“Sports Illustrated Takes Stand Against Sexual Harassment by Putting Naked Women on Cover”
That was the title of a recent article on the satirical news site, the Babylon Bee. In its typical fashion, the Babylon Bee poked fun at the ridiculous but accurate message the latest Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition is representing. Words like “empowering” and “creative” were used by Swimsuit Edition editor MJ Day in her attempts to promote the obviously wrong and counter productive issue in light of movements like #MeToo and #TimesUp.
Now, as a father of three daughters I am all about my girls being strong and creative as they grow into young women, but there is something inherently wrong with a publication that is, for all intents and purposes, a softcore porn mag spreading the message of female empowerment. Their plan was to empower women but the message to young girls is still that they will be most successful by taking their clothes off and showing lots of skin. This Swimsuit Edition is just as damaging as all the rest and it has and will continue to make girls feel worse about themselves and their bodies.
This is not just a magazine problem because its message and confusion seem to have bled over into the minds of the models as well. One of the models in the issue and former Olympic gymnast Ally Raisman added in an Instagram post where she is posing naked, “Women don’t have to clothed to be respected.” This coming just weeks after her heartfelt and memorable words to convicted child molester Larry Nassar about the atrocities he had done to her. Now, I agree that women are to always be respected, but you cannot in the same breath say, “Look at my body,” and “How dare you look at my body!” The two are contradictory but I guess this is the world we are living in.
A world that says a woman’s value is only in her dress size.
A world that says to young girls, “You will only be accepted if you’re sexy.”
A world that says the more clothes you take off the more money you can make.
Sports Illustrated said that this is exactly what they are fighting against but their actions are screaming over their words.
We talked about this problem in our last Porncast, but there seems to be a fundamental breakdown in the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements and it is not more clearly seen than in this latest Swimsuit Edition. The truth is that the problems of sexual harassment and female objectification will not be solved until both sexes learn that you cannot use people as if they are things. That includes on the street, in the workplace, in magazines, and late at night in front of your computer screen. And the problem of porn is at the heart of all of this. Those who buy the Swimsuit Edition are not women looking to be empowered, its men who have cultivated a lust for women’s bodies and I have to believe that a major factor that lead them to this is an addiction to pornography.
For years, decades, SI Swimsuit Edition has been about one thing: Getting men to buy a safe-for-work porn mag so they can objectify and lust after the women contained therein. That’s it.
So...Sports Illustrated and all others who think they can end this plague of sexual harassment and assault by taking more clothes off, PLEASE STOP!
You are part of the problem, not the solution.