What Would It Look Like If We Turned the Daily Mail's Sexism Around On Men?
Hot mama! Alicia Keys parades her sexy curves in leopard print shorts as she carries her sleepy son Egypt back to her Rio hotel.
Hilary Duff proudly parades her muscular legs in another pair of chic skintight jeans.
Talk about taking the plunge! Nicole Murphy shows off her voluptuous cleavage in revealing white summer dress.
These are actual headlines from the most popular news website in the world: MailOnline, the web version of the Daily Mail. In fact, they've devoted a whole section to women, "Femail Today," prominently featured on their homepage. In a world where news coverage frequently omits women's point of view, "Femail Today" has so much potential. Instead, the column almost exclusively reports on how female celebrities are "displaying their assets" or covering them up. To add even more to the non-story, most of the women aren't even dressed in a particularly eye-catching way; many of them look like they just tossed on a clean pair of pants for a quick run to Starbucks.
I know, I know. The Daily Mail is hardly a source for serious journalism. Yet its obsessive depiction of women just running some errands as "flaunting their body" or "showing off their legs" reinforces the objectification of women. It reinforces the idea that women just exist for public consumption, and that how they look is the most important thing about them. It is the street harasser's version of hollering at women, making them feel vulnerable and exposed when they're just trying to go about their day. Sadly, the Daily Mail is far from the only outlet that reports such stories. This week, Star stooped to a new low by including Honey Boo Boo (an eight-year-old child) in its frequent "special" on bikini-ready bodies (note to Star; if i'ts in every issue, it's not a special).
Articles objectifying women have become so commonplace that most of us have grown accustomed to them. What if the genders were reversed, though, and the commentary that was passed on unwilling women was passed on unwilling men? Perhaps that can serve as a reminder of how intrusive and backwards such "reporting" really is. If you find the list below ridiculous, remember that as bad as this is, it's even less invasive than the actual articles, since I've used official photos instead of paparazzi shots. Since I'm not nearly as pun-happy (or creepy) as the Daily Mail, please contribute your own suggestions in the comments!