As I was folding laundry, or doing some other real housewife-ish chore last week I had the television on in the background. Tuned to some afternoon television talk show type program. For the life of me I can’t remember the fine details – such as what program it was or who the guest was. I want to say it was Katie Couric, but it was equally likely to be Ellen, or maybe Rachel Ray. Whoever’s name was the title of this show, she was interviewing one of today’s hunky male stars. I can’t recall who he was either. (The actual persons don’t really matter for this story)
At some point in the interview, I heard the unknown hostess ask her guest with a laugh something along the lines of: ‘So, the question everyone in the audience wants to know – boxers or briefs?”
I stopped in my tracks. My mind began swirling, filling with some of those random thoughts I so often have.
What is it that makes it acceptable to casually ask a man about his undergarments? The poor fellow under the spotlight always laughs, turns a little pink, and has to come up with some clever comeback. The whole situation is just embarrassing and immature.
Imagine if you turned on the TV to hear Matt Lauer, Brian Williams, or Anderson Cooper ask some female celebrity: “So, what everyone really wants to know is: thong, bikini, or granny panties?” People would be shocked! There would be an outcry from self-respecting women everywhere.
Because it’s so personal! Because that is objectifying her! She should be treated as a person, with talent, a brain, and value – not a sexual object.
And yet it’s OK to treat a man that way??
I think we all deserve to be treated with respect and discretion. If we want to be treated with dignity and respect, the answer doesn’t lay in acting out in the same negative ways we condemn others for acting. It’s not a matter of “well, they do it!” I believe the answer comes in treating others exactly the way we expect to be treated in return. If everyone followed this simple rule, we would all be treating each other with kindness, respect, and compassion.