megwrites: Grace Park. Because yeah, she IS that awesome. (grace park)
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[livejournal.com profile] yuki_onna on how Realms of Fantasy's "all female issue" is not so great actually. She says it way better than me, though. Her comment about what the cover of the issue might be did stir some thoughts in me.

Mostly about how seeing covers, posters, and other media that feature a sexualized, half-clothed women really disgust me and why, as a woman, that makes me reluctant to keep looking at, much less buy, that certain thing.

Covers like that say to me, "This image of a woman's unrealistically proportioned body gratified our sexual ideals, thus we used it to decorate this product we've come out with."

And that skeeves me the hell out. Because you know what else we use to decorate things? Objects. Thus it clues me in that not only did some artist out there think that WOMAN'S BODY = OBJECT, but that a lot of other people agreed, to the point that this "object" was slapped on a cover and sent out into the world to make a profit.

But at no point was the image of a woman's body thought of in terms significantly different than that which one uses to consider shoes or cars or tchotchkes for one's living room table.

Thus, I am left with the disturbing impression that women's bodies are akin to tchotchkes for certain people. Pretty, decorative, disposable, and existing solely for someone else's viewing pleasure. Which is fine for inanimate objects made of plastic and sold for $3.99.

It is not okay when we're talking about human beings.

Now, I know many of you guys out there will immediately pipe up to tell me that you're not like that, that you respect women highly and would never think of or treat us this way.

Yay for you. But please, if you could, leave off telling me. Because here's the thing about respect for women. I've never had to ask a man whether he respects women or not. Because after a decent amount of time around said man, I can tell by his actions and words whether he respects women or not. Disrespect makes itself evident even sooner.

When I encounter someone who "just happens" to read almost all male authors? Who seems to enjoy things where women are just objects and girlfriends and sex toys? Who uses derogatory language? I know without having to ask EXACTLY what that person thinks about women. At which point I usually try not to interact with that person anymore than I have to.

So if you want me to know you respect women, act like it.

I think that goes for all types of allies. Usually, you don't need to ask someone, you observe what they do and say and that tells you what you need to know.

If you want to be known as an ally, don't just say, "I'm an ally" - act like one.
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