What an age we live in. When I was growing up, the Women’s Lib movement was strong and influential. Women burned their bras (I’ve never figured out why), marched for equal rights and equal pay and recognition. Now Women’s Rights have exploded, gone too far, in many ways, straight into the gutter, without any objective moral guideline.
I entered college determined to follow that “equal rights” route, heading into a career in which I could be independent and strong and powerful. Get my “MRS degree” in college? No way. Only God got in the way, introducing me to my husband early in my freshman year. I married after my sophomore year, and thirty years later I am certain that was the second-best thing that ever happened. (The best, of course, was God calling my name and saving me!)
The last thing I wanted was to be a mom at home. That was for mindless housewives who had nothing better to do. Or so I believed, until I held my firstborn and fell in love with mothering. But the women’s movement had taken us so far as to have us believe that mothering full-time was shameful, an abandonment of our full potential.
Women’s Lib has brought us abortion on demand, considered a “right to privacy” (except for the privacy of the unborn, some of whom happen to be girls with a potential right to privacy…).
It has ignored the plight of women in our midst, who have been taught that somehow covering up one’s entire body in submission to an oppressive religion is “empowering.” It has totally ignored the same plight of the women overseas who are beaten, whipped, have their hands lopped off, or are even killed in pursuit of the purity of the same oppressive religion.
Somehow Women’s Rights have become selective. And now that same movement of equality has reached into a shameful area, pornography, and has declared that women have the same right to access porn as men. Pornography, then, has been given equal time.
The bestselling book Fifty Shades of Grey and its sequels are nothing more than pornography for women, and the books are selling like crazy. The books, like many bodice-rippers of romances before them, has idealized the sexual relationship, making women wish for something more or better.
Isn’t that what porn does for men as well? Idealizes women, makes them into objects of fantasy and desire rather than human beings with whom one has a meaningful, lasting, enjoyable relationship. Wow, equal rights means we can objectify men now? Way to go! What once was considered shameful is now equal opportunity, equal rights, equal shame.
On to the movies: Magic Mike is hitting the theaters with its objectified males, those men who strip for women. No need for even a story line; let’s just watch men strip. I thought that the Women’s Movement had at one time said objectification of women was wrong, but now that men have taken that stage, so to speak, everything’s equal again. Women AND men can pursue their lust, long for some representation of human perfection, become dissatisfied with what they already have, replace real relationships with something altogether different.
Great job, Women’s Movement. What once strived for equal pay for equal work and a blasting of the glass ceiling, has now placed itself in a filthy sewer.
When we have no moral guideline, this is what happens. If we wish to publicly pursue porn, or if we include the right to kill an unborn baby as part of the right to privacy, or if we look the other way when women are beaten into submission in the name of an oppressive religion, then it’s all classified under the hideous umbrella of Women’s Rights. When no moral compass is objectively showing us right from wrong, all of it becomes a Right, then, doesn’t it?
For years I have said that the National Organization for Women did not represent me. I’ve taken a totally different path than the one they paved, and I have felt “fulfilled” (a term that makes me twitch) all these many years. It’s a shame, now, that equal rights also means equal filth and the right to objectify whomever we wish.
4 responses to “Pornography for women: Equal rights gone wrong”
Wow! Great article, Shaunna. You ought to send it to major papers as an Op-Ed.
I agree with Mike.
Thank you for articulating this issue so well. I ramble a bit about the objectification of male action heroes on my own blog (the post is “Bros with Bows: Men and Archery in Film”), but you have really hit the nail on the head here.
I think much of this turn in “women’s rights” has to do with a distorted view of “the pursuit of happiness” in our country. Somehow we have taken this inalienable right, repackaged it into a hyper-individualized pursuit of happiness, and trumpeted it as the ultimate good. If one’s moral compass is personal pleasure, passion comes only in terms of sex, and a fight for equal rights becomes a fight for equal wants. Instead of seeking resolution, feeling empathy, experiencing remorse and taking responsibility, we exchange blow for blow. We respond to objectification by objectifying.
Great article! I do think that the more current women’s movement has addressed the issues of oppression by religion in other countries, it just took several decades to happen. I wrote about second wave feminism for my senior paper last semester and came to many of your conclusions. It all comes down to a focus on “me.”