Well, it’s been an eventful week for women. Many, many, many people have already commented on the events listed below. I will briefly contribute to the din.
1) Kim Kardashian posed nude for Paper magazine. I can now add her to the list of several thousand people I’ve seen naked. Yippee. I’m assuming she understood that she would be objectified (literally: her body as a table or a champagne bottle) and criticized (“A mother shouldn’t do that.” – perhaps the most ridiculous comment ever). My concern is that she may not have fully understand the historical context of her choice.
In medicine we use “informed consent” before performing procedures. We discuss the risks and benefits of a procedure, give patients an opportunity to ask questions, and generally try to be reasonable rational human beings with our patients’ best interests at heart. From what I’ve read, Ms. Kardashian lacked information about the risks/benefits of her choice and therefore was not able to give true informed consent. Additionally, I’d like to point out that the buttocks-as-table-for-champagne-glass pose puts an inordinate amount of strain on the lumbar spine. Best not repeat that, Kim.
2) The Kardashian moon nearly eclipsed the unbelievable scientific accomplishment of landing an un-humaned spacecraft on a comet. Crazy. European Space Agency scientist Matt Taylor told the world about the mission while wearing a shirt featuring barely-dressed women in sexual positions. Now, I’m all for freedom of expression in people’s personal lives. But Taylor’s “casual sexism” and almost inconceivable lack of A Clue make him a lousy spokesperson for ESA. Some folks completely missed the Why-It-Matters boat. Others didn’t. Congratulations Dr. Taylor. This is your titular moment in history.
3) Meanwhile, Alyssa Milano caught some flack for feeding her baby. Heavy sigh. Is our culture so entrenched in objectification and sexualization that we can no longer accept Homo sapiens for what we are?
Folks, we’re MAMMALS.