Big Tits! What Strictly Come Dancing Is Really About

Posted: October 9, 2011 in Feminism, Male Impersonators, Mark Simpson, Masculinities, metrosexuality
Tags: , ,

I recently pointed out how the popular UK TV show, Strictly Come Dancing, has been an excuse for some feminist journalists to spout a whole load of misandry.

Judith Woods for example claimed the programme is ‘sexist’ because it shows men in dominant, leading positions and women as submissive followers. When really, according to her, in real life, it is women who are leading the way, whilst ‘emasculated’ men meekly follow.

I took this question of the gender roles in the spangly Ballroom dancing TV show to Mark Simpson, unrivalled expert on men, masculinity and popular culture (if not ballroom dancing).

He made some pertinent points:

‘SCD favours women contestants because they never have to lead, and are led instead by their professional dancer partners. All the male contestants have to lead.’

This makes sense to me, as I had noticed on previous series that the men contestants often were made to look quite stupid, as if they had ‘two left feet’ and their dances (remember John Sergeant?) were often played for laughs. And so this was possible because it is harder to lead a dance, so the men were bound to slip up more than the women.

Simpson also said:

‘SCD treats men as ‘sex objects’, making the sportsmen take their tops off.’

I watched SCD last night, to see if MetroDaddy was right. And I couldn’t quite believe my eyes. Not only the sportsmen such as Audley Harrison and Robbie Savage, but also the male professional dancers were followed around by the cameras, both in training and performance, like supermodels. As you can see in the photo above it is the male dancer who is showing off full cleavage and muscular arms, not the woman.  The men are undoubtedly the ‘sex objects’ of the show, and this is emphasised by how some of the women contestants such as Edwina Currie and Anita Dobson are ‘older women’ paired off with a buff young ‘hottie’.

Considering the amount of tans, teeth, tits and abs I saw on display last night, I could be forgiven for thinking I’d stumbled across an episode of Geordie Shore. It was metrotastic!

So forget crabby feminist journalists and their claims of SCD being a nostalgic glimpse of a time when ‘men were men’. It is very much a programme of the moment. And it is all about men showing off their bodies.

 

Comments
  1. Sarah AB says:

    Ah – I’m an X Factor fan myself. I quite liked this little post about it on the F Word.

    http://www.thefword.org.uk/blog/

    The writer mentions the fact that there are sexy male dancers, not just women – and I was interested in the way Kelly Rowland (who is 30) has articulated, in a jokily anxious way, her interest in one of the (very) young male singers.

    By the way – does your antifeminism extend to sites like the F Word which seem fairly moderate to me?

    • hi Sarah, the F word is one of the causes of my anti-feminism! I was a feminist till recently. It was when I became more critical of feminism and started trying to a) put my views across on feminist blogs such as the f word and b) tried to submit articles to sites like the f-word that I realised how hostile feminism is to any form of critique from either inside or out.

      The two women who run or used to run the f word block me on twitter and never reply to my emails, and my comments on the blog are often not published.

      Stay classy, feminism!

  2. […] more here: Big Tits! What Strictly Come Dancing Is Really About « Quiet Riot Girl Related Posts:Strictly Come Dancing Wallpapers – Strictly Come Dancing Wallpaper … […]

  3. tu quoque says:

    “The writer mentions the fact that there are sexy male dancers, not just women – and I was interested in the way Kelly Rowland (who is 30) has articulated, in a jokily anxious way, her interest in one of the (very) young male singers.”

    What she writes is this: “Half naked male dancers performing with 2 Shoes. Adding a teeny bit of balance to all the sexualised female backing dancers.”

    Basically she only mentions the male dancers for the sole purpose of pointing out how much more women are sexualized on the show.

    Let me guess, the half naked male dancers were showing their nipples on television? That would mean that the so-much-more-sexualized female dancers were also showing at least their nipples as well, right?

  4. tu quoque says:

    How can anyone deny at this point that the male chest, especially the pumped up variety, is an eroticized body part?

    How can feminist honestly argue that women are more sexualized than men when bare male chests are on display for public consumption approximately 10,000 times more often than bare females chests?

    Their only option is try to uphold the canard that male nudity is by default non-sexual, which is the same lie social conservatives promote due to their own homophobia.

    • ‘Their only option is try to uphold the canard that male nudity is by default non-sexual, which is the same lie social conservatives promote due to their own homophobia.’

      I agree with you 10,000 per cent, a-jay!

    • Jay Generally says:

      @ tu quoque,

      This is long, loooong standing source of agitation for me. I kind of love gender switches, a lot, but many people have been using gender switched pop-artwork as an “Ah-hah! Got you! See how it feels?” I love the recent ‘men in pin-up poses’ artwork because its cute, sexy and funny. Just like I love the original women in pin-up poses because they were… you know, cute, sexy and funny. But I see a lot of people going “Hah! Hilarious! I love these. Let men see how it feels.” Well, whatever. You love these, I love these; can I still love the originals Or are they still oppressive objectification while these are hilarious satire?”

      More to the point you’ve made, tu quoque, they do these switches with comic book and video game art to show how ridiculous (or for me: hot) the men look in the female poses and armor. When they do, there is a tendency to vanish bikini tops, to reveal the switched male’s chest. (I remember a Power Girl switch to Power Boy that move the boob window to his ass.) In the rare instance when the women get switched to the male outfits, they suddenly *grow* bikini tops.

      It’s so frustrating. I’m not trying to argue that women aren’t objectified, but I mean, I would’ve been perfectly happy to see She-Ra and He-man switch outfits. Or Hulk and She-Hulk. Or the male Olympic swimteam and the female Olympic swimteam. You don’t like Red Sonja’s chain-mail bikini? Hey, I don’t mind her getting Conan’s loin-cloth.

