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The Sexualization Of Women In The 21st Century

1480 words - 6 pages

The sexualization of women in the 21st century has led many to wonder whether or not the feminist movement actually resulted in more harm than good. Although the progress and reform that came out of the feminist movement is indisputable, things such as equal rights under the law, equal status and equal pay, the reality is that the subjugation of female roles in society still exist, and the most surprising part about this is that now women are just as much as at fault for this as men are. Ariel Levy defines female chauvinist pigs as “women who make sex objects of other women and of ourselves” (Levy 11). This raunch culture is mistakenly assumed to be empowering and even liberating to women ...view middle of the document...

Badly. “Show them your tits,” one yelled at the two girls splayed on towels next to him. “What’s your problem? Just show them your tits?” (Levy 18)
In a display of drunken irony, the man quoted above is exactly what’s wrong with our current day raunch culture. If a woman does not bare it all for the camera, if one does not conform to this kind of subjugation, they are seen as abnormal, uptight, and acting outside of this newly created cultural norm. However GGW is the tip of the iceberg of the hundreds of industries currently in existence whose goal is to profit from the sexualization and marginalization of women. It is not necessarily the pornographic nature of the content that is cancerous to the feminist movement, it is the fact that these icons are seen as modern symbols of female liberation and freedom of sexuality, that women are now supposedly now free to express. However, an interesting parallel can be drawn here, it is fine for a college student on spring break to flash her breasts for the camera on a public beach, but a mother breast-feeding her child in a public place is criticized for indecent exposure. Ultimately female freedom of sexuality should not simply be about sex, however it should be more evolved around self-respect and knowing that although some women choose to objectify themselves as sexual-objects, this is not nearly the norm of female sexual behaviour.
The original feminist movement was firmly based on equal rights and female stature in society. For instance, the feminist movement gained its initial forward momentum from the Supreme Court ruling on Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion in America. In contrast, current day feminists have to deal with less obvious, more complicated issues; however these are just as important when debating the topic of gender inequality as a whole. Hugh Hefner, a self-proclaimed liberator of women, shares the twisted mindset that is so heavily imbued and reciprocated in raunch culture today:
“The rabbit, the bunny, in America has a sexual meaning, and I chose it because it’s a fresh animal, shy, vivacious, jumping – sexy. First it smells you, then it escapes, then it comes back, and you feel like caressing it, playing with it. A girl resembles a bunny. Joyful, joking. Consider the kind of girl that we made popular: the Playmate of the Month. She is never sophisticated, a girl you cannot really have. She is a young, healthy, simple girl – the girl next door… we are not interested in the mysterious, difficult woman, the femme fatale, who wears elegant underwear, with lace, and she is sad, and somehow mentally filthy.” (Levy 45)
Brazenly, Hefner fails to acknowledge that the reason his nudie mag empire is so successful is because his apparent female liberating sexual revolution seems to apply only to men. According to him, women who applied the same type of logic in the opposite direction were “somehow mentally filthy”. This type of misleading female liberation is a major contributor to...

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