Michael Eriksson
A Swede in Germany
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Feminism and nudity

Some time in the early nineties I saw a “Father’s Day” add depicting women in underwear, with a tag line of “What every father wants!” (or something in that direction—I am, understandably, vague on the details by now). My immediate reaction was an annoyance over the hypocrisy of how advertising was handled—a similar add for Mother’s Day would have led to loud protests and vociferous complaints about sexism. In fact, I strongly considered filing such a complaint myself, just to prove the point that sexism goes both ways (in this case by portraying men as sex obsessed) and/or that allegations of sexism are often just baseless over-interpretation.

I hardly believed my eyes when I, a few weeks later, read in a paper that the very same ad had received a formal complaint—for being sexist against women... Apparently, the only thing that counted was that female body parts were visible, ipso facto making the ad anti-woman.

At around the same time a computer store ran a recurring ad, which, among various hardware, showed a woman in an “exotic” outfit. This ad also had a formal complaint filed against it. Not long after, the feminists were in a hasted and embarrassing retreat: The poor exploited victim of a misogynistic patriarchy turned out to be—the owner of the store.