Tuesday, November 20, 2007

unacceptable forms of entertainment

This article about the halftime ritual of harassment Giant's Stadium (New York) from the New York Times is all over the feminist blogosphere today, and it's enough to say that it's disgusting and annoying and wrong and that these guys are sad and immature and lame. But there's more...

The deal is this: The guys all crowd together at Gate D and heckle women to flash them their boobs. When the women comply the guys go crazy, when they don't they boo and sneer and now, apparently, throw bottles at them. Yeah, real classy.

The article interviewed people, including one of the boob-flashers herself, who didn't think this was a big deal. When asked what she thought about the fact that her breasts were caught on cell phones, and that video clips might be posted online later (as they have been in the past) she said, "I don't care. I love my body and I like what I have, so let everybody share it." That was the female perspective. Some of the men interviewed felt disgusted, or voiced their desire that the police get involved.

This new "tradition" at Giant's Stadium is reflective of a cultural shift. We live in a world where young women don't think too much about flashing their boobs. There's not a whole lot at stake. It's probably not going to affect that woman's future career. It's cool to love your body and to be open with it. And actually, it's not the boob-flashing, per se, that bothers me. It's clear that the women do it because it elicits a provocative response. The problem here is the fact that we live in a society where baboon-like behavior is not just tolerated, but celebrated. These guys are acting despicably, yes, but their behavior is pitiful and sad and tragic. There's not enough condemning of this stupid juvenile frat-boy code of behavior. I wouldn't even want to know a man who would be part of the rallying crew at Gate D. One man said, "This IS the game." Wow. Really? It's hard to not feel numbed by a comment like that. I know there's something to be said for crowd mentality, and the quick spiral into bad behavior. But there are hundreds of men gathering there in ritual---frequently, regularly, and mindlessly. Guys, get a grip on your lives. Take ownership over your maturity. Stop and think.


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