Why is The SI Swimsuit Issue Still a Thing?


The worms cannot go back in the can! And they really shouldn’t. I don’t want to go back to a world even two years ago, where powerful men are abusing women under their authority without repurcussions. The courage and strength it has taken for the many women who make up the majority of the #metoo movement has been inspiring and necessary. I truly believe that these revelations and exposures of abuses are a blessing to our society at large and that the more that the deeds of darkness are exposed to the light, the more our culture moves closer toward the ideal of justice for all.

But I have an honest question that puts me at risk of some unknown accusations. I watched a Saturday Night live skit featuring Will Ferrel with a group of friends sitting around a bar trying to discuss one of the high profile abuse cases . . . See it here. It is funny, but it highlights the nuances of discussion around this topic that make it so awkward. So I acknowledge that people might not like my question, or I may even display some unknown bias that someone can help me work through. I am open to correction on my understanding. And that is why I ask the title question.

Why is the Sport’s Illustrated Swimsuit Issue still a thing? I ask this with the fundamental concern that at its core the existence of this cultural phenomenon, along with all kinds of soft to hardcore pornography, all betray deep misunderstandings in the way that men and women are different. So when I presuppose that the Swimsuit Issue objectifies women, I acknowledge that some will believe that a Swimsuit Issue empowers women. But I base my assumptions on biology. Men are primarily visually enticed. It is hardwired. It is part of the OS of maleness. (Did i just wade out into the deep waters by suggesting biological and psychological differences between male and female?)

So the very nature of the question is fraught with all kinds of landmines, pitfalls, and snares. But I would like to understand from a variety of perspectives, why the SI Swimsuit Issue is still a thing? And I would like to firmly declare that I believe that men are imminently responsible to maintain themselves in self-control. No woman, regardless of how much she might expose her skin, should earn abuse or sexual advances. But equally I would affirm, that a woman who respects herself, will not desire to be the OBJECT of the desires of many men.

Why is the SI Swimsuit Issue still a thing? This is a genuine question as I am seeking to understand my culture and society.

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