The Public Affairs party in Czech Republic, have produced a calendar featuring 4 female MPs and 2 other females involved in the party in provocative poses to supposedly represent:
“A sign of the times here [in the Czech Republic]. A new generation of Czech women is coming of age that is embracing femininity and sex appeal while at the same time fighting for, and winning, more equal treatment in the realms of business and government.”
What this basically means is that women have to flaunt their sexuality to be able to gain equal treatment. There is nothing wrong with women being expressive of their sexuality, but the principle of this calendar is to represent ‘progress of equality’ – inherent within this progress is the idea that women can only be on par with men, if there is somewhere a productive benefit for men.
There is the claim from the article I have used for this news story (linked above), that:
“Many are likely to claim that a project like this objectifies women and represents a step backwards for feminism. However that same argument suggests the acceptance of a system that does not recognise femininity and “feminine” traits on the same level as those classic “masculine” business attributes so entrenched in the male-oriented business and political structures of society.”
There are several problems with this. For one, it is creating the binary between women and men – masculine vs feminine, rational vs emotional – and so on. This then leads to the reinforcement of gender as being paramount for the division of labour. What it ultimately means is that for women to succeed and earn the same amount as men, or get into positions that men predominately are involved in, they have to be willing to objectify themselves in the name of ‘equality’.
Why do you need a calendar promoting ‘womanliness’? What about women who don’t meet these characteristics? Are they not worthy of office? You have to be careful when promoting a certain ‘ideal’ woman, certainly when it comes to attaching to it messages of equality and public office. This denies some women the human right to be their own person, the promotion by a political party of what you should do, look and say to become successful is entering dangerous territory.