On Bikinis and Speedos

Just some personal thoughts, feel free to disagree and tell yours:

Was talking with a friend in ad industry about how showing women in bikinis was no longer appropriate in ads nowadays, to avoid objectification of women. I said, mostly jokingly, maybe the real solution is showing men in speedos alongside the women in bikinis.

It's not like women don't view men as sexual objects. It's part of human nature. Sometimes it's more useful to acknowledge that women are sexual too, and men with biceps are sexy to half the population.

The real issue here is how women are treated differently from men. Women are expected to hide their sexuality, and in a sexual relationship, to serve men and not vice versa. But the implication is that relationships and sexual acts should be something enjoyed and contributed to by both. In the past, women are overwhelmingly portrayed in ways that appeal to male fantasy but not vice versa. Ads and films of the past did not cater to the female fantasy, like fifty shades or Jupiter ascending now did.

The right way to do it, I think, is to acknowledge that there are men and women and LGBT people and almost all of us are sexual, we like hot men and women. It is possible to acknowledge that while still being respectful. Maybe we can portray women in bikinis and men in speedos, but show these people as intelligent and with personality, not some fool with ass or abs but no brain. Maybe we show a world where men and women actively participate in the relationship game and both parties are equally good players. I don't know.

So, the past weekend I've seen how feminists clash on twitter because one uncle told stories on how he dated ladies as a young man. (That very same uncle told me before that "Malaysian women are generally more capable than their male counterparts".) C'mmon, it's not like women don't try to get the hot guys too. Nobody complained when a woman told stories of how she made a man fall in love in her because "she objectifies men".

I believe strongly that men are generally privileged and gender equality has a long way to go. But we are all humans and humans, including men and women, are sexual. So let's be more understanding of human weakness, and understand that none of us are saints. Any social contract that suppresses humanity will inevitably crumble.