I’m going to go ahead and guess that title has driven mostly men to read this post. But you may be sorely disappointed by the lack of photographic evidence I provide to support my hypothesis.
It’s not new- naked women have been a fixture in art for centuries. In Danny Boyle’s new film Trance, classical nude portraiture is a major crux to the film’s narrative, retranslated through the lovely Rosario Dawson. Without spoiling the film, I’ll tell you she’s naked ALOT. And we are talking full-frontal, graphic-close-ups-of-hairless-vagina naked. This is all defended as a major plot point in the film, but one that is about as unnecessary as most female film nudity.
While I’m in full support of nudity and sexuality that serves an essential purpose in film and I would prefer a world without censorship, I find pointless nudity of unrealistically ideal women damaging to real women everywhere. It creates expectations in male viewers that all women are tall, thin, perfectly curvaceous, tan, and of course hairless. Trance actually has a line in it that directly implies that being hairless is being perfect. That’s a thing a movie says. Really.
It’s also problematic that women’s nudity is commonplace in film and treated like a given. Seeing naked women is a thing we get to do, no questions asked. However, the few incidents of full frontal male nudity get tremendous media attention, if they can even get into a film and keep an R-rating.
So let’s talk quick about some other problems with the MPAA’s blatantly sexist patterns. Not only are women not able to view naked men freely in their R-rated cinema, they will also not get to see their fellow women get pleasure from their partners. In a very frustrating but informative expose of the MPAA, the movie This Film is Not Yet Rated finds that cunnilingus is the number one sex act that causes a film to be given an NC-17 or X rating instead of R. If directors remove these scenes, they can get an R rating. Ever hear of such a thing with fellatio? Me neither. It’s rampant in R-rated films, if not even sneaking its way into PG 13 flicks.
The media is telling men a really scary message- female nudity is their right, but pleasing those women? Not important. Wish I felt I had a legitimate solution, but the problem is rather wide-spread. Who is making films from a women’s point of view about women’s sexuality? And is anyone letting these films be seen? Bueller? Bueller?