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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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