This image, of a scantily clad woman attached to a video game controller with the caption “Keep on dreaming of a better world,” was posted without comment at Sociological Images.
First of all, it seems pretty obvious to me what the man targeted in this ad (by a men’s magazine) is supposed to use the controller for, and I don’t think it’s making the woman in question do the Chicken Dance for a giggle. The question I keep coming back to is whether this is supposed to be a “real” woman who has somehow been modified and turned into an all submissive sex toy (read: rape victim), or if it’s supposed to be a highly realistic fembot that looks like a real woman for a man’s sexually assaulting pleasure.
Clearly, the former is the worse option, but I’m not sure how much better I would feel about the latter still being upheld as a part of a “better world.”
Of course, I realize that this image is supposed to be lighthearted. It’s a “joke.” But that doesn’t make it funny.
I think that images and “jokes” like this really do point out the deeply destructive and misogynistic rape culture we live under, when “sex” is so regularly portrayed in this way. Few, I imagine, would consider this image to be promoting rape. But personally, it’s all I can see. After all, if the woman was willing and truly consenting, a remote control would not be necessary for her to perform the desired acts. The idea of a completely sexually controlled woman, however tongue-in-cheek, is still promoting as a false-ideal a woman who cannot say no. And a woman who quite literally cannot say no due to control from outside forces is in fact a woman who cannot give a meaningful yes.
Funny, my idea of a “better world” is one where women are sexually empowered and respected, not enslaved.
cross-posted at Yes Means Yes