For some time, I’ve loved visiting a blog called Cute Overload. I’ve got a serious need to be around, or at least see, animals of all types. So this blog was a gift. The blog owner posted pictures like these:
“This ‘Cats ‘n’ Racks’ is no error, People, it’s tewtelly posed for your enjoyment! That cat is soo comfterbuls. Now we know how Katie Holmes stuffed.”
“Ow! A third submission for a new “Cats n’ Racks” category arrived. It’s now an offical category! As ‘Tracy B’ noted, ‘It doesn’t get any rackier than this. :)’ ha!”
I won’t waste my time guessing their motivations for doing this. The facts are simple:
- women do not enjoy the same rights in society as men
- women are valued primarily as a sex class; they are not valued as fully human
- women suffer violence, torture, and death simply because they are women
- posting pictures of women that promote their status as sex objects causes real harm.
Why is it so difficult to see that photos like these are harmful? Is it difficult to see, or is it that people just don’t care? Maybe I can make this a little clearer for people who think that pictures like these don’t matter.
In 2004, a killer whale attacked his trainer. The whale attempted to submerge the man, and suceeded at times. (Some killer whales overcome their prey by drowning the animal.) Fortunately, the trainer was not hurt.
So I’ve decided to rip off Cute Overload and start a new blog called Critters So Precious You’ll Upchuck. I’ve created a category called Whales ‘n’ Males™. I’m going to post pictures of that trainer being attacked by the killer whale and I’ll post cutesy comments with the pictures.
Why am I making such a big deal out of pictures that objectify women? The man in the picture was facing death. Of course that’s not funny. The women were just shown so we could enjoy their boobs. What could be funnier than a cat and boobs?
Treating women as the cats ‘n’ racks photos do causes real damage. They show that’s it’s ok to view women as sex objects. They perpetuate the belief that women exist for the pleasure of men. All of these beliefs protect the status quo: men are human but women serve as decoration and sexual outlets.
Where do you suppose violence against women comes from? Why are women battered, raped, and murdered by their male partners? People don’t behave mindlessly: “Time to beat someone. Hey, the wife is handy.” We adapt our behavior according to the situation we’re in. When a man gets angry at work, does he punch his boss? No, he needs his job, so he controls himself. Why do some men control themselves with their bosses, but beat their wives into a bloody pulp?
Because they can.
Attitudes and beliefs inform behavior. You don’t batter, rape, and kill someone you view as your equal. But when you view women as being less than men, all kinds of terrible behaviors become acceptable. The ubiquitous message that women are worth less than men matters. When violence and hate are everywhere, there’s no such thing as acceptable objectification.
We live in an ugly, inequal society. Cats ‘n’ Racks™ plays right into the hate.