No really, what the hell IS wrong with Russell Smith?

From today's Globe and Mail: "Ladies, Don't Pad Your Resumés"

The column is full of Smith's usual hooey, exhorting women to dress for male pleasure. In particular, he'd like us to wear skimpy bras that allow for "natural sway" and -- oh joy, oh bliss! -- the breathtaking possibility that one might see the natural shape of a nipple, "surely the most erotic sight in clothed humans". Part of me wants to commend him for celebrating the female body. That part of me is far outbalanced by my queasiness at the (recurring) suggestion that a woman who does not dress to please men is somehow not doing her job.

Which brings us to the headline. I don't know if Mr. Smith writes his own headlines, but this one is simply nasty in its implications. If my breasts are my resumé, am I in fact applying for the 'job' of being sexually attractive to men? And being sexually attractive to men is my job, then are my breasts my primary qualification?

I can't help but take this kind of thinking personally. I realize so often that in this culture, it is my failings as an aesthetic object that define me for other people. And yet, there is so much about me that simply can't be seen.

(Can you hear it, at least?)

1 comment:

Katie said...

We still have WAAAAAYYYY too far to go before equality of the sexes is a reality. The headline of the article is the worst part. Russell does something in the last paragraph that makes it sound like he's trying to hide behind political correctness. If he's really just interested in fashion trends, this could be written so much differently.

To add my voice to your rantings...
It's sad but true, that we (as humans) do judge people by their covers. It's not fair, but it's true. What's really not fair is this double-standard between male and female criteria. Not that we have to look the same, because on average we don't (man-breasts = not sexy, sorry), but it is the women who are more overtly sexualized, so that their fashions are meant to suggest that undressing in imminent, or already in progress.

And how is it professional to be "erotic" in the workplace? Isn't "erotic" based on culture anyway? Personally, I find a handsome, clean-cut man in a suit sexy, but it doesn't really accentuate any physical feature, does it?