There is a article in the Independent today about how page 3 of the Sun, and images of naked women in newspapers, contributes to domestic violence.
“There is an army on the other side hurtling abuse. It’s not simply about equal pay. It’s about the constant drip, drip of women being sexualised in the public space [which] has a great bearing on attitudes and domestic violence.
– Lynne Featherstone, former equalities minister for the UK
So then Dude Nation began barfing OMGCENSORSHIP in the comments and acting like taking the boobs off of page 3 would mean THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT. So here’s my answer:
I can’t help but laugh when I see these OMG CENSORSHIP arguments.
We haven’t had any real censorship in years. Just look around you. P()rn everywhere! Tell me how that’s made our lives better? With statistics ‘n’ things. And you’ll have to meet Mr. Wimble’s [a commenter’s] criteria for the burden of proof, or we can’t be expected to believe you.
As if freedom of speech had anything to do with the privilege – mistakenly believed to be a right – of male humans to use their ownership and control of economic resources to make women strip for them and pose in humiliating ways, for their own survival.
Censorship is only possible by the privileged. They are the only ones with enough power and minions to enforce it.
The bitter irony of the OMG CENSORSHIP people is that the moment anyone questions their entitlement to consume women’s bodies, that person is belittled, attacked, and shouted down. Since men belong to the dominant class, they can (and do) censor any female who objects to the way men treat women. They count on support from their fellow males to silence women, and they get it. Just look at all the men in these comments, acting like taking away their p()rn* will destroy society. Dude, it won’t destroy anything but your sense of entitlement to women’s bodies. Why do you have that sense of entitlement in the first place?
*one word changed because I really don’t want hits on my site from dudes looking for graphic representations of rape on the internet.
And also this morning, I had to explain to someone why stripping and nudity aren’t actually acts of feminist defiance, but the same old male appeasement in a shiny new package. There’s always some group of so-called feminists trying to get away with this. It doesn’t work, because getting naked is what men want women to do.
Doing what men want is appeasement. Feminism is resistance. Appeasement and resistance are opposing forces; the more you do of one, the less you can do of the other. That’s why these groups are insidious; they divert feminist energy into meaningless acts that only serve male interests.
Men don’t care if you write incendiary messages of revolt all over your naked body, as long as they get to see that body. When they hear you call yourself a slut, they won’t know that you’re being ironic and that you’ve reclaimed the word. And they won’t care, because irony is just another flavor of appeasement. They’ll call you a slut in a totally non-ironic, non-reclaimed way. And they’ll insist that insulting you is okay because you’re doing it to yourself.
We all have to appease in one way or another to survive, but let’s not confuse that behavior with feminist activism. It’s not. Let’s do as little of it as we can get away with, and as much resistance as we are capable of.
In related news, the Everyday Sexism project won the Independent Blog of the Year Award. Go there and try to figure out which of the stories I sent in. (didn’t use my actual name).
And if you haven’t signed No More Page 3, do it now!