Thursday, June 21, 2007

Women of the IDF

A few years ago, a set of cousins of a cousin (we met them at Thanksgiving) had an Israeli au pair. She was about 5'1", nice but very quiet, professional, and obviously muscular but not overtly jacked. I asked if she had served in the IDF. Yes, apparently she was in their equivalent of the Navy SEALS, but she couldn't talk about it. And, though you wouldn't know it by looking at her, she could probably kill everyone in the room in any number of quick and exceedingly lethal ways.

Some feminist bloggers (Jessica Valenti, Jill of Feministe) have noted an Israeli ad campaign based on showing semi-clad ex-soldiers in Maxim. They (and some Israeli pols) are upset. And they should be. Israel has plenty of accomplishments to its credit that don't involve bikinis.

The women in this campaign are highly trained professionals. They were members of one of the most elite armed forces in the world. When one thinks of crack soldiers, one does not stereotypically think of Jews or women. That's the barrier these women are helping break. That is something Israel deserves a lot of credit for. That's something they can be proud of.

A virtual soft-core spread? Please. It's degrading to me as part of their target demographic, it's degrading to the women, and it's degrading to the country.

How's that for PR?


Jack said...

David, when was the last time you bought a Maxim? I don't think it undermines our manhood to admit that we are not part of their target demographic.

(Dear Maxim: Please begin including in-depth political campaign coverage, electronic music reviews based in critical theory and a survey of international news stories. Alternately, if I could get my pretend porn from the Economist...)

PG said...

I think you want Playboy, circa 1974.