Imagine Martin Luther King, Jr. trying to sell his followers on the fact that he might produce a black-exploitation film every now and then because the profits would go to a good cause. How can a black man taking control of his financial destiny not be in support of the greater cause of minority civil rights?
The currently hot rolling and completely unrelenting #MeToo movement started out as a way for women to communally express the fact that nobody female goes through life without at least one creepy male giving them a shoulder rub. It’s not such a divine fate, nor is it exactly Lone Survivor. Especially when discussing cases that don’t rise to the level of crime, but fall under the perv annoyance department. Like all great hashtags before it, the #MeToo social movement such as it was loosely defined, became a largely cheap and symbolic virtue signal for support for women. As opposed to not supporting women, which seems like something nobody openly expresses. Nevertheless, opposition movements these days can exist quite nicely without any opposition.
The implicit core of feminist liturgy is that women are not put on this earth to satisfy men. Any man who’s had more than a handful of girlfriends in his life could’ve told you this, but from the counter gender perspective, it’s a measure of strength and determination. A woman exists fine without man. In fact, finer, thanks to leggings and lots and lots of juice.
In such an ideological backdrop arises the matter of how to squeeze being naked, hot, and alluring into the catechism. At one point, the Popes used to have wives. These things can be worked out with the proper amount of tightrope walking, rhetorical twisting, and a compliant user base. Numerous social media models and celebrities and various other otherwise underwhelming women with fantastic bodies have come to see their exhibitionism as fully in line with the marching orders of central feminist command. The applicable clause to the prime directive being, so long as it’s something I’m doing for myself as female, it must be feminist. That’s certainly convenient, if not so broadly defined as to be entirely meaningless in any civil rights discussion. But intentions and blind support easily trumping reason in all privileged white women led causes, everybody pretends. Who’s going to complain about seeing more attractive women more naked? Not I, says every guy on the planet.
Then next frontier for sexual objectification rationalization is content traditionally reserved for men to ogle women. You’ll see Hugh Hefner’s ingrate heir touting female empowerment by act of prohibiting nudity. Lingerie brands and their magazines pushing two or three of the world’s most beautiful larger ladies and pretending they provided a bold equality leap tantamount to the franchise right to vote. And now, Sports Illustrated has taken the female empowerment of being without clothes in men’s magazines one step further — the claim of the SI swimsuit edition as #MeToo progress. No boy scout on the planet could spin up a knot this complicated.
In recent editions, Sports Illustrated, the men’s sports news outlet that relies almost entirely on its now year round bikini model fare to feed its bottom line, has made bold protestations about empowering women with their signature February release. They hired a female editor, MJ Day, to come up with annual gimmick side shows like “Older models”, “full figured models”, “more than one woman of color” and even to the point of showing off her own imperfect body in a bikini to count as a visual doctoral thesis on body shaming. Ninety-five percent of the content remained skinny models with big breasts covering their private parts with coyly placed fingers. Hence, making money.
For 2018, SI has announced the ultimate in illogic tree female empowerment — a #MeToo edition where the naked models have empowering slogans written across their bodies. Or what you might call the Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs version of uplifting the female spirit. It puts the hashtag on its body.
MJ Day explains the roots of the empowerment that most men and any rational viewing woman will see as obviously thinly veiled sexual objectification:
“…If women are finally going to end our own objectification, everyone has to watch us while we do it sensually. Why abolish wet T-shirt contests when you can take the power back on your own terms and enter the contest wearing a T-shirt that reads “OWN IT”?
“No one ever gives models a real opportunity to be who they are,” said Day, who encouraged models to express their true selves by letting them choose which words they’d like painted on their naked bodies.”
In summary, thong pictorials and wet t-shirt contests embolden the warrior princess provided she gets to pick out what’s written on her naked body beneath. Let that roll through your forebrain for a moment or two. If you need help, imagine a non-woman editor is making the same statement. The #MeToo hashtag would whip like an angry lash in quite the opposite direction.
You wonder how mile wide and inch deep this #MeToo movement can stretch with financial incentives. Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition is a nine-figure moneymaker for its parent corp. Concessions must be made, provided we can label concessions as steps toward gender equality and nobody in a complicit press asks any questions.
Vice Broadly, the alt-girl lesbian light sub-channel of Vice magazine bought into the SI naked lady with handwritten font set slogan hook, line and sinker. Vice and SI are both owned by larger cold and calculated multinational corporate media interests, though ostensibly not the same ones. So there goes the business conspiracy claims. What could drive one of the ten different writers names “Sara” at Vice Broadly to state about this nude chick on the floor version of SI Swimsuit Edition:
Thank Goddess that Sports Illustrated is finally showing us exactly how we can embrace the movement to end sexual harassment—all while staying sexy at the same time.
Are you addled, Sara No. 9? No man believes this. I’m inclined to support the notion that most moderately affected females see right through it as well. Leading to the odd conclusion that hardcore feminists are the segment of society that has most chosen to accept this capitalistic exploitation of raw woman-object as legitimate pro-woman visual vernacular. Nobody saw that coming.
Now here comes the tough reality. The #MeToo movement is beleaguered by their own self-serving capitalistic rationalizations, like this bit of utter nonsense. There are few true believers and their numbers dwindle in proportion to the amount of financial and fame stakes. Kate Upton knows the modeling world is a land of groping big busted young blondes. She puts up with Marciano’s hands on her bare skin once in a while because forty million and retired to decadent parties and a half dozen vacation homes by 25 is something fairly desirable. Instagram models with millions of followers brave the crude, sexist troll comments because they’re making bank by taking down top selfies ten feet outside their front door for a living. Not a bad gig if you can get it. Waitressing sucks, you get paid horribly, and your ass is still pinched.
The entirety of entertainment and media is beset by the irrefutable axiom that sex sells. Somebody’s got to sell it. Women want to be you and men want to be with you. A tale as old as time hardcoded into our primordial being, regardless of any Canadian Prime Minister and former high school drama teacher announcing the end of gender as we know it. You want to work the swing shift at the telemarketing center, you don’t need to be masturbation fodder. You can shield your dignity behind your Lane Bryant poly-nylon blouses bibs. If you’re looking to drive a Benz, live above the ground floor, and drape yourself in gay European designer wear, you’re advantage is your sex. Almost none have made it without it. Stop crying misogyny foul. Have you seen a movie lately where the male lead isn’t topless, if not naked? Dwayne Johnson’s abs are worth ten million per pack per year.
The dichotomy of what sells and what feels appropriate has been the subject of moral debate and religious sermons since time immemorial. It doesn’t suddenly change because you create a hashtag and declare a revolution in female filmmaking. If everything is #MeToo then nothing is #MeToo. That’s the world talking. Stop screaming at me.