Thursday, April 21, 2016

Sexist? Me? Really?

So I was recently called out by a friend for posting the above image as my twitter background. The image was of my bike, a Ducati Scrambler, parked against a wall, spray painted with graffiti stating 'VROOM!', standing alongside the graffiti was a hot blonde in a shirt with folded sleeves and short shorts, derriere facing towards the viewer. The image was in no way risque, by any measure, was just, in my opinion, a cool graphic to represent the hot bike. This was deemed to be sexist by the friend, who is more knowledgeable than I in most matters. And I do not understand why. There was no discrimination, or victimization of the hot blonde in short shorts, rather a hot motorcycle placed alongside a beautiful woman, to my uneducated-in-such-matters, eyes, was just appropriate. Although, I have since learned, that just by placing the image of a pretty woman alongside the bike, made this rather engaging graphic, a sexist one, consequently I became unwittingly a sexist for putting the image on my twitter.

Now, I do not dispute any of my friends opinions, she happens to be a very knowledgeable person, better equipped to make such judgements than anybody else I know. However, isn't this just taking it too far? Pretty ladies images have been used for time immemorial to make such graphics, and so long as the images stay within the domain of polity and are not rude or vulgar, is it really sexist? How does an image like this, with a pretty woman, in short shorts, I grant you, promote sexism? One could argue that objectification of the woman is wrong, however, one could also explain that a similar graphic with a man instead of the woman might not be as good, and I would not want to use that image on my twitter at all.

I will now go out on a limb and categorically state that I have, throughout my life and in my every association with women, only been respectful and admiring. Never have I ever, by thought or action ever behaved rudely towards them, it is not how I was raised, and I was raised alongside an elder sister, whom I love and adore, and due to the 8 year age gap, she has been more a mother to me than a sibling. So there is definitely no possible way in which I would even conceive of being rude or sexist, especially not sexist. I am also accused sometimes of being patronizing, however, I have been raised to be chivalrous, and if that is taken as being patronizing, I decline to apologize. I am old fashioned that way, and make no apologies for being a gentleman.

I guess what really got me worried, was how quick my friend was to pounce on the image, and just as quick to label it as being sexist, and by extension, myself as one too. If it was offensive, and I still do not fathom how, then I admit my guilt. However, is it really offensive? Maybe you can make your own judgement, and let me know. Is my rant all explained away as ignorant mansplaining? As has been proposed by my friend? Am I really a shallow sexist? Despite my upbringing as a gentleman of high moral values? If anybody has answers, please do let this poor sod know! Would hate to be an offensive idiot, even unwittingly.


Daniel D'Mello said...

It's not sexist, IMO.

Shrinivas Krishnamurthy said...

I thought so too, hence the post itself! Trigger happy methinks these comments are, quick to take offense where none is intended or presupposed.