All of that said, I keep seeing this ad from Kmart that just makes me plain mad. Honestly, I lack the words to adequately express how repulsed I am by this advertisement. First, however, let me present exhibit A, also known as the offending article.
Now, some of you may ask why I (a woman who falls more to the hetero-side of the bisexual ledger and one who writes smut for fun and profit) find this ad offensive. Some of you may even wonder at the fact that I am opposed to it, because it's quite obviously turning the tables on the laundry list of ads focusing on women as sex objects.
I can summarize my offense in one simple sentence. Hold on to your hats, folks, this is going to be profound.
Reducing people to sex objects to sell a product is wrong.
Look, if your kink is such that being defined as a sex object or defining another person as a sex object is what really does it for you, that's well and fine. Provided that all people involved in the arrangement are consenting adults. Doing so with a random person off the street, that crosses a line.
It is a blatant act of disrespect to that person to reduce them down to being little more then fap material. It's wrong when it's done to advertise a bra. It's wrong when it's done to advertise beer. It's wrong when it's done to advertise clothes. It's wrong to advertise any damn thing you are trying to sell.
I know, I am being a Debbie Downer here, but I honestly can't sit here on my hands and be silent. People look around at our culture and wonder where this 'rape culture' stuff comes from. It comes from stuff like this being tolerated as funny for general consumption. The problem lies in the attitude that a person is little more then a lump of flesh that exists to titillate and amuse you. That attitude and sense of entitlement that goes with it, that is what is at the core of the 'rape culture' that people are talking about.
Stop treating people like they're objects. You want to fix the culture so that a woman can be safe no matter where she is, that's a great place to start. By the way, it makes it so that it's ok to treat men with respect too.
And that is what we need more of. Respect starts with treating yourself like you're not an object, by the way. It also comes along when we treat other people as if they're human as well. Last time I checked, personhood was understood to have some sense of inherent dignity. Or did we throw that out the window along with Miley Cyrus's alter ego of Hanna Montana?