female chauvinist pigs

Recently I had another one of my famous Amazon fits where I order a scary amount of products from Amazon. Victim to this weeks' shopping haul was the novel Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture by Ariel Levy which, to quote, "critiques the highly sexualised American culture in which women are objectified, objectify one another, and are encouraged to objectify themselves." When it turned up in the suggested section of my account, I was a bit dubious about it would have to say, but nevertheless, my inner feminist threw it into my shopping basket. The book arrived, I started reading it, and here I am today to ask you guys a question or two.

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According to the Urban Dictionary, a chauvinist pig is "an extremely disgusting male gendered human who would use a women as a sex tool" who "also thinks their gender is more superior than the other, usually a man who thinks he can do as he wishes to a women." That's a pretty gender-biased way of looking at it, but that's the simplest definition I could find.

So guys, let me reintroduce myself. My name is Amy-Anne Williams, I live in London, and I am a feminist *someone in the distance gasps*. I personally don't think that it is a massive thing to believe in gender equality, as it is an obvious non-balanced factor in today's patriarchal society. I want equal pay, equal jail sentences and for women to be equally represented within the government (thank you Margaret Thatcher), but when I state this to people on a matter of topic, they don't always agree (and, as someone arrogantly stated the other day, this apparently makes me a 'feminazi'. Yes, this term is awful and unjustified). I'm aware that people have different opinions, and that's okay, but one thing that really annoys me is when females are degraded just because of their gender. Am I so naive as to think that this is a worldwide stance on things? No I'm not, but that doesn't make it right. 


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As much as I would love to rant about how unfair society is, that isn't what I'm here to talk to you about today. I'm here because, well honestly, I'm confused. April Levy brought up a very controversial topic in her novel, and I just don't know what to think of it.

In Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture, Levy talks about a little thing called 'Girls Go Wild', where females expose themselves for something as mere as a logo'd hat. She was saying about how wrong this all is, and how girls shouldn't walk around with their bust out. This, by her standards, is degrading. But then not too long after, I was talking to a friend (male, if that makes any difference), and he said that it is in fact liberating, as men walk around topless so why shouldn't women? And suddenly I'm torn. Should I be outraged? Should I feel pity? Should I just disregard the matter? 

It's a hot Summer's day. Sweltering heat is beaming down on the people of suburbia, forcing beads of sweat through their skin. Males are topless. Women aren't. Women can't. They'll be sexualised. It is unacceptable for a woman to expose herself in this manner. What will the neighbors think?
vs
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It's a hot Summer's day. Sweltering heat is beaming down on the people of suburbia, forcing beads of sweat through their skin, Males are topless. Women are topless. Nobody complains about this show of body parts. Nobody gets aroused by the lumps of fat so blatantly on show. Why should anyone care?

I believe in equal rights, so I believe that women should have the same rights and opportunities as men. Why can't women walk around topless too, and not get sexualised and feel humiliated? But then I suppose it's a whole different matter when women flash themselves for money, right? It's liberating, men go topless vs it's degrading, men don't do this. Which view do I stand behind?

So guys, this all leads down to the one big question - female chauvinist pigs, empowering or degrading?

Also, whilst we're at it, why is 'feminist' so often treated as a swear word?

64 comments:

  1. I think it really depends on the motive. If they're simply wanting sexual attention, I think it's very degrading, and sure there are a lot of women that only care about that, but then there are a lot of other women who don't want that (me being one of them.)

    But I think, if women don't care about that kind of attention, and men didn't think about it as wanting sexual attention by going topless then it is liberating and I'd be all for it. Although at the same time I'm not even sure if I'd want to do it, because there will always be those men who think we want that attention by going topless. I'm just as torn as you, although I'm so glad you posted about this, because it's something that needs to be addressed.

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    1. Hm yeah I know what you mean... it shouldn't be like this though really, should it?

