I hate sexism because I hate injustice. It’s the same reason I hate what happens to Palestinians, what happened to Tibetans and why I hate the fact that Ramsay is still walking around in Game of Thrones. It’s not fair.
I hate sexism. But I have done sexist things in the past. Not because I am sexist, I am aware that women have less power and less pay than men and I think they should have equality. If a feminist wants equality between men and women then I am a feminist. But I have done sexist things because I have expressed my appreciation for the physical form and sometimes that appreciation has crossed over to what some would call objectification. “Treating the female form as an object” only appreciating the physical aspect. Even though anyone that knows me knows I couldn’t appreciate a man or woman if I don’t like their personality. There are grey areas in my opinion but sometimes I have publicly co-signed things whether it was a still of scantily clad women in a music video (for less than a second, but there nonetheless) or an instagram meme that inadvertently promoted the idea of women being there merely for men to look at.
So I have done things that may be perceived to be sexist but despite that fact that I strive to support equality. Things are rarely black and white.
I don’t really know where flirting ends and objectification begins, if I tell you that you look beautiful am I being sweet or being sexist or both? So far it seems like it depends on who I say it to. I don’t flirt with strangers anymore because there is no way to express the fact that you think a stranger is beautiful without objectifying. If all you know about them is that they look great nothing you can say is gonna sound less than creepy. Thing is some girls love that. Some girls don’t.
So when I have been called out for sexism I have been defensive because I consider myself a forward thing man, I would even have defined myself as feminist before the more recent battle of the sexes has to some extent redefined the term.
So there are instagram posts I am ashamed of and music video scenes I am ashamed of. But there are grey lines everywhere. If a strange man starts a conversation with you but doesn’t mention the fact that you’re attractive, but clearly had no other reason to talk to you – is that objectification?
I like looking at beautiful women, people like looking at beautiful women, so is it sexist or sensible to put beautiful women in a music video? Maybe it’s both. Maybe it WILL get the video more views but maybe it’s also sexist. What about 50 Cent showing his six pack off on the front cover of all his albums, is that objectification?
I have other questions. Like if Miley Cyrus is riding a wrecking ball wearing nothing it’s not sexist if she chose to ride it. But it is sexist if her (male) record label execs made her do it? The issue is that one can usually safely assume the record execs are all male. The issue is that if a person who is over-weight (is that PC? I’ll just say a person that is bigger than most) wins X-Factor everybody is amazed as if what they look like matters at all in a singing contest. And even more confusing – is it sexist if she chose to do it but only because she knows in a world run by men and in which the female body is more appealing to both sexes she knows she’ll get more views by objectifying herself? Did she do it because we’re living in a sexist world? Grey areas.
Is Kim Kardashian a feminist icon in charge of her own destiny and sexuality? Or is Kim Kardashian a victim of a patriarchal society that values her on the size of her backside and her willingness to share it with us? I would probably argue both. But, as critical as I have been of her and the culture that has elevated her to GQ Woman of the year, the truth is without knowing her or her motivations none of us actually know.
I’m not excusing any sexist behaviour, I’m just owning it. I’m apologising for it. And perhaps I’m asking some difficult questions. There are honest expressions of attraction with no intention of pushing any patriarchal agendas. But in a world where women don’t get jobs because they don’t look a certain way, where women don’t get signed because they don’t look a certain way, and where they have eating disorders because they don’t look a certain way and where some commit suicide because they don’t look a certin way I am ashamed to have been part of the problem at any tie of my life for whatever reason. Because you may have no intention of pushing a sexist agenda you may push it by accident.
So before I go any further – I am aware that women were burned as witches, I am aware that women only relatively recently got the vote, I am aware that in many industries women are still sidelined, made fun of, not respected and not paid as much and this is unfair, amoral and unjust.
There are some die-hard feminists who may not accept my honesty and accept that I am not sexist although I realise I have done sexist things. They may not accept that someone can appreciate the physical form AND respect the mind body and soul. But I know anyone that knows me knows I respect mind, body and soul first and foremost. And anybody that reeeally knows me knows I like the physical female form. Alot. And sometimes I want to express that, but perhaps I should not. Perhaps I should only express my appreciation of the physical form with women I have already expressed appreciation for the mind, body and soul of?
Perhaps I should not be so honest?
ps here’s some male objectification, for balance 😉