Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Despatch from London town, where the media-boys never grow up

Two buses pass in front of me, one after the other. The side of the first bus reads (because every single available space in this city is for sale): "For the love of boobs". I think it was for breast cancer awareness, but nowhere does it mention this. Or at least not in a font size that is legible to anybody looking at a bus from the street. The second bus reads: "". The "www" bit is made out of boobs. Cleavage. Actual photographs of actual cleavage. I am too scared to look at the site. I think it may give me a heart implosion and make me take permanently to the wimple.

Sometimes I feel we seem to have gone backwards, way back to those dark old days of the seventies, when it was perfectly OK to treat a woman like a piece of meat. Heck, if there was a woman at your workplace in the 70's, it was your right to make jokes about her sexual proclivities and pinch various parts of her at your whim, all in the name of good, clean fun.

It seriously annoys me that all the feminist movement appears to have done is to drive this compulsion underground, to some altogether seedier, nastier place. Most days, there is some complete tosser on the bus or tube, gazing unselfconsciously at a nude woman in his paper. Perfectly typical sight, this. I once saw a man who, from the outside, was reading a respectable paper - but had a porn mag tucked inside. At least this guy must have realised that it is a little bit wrong to view hardcore porn in public, and had tried to hide it (although not very well - the drooling and glazed stare was a dead giveaway).

Advertising agencies have a lot to answer for. And while I realise that my work (graphic design) is uncomfortably close to advertising, I would never be so thoughtless, lazy and retrogressive to use a pair of boobs to sell stuff to men.

Brothers, if you are reading this, please boycott Lynx for my sake. And your girlfriend's. And our Mum's.

1 comment:

susanna said...

I completely agree. A good account of this trend is given in Female Chauvinist Pigs by Ariel Levy. Have you read that? (Apologies if you've mentioned it in your archives!) I feel that "role models" like Paris Hilton have drawn young women away from the fight against sexism. They've become part of the problem.

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