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Thanks for the detailed reply, and sorry for the delay in my response. I'm
certainly not put off by the length. I like to learn, and while I've done a
couple of ethics classes at university and am familiar with some relevant
concepts, I've never studied women and sexism in a formal sense. I appreciate
your thoughts because I do think this is an important issue and I want to know
perspectives and the issues. I actually have a less straightforward question
about a gender issue at Uncle Dave now and I'm curious how that plays out.
Anyway, back on point.
The main issue (dehumanisation) you bring up at the start is clear to me. I'm
not 100% on board with the reasoning for your distinction between business's
and individual's rights to do these sorts of things though. If the influence
differential is as great a you say, and I'm not sold, then I'd say it is a
significant factor. However, I think that reasoning gets blurred when an
individual is behaving like that just to market themselves for sponsorship
(but if it's sincerely who the are, awesome). And, that distinction almost
doesn't exist if a company is sponsoring someone principally for the exposure
they get through sexual marketing- there is very little difference in that
scenario versus hiring the models for calendar above, aside from the currency
they're paid in. I also think there's some really complex issues around the
act of hiring women to do these sorts of things, and these haven't come up
anywhere here, but I'll leave it at that for now.
I'm not familiar with the marketing in snowboarding, but I do snowboard. I
hate a good proportion of the culture around sports that have that sort of
social cache though. I grew up surfing and always found my disdain for
superficiality at odds with my participation. Are you saying that the
snowboard industry is down because misogynistic marketing was commonplace?
That seems appropriate to me. And, I don't think I'd really care if the MTB
industry melted down because of a backlash to shitty marketing. I pay to play
though, and I don't have the means to rock the latest an greatest gear, so I
don't have that much to lose. In writing that, I'm inferring that you would
care based on what you wrote above. Is that why you care about Maxxis's
marketing approach? Actually, I might not have been clear in my original
question to you. While it was clear that the marketing approach used by Maxxis
pissed you off and I generally understood why, to me you were displaying
anguish beyond that, as if you don't want Maxxis to suffer in the marketplace.
I don't think I'm explaining it quite right. It almost seemed to me like you'd
been consulting with them on their marketing and were disappointed with them
for making a stupid decision, not just that they were being degrading. Am I
making sense? Maybe it's because you're in the industry and do have something
to lose, but I suspect there's something I don't understand.
If we lived in the free-market capitalist system that we're told we live in, I
think this sort of thing would be resolved fairly quickly, say within a
generation, because they could choose alternatives. However, there are very
small groups that have massively disproportionate influence through mass
communication mechanisms that, owing to the psychological issues you mention
above, effectively inhibit the freedom required for that system. These groups
are mostly governments and large corporations, and they leave the populace in
a sea of negative influence that they leverage for their own selfish ends. It
takes far too much effort to exist reasonably in this environment. I'm not
stupid, I know I sound like I'm a tinfoil hat wearing crackpot, but it seems
quite clear to me that humankind has created some huge problems for itself
through this mechanism. I hate all of it, sexism included. I fucking hate the
greed and selfishness that lie at the core of it all. These fuckers take so
much more than people's money.
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