Victoria’s Horrible Secret

15143174preview_0.jpgTonight I flicked channels on TV between the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show and a documentary on ABC about infant rape in South Africa. It was surreal flicking between them; I felt compelled to do so. The more I flicked from one to the other the more frustrated I became. I’d forgotten what a huge deal the Victoria’s secret thing is. Seal was crooning to his supermodel wife, the new/old Spice girls sang their old/new version of their old/dumb song, looking terrified, not to mention Will I Am singing “Where did you get your body from?” as leggy models with bouncing boobies strode down the catwalk to a chorus of cheers and whistles. There were famous Hollywood actors in the front rows clearly eyeing up their next big purchase, and I’m not talking about lingerie here.

The narrator on the ABC is asking us where men learn the sort of behaviour that could possibly drive them to such brutality. If she’d just flicked channels, she might have begun to formulate her answer. Don’t be ridiculous! the young girls cry, you can’t cross a divide that cavernous. Watch me.

The models in the fashion show are wearing lingerie, attached to which are any manner of weird creations in the name of ‘high fashion’ – a giant 7 foot silver snow flake attached to the emaciated spine of Heidi Klum – for example. The women are half naked and at the same time so trussed up that if you look at it for what it is it just becomes more and more ridiculous. Can you image men bouncing down a runway with 8 foot snowflakes, wings, giant lips and cocoons attached to them? Sure, at a mardi gras, where the point of the outrageousness is to celebrate the contrast of the dominant image of masculinity. But here, on prime time TV, with celebs in attendance, there is no tongue in cheek going on – this truly is a commemoration of the highest purpose of woman – as the image of libidinous beauty and the ultimate seller and consumer of goods. They looked ridiculous, we all know it. And yet, here we are in 2007/8 with this display on prime time TV as we wonder (some of us wonder) why, with women parading (willingly or not, it doesn’t make a whit of difference) their ‘beauty’, advertising goods to enhance their sexual desirability, a five month old baby girl might possibly be raped?

Is it so hard to connect the dots? Well, is it?

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57 Comments

Filed under Beauty, Sex, Women/Feminist, Writing

57 responses to “Victoria’s Horrible Secret

  1. christine

    And this is supposed to be our liberation.
    It always comes down to our fun bags- the amount of freedom based on how much we share about our bodies and its functions with the world.

    The connection, for me, between the show & the rape of tiny girls is that the message for and of us has always remained the same:

    “We are here to please you.”

    Whether we are aware or not, developed or not, willing or not- our bodies are here to serve, tease and satisfy “you”.

    Very good post, Simonne.

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  2. It sickens me how much beautiful (or the current incarnation of the media’s concept of beautiful) women are used to sell every fucking thing in the world.

    On the cover of women’s magazines, there are beautiful women. On the cover of men’s magazines, there are beautiful women. On the cover of car, motorbike, tech, gadget and computer magazines, there are beautiful women.

    I’m not an ugly bitter hag who feels threatened by the beauty of others (I love the beauty of others – I’m a photographer), but I think that at some point, someone should have stopped and said “Why the hell are we putting half-naked ladies on everything? What is this saying about us?”.

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  3. poseidonsmuse

    Great point Simonne. Objectification is not just the nightmarish thoughts surging through the mind of an African rapist before he selects his next child victim…It is the insidious root of most media-hype and psycho-babble that sells the beauty of the female form as though it were a new car or a sexy new espresso machine. We are literally kidding ourselves if we don’t think that the two scenarios are connected. Thank you for this…xoxo

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  4. Let me be the first man to comment on this one, and I hope others will too. Yes, I think it is difficult to connect those dots. I am not a rapist, and despite my almost 40 years of exposure to the objectification of women in the media, I am still not a rapist. I also find it difficult to connect the dots between a rape victim and the outfit she was wearing the night it happened. But would that not be a similar dotted line? I understand the point you are making and yes I do think the Victoria’s Secret show is stupid. I don’t watch it. Do I like lingerie? Of course! Women are beautiful. But the dotted line you draw is somewhat offensive to me. Sorry.

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  5. devil's advocate

    so i’m to assume that the next time i see you, you’ll all be wearing top to toe potato sacks?
    hajibs perhaps?

    rape is wrong. stifling freedom of expression is wrong also.
    if the vistoria’s secret show was filmed in black and white – perhaps you might see it as “art”…?

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  6. Hi Christine, thanks for your comment. That really is what I’m getting at here – that we have been objectified for so long – and just when you think we’re getting somewhere, the Victoria’s secret show comes on TV!!

    Tanya, here here! The image of the beautiful woman that is so so prolific in advertising is the norm and we’re almost blinded to it half the time. Because of that it makes it extremely difficult to make the point I’m trying to make without upsetting people. But sometimes playing it safe is just about giving in to the fear of making waves and although I loathe conflict, I often think I’m not doing myself any favours, or learning any lessons from withholding my opinion.

    Thanks Muse, well said.

    Hi Slyvain, welcome back. Of course you’re not a rapist! Please don’t assume that by being male I see you as owning the ability to be one because I don’t! I’m not saying that the objectification of women turns all men into rapists – the world would be even more frightening if that was the case. Yes, sometimes you can draw the same connection between rape and clothing – is it the woman’s fault (and therefore deserved) that she was raped if she was wearing provocative clothing? Is it the man’s fault that she was heightening her sex with her clothing? Is a female so desirable that a man just can’t help himself? Why are men not so desirable that women just can’t help it? Could it be the way in which women have been objectified as objects for male pleasure (please don’t tell me you can’t see this!) for centuries?? The connection is there Slyvain, but I do respect your opinion and thank you for sharing it with me.
    Sx

    Devil’s Advocate – Why on earth would I wear a hajib?! That would surely lead people to the conclusion that what I have under there is so desirable that it can’t even be outlined to the rest of the world? It just helps to highlight my point. My point is that we, as a collective – men and women – begin to lessen the attention to women as objects, not heighten it either through exposing or obliterating our bodies and our sex.
    The freedom of expression argument is beginning to wear thin I’m afraid. Spoken by men and women so caught up in the patriarchal belief that they can’t see beyond it. And that’s ok, we’re all where we need to be right now, so again, thanks for your input. And for the record, it would certainly help if the show was in B&W, would be less garish on the eyes! I’d still see it for what it is though I’m afraid!

