Wherever there are people trying to figure out how to make the most of life, there I am. Places filled with laughter or where strugglers meet survivors, there I am. On the mountain top and in the trenches, there I am. Places I have been I see myself again, pausing to remember how I got here. It’s a bit odd to see my own life experiences culminated in the blogs of other people. It’s almost like we all travel the same road.
So much of my young life I truly believed nobody, and I mean NObody, could possibly understand what I was going through. Teenage angst aside, I had some pretty screwed up ideas about myself. I did not fit in anywhere. I wasn’t a brainiac, a jock, a geek, slut a cheerleader…well, you get the idea. I carried those screwed up ideas about myself into adulthood. Luckily I had a good friend who didn’t hesitate to kick my ass when I needed some, we’ll call it motivation, to snap out of it and get over myself.
I’ve never really kept pace with women in my own age bracket. No mommy track, no coffee klatch, no corporate ladder madness, no Mary Kay party hostess or bridesmaid duties for me. Even now I don’t fit the profile of most women my age, who have kids or careers to give them an identity. Also, I’m not a joiner. So, that pretty much limits me socially to people who don’t mind women who have occasional bouts of bitchiness, tears or gas. Sometimes simultaneously. Blogging has been the perfect solution. Of course, none of this looks good on a résumé. So, I may have to remake myself if I ever decide to seek employment again. Nah! I yam what I yam an’ tha’s all that I yam.
I commented on a post today which asked if a Go Daddy ad during the Super Bowl was brilliant or an insult. You can’t see that post anymore, but this was my comment:
It may be time to rethink the definition of brilliant, but if women got offended every time we were objectified, mountains of laundry would pile up, meals would go unprepared, penises would be falling off in the streets! Jimmy Choo would go broke and humanity would cease to exist. People need to get a grip on reality. Most women know they are more than the sum of their tits and ass. Most women have more important things to do than worry about being objectified. Most women are NOT super models and do not care what super models waste their time doing. Like most women, I find the entire argument getting tiresome.
I meant every word, still do, but I started thinking, as you know I do, and realized I may not be the best spokesperson for most women. I like to think that there is some sort of general rule that women do in fact have better things to do than get mired in the muck, but then again, I could be mistaken. Beauty in a jar is big business for a reason and just because I think most of us are smarter than society gives us credit for doesn’t necessarily mean we are, does it? Are we or am I just clueless?
I’m not going to pay for a poll daddy whatchamacallit, but I am interested in what you, my three-hundred some odd (not that some of you are odd) followers think. So, if you can break away from the important stuff in your life to give me a clue, please do.
25 thoughts on “Everywhere I Look – There I Am”
I had to go watch the ad before I could respond effectively. I thought it was funny. The outrage over it is even funnier. Truthfully? I don’t see the problem, if he were wealthy and looked like this and Bar were not a known entity we would not think anything of their pairing, we would take for granted his position in the world would grant him access to beautiful women.
Our mating rituals are all power based. We don’t really think to question them at a core level. We may wince now and them, but we don’t truly question them. Kim Kardasian (sp) is a perfect example, many of us recognize she is terrible for what she does, yet she continues to spread her arms widely to collect all the money thrown at her feet.
Others of us stare in the mirror daily and berate ourselves over our flaws. Fearful others will judge us and find us wanting. We march down to the beauty spot and hand over our hard earned money, hoping against all hope the latest miracle cream will erase our wrinkles or put a sparkle in our aging eye. We starve ourselves and when that doesn’t work we give up hope and join the crowd in defining ourselves as less than, forgetting the greatest and sexist asset we have is our brain.
I don’t know, I liked the ad.
Good, we have a quorum here. You, me, BluePageSpecial, Carrie, Artsifrtsy, and Fransi. So, I can confidently say most women don’t give a rats ass about this sort of silliness. We have more important things to do. Thanks Val for confirming I am not clueless.
Every time I visit your blog, I end up pushing that big red shiny button despite your admonition not to. Dammit…will you ever learn, Petruska?!
So what you’re saying is that you are easily distracted. It’s okay Mr. Petruska, just don’t let it happen again.
Did you open up that can on me??
Not yet…consider this fair warning.
The argument is tiresome, but the fact that it’s still in play says something. As the mother of sons I, too, feel a responsibility to try to ensure they are aware of the potential harm caused by objectifying others. Maybe the take is that the ad objectified nerds. Now what about that Calvin Klein ad?
Exactly. Tiresome and pointless. I didn’t see it, but any Calvin Klein ad is going to push the limits; sex is their stock in trade. You are so right, poor objectified nerds.
I am not really bothered by the ad and don’t have a chip on my shoulder about women being objectified – I’ve never been very concerned about that, maybe because I was raised under the wing of a woman who could do absolutely anything. My Nana was the whole package – doing a man’s job, bringing home the bacon, and she was fearless about her femininity. A girlie girl who could drive a bulldozer.
As for the commercial, I feel for the geek. All this talk about how gross the commercial was and you know that if she was kissing an Abercrombie male model no one would be talking “gross”. I think that poor guy was the one who was objectified. After all, how could someone like him ever hope to kiss a woman like that.
Yes! Thank you! I knew it. I’m not clueless. Lorri, you say it perfectly. Women can do absolutely anything and so many of us do. Why do people think that feminism is a bunch of harpies squawking about being objectified? Feminism in action is women like your Nana, like you, me, and so many others; fierce, fearless, funny and feminine. The mothers raising sons who talk to them about what they see on TV, and teach their daughters to respect themselves by giving them an example to follow, and yes girlie girls who can drive a bulldozer! AWESOME.
