Article

Blame Canada

After posting about keeping all gods off money (previous article), I was starting to wonder what would be on the ideal currency. I was thinking it should be fun, pleasing to the eye, and totally offensive to both modern prudes and medievally inclined spirit-worshipers. Then I got these gorgeous designs forwarded in an email.

Voila!

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It’s a pretty good litmus test for sanity, I think. What offends us more, gods and dead presidents, or beauty and life-giving breasts? Think of what kind of a better world it would have to be if we were to "embrace" this currency. Quoting the email:

Muslim terrorists have to kill themselves if they so much as glance at a picture of a naked woman–much less fondle one! Those Canadians always find the solution. Must be the pure water up there in the North.

Thanks, Canada!


Comments (29 comments)

Abogada de la Diabla / April 3rd, 2008, 3:01 pm / #1

There are few desirable political solutions that are also aesthetically pleasing, but this is one of them.

ClintJCL / April 3rd, 2008, 3:10 pm / #2

Is that Tera Patrick on the 100?

Tommy / April 3rd, 2008, 6:28 pm / #3

Perfect for lap dance bars!

BlackSun / April 3rd, 2008, 10:04 pm / #4

Clint, not sure, but you can tell my favorite is the $20 (the one with the real breasts) since I used it for the article thumbnail.

Tommy, right!

Rusty Anchor / April 3rd, 2008, 11:20 pm / #5

I agree, Blacksun. The 20 is on the money. Sexy first-button-undone look with the jeans, 10 has a more attractive face, but her breasts are grossly inflated, deformed and defy gravity to such a degree that I wonder if they could just explode some day. BUT, in all fairness, a dude should be on the money too. With a bare 6-pack stomach and sculpted chest for the ladies.

YAAB / April 4th, 2008, 5:38 am / #6

DIX dollars indeed!

schjlatah / April 4th, 2008, 10:31 am / #7

If that was how money actually looked, I might be tempted to stop using cards.

Cristy / April 5th, 2008, 1:17 pm / #8

Isn’t this sexist? Imagine if it were half naked men or average sized, normal appearing women instead of idealized model types. While getting rid of hangups on sexuality is a good thing, treating women as objects of spectacle who only have value based on appearance and chest size is not.

Alex / April 5th, 2008, 4:38 pm / #9

Cristy, while it could be considered sexist to not have men on the money as well, the attractiveness of the people pictured is part of the point mentioned above, that the money be aesthetically pleasing.

For the record, I’m really, really tired of people constantly triling out ‘it objectifies women!’. Think about what that actually would mean, rather than using it as a defensive term. People like looking at attractive people, they may fall in love for many different qualities, but on a purely visual level, heterosexual men are generally attracted to large breasts and a specific waist-to-hip ratio. That’s both genetic and cultural. Other points on the spectrum of human sexuality look for different things. None of that equates to the willful denial of any qualities that make the person human, which is what objectification truly is. Treating women as property, such as proscribed in the bible, fits that definition, is clearly sexist, and is clearly different in nature than what’s shown above.

If you have a problem with judging people solely by appearance, the word for that is ‘shallow’. And it’s hardly gender based.

BlackSun / April 5th, 2008, 4:44 pm / #10

Cristy,

I would have absolutely no problem with naked men on currency. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. I think we could all do to increase our appreciation of the beauty of the human form–of both genders.

Cristy / April 5th, 2008, 6:20 pm / #11

Alex,
The average woman is a size 8-16 with about a B cup, not a size 4 with a D cup. Women aren’t given value here for their intelligence or personality, but as sex objects. You say “Other points on the spectrum of human sexuality look for different things,” but where are the big women, the slender small chested women, muscular women, etc. A women with real breasts the size of the woman on the hundred with that same frame would suffer from tons of back problems (silicon is lighter than real breasts).

As to your aesthetically pleasing argument, take a look at some of those comments above, “Perfect for lap dance bars!” The problem is that women in this society are ONLY given value as unrealistic sex objects. Objectifying means just that, treating as an object. The woman is not a subject, not an actor, but a passive object for male sexual pleasure. If you want aesthetically pleasing money, why can’t we just put Van Gogh’s Starry Night on the back instead?

