Have you seen the Joe Boxer ad featuring men as Christmas Bells? One of the most uncomfortable aspects of being a denizen of Romancelandia for me is the frequent objectification of men, which is so readily embraced by so many. This may keep me from ever attending a romance convention.
I asked my husband for his opinion, since he’s frequently commented on the inequality of the woman clothed/man half-undressed covers on the books I read:
“I thought it was stupid and tacky. I wasn’t upset about the objectification you mentioned, though I recognize it. (There are about 17,000 instances of women being objectified for every one instance of a man being objectified; it’s hard for me to think of it as anything but women hitting back.)
I’m slightly embarrassed to admit this because it will make me sound like a fuddy duddy, but the bell-tools-for-thee ad offended me more with its appropriation of Christmas than anything else.”
You can certainly read it as women hitting back. But doesn’t that still contribute to a culture of objectification and hurt women in the long run?
Thinking about it, I’m suspect I’m so uncomfortable with it because it’s different and I’m not yet used to it. Which doesn’t mean that getting used to it would be a good thing.