When I Grow Up…


Image by Sasha Spaid.

In 2007 Nuts magazine organised a competition called ‘Babes on the Bed’ which toured around many British nightclubs. Girls who entered were required to wear a Nuts branded tank top and red hot pants while posing on a bed. Photographs were taken inside the club in front of a predominately male audience, all of whom were pretty overexcited.  The girls were put into sex positions and encouraged to take off their clothes while trying to seduce the other female competitors. The girl with the biggest cheer from the audience would be named the winner of a glamour modelling contract and a spread in Nuts. Unsurprisingly it was the girl who was topless and practically rubbing herself on the other girls that got the loudest cheer and won. Not only did this girl get her fanny in Nuts but she also provided every guy there with a picture for their wank bank. Congratulations!

Who wants to be a powerful, money-making ball buster when you can feel special and liked just by getting your knockers out?!

With over a half of surveyed girls admitting they would consider a career in glamour modelling and a third of them seeing Jordan as a role model, I feel that female aspirations have been tainted. Young women are applauded for getting their tits out, paid for dancing around in their underwear, and desired for being able to put their legs behind their heads. The sexualisation of women is now normal, and it’s frightening. I will not ignore the girls out there who feel that getting naked is empowering and makes them feel sexy, good for you! My issue is that there are girls out there who want to be more than a page three model, but their aspirations of being a CEO are not celebrated in any comparable sense.

Approximately 16% of high level corporate jobs are filled by women.

There are over 100 head of state positions across the globe, and only 17 women currently occupy these. Approximately 16% of high level corporate jobs are filled by women. We have to ask ourselves why so many women are falling short, and why some are not motivated to compete. The 16% of women who do become CEOs don’t get there without some major sacrifices. Most put off starting a family or never have one, others are lucky enough to have a nanny or a stay at home husband. One thing is clear though, having clawed her way to the top, a woman should never expect to be liked. Professor Joanne Martin presented the success story of Heidi Roizen, an entrepreneur and CEO in Silicon Valley, to half a class of Stanford University students. The other half of the class were presented with the same case, but the name was changed to Howard Roizen. Students rated their impressions of Roizen using numerous dimensions, such as likability and competence. Results showed that both sets of students thought Heidi and Howard were equally effective and competent. However, the majority did not like Heidi, viewing her assertiveness as aggression, and reporting that they would not hire her or would not want to work with her. So even though the case was exactly the same, the female CEO was not celebrated in the same way as the male CEO.

Who wants to be a powerful, money-making ball buster when you can feel special and liked just by getting your knockers out?! To the girls who desperately enter these glamour competitions, good luck! To the girls who want to compete and aren’t afraid of not being liked, I’m with you!  Let’s get these men scared!

This article is part of the Wessex Scene’s Feminism Series. To get involved e-mail politics@wessexscene.co.uk.

Discussion1 Comment

  1. avatar

    It’s a whole lot more complicated than that. There are plenty of women that are celebrated for their positions. Taking a prime example from uni, speak to Dame Wendy Hall (if you can ever get to her!), she’s not had to make the sacrifices that you seem to insinuate every woman in power must make. She’s at the top of her field – which is even more commendable, given that it’s heavily male-dominated! – and she’s respected.
    People in power are always ‘feared’ anyway – it takes a certain type of person to get into power.
    I particularly don’t agree with you ‘let’s get these men scared’ sentiment. It’s stupid/you’re reinforcing the stereotype you’ve highlighted as not liking. It should be more like ‘let’s work hard and show them up’ or what-not.

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