The Business of Sexualization

Recently I wrote a blog entry entitled Gender-Specific Jobs? Pfft. I wanted a picture of a female construction worker for the entry, and I settled on this one.


But in order to find that one, I had to wade through a ton of photos like this.


Why is that? How long will it be before women can be taken seriously in the workplace? It’s as if men feel that as long as they can sexualize a woman’s career choice, they can take away some of her power, some of her ability, some of her professionalism.

Yes, you’ll stumble across the occasional beefcake career oriented photos of men. Calendars of firemen spring to mind, but those are the exception, not the rule, and they are usually clad in some clean motivation, such as a fundraiser, to lend them credence.

The women who model for these photographs need to realize that they are making it much harder for those of us who are serious about our professions. The disrespect they demonstrate toward our career choices gives us yet another hurdle to jump over before we can be considered on an equal footing with our male coworkers. These sexy photos should not be part of our occupational stereotype, but they are.

What follows are photos of hard working women contrasted with their “naughty” and unfortunate counterparts. I can’t help but shake my head.

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policepolice sexy


Author: The View from a Drawbridge

I have been a bridgetender since 2001, and gives me plenty of time to think and observe the world.

26 thoughts on “The Business of Sexualization”

  1. How long for women to be taken seriously in the workplace? Well that’s a question of how you define “workplace”. Women have always been taken seriously as mothers and homemaker really is work and the home is the ‘workplace’ this work gets done. In paid work women have always been taken seriously as nurses and teachers. Women are now taken seriously in workplaces where they are capable of doing the work. The few remaining workplaces where women are not taken seriously are the ones few women are physically capable of doing.

    Construction is hard physical labor. Few women have the physical strength needed to do construction. Of this small subset of women capable of doing the work, even fewer choose to do the work. Most women in construction, police, military, firemen, etc. are not really doing the job. They are playing at doing the job. Their benifit to the team isn’t the work, but Vagina to meet quotas.

    Women are taken seriously in workplaces where they can actually do the work. Female accountants, managers, lawyers, cashiers etc are all taken as seriously as their male counterparts.

    1. ” Most women in construction, police, military, firemen, etc. are not really doing the job. They are playing at doing the job. Their benifit to the team isn’t the work, but Vagina to meet quotas.”

      I’m not even sure how to respond to someone who has this belief system, so I’ll just shake my head sadly.

      1. Clearly your response is to stick your head in the sand and continue to pretend that there are not very real biological differences between male bodies and female bodies. There are very real very significant differences and these differences affect one’s ability to function at different jobs. I’m not denying that there exists a tiny minority of a tiny minority of women that are both willing and able, they are just very rare.

        Admit the scientifically proven fact of difference between males bodies and female bodies, and it’s not even a small step to say the larger stronger bodies are much more able to carry 60 pound packs of shingles up and down a ladder, or carry a 200 pound person out of a smoke filled building, or break up a fist fight between two drunks, or carry 250 pounds of gear on 40 mile hikes. The smaller less muscular female body is less able to do these things, less able to the point of unable (or at least DRAMATICALLY less efficient).

        Currently your showing the level of scientific bias of Climate Deniers, Anti-Vaccination advocates and young earth creationists. If you stop denying the science, my claims are just as reasonable as Vaccination saves lives.

      2. Actually, my boyfriend, a state licensed roofing contractor says he’s met a whole lot of female roofers and he’d hire any one of them in a heartbeat. And there are a whole lot of short, fat little fractions of a man that I wouldn’t trust to carry me out of a burning building. Any person that passes the qualifications to do a job and is therefore hired does the job. First responders are not going to work beside liabilities. No one is going to risk their life to fill some arbitrary “vagina” quota of which you speak.

      3. With more than 7 BILLION people on this planet, a small fraction of a small fraction of half the population is still a large raw number.

        Look up the qualifications and physical requirements for police and fire. There is a huge difference. To a large degree women are liabilities in these fields, and this is why there are so few and why the men still don’t want to work with them.

        We have created lower standards for women so that women have a chance at meeting the qualifications, and implemented vagina quotas to insure that women are given preferential treatment. First responders work with these liabilities, not because they are not liabilities, but because saving people from burning buildings is more important than their personal safety. The woman on the crew is just one more person to be saved from the burning building.

        Now, if you want to advocate for one and only one set of qualifications, the current male qualifications, and say if you can do XY and Z, you qualifiy for a spot in the fire department of police or what ever, I would agree. This is just simply not what we have.

      4. You state several things as fact that are not, in actuality, facts. You state that there are few women in these positions, and that is becoming less and less the case with each passing year. And yet the world hasn’t come to an end. Threatening, isn’t it? And you state that “the men” as in all men, don’t want to work with them, which is also grossly inaccurate. Many men have no problem with it. And those who do are tending to age out of the system along with their antiquated beliefs, so that trend is dying as well. And third, this term “vagina quota” which you use in all seriousness, shows your desire to reduce all women to sexual organs, and try as you might, we can’t be stuffed into that tiny space, so in spite of your effort to inflame with that term, oh “gender neutral” one, it only makes you seem rather silly and incapable of rational and sensible discourse that doesn’t require one to be distilled down to one’s “naughty bits”. If that’s the heavy lifting that’s required to pull equal weight with your kind, I’ll content myself with being a weak little vagina.

      5. It is very true there are more and more women in these positions. This is because of quotas and lowering the standards for women, not because women are becoming more able or interested.

        First responders (mostly men) don’t want to work with liabilities (mostly women). You words not mine.

