23 January, 2005

The Wrong Summers

I typed 'summers' into Googlé to find out a bit about my overlord*+ Larry and was surprised to find the first hit was for someone called Ann Summers, who it seemed was peddling vibrators, sexy lingerie, nurse outfits and the Rampant Rabbit, in regular and deluxe models. Quoi? Not what I was expecting at all. I googled around a bit and found a fair bit of attention to Ms. Summers (who is not in fact a person, but a chain of stores) in the Guardian. Apparently the chain is doing quite well for itself (as its Google listing certainly attests to), which the Guardian attributes to its attention to female clientele.

Well, I say, this is rather a positive development. Women as consumers of sexuality instead of men? Definitely progressive. After all, men have been defining sexuality for god knows how long, and consequently confining it to the female gender, leaving themselves bereft. Women playing the part of sexual actors and men learning to become sexual objects is a welcome development. Because I suspect that our problem with "women as sexual objects" is less the construction of women as vehicles of pleasure and more the dichotomy it implies. When the equation is a little more balanced I think we'll all be able to relax about it.

Of course, I don't really have the faintest clue what I'm talking about, here, and some more knowledgable party can probably beat me all around the town on this subject.

* I go to Harvard, don't you know.

+ Don't worry, I'll get over this footnote thing soon.

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