OT PESO - NSFW Apparently!

frank theriault knarftheriault at gmail.com
Sat Oct 31 16:05:18 EDT 2009

On Sat, Oct 31, 2009 at 3:39 PM, Bruce Walker <bruce.walker at gmail.com> wrote:

> My dictionary just says this for "sexist": ``prejudice, stereotyping, or
> discrimination, typically against women, on the basis of sex.''
> That sounds pretty demeaning to me.

That's one definition.  Another is "...attitudes, conditions, or
behaviors that promote stereotyping of social roles based on gender."
I'd say that cheesecake (or beefcake for that matter) stereotypes
social roles based on gender and is thus sexist.

> "Portraying someone as a sexual being first and a person second" sounds more
> like objectification than sexism. And objectification is something we do all
> the time, especially we photographers. We silhouette people in images and
> instantly make them objects (shapes, forms).  We use shots of random
> individuals to stand for a general case or symbol -- objects again.

Yup, art objectifies.  That's pretty much what art does.  However
another definition of objectification is to externalize, and in the
case we're discussing here, we're much more interested in what the
model's wearing (or not wearing) and in her physical attributes than
we are in knowing who she really is, what she's really like or her
place in the world.  We've objectified her because quite frankly all
we're concerned about is that she's got a hot bod, and is wearing few
clothes in a titillating way.  That's not the same as taking a
photograph or sculpting a likeness of someone or "objectifying" them
in some such "artistic" way.

> Needless and tedious?  I dunno, I think the world would be a much poorer
> place without the likes of the Venus de Milo, and Rubin's, Dega's, Renoir's
> and Cezannes nudes.

I don't see nudes to which you refer as erotic or titillating.  I
don't see them as cheesecake or beefcake (in the case of
Michaelangelo's David or The Thinker).  They delve into who we are,
who we perceive that we are, our place in the world.    If you don't
see or feel the difference between those studies and a "tits and ass"
photo,  then there's not much use in continuing this discussion.

> I suppose they could have busied themselves in more productive pursuits,
> like painting soap ads.

Hey, they were commercial artists and likely would have done what
their patrons paid them to do.

> :-)

Smiley duly noted, and returned in kind:



"Sharpness is a bourgeois concept."  -Henri Cartier-Bresson

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