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  2. Hmm. Tricky one. I understand the arguments for women-should-be-allowed-to-go-topless, but I can't, I just CAN'T bring myself to this point of view. There is no part of me that can countenance the belief that it is liberating to walk around with your breasts out. Because sure, we don't *want* to be objectified, but in that blatant show of our bodies and sexuality, we are surely inviting objectification? It's not right that we have to go out knowing that men will look at us and see as sex objects, but is it not true? And won't they think that we are inviting them? That we want the attention? In the end, I think we need to change sexist attitudes before we start putting our bodies on show in that way.

    That's my opinion, anyway!

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    1. I agree with what you say about changing sexist attitudes before putting bodies on show, but where you said 'surely we are inviting objectification' just makes me cringe so hard... But as we are in the Patriarchal society I suppose that is what most people believe, right?

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  3. Interesting post!

    www.chionebrasiliahardy.blogspot.co.uk

    Chione XX

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  4. Feminazi?!?!? That's a disgusting thing to say. I'm not a huge feminist, but I do believe that women should have the same rights as men! About the whole "women being sexualized" thing, I think that's a harder topic because men (not all) and women (not all) are the cause of it, and the fault doesn't rest on either gender alone. I wish that girls could go around wearing whatever clothes they want, but I just can't see that happening any time soon. I also agree with Emily a little bit though, and I don't think girls should just walk around without covering themselves at all. Ehhhh I just don't know how I think about this! Grr, why does this have to be such a hard topic?
    - July, http://julyaemmance.blogspot.com/

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    1. Ugh ugh ugh I know right! And dude I am just as torn as you... If I'm honest I also can't see it happening any time soon, but I think this is still an issue that needs to be severely addressed as quickly as possible to stop it from getting worse.

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  5. To be completely honest, I don't like men baring their chest and walk around topless, and I'm for equality and I think men shouldn't be allowed to walk topless beyond their homes and the beach :-) To me it's as inappropriate just as females' bare chest. I consider myself a feminist because I believe that women are capable of as many things as men, or that both sexes have certain limitations be it physical or mental, etc. All in all, it's a great topic for a discussion, thanks!

    Lera's Affordable Fashion Blog

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  6. hi darling, this post is very interesting
    have a nice day
    http://tr3ndygirl.com

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  7. This post is very interesting. Such a heavy word for feminist! I just love your blog so much!

    xoxo,
    www.fashionerza.com
    I can rock any outfits, come follow my online diary

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  8. Thank you for visiting my blog,
    This post is very interesting :*

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  9. Very interesting post. xx

    http://ninasstyleblog.blogspot.com

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  10. I really like your blog post, I agree with everything you say. I am not a "man hater" or anything like that but I do believe in equality. I personally don't have a problem with a male walking around topless in a HOT COUNTRY or on the BEACH ! However, I live in England and I do not like it when it isn't a hot day and men find the need to walk around topless it is not necessary anymore than it would be for a woman to walk around town in a bikini when it is cold. I love this post xx

    Check out my blog http://anotherteenontheweb.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. Yeah, I know what you mean! But when it *is* hot, both can walk around with their torsos uncovered, don't you think?

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  11. Lovely blog! :-)
    would we follow each other on gfc and bloglovin? Maybe also on Instagram and twitter (widget on my blog), what do you mean? Regards from germany
    .•. My Beauty Blog .•.
    Let me know
    Kisses

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  12. This post is really helpful and interesting, it definitely made me think...let me know if you'd like to follow each other.

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  13. Interesting post, thank you for sharing your thoughts about it. I myself consider myself as a feminist.

    www.sarahrizaga.blogspot.com

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  14. Amazing!!! And you have a great blog. Let me know if you want we follow each other by GFC, bloglovin', google+, etc. I hope so: I'll follow you back!!! Have a nice day!!!

    *Keep in touch ;)
    ABSOkisses!!! Fanny J. ABSOmarilyn

    Google+ | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Bloglovin'

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  15. Lovely blog :)
    I am new follower ♥ follow back ?
    www.blog017.blogspot.com

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  16. I think the word feminist is really misused and is often seen as someone who hates men, wants to burn bras and protest! It's a bit sad really, as a bet most women would a agree that they are a feminist in the sense that they want equal rights!