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  7. devil's advocate

    To say that VS could in some way be connected to rape is complete an utter shite.

    can i ask a few questions?
    * should women be able to wear nice undergarments?
    * how do you suggest “victoria” market her product?
    * do sexy men not sell stuff too? (80000+ people watching d. beckham kick a silly ball around should answer that).
    * i hear you saying objectifying (and not marketing, using) women over the ages has led to rape… does that mean that as men become more objectified, there will come a day (through evolution) that men may be raped more and more? are you crossing your fingers?

    i think simone, the raping of women by a minority of people has nothing to do with what they watch at home and more to do with a sickness in their mind that tells them its ok to deprive someone of their liberty.

    do you think mr or mrs (lets not forget the bernies from your home state of western australia simone) jo rapist would be sitting there on a sunday night thinking “hmm bummer – i have to go to work tomorrow”…. then:
    monday night – watching VS thinking “right – i need to rape someone now”?

    one last question…
    why did you want to look so good on your wedding day simone?
    i wonder if you were you worried about the consequences of what you wore…

    this world really is an amazing place…

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  8. DA, I’m not too sure that answering your questions is helpful to anyone but you, and as they’re reasonably inane please excuse any clumsiness on my side.

    *Yes.
    *As we have developed all of our modern marketing under a patriarchal model, for me to suggest another way would be to step outside of our/my world view and is therefore extremely difficult. These are not new ideas – postmodern feminist theory can offer you much more scope than I can in this context (blog), so I suggest you do (and hope that you do as it’s extremely interesting) some reading if you want to learn more.
    *Yes, strange question! Men are certainly heading down the same track, but without the centuries of violent and repressive history behind it, it’s a bit of a moot point.
    *Wow, do I really come across that mean spirited? My fingers are certainly not crossed. Maybe you should have read some earlier posts? Again, without the history this point loses it’s oomph. I would assume that as that happens, patriarchy will be reassessed by more men as well as women and the world will begin to radically change, in fact I believe that it already is.

    The sickness in the mind comes from where?? Everyone is born pure, we are all children of the light. ‘Sicknesses of the mind’ are a product of society in my opinion.

    No! I don’t think that’s what the average rapist is thinking? You don’t too, do you?!

    Your last question is the best, and again, has been written about in past posts. My book is about the struggle that so many women have about what they feel in their spirit is the most harmonious way to live for their soul, and what they feel driven to do/wear/behave like in a society that rewards certain looks and behaviours. I have never ever claimed to have the answer to how to reconcile these things. All I know is that the further I grow on this planet, the more clarity I have about this issue and what it means to me. I actually believe one of the reasons I am here is to help other women through this. Of course I wanted to look beautiful on my wedding day – and yes, beautiful in the patriarchal, Cinderella sense. It’s been affirmed to me that that is something to strive for for my entire life. I wanted it, so I had it, and felt so blessed that I could. Believe me though, I understand the contradiction, all women do. This is what my book is about. Compassion for this situation is called for here, not vilification… in my humble opinion.

    Yes, the world truly is an amazing place…

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  9. devil's advocate

    * so if us women are able to wear nice undergarments… and you don’t victoria to market them. then how would i know about these extra special ones? i would still be wearing my granny knickers…
    * i’m not sure what stepping out of your “world view” means, but in this day and age (on this day where you have your first ever female prime minister), this patriarchal society is diminishing every day… as you agree
    some bed time thinking for you — hypothetically, if the world as we know it ended today and the only humans to survive were the unborn foetus of pregnant women how do you suggest the new world would be?

    * i have read most of your posts…

    * we are all born pure – but we are all born as different individuals (thank goodness). do you not think however that some men (and women) rapists could be the product of WOMEN in their lives also… not just the patriarch-ness of the world (it kills me to say that as i think this world is far from patriarchal any more).

    * i have no idea how a rapists mind works. but that comment is only as tenuouus as your whole argument…

    * so you wanted to look your best/sexy/alluring to your husband/fashionable/different enough to be noticed and heaven forbid — did you wear lingere? how was the lingere you wore marketed? lets just say you were wearing (conservatively) berlei by elle. do you think anywhere in the world there hasn’t been a 14 yo boy wanking in his room to pictures of women wearing that? will he become a rapist? you nor i can answer that… chances are – he wont. lets just say he does. who is responsible for him turning out like that? is the parents that let him have access to the brochure? is it the marketing company? is it elle? is it the brides that wear her knickers on their wedding night to look “alluring” to their partners? you say what you do is a contradiction… your writing a book about it… and at the same time you’re contributing to the problem. thats not a contradiction… thats more hypocracy.
    hypothetically again. what if there were a man at your wedding. he has thoughts of when he was younger – wanking in his room and (somehow) he knows youre wearing the same knickers as elle… then has an urge to rape someone…
    how do you feel? responsible?
    of course not — and nor should you… should victoria and her secrets feel responsible. i dont think so…
    ok – i have to do some work now otherwise i won’t be able to afford my new vibrator i am buying myself for christmas…

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  10. DA, ‘granny knickers’ just adds to my argument about what is deemed sexy and what isn’t and asking women to be one or the other (men so far are not asked to do this) is reductive thinking in my opinion.

