Rocket's Gorgeous in the City

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Blokes' World

There's a nice big conference on for guys, organized by the TV show Blokes' World. As I've had the radio on in the evenings the last two days, I've heard all about it. There's a movement to shut down the few exhibitions that could be considered quite degrading to women, such as lingerie pillow fights and topless bull-riding.

You know, it's not wrong that men find women sexy. It's the way they're built. If you've got a sex drive, you're going to have sexy thoughts about someone and that's a sign everything's functioning correctly.

What we women object to is that we are often treated as though sex is the only defining aspect of our personality.

If a pretty girl smiles at a man and he feels sexy, he'll think she's flirting. If her friend makes the same approach, without the veil of testosterone, he might correctly interpret her behaviour as being friendly, or indeed even professional-polite. (I mean, you don't scowl at your colleagues!)

Here in Canberra, home of Summernats, each Summer, we're visited by men who yell "Show us ya tits!"

I had no idea that was the thing to do at Summernats - I thought they were just stupid and figured it was worth a try.

I won't show them my "tits" because to do so says that I'm happy to gratify these disrespectful idiots (nobody's ever said please) and I'm not!

My attitude to Blokes' World is similar.

I understand that it's all in good fun. I know they aren't going to go out afterwards and rape anyone. They might be a bit sexually "agressive" in the night-club setting, but given that it's socially part of the package of going to a nightclub, it's not really wrong.

I don't think the activities should be banned, but if the show were nearby, I'd ask to go and set up a stall too. My message would be this:

I'm often asked to model for men. I refuse. I won't accept money to endorse commercial products, and I don't want people I know professionally to think of me lustfully or as a body to be hired (depending on what the modelling job was). I'd happily model for an artist if I liked the art - but it's only happened for one artist ever.

I dye my hair because people see me as a blonde and think I'm all sex, but with short dark hair they experience me as a young, attractive, ambitious, friendly student. I'm sad that I have to change my appearance to get this respect and that it costs me so much money and time! But I won't stop - it would just be stupid to insist on being blonde when I can make one little change that will improve my life so much.

Women understand that horny men who we work with think of us sexually. We understand and appreciate when you notice how we look. But we ask that you please be polite about it and not put us in a position where we have to respond to your attention. Flirting at work can be fun, but many women would rather it was the same friendly chit-chat that you have with male colleagues, or find it harmless in small or mild doses but uncomfortable when it starts to resemble solicitation - even if you're totally casual about it.

Finally, please don't be vulgar. I might think "show us your tits" is hilarious and be happy to pillowfight in lingerie for the joy of being fought by an equally gorgeous girl also in lingerie. But you really should try to guage whether I'm likely to be offended by that before you start on about it. This isn't just female sesitivity - it's ordinary respect of the fact that people have different cultural norms.


  • At 11:03 PM, Blogger shrover said…

    The fuck?

    Where have I been living that I've never heard of Bloke's World? Tard's World more likely. Are they having some sort of event in Canberra? Could be bomb threat time. Having Summerprats here is bad enough.

    There are less demeaning ways of being heterosexual, guys...

  • At 11:52 PM, Blogger Rocket said…

    It's in redneck land: Brisbane. I guess you don't listen to the triple J current affairs half-hour. I do - it's the funniest thing on the entire station!

    My little brother and our good friend came to Summernats this year. I was going to go too, but then I discovered they expected me to pay for the privilege. Ummm... No.

    It's not that it's demeaning. I think we're mostly past that - as adults anyway, although it's certainly something that needs to be addressed in education. The problem with Blokes' World is that it's agressive... not in the physical sense, but socially agressive.

    If you want to listen, you can grab the podcast in your choice of audio format from the Hack website

  • At 12:35 AM, Blogger shrover said…

    I've just been looking at the site. They make Ralph look classy. I thought I was pretty unreconstructed but obviously I have been kidding myself.

    Some friends of mine went to Summerprats a few years ago as a sort of sociological experiment. They spent the whole time silent and not making eye contact with each other since they thought they'd be bashed if any of the other attendees thought they were taking the piss.

    Maybe there's something wrong in my programming that I don't find lingerie pillow fights, or Hustler girls, or pole dancing interesting. I mean, I love female bodies as much as the next, ahem, man, but not when they're served up like prize cuts in a butcher shop. I may be a perve, but I'm a dignified perve.

    Reckon we need a proper war to get rid of all these blokes.

  • At 12:49 AM, Blogger Rocket said…

    Meh. You protest too much.

  • At 3:20 PM, Blogger shrover said…

    Someone protested even more.

  • At 11:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Shrover is a wuss obviously.

    I like girls with their tits out and there should be more of it I say. Only dopy students, lesbians, feminists and powerless pleby giirly-boys would object to that.

    Student angst makes me want to puke...

    grow strong, crush your enemies, take what you desire, whining about how "unfair" everything is, is for the WEAK!

    Hey, guess what? NEWSFLASH ! 10 years ago it was whiny, spotty students boring the shit out of everyone with their drivel, now all that's changed is that they're all writing blogs instead of bad poetry in a scrapbook.

    This I give to you pro bono.


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