On monday Alex Leo listed the "five sexist trends the advertising world just can't shake" condemning imagery suggesting; bondage, rape, "sluts", girl on girl action and cum shots.
I have to admit that even though I agreed with the article, I wasn't offended by the visual examples at first glance. Not because I couldn't see the sexist message that was implied, but rather because my feminist indignation isn't as easily inflamed as it used to be. (Or maybe I've been exposed to so many misogynistic images in my life that I have grown numb.)
However, this doesn't mean I don't get annoyed about sexism when I see it play out in real life (as opposed to the advertising world, which is apparantly run by manchildren who live to depict their every pathetic adolescent fantasie, concocted back when they were crying in their crusty tissues because Janey from next door wisely refused their dry humping advances).
All over the world women are being abused, raped, forcibly restricted in their development and even robbed of their clitori. Fortunately I live in a society where these things are rightfully condemned and are punishable by law, a society where women and men are supposed equals, but we aren't quite there yet. So to speed the healing along, here are five things I believe men and women alike (in my opinion anti-feminist females are more harmful to the emancipation process than any man could ever be) can do to help.
1. Stop telling me what I think and like.
One of the joys of being a citizen of the free world is that you are allowed to make up your own mind. This extends to tastes and opinions on all subjects and "quelle surprise"; different people like different things! Just last week my team mates and I were cornered by a particularly dim bulb who kept explaining to us "what women think". Efforts to convince this tadpole from the shallow end of the gene pool that we, being women, might have some valid viewpoints on the subject, remained without result. He must have acquired his quality information from "Ruffles and Roofies Dating Monthly" because he also kept offering us disgusting looking pink drinks... We finally had to distract him with something shiny so we could escape back to the bar, but I guess my point is this: We don't all like barbie dolls, gold and hairspray, so if you want to know what I think, ASK ME!
2. Stop claiming lust as an exclusively male emotion.
Women are sexual beings, period. We don't "put out" to land a boyfriend or please our man, we have sex because we are lovely, healthy, horny creatures who know how to utilate the gifts with which nature supplied us for our own pleasure. And because it's the most fun cardio work out known to man...
3. Stop telling me I'm fat.
Seriously, I know this one has been discussed Ad nauseum, but there's a difference between fat (=unhealthy) and normal (=healthy). I'm not exactly a twig, but I'm no wide load either and I resent the fact that my tv tries to make me feel guilty about eating. When you're 25 and still a size zero, chances are you are starving yourself and thereby making sure you won't live very long. When you can't touch your own toes because you've inhaled enough fast food to clog up the Mississippi river, you're at the other wrong end of the scale. These things are fairly obvious. We know our bodies and especially don't need to be told how we compare to retouched magazine covers by the media and our boyfriends. When walking along the city my ex-boyfriend remarked that a passing very lovely and healthy looking girl had a fat ass. All the blood drained from my face and as I turned around, I yelled; "NO, YOU HAVE A FAT ASS!!!" Not the most creative comeback, but he in fact did. So fat blokes (and everyone else) shut up! If you like stick figures so much go marry a broom.
4. Stop dividing us between smart and pretty.
The two aren't mutually exclusive and it's wrong to make little girls think they have to choose. The past U.S. elections have shown us that even the 'serious' media are not above such stereo typing. I'll grant you that Sarah Palin is not the sharpest tool in the shed, but Hillary Clinton is certainly no Freddy Kruger. The abuse she took about her appearance was evidence of a resentment that had little to do with her abilities as a politician. Furthermore, she was made to feel like she had to downplay her feminine qualities in order to be taken seriously as a leader. It is time that a more responsible choice is made by those who are narrating our history, so we can finally discuss what she is saying, instead of what she is wearing...
5. Start learning the difference between giving a compliment and being condescending.
It's one thing to show your admiration, but please don't pat me on the back for the tiniest example of brain activity. Yes I am little, yes I am blond, yes I have big boobs. This is where the blow up doll resemblance ends. I did not choose this look, this is how I came out of the box, deal! If you underestimate me because of my looks, that is your problem. Mathematically speaking, chances are I'm smarter than you. So the next time you compliment me for doing a fool's job well, be prepared for an excogitated lesson, in pain!