    I think you’ve missed my point about everyone being the product of our current world view – women included (you being proof in point). Of course men are the products of women as well! Hence my comment about us all still learning how to live inside these contradictions. I don’t think consciously and honestly acknowledging contradictions is akin to hypocrisy at all, but you’re entitled to see it that way if that’s how you want to.

    The fact that you don’t see the world as patriarchal makes all of this so much more difficult to explain, so yes, it’s probably for the best that we agree to disagree. I hope you enjoy your vibrator! 🙂

    PS Go Julia G!!

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  11. devil's advocate

    if in your mind they aren’t necessarily deemed as unsexy — why then simone, didn’t you wear granny knickers and a hessian bag on your wedding day?
    because you’re a contributor…

    to your inital question:

    i think youre an amazing person and it isnt hard to connect the dots… but don’t be so high and mighty about it when you are one of the dots…

    *sighs

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  12. Maybe I did wear granny knickers!! It’s my wish that we can be who we feel comfortable being without the incredible pressure to actually be a certain way. Most of the young women I know are so caught in this trap of wanting to be sexy but also wanting to be seen for who they really are, but the two are extremely hard to reconcile in western society. You can’t be sexy in a vacuum, right?

    From one dot to another, I’m sorry if I came across high and mighty, I so don’t want to come across that way. My passion for this is vast!

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  13. devil's advocate

    omg this is sooooo frustrating!!!

    does anyone else see the glaring hypocracy?
    simone has a choice to wear the knickers she wants, but victoria doesn’t have a choice to make and market her garments as she legally sees fit with models that are adult/consenting/professional.

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  14. I still think you’re missing my point and hence not seeing the hypocracy in the wider context. Clearly victoria does have a choice – it was on prime time TV. We all have a choice – but it’s within a very established patriarchal model. The fact that it’s so established means that you’re having trouble actually seeing it, that’s all. My comment is that our choices are defined by this model. Just because an adult is consenting does this automatically mean that whatever she’s consenting to is a good thing? Or is consent itself the most important thing? Rape cases often come down to this point – consent. In a patriarchal system, the legal system defines women in terms of male sexuality. With the consent issue what it actually means is that women are in a perpetual state of ‘consent’ unless they specify in front of witnesses that they have withdrawn it. Do we really want to credit to women the quality of unceasing availability? I hope not – this is what I’m getting at. We are living within a model that needs to change and it’s very difficult because it’s so hard to see something that we have always known in an objective light. Women have so long been defined by their appearance that we too (me included) consent to be defined by that. I’m questioning the model we live in, you see?

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  15. Dawn

    No Simonne, DA will not see because she does not want to see. Anyone who thinks the world is flat and that the world is not patriarchal is hardly worth the time to argue with – although I think you’ve done a mighty job. However, put the energy where it is required not where it is wasted. The only reason DA is frustrated is because you won’t see her point – because your arguments are concise and knowledgeable and she is not able to see outside her own viewpoint – despite protestations to the contrary. Well written (as usual) and interesting points.

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  16. devil's advocate

    simone – youre questioning the model we live in – but at the same time youre also contributing to that model. youre part of it…

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  17. devil's advocate

    well backed up “mum”…

    anyway – i stand corrected, sorry sylvain i’m with simone and her mum:

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/12/11/2116136.htm

    maybe they were all watching the victoria’s secret catwalk show – including the prosecutor! i hope you didn’t invite any of them to you wedding simone or people might start blaming you too…

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  18. No need to appologize to me DA. I stepped out of this one a long time ago.

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  19. poseidonsmuse

    I think one of the crucial arguments missing from this whole argument is the global element that Simonne alluded to in this post. Who cares what type of knickers Simonne wore to her wedding…the point is not that of hypocrisy…it is of a thoughtful mind (Simonne’s) trying to establish a link (albeit a controversial one) to two related, but different scenarios. By the way…We are attacking this from the angle of a Western mind, rather than a global perspective.

    Unfortunately, we DO live in a patriarchal society (whether you want to believe this or not) and it wasn’t that long ago that women were considered “chattels” and “property” (if we were a matriarchal or equal society, these terms wouldn’t even exist in our language with reference to the feminine). Let me rephrase that…women were considered “objects” – like a table, a house-plant or hat-rack. They had no rights. They were OBJECTS. I’ll pop you in my time machine and send you back to the 1500’s if you have your doubts.

    Another thing. Some women around the globe are still treated in this manner. No rights. No vote. No voice. No education. (ie. that small child in Africa). There’s your connection. Objectification. As members of a developed world, we are removed from this connection and need to protect the more fragile social groups including the elderly, children and women. Let us not forget that our brash, Western arrogance allows us to watch VC shows, whilst women and children are struggling for survival and basic rights (clothes, food and shelter) in the developing world.

    Now, we slide down the slippery slope of hypocrisy. Is objectification objectable? You betcha. Do I feed into it when I buy panties from VC in light of this argument? You betcha. Does this make me a hypocrite because I choose to question a system that has established a growing undercurrent of acceptance in the form of “advertising?” Probably. Does this really fricking matter if I am developing a sense of global awareness and I am seeking to find some type of human connection…some humanity and link between worlds…

    You be the judge of that. I like sticking to the arguments and points at hand. Let’s cut the marionette strings here and debate the real issues (the scary ones that make us pull our heads out of our shaved and “thong”-ed asses)…rather than attacking someone that is contemplating her sense of Social Responsibility…

    We are One. That is the jist of the connection.

