I was having a fine day, a good day. I woke up, had coffee, completed by online office hours for my summer course, walked Nehi. All in all, a great way to start the day.
Then the mail came and I lost my mind.
Because this is what came.
But not this week. This week I'm shooting laser beams out of my eyes. Because this is offensive, and sexist, and there is absolutely no reason whatsoever that Anna Paquin is naked on the cover while her husband Stephen Moyer is full clothed.
The caption reads "Stephen Moyer and Anna Paquin Before the Final Nail". So if this cover is celebrating the beginning of the last season of True Blood, someone please explain to me what Paquin's nakedness has to do with that. I get them being in the coffin, but why naked? And why only her?
Now, if the caption was something like "True Blood reborn in their final season" and both of them were naked, I might understand the rhetoric. But this is not that. This has absolutely nothing to do with the story, or the show. And do you know how I know? Two reasons- the first is that their cover story includes no reference to this picture. And the second is their website (below) both of which serve as a retrospective/behind the scenes look at the show so far.
I know the television show focuses a lot on sex. And lest you think I'm a prude, I have had no problems with the nudity on the show- both Stephen Moyer and Alex Skarsgard are incredibly attractive men. But within the books, and show, the sex serves the plot. There's a reason for it (most of the time). This magazine cover is offensive because it objectifies Paquin for no reason. It doesn't promote the show, it doesn't tell a story or make an argument. It's nudity to be titillating. That's all. And that's why it's offensive.
Moreover, the fact that NO ONE seems bothered by this is just more proof that sexism is an issue. This type of thing should have people screaming from the rooftops. People should be firing off nasty (well worded) letters to Entertainment Weekly. Social media should be exploding over this. Instead, when I posted my outrage this morning on Twitter, my friend KT summed it up perfectly:
As long as we accept this type of representation, as long as we simply shrug our shoulders, as long as we stifle our outrage, nothing is ever going to change.
Some of you may say- what's the big deal? It's just an entertainment magazine. So what?
Here's the so what- this picture argues that women are only valuable for their bodies. That it's okay to objectify them. That it's okay to see them as things, or props. And that way lies madness. That is not a lesson that young girls and women should be taught.
We can do better.