I’m not generally considered a “cool” person. My whole life I’ve only ever had a handful of actual friends at a time. Even my group of acquaintances has always been relatively small. Back in high school I hated that I was on the outside looking in, but in hindsight I am grateful that I was never popular. Knowing my tendencies and given the opportunity I may have turned into someone I would not respect. Besides, there’s something invaluable about the adversities you face as an underdog. All that to say, that there is a lot about me that doesn’t fit into social norms. For example, I don’t really watch t.v., which leads me into the topic I wanted to discuss.
Because I don’t have cable I wasn’t able to watch this year’s VMAs this past weekend. To be honest, I’m relieved after having seen clips on YouTube. When did woman writhing on stage, simulating sex become an act of female empowerment? When did dressing and acting promiscuously become synonymous with confidence and independence? I have a major issue with this because it’s a serious deception that is being passed down from generation to generation as truth.
Don’t get me wrong, to each his, or in this case, her own. If you want to walk around with your butt cheeks hanging out of the bottom of your shorts or nipples covered in pasties, go right ahead. What I have an issue with is calling it female empowerment because you’ve claimed to have taken control of your sexuality and can exude it on your “own terms”. When did our gender lose our ability to reason intelligently? Let’s break this down.
We have always been a sexual people, but before the exploration of the 60s and 70s, it was kept mostly behind closed doors. There certainly was a stigma against women who dressed or acted provocatively. That all changed in the previously mentioned decades. After that, sexuality became more prevalent in the influencing spheres of society, which then made it common place outside the home. Suddenly, everything was on display. Due to this, the objectification of woman became a universal social norm. It’s no secret that throughout time woman have been treated as objects of fantasy and lust, but at some point there came a clear mentality shift among woman in regards to this treatment. Suddenly, instead of fighting it, we’re embracing it, further still we’re perpetuating it. It’s the old “if you can’t beat em’, join em'” school of thought that’s rearing it’s ugly head and it’s being disguised as giving woman the “power”. WHAT?!?!
So, we are allowing ourselves to be a product for the entertainment industry or an object of lust for the masses because it empowers us as human beings? Does anyone else see the logic in this? cause I don’t. Supposedly feminism was about equality, right? How does embracing this picture of women put us on an equal playing field? Please, if someone has a rational explanation that makes sense and gives evidence to support it, I’m all ears. Not to mention, that we in no way have put “the ball in our court” with this. Woman being over sexualized is nothing our gender can possibly hope to control. If so, they wouldn’t be playing Beyonce videos on television screens outside the Red Light District in Amsterdam where human trafficking takes place. So, the men we are supposedly fighting for equality and respect are getting exactly what they want from us, at the quantity they want it, and on top of that the fight against it has decreased since women have started to embrace it. The power being in our hands is an illusion, a clever deception we took hook, line and sinker.
Yes, I have noticed the slow increase in men being objectified in the same fashion that women tend to be, but is that the kind of equality we meant? If so, then have a seat and get comfortable, because this is still a patriarchal society and men will never endure the treatment women do, to the same degree that women do. In addition, if this is about using your sexuality as a weapon to get what you want; like I will jiggle around in a cleavage baring bodysuit in my music video if you allow me to spit with the big boys or I’ll do that nude scene in this movie if you pay me more, than congratulations, you have just officially prostituted yourself.
I recently heard a song from a musical girl group, “Fifth Harmony” called “Boss”. It’s all about being confident and independent woman, but in the music video the girls are doing nothing of value or deserving of such descriptions except being scantily clad and thrusting their hips while holding up letters that spell “confidence.” Mind you, this video is light years away from their previous ones were they looked like sweet girls next door; but sex is what sells, right? In their lyrics they mention two woman of power, Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey. Let me just point out that these are two woman who are always fully dressed and use their influence, not to promote the degradation of, but the intelligence, virtue and power of women.
In conclusion, what the hell are we doing ladies? Something needs to give, because we have got it twisted and this is what we are teaching young girls? You’re only as valuable as how sexy you can be? or how good your body looks? If this is not the case, than I challenge singers and rappers like Beyonce, Rihanna and Nicki Minaj to take a whole year and write music that has nothing to do with your looks or your body, make music videos were you’re fully clothed and not dancing provocatively and step out in public with conservative apparel. Show me that it’s really about your talent and that you can be strong, independent and confident woman without all the bulls&%t.