I found myself in a 140 character discussion this morning – I refuse to grace such things with the descriptor of ‘debate’ because you simply can NOT debate in 140 characters – on the issue of women apparently being ‘forced’ to sell their good looks as a marketing tool to modelling success or some form of professional recognition. Gotta love Twitter, it brings out all of these because I say so arguments and I for one on issues like this simply can’t refuse the bait.
Let’s look at the matter in some form of context, something which those who want to proffer such issues never allow to happen. Page three girls in Britain’s THE SUN Newspaper. Word has it The Sun had decided to drop the (in)famous page three tittie fest because of feminist lobby pressure. That is clearly not the case. But it does appear that certain related rags have, over time, bowed to lobbiest pressure and dropped the exposure of female mammary glands because it apparently offends some folk. We’re never told how many folk such exposure apparently offends, or why it offends, just that it’s become an issue for the paper. I find myself asking why is exposure of female tit flesh an issue when it seems to be the very same feminist lobby groups who decry the equally vehement opposition from even more closeted anti-breast-feeding lobbies whenever a mum decides to flop out a boobie to feed her loinfruit.
Yes, I am being deliberately crude in my descriptions of the relevant activities, and why, you may ask? The answer is quite simply, because I can. That very same rationale undoubtedly applies to the very same ladies who, of their own volition and with no coercion other than the dollar sign attached to the contract through which they agree, as an adult individual, to get their norks out for the cameras, do so. Therein lies the crux of what, for me, is some enormous angst. Who is it that forces women to apparently degrade themselves in order to be recognised for who & what they are? Is it you, dear reader? Is it me? Is it the bloke down the road, the mob up the street, the supposedly leering agent they use to secure them the best deal for exposure of their areola or worse – GASP - their labia? Not in the least. The only person to blame if indeed blame is the rightful context to take such a decisions in, is the woman herself. Surely, a woman’s body is hers and hers alone to decide to do with whatever it is she decides to do? If a woman decides to lie down on a chaise lounge, open her legs & show the world just where she derives her most physical and carnal pleasures from, surely that decision is hers to make? Is that degrading of the specific individual if that individual makes a conscious decision to do whatever it is the camera operator says is a good shot? Only in the mind of that individual can exist the apparent shame, coercion, even, dare I use the word, feelings of prostitution in the performance of the action required. If those feelings exist, can the society due to be exposed to such material be at fault for it’s consumption of the material? I think not. Said material is offered gratis, or at some nominal cost which the society in question is undoubtedly prepared to pay. Is payment for that consumption to be directly related to any feelings of remorse on the part of the individual woman who chooses to display that which she later regrets? Certainly not, in my view. Are we not all individually responsible adults?
As a male, I can quite honestly state that I regard the feminine form as art. There was a time, during the renaissance, when the male form was regarded similarly. Evidence Michelangelo’s David, or the innumerable Greek statues of athletic male form. Was there an outcry back then about seeming prostitution of any given individual as the relevant model, for surely a model there must have been. I seriously doubt it. I ask, quite openly, why it is in this current age of sexual freedom in the western world, acceptance of nudity in theatre, film and the arts, in a world where a man can actually make money by painting caricatures with his penis that there still exists a minority lobby dedicated to the protection of something which, to me at least, appears utterly indefinable and solely the premise of the individual woman to decide upon. If a woman, ANY woman, decides as a responsible adult to use her body as a means of deriving a viable income, be it through the exposure of the exterior, or the use of the internal biological functionalities of her own body, who are we, be we male or female, to deny her the freedom of choice to so do?