I got this email, from one of my favorite debate partners:
Email Subject: Stephen Hunter is an Idiot
And was an idiot back when he did film reviews for the Baltimore Sun
when we were in college. Alas, his brand of mixed-metaphor writing
("three-hour gym shots" A shot is something small, short and rapid.
Three hours is none of those) has somehow gotten him a page in the Post.
UGH UGH UGH. I could write circles around him on my worst days.
But he does point out where all this objectification has gotten the
average (and he is so very, very average) male: "Show us a woman we
could never have, and whatever you are selling, we will buy it." There's
a bit of intuition, to be sure.
Is there no place in feminism for praise a part (or parts) of a woman
outside of her mind and her accomplishments?
Unfortunately, I didn't save my reply, but basically I said that I was not alone in my distaste for this article. Check out Gene Weingarten's chat this week and the deluge of responses from female readers of the Washington Post about this piece.
I must say that I really don't like the word flesh. And this piece was the equivalent of leering. Do I want people to appreciate my body, yes. Do I want them to leer and stalk, no. Is it even better if they respect me and like the way I look, hell yeah.
But this piece wasn't about me. It wasn't about anyone. It was without identity. And that is truly one of my pet peeves: if you hate me, at least hate me personally, not some generic identification of me. It's the reason I hated the movie Traffic. It's the reason I hate this article.
And I can't speak for Feminism. I can only speak for me. (But I do feel better that I am not alone.)