* What will 30 minutes at Chadstone Shopping Centre tell us about our pornified culture? – Coralie Alison, Collective Shout
“We don’t experience life in a vacuum. From the earliest of ages women have been socialised into believing that our value and worth come from our physical appearance, desirability, and ability to attract male attention.
“We are growing up in a pornified culture that gives women two options; to be invisible or to be f*ckable (to quote Gail Dines). So it is no surprise that for some women they feel empowered when they express themselves in a sexualised way as a model, however we cannot ignore the broader damage that this type of advertising does to women globally.
“Sexist jokes, objectifying women, gender inequality are the root cause of violence against women. In her award winning documentary “Killing her softly” Jean Kilbourne said “turning a human being into a thing is almost always the first step in justifying violence against that person.” If we truly want equality for women we need to think about how our individual choices affect women as a class.”
* Agency is magic and so is twerking – Laura McNally
“In reality, there are a million ways to own one’s sexuality that doesn’t require pole-dancing in front of millions of people. Pole-dancing, at the end of the day, really has nothing to do with female sexuality, and everything to do with strip club culture — i.e. male culture, i.e. performing sexualization for the male gaze. It does not, in any way, threaten the status quo.
The recent pole-dancing trend in music videos, exercise classes and stagettes not only celebrates the sexist status quo, but it glamorises sexual exploitation. Research conducted by an ex-stripper showed over half of the dancers had experienced digital rape on the job as well as other forms of verbal and physical assault. More recent research shows that dancers are expected to maintain conventional beauty ideals, often resorting to dangerous surgeries and extreme weight loss measures in order to do so. I guess these women didn’t get the memo about fun feminist agency.
Women have the right to be critical of this increasingly pornographic culture. Parents have the right to rage against the pressure on girls to sexualize themselves for the male gaze. Women who are critical of these messages are not necessarily “anti-sex” or prudes – the reality is more complex than what that binary offers.
There are people who like sex but who are also critical of sexual exploitation. Indeed, as it turns out, some people can envisage a sexuality that doesn’t require market-driven, male-centric, or porn-fueled performance.” Full article here.
* See also – Don’t call Beyonce’s sexual empowerment feminism by Ruby Hamad
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