You are right about that guy. But then again, he sat there for it. Doesn’t make it right for the geeks of the world who didn’t get an offer to kiss a super model because they just weren’t unappealing enough.
You are right about the geek – both he and the model were bought and paid for – the winner is Go Daddy, it was the most talked about ad and that was their goal.
I’m not so keen on this corporate offense taking – basically, my whole gender is supposed to be up in arms and offended by that ad. It’s not worth my time to be offended. It doesn’t affect me, it’s a caricature. I so agree with the idea of parents talking to their kids about this stuff, because they need to know the importance of respect.
I didn’t see the commercial so I have no opinion. But for what it’s worth, The Toronto Globe & Mail did a review of the Super Bowl commercials today and panned it. I am not a raging feminist or uptight but I must say, dumbing women down to nothing more than tits and ass does get on my nerves. The problem is in many cases we have ourselves to thank for it. Kim Kardashian, all those real housewives reality shows, etc etc. They like being arm candy and bimbos. Gag!!
You’re right Fransi, some women like being arm candy and bimbos. It pays the bills and gets them the attention they crave. They don’t care what we think. They laugh, they laugh all the way to the bank. As long as there are buyers, there will always be sellers, no doubt. I agree, Gag!!! My problem is that there are many women who don’t want to be bought and sold. Those are the women worth fighting for.
I totally agree.
What was the question again? I didn’t watch the SB this year. I thought about it, but then I realized I didn’t want to, so I didn’t. I did hear and read about the GoDaddy commercial. Meh. So what? Using sex to sell stuff is new to you, is it? Finally left the cave after all these years, I guess.
In a world with casual violence, homelessness, starvation, pollution, climate change (and somehow, still dictatorships), I find GoDaddy seriously beneath my radar. I find it vaguely surprising that such crude (by which I mean blatant and heavy-handed) use of sexuality isn’t just laughed off the screen. But then I cannot fathom those Klondike commercials, either. Apparently they only ever intend to sell to males.
As far as beauty in general, that’s a much deeper topic obviously. There is our ancient pursuit of beauty — ancient humans have revered beauty in statues and paintings a long time. There is a evolutionary connection — we equate beauty with good health, with good genetics. I think this is naturally human, and I expect humans will always revere beauty however we define it at the time.
Then there’s the beauty industry, the creams and fashions and whatnots. It’s an outgrowth of our natural pursuit of beauty, but it’s become a marketing bonanza in which multiple lies are perpetrated in order to sell units. A need is manufactured out of whole cloth. I think it’s sad and silly and stupid and very, very human.
That was my point exactly. The argument whether the ad was brilliant or insulting is not even worth pursuing. Ads are created for one purpose and one purpose only, to generate a buzz that leads to SALES, and sex sells. To those who want it, it sells crap and to those who need a reason to rally the troops, it sells indignation as an effective mechanism for change. Which as we can easily see from history, it is not.
Indignation needs to rise to rage before it becomes very effective, I’ve always thought. Of course, effectiveness also means channeling that rage usefully.
It’s a complex problem and not just all a male plot; it’s a… I dunno… human tribal behavior or something. Maybe even goes back further. The Bonobo chimps, a very close relative of ours, also use sexual politics for social interaction (they’re quite brazen actually—bunch of “free love” hippies). Our evolutionary background is part of the context here and needs to be taken into account.
As is not uncommon, we’re pretty much on the same page here. As you suggested, women play an active role in their own objectification. For every Gloria Steinem there’s a Phyllis Schlafly or a pick-your-hollywood-sexpot. I know plenty of women and men with a strong “if you got it, flaunt it” ethic (I’m among them; if I still had it (okay, if I ever had it) I’d flaunt it constantly, are you kidding?). Some people are proud of sexuality.
I think it’s helpful to recognize that people are objects and are objectified. It’s part of the human condition. Can you honestly tell me you don’t react to a hot young stud wearing only short cut-offs? Do you want to live in a world in which you don’t? The rest of it goes with that. It just does.
The trick, I think, and your thread with Carrie shows this, is education. It’s the, “You don’t child-proof the world; you world-proof the child” theory. Education works; at least it did in my case.
It’s not so much that it offends me every time women get objectified (though it often ticks me off), it’s just that it gets so tiring. Especially when one is trying to raise sons to value and appreciate women and not objectify them. It’s like my efforts go to pot as soon as my kids turn on the TV…
Excellent point, raising sons who value and appreciate women is so important. I’d like to venture a guess that their mom being an educated, confident, thoughtful woman, who is engaged in their lives teaches them volumes and cancels out the crap on TV.
I sure hope so. Otherwise I’ve wasted a lot of time!
I’m curious, and don’t feel obligated to answer, do your kids talk to you at all about this subject?
Well, I do the talking; they do the listening, but yes, we discuss the topic frequently. What carries the most weight though is when their dad talks to them about it. He’s very good about that. Even turned the station on questionable ads during the Superbowl. How’s that for a cool hubby?
Carrie, that’s HUGE! Now see, if you could bottle that and sell it. OMG! Think of all the problems it would solve.
I know. It seems real change in these areas doesn’t happen until the men get on board.
Well yeah, it’s not like women objectify each other. 🙂