I saw this discussion on The Project, apparently there was an online poll you could take – which Australian footballer has the best biceps?
And they were asking – is it sexist? Which I found strange, because it’s the wrong question. It’s not about sexism.
It’s about objectification. But sexism is the word people throw around when they think a thing might be problematic.
In recent decades if you were male, you were relatively immune to objectification. But that gap is narrowing – we are heading towards equality – but not as we want it. The objectification that was once reserved for women can now be enjoyed by men, too! We are moving towards the point where all people, regardless of sex, are judged and shamed for the way they look, which makes for a bitter kind of equality. It would be better if we were moving towards the kind of equality where nobody is judged for the way they look.
The other week, on the same show – it was hot in Melbourne that week – there was this discussion about whether or not it’s okay for men to wear shorts to work. I figure, get a nice pair of chinos or something, maybe three-quarter length, won’t look too casual, but that’s kinda beside the point.
One guy, Steven, was complaining that it was sexist – women get to wear light, cool garments and men can’t wear shorts – it’s not like, y’know, maybe women are pressured to bare their legs in the workplace? – and the clear implication was that the women weren’t letting him get away with wearing shorts.
But doesn’t he realise? It’s the patriarchy that lays down the rules about appropriate workplace attire. Feminists don’t give a damn. If you think it’s sexist, work on changing it dude – make it fairer for everyone. If you object to the restrictive rules about attire, you’re secretly a feminist.
Maybe it’s time for me to stop watching that show. Except that Waleed Aly is awesome. I love that guy.