October 19, 2005

Question: Is This Offensive?

For those who can tolerate a little porn, check out this post. Then read Bullwinkle's comment below it.

Are the pictures offensive? Is the remark?

In a heterosexual context, how does your relationship with the opposite sex inform your opinion?

Posted by Attila at October 19, 2005 11:35 AM | TrackBack

The pictures? Not offensive. Not original.
The remark? Stupid, not original, and offensive.

Your bonus question? Hmmm. I don't think it makes a difference. The way you feel about it is just a reflection of you. One's personal experiences are too narrow a sample to generalize/extrapolate. But that doesn't stop people from doing just that, of course. I assume you believe Bullwinkle spends a lot of time moose-turbating?

Posted by: Darrell at October 19, 2005 11:59 AM

1) No. 2) Not offensive to me personally, just stupidly immature.

3) I have to step back from myself a second to consider that one. How? Well for the first question, I dearly love the female form and female sensuality. But for those who fear that softcore porn "objectifies" women, I'd have to say not necessarily. Is it the depiction or is it the viewer? I'd have to say it has much more to do with the viewer and their ability (or lack thereof) to relate to the opposite sex. In the complete absence of porn, I think certain men would still objectify the women around them.

Posted by: Desert Cat at October 19, 2005 08:09 PM

The Cotillion women had a spirited discussion about this (off-line, of course). Some were more bothered by the porn, and some more by the remark.

Some felt that the pictorial showed men don't care if a woman's bustline is enhanced. (Which, of course, many don't. They just don't want to know about it if it is.) I rather imagined that with most of those pictures, the man's eyes gratitate closer to the model's hips--but I could be wrong.

Neither the pictorial nor the remark bothered me very much, so I was wondering if I'm a freak as a female, and what my readers (male and female, libertarian and hard-right) would think.

Posted by: Attila Girl at October 19, 2005 08:24 PM

The pictures are not offensive. The remark is ignorant.

Posted by: chuck at October 19, 2005 09:08 PM

I sort of understand how the remark could have bothered people who don't know me but nobody who actually knows me would think a thing of it. It's hard to hear irony when you're reading it. It's also hard to believe that women don't understand that for the majority cases it's a reversal of the male/female roles. FOR THE MOST PART* guys wants a woman with a hot body, women look for men with a nice car, job, and bank account. Considering the fact that I rarely ever drink and don't sit around "moosterbating" like some would like to think and the pictures were actually collected for me by Bullwinklette so I could go fishing I think the whole thing has been blown out of porportion.

*Before someone jumps down my throat over this read, re-read, lather, rinse, and repeat until that part sinks in.

Posted by: bullwinkle at October 19, 2005 09:14 PM

Well, I don't think you are a typical woman...Isn't that why you blog? And why we read? I wouldn't use "freak"....

I'll share a not-too-secret "secret" of the male sex. We all think about sex the first time we meet a woman. We think about having sex and imagine what you would look like naked. Then we go on from there--maybe place our coffee order or take our orders for the day. That's the way our brains are wired. The process may stop if we decide we are not interested. Of course, it can start again if we see something we like-- like the fire in your eyes, your smile, your unique expressions, or a line or curve on your body. There. Not all guys will own up to it at first, but it's always the case. We start out thinking that we're the only ones that do this. We learn otherwise. Women have told me that they don't think this way, and I don't have any evidence to dispute it. Many men learn to treat women well in spite of this. But don't think for a second it isn't there. Maybe women should tell us now and again "Thank you for not being a jerk!" It would be something...

Posted by: Darrell at October 19, 2005 09:28 PM

I rather imagined that with most of those pictures, the man's eyes gratitate closer to the model's hips--but I could be wrong.

Perceptive. 'Specially the nice derriere.

It's hard to hear irony when you're reading it.

Naw, it's just one of those dumb guy things we normally never let outside the locker room (where the Cotillion can't masticate it to death.) We're not supposed to let on that the yakking and needy communication part gets to be a bit much sometimes. ;)

I think it's a bit ironic that some women should get so exercised at the revelation that men seem to enjoy just looking at attractive, sensual women, when they themselves spend so much time and energy obsessing over their own appearance.

Posted by: Desert Cat at October 19, 2005 09:57 PM

Not offended by the pictures, but not very turned on by them either. She's not my type, I go more for the "girl-next-door" look than the Barbi look. It's about as sexy as an anatomy textbook: fun to look at but not what I get my rocks off on.

