Tuesday, July 31, 2007

F***ing Brilliant


In my last post, I wrote about this billboard. The discussion has sparked an interesting debate with remarks such as "women bring this on themselves."

Well a comment from Adrienne was so well written that I have decided to give it a proper place as its own post. To read comments leading up to this answer, click here.

Adrienne states:

Although I hate giving this answer, it is absolutely true: if you were a woman, you would totally get the whole 'objectification of women' problem. Imagine your wife having to go out in a skimpy tank top and boy shorts with an impending wedgie in order to get a fair deal at a car dealership. If the thought makes you uncomfortable, imagine how we feel-- especially if you do not, for whatever reason, fulfill that sexual stereotype. Is it fair for me to walk into a store and not get service, while my five foot one hundred and ten pound sister gets helped immediately? Call it human nature, and I'll buy it, but that doesn't make it right. My money is as good as anyone's, so is my time, and-- attention please-- so is my body. Same parts, same functions. In fact, I may even use some of my parts better than others.

Admittedly, the problem is, at times, stemming from women. I've commented on this before on this site. But lets examine that, shall we? In my experience-- as a woman-- women who pull me down because of my appearance do so because of some insecurity of their own. Why? Because we all see each other as competition. The fact that the sexual stereotypes (thou must be skinny, full breasted, with long blonde hair and ruby red lips) perpetuate in our heads is not our fault (even if it is our problem).

Looking at things from a generational stand point, let us take a small look at the women who we gained most of our insight from: Our Mothers. Our mothers, who were raised watching TV shows where girls were told that being a woman was better because it meant less responsibility and decision making. Mothers who took high school courses on making perfect roasts and how to fold napkins, while the boys learned accounting and managerial skills.

And, above all else, mothers who were taught by THEIR mothers that they needed to be a certain sexual stereotype in order to snag a bread winner for their empty little heads. It's no secret that since the beginning of time men have been choosing women based solely on their looks: if she's a virgin and she's beautiful, then she's worth every penny of the bride price. If she's 'soiled,' or ugly, then she better come with an awesome dowry. You may think times have changed, but the women of my generation-- when both eating disorders and teenage sexuality are at an all time high-- know differently.

Again, the fact that the stereotype perpetuates is not our fault, even if it is our problem.

The stereotype stems from, was created by, men. I have actually been broken up with because I am overweight. I have lost roles in musicals because I do not fulfill the 'romantic lead' appearance. I have been overlooked for PR positions because I don't have a 'public face' (look at the number one college major for beauty queens: communications).

The problem with this billboard is that it is selling sex. What a tired, overdone marketing ploy. This billboard tells me nothing about the radio station except that it is run by men, for men, who are willing to exploit and objectify women in order to get more listeners (read: money). What kind of music do they play? Soft core porn?

The question is: where do we draw the line? At what point have we crossed it? What negative outcomes could possibly outweigh the gains of this billboard?

Will all the teenage girls with eating disorders, trying desperately to look like this bill board please raise their hands? Continue raising them if you have also purchased ridiculously promiscuous clothes in an attempt to attract attention to your pubescent body?

And, PS-- it doesn't make much sense to have sex so blatantly on display for all to see and then to make contraceptives and abortion illegal. Just saying.



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WELL DONE SISTER. Truly couldn't have said it better myself

6 comments:

Adrienne said...

PPS-- I resent your stereotype that women who get along with guys do so because they don't have to kill spiders or lift heavy things. It's my guess that in the small world you live in if there was a woman who worked in a group of men, lifted heavy things, and killed spiders all on her own, she would be considered too butch, and the rumor would spread that she was a lesbian. Some of us can actually do ALL of those things, all on our own! Women have run households, companies, and governments (the latter two being fields dominated by men): but it sure is a good thing we have you big strong men around to kill those ooky spiders.

Anonymous said...

Well I bet you would resent just about anything I said because you seem to relish having issues rather than figuring out ways to solve your issues. Everything that is wrong in your life seems to be ultimately caused by men.

It is great to be in a position where you can blame everything that is wrong on the world on someone else! A bit lazy but great!

I will tell you this,I work in a male dominated field, but I have been in a position (military) where I worked nearly exclusively with females at times. I have worked for women and I have had my entire shop composed of women. So in my "small" world (East Coast, West Coast, Texas, Spain, and Israel) where I have worked I have seen quite a variety of work situations.

I have worked with the same crew of women for 13 months straight...at sea on a ship, no vacations, no time away, at war, 6 months straight of which we never even stepped off the ship for more that 4 hours at a time and 24 hours total, in 6 months. Think that doesn't bring out the best and worst in people?

You put words in my mouth about competent women, thinking I would call them lesbians or "butch". What a bunch of crap. I say "thank God" when I hire a woman that actually takes responsibility, does her job, and does not rely on sweet talking the guys around her to do her job for her. It is not rare but it is not common and the better looking the woman that less likely she is actually competent at her job.

We actually agree on many of your points. I agree that good looking women have it easier in life, simply because of their looks. Good looking women often use their looks to get their way. Whether they realize it or not. We disagree that it is men's fault. I say if good looking women would not take advantage of men then all would be well, you say if men would not discriminate against the "other than good looking" women all would be well.

I actually am a realist and think that you should assess you strong points and your weak points, take a good look at the realities of the society you live in and make the most of what you have. This means that if you are overweight and dropping a few pounds means your life improves then why in the hell would you sit around and bitch about it when you could turn that anger into an hour a day on a stair climber.

Of course there are the people who would rather just sit around and bitch than do something about it. I recommend that you take you anger with men and turn it into something positive. Quit bitching about how men are causing your problems and just step up and solve your own problems yourself.

