Fashion designer Rick Owens presented his Fall/Winter 2015 menswear show at Paris Fashion Week last week, featuring a lot of loose-fitting, draped pieces -- and some of them featured strategic cutouts to expose bare male genitals.
As silly and as absurd as it sounds (and seriously, no one actually wears the clothes these somber looking models don on fashion runways), MTV.com, for one, understood the purpose. "While Owens has become a kind of master of making memorable runway moments . . . —a true gift considering the fleeting nature of fashion shows—he truly outdid himself with this one." The purpose was to get in the news, and Owens succeeded.
But over at Jezebel, where they constantly rant about sexism and double standards and excoriate a culture that makes girls feel bad about their body image, a young writer named Ellie Shechet proceeded to make fun of the models' penises.
"I feel absolutely terrible for these models," Schechet wrote. "Yes, women show their breasts on the runway all the time—but boobs (okay, model-sized boobs) don't flap around. Boobs don't shrink in the cold."
Oh, I see: boobs are good, dicks are ridiculous and fair game to ridicule. Got it.
Jezebel shows a picture of one model whose penis is in a state of shrinkage. Maybe it was cold, maybe he was anxious, probably both, but that's a pretty common bodily reaction, as I understand it. Nevertheless, the Jezebel writer "apologize[s] . . . in advance" for even subjecting her readers to the sight of it, presumably because it is so pathetic and disgusting.
Of course, if Jezebel was really so concerned about subjecting its readers to the disgusting sight of a pathetic small penis, it could have opted not to run the photo. How much you want to bet that thought never entered this writer's mind? You know it and I know it: she couldn't resist the chance to ridicule some poor guy's organ because it doesn't measure up to some social construct. (You know, the sort of thing Jezebel screams about when someone does it to women.)
To Jezebel and other women who do this, I say, grow up, ladies. Are you fucking 12 years old? It's a penis! They vary in size and shape from guy to guy, and each one varies in size depending on the circumstances, okay? Get over it!
The fact that Jezebel doesn't see the hypocrisy in making fun of some guy's penis while having fits over any whiff of sexism when women are on the receiving end is not surprising, but it sure as hell doesn't speak well for media outlets that skew feminist.
One reader posted a comment under the original story that is right on the money:
Um...guys...it's not okay to point and laugh at other peoples' bodies. I'm the last person in the world to be all "what about the men!1!!1!" and I generally have close to zero sympathy for penis anxiety, but the way people are reacting to this is fucking gross and really, really surprising for Jezebel. There are people reading these threads whose genitals look like this, and it's pretty fucking hurtful and dehumanizing to have to listen to a bunch of strangers be all "ewwwww what IS that?!" Knock it the fuck off.
Besides, I've seen hundreds of dicks and — FYI — this one isn't that unusual.