Are men funnier than women? Well, their naked bodies sure are.
When I first saw the nude painting of prime minister Stephen Harper circulating on the Internet I laughed, and I’m guessing that was the reaction most people had. I’m also guessing that if the artist had painted a famous female politician in this same manner, it wouldn’t have been perceived as witty at all.
On a lark I produced a fun video exploring how much better the world would be if more artists painted presidents and prime ministers in the buff and gave examples of what that could look like. Yet pairing up political noggins with naked bodies in Photoshop was only humorous if the subjects were male. A fact my videographer, who was working on this task, found distressing.
“Another guy?!” Jason groaned after about the tenth set I sent. “Can’t you find some feminine figures for me to work with?”
I complied and sent him a topless man in a tutu.
Knowing that wasn’t what he had in mind, I thought about this double standard. It reminded me of the difference in reactions between male and female strippers. I’ve seen both, and believe me, the experience doesn’t compare.
When I was 20 one of the ladies was retiring from the newspaper where we both worked and a large group of us went to “Ladies Night” at a local club. I had no idea that some of these sophisticated women I’d looked up to would turn into wild-eyed lunatics when the male dancers started their rhythmic undress. The hooting and hollering from the audience was accompanied by so much laughter that they quickly became more entertaining to watch than the men on stage.
It would have been a completely different scene if the roles were reversed.
Whether a guy’s got a six pack or a keg for a belly, the random image of his nakedness will more than likely illicit giggles than lust. I’m not sure why that is, except that it’s a much less common sight to see. After finding far less nude males on the Internet in comparison to women, I now have proof of that.
“I don’t like it,” my friend said in response to the full monty painting of our prime minister. “I think it’s humiliating.”
A portrait that Stephen Harper never posed for and was purely based on the artist’s imagination shouldn’t be humiliating, but I tried to understand where she was coming from.
Personally, I liked it, and not just because it made me laugh or because of Margaret Sutherland’s political statement.
I liked it because it reminded me that no matter what our position is in life, we are all just human beings and as naked and exposed as the day we were born. Most of us just choose to wear clothes that cover that fact.