Alex / April 5th, 2008, 8:46 pm / #12

Cristy, do you actually take a close look at your beliefs, or is the fact that they ‘feel right’ enough for you to fight for them past the point of sense?

I’m more than aware of what most women look like, being normal doesn’t somehow override preferences. You claim that women aren’t given value for intelligence or personality, and I’d like to correct that: images of women aren’t given value for intelligence or personality, and that includes the dancer with a fake name at the artificial environment of a strip club. It’s pretty clear, if you look, that the same process holds true from any of the other directions, woman to man, woman to woman, man to man. The image is embraced for it’s reward of pleasant chemicals, anyone who can’t distinguish fantasy from reality, like the sexually repressed fundamentalists these bills are supposed to annoy, might treat an actual woman like an image, but that’s not a masculine thing.

Unless you’re in some sort of bizarro world, women and men in actual social situations mostly judge each other on how well they get along, whether there’s a chemistry there. Attractiveness is, granted, the first step in any voluntary relationship, you’re not going to fix the result of biological and cultural evolution, that produces pretty good results, with wishful thinking.

Every single one of those things you mention can be considered by some group to be really attractive, but by your definition of ‘objects’ all the overweight or body-building women and men are objectified. There’s an entire gay community focused men with body hair, should I be ashamed and feel denigrated because I’m a specific category that other’s find attractive? Even if I don’t feel any interest in return?

You keep claiming that women are treated as objects, but I still don’t think you’re really considering what that means. If all guys wanted was an object, dating wouldn’t exist and blowup dolls would be bigger than Microsoft. Men don’t need much to get off, the really enjoyable sex always comes from having an active, interested partner whom you trust completely. It’s the rest of the package, beyond the superficial, that actually results in relationships and love, the shared dreams and aspirations, the stereotyped but enjoyable long walks on the beach, all that.

Take a second and ask yourself if you’re the one turning the women into objects, because I’m sure not.

Rusty Anchor / April 5th, 2008, 11:46 pm / #13

Alex: I couldn’t have said it better myself. Nice job. Way to be a man!

Cristy / April 7th, 2008, 1:44 am / #14

Alex,

You say that a stripper is an image, but strippers are real women too, you proved my point that live breathing women are treated as objects. Men are presumed to have value other than appearance and as a sex object, women are not. A woman’s chance of finding a partner decreases as her IQ increases in the US, but a man’s chance increases with higher IQ. Think of all of the movies and TV shows that you have seen where a socially unattractive, unambitious man ends up with an attractive woman, now try to think of one with the reverse situation. Here’s a link to an NY times article about how weight discrimination is worse for women http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/03/31/fat-bias-worse-for-women/. I did a (nonsafesearch) google search on man and the first three images were an average looking, well dressed guy, a face, and a line of sculptures. Then I put in woman, the first three results were a nude couple (male and female), a faceless underwear clad torso, and a picture of the bottom of breasts and the navel. Four of the images on the first page did not even contain a woman or female figure in them, compared to man which had only one (Isle of man Flag and even that had depictions of male legs). Something as simple as that can show you the difference in how men and women are valued.

You also give the biological argument, but very thin women never actually pass very fat women in sexual attractiveness studies (studies that measure physical responses rather than social views). Average women hold steadily high in those studies too. The fact is, when it comes to biology, weighing two hundred pounds is on average, more likely to lead to sexual attraction than weighing a hundred. People often confuse physical and biological traits with social ones. Thin, abnormally shaped women are socially more attractive in the US, so one gains social status by having such a partner. This unrealistic standard is not harmless. Women become anorexic, bulemic, subject themselves to surgery, and lose weight in unhealthy ways in an attempt to meet a social standard that does not represent a real healthy woman. You admitted that there is a great variance in attraction, now ask yourself, why are these the only attraction types presented here?

