Why my body doesn’t exist for your viewing pleasure: An open letter to Ian Brown and friends

On Friday, The Globe and Mail published an article so offensive, so backwards, and so nauseating that the only reaction I could muster over the last 48 hours was fuming, spitting, red-faced anger.

They smartly (if intelligence is calculated based on page views and the ability to get pervy dudes on-side, which clearly The Globe and Mail believes is the case) titled the piece: Why men can’t – and shouldn’t – stop staring at women. Criticism of the article could almost begin and end with the title.

One of the things we’ve learned from feminism is that, while men have long enjoyed arguing that biology accounts for misogyny, having used scientific arguments to “prove” that, for example, male dominance, rape, male violence and of course, the objectified, sexualized female body is “natural”, things are not quite so clear cut. Similar arguments have been used by white men to justify racism and slavery. As such, it seems reasonable to assume that those doing the “science” and those communicating to society what is and is not “natural” based on said science have some level of control over what we come to believe, as a society, is true, factual and, of course, “natural.”

Now back to the overwhelming stupidity of this particular article.

I’m gonna go ahead and make some assumptions about the series of events which led Brown to write such a thoughtless and offensive article in the first place:

1) Brown leaves house

2) Brown stares at 20 year old ass

3) Brown sexualizes 20 year old ass

4) Because Brown is turned on and, as we’ve learned many times over, anything that provides erections is GOOD and TRUE and NATURAL and JUSTIFIED he is led to not only defend and justify his pervy behaviour but also find other men and women to argue that, in fact, he is doing women a favour by staring at and sexualizing 20 year old ass.

5) The Globe and Mail is run by like minded dudes and still believes that white men should have the space to write 1500 words on why 58 year old dudes have the right and obligation to stare at 20 year old ass and, one would assume, have few to no feminist minded women on their staff (or, at least, in any positions of power on their staff) to say: “Hey guys! This article is gross!” And it goes to print. Easy peasy.

Read the full post at The F Word Feminist Media Collective.

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