Not offended by the comment, either. It wasn't terribly classy, but I'm sure it was a joke and jokes aren't always classy.

As a flaming hetero, I appreciate all sorts of things about women. I enjoy seeing them in all manner of dress/undress. I've had many very good friends that were women, and appreciate their different perspective and sense of humor: I think most (but definitely not all) of my female friends would take a comment like that in context asnd see it for the joke it was. Quite a few of them would be ready to follow it up with an equivilent joke about men.

Posted by: Seth Williams at October 20, 2005 12:50 AM

Hey. That's an idea. I could start a category on "dumb guy humor," alienate a bunch of people, generate a few minor blog wars, and watch my traffic go through the roof!

I think we're on to something, Seth. ;)

Posted by: Attila Girl at October 20, 2005 04:32 AM

I'll explain why the pictures/comment disturbed me.

For quite some time, it's bugged the crap out of me that certain politcally-oriented blogs often post T&A pictures (not even that pornographic), knowing fully well that they have male AND female readers, and often a very large audience.

To me, it demonstrates a total disregard for the female readers, like they're just blogging "for the guys." I'm not saying they should post pictures to appeal to women too; I'm saying take into account that there ARE women reading too. Even if the women aren't offended by the pictures, the post isn't for them (us). It's disrespectful to the female READERS, if nothing else. It's like, "I know you're here, but I really don't care," AT BEST.
(At worst, it's more like "this is the kind of woman I want around here, because this is The Ultimate Woman - as long as I don't have to listen to her.")

An analogy: What if Michelle Malkin, whom countless men and women read, were to every once in a while put up soft-core pr0n of nekkid men? Or what if she were to occasionally post ban-bashing pieces? Wouldn't you think it was disrespectful to her male audience? (I'm using her as an example because of certain other "big blogs" like Wizbang who often make this stupid mistake.)

Joy and I have a different opinion about pr0n, and that's totally fine with me; I'm not one to want to legislate about it. The reason why some of us are/were exercised about his particular case was because of Bullwinkle's involvement with Cotillion (as part of the "King of" thing). [HE HAS APOLOGIZED, so no hard feelings--most people would just tell us to f-off, so that took guts.]

Anyway, pr0n-blogging is exactly the kind of thing we (most of us) do not want to be associated with, especially since one of the main reasons we formed as a group was to raise the visibility of the oft-discussed "women bloggers" as something more than just mommy-bloggers.

I hope that helps you guys understand.

Posted by: Beth at October 20, 2005 07:00 AM

First off as you can imagine the pictures weren't offensive. No straight male is going to tell you he is offended by a relatively classy photo shoot of an attractive woman. the comment was an off hand kind of thing that you might hear if a group of guys were standing around. there is atleast one in a group that feels the need to say something witty or off color. That being said I do agree with Beth but I also understand one thing. Its his blog and he can do and say what he wants. It is part and parcel of his personality. Beth knows that her style just as his style may alienate some people but when you begin to take your blog so seriously that it doesnt convey your personality then what you have is a bland product that not even you the blogger is comfortable with. Id save the porn for a porn site. They are not all that hard to find. Just look in the comments section of some of my old posts. Those spammin ba$%ards.

Posted by: Lanceredstaterant at October 20, 2005 08:20 AM

Posted by: bullwinkle at October 20, 2005 09:18 AM

Let me ask something, why is it that the multitude of catalogues and the avalche of advertising is never condidred to be demeaning to men? Think about it...in those Martha Steward-esque pubs(Domestications, Chadwicks etc on the catalogue front & the innumerable "living" magazines published monthly always make it looks as if no man would ever be allowed to tread in those areas?

Yes, they treat the men as objects, either as reproductive accesories tossed out when the sperm is delivered so one can have he perfect nursery or just imple ATM to dispense the cash necessary to buy the perfect bed set with matching shams and dust ruffle. Woe betide the male in said houe that leaves the seat up accidentally or *gasp* leaves an item of clothing on the floor to mar its perfection!

Those showpieces trumpeted as ideals are just as plastic as the hussy of the second and jsut as damaging to the "family", for exactly the same reason. But guess which one will be dispalyed on a coffee table?

Posted by: MunDane at October 20, 2005 09:34 AM

MunDane, are you kidding? You're equating THAT with decorating magazines?

Or are you saying women are just decoration themselves?

For the record, NOBODY even mentioned Bullwinkle's right to post whatever the hell he wants. Nobody. Most of us simply don't want to be associated with a guy who has pr0n Fridays, at least in such a way as we had designed WHAT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE FUN.

