December 30, 2014

Sexism: One Step Forward, Two Stilletto Steps Backwards

Ugh. Watching the new face of sexism is getting tricky. Creepy mysognists compete with attention-grabbing gals who seem happy to exploit the evidence that breast cleavage, rounded butts and ridiculous footwear can send the average man into a dizzy moment of vacant-brain syndrome. Is that why they make high-powered females (from Glenn Close in Damages to Julianna Margulies in The Good Wife, even the icy-featured Gina Torres in Suits) totter around in high heels? And who do they think they're fooling when the female cop runs after a perp in her stillettos? Seriously, that's some bad culture warp.

Reality TV at its worst.
Beauty and the breast
A recent episode of Undercover Boss really got to me; within minutes I was cursing the owner of a chain of restaurants called "Bikinis" (an obvious knock-off of Hooters) and wondering who in their right mind thought this was a timely idea, let alone good TV. By the time the show was wrapping up - I stopped watching when he rewarded one gal with a boob job - I had written it off completely. They blew it with this one, and lost me as a viewer.

A CEO with more ego than brains, more greed than generosity, dull-witted and dull, pursuing his vision of giving guys the chance to look at tits and ass while they consume beer and sloppy chicken wings. Oh yeah, that's a winning formula.

He eventually fires a gal who decided to cover her breasts for the camera crew (no modesty allowed in this man's narrow vision) and rewards another one with a boob job. The on-air firing of the first gal was reminiscent of the ridiculous Trump-style "You're fired!" dramatics that viewers seem to thrive on, and her reaction was rightfully indignant. The boob-job bonus was equally ridiculous, in terms of creating false value around a bra size. As it turns out, the boss is the biggest boob in this company.

Are we evolving or devolving?
I despair for my nieces and nephews. As long as we celebrate the female body as eye-candy, we continue to feed the monster of sexism. I have to believe that some women, like Mylie Cyrus, are doing it strictly because they are starved for attention. I doubt they're thinking about the long-term consequences of baring their boobs, sticking out their tongues or wagging their butts at the camera. They just want people to notice them.

The sad part is that it works. As long as men are willing to pay for sex, pornography and masturbation material, the market will supply it. And as long as women are willing to pander to it, it will not go away.

Freedom of sexpression.
As individuals, we have an opportunity to express ourselves freely with our wardrobe. What does it say about you when you decide to draw attention to your body parts? Are you telling people that you're proud of your musculature, or are you simply doing what is expected to look trendy and glamorous? Do you just get a kick out of the way men react? And if so, what does that say about your view of men?

More importantly, are you being a role model for thinking, intelligent women of the future, or are you pandering to an outdated and increasingly irrelevant form of sexism? Think about it the next time you reach for that insidious Victoria's Secret catalogue. Who exactly are you trying to impress? And why?

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