I have a confession to make. Something has been bothering me about my blog’s site stats since I started the darn thing. No, not that they’re still on the lower side (hey, it’s a tiny blog and I’ve been focusing on other sites and magazines lately!), but the search terms that lead to my site. Not all of them, mind you. But there are some…
I am aware that I can’t really stop creepers from searching to their hearts’ delight. I’m not sure how some of these searches even land on my site. Tasteless and sometimes gross queries for certain artists I’ve profiled lead these searchers to my blog, likely to their dismay. I like to keep it pretty family-friendly, because I want music and the other content to be accessible to all.
Ok, ok, so what’s the big deal?
It’s only the women. Perhaps I need to profile more men. I don’t go out of my way to search for one over the other; it usually has more to do with the topic I am looking to cover. It shouldn’t bother me, maybe, because nobody sees my site stats but me. It doesn’t alter what is on my site.
But I can’t help it. It bothers me that, while I am trying to promote different artistic outlets or career stories, a percentage of individuals out there are only looking for videos or images of these talented women as objects. Every time I see one of these searches, I kind of want to go give these women a hug and tell them I’m sorry. The ratio of searches related to these women’s academic or artistic merits is a tad disproportionate to searches related to their looks or bodies.
I know this voyeuristic attitude from the public can happen when one gets famous. I know people say that when you get famous, paparazzi and tabloids are a price to pay for fame. But I’m sorry, if you’ve ever heard a group of paparazzi vultures…I find it enough to make my stomach churn.
Actually, I’m not sorry. And I’m annoyed at the fact that society feeds into it.
This also reminds me of the last time I volunteered to do some work on a film set. Well, it was a paying gig, not volunteer, but pretty much anyone can do it, which is why I say volunteer. (If you have nothing going on for the duration of a shoot and can get to where they want you, boom, great, you’re a body to fill in a shot. Don’t let it get to your head.)
I was paired up with an older man, maybe in his forties, and told to play his daughter in the scene. Sure, fine. We waited while they set up lighting with the stand-ins, only to realize that the two main actors, one being Mila Kunis, were to be seated right in front of us in the shot.
Cue the man who was to pretend to be my father in the scene suddenly acting like a junior high boy over the fact that the attractive Ukrainian woman would be just a few inches in front of him. And it just kept getting worse.
By the time she showed up for the scene, casting had decided to move us far out of the shot, and I didn’t care. I was so disgusted by what this man was saying about Kunis and the photos he was trying to take of her that I didn’t blame them for moving us. I was made so uncomfortable by his behavior that I wanted to ask the casting assistant if I could move, but I knew it was unlikely.
Though some women on set seemed to think that showing up with a mask of makeup and skimpy outfits would be a good choice, I didn’t hear a single one of them harassing the male lead. This grown man, on the other hand (along with a younger guy who seemed to think that bringing his guitar on set would get the director to say “Golly, you’re right! You’re so manly and talented, I think we will give you a singing and speaking part!”) seemed to think it was ok to dismiss the fact that the female lead was actually working, and continue to objectify her in a way that made me think they were trying to remember the words to a Bloodhound Gang song.
Hint, guys: This may be why you’re sitting in the back, off-screen. Thankfully, if you’re not going to respect someone’s work, they’re not going to take kindly to your attempt at work.
Point being: the search results, the rude comments from the—ahem—peanut gallery… sure, everyone is objectified at some point in Hollywood. It’s likely to happen. But why am I seeing it so lopsided? I don’t really want anyone, male or female, to be treated like a piece of meat, but can we look at these female singers and actors for what they do and if they’re good at it, and not for their body parts?
Despite what you may have seen at the VMAs last night, there are women out there who don’t just twerk and bank on shock value. And those women are pretty awesome.