Feminist Movement SPARK Seeks to End Sexualization of Girls
In the wake of the sexed-up GQ photo shoot featuring Dianna Agron and Lea Michele posing provocatively in barely-there clothing, a new feminist movement is launched. SPARK, which is backed by a massive coalition of women’s groups, plans to “take sexy back” by encouraging young women to critique and protest the way they are portrayed in the media and marketed to by advertisers. SPARK (Sexualization protest: action, resistance, knowledge) held its kickoff meeting on Friday at Hunter College in New York. Attendees included actress Geena Davis, sex educator Amber Madison, filmmaker and writer Jean Kilbourne, and a slew of young women.
SPARKers assert that they are not anti-sex, but they do reject the standardized notion generally accepted by the masses on what girls need to do to be sexy. Examples include losing weight, purchasing stilettos, and making out with other girls for male amusement. Kilbourne says: “When the culture offers girls and women only one way to be sexy, it can hardly be considered an authentic choice.”
Conservative-leaning groups such as the Parents Television Council voiced their concerns about the lack of family-friendly material in the Glee cover shoot. Some even went as far to say that it borders on “pedophilia.” I have to disagree. Both Dianna Agron and Lea Michele are my age (24). Yes, they do portray high school students on Glee, but in real life they are adults and GQ is an adult magazine. Had they done the same shoot for Teen Vogue or Tiger Beat, then I could understand the outrage.
SPARK claims they have no problem with sexual content – what bothers them is the themes of male dominance, female subservience and the girls posing suggestively in high school attire. I get where they’re coming from but the ideas of male dominance, female subservience, and the “school girl fantasy” are nothing new and not really all that controversial.
Bottom line…sex sells. Always has, always will. Both Dianna and Lea are sexy girls. Why not have the confidence to show that off in a provocative photo shoot if you have the opportunity? Is it really that scandalous to see pretty, famous girls posing suggestively and using the tried and true method of the “sexy school girl” to their advantage?[lastfm]Britney Spears[/lastfm] did it for her “Hit Me Baby One More Time” video when she was just sixteen back in 1998.
Dianna Agron apologized on her blog for the GQ spread which I also disagree with. Dianna chose to do a sexy shoot…why should she have to apologize for it? Let us not go back to a world where women are seen and not heard; where a mid-calf hemline is considered salacious. There is absolutely no reason why a woman can’t be smart, successful, and powerful all while towering on top of 8-inch stripper heels.
If the feminist “movement” is only aiming to shoot down degrading images and not slam sexual expression, I’m all for it. Just keep it real, SPARK.