Concept: Don’t let men go to waxwork museums*
*If you are going to sexually assault literal wax figurines of women, maybe stay at home or try an aquarium
Not long ago in London, there was a debate about whether we should introduce women-only subway cars as a way to combat sexual assault as there have been over 5,000 sexual assaults reported on the London Underground in the past five years alone, according to British Transport Police).
Ultimately, it was a controversial suggestion that didn’t go down that well — and honestly, as someone who gets hella claustrophobic, the idea of making the underground potentially more busy at rush hour isn’t something I can get behind — but it did make me think of other areas we could make women only to improve the general environment.
Here is the top one: wax museums.
I know, it’s not one you would think of, is it? Nightclubs, you might think. Or saccharine meet-cute coffee shops, or the sexually aggressive echo chamber that is Twitter dot com. But no, I truly believe some men lower the tone and enjoyment of nowhere else more than wax work museums. And no, obviously — please don’t @ me — not all men. Specifically, just the ones who do this:
men are trash pic.twitter.com/erTZ8qiH0c
— m. 🐍 (@txysreputation) September 1, 2017
Don’t get me wrong, Taylor Swift is a politically obtuse swamp snake whose lazy Right Said Fred rip-off music is just awful trash, but does that mean her sexual assault case deserves to be ridiculed by men in turqoise cargo shorts? Can’t believe I have to answer that rhetorical question but no. No it does not.
And it’s not just Taylor. You may remember, if you cast your mind back to the sweet, simpler time that was 2015, that Nicki Minaj’s iconic Anaconda waxwork got the same treatment, so much so that after the animinate object was continually molested and harassed, Madame Tussauds had to literally put on extra security. They even had to consider a redesign for an inanimate object that people kept humping. For an inanimate object.
— fight me (@xoShemar) August 18, 2015
And before Nicki it was Jessica Simpson, or Britney Spears, or Beyoncé, or Adriana Lima.
Look, obviously it’s easy to laugh at this. I’m not above waxwork museum shenanigans, they’re great fun. But under the initial kneejerk reaction of “har har guy simulates oral sex with full-sized sex doll”, there’s a more sinister subtext.
this is disgusting this may be a wax figure but joking about sexual assault is gross and never okay. men are honestly trash https://t.co/Z6DKX0GGtm
— hannah the bee 🐍 (@swiftcIarke) September 2, 2017
With Swift especially, the joke is in poor taste. Even for her haters (I’m obviously not a huge fan), her sexual assault case was a rare political, feminist moment for Taylor Swift as much as it was a personal victory.
It was her showing that using famous women, attractive women as sexual playthings is not something we should laugh about or sweep under the carpet. While most of the world were grudgingly affording her respect for her legal win, though, the bridge-troll men of the waxwork fetish world were already using it to set up their next punchline.
If some men are able to, casually and in public, treat women’s likenesses as objects that are nothing more than sex vessels, it doesn’t say an awful lot about the level of respect they have for real women.
The blurring of reality and fantasy is problematic; in 2004, it even led to one man being arrested (but not charged) for indecent assault after he groped an actress’ crotch at Madam Tussauds, thinking she was a waxwork. Imagine having to explain that mouth-breathing, cretinous crime to a solicitor you’re paying by the hour and keeping a straight face.
Laugh all you want, but remember that ultimately, it’s not a huge reach to say the same objectification and casual groping, molesting and assault isn’t what you’d experience in a nightclub queue or, yes, on a crowded subway train.
And yes, admittedly, just as it’s not a problem with all men, it’s also not just a male problem (spare a thought for poor, pre-pubescent Justin Bieber and his rubbed-off, waxy crotch), but you can’t ignore the fact the Tay Swift pic shows this is locker room humor. It’s “haha boobs” humor, it’s childish. And most importantly (because this is ll about me, remember?), if I’ve paid $50 to get in here, it’s ruining my expensive, touristy, waxwork experience.
So look, if you cannot behave, do not come. Nobody wants to spoil your fun, but look, all arguments aside, it’s literally this simple: Dude, don’t fucking sexually assault fake women you absolute losers.
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