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  20. devil's advocate

    poseiden
    bravo… i agree with 90% of what you say, it’s well put and understand it…
    but MY point is, if simone can link what she was watching on one channel to what was being reported on another channel —-> why can’t i link her knickers, my knickers, your knickers with it too?

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  21. As long as you keep my knickers out of it.

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  22. romi41

    A: I loved your post (LMAO at your mention of the Spice Girls singing their new song looking “terrified” 🙂 )

    B: i just spent the last 10 minutes being entertained, enlightened, and “thought-provoked” by the comments!

    C: I wear mascara, I wear a bra that makes my boobs look bigger than they really are, and sometimes I curl the ends of my hair, ’cause I think it’s cute….BUT, I work my ass off at my job as an Advertising Analyst, I write ’cause it feeds my soul, and from what I’m told, I’m remembered by my friends for my sense of humor (and NOT for my looks…dammit…haha)…in other words I SO understand what you mean about that constant contradiction, that perpetual internal conflict, but I still say out loud that the Victoria Secret Fashion Show is STUPID!!! Maybe I want to look hot to feel good, but I don’t put 7-foot snowflakes on my back to draw attention, or I don’t use my T&A to sell ideas or write blogs or get promoted…in short I don’t let my looks define me, and yet everywhere we look, on magazines, at car shows, boat shows and game shows, women serve a singular, diminished purpose, even in 2007….blah (sound of me vomiting in my own mouth)…

    A lot of things contribute to rape, and as non-rapists of course we’ll never have a full understanding of that, but what we see on the Victoria’s Secret Show certainly musn’t help, though it’s actual contribution to the problem could be argued for ages… 😉

    Thanks for writing this 🙂

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  23. Thanks Mum! I do think she does get most of it though. We both know that this is one of the reasons feminists go underground a lot of the time, because it really does get men and women riled, it’s interesting isn’t it? A feminist gets slammed if she’s attractive, and is usually invisible to the media where she can effect change if she isn’t. The fact that she’s expected to step out of the existing model and magically create and survive in a new one proves how damn hard women are expected to work in order to even question the existing system, let alone speak out openly against it. But it’s ok, because we’re all here with different purposes and opinions and that’s what makes the world what it is.

    DA – that rape case you brought up is incredible isn’t it? The fact that the judge said she “gave consent in a general sense” and she was TEN is unbelievable. Sigh.

    Muse, thank you for your input, I appreciate your voice, as always I do.

    I do know that my view point really does get under many womens’ skin – I really don’t think you have to go back very far to see women as objects – or just to developing countries now – I honestly believe that it’s everywhere you look in western society – it’s the thousands of adverts that we see every day, it’s everywhere. I do respect that other people don’t see it that way, but it will never stop me arguing my position! Maybe I’ve seen too many emaciated, depressed, desperate young girls and women in my job to ignore what’s all around us.

    Sylvain, you’re a crack up! (But are your knickers sexy?!)

    Romi41, welcome, welcome! Thanks very much for your input. I’m glad you don’t wear 7 foot snowflakes on your back for effect! 🙂

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  24. Pingback: Confessions of an unwitting patriarch « wrothful

  25. Voyeur

    I am not wanting to trivialise any of the above social commentaries because there have been serious some points well made……but let’s not over analyse this. Thin, good looking chicks with big boobs look even hotter when they wear underwear and blokes love ogling them at every opportunity. I myself recorded that show and have since watched it twice. I agree with DA Simonne, you need to get off your soapbox and write something of relevance rather than drawing a long bow between underwear and rape….hell I may go buy some of that underwear for myself….what size do I need for medium man boobs….. I’m no rapist though. Join the dots indeed, I am going back to my crossword and to hit play on the VCR……………Mmmmmm underwear.

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  26. devil's advocate

    …………………………………………..

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  27. devil's advocate

    **distances herself as far away from voyeur as possible**

    ……………………………………….

    **then washes herself**

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  28. Oh Wrothful, what a post it is too, I urge everyone to read it. Thank you so much for your thoughts, your honesty, and for the fabulous story about how you met your wife!

    Voyeur – this is totally tongue in cheek, right? Right? ‘Not wanting to trivialise’, but then trivialising women’s issues in a big way, by whooping over tits, and using the standard old ‘feminists can’t take a joke, let’s not over-analyse’ thing is patriarchy in it’s purest form. Congrats!

    DA, I’m with you on this one hon!

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  29. Whoa, wasn’t expecting that last line. It’s what I call a gut punch in poetry, but you’re right. Geez.
    It makes me sick to think of someone sleeping with a five month old. Simonne, I don’t even know what else to say right now, I’m speechless. Wow.

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  30. Doktor Holocaust

    never liked lingerie, myself. Complicated Underthings merely get in the way if interactions are at a point where people are seeing each other’s undergarments, like that molded-plastic shoplifting-deterrent packaging that you have to go buy special tools to get into even if you honestly bought the thing in the package.

    but here at the Lab, we do things old-school. no special mail-ordered openers. just a big, sharp, serrated knife. Oh, lingerie, right. I never understood the concept of making crotch-touching clothing that is dry clean only – disposable, edible, or machine-washable are the sensible options.

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  31. poseidonsmuse

    Wow…[Pfffffffffft!]…Woke up and realised that I missed my orthodontic appointment this morning (rescheduled and “life is good”). Ha! Loved the comments posted here too! Kudos to Wrothful for putting his manly two cents worth into the conversation too. And Dok Holocaust…a giddy pleasure as usual – I choose “edible”! [Voyeur doesn’t leave much to the ‘imagination’ – so I won’t “go there”].

