Look a concrete example of men being seen primarily as bodies, too!
A couple of things:As I said before, just because women are treated thusly doesn't mean men aren't as well.*But* men aren't treated thusly *as often*. And, as I also said before, the impact of things like these images, though adverse for both sexes, have different levels of impact. Men are starting to feel it more and more as we as human beings become more commodified, but women have been feeling it longer and more pervasively - and treating women as objects is tied to how we see women as a whole. You don't agree, whatevs.Perhaps most importantly, though, is the fact that the image of the woman I put up is *fundamentally* different from the image you have provided. And that is because she is not only a disembodied torso, but she has "Wash Me" scrawled upon her as if she were *merely* an object - and an object for male agency, because Axe's target demographic is men. Meanwhile, the Calvin Klein ad is bad - and I would never and have never argued otherwise - in that it presents a disembodied male body. *But* it doesn't blatantly treat the male model as an object to be acted upon. He's also there to sell a product to men, but there's no automatic comparison to an automobile to be had. There, my friend, lies the difference.
I'm not suggesting that the "social impact" is equivalent, or even that these images are fundamentally the same. Over the past several decades, an immense body of literature has developed discussing the impact of this kind of advertising on women specifically. Naomi Wolf wrote The Beauty Myth in the early 1990s, and Jean Kilbourne has been talking about the female body image and advertising since the late 1980s. These aren't new arguments that you’re making -- and I think that’s an important point.Today, there are dozens of extremely powerful women's organizations (NOW, Concerned Women for America, the Feminist Majority Foundation, etc.) with chapters all over the country. There are courses on -- and entire programs in -- women's studies in virtually every liberal arts school in America. There are also tons of highly-trafficked feminist blogs. These forces have had enormous influence on social policymakers. The recently-established White House Council on Women and Girls -- created to ensure that women are treated fairly in all matters related to public policy -- provides just one example women’s growing organizational and political sway.All of these actors are agitating against the kinds of social pressures that you decry. And because of them, many of the problems that you cite are rapidly (and measurably) improving. Yet you continue to write as if people aren't conscious of things like the social impact of advertising on women . . . or of the fact that girls are underrepresented in certain academic concentrations. You write as if these actors are distinct from “society” and disconnected from the centers of power.In fact, there is an incredible amount of institutional support for women, and that support is increasing every day. Men don’t have anything like that kind of institutional support -- and maybe they shouldn’t. Certainly you’re right to suggest that males as a group -- and white males in particular -- do not begin from a position of disadvantage. But men can still be negatively “impacted” by social forces, and today they don’t have anything like the organizational power that women do.My point is -- as always -- that you have to incorporate this kind of power into your model of society. You often fail to do that.
These aren't new arguments that you’re making -- and I think that’s an important point.No, they aren't. And I have never said they were. But the salient point about many of these posts is to demonstrate that this shit still keeps happening. And these posts aren't for you. They are *for me*. I write *for me*. It is to help *me* work through *my* issues with what is happening in the world. And I shouldn't have to post a disclaimer of "There are other people who have thought this kind of thing before, here's a list" and "there are a lot of councils and organizations (organizations I give a lot of money to) that are trying to make the world a better place for women, and here's a measure of their direct impact". This is primarily a feminist blog, mostly because it is written by a feminist. There is a certain amount of "duh" regarding these types of complaints you bring up.But men can still be negatively “impacted” by social forces, and today they don’t have anything like the organizational power that women do.Again, I have never, nor will I ever, argue that men aren't and can't be negatively impacted by social forces. A major part of my feminism is about how certain social forces are bad for both men *and* women.But at the same time, I'm not going to have much sympathy for the lack of male organizing. Because men still pretty much run things. Men make up 83% of Congress, so even though women have these powerful lobbies men are still the ones actually writing the *laws*. That's a bit helpful. Also, the reason women have things like NARAL and NOW, etc., etc., etc., is because women *made* those groups.And as good as women have it now as compared to then or even twenty years ago, there is a *reason* these groups still exist and *why* we need a White House Council specifically dedicated to making sure women and girls are treated equally in regard to policy matters - it is because women are girls aren't *inherently* treated equally in regard to policy matters. So, big step forward. Still miles to go. After all, being the victim of domestic abuse is still considered a preexisting condition, so I'd say we're not there yet.My point is -- as always -- that you have to incorporate this kind of power into your model of society. You often fail to do that.My point is my model of society isn't based primarily on policy decisions. I'm concerned with what I see happening out here in the world of things like pop culture. I'm concerned with the blase attitude toward things like rape and cat calling. I'm concerned with the continual dichotomy of thought in relation to women. And while I'm not going to deny the world is a complex place, I'm also not going to equivocate and say, "Oh, a whole shit load of people don't want Roman Polanski in jail for child rape, but that's okay because I've got a powerful policy ally in NARAL".
Also, take into account the fact that I am a crazy liberal. And that I'm proud of that fact.The achievements you think are so grand and good enough may not be as grand or good enough to me.
Well, we definitely agree that you're a crazy liberal. : )Seriously, though, if you don't want me to comment, I won't. If this blog is just a forum for you to suss out your own thoughts and idea -- to put forward your own model of society -- then I won't challenge you or ask you to add nuance to your positions. But why do you have a public blog with a comments section?
Seriously, though, if you don't want me to comment, I won't.I'm not saying I don't want you to comment. I generally like your comments, and if the bathroom post did nothing else, it demonstrated how good you are for my muse.I'm saying that certain structural problems you have with a majority of my posts are not going to be corrected because (a) I don't think it is necessary to create what amounts to a disclaimer about the power women's groups have in the halls of Congress, especially when I'm talking about stuff that exists outside the purview of the halls of Congress, and (b) because you and I don't see eye-to-eye on certain things. You see the White House Council for Women and Girls as the shit? Good for you. You can write post after post about how great women are getting it now. I'm excited by the fact it addresses a need, but I'm also depressed by the fact that we have that need. And I don't think a council for girls, created within a Democratic White House that has two little girls living there, is as giant leap a forward. Unless Democratic men with feminist-like vision never cede the White House again, which seems unlikely.And when it comes to many women's matters, including but not excluded to cat calling and loverly ads such as this one, having a Council for Women and Girls doesn't really make a difference. Because it is outside of their purview. So I'm going to talk about it, and I'm going to talk about how *I* see society treating me and mine.
If this blog is just a forum for you to suss out your own thoughts and idea -- to put forward your own model of society -- then I won't challenge you or ask you to add nuance to your positions.And here's the crux of the matter - I *like* being challenged. But telling me these issues have been addressed before? That doesn't come off as challenging. That comes off as something else.I like your perspective on my positions. I like your links to studies, etc. But when you bring something into the convo I feel is if not unrelated then at the very least a distant cousin, I'm not going to feel the need to do anything about it. Just because you posit doesn't mean I'll accept.When I said I write for *me*, what I mean is I'm not here to please *you*. If that happens as a byproduct, if what I write interests you, if what I write pisses you off, if what I write sparks a different opinion, I like having those discussions. And I think we've had some good ones. But that doesn't mean I'm going to do everything exactly as you want me to.If I'm writing about policy, I'll be sure to bring up the ways in which women have the power in their organized groups to bring about the change they want. But if I'm talking about other stuff, stuff out here in the world that I see being accepted, then no. Probably not going to do that. And - for the record - I think my view on women's bodies in society is rather nuanced. I may not be expressing it exactly right, but it is complex. I'll work on expressing it better, but I don't think it's lack of vocalized nuance exists in the fact I didn't talk about NOW - just saying.
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