    Corinne x
    www.skinnedcartree.com

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  17. I also consider myself a feminist. I think chauvinism can only be overcome with education. We all should teach our children that men and women are equal. Quotas and similar measures are unfair and ineffective.

    Jasmine x

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    1. You are so, so right! Teaching future generations about feminism would really help to battle sexism.

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  18. I'm a feminist. No shame. *shrugs* I didn't actually realise that everyone didn't actively pursue equality...I thought in this day and age, it'd be a thing we ALL wanted. But nope. Sexism is huge and as awful as ever. (Well, obviously not as bad as in the past, but stilllll. It's backwards some of the things society still says is acceptable.) I am not a man hater, and I hate that so many uneducated people think that's what feminism means. UGH. It's not that hard to google "what is feminism" instead of spouting off uneducated opinions. -_-
    Love this post!

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    1. You would have thought so, would't you? And yes yes yes I 100% agree!

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  19. I hate the associations people have with feminism. It has such a bad rep and it's like being a feminist has all these ridiculous connotations. BUT IT DOESN'T. It means you believe in equality. And I should hope the majority of people in this world today, and certainly all of the women, are feminists. We need to stop seeing it as a dirty word!

    People are always a little taken back when I say I'm a feminist (STILL), but when I explain to them everything it actually means, they soon hop on the train. I think the main thing is that people are confused about what it actually means and don't realise the simplicity of it.

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    1. Exactly! If anything, feminism should be celebrated! Not degraded and those who are a part of the movement ashamed! That *is not* the way forward. And same here, they sort of look at me like 'you're.. a.. feminist? You're an *actual* FEMINIST?'

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  20. I've always thought the same!
    Thank you for stopping by my blog, Just followed you, hope you do the same!!
    kisses!


    www.thrill-hunter.blogspot.com

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  21. I'm feminist too.
    Nice to know that you're one of us.
    I hate when people call me "feminazi"- we fight for equality and we don't believe in "Aryan race"...and I'm Latin :)
    Great text!
    Besos,
    Iza

    vintageiz.blogspot.com

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  22. This is such an interesting post! I'm very shock that the word "feminazi" is actually used like, are we for real?
    I consider myself a feminist too, and I think this debate depends on the purpose, if it's just because they're looking for sexual attention that's another story, even though, in my opinion, it shouldn't matter because a nipple is a nipple in a man and a woman's body! So I agree with the #freethenipple campaign even though it might be totally demonized by today's society.

    xx

    http://robberscorner.blogspot.com.es

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    1. I know, right! And a haha, YES, totally #freethenipple!

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  23. so agree!

    http://www.twinklelittleheels.com

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  24. interesting post.. ;) I have a new post you might want to visit sometime... ;) or d you mind following each other via Gfc of any other social medias? let me know if you just like.

    love,
    Cassie Thriftier

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  25. SO INTERESTING
    anyway, would you like to follow each other on gfc/bloglovin and instagram?

    SOMETHING REAL SERIOUS
    INSTAGRAM

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  26. I admit it is quite an interesting topic
    in Msia, we seldom expose our body part
    as one can get summon from authority for being sexy in public
    not long ago, a couple taking sexy prewedding photos (man topless, the lady only wear bra and underwear) in the town
    and they get sued in court for distorting the image of the city
    nevertheless, it's really a good topic to provoke our thinking
    I'm new visitor to your site.
    would you like to follow each other to keep in touch?
    MY-Emily
    Please, let me know! ;)
    Follow me and I will follow you back for certain
    (leave a blog link at my blog after follow so I can go back ur blog again)

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    1. They get sued?? For being... 'sexy' in public?! That's awful! How did the authorities find out about the images??

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  27. I nominated you for the Blogger Recognition Award!
    http://lordsgirls.blogspot.com/2014/11/blogger-recognition-award-take-2.html

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  28. Such an amazing post Amy :)
    I love how you put the '*someone in the distance gasps*' it's ridiculous that the word feminism has such a bad rap when it is simply wanting equal rights and opportunities for all genders!

    elslittleutopia.blogspot.com

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    1. Awh thank you C: And I know, right?! Outrageous.

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