    Simonne. I got thinking about this a bit more last night [the little hamster greased his wheel inside of my brain and now it is spinning wildly]. I did not want to put words into your mouth about what you meant – and you know that. I just felt as though I sorta knew where your heart was when you wrote the post. Perhaps I do and do not understand the full meaning of this connection, and my <> moment fizzled out when I posted my comment.

    Anyway, for me, at least (and these are my thoughts just before bedtime…which is probably why I slept in this morning), I am learning through my delvings into spirituality that women were not only treated as objects historically…they were revered because of the Divine Feminine. Worship of the goddess (in early religious practise) was as natural as waiting for the cool rains to wash over the Earth – because “woman”, the “womb”, and the human “mother” was intimately connected to the Earth Mother. Both the God and Goddess were worshipped (together) in order to fulfill the Rites of Life (fertility of people/crops, life cycles etc.).

    Now, I don’t necessarily want my vagina to be “revered” in such a manner (some cultures even practised sacrifice as a means of reverance)…but I do want my body to be seen as something more than just a sex object (ie. my womb as a passage way to the Divine right of birth rather than a receptacle for a penis). I love sex and I enjoy lingerie and all of the kinks that a healthy sex-life has to offer…but I feel as though we have truly lost touch with the Divine Feminine (third world, first world or otherwise). We treat Her more like a sex object now, rather than revere her for her symbolic and connected meaning – that which ties us to the Earth.

    I love men too. It takes alot of courage for man (any man) to face strong, independent women such as us, head-on with an open heart, open mind and love (such that “he” says “What ails YOU [woman] and how can I understand myself by asking you this important question?”). I think that this is part of our “becoming” as humans – staring across the numinous abyss at each other, wondering with open hearts what it is that bonds us together, but makes us so distinctly separate. Perhaps it is time for me to introduce a very important character in a blog post too…That of Skeleton Woman…for she bridges that abyss which divides the feminine from the masculine soul….

    Thanks for reading my comments everyone. Thanks for the post too Simonne – you have sparked up some good conversation here – and you have had some rather thoughtful discourse on the topic (I’m really impressed with everyone’s comments and passion about the subject). Anyway, if some of you do get some time later on today or tomorrow, pop on over to my site and introduce yourself to Skeleton Woman…

    Love…xoxoxo

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  32. christine

    There was something in Romi41’s post that was so good, i couldn’t pass it up.

    She said that she does not define herself by her appearance (good for you!!!), and i believe that many of us really try not to. i think that is great, and pratical, as looks change with age, accidents happen, life happens- our physical beauty (or in my case lack, thereof) is not a strong foundation upon which to build up our worth.

    The thing is that even though Romi, Simonne and others of us in the world do not place our value as people on our looks, the world does.

    As with all oppressor/oppressed relationships- there are those who are oppressed that will buy into the ideaologies of the oppressor in order to survive or become undetectable for the sake of inner peace. Think of “uncle toms”, think of girls who starve themselves secretly for some sense of control in their own lives, or women who hate themselves because they don’t fit in with the ideal of beauty in their part of the world and so strive via crash diets, plastic surgery and self suppression to gain attention.

    Then there are those oppressed persons who are constantly trying to break free of those concepts- but every system of the oppressed society is in favor of the oppressor so that freedom is never whole, total and complete, which explains why some women, finding the use of their sex to hawk wares offensive may still buy some of those wares. Those systems will judge one and deal with one as if one had never personally decided to free herself. And when this striving, assertive person speaks out, she is told she is being overly sensitive, “emotional”, asked if she’s gay (and if so, hows about a 3some) or on the rag. And the systems of the world- judicial, economical, educational, religious and cultural- back up that type of response to female assertiveness.

    Arguments which acknowledge the objectification of women, but state that it has nothing to do with the violation of women do not understand the meanings of objectification or violation. If they did, they would know the objectification is a violation in itself.

    Simonne, the best posts are those that promote thought and discussion. You done good. 😉

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  33. devil's advocate

    simone,
    after using my body as a temple last night (guess who got her christmas present early 😛 )… i thought of you. (after – NOT before)

    i wondered if you could answer a question:
    have you ever masturbated whilst watching porn?

    ……………………………..

    christine,
    simone’s post hasn’t promoted any more thought or discussion than any of her others. 90% of this whole thing is “preaching to the converted”… as in all of you having similar views, patting each other on the back everytime you write something.
    if i hadn’t come in playing devil’s advocate… you’d all just think “yeh great link between channel 10 and channel 2 simone”… you probably still do, but there are other people outside your wanna-be perfect worlds… its those of us in the real world.
    i dont claim to be an expert on feminism… but i do consider myself to be a feminist. being of wicca faith – believe in a balance in the universe… men and women as equals… NEITHER better than the other.
    after 32 comments i’m alarmed that i am still the only one (discounting voyeur who was probably just googling “clit” and stumbled across this page) who thinks that simone’s link is tenuous AT BEST.

    Like

  34. christine

    That is your opinion. i appreciate it.

    The thing is if the post seems so ridiculous to you, why do keep coming back to it? If you’re such a “feminist”, why are you attacking the views of other women? And if you could direct me to where i stated women were better than men, i’d appreciate that as i do not recall making any such statement.

    i am wondering what idea you have of what my perfect world would be since all you have to go on is a few paragraphs addressed to someone else.

    Like

  35. christine

    You know, devil’s advocate, nevermind.
    i say that because our opinions are different, and that’s what made the discussion interesting for me- that and reading the views of others.

    My response to you was a bit snippy & i apologize.
    i don’t need you to point out where i said women were better than men because i didn’t. And i have no right to ask why you keep returning, this is not my blog and i don’t believe that you said the post was ridiculous at all. You are striving to make your point just as others are striving to make theirs.