If women ran the world would it be any different? When Margaret Thatcher was PM in Great Britain how much better was it over there? Think things will become suddenly better for you if Hillary is elected?

When you said "PPS-- I resent your stereotype that women who get along with guys do so because they don't have to kill spiders or lift heavy things." you missed the "women who ONLY get along with guys" it make more sense that way and it makes the point that some women take advantage of their situation to the detriment of other women (you) thus the point that it is a problem that ONLY women can solve.

Tobes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tobes said...

Grr... can't stop myself.... must fly off the handle.....


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If it were as easy as blaming men, all our problems were solved.... you have so little understanding what I want, or for that matter, what FEMINISM wants.

I don't want to punish men. I want society to wake up (society being composed of both men & women). There are terrible sexist behaviors going on that are affecting EVERYONE in the world – men and women.

You are COMPLETELY missing the point. You’ve posted on my site before, yes? One time trying to compare women’s bodily rights to forcing women serving in the military to obtain abortions and another time saying something similarily insulting about rape victims – I assume both these were you too unless I’ve got more than one “military anonymous guy” running around.

Women clearly aren’t perfect. I’ve never tried to make that argument. You, however, like to make generalizing statements

"Thank God when I hire a woman that actually takes responsibility, does her job, and does not rely on sweet talking the guys around her to do her job for her. It IS NOT RARE but it IS NOT COMMON and the better looking the woman that less likely she is actually competent at her job.” ------- Emphasis mine.

Okay, do you say that about men? Every time you get a really great male employee, why don’t you stop and thank God? Could it be because you ASSUME that women are “lazy” or are “always going to rely on good looks” to get by and not do any work.

Why aren’t you pulling some of these male officers aside and saying “Look soldier, stop trying to score with this chick and do your own work.”

Women are damned if we do and damned if we don’t. If a woman is good looking and men (duh) try to impress her and she lets them—she’s an evil lazy person exploiting men. If women refuse to let men do any work for them, she’s seen as a stuck-up bitch who can’t appreciate anything.

I imagine women who serve fear not living up to standards. It’s no secret that the military isn’t as woman-friendly as it could be. A real good way not to make waves is perhaps not pissing off male colleagues. And just like a reflection of society at large, women in uniform have to fear sexual assault and harassment --- remember though--- Men who commit violence against women are to blame, not men at large. You wouldn’t know from your comment that women face these very real dangers in the military. In YOUR military world there are “few women” who do their work (who we have to thank God for) and the rest are all just flashing their boobs around to get work done. The vision you paint of the military does not resemble the picture I got from any of my family or friends who have served (male or female).


Here’s my beef with you --- you are happy going around trying to discredit any woman in power--- brining up Hillary is always dead giveaway--- in fact I’d bet you spend more time doing that than actually looking at the problem at hand. Rather than admitting that sexism, violence against women, and men/women in the workplace is a complicated thing, you point the finger at bitchy feminists and tell us to solve the problem ourselves.

This isn’t about blaming men but let me tell you, you’d be a great place if I wanted to start. Classic example of the man with his head so far up his own butt, he can hardly see.

Me impersonating anonymous: “Oh yeah, you women would just be happier if you worked this shit out with yourselves. And while you’re at it get on stair climber.”

Seriously?

#1 The war on overweight women is something you clearly have ZERO comprehension of. And the actual sad truth about how hard it is to fight obesity is LUCKILY something you’ve never had to understand.

*Oddly enough, from that snarky comment it sounds like if Adrienne wants respect from you, she’d just have to be a smaller size. But then, oh wait, wouldn’t she just be one of those ‘bad girls’ who uses her looks to get what she wants?

#2 Stop making it out like this is women vs. men. Patriarchal subjugation and sexism is an evil problem hurting men, women and children around the world. I can’t (and wouldn’t) blame men for all that, but I can blame people like you who have NO FRICKIN’ CLUE and just try and hold people back from making positive change.

Adrienne said...

Sadly I don't have time to write all I am thinking, but I will say this, in response to this paragraph:

"I actually am a realist and think that you should assess you strong points and your weak points, take a good look at the realities of the society you live in and make the most of what you have. This means that if you are overweight and dropping a few pounds means your life improves then why in the hell would you sit around and bitch about it when you could turn that anger into an hour a day on a stair climber."

First of all, writing an intelligent and non-angry post on a blog hardly translates into an hour of bitching.

Secondly, I believe I said in my original post that I am proud of the body I have, and my body is just as good as anyones.

Thirdly, simply put, because I shouldn't frigging have to. Me being skinnier would not make my life easier, it would make YOUR life easier. Good looking women are a lot easier to deal with-- your words. If I were a super model and standing up for feminism, even if I pissed people off it would probably just be considered cute, or so great that I have a brain at all in my undersized body.

You, sir, are a typical male, and that is too bad. I would recommend that YOU take a good look at your strong points and weak points and recognize that you are living in a society, and in a time, when you have more opportunities than ever to embrace a broader world view than the one that you've accepted from the hull of your ship. Living and working in close contact with women for six months does not mean you deserve a medal, unless you're willing to say that the women deserve an award also for living with you. It isn't possible, and certainly not from what we've seen here, that you are the last even-tempered, open-minded man in the world and you somehow got stuck in a situation with the worst women in the world.

If you and I were on a ship, I bet it'd bring the worst out of me REAL quick if you told me to quit bitching and get on a stair climber.

Adrienne said...

FURTHER MORE-- What if I didn't say anything at all about the fact that I am overweight? What if I said that I was a beauty queen? Would THAT have made my point more valid for you?