Today in Disembodied Things

[Part Fifteen in an Ongoing Series: Parts One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten, Eleven, Twelve, Thirteen, Fourteen.]

Now you, too, can house your CPU in plastic molded to recreate a woman's severed nether-regions and dressed like a French maid! Yours for a mere 35,800 yen, or about $319.

And when you're in Japan, you can visit a computer café chock full o' them!

One of the frequent comments on this series is that this item or that item isn't really all that bad, especially compared to [something perceived to be worse; usually the pencil sharpener]. And if you've made that comment, please don't feel picked on; you're not alone. That's why I just wanted to quickly note that the point of this series is not to determine what is the precise worst example of disembodied women's bodies being used as a source of amusement, but instead to illustrate how ubiquitous they are.

Yes, some of these things are violently misogynist, and some of them are merely stupid—and, individually, maybe very few of them are a Big Fucking Deal. Regarded collectively, however, they begin to paint a picture of a culture strewn with objectifying detritus of varyingly violent natures—a culture in which we all swim, in which we raise our daughters, even as we tell them they are men's equal and socialize them from birth on all the things women are meant to do to "avoid rape," despite female bodies being dehumanized and their parts used as hilarious novelties to be played with, and in some cases abused, by our sons.

This series isn't about my (or anyone else's) being personally offended or hurt or oppressed by an individual disembodied thing. It isn't about the capacity to find an individual disembodied thing funny. It's about the cumulative effect that these items have on our culture, and the relationship between their ubiquity and the narratives that perpetuate the most pernicious inequality of regarding women as non-autonomous and their bodies as community property.

[H/T to Shaker Erica.]

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