Sunday, December 03, 2006

Yes, it does affect me!

I just had a interesting chat with a friend that helped me realize why I get so annoyed with things like strippers, pornography, etc. Even something as innocent as strippers at a bachelor's party still makes me sigh and wonder why guys think its cool. For a long time I really couldn't explain what about it still causes me much chagrin and irritation, but today I realized that my biggest annoyance is that as a women, any of this affects me.

How do strippers at a far away bachelor party affect me? Well. I realized that it creates a situation where men who normal feel women should be treated with respect and as an equal suddenly have an exception to the rule. Women should be treated as equals unless they fill certain categories- such as strippers, porn stars, prostitutes, etc. And while many guys who would consider seeing a stripper at a bar or a friend's bachelor party may never consider visiting a prostitute, they are still putting themselves in situations where women CAN be treated as not equals. And if women are equal and should have all the same rights as a man, should there be situations when they are actually not equals? It seems like that undermines the struggle for equality on so many levels. "women are only equals if..."

I have an excellent example of such a case as well. A couple of months ago I went to fellow graduate student's party. A few nights earlier, a large group of the guys at this party had gone to a strip club together in Syracuse. Later during the party, one guy, a law student at Syracuse University (I wish I could remember his name so I could embarrass him properly, in case some girl with a crush decided to google him) was standing with a group of his law student buddies. I walked by and the guy shouted to me "HEY! Can I lick your Pussy?" in astonishment to such a comment I just say "what?!?!?" and then his friends, laughing repeated it "He said he wants to lick your pussy." More Laughter. I am dumbstruck. Didn't know how to response. Uttered something rude and stalked off. I told the host of the party, the friend who invited me, about the incident.

He reacted. He exclaimed about the rudeness, the immaturity of the guy. I told some other friends too. I can't remember who, but someone exclaimed "what, does he think this is a strip club? Is this a frat house? Does he think he can talk to a woman like that here (at a grad school party)?" I kept thinking about how this comment disturbed me at the time... and now it is just so clear to me. The idea is not that you should NEVER yell "can I lick your pussy" to a woman, its just you can only yell it to certain KINDS of women, ones that are unequal to you, like strippers, drunk girls at frat houses, etc.

So, yes, it does affect me. It affects all women. When women are equal to men, except certain ones in certain situations, it undermines that we are equal at all. And when that happens, all of a sudden "highly educated" people think its ok to yell crude things at any woman in any situation. It bleeds out. Shouldn't equality exist everywhere for every human?

6 comments:

Alex said...

yes and if these people truely thought women were equals, they wouldnt even treat a stripper/pornstar that way. they would treat them like they should any other woman, with respect. I think the problem is inherently the guys you speak of, not the porn or strippers. as for prostitution, its a societal travesty. no one should have to feel that selling their bodies is the only option left.

linzi said...

I think its right about more about our cultural beliefs... right now it is OK to treat porn stars or strippers as less than equal... and most porn, etc reflects women more as props for men than as people with their own opinions. So basically it creates situation where its ok for women to not be equals in some situations...

Jan said...

I can't even believe that happened. That is disgusting. The host should have asked him to leave.

Unbelievable.

I am quite certain I would have slapped him. I'm so sorry you were put in that situation.

Anonymous said...

Who is at fault , (1)the GUY , (2)you (3) the social condition in which the stripper is living (4) All the above . Don't u think its very easy to label accusations rather than sitting and thinking about where the real problem lies, Yes they are doing their profession no one have the right to snatch their dignity. tell me one thing u get offened by those words ? its noy your hypocrisy tht u attended tht party well knowing wht been there r for u , u may have the choice to cancel it or to convince ur frnds abt not going for it . the problem with us is tht we all are hypocrites before trying to understand ourownselves we start trying to judge otheres. But i need to know who is responsible if u have the answer!!!!
iconoclast9.blogspot.com

linzi said...

responsible? Well certainly it is not my fault. Certainly it is partially the guys fault for not knowing how to act. But I don't understand what you are talking about parties for? I went to a party at a friend's house. There were no strippers there. It was a just a small party of people chatting, eating, and having some drinks. Hence, I feel it's perfectly within my rights to go to a party without being harassed.

Nor am I saying strippers, etc are inherently evil. I understand the need to have a job. I think the responsibility lies in the CULTURE which creates situations were it is acceptable to treat women as objects rather than as equal human beings. If porn showed men and women on an equal level, I would not object to it. If men could watch strippers without treating the women like crap, and respecting them as living breathing people, then how could I object?

But the reality is not that. The RESPONSIBILITY lies in everyone I think. Everyone needs to challenge situations were women are still not treated as equals and express that it is injust. Unfortunately, as of now, many people aren't doing that. Instead they are encouraging it or acting as silent bystanders. So. Everyone is responsible. And it needs to be challenged by many many people before it can change.

Jasmeet said...

Have you ever thought why the person behind the persona of the stripper/pornstar is actually living in that skin? It's exactly the reason why the people hire him/her to "entertain" them not coz of their creative skills but coz they can be degraded at their wish...