This post is a response to Why Biking Enthusiasts Need To Be A Bit More ‘Hollywood’ About Things by This Big City
I would have said ‘Great rack!’ but because it wouldn’t be a politically correct statement, and because I don’t want to be an ogre that comes down hard on anyone’s choice to dress as he or she pleases — and because I love the female form, especially Monica Bellucci’s (wow!) — let me just say, ‘Great way to use one’s body assets to promote oneself and other products, including bicycles, because clearly a knockout cleavage and a short dress have everything to do with bicycles.’
And by the way, ‘Great rack!’
I’m talking about Monica, not the bike frame.
Alright, ‘rack’ is a little condescending (it’s like looking at a man and saying, ‘look at those guns!’ which is a totally inappropriate and objectifying statement to make about a man’s arms), so let me rephrase:
I’m sensing that some people are still upset. I don’t see why though. I just made a perfectly sound set of statements about appearances and sexuality in a way that has everything to do with the image above. I am dead center on how that image was meant to come across, acknowledging its effect(iveness). Yes, I peppered my piece with sarcasm to give it more flavor, so what? When they make sarcasm illegal, sue me.
But because I want to be fair to all readers, I would like to offer the chance to those who have an issue with my stance to prove me wrong. I’ll retract my position if anyone can make a sound argument against my claim that these amazing boobies and legs were used to elicit an emotional response toward the article’s content, thereby turning the woman model and the writer of the article into accomplices in said manipulation, thereby making the observer (me) a justified commentator.
A few words on that: I defend women’s choice to dress themselves in miniskirts, g-strings and see-through blouses, among other things, because I enjoy looking at them, not staring, looking — ok maybe a bit of staring when no one’s looking, and a little when someone’s looking, depending on the mood. I love the explosion of sexuality through which the world is going right now. I don’t think it bodes well for the species — see alien observing oversexualized ape scenario – but I love it. When it suits me.
Given the circumstances, I, as well as any rational person, am also at perfect liberty to point out that the aforementioned sexual freedom comes with a hook (duh! it’s how it works) a hook that involves stirring up emotional and sexual responses in other people. In this case (see rack above — I’m talking about the bike frame on which Monica is resting this time, though the focus is still on Monica, funnily enough) in this case, as in countless others, this hOOk was applied with an ulterior motive (as in ‘I want to gain something out of it other than the pleasure of wearing something breezy and light’) and connivance (as in ‘I know perfectly well what I’m doing, how this photo shoot is supposed to work, how it will be used to sell pics, image rights, bikes, and tourist packages to Italy and California), leaving people with two options: a) call the behavior slutty or manipulative, demanding it ceases immediately (I don’t like this option), or b) celebrate the wonderful body bursting out of that dress, wishing the seams were weaker, while also getting a strange impulse to go riding in the park.
It also allows me to comment on the use of flesh as an advertizing commodity without being branded a ‘sexist pig.’ Sex in advertizing is a reality. It’s everywhere, it’s acceptable, we do it, we talk about it, but not everything we say about it will be supportive and positive, because that’s not reasonable. There’s things that are wrong with it, points that need to be made along the way, and make them people will, despite the efforts of the indignant to shut them up.
Sorry gender crusaders, If you want to come down hard on anyone, take it out on the model and the writer, who set up this ‘objectification’ in the first place. Take it out on the sex-appeal industrial complex. Don’t come after the messenger.
So, until you come up with a sound rebuttal to my claims, I’m going to spend my time in a world brimming with sexual freedom, if you don’t mind. I’m at perfect liberty to comment on the sex-appeal industrial-complex and all that it entails, positive and negative, light or serious, with tongue in cheek or at face value, on both men and women alike, because it’s what adults do. Only babies demand special treatment. Women are no babies. They can handle the truth about sexuality’s hooks.
Yes, they can.