Empowering Women By Objectifying Men?

Are we, human beings, inherently hypocritical? Do we all verbalize one thing to solicit public admiration, while doing and believing in the exact opposite in our core? Although I wouldn’t use the word, hypocrite, to label all of us; however, I do think that we are all conditioned to self-contradict to various degrees.

Politicians do it often. They would firstly promise to do something for the public good during the election period, then would casually brush it off like a leaf in the wind once they obtain their incumbency. Some celebrities do it often. They claim to be celebrating each other’s success, while still intentionally toying with the word, jealous, oh so often. Some of those well-informed and educated female talk show hosts do it often. They champion for gender fairness by putting a spot light on sexism, along with other kinds of inequality that women still have to face in the modern era, while doing just what men have always been doing to women, in a patriarchal society, which is objectification of the opposite sex.

In Canada, there is a popular daily talk show on CTV, called The Social. Although I am a fan of the show and am in support of the feminist view points expressed overtly by all the co-hosts; however, I have to admit that, at times, I do feel uneasy by some of the segments and discussion centered around relationships; more specifically, about men. Men are, oftentimes, assumed to be the ones, who step out on a relationship. The introduction that leads to the question about men’s ability to take care the kids is often ended with a question mark. I find myself question often in my head, ” If you want to attract more male viewers, why does the show keep typecasting and portraying men in such an unpleasant light?”

Yesterday, a show’s decision ignited a heated debate online.  In one of its web exclusive videos, two male models were hired to strip in a game segment, in front of a group of female audience, which caused quite of bit of outburst among the viewers on the show’s Instagram account. Some were calling it a form of cheap entertainment, while others pointed out the hypocrisy aspect of the show; a gender fairness movement was based on empowering women by treating men like a piece of meat.

Being a big fan of the show, I have to admit that I was turned off several times by some of the past segments, centered around poking fun at the men. How is the demonstration of an equivalent of the female version of the sexist “male gaze” a representative of the feminist empowerment, social progression, and gender equality?

Some may argue that being a hypocrite on a daytime talk show is purely for its entertainment values; especially in the case of the females’ objectification of men. Who does not want some eye candy? Sure! Who does not like a bit of humor and fun that come out of an awkward situation? Sure! That being said, if the roles were reversed, if two female models were hired to strip in front of a male audience, I am sure that these female daytime talk show hosts would have thought, acted and spoken out differently.

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