Tuesday, July 31, 2007
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.
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.
WELL DONE SISTER. Truly couldn't have said it better myself