    And i don’t need to know what you think about what i think because who cares. So again, i’m sorry to you and to Simonne.

    Like

  36. devil's advocate

    all apologies to you christine – only my first paragraph was really directed to you (in response to your last line).
    the rest was just a rant at how ridiculous this whole thing is. (the internet isnt my first language)

    the reason i keep coming back is because i respect simone’s opinion and views – just not on this.

    bless.

    Like

  37. christine

    Me, too.
    Peace to you.

    ~christine

    Like

  38. Hey Simonne!
    While I agree completely with you about the utter ridiculousness of the Victoria Secret strut nonsense – I’m not sure I see the connection. Surely, these men (rapists) were not watching American television.

    Although in the larger picture, I do believe that it is the degrading and humiliation of all humans, by pop culture, ‘entertainment’ and ‘art’ that has resulted in such creatures to feel alright about perpetrating such monstrous acts.

    So, I guess I’m saying that (for example) I don’t believe that video games breed violence, but feel rather that they reflect the common idea in society today, that violence is okay and everything is morally relative.
    Annie

    Like

  39. DA you are not the only one. Although I have distanced myself from this whole discussion, I agree and have stated that I find the link to be quite a stretch.
    Since this topic has now been beaten to death, I understand better the point that was trying to be made. But in the original post, the way it was presented, the dotted line is pretty blurry.
    Now I’m going back into hiding. And yes Simone, my knickers ARE sexy. Well, at least Kelly thinks so.

    Like

  40. Pingback: Doktor Holocaust: brings good news from The Prehistoric Past « Holocaust Labs

  41. Doktor Holocaust

    a few thoughts from a male reader:
    1) stop assuming we are all interested in your bodies. Some of us actually like people for the company, and some (like me) find human bodies disgusting and are therefore not pleased by your.. “fun bags” as one commentor called them, or any other parts.

    2) while I’m really good at creating connections between unconnected things due to conspiracy theories being a hobby of mine… I’m having a REAL hard time seeing the dots between South African pedophiles and overlong commercials for overpriced underwear. It may just be that I’m experiencing a temporary Paranoid Delusion deficiency due to a recent bout of bronchitis, but I highly suspect it isn’t.

    Like

  42. Phew! Where to start?!
    The link that I made in the post was meant to be contentious – so, I think we can all agree that it is! I’m just drawing a link between two tangible things to highlight an overall picture (this picture is extremely well described by Christine, above). I’m asking you to think beyond the line I’ve drawn to what the bigger picture might be. And of course the bigger picture is huge – it encompasses much of what we’ve discussed here: objectification, rape, patriarchy, pornography etc. And with all that on the table, of course not everyone is going to see things the same way and share similar opinions.

    Feminists bicker about all of this stuff all the time, and there’s nothing quite like a meaty debate to really make us think about our own viewpoints and why we have them.

    I have stated in some of the comments why I see the link that I made. I do agree it’s a stretch when you look at it without the bigger picture in mind, but I make no apologies for that. If women are not seen as sexual objects in true (and legal) ownership of their own bodies, would rape occur? It’s pretty simple – this is the question I’m asking and the link I made. I agree with Sylvain that in the original post it does read like women are at fault and isn’t particularly clear, so more careful writing on my part would have helped all this! Sorry!

    DA – in answer to some of your questions:

    Firstly, I’m very glad you enjoyed your early xmas present!
    Second, have I masturbated while watching porn? Yes, I have, but I wouldn’t now – let me explain why to you. I’m not even sure why I’m about to do this because what I’m about to say most of my friends and some of my family don’t know, but it’s so connected to this that to not explain one of the reasons why I’m so passionate about this wouldn’t be fair to either of us and is 100% connected to the shame that so many women feel if they step outside of the role that’s deemed socially acceptable for them.

    I’m quite anti-porn now (this is definitely one of the topics that really does divide feminists – along the lines of prostitution where, in most countries, a woman doesn’t have legal ownership over her own body; it actually belongs to the government, so some feminists might not like porn or prostitution per say, but are for it because of these reasons), but I didn’t used to be. I put myself through university by being an exotic dancer, so believe me, I do know a thing or two about sexy lingerie! I was 19-21 then and extremely attractive in the Barbie doll sort of sense. As a dancer, I didn’t feel in the least oppressed. I was surrounded by men all revering me and actually felt incredibly powerful.

    What’s changed is my perspective over time. When I was that age and I looked like that I represented two of the most sought after things in Western culture; youth and beauty. I didn’t feel oppressed, I felt venerated and charged with power. I was earning good money, men wanted to be with me, women wanted to look like me; it was all good. When you are the object of such desire, it’s a heady thing, and it’s difficult to see beyond the ‘freedoms’ that come with that to what it really means.

    You’ve said that you believe in a “balance in the universe… men and women as equals… NEITHER better than the other.” That’s exactly what I believe in – exactly! My point is that this balance doesn’t exist yet in modern society. I do believe though that the sacred masculine and the sacred feminine are coming back into balance, but I strongly believe that we’re not there yet. So, yes, it’s great to believe in that, but if it’s not in front of us, then someone has to work towards achieving it. As I’ve grown and matured and been able to step away from the Barbie doll persona I’ve become very passionate about how easy it is for young women to think that sexual freedoms such as these (aggressive male-dominant porn, stripping, prostitution etc) are actually women expressing our sexual freedom. Maybe you don’t see it that way, and I have no problem if you don’t of course, but as a woman who’s experienced some of these things, it changes you, it’s not freeing at all, it opens your eyes to how it sets you up to be viewed as an object for mens’ desire and why that’s not a good thing.