        “vagina quota” is your words. When the only value a woman brings is her vagina to meet quotas to keep the doors open, it is reasonable to reduce her to the one valuable attribute she brings, vagina. Not all women fit in this tiny space. Only the ones that get jobs to fill quotas, not do work.

        If you can’t do the work, you don’t deserve the job. If your not doing equal work, you don’t deserve equal pay. I don’t give a damn what your gender gender identity sexuality race or what ever is. I care about the ability to do the job.

        So long as women are getting jobs based on their “naughty bits” and not their ability to do the job, then their “naughty bits” will remain their most important attribute.

      6. None of the above is true. Especially the things that you say are my words. I’m still looking for widespread reports of firemen rescuing their female coworkers from burning buildings. I’m quite sure Fox news would be all over that, but nope. Not there. I’m also not finding anything that says disinterested women are taking jobs to fill some yawning gender vacuum. I’m also finding nothing that shows you are the universal spokesman for first responders, many of whom I work with regularly and do not echo your beliefs.

        We vaginas are running rampant. We are 51 percent of the population. You must feel like we’re cockroaches, running around willy nilly, out of your control, but at some point you desperately needed the love of some vagina, regardless of your orientation. You needed her to bring you into this world and keep you alive. Perhaps she nurtured you, perhaps not. If she did, it must be strange for you to look her in the eyes and say you think she’s inferior to you in every way. If she didn’t, that would explain your bitterness and your fear, but that didn’t take away your need, did it? That must be quite upsetting. So I will let you rant as long as you want. The feedback I’m getting is that you are not reinforcing your case or converting anyone, and in fact are turning a lot of people off. So by all means keep talking. We’ll keep working while you do. You’re making the work a lot easier, but we’ll keep doing it.

      7. And your putting words in my mouth.

        It is a fact of biology that the male body is larger and stronger than the female body. No cockroaches running around, not inferior in every way. I’m a full foot taller than my Mother and can lift 10 times as much. She is not an inferior person or inferior in every way. She is smaller and less able to move heavy things.

        Just identifying a fact of biology. The male body and the female body are not the same. To deny this puts you on par with young earth creationists and climate deniers. I’m not sure what planet your living on where males and females are indistinguishable, but it’s not Earth.

  2. There have always been women who fight fires because they have had to. Women have been members of formal fire-fighting units since discriminatory practices have been disallowed. A woman firefighter was one of the firefighters who came to my house when the neglected wiring system gave up and started burning up the place. She hauled hoses and axes, just like the male firefighters–and that’s the point. Those women who wish to become firefighters or work in fields requiring physical strength shouldn’t be disallowed by persons like “genderneutrallanguage” simply because “genderneutrallanguage” has declared that women aren’t physically strong enough. Some women clearly are, and have proved it, and some men aren’t.

  3. And “genderneutrallanguage” ignores the trivialization of women in occupations–*any* occupation, and that’s the point of this blog post. Mothering and homemaking and nursing and teaching are serious occupations, but they have been–and continue to be–regarded as lesser fields of work, as evidenced by how poorly compensated they are, if compensated at all. Reducing the portrayal of women in any and all occupations (you can google that! Try “Santa as a woman” and look at the images) to a scanty sexually revealing outfit on a young, heavily made-up woman diminishes women from fully human to nothing more than lustful boy toy, existing only for the purpose of sexual gratification and–even more to the point–out of consideration in the competitive economic realm.

    1. Yes, we shouldn’t be viewed as serious competition, or we’d be raised up to being on par with the illegal immigrants and then chaos would surely ensue. Hard to build a wall when it has to stretch right down the center of your living room, though.

  4. I agree, I have two daughters… But women are buying those costumes … For Halloween… Or whatever… As long as woman try to dress sexy, some men are only going to see them that way.

  5. I wonder which side of the fence genderneutral is on? 🙂

    My jaw is on the floor reading their rhetoric, took a nosy on their site and my jaw fell clean off my head. You’ll never get your point across to someone who vehemently believes men suffer more harassment than women.

    Therein lied some of the most bizarre beliefs I’ve read in a long time.

  6. Construction capable, just look at all the women building homes for Habitat for Humanity. No, they are not carrying drinks the the men doiing the work. They are doing the same work side by side. There are many Women Only Builds. Oak Ridge, TN has a women’s build every year. Start to finish. Also, Extreme Makeover Home Edition the Construction company that did the build was run by a woman.

  7. During the last thirty years of my working life I have worked positions that were not ” considered workable by women”, Whenever asked if I thought I could do a job, I’d say sure. Then do it.
    Electronic tech, Fork lift operator, Order Picker operator. Now it is a position open to everyone, due to the fact when the men became lax, the women stepped in and did the job. As more and more stepped so it has become less a challenge and more acceptable, so it is in every factory in the country.
    As far as construction work goes, Yeah we may not be as physically strong as some, but we will do what has to be done one way or another. I’ve cut down trees, worked come-a-longs, laid brick, mixed mortar, chinked logs, and everything else. I have emptied 8,000 lbs of gravel with a bucket instead of a shovel, but got the job done, at 71.
    Yes, I would not be able to carry a hod of cement up a ladder, So I could not do it professionally but at 71, I’m okay with that, because I know others that can and will.
    And, I assure you that someday a woman will have all the parts necessary to run this great country and things WILL change.
    Yes, I am not sexy at 71, but I’m not stopping and growing old. Oh Yeah and I have raised four children and I can cook.

    1. Imagine that. A well rounded human being who uses both brains and brawn to capably contribute to society. Wish there were more of those. Oh wait! Looking in the mirror now. There she is! 🙂 Lock up your viagra, guys, we’re taking over. Boogedy, boogedy!

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