      Anyway, a lot of those switches make very good points. Wonder woman shouldn’t have her lasso wrapped around her spread-eagle thighs when the rest of the Justice Leage is standing at attention. However, while maybe you can get folks to admit the success object pressue men have, they tend to omit that these men are all over six feet tall, big-jawed, ripple abbed, linebacker shouldered, and have giant tits.

  5. redpesto says:

    Ah…reminds me of the joke about Hollywood hunk Victor Mature having bigger tits than his leading lady (possibly a propos of Samson and Delilah).

  6. elissa says:

    I’m not familiar with the show but I can imagine – it’s targeted to women in their late thirties to mid fifties, who have nostalgia issues with romance and young men’s tits. It’s perfect really. I’d be interested to know the type of commercials you see wile this show plays.

  7. tu quoque says:

    @Jay Generally

    “But I see a lot of people going ‘Hah! Hilarious! I love these. Let men see how it feels.'”

    If people treated these pin-ups with the same awe and celebration as the female variety, men would absolutely love it. It would be quite heaiing for them, actually.

    “When they do, there is a tendency to vanish bikini tops, to reveal the switched male’s chest. (I remember a Power Girl switch to Power Boy that move the boob window to his ass.) In the rare instance when the women get switched to the male outfits, they suddenly *grow* bikini tops.”

    Exactly. The female body must be protected at all cost in order to keep the transactional model of sexuality intact. And it’s getting worse; the level to which all taboo and hesitation regarding the male body is getting erased, there soon will be no concept of male nudity at all. Take this event:

    http://web.orange.co.uk/article/quirkies/Naked_rugby_team_beaten_by_women

    This yearly event is usually played by two nude male teams. This year they face the All Blacks against a female team that starts off fully clothed. The team agreed that if they won, they’d strip down. They did win, but instead of getting naked, they stripped down to sports bras and granny panties. Additionally, if you look at any nude public event, like the nude world bike ride, 90% of men are completely nude, while 90% of women are wearing at least one article of clothing. Actresses can get away with having no nudity clauses, while actors who refuse full frontal are called cowards.
    It’s men who are pressured to bare themselves, not women.

    “Anyway, a lot of those switches make very good points. Wonder woman shouldn’t have her lasso wrapped around her spread-eagle thighs when the rest of the Justice Leage is standing at attention.”

    The fact that Wonder Woman can pose in such a way and still be a respected and beloved super hero is evidence of enormous sexual privilege, not a restriction. A man who presents himself in this manner can only be perceived as either frivolous and comic if he’s a good guy or as psychotically ego-centric if he’s a villain. Feminist constantly complain about how woman are perceived as having less “gravitas.” The fact is they have an unassailable sexual gravitas which allows them to be sexual in a way that’s treated dead seriously. This gives them power that as a culture we have avoided acknowledging and quantifying.

  8. tu quoque says:

    Jay, could you link to some of the costume switch art you mentioned? If I ever start a blog, this is definitely a topic I’ll write about, and what you mentioned would help me make my argument.

    • Jay Generally says:

      Lessee… Here’s the men-up’s site, I think

      Men-ups!

      Note: I actually love these. If anything I think they’re too tame compared to originals. Where’s the dude who went to the butcher shop in only the apron and underwear? Why is drill guy’s drill cordless? There was a perfectly good opportunity missed to tie him up.

      Here’s one of the Powerboys’ with the window dropped to his ass.

      Powerbutt

      Gender-switches (or swaps) are also a semi-regular feature at “Go make me a sandwich”; a blog I consider to be very informative and intelligent despite how Puritanical the author’s squick over lady boobs feels to me. When she does her gender swaps she does have a tendency to naked up her men a bit extra. In a semi-recent pair of swaps I think her audience pointed this out and when she tried not doing it, I think she may have noticed how deceptively innocuous some outfits supposedly ‘suggestive’ outfits are when you remove the existence of lady boob.

      Not so naked without the tits. Is he?
      Evidently the male equivalent of a bikini top is just nothing. Fairness!

      This statement isn’t necessarily for you tu quoque, but I’m not trying to get anyone spammed or start flame wars with these links. I’m used to people overlooking (or causing) misandry when they attack misogyny, and folks projecting their prudishness as morality when they attack other people’s sexuality. But I don’t think there’s anything more complicated going on than a “Ho Yay; Yuri Sucks/Het is Ew,” level of hypocrisy for some of these folks. Also, if you do a Google search for gender switch/swap you’ll get plenty of samples of fanart where the male costume was ‘tarted up’ for his female counterpart, so I’m not just trying to tell a tale of how the internet is just so mean to boys.

  9. Jonathan says:

    I just read Sam Wollaston’s review of Gabby Logan’s “Sexism in Football?” and googled for an appropriate post to quote it to:

    “Sexism in Football? (BBC1) Well, yes, which perhaps isn’t surprising but that doesn’t make it any less depressing. It’s just a shame, given the subject, that they got this dumb, giggling, groomed-to-the-eyeballs, appearance-obsessed, flicky-haired blond bimbo on to talk about it. Actually, to be fair, Robbie Savage isn’t that bad”

    It made me laugh anyway. :lol:

  10. Jonathan says:

    I read it in the hard copy. Dunno if his column is online anywhere. But it was only a couple of paragraphs at the end anyway and that was most of it.

  11. […] press with Louis Smith, Charleston dancing, hair coiffeuring, boxing winner of this year’s Strictly Come Dancing. The issue at hand is Louis’ disavowal of the ‘gay’ bit of his status as new gay […]

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