You also said, “If all guys wanted was an object, dating wouldn’t exist and blowup dolls would be bigger than Microsoft. ” If a company came out with a doll that felt like a real body and did all of the unpaid slave labor women are expected to do (women do a disproportionate amount of housework, even when they work more hours than their partners), they would be bigger than microsoft.

You also say that some people do treat women as objects but “it’s not a masculine thing”. True, women can help promote the very system that oppresses them, but men are given the power and placed on top by the system, so it is definitely a male issue as well. What you are saying is the equivilent of saying that rascism is not a white issue. While other groups are rascist and contribute to the rascist system, because white people have the power, they are the ones with the most interest in preserving the system. It is of course true that not all men are sexist, just like not all white people are rascist, but that doesn’t change the fact that we live in a rascist, sexist society.

I agree with you that the basis of a romantic relationship should be love, compatibility, etc. But that does not mean that every relationship is based on those.

Alex / April 7th, 2008, 6:23 am / #15

Cristy, I’m just going to stop. You aren’t paying attention to my main point, which is that whatever discrimination or bias against women, it isn’t objectification. Objectification is being given a serial number tattooed on your forearm.

I don’t think you’re going to convince anyone with your arguments, and I don’t think you’re willing to see if you might be wrong.

Rusty Anchor / April 7th, 2008, 12:59 pm / #16

Cristy, you seem so concerned about women being objectified…what about men being manipulated?

While men are reading Time, Sports Illustrated, Field & Stream, Guns & Ammo or Car & Driver, women are often reading advanced gender warfare magazines like Cosmo, Glamour, Vogue, etc.

As men learn about a new BMW, NFL coach, gun or fly rod, women devour stories like, “New Divorce Tactics—Don’t Settle for Half, Get Five-eighths or More!” or “Ten Ways to Get Him to Spend a Lot of Money on You Right Before You Dump Him.”

As a result, women are actually on top in the battle of the sexes…except the ugly ones. (Sorry, it’s true).

But I figured it all out. To avoid being manipulated, men must exploit a common female weakness: insecurity about their looks.

My advice to straight guys: When you see a beautiful woman you’d like to ask out, the best approach is to utilize careful criticism. Instead of ogling at her like other men, slice and dice her self-esteem by citing fictitious physical flaws.

EXAMPLE: “Hi, my name’s , it’s really nice to meet you. I don’t normally do this, but you’d really look beautiful if you didn’t have a funny-looking chin.“

I’m unemployed, 450 pounds, covered head-to-toe with huge cysts and I live in my parent’s basement. But I’m dating three different young and beautiful women, one of whom is a lawyer and an NBA cheerleader for the Washington Wizards. Every couple of days I tell her that her toes are too long.

Cristy / April 8th, 2008, 11:35 am / #17

Rusty,

The fact that a woman’s status is based on her relationship to a man and her appearance is proof of my point that women are valued only as sex objects for male desire. Your divorce tactic stories examples only support my idea, as does your misogynist theory about using those very standards that value women only on appearance in attempt to use women. The very manipulation you are whining about is the result of the system you uphold. A woman who is given equal rights, equal pay, and equal respect, does not have to or want to make her only source of income or value to be based on dating a certain man. Cosmo, Glamour, and Vogue are not at all feminist writings. Manipulating relationships with male romantic partners as a way to gain social status is a result of the oppression of women, not feminism.

Alex,

Definition of objectify-From Meriam-Websters
To treat as an object or to cause to have objective (relating to or existing as an object of thought without consideration of independent existence ) reality.

See, your stripper example is an example of objectification. You are treating the woman as an image, which is an object, without considering her independent existence, like herr family life, personality etc. Tatooing Serial numbers on people, while objectification, is also an example of depersonlization (the act of depriving of personal or individual identity). I think you might have the definitions confused.

