|In concert with the annual release of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, the media is barraging us with articles about feminists on the warpath. These feminists are determined to overthrow our notion of beauty and the portrayal of women in the media. A typical such article, “Sex, lies and media: New wave of activists challenge notions of beauty” appeared this weekend on cnn.com an organization that shares a parent company with…Sports Illustrated.|
They receive weekly action alerts on how to spread the message, from calling out sexist Super Bowl ads on social media...or talking to men in their lives about the social impact of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.and
The research to come out in the last 10 years shows just how damaging this idea of self-objectification is, the idea that your value of self-worth is dependent on the amount of sexual attractiveness you have to the outside world.While I don't want anyone talking to me about the social impact of the Swimsuit Edition, I do enjoy articles like this. They always have very beautiful women in them. I suppose an unattractive woman can’t be a spokesperson for this cause: it would sound like sour grapes.
In any case, the heroine of my forthcoming novel, a lady wrestler named Cheri Tarte, doesn’t share the feminists' view of the world. In this excerpt, she is having dinner with the protagonist, Gimbel O’Hare. The opinions expressed are those of the characters. I neither endorse them nor dispute them:
| Her green eyes told him that she enjoyed the ribs, that she knew he was fascinated by her enjoyment, and that she enjoyed that too. She held his gaze as she gnawed on a bone. Finally she said, “You can watch me eat, but if you’d rather look at my breasts, that’s okay too. There may be some barbecue sauce on them.” |
“Don’t you mind?”
“A little barbecue sauce never hurt anyone.”
“No, I meant your breasts.”
“They don't hurt anyone either - most of the time. And no, I don't mind if you look.”
“You're not like other women.”
Cheri Tarte took that as a compliment. “Most women are afraid they won’t measure up,” she said through a mouthful of pork. “I’m not. I’m definitely not like those feminists who object to being judged on their looks. They insist on being judged solely on their intellectual accomplishments, but their great intellects haven’t figured out the truth about men and women.”
“I’m handicapped with a good intellect myself,” Gimbel replied. “What truth you mean?”
“In spite of the claims of the feminists to the contrary, men and women are pretty evenly matched in intelligence. The war between them has to be fought with other weapons.”
“Is it a war then?”
She freed a piece of meat from her teeth with a fingernail. “War is the natural state in any relationship: man and woman, boss and employee, corpse and necrophiliac. Okay, maybe not the last one, but when two living people come into contact, there is going to be a fight to see who’s in charge.”
“If intellect doesn’t decide who’s in charge, what does?”
“Sex,” she said.
Gimbel thought about it. “I need you to explain that too.”
“Your intellect really is a handicap, Gimbel. Don't you see how guys act around beautiful women?”
“When there’s a beautiful woman around, I’m not paying attention to other guys.”
“See what I mean? A pretty smile or a sinful pair of legs and the rest of the world fades to black. We have something you want. That makes us powerful.”
“Some women don’t have a pretty smile or a sinful pair of legs. Aren’t you being unfair to them?”
“Nature is being unfair to them; she distributes her gifts unevenly. But every woman gets something – she should use it. Instead, the feminists hide their assets under bulky sweaters and prison haircuts. Then they gather once a month for a book club in some wealthy suburban living room where they nibble petits fours and complain that they're oppressed. Of course they're oppressed. What do they expect, when they throw away their most potent weapon? They convince themselves they’re victims, so that is what they become.”
You'll have to buy the book to find out if Gimbel agrees with her. Like my blog, it's called Full Asylum. Available soon – watch for it.