And as a matter of fact, the whole damn contest was supposed to be sort of a "turnabout" thing BECAUSE of the male bloggers who constantly objectify women. As it turned out, the only one of the four remaining who (obviously) doesn't get that point is Bullwinkle, which is a damn shame, because if he hadn't decided to blow this up into a BIG F'N DEAL, I was over it, for the most part. Now, I'm more pissed than ever because of his childish response at his blog and MOSTLY because SOMEONE in our group betrayed all of the rest of us.

If y'all can't understand that, I don't know what else to say.

Posted by: Beth at October 20, 2005 10:31 AM

I understand. But I'm really sorry that my post renewed a conflict that I thought was over.

Why? Because I suspect that on days other than Fridays, you might still enjoy some of BW's blog. And that when he isn't on the defensive, he might like yours.

I hate to be the hippie, here, but think we're better off figuring out why we have such different reactions to sexy pictures and ironic remarks.

If I've done my job right, you're both now a lot more angry at me than you are at each other ;)

Posted by: Attila Girl at October 20, 2005 10:40 AM

Attila you drive me nuts because you argue just like my husband. Aways trying to be so damned REASONABLE about everything!

::sigh:: I guess that's why I love you both. One jsut a little more than the other, of course.

Posted by: Janette at October 20, 2005 11:09 AM

I hope Hubby doesn't feel too bad about that ;)

Posted by: Attila Girl at October 20, 2005 11:20 AM

No, YOU didn’t get what I was talking about. I get the whole idea that men looking at naked women makes us beasts and leads to the downfall of the modern family, allows Robert Byrd to be re-elected in WVa, makes baby Jeebus cry and, frankly, makes the whole women’s movement sound like the Greens talking about the IC engine.

The fact is both the home decorating magazines and the mainstream skin mags appeal to exactly the same feelings in the opposite sexes. Both are appealing, using highly ornamentalized and airbrushed photos, to the reproductive centers of the brain. Both completely leave the reality of the world in the dust, and treat the flesh-and-blood members of the opposite sex as mere clutter, unworthy of notice.

Men look at the women in Playboy or FHM or the Sport Illustrated Swimsuit Issue with a sort of “Wow…she is pretty gorgeous. I wish my wife/girlfriend/blow up doll looked like her” attitude. Forgetting, or worse disparaging, the real life they have for the fantasy. They occasionally say, inside, “I wish my significant female other looked like this.” Even worse when they blame their significant other for NOT looking like that. Run that by Beulah Mae.

Which is exactly what women do with the decorating magazines. Look in any one of them. Some room, bereft of people, that there is no way that it could be part of a normal house. Then they go and list the things that are shown in there, as if you could make it look like that with a normal home life. Nope, those photos of that Colonial four poster bed with 7pc Egyptian cotton (440 thread count, dontcha know!) comforter set never make any women, ever, look at their Mervyn/T.J. Maxx/Target bed set and say, “I wish my bedroom looked like that!” Even worse when they blame their significant other for NOT making enough to support purchasing the like from Sferra Bros, the pig!

Both hold real life in a sort-of contempt, a “well, I guess I have to settle for this…” malaise that creates topics for daytime talk shows and employment for Wymyns Studies professors. The craving for this artificial perfection presented in those men’s magazines has long been decried.

But take a look at those rooms featured in decorating magazines. Usually they present the same style of lighting, the same kind of glossy, flaw free unrealistic object in soft focus. But like I said, one will be displayed on a coffee table, or at least openly in a home. The other, is sneered at at best and called criminal at worst.

Posted by: MunDane at October 20, 2005 03:00 PM

Heh, yep. Men get objectified too, but for a completely different reason. Measured by our purchasing power and status. Doubt it? How many of you women would honestly consider marrying and subsequently supporting a starving artist sort, even one that was handsome and treated you like a princess? If you're honest, that skinny wallet will stop you cold every time.

Men and women are looking for different things, but for essentially the same reason. There's no sense in pretending it's apples and oranges. It all goes back to optimizing the chances of one's offspring in the gene pool.

Posted by: Desert Cat at October 20, 2005 08:24 PM

My husband was broke when I fell in love with him! (But he wasn't when we married.)

Posted by: Attila Girl at October 21, 2005 12:32 AM

Important difference. :)

Posted by: Desert Cat at October 21, 2005 05:45 PM


Posted by: Attila Girl at October 21, 2005 11:33 PM

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