In The Guardian today, writer Decca Aitkenhead argues that these days, if women feel like victims of sexism, it might be because they've set themselves up for it. In the UK, there's this "lad mag" called Nuts. You know the kind: sexy girls, football, rude jokes, cartoons. The Nuts website features a section called "Assess My Breasts," (NSFW) which invites men to study pictures of naked mammaries and rank them on a scale from 1 to 10. Sure, toplessness is more common in the UK. But asking men to judge your tits? Really? Because the thousands of pictures available are uploaded voluntarily. For free. By ordinary women. Writes Aitkenhead:
And so manicures, and Brazilian bikini waxes and pole-dancing classes were all reintroduced under the guise of harmless girly "fun". Barely 10 years later, we look in the mirror and mistake ourselves for sex workers.
It is no wonder a lot of men now genuinely believe that women want to be treated as sex objects. Who could blame them when so many of us have internalized an exhibitionistic ideal of our own objectification?
Perhaps you're thinking, yes, but I believe in individual freedom! I'm smarter than that, I know the difference between being a fierce, sexy woman in charge who chooses to be sexy and take cardio striptease. But what about women younger than you? What about girls? What are they learning from this? Aitkenhead reports that a 14-year-old had her topless photo published in FHM, and that at "a London school where a teacher I know works, a pupil recently videoed a younger girl giving him a blowjob in the school toilets, then uploaded her performance straight on to YouTube." What fate do you suppose awaits girls who idolize "glamour model" Jordan? Or girls who wax their legs at age 9? Doesn't it make the "I left my brain in my locker" t-shirt seem so much worse?