Added: Nikesha Alsup - Date: 21.12.2021 09:49 - Views: 18559 - Clicks: 3712
From topless male cleaners to a local photographer baring it for a movie role, men without their shirts are grabbing headlines and it reeks of a double standard, Karen Tee says. The series of images feature a group of muscular men wearing only jeans as they clean and do heavy lifting, while a woman fully clothed in a dress looks on admiringly.
We clearly know what the reaction would be if a cleaning agency advertised the services of female housekeepers dressed in the bare minimum. There would invariably be a loud reaction decrying the objectification and exploitation of women. On the flipside, there is a certain glee among the public in witnessing this parade of nearly naked men.
Not surprisingly, each time there is an article about the Half naked male models old topic, you can bet there will also be at least one gratuitous topless photograph of the man, if not more. However, it also appears that the attention and the hordes of shoppers standing in line to enter the store also dwindled when the topless models had to put their shirts back on. As for the shirtless man cleaning service, in the weeks since it was first rolled out as a publicity stunt, the company says it has received over 70 enquiries by people looking to hire these men. Why is it that people seem perfectly fine when off-colour comments are directed towards men or if men are the ones shedding their clothes?
While the group recognises that men too suffer from body dysmorphia due to unrealistic media portrayals of the male body, it points out that men typically have not been sexually exploited to the scale that women have. Neither are they at a disadvantage at the workplace because of their appearance.
The implication is that there can be different standards of acceptability when it comes to objectifying men in comparison to women. But this line of reasoning does not sit that well in the context of this recent spate of bold-faced body baring. Surely, it is regressive in the fight for gender equality, which should cut both ways, to say it is somehow less offensive to objectify men since they have less historical baggage?
If anything, women, the group which has traditionally suffered the consequences of objectification, can now afford to exercise a little more empathy and clarity of thought on why such behaviours should be called out when the tables are turned. Perhaps it gets clearer such objectification is misguided when we consider the possibility men may view disrobing through a different lens.
It is more culturally acceptable for men to show off a toned, taut body as a of power. So for the men who choose to bare skin for commercial reasons or attention, they are more likely to be Half naked male models with admiration than with censure. This then is the other societal double standard we have to be aware of - men are glorified for shedding clothes while women are slut-shamed for doing the same. It is time to change perceptions, starting by sending the message that such Neanderthal, chest-thumping behaviour has not been acceptable since the Stone Age.
In the case of the male house cleaning stunt, I was amused to notice there were a few germaphobes like myself who were mostly concerned about potentially hiring cleaners only to have them drip sweat all over the apartment because they are not properly attired for the job. Yes, I would pay for the muscle to help me move heavy furniture but please guys, keep your shirts on and your sweat stains to yourself. It is exactly this fact that serves to remind us it is how we as individuals - and by extension a society - reacts that reveals our true characters.
Our responses do shape national norms on gender relations. We each have a responsibility to uphold standards of acceptable behaviour and address this unsettling pattern to nip it in the bud. There is no doubt we all want to stem the troubling, deeper issues that undergird the rise in sexual assault cases and the continued sexual objectification of women. A good starting point could be to tackle the problem with sexually objectifying people — regardless of gender. Why not begin to take baby steps by having an open, honest but difficult conversation about gender, sexism and the double standards we seem to hold and what we can learn from these recent episodes?
And for now, Singapore, can we please hold off on the mass publicising of half-naked male midriff-baring photographs? We know it's a hassle to switch browsers but we want your experience with CNA to be fast, secure and the best it can possibly be. To continue, upgrade to a supported browser or, for the finest experience, download the mobile app.
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