Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Women As Bodies: Climate Change Legislation Edition

Hi! I'm all into the environment and stuff. I want to help enact climate change legislation! I have womanly parts, and I'm not into the ladies. Want to know how to not encourage my pursuit of a better world? This video!

Wow, is that bad. You know what this reminds me of? A post I wrote just around this time last year! I'll just quote myself, kay?
It is demonstrably for the man's pleasure in these adverts; and it is more of a bartering system, a tit-for-tat, than it is an actual expression of healthy sexuality. And that is deeply problematic. Women have the right for their sexuality to be their own; men have the right to not be treated like brainless sexaholics.
And here we are again, this time with models stripping for climate legislation. So, let's revisit this in a little bit more detail, shall we?

Ahem. Women and women's bodies are not bartering tools to get men to do good deeds. This is because women and women's bodies are, primarily, for women. To live in. And reducing a woman's (or even these specific women's) contribution to how hot she can make the guys, actually, more than a little sexist. In fact, it is a lot sexist. As is the implication that the way to make guys do something like focus on climate change legislation (or, as in the last post, voting for Obama) isn't through reasoned discussion or facts but by the chance to see some naked ladies. Because it suggests that (a) a woman's only power rests in her ability to sex up a man and get him to do what she wants, and (b) men are animals controlled by their libidos.

But there are some other problems with it; those are that the men are the actors. Men are the ones responsible for getting climate change legislation passed and done (and I say "men", because I very much doubt the masterminds behind the ad thought about lesbian response). Women are cast in the role of encouraging men to do good and fight the good fight, and then reward the great Climate Change Heros with some nudity.

But I can act. I can act, I can write letters, I can call my representatives in Congress, I can write letters to my local newspaper, I can write blog posts, and I can do all of those things while Being A Girl. And a lot of the girls I know can do all of those things while Being Girls as well. And this ad? Doesn't touch on that. It doesn't encourage any female action other than the getting naked bit. Maybe it is assuming those models have already written their letters. And yet, nada is mentioned about that possibility. Nada is mentioned about encouraging other women to write letters, to agitate for change. And what a way to cut 51 percent of the population out of a larger part of the solution than just being the body worth doing something to see.


John said...

I can't wait to see the response from the "drill, baby, drill" crowd. If they catch on to what this organization is doing, they'll make sure that their ad's strippers are even more objectified and seductive. It's the best kind of "race to the bottom."

In all seriousness, though, this ad wasn't terribly effective. Most guys won't really remember much beyond the whole "chicks stripping" component, and while that's great for glueing eyeballs to the screen, they spent too much time on it and not enough time tying it to the cause. If they manage to remember the website URL, they'll be disappointed when they find out they can't see the girls naked. Then they'll click over to SuicideGirls and be done with the matter.

petpluto said...

In all seriousness, though, this ad wasn't terribly effective.

I was wondering about that. It wasn't all that effective for me, and I was wondering if that was because the whole message is kind of muddied (what with the stripping), or if I was just missing something meant for men only!

My other problem with the ad, and something I didn't see how I'd fit into the post, was how it seemed counterintuitive to strip in order to combat global warming.