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?