    Most people at this point think I hate men and this is where the frustration comes in. If you haven’t read Wrothful’s post yet, please do. I don’t blame men, I blame the patriarchy, there’s SUCH a huge difference between those two things.

    The reason I don’t talk about my dancing days is linked directly to shame. There is no male equivalent of the words ‘slut’ or ‘whore’ and so the shame factor for men isn’t there like it is for women. Women are expected to uphold a certain standard of chastity and women who step outside of that, no matter how much you might not think so in this day and age, believe me it’s true, are tainted. I was very close to one of my aunties when I was younger and as soon as she knew I was an exotic dancer she turned cold and she’s never been the same with me since, even after all these years and my obvious about-face into feminism. She was ashamed, clear and simple. Women are judged by our appearance and our sex, whether we choose to and are capable of seeing it (as I wasn’t when I was younger), we truly are. I wanted to tell you this so you have some idea that I’m really not getting on my ‘high-horse’; I’ve been in the trenches with this stuff and I’m passionate about redressing the imbalance.

    I wonder if what we’re arguing about mostly is semantics – the link that I made. We seem to agree on a lot of other things? I’m not sure why the link rubbed you the wrong way as much as it did, but again, the way it was written isn’t great, sorry!

    As for my cyberspace friends patting me on the back every time I write something, you do get a bit nasty here DA! “…But there are other people outside your wanna-be perfect worlds… its those of us in the real world.” I am in the real world, I hope you can see that now, to assume I’m in some magical fairyland is assuming way too much. I’ve certainly had my fair share of abuse and trauma (including self-inflicted), which is why I’m so passionate about oppression.

    Blogging can be very personal, which is why so many bloggers don’t reveal their identity, so for you to hide yours and then tell me (the person willing to speak up on a controversial level in my authentic identity) that I’m not living in reality is extremely hypocritical I think. Of course my cyber-friends are going to support a lot of what I write, and vice versa – we have gravitated towards each other because of shared philosophies and interests, again that’s what happens in the blogosphere. I think you’ll see though, that many of them are not in full agreement with me on this one, and that’s totally fine, it’s their opinion and their voice and they are expressing it in my own space with grace and aplomb.

    Christine, thank you for expressing the oppressor/oppressed issue so well! You really did put it in a nutshell and I so agree with every word. And it’s been exemplified right here on my blog:
    Then there are those oppressed persons who are constantly trying to break free of those concepts- but every system of the oppressed society is in favor of the oppressor so that freedom is never whole, total and complete, which explains why some women, finding the use of their sex to hawk wares offensive may still buy some of those wares. Those systems will judge one and deal with one as if one had never personally decided to free herself.”
    No need to apologize to me for the other comment either, it was a comment full of generosity and indeed shows the nature of your beautiful spirit.

    Dr H – “stop assuming we are all interested in your bodies.” This is so dumb and reductive I can’t even go there!! And the link has been explained above, so I won’t go into it again!

    Muse, I love what you’ve written and so agree with you and will visit Skeleton Woman as soon as I can! The revered goddess is such an interesting topic and again, I experienced that concept gone awry when I was younger, and I really do believe that it’s slowly coming back into balance. Sx

    Like

  43. Grace

    Hi, Simonne 🙂 Interesting topic you have here.

    The link that I personally see between the V.S. stuff and “rape” is this:

    How are each of us – male or female – managing and directing our Energy? In both cases that you initially used, it is my opinion that these are classic cases of MISmanagement.

    As a collective, how we manage our energy (from the smallest act to the most major obsession in though) feeds the Collective Energy Grid. Whether or not one is a “feminist” or a “Male Chauvenist Pig”, each and every thought, word and deed that we create – creates something else.

    In this way, as a Collective, we are all part of the problem. We are all also part of the solution.

    I myself am a Hypocritical Advocate. For example, I can espouse ‘green’ ideas, and the very next moment use plastic bags rather than paper at the store. I can decry the objectification of women, and at the very next moment wonder if my new dress shows my ‘assets’ off in the most appealing way.

    However, I’ve forgiven myself because Perfect doesn’t exist, and Awakening is a process 🙂

    Love to you, Simonne. Thank you for your good intentions with this post.

    May we all look at our own energy management, and try to direct it in ways that help – not harm.

    xoxox

    Like

  44. Wow, Simonne have you ever seemed to ignite a firestorm of words with this post. Good for you anything that gets people really thinking is good. This is a very sensitive topic to many and you will never get total agreement, but that is not the point. You definitely made me think with this one. I have actually returned 3 or 4 times to read and reread it before commenting.
    You are an admitted feminist and I applaud you for that, there is a lot of work that needs to be done in this area. Me, I am just an average guy that has to admit to enjoying looking at scantily clan females. Personally, I believe the female body is God’s most perfect and beautiful creation and fully deserving of great admiration. In my younger days I also admit there were occasions when I went specifically to see exotic dancers. Never through this time did thoughts of rape enter my head. But I know this isn’t the point you were making.
    I hadn’t thought of this issue in the way you are presenting it. But it is true that in todays world sex is so much more open and almost in your face. It is a fact of life, a scantily clad female will attract male attention. Advertisers know this and take advantage of it to promote their products. Actually, a smart move on their part when you consider their job is to promote sales. Ok, that part I already knew. Speaking as a male I kind of like it.
    Through you making me think, I have come to a further realization at least for me.
    By doing this we have sort of reduced sex to a commodity to be used as a sales tool. It isn’t a big stretch for me to then see that the women used for this purpose are, exactly that being “used” for that purpose. They could become seen as sex objects. Remember, it doesn’t take much to get the male imagination stirred up. I still need to think more on this.
    You really have my mind going on this one. Aren’t movie stars, musicians and the like all subject to the same, either male or female.
    One more leap of thought and I am done. Is it wrong for anyone to use all of their assets or skills to advance themselves in this world? Again, I need to think more on this.
    Men and women were created equal, just thankfully slightly differently physically. All should be treated as such with the up most respect. The word horrendous doesn’t even come close to describing my feeling about the way women are treated in so many places in the world.
    I thank you for sharing this, you got me thinking and are causing me to keep thinking.

