Sunday, April 01, 2007
Naked Women, They Sell Everything
I have been meaning to complain about the above poster since I first saw it heralding me from outside of the Yale Rep. My vigor was re-fueled last night when walking by the poster and my friend asked me if I wasn't surprised that The New York Times refused to run the image as an ad for Yale's production of Lulu.
No, I am not surprised, in fact I totally agree with The New York Times' discomfort, although admittedly my objections may be more political than proprietary.
I find this poster offensive. Not only is the body headless, armless and for most purposes legless (ie really it has a vagina, the only important part of a female body), the body is deathly white and totally hairless. No landing strip here boys. Go right on in. I worry that there is this mentality among intellectual institutions, people, and theatrical organizations (apparently) that because we are conscious of the tradition of misogynist imagery we are accessing it's alright for us to mine it.
It is not alright. Lulu is a play about sex and abuse and prostitution and the degradation of women. The play is incredibly violent. Grotesquely violent. The poster image relates only in that it degrades women and is sexual yes, but the apple? The virginal, death-like, obectified body? Tangential at best. Really, its an easy, simple poster that took little to no talent or ingenuity to come up with and which employs a wonderful, rich history of sexist imagery to deliver a quick, sexy punch. Do better Yale Rep, I am sad to see you disappoint.