BlackSun / April 8th, 2008, 12:13 pm / #18

Cristy, Alex, and Rusty,

Most of the male-female power dynamics are the result of social compensation for evolutionary drives. First, there was male brute force that dominated women. Then women learned to say “maybe” and practice the seductive arts, which turned the tables. Men wanted their power back, and so the patriarchy turned the tables yet again. Or–so they thought. I still say seductive women have the upper hand. But seduction takes skill, and practice, so not all women even try.

But the underlying dynamics have not really changed. Men and women have strikingly different priorities and always will. So both are likely to try to cast the other as the villain. It’s just part of the strategy–make your opponent the subject of social opprobrium.

So men are “objectifying” women, and women are “sluts.” Both are just defense mechanisms as far as I can tell.

Books I love on the subject: 48 Laws of Power, The Art of Seduction, and The Red Queen

As long as women are getting upset about being “objectified,” they are compromising their own sexual power and falling right into the patriarchal trap. If men are objectifying women, it’s because to them they’re unreachable, on a pedestal, and they are failing to engage them effectively–instead ogling them like teen boys. Then when they see women “hooking up” with other people, they take the “sour grapes” attitude and label them as “sluts.” It’s all so predictable.

I wish more people could see all this for what it is and rise above the pathology. Sometimes us men just like to fantasize about big breasted thin waisted women–whether or not it represents reality. It’s the same reason women like hunky men with washboard abs. How many guys actually look like that? Both are signs of fertility and we’re just wired to like it.

So these images proliferate in advertising–simply because they elicit a pre-programmed response. It’s not some vast conspiracy. It’s prevalent because it works. Ultimately it comes down to commerce. Images of sexy women put food on the table.

Rusty Anchor / April 8th, 2008, 1:38 pm / #19

Wow, nice job Blacksun. You covered all the bases…I’ll let a woman have my last words: “What Shamu Taught Me About a Happy Marriage”
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/25/fashion/25love.html?ex=1308888000&en=f3a9c33e07612db0&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss

She successfully applies animal-training techniques to MANIPULATE her husband like a dog…or a killer whale..or a hamster.

Cristy / April 8th, 2008, 7:11 pm / #20

Blacksun,

You say, “First, there was male brute force that dominated women” except this does not seem consistent with activity in our close relatives or in many primitive cultures. You also say “Men and women have strikingly different priorities and always will.” I disagree with you on that as well. Social priorities vary greatly from culture to culture. Also, small asses and narrow hips leads to difficulty in birthing, so if this was just about fertility, things would be different (also, see my post above about attractiveness studies). Strength, health, intelligence and self reliance are all benificial to survival, but social standards fly in the face of that. Also, saying that society objectifies women is not the same thing as saying all men are villains. Pointing out the social inequalties faced by women is no more anti-man than pointing out the social inequalities of black people is antiwhite. “Ultimately it comes down to commerce. Images of sexy women put food on the table. ” Because treating people as things for sale is exactly what we should aim for.

Rusty Anchor / April 8th, 2008, 7:28 pm / #21

Come on, Cristy. Blacksun made an excellent and diplomatic attempt to put this baby to rest. He’s right about brute force, and everything else you contest. We are all products of rape and incest, for instance, some people just have to go farther back in time than others.

In the early years, our ancestors had thicker skulls than we do today. The skull evolved as a key protective helmet for the very vulnerable brain. Back then, men used to bang each other over the head with anything we could find. I’m sure these were often man-on-man battles to win the opportunity to rape a particular woman.

Once we realized as a species that beating each other over the head wasn’t such a great thing, evolution allowed for a thinner skull to accommodate a larger brain. Without these larger brains, we could have become extinct. So, brute force was undeniably a major component of our early periods, yet the retreat from that primitive behavior may have saved us as a species.

Finally, once men were justly robbed of their ability to exploit physical advantages over women with little to no consequences, IMO, women were destined for a victory in the battle of the sexes. We lost a big strength (strength) while women didn’t lose any evolutionary advantage.

