You can’t be what you can’t see.

In the past week I’ve received 2 invitations to a screening of Miss Representation. The invites were from opposite sides of the world. This movie is spreading faster than head lice at Kindergarten. Both invites were from smart, switched on women who also happen to have a couple of children the same age as mine. Both of these women are fantastic role models for young girls. I have not seen either of them dance in a wet bikini in front of a group of men while holding a snake between their legs.

When we first moved to Doha we stayed in a hotel. Each night when G came home from work I would escape for a run on the treadmill in the hotel gym. The gym was mostly full of men. There was the usual line up of treadmills and televisions with a constant stream of music videos. On one particular night I watched a group of men stop for a moment to look at the screens. I can’t remember who it was, maybe Britney? GaGa? Ciara? Rhianna? I was a bit distracted. I was busy trying to work out why she was wearing a see through white bikini while dancing with a snake wrapped around her legs. She appeared to be very attracted to both the stripper pole in front of her and the snake. It was completely gratuitous and out of context with the song. One of the guys said something I couldn’t hear, everyone laughed and I immediately felt uncomfortable. I felt like I’d accidently joined in on their party and their party was watching soft porn at the gym.

Is that an over reaction?

Should I be cool with watching a woman wearing a dog collar being led around the room? What’s the line between sexy and sexism? Would I point to these women and then tell my daughters “one day if you work really hard at school…”. “Keep practicing your trombone sweetheart and then we can pop you in a bikini, hose you down and see if you can earn a living”.

Take a look at this:

You can’t be what you can’t see.

I’ve been over to Miss Representation and taken the pledge.

“I pledge to use my voice to spread the message of Miss Representation and challenge the media’s limiting portrayal of women and girls”

How about you? How do feel about how women are portrayed in the media?

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