[Image: Four screen caps of a facebook group called “Vixens for Veterans.” The first image shows the timeline cover photo of five presumably white women in black underwear, fishnets, and stilettos. The page has close to 2,500 likes. The second image is the actual time line of the page. On the left hand side is a picture of a white woman in a white top. She has black hair and is making a heart with her fingers. On the right hand side is a list of other pages this page has liked, including one called “Booties for the Troops,” which has been circled in red. The third image is further down the timeline and there is a blond, white woman in the left hand column. She is wearing a blue top over a black bra and has a thick, studded leather choker on. The caption above her asks the viewer whether they would “Like or pass?” on her. The right hand column is a photo of a redheaded, white woman with her back towards the camera. She is wearing white underwear and a white bra. The forth image is a screen shot of the group’s photo section. It is filled with white women taking pictures of themselves in the seductive poses. All of the captions ask the viewer to “Like or pass?” on each woman.]
So I was casually browsing my facebook newsfeed this afternoon when I saw that a guy I went to elementary-high school with had liked this page… Out of curiosity, I clicked it and instantly started a feminist critique of it. Here’s what I have so far:
The page showcases female bodies for male consumption; however, women are invited to submit pictures of themselves, so they are consenting to the objectification of their bodies which is consistant with feminist principles
Casts men as the societal and sexual actors and women as passive receivers
Assumes that veteran = male and vixen = female, upholding heteronormative foundations and traditional ideas of gender at the same time
Defines female worth through physical appearance
The overwhelming majority of pictures on the site are of white women, all of whom fit into a very narrow definition of “female” or “woman”
Feel free to add more. Charming society we live in, isn’t it?
This is a fascinating look at how the evolution of society has forced an iconic, once progressive book to change.
But has it changed enough and is is still relevant? What makes the text still an important educational tool?
“In the beginning, it was about educating women about what they didn’t know,” says Kiki Zeldes, the book’s senior editor. “But it’s become more about helping women sift through the misinformation. You know, who’s telling women that a vaginoplasty is going to give them a better vagina?”
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