A quick search of the keyword “sexist” in the Buzzfeed toolbar pulls up a plethora of articles about advertisements, runway models, and public behavior. Notably, none of the articles are about men. The articles shame specific advertisements and people that objectify women or demean a woman’s role in society. To its credit, Buzzfeed does this rightfully so. We are at a point in society today where everyone and anyone deserves an equal role in society, no matter what race, sexuality, or gender. What bother’s me about Buzzfeed is that while they righteously stand up for women’s rights, they are constantly putting men down do to so. The same Buzzfeed that encourages writers to stand up against sexist advertisements objectifying women quickly turns around and celebrates writers who objectify men in the same way.
Here are a few headlines that appear when “sexist” is searched into Buzzfeed:
1. “A Woman Can’t Buy a Car by Herself, According to New Commercial,” with the tagline: “Another clueless company fails to grasp that it’s 2013.”
2. “Renault ‘Va Va Voom’ Ad Banned For “Objectifying Women,” with tagline: “It truly is amazing that shit like this is still being produced in 2013.”
3. “Are Women Still Being Badly Exploited In Ads In 2013?,” with tagline: “Yes. Seven recent commercials from around the world.”
To be clear, I agree with these articles. Women are being exploited in advertisements and the ad campaigns are lackluster and uncreative. However, I find it insulting that Buzzfeed points fingers at those who demean women, while continuing to demean men themselves.
Take a look at these articles in which Buzzfeed has no issue with objectifying men:
1. “40 Shameless Reasons Tom Daley Is A Gift To Us All,” with tagline: “The British diving star turns 19 today. So instead of giving him gifts, let’s just celebrate his beautiful presence instead.”
2. “10 Calendars to Spice Up 2013,” with tagline: “New York firefighters, rugby players, Colby Melvin, and Tom Daley all strip down next year.”
3. “The ‘Zesty Guy’ Is the Most Perfect Man Ever,” with tagline: “And you can’t look away, because um, HI, HELLO LOOK AT HIM.”
4. “David Beckham’s Perfect Abs Went Boogie Boarding”, with tagline: As did the rest of his body, but let’s focus on what’s important.
These “articles” (or really just a collection of photographs with un-amusing captions) blatantly objectify men. Why is it okay for Kraft to sell Italian dressing by using a man (“Zesty Guy”) whose shirt burns off mid commercial, but when the Renault car manufacturers uses a scantily clad woman to sell their new product, it is considered sexist? When I searched “hot models” into Buzzfeed, the first three posts were about male models and their level of attractiveness. There were no such posts about women. Pictures of a shirtless man may not be objectifying that man, but Buzzfeed is not creating articles about women with similar content.
“Sexism” is any kind of discrimination based on a person’s sex; it does not apply exclusively to women. Sexism can happens towards men as well. Now, I have two conclusions to this matter. The first option is that we can all agree that we like seeing persons of the gender we are attracted to in little clothing. After all, we are all human and there is nothing wrong with sexual and physical attraction. In this case, let car commercials use hot women to sell cars, and let Kraft use hot men to sell salad dressings.
The second is that Buzzfeed recognize that men can be objectified just as easily as women, and men are being exploited in advertising just as often as women. Buzzfeed should reduce its number of posts with titles such as “The Top 25 Best Pictures of Zac Efron Shirtless” or “Rub These Actors’ Clothes Off” and even “The 20 Hottest Male Models We Shamelessly Follow On Instagram; Sorry, not sorry.” There are no articles about Zec Efron becoming a serious actor or how he is one of few child stars to break free of the Disney mold without mass tabloid scandals. Buzzfeed is frowning upon sexism against women, while promoting sexism towards men.
At the end of the day, Buzzfeed is a business, and they strive to make a profit. Buzzfeed makes money on the share-ability of their posts, and as everyone knows, sex sells. However, Buzzfeed should recognize that through their pictures and posts, they are promoting a double standard about sexism. I hope that Buzzfeed can recognize the hypocrisy of their conflicting posts. Next time you post a Buzzfeed article to a friend’s wall, think “would this still be funny if it was based on another gender or race?”
Personally, I do not care if either gender is being objectified in advertisements or humorous articles, as long as it is both genders, not just one. As I said before, sex sells. Buzzfeed is geared towards college students, and college kids love sex. So why not post pictures of models , male and female, tearing off their clothes. Facebook walls would be covered with that.
Weinberg is a member of
the class of 2015.