I’m of the mind that all sexual assault and harassment is wrong, but if treating the opposite sex like they’re nothing but sexual objects due to their looks is wrong, then this must apply to both sides.
While Matt Lauer is currently doing his naked shame walk through King’s Landing over his sexual misdeeds, it would appear the culture over at NBC allows women to sexualize men all they want, so long as it’s on camera, I suppose.
In August of 2016, NBC TODAY Show hostesses Jenna Bush Hager and Hoda Kotb and host Al Roker got to meet the Pita Nikolas Toufatofua, the shirtless Tonga flag bearer that had the ladies hot and bothered during the 2016 Olympics opening ceremony.
During their “interview” with him, Roker was asking Toufatofua questions…or attempting to. As the flag bearer was trying answer questions, Hager and Kotb were busy rubbing oil over Toufatofua’s torso, abs, and arms as they sarcastically said they were listening.
By the end of this segment, you would never know this guy’s name, what he does, or what he’s had to do to get to this point. This guy is right in the middle of saying it took him 20 years to get where he is, but he is cut off twice by two NBC hostesses oiling him down.
To be clear, I’m not comparing this to using power to intimidate or pressure women into sexual submissiveness, but that women are completely innocent of sexualizing the opposite sex is completely false. And if it’s so horrifying that women are treated as sex objects, why is it okay for them to do it to men?
Rest assured, appreciation for sexy bodies created through exercise and proper dieting is a good thing. That we as human beings are attracted to healthy, fit bodies is a biological drive that we shouldn’t pretend is wrong. Sexualization is a natural and powerful drive that contributes to the healthy propagation of our species. Outside of this man trying to repeat that he’s spent a good chunk of his life getting to this stage, and being reduced to an oiled up pile of muscles, I have no problem with what is clearly supposed to be a funny segment.
But this clip of women ogling and putting their hands all over strange men is sending signals that dismissing someone’s accomplishments is cool if they’re a man and their body is sexy enough. Our culture, and NBC — who vaguely said they have a set of “core values” that must be followed by its employees — seems to have a double standard here.
At this time, it appears our culture believes one sex deserves more respect than another.