Who’ really calling the shots between the sexes?
What’s in gender role? Who’s exploiting who? And is acting like a ‘man’ or a ‘woman’ just a meaningless term we like to use to reinforce stereo types? So much for equality for the sexes. Either way the least you can do is learn how to please your man and other myths.- Scallywag.
I am face to face with Cosmo magazine. The cover boasts such prevalent female issues as; “Sex Bloopers that will make you LOL” and “8 things in your closet that make you look chunky” (note to Cosmo, it is the molten lava caramel cake I bought with the magazine that is making me look chunky, my clothes are mere victims). I can’t help but feel that just from the cover alone I’m dropping IQ points, but then again maybe that’s the whole idea..?
Things like “New Guy: Our Classic Seduction Trick will keep him hooked” and “How to Double his Satisfaction” are the ‘de rigeur‘ and if you really want to get ahead it’s best to listen and stay posted- after all why wouldn’t I want to make him happy and please him in bed? It’s my god given right(obligation) as a woman, forget my smarts or personality.
Considering ‘Cosmopolitan,’ and it’s elk supposed to be a magazine celebrating the ‘fun, fearless female’ I’m really missing the whole feminist angle. Encouraging a woman to please her man in bed is vastly different than encouraging a society that is comfortable with a womans sexuality. I’ve never seen a GQ that has an entire covers worth of musings on pleasing a woman. And judging by the several magazines I’m mulling over we’re such a desperate crew they really need not concern themselves with that anyway.
Why is it that magazines meant for women are typically about boys, clothes, or getting in shape. Does that make sense? Are boys and size two dresses all we care about? Is this the sexual liberation and gender equality that we talk about? Is walking down the street looking like a faux runway model more important than the act of actually being liberated?
Just because Britney Spears can sing and breathe heavily in “I’m A Slave For You” as she dances around in a scarf with a python doesn’t mean we’ve accomplished equality, it just looks like we have that’s all. Think about it. Britney still had to play the virgin card. She still had to act sweet and tactful. And when she crashed and burned she was viewed as the victim, someone who was taken advantage of, someone that needed to be protected, when in reality she is one of the most accomplished and powerful female entertainers of our generation.
Most of the sexuality that is celebrated for women in our society is celebrated at the whim of men. There is nothing wrong with seeing the beauty of the human body. Or exploring the power of sexuality. It is nothing new. We are not the first generation to be infatuated by it and we won’t be the last. But along with the admiration of the female body has come the exploitation of it and the two really can’t be confused. It shouldn’t be a choice between a turtleneck and a plunging black mini dress. No women should have to choose between being a Madonna or a whore.
Let’s take someone like Samantha the fictional character from the show ‘Sex and the City’, someone who is sexual, respectful of her own body and totally independent and then ask people how they identify with her. Eight out of ten would probably classify her as a slut. And most women wouldn’t come to her defense because she is a woman, in fact it is quite the opposite. Women are the first ones to judge other women on their behavior and their dress.
Whatever stereotypes or double standards are out there may have been initially put forth by men but they are closely abided to by women. We are not innocent bystanders as men force rules and regulations on us; in many ways we are enablers of our own inequality. Women are the editors of the magazines that make us sound like petty girls at slumber parties. And it isn’t like these magazines don’t have an audience. Women are also not so naïve as to be unaware of why they got a drink for free, or why they were let out of a speeding ticket. Women are aware of their power over men and I don’t think there is a woman on the planet who has never benefited from it.
So while I do feel men exploit women I can’t exactly ignore the fact that women exploit the exploitation. Pamela Anderson in an interview said that despite feminist criticism of Playboy, Playboy doesn’t exploit women, the women exploited Playboy. I thought about that for a minute. I realized that there is absolute validity to that point. Ms. Anderson has made an entire living, an extremely lucrative living, off her body and her looks. Men are willing to pay money just to look at her in magazines and in movies; it begs the question, who really has all the power?