Trading Equality for a Dollar

Why do women dress virtually naked at concert festivals? Yes, it’s hot outside, and women have struggled for their right to express themselves in clothing, but do they really need to wear a thong bikini, or just pasties over their nipples?

Silhouette from Wikipedia

When a woman presents herself as a sexual object in public, people believe it’s OK for women to be treated as such.

For example, at Coachella this year I saw many young women baring it all — topless with gold pasties and shiny blue plastic pants, or walking around in g-strings and cowboy hats. One particular concertgoer wore a bathing suit top with a thong and no shoes. On her back was an invitation to slap her butt: “Someone stole my money. For $1 smack my ass.” There was a red hand painted on her right butt cheek, a target. As she walked by me, a man she didn’t know handed her a dollar as he rushed by, slapping her rear end.

So, tell me this, how does hypersexuality promote equality? Consider how many women are smacked on the butt, ogled and receive unwanted advances by men in other settings. These forms of sexual harassment are inappropriate, demeaning and sexist. Yet, people think of them as typical experiences young women face.

This hypersexualization of young women is a problem because it perpetuates these sexual relationships in society, I don’t think it gets rid of them. And, in some cases, women encourage these extreme behaviors like the example above.

We could talk about how the dollar butt slap may promote violence against women, or the simple fact that it was gross, but I’m mostly concerned about the prevalence of hypersexuality being masked as equality.

WOMEN SHOULD NEVER BELIEVE THAT:

-Sexual desire determines her self-worth.

-Being sexy is the only way to get help, attention and affection.

-Desirability and beauty is based on the perception of others.

All the world is not a pornographic film and we, as women do not need to play the role of “sex kitten” in public — be that ass or breast baring at a concert, as a Playboy Playmate, or even in reference to those CAT-ASTROPHIC terms like “Pussy,” “Cougar,” “Puma,” or “Cheetah.”

The fact that young women are so quick to expose themselves is an issue based in the ease of hook up culture, people’s need for instant gratification and the severe lack of confidence women have in our culture right now.

While some young women try to avoid hook ups and exposing themselves, others think displays of sexual “prowess” by being practically nude in public, are the real form of equality, but you don’t see guys walking around with their genitals on display.

A general respect in women needs to be restored. We cannot rely on the media to promote equality and empower both sexes, if we do not believe it ourselves. Plus, there is an inherent sexism “in disguise,” as Katie notes in her post about the facade of gender relations on TV as women play the roles of surgeon, doctor and president, but in real life reduce themselves to objects.

So, what do we do? I suggest encouraging people to be strong, dynamic, and intelligent who are in control of our bodies and sexuality in public. And we help teach men and women to respect each other — as equals.

What’s that called? Oh, right, FEMINISM.

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11 thoughts on “Trading Equality for a Dollar

  1. Pingback: Clothes Make the Woman? « Christa Writes

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  3. Pingback: Down with American Apparel Ads? « Christa Writes

  4. Hi Christa,

    Just dropping by to let you know that no one at our blog is actually named Mary. The article you referred to was written by Katie. Just a clarification.

    Otherwise, great post!

    – Connie

    1. Thanks Connie, I made the change. Sorry about that Katie, I assumed the blogger was named Mary, didn’t realize you were all from the College of William and Mary. Great blog! I’m adding you to my list tonight.

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