“Is This Enlightening?”

I have just stumbled across this article from Sarah Montague, from BBC Radio 4 titled “Is This Empowering?”. We feminists know that every so often someone will attempt at commenting on the new “Raunch Culture”, but fall shortly of really saying anything so as to not piss off the masses too much. This doesn’t seem to be justified, since the BBC is financially supported by the state and so doesn’t depend on people “liking” your product and “consuming” it. This attitude makes me cry at the top of my voice “Can you please stop trying to be “neutral”, a.k.a. “morally relativistic”, and give your DAMN opinion on something for a change?”.

This article is the most worthless use of media space I’ve seen in the whole day. The author isn’t:
a) Informing us of anything we don’t know already.
b) Giving us her opinion on that which we already know
or c) Providing us with a wide and varied selection of different opinions so we can think things through under a new light
What she IS doing is drawing attention to something we already know is going on, then failing to take a stand somewhere and give us her opinion on it, but instead providing us with the most mainstream of ideas about the topic there are.
Her whole article could be summarized as: “we know this happens, but bleh. And someone else thinks ‘well, yeah, bleh’”. All so very enlightening!

I only whish they had asked me to write about this. I could literally come up with a whole book on the topic. Some of my many opinions on this in bullet point form:
1) The ability to titillate men is not a high moral purpose, ergo it is not, or should not be, desirable.
2) Women’s confidence, sexual or otherwise, shouldn’t be tied to male approval.
3) If we go from thinking that women ought to be “virgins” to be “sluts” we are not really changing anything.
4) Women shouldn’t be reduced to sexual objects. And reducing themselves to sexual objects doesn’t make it one bit better.
5) Making money out of presenting yourself as a sexual object doesn’t make it morally right.
6) The bogus sexual “power” women could have over men by presenting themselves as sexual objects, the source of the so-called “empowerment”, is not morally right or desirable.
7) Women’s sexuality shouldn’t be reduced to appealing to men’s sexual fantasies.

But I guess the author couldn’t expand on any of these points because that would mean expressing truly unpopular ideas.

So, to summarize, I would like to let everyone out there who might feel the itch to discuss about the new “empowerment” that women feel when titillating men in this most extreme ways. Either inform us of something new, express your opinion on it or describe other people’s opinions on it. And try to remember that the easiest approach to something, or the most popular for that matter, is not always the best one.


1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    Maia said,

    Yes, a pretty wet article… although the fact that the empowerfulness of taking your clothes off to please men is even being questioned in mainstream media is (sad to say) a nice change.

    I compare all this “pleasing men is empowering because they pay me for it” to past notions that “being a wife is a powerful and influential position because I can indirectly wield my husband’s power” – and therefore that married women didn’t need the vote because they already had enough power simply by dint of being married. Whatever power some women may have had by their association with a powerful husband was not their own power, and was a poor substitute. We realised that, eventually. So perhaps we will eventually also grasp that the power some women may have when they use sexiness to get what they want from men is also illusory, and a poor substitute for the real thing.

    Meanwhile, i wonder how all these women who gain “confidence” from getting attention for dressing sexy will feel about themselves when the fashionable body type changes, or their body ages, and they no longer get the same attention. How good will that be for their “confidence”? No confidence that comes from someone else’s conditional approval is true confidence.

    PS Have I commented here before? If not, hello 🙂 I think I found this blog via a recent carnival and have been reading every since.

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