Previously, we had heard much about the exploitative nature of media, amongst other, representations of women. Feminists alleged, with good reason, that it reduced women to mere sex objects and diminished the value of the other aspects of their persona.
Whilst this is true, the increasing equality of women with men, the rise of many to positions of power and prestige - defined along previously patriarchal lines - the proscription on marital rape, the incorporation of women into the workforce and their ensuing financial independence, appears to have turned the tables on men and turned them into the ‘weaker’, if not ‘fairer’, sex.
From hereon, the sexuality of women turns into ‘bait’ and ‘bargaining chip’ as was men’s monopolisation of the economic milieu in the past. Rather than women moving on to becoming more than sex objects, their sexual objectification has become a medium of control, dominance and, at times, exploitation of men. There is nothing that a woman wants that she can’t provide for herself, but there is something that a man wants that he can’t provide for himself unless, perhaps, he was endowed with enough length to reach a few inches past his own posterior, or turn to homosexuality, or pay a few good dollars for a 20 minute transaction in some piss-scented alley.
Hence, what can we make of the ‘girl power’ that emerged in full force from the 80s onwards. Madonna didn’t cover up and extol her other virtues; the Spice Girls seemed to be as belligerent as men, in the working milieu, a women was considered to be as good or even better than men the more they became as bad or worse than men; and a whole bevy of booty-bouncing ‘stars’ flaunted their endowments as if to say, simultaneously, ‘you can’t touch this’ ‘unless’, ‘or else’.
Men have themselves to blame. In granting women equality, what actually transpired was that women were incorporated into the patriarchal pantheon of civilisation. And as a consequence, when they became little more than men in drag and acquired all the selfsame rights, privileges and protection, men inevitably found themselves holding the short end of the stick, whatever their individual length. That is when the feminist movement was turned on its head and the movement toward equality became the movement toward conformity with a patriarchal state of affairs. Hence, as men had marked history with exploitation, they found themselves earmarked for exploitation via the selfsame approach being taken on by women-turned-men.
There is nothing wrong whatsoever with granting women equality, but there is something wrong with the granting of equality when it is accompanied with the assimilation of women into the male ethos. I, personally, would have preferred the subsumption of men into the feminine spirit as opposed to women into a patriarchal one. The feminist movement ought to have pushed for men to become more like women without women becoming less like men. Thus, a man on bended knee with a ring in the past might be a show of magnanimity, but now, it seems to be more of a plea.
The movement for equality is a double-edged sword. If we confuse incorporation for equality, we become the next champions of a system that had previously exploited us.
Hence, not too long ago, the men whom were subjugating women with their purse-strings. Now, the women are doing it with their g-strings. The medium might have changed, but the noose remains.