Spot The Misogyny: If I Objectify Myself, Will They Stop Objectifying Me?

I keep saying this is an art blog, because it is.  That said, here’s another episode of Spot the Misogyny.  In a historic reversal of the usual male/female roles, Clyfford Still will have to wait his turn until this feminist blogger is done talking about women’s issues.  Clyffie isn’t going anywhere, and there’s a lot going on that I don’t want to miss engaging with.

old squaw

Has a degree in particle physics. (Source)

I left a comment on this “fun, fearless” pop-culture site  aimed at women.

The story linked above begins with an image of heaving cleavage (thankfully not entirely exposed) and the message: “Has a degree in neuroscience”.

It goes on to talk about how a fashion designer started a website that claims to fight the objectification of women.  Viewers are encouraged to send in photos of their body parts with uplifting messages attached thereto.  This, they claim, will “take control of the male gaze” and “empower women”.

Actually, they’re both caring nurturers and members of several 12-step programs. (Source)

Some forms of misogyny are obvious.  Some are very, very subtle.  The worst kind, the kind that makes me grind my teeth and throw things, is the kind where some woman plays the Judas goat, presenting herself as an ally to the feminist cause, only to do her best to decoy us back into the labyrinth of empowerfullized consumerist choices.  She’s selling  the same old beauty/fashion snake-oil, only it’s disguised as rebellion.  The ad copy on its label talks about how smart and powerful and awesome you are.

Nothing from the beauty or fashion industry is feminist.  Nothing.  If you want to use their products, I’m not going to tell you not to.  Just don’t lie to yourselves that it’s anything but patriarchal compliance, and don’t trust the people who sell it to you.

master of magic

Both magic and the patriarchy work by misrepresenting things, and by misdirecting your attention

My reaction is submitted for posterity here, in case they delete it.  Their sponsors are corporate, after all.

If women were ever accepted as fully human beings, “beauty” and fashion would become irrelevant.

This scares the bejeezus out of the corporate-owned media, because they see themselves losing the billions of dollars that they make off of exploiting women’s anxieties and their need for acceptance.

Yet they realize that women are getting tired of being judged solely according to how sexually relevant a male-dominated world perceives them as being.

So, with insidious cleverness, they repackage the same old beauty-compliance bullshit as empowerment and stick a “feminism” label on it. They slyly suggest that the actual feminists who see through this ruse are just ugly old jealous haters who don’t want anybody to have any fun.

Here’s a surefire way to tell if anything is misogynist: Do men have to do it?

Do men have to write words on their body parts and upload sexxxay images thereof to a website to “empower” themselves?

No?

Then it’s misogynist.

It really is that simple.

You’ll know when feminism ever succeeds, because we won’t be expected to show our bodies on demand. And articles about women won’t be prefaced by Mountains o’Cleavage images, any more than articles about men today begin with a closeup of a scrotum.

I’m interested in your comments.

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9 thoughts on “Spot The Misogyny: If I Objectify Myself, Will They Stop Objectifying Me?

  1. Check out my wifes online magazine, for post feminist womanhood, that of mind,body and soul as one. Same as me in art. She is a great designer/woman. And the mag is for all those out there who are also.
    Supporting the Truth that all Women are Beautiful

    [link to antifeminist website removed. – MKH]

  2. Polite Liberal Sexism at its finest!

    I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. Beauty is an oppressive concept when applied to human beings.

    I took the link to your creepy website down, dude. This is a safe space for women. It’s not the blog for you.

  3. Pingback: Strength in the “Fairer” Sex | Even More BonusParts!

  4. Pingback: Turn your back on naked activism « Exiled Stardust

  5. Your thoughts are very interesting (and compelling) to me. I’m not sure about your idea that beauty when applied to human beings is always oppressive. Always? Take a look at this please: http://boysofmontreal.tumblr.com/

    I’ve been following this “Boys of Montreal” blog for a couple of years now. It was inspired by a novel from the 60s (or 70s) called “Girls of Montreal”. The images are of beautiful, if somewhat perpetually adolescent, “boys”. I don’t find these oppressive at all. Idealised as they are, actually, I think they function as important images of masculinity. Would love to know your thoughts.

    • Perhaps I should qualify that statement to say “Beauty is oppressive when applied to female human beings”.

      Since women are an oppressed sex class but men are not, beauty is much less of a problem for men. But I still find it problematic to sort people into a hierarchy of worthiness based on the symmetry of their facial features. In a world without oppression, there wouldn’t be any hierarchies at all.

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