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I really hope that everyone is as equally offended and quick to point out sexism for every advertisement, television show, and movie featuring a very fit, shirtless man doing a stereotypical "masculine" activity (construction work, heavy lifting, playing a sport, or fighting each other).



This is not a legitimate counter-argument. The use of women in advertising, and our social treatment of women in general, has negatively affected most women's ability to be treated professionally and respectfully. The use of fit, shirtless men in advertising does little to hold men back in general.


I agree that women are underrepresented in our field (and certainly others).

I have two issues with your post. Maybe they are a failure to understand what you're saying (blame it on reading comprehension in that case):

1) ".. has negatively affected most women's ability to be treated professionally and respectfully"

If you reread those lines, would you still choose them? _Most_ women's ability to be treated in either way or both is negatively affected? Maybe I stumble when I read 'most' and change that mentally to 90% or so - which my gut rejects as unreasonably large and way over the top.

2) Did you watch the video? Would you, if that girl came now down the street, think disrespectful about her? Consider her unprofessional in her job?

I think the video was obviously shot for this effect and completely unnecessary. The 'I need new pants' comment at the end was the biggest issue I have with that stuff. Watching it I reacted like w/ most advertisements: Lack of interest in general, disgust for so badly disguised tries to influence the viewer, me.

But I don't think videos like these will go away, nor are they the biggest problem. Failure to distinguish between a model with little more than a shirt on (job: to be looked at) and your fellow rails programmer (job: produce awesome code) because they share the same sex is .. stupid. And needs to be eliminated.


1) ".. has negatively affected most women's ability to be treated professionally and respectfully" If you reread those lines, would you still choose them? _Most_ women's ability to be treated in either way or both is negatively affected? Maybe I stumble when I read 'most' and change that mentally to 90% or so - which my gut rejects as unreasonably large and way over the top.

Yes, I'd write this the same way. I'm referring to the subtle effects that the real katie wrote about yesterday in "Lighten up". Women are treated professionally and respectfully in many situations, but the subtle effects of what she described add up, and do indeed affect most women.


I never intended it to be a counter-argument. I was just pointing out how hypocritical it would be if you don't agree that half-naked men in advertising is as equally sexist and offensive.


Actually, it does get mentioned a lot, both in discussion of difference of portrayal, how it hurts men who don't actually want to strive towards displayed image (or, for example, have little chance of developing such a body type), and how it hurts women (because a heterosexual woman will probably end up in a relationship with a guy, and in our culture, it's not a question if he's influenced by the mainstream image, but how badly).


Its taken a bit of meditation and conversation on the topic, but half-naked men in advertising isn't equally sexist or offensive.

Believe me, I see where you're coming from. My gut instinct (which I'm trying to tame) when I hear something about objectification is "I wouldn't mind someone objectifying me!" - but that instinct is wrong and here's why.

I (straight, white, american, upper middle class, male from suburban christian background) have a shit ton of privilege. Part of that as I understand it is that there are huge double standards in society at large for men vs women. There are things that I can do, which a woman doing would have incredible different reactions an consequences.

To be extreme, if I worked for a company and the rumor was that I had slept with every woman that worked there, it would likely be seen by the coworkers (and management potentially) as being a generally positive thing. James Bond, etc... The rumor of a woman doing the exact same and she's a slut. The consequences of being seen in a sexual light for a man aren't the same as they are for a woman. For men, its a sign of increasing power, and for women unfortunately its of decreasing power.


Everyone certainly isn't, but feminists tend to feel that stereotypically gendered depictions of men are as wrong as those of women, if not always as damaging. It gets passed over in mainstream discussions, but it's definitely a good thing to talk about.


I am not equally offended because I don't feel that the sexualization of men in advertisements is equally offensive. The reason is simple: the sexualization of women comes from a male-fantasy prospective. The sexualization of men also comes from a male-fantasy prospective.

What does offend me are advertisements with the bumbling-husband archetype or similar man-without-a-woman stereotypes.

Edit: I should point out that I do think male sexualization is bad as it can promote poor body image, etc.


Are you trying to assert that a couple of half-naked women in an advertisement for no reason is analogous to a shirtless man in the context of a masculine activity during a film? I would love to see your reasoning because I believe the context dictates the offensiveness of the message.

Also I can detect the implication that somebody is a hypocrite if they do not sit there and correctly judge every single case of sexism that comes their way. Do you believe that ethical decisions are black-or-white and that you cannot judge one ethical decision unless you have the ability and time to judge them all?


I should have specified that those actions take place out of context. Such as showing a half-naked man riding on a horse down the beach to sell a product to women.

Obviously everyone has different sensitivities, but if you cannot objectively identify sexism of both men and women in advertisements, yes you're a hypocrite.


>> If you cannot objectively identify sexism of both men and women in advertisements, yes you're a hypocrite.

Consider the context though. How were women treated a 100 years ago? How are they still treated? Feminism, etc.

I think you need a better model that takes this into consideration. Whether you like it or not for historic reasons there is greater sensitivity about sexism against women. I don't think rejecting this is being more objective, it's called trying to force an incomplete model onto reality.


What a about something like this:

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-yD8EzRoZItM/TuWQwWlZNyI/AAAAAAAABc...

Every woman I've talked to LOVES this kinds of photos. I've never ever hear anybody protesting this (except maybe some prude religious idiots).


Those poor objectified men. It must be horrible to be portrayed as powerful, capable, and striving for dominance.

Edit: which is not to mean that the entire gender stereotyping thing doesn't hurt men — of course it does — but there's a world of difference between what it does to men and women.




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