A note to CNN: if you have an article that contains a sentence beginning with “Call it crass, sexist or gender stereotyping all you want,” chances are that you do not want to print the rest of that sentence, and most likely do not want to print any of the article.
You see, according to CNN, all women are apparently prostitutes. They illustrated this “fact” with the above image, just in case you weren’t getting the point. Not that this is a new line of bullshit, but it’s rather obnoxious and upsetting to see printed uncritically in such a mainstream news source in 2008.
Throughout history, humans have used their bodies to get what they want — from ancient Egyptian ruler Cleopatra, who cemented her power through liaisons with Roman rulers Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, to the man and woman who were arrested at a Fort Wright, Kentucky, motel in late June for allegedly swapping sex for gasoline. Regardless of our motivation, scientists say we’re hardwired to use our bodies as a bargaining chip.
A recent study of 475 University of Michigan undergraduates ages 17 to 26 found that 27 percent of the men and 14 percent of the women who weren’t in a committed relationship had offered someone favors or gifts — help prepping for a test, laundry washing, tickets to a college football game — in exchange for sex. On the flip side, 5 percent of the men surveyed and 9 percent of the women said they’d attempted to trade sex for such freebies.
And although they weren’t hard up for resources, the students surveyed “recognized the value of this socioeconomic currency system,” says Daniel Kruger, research scientist at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, who published his findings in the April issue of “Evolutionary Psychology.”
“It’s more about getting what you want than getting what you need,” he says. “Unless you think everyone needs a $200 Louis Vuitton bag.”
Ah yes, all women aren’t just whores, we’re also all very frivolous.
I single out women because the article did. Even though the results of this study — which doesn’t actually tell us a damn thing about how we’re “hardwired,” by the way — show that both men and women trade sex for favors or gifts at rather comparable rates, the article only feels the need to illustrate with examples of women using sex to get what they want. Not a single anecdote about a man who traded sex for a non-sexual favor or gift. But women, we want our personal tour guides, Louis Vuitton bags, gasoline, and men to do shit around the house because “a partner who provides more resources — wealth, shelter, home repairs — is seen as more attractive and stands to reap more sexual rewards.” Notice how “partner” is gender neutral, but in context the implication is that only women are attracted to (male) partners who “provide,” and not vice versa. Original, CNN. Really original. If only there was a reference to women picking berries in there somewhere, I’d probably have bingo.
Before someone says it, I don’t care that CNN didn’t write the story themselves. They’re running it on their website under their banner, and are therefore responsible for it. You can send feedback here.
Thanks to Nicole for sending me the link. She also mentions that the comments there are particularly repulsive. I don’t have the stomach for them this morning and haven’t even looked — but be forewarned.