Jessica Rey presents the history of the evolution of the swimsuit including the origins of its design, how it has changed overtime and the post-feminist association of the bikini symbolizing female empowerment. She refers to neuro-scientific studies revealing how male brains react to images of scantily clad women versus images of women deemed modest and what the implications of the results are for women in society.
(Note: As the OP, I disagree with Rey’s approach to putting the onus on women to alter ourselves rather than to alter the male perception of women – brain wiring has plenty to do with socialization and if we worked against the culture that fuels men’s objectification of women, women’s clothing choices would matter far less in terms of how men perceive us and determine how to interact with us).
Argument I heard on the bus
no, niggah, gay bros can raise babies. Look at that warthog motherfucker and that ferret thing that raised Simba. And that niggah become king of motherfucking Africa.
bisexual guys are assumed to be secretly gay
bisexual girls are assumed to be secretly straight
both are assumed to secretly like men
see what i’m getting at?
When you kiss your teeth at your parents then try to play it off
These days, before we talk about misogyny, women are increasingly being asked to modify our language so we don’t hurt men’s feelings. Don’t say, “Men oppress women” – that’s sexism, as bad as any sexism women ever have to handle, possibly worse. Instead, say, “Some men oppress women.” Whatever you do, don’t generalise. That’s something men do. Not all men – just some men.
This type of semantic squabbling is a very effective way of getting women to shut up. After all, most of us grew up learning that being a good girl was all about putting other people’s feelings ahead of our own. We aren’t supposed to say what we think if there’s a chance it might upset somebody else or, worse, make them angry. So we stifle our speech with apologies, caveats and soothing sounds. We reassure our friends and loved ones that “you’re not one of those men who hate women”.
What we don’t say is: of course not all men hate women. But culture hates women, so men who grow up in a sexist culture have a tendency to do and say sexist things, often without meaning to. We aren’t judging you for who you are but that doesn’t mean we’re not asking you to change your behaviour. What you feel about women in your heart is of less immediate importance than how you treat them on a daily basis.
You can be the gentlest, sweetest man in the world yet still benefit from sexism. That’s how oppression works.