’s self-esteem at all.

 

http://enakoala.wordpress.com/2008/10/30/fashion-magazines-causing-low-self-esteem-in-young-women/

 

It’s a debate about power. The power to look. The power to want. The power to desire. The power to evoke.

 

And women want that power for themselves, and only themselves.

 

Kate Upton makes (fat) women feel bad.

 

kate

 

Half naked men make (most) women feel good.

 

malemodel

 

http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2013/06/20/are_women_turned_on_by_pictures_of_naked_men_yes_but_lose_the_jorts.html?wpisrc=flyouts

 

Anything that causes ladies to feel bad is wrong by definition. And the thing that makes ladies feel bad is the power of the male gaze. It assesses them, evaluates them and very often, rejects them. That power must be demonized, derided, dismissed as evidence for men being shallow, stupid superficial brutes who see women purely in sexual terms.

 

http://emmatheemo.wordpress.com/2013/02/17/more-on-the-shallowness-of-men-or-which-gender-is-more-shallow-men-or-women/

 

If feminists really cared about the relationship between objectification and dehumanization ( a dicey theory at best), they would care about ALL instances of objectification. They would care about EVERY body that is reduced to sexual utility.

 

But they don’t. In fact, they delight in watching men having to objectify themselves.

http://jezebel.com/5808212/two-minutes-of-fords-male-models-showing-off-their-abdomen

 

Ford’s entire roster of male models take off their shirts and dance for the cameras to the all-too-fitting song “Drop It Like It’s Hot.” You’re welcome.

 

 

 

Feminists only care about one type of body being objectified: slender women.

 

Those are the bodies that have power, especially over men. Those bodies are testaments to the true power women can wield in the world: they signal reproductive fitness.

 

 

Men

Sex

Genetically outstanding babies

 

babies in a row

 

All the things feminism tries to teach women are NOT important. The continuing appeal of advertising featuring sexually provocative women AND men tells the real story: it matters. Sexuality is one of the key things that define us as humans. And it will always matter.

 

When sexuality is turned into a power struggle that argues over the ownership of the gaze, the potential for mutually satisfying partnerships between men and women is all but destroyed. Men are made to feel guilty and ashamed. Their preferences are “sleaze”. And women learn that male sexuality is theirs to control and define. Male bodies are objects to satisfy their desires.

 

vs

 

Imagine a group of men with a Victoria’s Secret catalogue in the lunch room at work, openly admiring the angels. Get ready for a meeting with HR, dudes. Sensitivity training is in your future. Now imagine a group of women swooning over David Beckham in Elle. HR is probably sitting there drooling along with all the other ladies.

 

Now imagine any one of those men dating any one of those women.

 

A culture in which male desire is disgusting and sleazy and women’s desire is empowering and objectifying is a culture in which sexual ecstasy is pretty much impossible.

 

“Only the united beat of sex and heart together can create ecstasy.”

― Anaïs Nin, Delta of Venus

 

Images of beautiful women shouldn’t be threatening. They should be a welcome reminder that we are all physical creatures, inhabiting skins that long for one another’s touch.

 

That’s not sleazy. It’s beautiful. For men and women both.

 

embrace

 

Lots of love,

 

JB

 

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