I was standing at the duty free store in San Francisco International Airport, looking for books and snacks. We had a couple of hours to kill before our flight. When I noticed my daughters were staring at a large display of magazines, I looked up to see the display too. What I saw made me so MAD, I had to share it with you.
Now, yes, I am very much a feminist, and many of you are likely not (now I’m curious. Female or male, are you a feminist? Please share in the comments). But take a look at the way women are portrayed in these magazines – then take a look at the way men are portrayed. See the difference?
Women are presented as half-naked, ready and willing sexual objects.
Men look strong and powerful, whether they are fully dressed in a business suit or more exposed (but never as exposed as the women).
My 8 years old daughter said this image in particular bothered her. She was uncomfortable because the model was half-naked:
The contrast between the way each gender is presented by the media was especially striking here, because these two magazines were placed next to each other at the store:
Feminist or not… I hope you can see the problem here.
PS. In case you were wondering, when I started taking these photos, the other customers at the store looked at me like I was a madwoman. However, despite my worries, the police did NOT appear out of nowhere to question me or take away my camera. I read that in today’s panicky atmosphere, innocent photographers are sometimes harassed by law enforcement people. But I was left alone despite my weird behavior.