Come At Me, Patriarchy

So, I’m on Youtube. I’m getting ready to watch some sort of video, possibly even just listen to a song while I’m doing my homework, heck, I don’t remember. But of course there was an Ad blocking my way.

Youtube ads are not always a curse to me. Sometimes they’re actual videos, and I like it when they make the “ads” a trailer for a movie. That’s not so bad – it’s not commercialism shoving it’s big ugly face at me in a constant attempt to get me to spend my money on worthless crap. I like movies, and even though they do represent a certain section of commercialism that thrives off of people like me who love to be entertained, I think they still have something to offer.

This, however, was not a movie ad. Darn.

The music started up. It was good music, I noticed. Some pop artist? Maybe. When i jiggled my mouse over the screen, the title came up at the top.

Stuart Weitzman | #ROCKROLLRIDE

Uh…okay. I still have no idea what this is, but hey, still marginally better than a Febreze commercial.

And then I noticed the shots. The angles of the camera. The filters stolen directly from a high schooler’s instagram. This was meant to be “artsy.”

And, of course, objectively I can say that it was creative. It did some cool things with the camera, and the editing was pretty neat with some frame effects. But something was wrong. Oh, so wrong.

The subject of this short film? music video? thing? was in fact two beautiful women. Flowing blonde hair, legs that went on for miles and miles and miles, and some gorgeous trees all around them. Perfect for the film, right?

But instead of presenting these women as women, as people who deserve respect, as people who have opinions and voices and are allowed to think and speak and act however they want – these women were dehumanized. Shots of legs and butts were in front of my screen and I just wanted to go onto the set and yank the camera out of the directors hands and shout YOU ARE RUINING DECADES WORTH OF WOMEN’S RIGHTS. Until the very end of the video I didn’t even get a good look at the faces of these beautiful women. The material itself wasn’t all too bad – it showed the women getting dressed in cute outfits, riding bikes on a trail, driving a flashy cool red car, and, the kicker, riding a motorcycle.

These things in themselves aren’t dehumanizing. Some of them, such as the motorcycle and the expensive car, are things typically attributed to men. But by shooting the women’s butts, by not showing their face, putting an extreme emphasis on their bodies and the way they looked next to these props, it made them seem like objects – like they were just toys that the director was playing with.

You may ask at this moment how this even remotely relates to art. “You’re just an angry feminist ranting about something you happened to come across.” You bet I am. But the fact that the director wanted this to be taken as art, as something to be critically analyzed and thoughtfully considered is a joke. This isn’t art – it’s objectifying women. And what’s worse is that it’s an ad on Youtube, going out to thousands upon millions of people who click on their favorite cat video. This ad-disguised-as-art isn’t art.

It’s a joke. A joke that isn’t funny anymore and needs to end.

For reference, I’m not including a link to the video because I’d rather not promote something that shouldn’t be getting any views at all. Instead, enjoy this lovely video of kittens who love Star Wars a bit too much.