The recent ads from Summer’s Eve got me thinking a lot about the way our society views women and the ways in which women feel they must behave in order to achieve equality. We’ll often feel pressured to remain single and/or childless in order to attain career success, since mother’s are hardly viewed as “professionals” by their male counterparts. And women have often used one of their very few powers, sex, to attain some level equality. Flirting can get her out of a ticket, sex can help a woman to gain leverage in the decisions within her home and often, it can even get her a promotion at work. But are women really the “evil” ones? Are they the ones to blame? Or is it more upsetting that women feel that they must resort to selling this precious commodity in order to gain some control in their lives?
In Summer’s Eve’s advertisements, it almost seems as if they are attempting to reiterating the recent theme of Beyoncé’s “Run the World (Girls)” video, albeit a misguided and warped reproduction. But, honestly, is it really “sex” that gives women power? Is it really the “V”? At this point, it often feels true, but this shouldn’t be seen as a tool to empowerment, this is a device for subjugation and submission. Women are pressured to provide sexuality in trade for equality, for power. Female celebrities must ooze sex in their films to guarantee fair pay and they must create excitement and arousal in order to gain the attention the deserve. Some say that it’s a small price to pay or that it’s “just a fact of Hollywood,” but is it really? Why does it have to be?
Ultimately, in women’s magazine’s, forums and television talk shows, we even reiterate it ourselves, advising each other that sex is the “key to keeping a man”, that if you “don’t give him what he wants, he’ll get it somewhere else” and that women, before anything else, need to realize that “sex is what keeps a marriage ‘fresh’”. So, honestly, what’s a girl to think, when she’s told that men live their lives by sex and that if she wants to get ahead, she has to “give a little to get a little”? I mean, is this really what we should be teaching our daughters? Is this any better than Beyoncé’s sex-driven “empowerment” or Summer’s Eve’s declaration that the “V” is “the most powerful force on Earth”?
What are we teaching our daughters by sending messages that they must “give it up” in order to get ahead? What messages are we sending our boys by allowing them to expect this behavior from women? By allowing women to be pressured into submission by men’s wills and fantasies? I find it really facsinating that at the end of Beyoncé’s video, the women cop a salute to their male counterparts, as if to say that even with the “power of persuasion”, they still view themselves as the submissive gender, and men as the ones with real power. Beyoncé is most definitely a woman who desperately wants to empower girls, but even she is aware of the overt dependence on her sexuality to earn a living. The question is, with all her amazing talents, why should she have to??? View the video and leave your take in the comments. If you haven’t seen the Summer’s Eve sexist/racist ads, you can view them here.
Warning: This video contains some strong language and sexual content.
© 2011, Chantilly Patiño. All rights reserved.