BlackSun / April 8th, 2008, 8:25 pm / #22

Cristy,

The brute force era I’m referring to is pre-cultural. But even within early civilizations–read what Steven Pinker has to say about the myth of the noble savage in The Blank Slate. It was an ugly, violent period in human history. Women learned to combat violence with intrigue. Like Rusty said, civilization somewhat put the brakes on violence, but intrigue (seduction) continues to carry the day for both sexes. Women seem to have a more natural–ah–aptitude though, and men are often left playing catch up. If you doubt this, just think about the sexual savvy and maturity of a 14 year old girl vs. a 14 year old boy. At least when I was growing up, it was no contest.

Because treating people as things for sale is exactly what we should aim for.

I’m just going to say that when a sexy woman appears in an ad, I’m pretty sure most people understand that the ad is for the product not the woman. It’s an association that works not just for men. A lot of women like to look at women almost as much as men do.

I don’t see the problem. The model gets paid, the products sell, everybody wins. Yeah, you have your anorexics who can’t seem to handle looking at the ads–so the solution for them is education. BTW, I always thought it was funny the way people talk about the seriousness of eating disorders that make you too thin–when obesity rates are also at an all time high. Clearly, the responsibility for behavior rests with the individual.

You can’t force matters of taste. I’d like to see both sexes and more body types being visually appreciated. As far as I’m concerned, curvy women can be fantastic! Thin or heavy, it’s all how you wear it. But people like what they like, and the consensus is what you see in the magazines.

Cristy / April 8th, 2008, 8:39 pm / #23

Rusty,

“I’m sure these were often man-on-man battles to win the opportunity to rape a particular woman.” Except women are far more fertile if they orgasm and if they are not under great stress. Rape is more likely to damage a woman reproductively than lead to her reproducing. You are also assuming that rape is about sexual attraction, but one study on convicted rapists found that over eighty percent of convicted rapists report having no sexual attraction at all to their victim at the time of the rape. Rape is a tool of social domination, not of sexual reproduction.

“In the early years, our ancestors had thicker skulls than we do today. The skull evolved as a key protective helmet for the very vulnerable brain. Back then, men used to bang each other over the head with anything we could find.” Funny, how we do not see these behaviors in other apes more so than in humans, despite the fact that apes still have those thicker skulls. The agressive ape theory of human evolution has more holes than swiss cheese. Humans do not need more meat than chimps to survive. Humans have a lack of hair and different fat distribution than other apes. Humans can voluntarily control their breathing, other apes can’t. The fossil record shows that upright stature developed prior to increased brain size, so the idea that humans became upright due to increased tool or weapon use does not pan out. There is an alternative scientific theory, the aquatic ape theory, that explains human differences from apes much better. The only other primate known to regularly walk upright is the probiscus monkey, which used the stance to navigate flooded mangroove forests. Aquatic mammals, such as dolphins and seals, have less hair, similar fat distributions, and can consciously regulate breathing. The idea that humans evolved in a flooded area matches the geologic and fossil record as well as explains things that are not explained by the classic agressive ape theory.

Rusty Anchor / April 8th, 2008, 9:22 pm / #24

Cristy,

I don’t think you understand men very well. The men I envision regularly raping women way back then–or even today–don’t do it for “social domination.” That’s a word for a lab, not for cave men.

Rape is almost always the result of a man who allows his physical and biological drives to overcome whatever defensive systems were installed by his unique civilizating process or lack thereof. He’s horny, he’s mad that he can’t have what he wants…so he decides to take it with force.

Your point about apes not exhibiting the head-banging tendencies I described is completely ridiculous. From wiki for Bonobos:

“Recent observations in the wild indicate that the males among the Common Chimpanzee communities are extraordinarily hostile to males from outside of the community. Parties of males ‘patrol’ for the unfortunate neighbouring males who might be traveling alone, and attack those single males, often killing them.”

Don’t you think that chimpanzees would have made wooden clubs or at least learned how to use some kind of hard object to fight with if they could have? Chimps can’t use hard weapons. Thus, their skulls have never been threatened by other chimps. Chimpanzees never had a change in behavior leading to an evolutionary twist.

