In the midst of the rising tide of stories of wrongdoing by men, I find myself feeling uncomfortable about more than my life-long knowledge of men’s generally condescending and sexually-based attitudes toward women. One discomfort stems from a growing fury I’ve felt for years at younger generations of women who seemed to throw away all the advancements the women’s movement made on their behalf.
At a previous post you’ll find some thoughts about their disdain for feminism, but now I’m reaching a peak of outrage at young women dressing and behaving as sex objects, as if nothing else about them matters. It trivializes them… and I’d argue, all of us. It’s been disturbing me for years, this trend among so many young women — especially actresses, rock/pop divas and models — who dress with necklines down to their waists, skirts slit up to their crotches, cut-outs that leave them barely covered, butts hanging out, etc. I’ve watched dance on variety shows and on programs like Dancing with the Stars turn into basically simulated sex to music. Women shaking their booties and thrusting their pelvises.
And through it all, besides regularly thinking, “Ew, that is more of her than I want to see,” I keep angrily feeling that everything the women’s movement fought for in terms of having women taken seriously and perceived as more than sex objects has been thrown out the window by young women who seem to have no appreciation for the privileges feminism brought them nor any concern for the attitudes toward women they are fostering.
You can argue till you’re blue in the face about your right to dress as you please. I certainly won’t disagree up to a point, and I totally agree that dressing like a hooker doesn’t mean you’ve lost the right to say no. But why on earth among all the many ways in which you might dress to express your artistry or your talents or your drive for success or your braininess or your sports abilities, etc., would you choose to only dress to emphasize that you’re sexy? And don’t even get me started on the women I’ve seen discussing how they want their 10-year-old daughters to dress “sexy” (personally I think there should be a special pedophile or child-porn statute specifying charges just for that…).
To me these women have been colluding in creating an atmosphere in which people think women are lesser beings who are only worthwhile for sex. Men have always thought more with their dicks than their heads and they were certainly groping and molesting when women in general dressed pretty chastely (and I have some of those stories) so I’m not saying that women alone brought this on. But I certainly feel they have added to an atmosphere that diminishes women to sex objects and probably encourages men in their propensity to sexualize us and ignore any other talents or skills.
During the time these younger women have cast off feminism and promoted themselves as sexual above all else, women have never really broken the glass ceiling. continue to make less than men in just about any job category or industry you can name and are regularly talk over and ignored in boardrooms and meetings. They don’t want us there and they don’t want us to be equal participants in… anything. Really, all this is going on and the big thing you want to fight for is your right to dress like you’re ready to mount a stripper pole?
I realize I’m seeing a bit of a shift as young women seem to be galvanizing against sexual harassment and I guess I should feel pleased but mostly right now I feel cynical about their commitment. And until I see young women — especially celebrities who are role models for young girls– dressing and behaving as more than sex objects, I’m still gonna feel angry at their determination to smear us all with the “just sex objects” brush. Be more than that.