Slapping Girls

I've seen this video shared on Facebook a few times now, and I wanted to address it in a bit more detail. So here we go. Basically, it's a social experiment where young boys are introduced to a girl named Martina, and then told to caress her, make faces at her, and slap her. The boys refuse to hit her, saying that it's wrong to hit girls. How sweet. It's been pulling heartstrings for the last few days.

I think it's really sexist. 

It's a sweet video, the kids are all adorable. And yes, it's nice to see kids saying they're against violence. That's good. But it's for the wrong reasons.

When the boys are introduced to pretty Martina, they're awestruck. We know how old the boys are, we know what careers they want, but we know absolutely nothing about Martina. They like her eyes, her hair, one claims immediately he'd like to be her boyfriend. Bear in mind, they've never met this girl, they've never said a word to her. They just know she's pretty. Done.

They're told to caress her, and without even questioning it, they all reach out to touch her. Some stroke her arm, or her cheek. This part is where I start to get uncomfortable. None of them ask her. She hasn't said a single word. It's as though Martina doesn't have any control over her own body or what happens to her. Nobody has control over anybody else's body. It doesn't matter who tells you to touch someone, unless that someone says it's ok, it's not.

Look, I know they're kids. But it's so, so important for kids to learn and actively practice consent. That sounds weird, I know, because we tend to talk about consent in a sexual context. There are some really interesting articles out there about raising children with a strong sense of control over their own bodies, and I think that's really healthy. Consent is waiting for an answer. Even for a caress on the cheek.

Anyway, the video goes on. The kids all refuse to slap her when they're told to. Not because they've realized that Martina is a human being. There are only two answers that aren't gender specific: "I'm against violence" and "Jesus doesn't want us to hit others". Good job, you two, gold stars for you. Here are some of the others:

  • "Cause she's a girl"
  • "Because you're not supposed to hit girls"
  • "I can't hit her because she's pretty and she's a girl"
  • "Girls shouldn't be hit, not even with a flower"

Not hitting someone just because they're a girl is sexist. Think of it in terms of race. Imagine if one of those boys had said "Because she's white". Would you think it was wrong?

Look, do I want to get slapped? No, of course not. But if the only thing stopping you is my gender, I'd rather you hit me than not treat me like a human being. Also, apparently, if Martina had been ugly, she would've been hit anyway. Slapping a human being, no matter what their gender or what they look like, is not ok. Don't hit people. 

At the very end, one boy is told to kiss her. And without questioning it, he asks the director if he can kiss her on the mouth or the cheek. Think about that for a second. He doesn't ask Martina. He asks the director. Martina still hasn't said a word, but that's just as well, since she doesn't seem to have any say anyway.

SkyMall Shopping

What is SkyMall's target market? Seriously, I've never been able to figure it out.  They seem to be aiming at the very small cross section of people that fly commercial but have three thousand dollars to blow on a Bigfoot lawn ornament. Either way, it's the shit, and it's how I spent an hour of my flight today.

However, casual sexism creeps in everywhere, especially in advertisements. I decided to rank some of the products based on how many people should have been fired for designing their respective ads. My seatmate didn't judge me too hard when I took out my phone to take pictures of the catalogue, so let's get started, from best to worst.

1. Rugged Animal Shot Glasses ($19.99)

This is just cool as shit and I want it.

2. Assorted Spandex

It's a shallow product, but I was surprised to see an equal ratio of female/male options available.

I don't want to overlook the "Padded Butt Enhancer". That's new. And special. And only $35.00.

3. EPIC Airbrush Makeup System ($399.00)

"Blur away your imperfections"? There aren't any men in this catalogue with imperfections. Ads tend to target women by convincing them they're not good enough. Also, who the fudge can afford makeup like this. Bad move, advertising people.

4. e-RACE Screen Protector ($19.99 - $29.99)

The screen protector is more resistant to makeup/fingerprints/smudges what have you, which is cool, I guess. But apparently, girls only care about makeup and talking on the phone, while boys are smart. Also, I've never gotten low test scores because of a dirty screen protector, but maybe that's just me?

5. Compact Vibration Trainer ($299.95)

Bear with me for a second. Either she has really weird shoulder-blades, a weirdly padded sports bra, or they've photoshopped her to make her waist/lower ribcage thinner and forgot about her shoulder blades. That last one seems the most likely.

6. Mademoiselle Floor Lamp ($549.00)

This is literally just a female body. As a lamp. Without a head. With "accentuated curves". Referred to as "her". Weird, man.

(If you actually love that lamp but want a male option as well, I found a designer who can make your dreams come true here).

Schlongs of Skyrim

I'll be honest, I haven't blogged much over break because I've spent a lot of time playing Skyrim. I got to borrow a PC and  experience the wonder of PC mods for the first time. Some are pretty basic; enhancing landscapes or armor, more detailed maps, that sort of thing. Some, however, are extremely sexual.

Jesus Christ. 
Unsurprisingly, there are dozens of options for nudity. If fighting dragons isn't exciting enough for you, you can choose to control a disproportionate female do it in the nude.

Skyrim doesn't follow your "laws of physics" 
Need more sexy? The Victoria's High Heel Walk makes your character toddle around like she's in high heels and her breasts are elastic, which seems pretty useless in first person. Personally, I find it frustrating that my character can't sprint effectively and I'd like to give her running shoes, but hey, to each their own.

I can't think of many instances where this would be useful.
Still not enough? Do you need sweaty glistening wet skin to get off? Why are you even playing skyrim? Actually, maybe you're only aroused by glistening nudity in a Norwegian-esque landscape, frolicking with dragons, in which case, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to make assumptions.

Now, before you jump to the conclusion that this is a world of misogynists and only females are being objectified, know that it's actually pretty equal. The wet-skin applies to both boobies and biceps (excuse me while I drool over sweaty bulging muscles), and there's a decent number of sexy male armor retextures as well.

Work it. 

Sorry, I laugh every time I see this. I can't stop laughing. Still. Sorry. Hang on. Alright, I'm good.

As happy as I am with equal opportunity eye candy, I'm disappointed by the lack of strong females in the base game. The default bodies have little diversity; all girls are super slim and have no muscle tone. There's a weight slider in character creation, but it takes men from "muscles" to "HOLYFUCKMUSCLES", while women just go from "boobies" to "big boobies". They fall victim to a "pretty first, function second" mentally that's disappointingly common in video games.

Admittedly, this is a mod, not the base game, but it's not entirely inaccurate.
Skyrim is a fantasy world. And that means fancified bodies. And sometimes, that can be a fun fantasy to live. But just remember that's not how real people look (Thank god. I still can't get over how ridiculous/terrifying that giant schlong is). And if you feel the need, like I did, and you want a realistically strong female, there's a ton of mods for that too. 

Now if this could just be available in the base game with the male muscles, I'd be happy. But hey, we're getting there.