I don’t know any woman who hasn’t been wolf whistled, cat called or in general harassed by men, strange or familiar, at some point in their lives. I recently read about some that had happened between cab driver and women walking down the street in Portland, Maine. As a woman who came of age in the 1970s I can swear it is better than it used to be. I actually couldn’t walk past one fire station in downtown Albany, NY for years without being catcalled. I hated it. But it seems some men, probably a lot of men, have not gotten the memo. And men and women alike still flock to images of hot and sexy pictures of the gender objects of desire.
This has come up because I am in this particular field of Romance and Erotica books being all over the place. A lot of what comes across Facebook or blogs is pictures of hot guys.
Hey, I like looking at nice looking guys myself. They are good looking and their is more than a cultural ideal that has something to do with evolution and who we choose for mates based on physical characteristics. And I have certainly painted a few nudes. But the difference between a photo of a hot guy and appreciating the body of a nude while you’re painting them is rather huge; it’s like the difference between your partner saying “Honey, you are beautiful.” And some guy on the street yelling, “Hey baby I want some of that!” or, the like.
Further women complain, and rightly so about body image issues — how we feel pressure through media for looking a certain way, and how only one kind of woman is portrayed as sexy and Playboy Bunnies have to approach that Barbie ideal:
It appears to be something starting earlier and earlier for girls
Calendar Girl Pin-ups from a an earlier era show us a different,maybe curvier standard of beauty than we feel we get today. But they still objectified the body and not the person.
But how is that different from this?
Not a lot of people putting up provocatively posed men as sexy, more as sarcasm:
BB Have you ever seen a firefighter shot on FB where the guys wasn’t hot like these two:
This guy has probably saved as many lives:
In a culture where objectification is okay it leads to behaviors like harassment and exploitation being okay. And, it does go both ways.
All I am saying is that we seem to be doing the same thing to men as they do to women. Only hot, handsome and fit men are sexy. When you read a romance book with a zaftig female character who gets with the hero, is the hero in the same condition? I personally have only read of one older hero in Penny Watson’s APPLES SHOULD BE RED. When we say men should appreciate curvier women, should we not appreciate, what’s the word, “Huskier” men?
So we need to think about this — I don’t think we have to stop admiring, or being turned on by, the fit, human form. I do think we need to examine whether we are exploiting and objectifying men as culture has allowed men to do the same to us since, well, the beginning of time. It’s not the end of the world, it;s just food for thought?
This SNL video pokes fun at the idea that handsome is better:
Here are some related articles
This is men being cat called the way we have been: http://jezebel.com/this-is-how-men-react-to-being-catcalled-by-a-woman-1558156441
Is Male Sexual Harassment on Rise? at: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/the-hot-button/is-female-on-male-sexual-harassment-funny-yes-says-saturday-night-live/article617924/
On Men Who Think Street Harassment would be awesome. at