Sexing The Vote, Hollywood Style
Posted by Lee on September 13, 2008
I wonder if the conversation at the campaign office for Declare Yourself (an American nonpartisan nonprofit campaign to encourage young voters to register) went anything like this:
Campaign Guy 1: “Hmmm, we better think of something really good if we want to get the young vote this election, man.”
Campaign Guy 2: “Free badges?”
CG 1: “Dude! It’s not 1952. No ‘I like Ike’ flower badges. We need something modern, edgy.”
CG 2: “What about celebrity endorsements?”
CG 1: “Yes! Now you’re talking”
CG 2: “But who should we get?”
CG 1: “It has to be someone hot, dude. Someone people want to be with.”
CG 2: “Hey, what about some one like Paris Hilton?”
CG 1: “No, too skanky.”
CG 2: “What about Lindsay Lohan? She is hot.”
CG 1: “Too dykey. Dude, you are not taking this seriously.”
CG 2: “Wait I got it! Jessica Alba.”
CG 1: “Yes! That’s it.”
CG 2: “Jessica Alba. Nude.”
CG 1: “Dude, yes!”
CG 2: “I’d vote for that.”
CG 1: “But like, we need to make it classy and not like, slutty. We want girls to sign up to vote as well.”
CG 2: “How about we bind Jessica up in electrical tape, like, with makeup smudges and tear-stained cheeks because she is sad about how powerless she feels without a voice to speak out against the possibility of an America that she doesn’t want. You know, an American that encourages caribou hunts with psychotic hockey moms and like, where abortion is illegal even if you were raped by your Dad. She is the victim, man. And if enrolling to vote will save Jessica from that kind of future, then it would be un-American to not vote.”
CG 1: “Dude. You are a genius. It is the American way and like, what the Constitution wants us to do. Abe Lincoln would be proud.”
Perhaps it’s just me but looking at a sexually charged image of Jessica Alba does not make me think about the silencing of women at the polls.
It makes me think about two guys sitting around thinking of their poles, jerking off while talking about sex that involves paddles and riding crops.
And this kind of S&M spanky grown-up play is fine with compliant participants if you are into that kind of thing but seriously, do people need to project their sexualised views of women into everything?
Is mouth muzzling and taping the breasts of a female celebrity a credible tactic in encouraging people to vote or is it proposing that women in compromising imagery, featuring them in presumably the aftermath of an assault is sexy, cool and progressive?