    Like

  45. devil's advocate

    simone,
    sorry if i came across nasty, but reading back through your blogs, there seems to be a lot of “patting on the back”… and not much in the way of opposing arguments. but i guess it is the forum youre in and far from your fault… hence the name i chose 🙂

    as for me remaining anonymous – i am just a poor 40 something human resources worker… you’re the famous one…

    as this will be my last post on this subject – i thought i’d leave you with thoughts on my night tonight…

    …………………….

    whilst at home tonight enjoying a brandy – i sat down for what i thought was going to be a boring night of “christmas re-run” television.

    to my amasement, the very yummy jamie oliver was on the abc at 7.30.
    jamie was also at home and was showing me how to grow my own food. he then went on to show me how to prepare meals using the same foods that were just grown in his backyard.
    needless to say the meals he prepared looked divine and better than any meal i’d had in a restaurant recently. all this in the privacy of his own home.

    then at 9.30 (admittedly after another brandy) i switched over to channel 9 to find ramsay’s kitchen nightmares. a great program where there is a chef who i think is an italian migrant and has this little italian restaurant in england… but he has no customers.

    simone, do think that considering that jamie just taught the world how to grow their own food and cook it without leaving their home it’s his fault alex has no customers?

    food for thought.

    kisses.

    Like

  46. Tim

    DA,

    The probability of causality is roughly the same as in Simonne’s original post.

    ———————————-

    Simonne,

    The VS shows cause me to have the same reaction that I have when HS dance teams (stereotypically girls) perform routines at ball games. I go out of my way to not watch, and sit in horror at the pride that their Moms & Dads show from the stands.

    I want to ask, “Are you proud that there are a dozen teenage boys that are going to carry the memory of your daughter’s pelvic thrusting into their bedrooms tonight? Is her cleavage the attribute that you most want her peers to remember her by?”

    Years ago, my Dad and I were talking about the Biblical scene (John 8:6) where Jesus was confronted with the “woman taken in adultery” and responds to the request to stone her by writing on the ground. He went on to wonder, what would Jesus have written?

    Dad speculated that He might have written the name of her father, reminding them that this was someone’s daughter. Accordingly, it’s impossible for me to see women in such contexts as the VS show, beauty pageants, HS dance routines, or even pornography, and not think “that’s someone’s daughter.” – Tim

    Like

  47. Pingback: Untangling the Bones « Ramblings From the Mermaid Tavern

  48. Pingback: Ramblings From the Mermaid Tavern

  49. Thanks Grace, I very much agree with all that you’ve said.
    DA, thanks for your thoughts.
    Welcome Tim, well said.
    My dear Bill, thank you for spending all that time writing here, I know your time is stretched. I appreciate your words and your energy and love how you go off to ponder upon things – such is the nature of you 🙂
    Thanks Sylvain and Muse for the added input.
    Love,
    Sx

    Like

  50. evylsmoke

    Less fluffy, stoopid wings.
    More cleavage.
    Period.
    Are they models or clowns?

    Like

  51. Both? And methinks you missed the point – although glancing at your blog, maybe not…

    Like

  52. I see I missed a rocking good discussion! I will simply agree with everyone’s comments and declare it a successful post all around. I get your connection, Sx.

    Cheers!

    Like

  53. OB! You’re back! 🙂 Glad you get the connection!
    Sx

    Like

  54. devil's advocate

    observant bystander,
    i hope you “get” the connection between jamie oliver and the lack of patrons to some restaurants too.
    also – i hope you “get” the connection between that fact that simone has used her sexuality to get her things such as money and inner empowerment in the past, not to mention the link to a “need” for this sort of “entertainment”.

    Like

  55. Liz

    As I read your post I was intrigued by your style and you do have a way with words! However, I think you have a fundamental misunderstanding about the difference between rape and sex or sexuality. Rape is about control and a rapist doesn’t to feel sexually attracted to his victim in order to have a compulsion to rape her. Africa is a violent and harsh country, where children experience famine, murder, disease and the brutal treatment of girls and women on a daily basis. Africa is the “helpless woman” of the world. She is traded, sold, captured and raped by all the other countries and she has yet to rise up and save herself. Her people reflect that basic defeat. Now think about a Victoria’s Secret model. She works because she can and she receives all financial rewards for her work. She can afford protection and she can afford to be alone if that is her wish. The sight of her empowered expression of sexuality does not inspire rage and control issues in men. On the contrary, I believe the average man delights in her independence and financial sovereignty, not to mention her beauty. Although our preoccupation with physical beauty and money is pathetic on so many levels, I can’t connect the dots you are suggesting. Men rape babies because they see images of beautiful women dressed sensually? Sorry. If women were empowered in Africa, there’d be less rape, not more. Why is everyone agreeing with you? C’mon people! Think for yourselves, it’s only a blog. I’m sure Simonne will still be your friend if you do……sheesh!

    Like

  56. devil's advocate

    hooray for liz, EXACTLY what i was trying to get at – you’re just a lot better at explaining it.
    but for simone’s sake – i hope no one who has seen any of her berlei underwear turns out to be a rapist!

    Like

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