Female Chauvinist Pigs

I found an interesting interview with Ariel Levy, the author of Female Chauvinist Pigs, in which she defines "female chauvinist pigs" as "women who make sex objects of other women and of ourselves." This includes "women's apparent willingness not just to accept this culture, but actively to participate in it: taking up pole dancing as a hobby, for instance, or visiting strip clubs, leering and beering along with the male audience." Levy gives examples of a woman who worked on The Man Show as an executive producer. I also remember watching an Oprah about women objectifying other women. There was a young, attractive woman on the show who worked for the Girls Gone Wild tapes. Her sole job was to convince drunk, vulnerable college girls to flash the camera by saying, "Come on, I've done it. It's no big deal. This is your moment of fame." This "recruiter" in fact had not flashed any cameras and was basically pretending to be the drunk girl's friend. I can definitely see where this term "female chauvinist pig" can be applied. The article continues:

Levy isn't a prude or a scold, arguing for women to be less sexual - in fact, quite the opposite. Her point is that the single form of sexuality on offer to women - "this spring-break variety of thongs-and-implants exhibitionism" - is largely unfulfilling. And that buying into this, either by stripping yourself, or by ogling strippers, is a way of currying male approval and propping up male culture and power. (The obvious problem being that, by doing so, you undermine women, and, implicitly, yourself.)

"When it comes to raunch culture, a lot of people say: 'Well, we're living in a post-feminist age, women have won the [sex] war, and so it's OK for all this to happen. It doesn't actually threaten women's social position.' But when did we win the war? We don't have equal pay for equal work, we don't have equal representation in government ... so when exactly did we win?"

It's a controversial article, but rings true for me. Seeing men and women glamourize the porn industry and strippers (the pole dancing) is so ridiculous to me. Most of the people who get into the porn industry, stripping and prostitution do so because they have little options offered to them. Often they have been badly abused (usually sexually) and have low self esteem and a very damaged and skewed view of themselves sexually. The majority of the time porn films are shot, all of the actors and actresses in the film are either high or drunk or both. Same with prostitution and stripping. If it was so sexy and hot then why do these people (whom our culture is starting the emulate and hold up as our sexual role models) have to be high or drunk in order to have "hot" sex?

The fact of the matter is this, if you feel sexy and enjoy pole dancing for your sex partner then go for it! But don't do it because you saw it on Oprah and you've seen your man go to a strip club and ogle at the strippers on poles and so you feel like you're not sexy unless you're pole dancing. Do what is authentically sexy to yourself, if it's just wearing fitted sweaters or if it's showing some cleavage that makes you feel sexy, or even dancing by yourself in front of your mirror. Who said someone else had to be apart of your sense of sexiness and your sexuality? Why do we need others to validate our sexiness? Whatever it is, don't model yourself after people who aren't even authentically portraying sex as they are literally acting (people who think that porn stars, strippers and prostitutes actually get off and are turned on during the shooting are completely lying to themselves).

Whew, 'kay, I'll get off of my soap box now. Peace.

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