Recently Zac Efron had his shirt forcibly removed from his body at the MTV Movie Awards. How dare you objectify a man if you don’t want to be objectified yourself, cried men across the Internet.
Reverse sexism, like cries of reverse racism and ‘heterophobia’, is usually something that elicits chuckles from feminists everywhere. After hundreds of years of being objectified, ogled, leered at and blamed for rape because of the way we dress or act, we are hardly going to listen to your silly reverse sexism nonsense, white man. So we want to see Zefron (because that’s what I like to call him) without his shirt on? I don’t see him complaining, nor do I see a man being vilified by society for being too scantily clad or using his sexual appeal to his advantage.
Because that’s what this boils down to. Zefron gets to use his hot, hot, hot… oh sorry where was I? Oh yes, Zefron’s incredible body doesn’t hinder him. You don’t see articles begging him to put on clothes, to be a proper role model to boys or to be less ‘slutty’. But do you know who you do see these kinds of articles written about? Miley Cyrus, Rhianna, Vanessa Hudgens, Katy Perry… honestly I could sit here all day and list young female stars who get shit about their bodies and the “slutty” way they dress them all day.
Zefron is looked at as an intelligent young actor who has (mostly) made good decisions and when he hasn’t? Well you don’t exactly see him struggling to get work and he’s still considered suitable for both children and adult movies. The boy can do no wrong, no matter how naked he is. Yes, his body is looked at as a masterpiece, a wonderful masterpiece. But it’s not scrutinized. We don’t spend hours judging how he dresses himself, we don’t vilify him for gaining five kilos and god forbid he walked out of the house without make up on.
Also, if Zefron does make a sartorial faux pas, such as his tie not matching his suit, he will get one, maybe two lines about it. A female celebrity of similar stature would get pages on pages about her fashion fail. Think about poor Miley Cyrus who is called ‘slut’ and ‘whore’ because of the way she dresses, yet she was in one, steady, long-term relationship for many years. Wonder how many women Zefron goes through on a weekly basis? No one cares!
The same goes for real life. I work in a male dominated environment and yes, I get judged for the way I dress. From how low cut my top is that day, to the appropriateness of the length of my skirt. If I accidentally flash my (very boring, plain cotton) underwear, there is outrage, but if my male coworkers walk around with their undies hanging out, it’s no big deal.
I’m insane for taking charge of my life, whether it be career wise or in love, and yes, you might say you’re a forward thinking man, but let’s get real: when a girl tries to take control and lay down exactly what she wants, you all run scared and call her ‘too needy’ or ‘crazy’. What’s needy or crazy about knowing what you want? Zefron has never been in a movie where he’s sat back and let the woman take control, because that’s crazy talk!
I’m not saying Zefron (or men in general) don’t have problems; Zefron is constantly hounded by the paparazzi and teenage girls, but he has not and probably won’t ever experience sexism the way I do, the way Miley Cyrus does, the way my female peers do. (Let’s not get started on sexism in third world countries; tragically, we’d be here all day.)
So was it sexist to remove Zefron’s shirt? Absolutely not. It’s high time men accepted that if they want to keep objectifying us, then they better be ready to be objectified back. What was that about treating others the way you want to be treated?