After seeing Sports Illustrated’s ridiculous response to the #MeToo movement, I can only assume the magazine is saying: “Objectify me, too.” What other conclusion can a person draw?
These women have allowed themselves to be portrayed as nothing more than a blank canvas — an object. The messages they allowed to be painted on their bodies reinforce the idea they are nothing more than objects of dehumanization.
To try to tie this “prank” to any meaningful movement in which women are to be honored and respected, no matter what their station in life, is so pitifully embarrassing that it falls far short of the intended mark.
First of all, there is no swimsuit. So to call it the “Swimsuit Issue” is a little deceiving. Not that the Sports Illustrated swimsuits in recent years could be classified as such.
Second, what does the cover model expect the response by millions of people will be when they see her being used by a group that is virtually mocking the entire concept of sexual abuse?
The feminist movement is spinning out of control, with so many competing and contradictory messages that it must be very confusing for young women who are caught in the vortex of this discussion. Are they told it is OK to strip for the world — but if a man says they look hot, then suddenly they’re victims of sexual abuse?
And what about the woman with a less-than-perfect body? The message is that only a perfect body can symbolize true liberation — with a bubble of protection surrounding it from the realities of this hypocrisy.
An overweight woman, used in such a way, would have people screaming about "fat shaming." How dare they present such an "imperfect" and flawed canvas on which to paint their sexist views — that's what we'd hear. How confusing this must be for every imperfect woman who would be embarrassed for the world to see the sagging boobs, the cellulite-dimpled thighs, the rolls of evidence of a life of culinary pleasure.
Look historically at systems, tyrants and political beliefs that have shamed people into acquiescing to their oppression by stripping them and presenting their shame and humiliation to the world. The poignant and heartbreaking photos of men, women and children victimized by the lie of social justice in Nazi Germany, all standing naked and afraid, is an image that screams dehumanization and degradation.
The proponents of "empowerment by nudity" can argue that the young models on this magazine choose to strip and parade for all the world to see — but then they forever abrogate the right to say that sexual abuse or harassment (as described by the #MeToo movement) is caused by anyone but themselves.
These women are as embarrassing as the ones who wore faux pink vaginas on their heads the day after the inauguration of President Donald Trump — at the same time that they told everyone not to touch their private parts. Then don't wear them on your heads, you goofy women! These people demand respect — yet they show none for themselves. They want men to turn the other way when they march topless in the street and claim men are the ones with the issues when they happen to look at a topless woman.
A Renaissance women is secure in her existence because her identity is not wrapped up in her sexuality, political affiliation or philosophical persuasion. Like successful women throughout history, this woman faces obstacles with grace, wisdom, and in many cases, humor.
There really is nothing courageous about stripping for the world when true heroes have been stripped by their opponents in order to silence their voices. The Republican Union won the Civil War against the Democrats who chose slavery over freedom, because their process was one of dehumanization and tyranny over those whom they perceived as less than human. Young white women who dared teach slaves or liberated blacks to read were stripped and flogged as a sign of the power these people held as they terrorized a nation with their racist ideology.
They knew that stripping a woman for the world to see was the ultimate exercise in shame and domination. These heroines continued to teach the oppressed in spite of this threat — standing up for liberty over oppression. But the young models who are allowing themselves to be stripped for a perverted ideology will have to explain to their grandchildren how they allowed themselves to be used as pawns of political persuasion.
Girls, put your clothes back on — and embrace the idea you're more likely to be heard without the distraction of nudity.
Women in the past didn't have the luxury of institutionalized hypocrisy like feminists enjoy today. Women were taught to be leaders, to bravely speak up against those who vilified and condemned them with physical and verbal opposition. It is an absolute contrary position to the liberal women today — who allow themselves to be demeaned and transformed into a canvas of controversy without realizing they are being demeaned.
Girls, put your clothes back on — and embrace the idea that you are more likely to be heard without the distraction of nudity and taken seriously in the discussion of sexual abuse and harassment.
Nina May is a writer, producer, director, and currently the showrunner on "Daily Bread," a faith-based, post-apocalyptic drama.
Last Modified: February 9, 2018, 8:53 am