Sunday, November 28, 2010
BURLESQUE PERFORMANCE IN SHOP WINDOW Reveals More Than A Bit Of Boob
Anyone would think that a beautiful girl wearing revealing lingerie in a shop window would attract an appreciative crowd. And it does. But more often than not, what is revealed is a shyness and self consciousness amongst the male passers-by. According to my calculations, 8 out of 10 men are too embarrassed to look. Regardless of age, the majority of men offer a sideways glance and shuffle past guiltily. Such behavior reveals an unease about how to appreciate and respect the female form.
Could such discomfort reveal a deep contempt for women? I'm thinking that the inability to watch a beautiful, scantily clad, confident woman reveals an underbelly of misogyny. Could the dichotomy of desire and contempt be at the core of Australia’s shameful record of sexual violence against women? Is it the combination of lust and scorn that fuels aggression? My assertion is that the average Aussie bloke is not as open minded as we might imagine. The disrespectful guffawing and hooting of many remaining onlookers may be a testament to that too.
Any Australian woman knows that our society is dangerous simply because men live in it. A lone walk down a deserted alley keeps us alert during the day and is practically unthinkable at night. Covering up, keeping a mobile phone handy, staying alert and sober, walking in pairs or groups and even self defense lessons are all things women employ to keep themselves safe. If these rules aren’t adhered to, many believe a woman deserves to be raped or abused simply because men can’t help themselves.
The fact that women aren't safe in our community is barely questioned. From the moment a girl is born, she is shielded from the harm a man can inflict. When she is old enough to go out in the world on her own, it is with deep concern for her sexual wellbeing. Most parents warn against overt behavior and modes of dress. Discrimination against 51% of the population by virtue of sex is a given. Females accept that they are at risk all day, every day. They rarely ponder what life would be like and what different creatures they might be if their femininity was powerful enough to protect them from men - if they simply never had to worry about going to the shops alone at night.
Undoubtedly, men love women and their bodies, after all they spend enormous sums on strip clubs and pornography. Many women in turn, adore the attention given when their assets are displayed. As much as any man loves a naked woman, he does so with aversion. Certainly, he wouldn’t like it if it was his partner, mother, sister or daughter. Is that why we don’t see naked men in media and society?
Most men are not violent towards women, yet 1 in 3 Australian women will be assaulted or abused in her lifetime. Australian men are increasingly nurturing, protective and loving, offering a new model for our young girls and boys. I ask that all men, whether violent or not, reflect on their thoughts and behavior towards women and to speak out against violence.
Take The White Ribbon Day Oath
White Ribbon Day November 25th