After seeing Sports Illustrated's response to the "Me Too" movement, I can only assume they are saying .... "Objectify Me Too." What other conclusion could you draw?
As an artist who likes to start with a blank canvas, then create an under-painting before putting the real image on canvas, I believe these women have allowed themselves to be portrayed as nothing more than a blank canvas ... an object. The messages they allowed to be painted on their bodies, reinforce the idea that they are nothing more than objects of dehumanization.
To try to tie this "prank" to any meaningful movement, where women are to be honored and respected, no matter what their station in life, is so pitifully embarrassing that it falls far short of the intended mark.
First of all ... there is no swimsuit. So to call it the Swimsuit Issue is a little deceiving. Not that the SI swimsuits in recent years could be classified as such. Second, what does the model expect the response by millions will be when they see her being used by a group that is virtually mocking the whole concept of sexual abuse?
The feminist movement is spinning out of control with so many competing and contradictory messages that it must be very confusing for young women who are caught in the vortex of this discussion. Are they told it is OK to strip for the world, but if a man says she looks hot, then she is suddenly a victim of sexual abuse? And what about women with less than "perfect" bodies who are forced to see the object of perceived perfection, thrown in her face suggesting that is what separates her from the hypocrisy of the statement.
The message is that only a perfect body can symbolize true liberation with a bubble of protection surrounding it from the realities of the implications of such hypocrisy. An overweight woman, used in such a way, would have people screaming about fat shaming. How dare they present such an "imperfect" and flawed canvas to paint their sexist views on? How confusing this must be for every imperfect woman who would be embarrassed for the world to see the sagging boobs, the celulite dimpled thighs, the rolls of evidence of a life of culinary pleasure.
Look historically at systems, tyrants and political beliefs that have shamed people into acquiescing to their oppression by stripping them and presenting their shame and humiliation to the world. The poignant and heartbreaking photos of men, women and children victimized by the lie of social justice in Nazi Germany, all standing naked and afraid is an image that screams dehumanization and degradation.
They can argue that the young models choose to be stripped and paraded for the world to see, but they forever abrogate the right to say sexual abuse, as described in the "Me Too" movement, is caused by anyone but themselves.
These women are as embarrassing as the ones who wore faux pink vaginas on their heads the day after the inauguration of President Donald Trump, when they told everyone not to touch their private parts. Well, don't wear them on your heads or dress like one, you goofy women. These people demand respect yet show none for themselves. They want men to turn the other way when they march topless in the street and claim men are the ones with the issues when they happen to look at a topless woman.
A Renaissance woman is secure in her existence because her identity is not wrapped up in her sexuality, our political affiliation or our philosophical persuasion. Like successful women throughout history, she faces obstacles with grace, wisdom and in many cases humor.
There really is nothing courageous about stripping for the world when true heroes have been stripped by their opponents in order to silence their voices. The Republican Union won the Civil War against the Democrats who chose slavery over freedom, because their process was one of dehumanization and tyranny over who they perceived as less than human. Young white women who dared teach slaves or liberated blacks to read were stripped and flogged as a sign of the power these democrats held as they terrorized a nation with their racist ideology.
They knew that stripping a woman for the world to see was the ultimate exercise in shame and domination. These heroines continued to teach the oppressed in spite of this threat and their nakedness will stand through history as a symbol of liberty versus oppression. On the other hand, the young models who are allowing themselves to be stripped for a perverted ideology will have to explain to their grandchildren how they allowed themselves to be used as pawns of political persuasion
MJ Day, the editor of Sports Illustrated, told Vanity Fair, "I'm thrilled that this [#Me Too] movement is going on because I feel like it's going to change things for the better." She added that the movement is "allowing women to exist in the world without being harassed or judged regardless of how they like to present themselves?" Oh and then she says the [SI] issue is "always going to be sexy, no matter what is happening."
See, that's how little "Me Too's" are created. Children are manipulated into believing that this is normal behavior, while their defenses are torn down in the perverted lie of freedom and the perpetrator has full access to their tortured soul. Have we not learned anything from the ongoing trial of Dr. Larry Nassar and his lie of normalcy to the young, innocent athletes who were told his abusive molestation would guarantee these victims victory?"
Super model Kim Alexis says, "I walked out of bookings because editors wanted me to take my clothes off before hiring me, and I wouldn't. They would say just drop your top, it will be beautiful. It is a very seductive atmosphere and it's hard for a young girl to say 'no' when everyone is encouraging them to do it, telling them how beautiful and special they are. You are caught up in the moment but don't realize the ramifications."
She said when she would walk out of such meetings, upset by their requests, she would be chastised by her handlers as not being open minded enough. Thankfully, even as a young girl she understood the difference between right and wrong.
She was featured in Sports Illustrated regularly from 1982 to 1989 and has strong feelings about the invisible swimsuit issue. She said, "Men have a hard time knowing where the boundaries are because a woman is sending out one message and he thinks it's another. Can these women now claim to be victims? No. But they need an education in what it does to men. They've taken the definition of sexy and moved the boundaries."
She tells a story of when her son, Bobby, was in school and the boys discovered his mom had been a supermodel. They looked her up on line to see what she looked like, especially knowing she was modeling swimsuits for Sports Illustrated. He told her he thanked God that all the images of her were tasteful, sporty and wholesome ... otherwise he would be having to fight all his friends to defend her if she had posed like the current models.
No wonder there are thousands of women falling out of the "Me Too" closet with attitudes like the editor of Sports Illustrated. These models are just objects of their demented agenda to suggest that sexy photos of naked women empower women. How many women have been empowered by pornography? No, call it what it is ... it is the blatant victimization of women and these young women have the power to say "no" to a spread like this. But ... the attraction of fame and fortune is too great for many and the seducers could care less about them. They are just another piece of meat to photograph and sell to the public like hamburgers to a hungry person.
Women in the past didn't have the luxury of institutionalized hypocrisy like feminists enjoy today. Women were taught to be leaders, to bravely speak views opposed by the gate keepers who vilified and condemned them with physical and verbally opposition. It is an absolute contrary position to the liberal women today, who allow themselves to be demeaned and transformed into a canvas of controversy without the benefit of realizing they are being demeaned.
So girls, put your clothes back on and embrace the idea that you are more likely to be heard without the distraction of nudity and you actually might be taken seriously in the discussion of sexual abuse.
Nina May is a writer, producer, director and currently the showrunner on "Daily Bread," a faith-based post-apocalyptic dramatic series.