Some progress, but a lot of room for positive change.
Some progress, but a lot of room for positive change.
The Tumblr. I don’t know that you can ever be ready for this, but, try and mentally prepare yourself for some serious racism and sexism before you click. (And, apparently, avoid OkCupid, Match, and POF because they seem to be regular sources for material.)
The OMA rejected one version of two almost identical ads for the skincare brand [Ella Bache] because the models, who were using their hands to cover their naked bodies, had serious facial expressions that were interpreted as “too sexualised”. A version where the three models were smiling was accepted . . . The chief executive of the OMA, Charmaine Moldrich, defended the decision and told Fairfax, “I know its nuanced and subtle but there is a difference between a woman who is empowered, and happy to be here and a woman who is being objectified. It’s our job to make that make that call.”
Whatever you think about the mitigating power of smiling and objectification, it’s disturbing that an unsmiling facial expression is considered more sexually “arousing” than the facial expression of a woman who looks happy. Read more (and see the images) here.
Soraya Chemaly argues that violence is a natural end-result of the same principles which operate in what we ordinarily refer to as street harassment:
Earlier this week a man in a car pulled up next to a 14-year old girl on a street in Florida and offered to pay her $200 to have sex with him. [. . .] The girl said no. So what does this guy do? He reaches out, drags her, by her hair, into his car, chokes her until she blacks out, tosses her out of the car and then, not done yet, he runs her over several times. Bystanders watched the entire episode in shock. He almost killed her, but she lived and ID’d him in a line up and he’s been arrested and charged with Attempted Murder, Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon and False Imprisonment. What was the Deadly Weapon referred to in the charge I wonder? Given our normatively male understanding interpretation of what is threatening, does a man pulling up to a girl like this and talking to her in this way constitute imminent harm?
This was an incident of street harassment taken to extremes.
You’re thinking, ”He’s crazy! You can’t possibly put what he did in the same category as street harassment!” Yes, I can.
He stopped and talked to a girl he did not know and he told her what he thought and what he wanted her to do. Clearly, he felt this was okay, or he wouldn’t have done it. This isn’t insanity, it’s entitlement. This is, in principle, the same as men who say, “Smile,” “Want a ride?” “Suck on this” and on and on and on. And, that’s all before the public groping that might ensue.
OK. No big deal I’ve been told. But, he went further, as is often the case. When she said no, he just took her. He crossed a red line that seriously needs to be moved. ”Taking someone” should not be the “red line” for public incivility and safe access to public space.
You can read the whole piece here on the HuffPo Blog. About a year ago or so, I went to the store — I pulled into the parking lot, and I noticed that in the space next to me, a man was sitting in his car. When I came out of the store, he was still there — except now, he was masturbating. In his car. In broad daylight. He smiled and waived at me. I called the police about it, but effectively, they do didn’t do anything (when the police came, he wasn’t doing it anymore, and by the time I requested specifically that the police allow me to file a witness report or press charges, they had already let him go without taking his name or any information, so there was no one to press charges against). Certainly this experience is no where near the sorts of extreme cases mentioned in Chemaly’s piece, but I have wondered since, if this is the sort of thing that’s effectively permissible in public space, where is the line? When I voice discomfort over my inability to go to certain gas stations without being cat-called, hit-on, etc., my less fervently feminist acquaintances think I’m being over-sensitive, or give me the usual “You ought to take that as a compliment” (which I think is a ridiculous response for a million reasons that are probably obvious to all of our readers) and yet, my run in with the public-masturbator seemed like it ought to be a predictable escalation of that same sense of entitlement to women’s bodies.
Is physical violence likewise on that same spectrum?
If you think a woman in a tan vinyl bra and underwear, grabbing her crotch and grinding up on a dance partner is raunchy, trashy, and offensive but you don’t think her dance partner is raunchy, trashy, or offensive as he sings a song about “blurred” lines of consent and propagating rape culture, then you may want to reevaluate your acceptance of double standards and your belief in stereotypes about how men vs. women “should” and are “allowed” to behave.
For those of you who missed it, Dr. Jill is referring to the reactions to Miley Cyrus’s performance with Robin Thicke at the VMAs.
Earlier we posted about the No More Page 3 campaign, here; Caroline Lucas, MP, wearing a No More Page 3 t-shirt, was asked to put her jacket back on during a speech, in order to comply with Westminster’s dress code. You can watch the video, here, over at the BBC site.
There’s no transcript there, but after the MP chairing the session interrupts, Lucas responds (while holding up page 3 of The Sun): “It does strike me as an irony that this T-shirt is regarded as an inappropriate thing to be wearing in this house but apparently it is appropriate for this kind of newspaper to be available to buy in eight different outlets on the Palace of Westminster estate.”
Well, the editor of the UK edition of Esquire is being honest about objectifying women, but has some how missed that this is sexist.
Esquire editor Alex Bilmes has admitted that the magazine uses pictures of “ornamental” women for male readers “in the same way we provide pictures of cool cars”.
Bilmes, who moved from rival men’s title GQ to edit Esquire in 2010, said that his magazine’s policy was “more honest” than that of the women’s magazine industry, which he claimed perpetuate negative images of women.
“The women we feature in the magazine are ornamental,” he said, speaking on a panel at the Advertising Week Europe conference in London on Tuesday. “I could lie to you if you want and say we are interested in their brains as well. We are not. They are objectified.”
Read the full story here with some ageism thrown in just for good measure.