Saturday, January 05, 2013

(in response to

Since it’s semantics we’re quibbling over, you may want to look up ‘sexist’, and then point out where I made a “discrimination based on gender”. Everything I said, I think I made abundantly clear, applied to both sexes. What wasn’t as clear, perhaps, (even though I put out a rider) was that your thoughts and fantasies (and not words and actions) are yours alone, and that visual stimulation aids sexual activity. The man Julia Gillard spoke out against was accused of sending out sexist text messages. I wouldn’t condone that kind of behaviour.

Also, I share your contempt for Latin. I’m frankly quite embarrassed I used ‘per se’. Sorry about that.

(in response to

First, I’ll address the contention that bachelor parties, as a show of “dominant masculinity”, are “inherently misogynistic”.

A guy goes to see a movie that has Deepika Padukone in an item number. He’s deeply (physically) attracted to her. He doesn’t know her, and never will. He thinks she has a beautiful face, and a great body. The next time he’s beating off, it’s to an image of her.

A month later, a friend of his is getting married. He gets invited to the bachelor party. There are risque props and lewd jokes. He gets wasted. It’s all good fun. Then the stripper shows up (of her own free will), and it’s Deepika Padukone. He watches her performance, goes home, and beats off to her again. He still doesn’t know her, and still never will.

Now, what harm has come of that? What harm may come of that?

Is he objectifying her? Yes.
Does he hate her? No.
Does he hate all women because of her? No.
Does it skew his outlook on women? No. I don’t think people take their kids to these things. By the time you’re old enough to attend a bachelor party, your views on these matters are already firmly set, and genitalia-shaped shot glasses or strippers aren’t going to change or reinforce them.

It’s just purely physical attraction. And that is something people experience all the time.

Objectification of women (or men), per se, is not misogyny (or misandry). But a misogynist uses objectification as a tool to express and promote his (detestable) views. I hope that distinction is as clear as I think it is.

Objectification of people by both sexes, done every day without any ill feeling, is nothing but fantasy. And you cannot be accused of thought crime.

The goal of objectification isn’t a feeling of empowerment. I’m quite sure women having bachelorette parties aren’t doing it as an expression of feminist ideals. They’re just indulging in some harmless fun that women in another era might have enjoyed but couldn’t. You’re welcome to cast a disapproving eye, but in accusing them of perpetuating a practice as abhorrent as misogyny by participating in an activity so trivial, you’re just being churlish.