I’m not going to address your other points, but I’ll end by pointing out that within the primate family, there is a wide range of behavior patterns. Some species are more peaceful, others more aggressive. I’m done.

Child of Thorns / April 19th, 2008, 10:41 am / #25

Cristy, I will try and put my point across on the idea of strippers. It is a fact that men are objectifying women in that situation. Yes. But the women who do so are consenting and getting paid. Many find that distasteful, but who is to say that those women who do work at strip clubs must obey other people’s personal beliefs when choosing a job?
If they are consenting, then I can see nothing wrong with them being objectified.
Someone earlier made the point that men could objectify women in a certain situation, where the woman is in complete control of the situation and unable to be raped etc. but not objectify women in other situations ie. most people they will encounter. Yes, some men can’t make that distinction, but that is hardly a reason to limit people’s career choices (in fact it would be allowing the males power over the woman’s career options, something I am sure most rational people would not see as a good thing) since it is the man’s fault, and he should take responsibility for it.

Once we realized as a species that beating each other over the head wasn’t such a great thing, evolution allowed for a thinner skull to accommodate a larger brain. Without these larger brains, we could have become extinct. So, brute force was undeniably a major component of our early periods, yet the retreat from that primitive behavior may have saved us as a species.

“As a species”? Do you think that a whole species can simultaneously make a single decision? As always, the irrationality of holism is apparant.
What about men a women who don’t fit into your predefined ideas of gender roles? I highly doubt it is a simple as “all men think this, and all women think that”.

valhar2000 / April 22nd, 2008, 3:51 am / #26

ClintJCL, that’s Petra Verkaik on the 100$ bill. Quite something.

And, I’m glad that these bills have fulfilled one of their functions so soon! Cristy, your personal biases are not moral imperatives!

B-Girl / April 28th, 2008, 6:32 pm / #27

Ah, but Alex, naked women with enormous, apparently surgically alter breasts are not “aesthetically pleasing” to all. The breasts on the 10 are like nothing that occurs in nature and the 100 doesn’t look all that natural either. Because of the pose, the 20 could be cool, it is sexy without being porn. For fairness sake, would have to have some attractive men also, perhaps men on one side of the bill and women on the other.

As far as objectification of women goes, it is clear you have never taken any classes in sociology of the sexes. Serial number tattooed on the arm? I think you are confusing objectification with persecution or slavery or as Christy said, depersonalization. From the American Heritage Dictionary 2nd College Edition “objectify 1. a. To present (something) as an object; externalize.” This is exactly what is done when bodies are put on display for the benefit of others. It will continue to be a problem as long as it is done more to and by one gender more than the other.

BlackSun – Big breasts and a small waist is not a sign of fertility, ample breasts and wide hips is a sign of fertility (take a look at the female form as portrayed in art from pre-history through the middle ages).

Rusty – Rape is about power, pure and simple. It is about domination. No man is going to rape an 80 some odd year old woman in a nursing home because he was overwhelmed by his “physical and biological drives” Some date rape might be taking what he wants “by force”, but rape of the random woman on the street or the defenseless nursing home patient is not taking what he wants, it is expressing his power.

All – Why objectification is a problem is that is not only the women who chose to put their bodies on display that are affected by this. It affects all women and all men

Haz / April 29th, 2008, 12:05 pm / #28

This is great. It desexualises the human body unless it’s actually doing something. It will eventually lose it’s mystic allure and objectification over naked physical appearance will become pointless.

Which is why religion’s against this sort of stuff. It puts a kibosh on it’s efforts to control people (mostly men, because when one half of the population is being beaten, you need someone to be doing the beating) through the manipulation of a base human instinct.

One thing though, it’d be better if they actually looked happy. They look like right misery guts. I like to see happy naked people. (Which would hack off the religious nutcases even more. Not only are these women naked, they’re happy about it!)

Happy & Free : .) / August 23rd, 2008, 2:34 am / #29

Naked Bodies have nothing to do w/ $, hard wk does !
I say put male & female heros on our bills, that’s something everyone can appreciate !

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