Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Rant about a Particularly Hot Piece of Ass

My cousins A and P told me that they were watching the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest held a few months ago in Malmö, Sweden. (Hooray to great cultural traditions!)  Apparently in the Finnish broadcast one could send text messages to the production company and these would scroll along the bottom of the screen as the finalists were performing.  A and P noted that many of the comments were lewd and openly sexual, saying nothing about the songs, but focusing solely on the physical attributes of the artists.  Once they noticed this, they began following the comments and discovered that they related solely to the men – without exception.  Nobody made comments about the looks of the female artists (or at least none were published), many of whom were trying just as hard as the men (if not harder) to look sexy.

This is of course what I did at the end of my last post on football.  I made a very thinly veiled crass remark about the looks of professional male football players.  Had I been a man, and making a similar kind of a comment about, say, a female swimmer or gymnast, it would probably have come across as stupid and more than a little sexist.  But I will hazard a guess that that is not how it came across when I made it about men.

Why is that?  Is it not a double standard?  Why do women feel the need to make sexist remarks about men’s bodies, and why are these tolerated?

I gave this idea some thought, and while I don’t have any definite answers, my guess is that it is some kind of a reclaiming exercise.  “Reclaiming” is what black people have done in appropriating the previously used derogatory term “nigger” for their own use, just like women have done with “bitch”, handicapped people with “cripple” and gay men with “fruit” or “queen” – just to give a few obvious examples.  So what I think has happened with the whole objectification thing is that women have taken a practice formerly reserved for men and appropriated it for their own use.  While men are no longer permitted to do that with impunity (remember what recently happened to BBC’s John Inverdale and his blooper about Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli?), women are cheekily turning the tables and giving men a taste of their own medicine.  What we are in effect saying is “I don’t give a damn whether you have talent / brains / sense of humour – I just see you as a hot piece of ass and it is my right to objectify you in this way”.  

The fad will undoubtedly die down, but for now, I may just take advantage of it a few times before it is gone.  So all overpaid famous men beware: I couldn't care less about you, your skills, opinions or personality.  What I want to know is whether I am getting some eye candy or not.  

I'm sure all Wayne Rooneys of this world are quietly crying into their beers having learnt this harsh truth about my wishes and intentions. 

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