In the movie "When Harry Met Sally" Meg Ryan simulates orgasm in the classic restaurant scene as onlookers watch in amazement. When the movie came out, people were in shock that something so intimate and personal had been depicted onscreen, but there was also a sense of empowerment about it. The strength of the orgasm and the fact that the character in the film was so much involved with her own sexuality was sort of liberating. Keeping this type of pleasure in the hands of the woman experiencing it can show that she knows what's good for her and she's not afraid to pursue it.
Which is why, in a stunningly surprising controversial advertisement in Spain, Americans may be curious to know what all the outrage is about. The advertisement, which is being characterized as demeaning to women and showing careless disregard for their dignity, is not even close to as extreme as the Meg Ryan scene in a movie from almost twenty years ago. The ad portrays a young woman going to vote and having a moment of "pleasure" as she slips her ballot in the counting slot.
Leaders and members of both the Popular Party and the Socialist party are becoming emotionally involved in the issue, claiming it is insulting to women. Clearly their position can be understood; how can we equate a woman's intellectual decision to take a stand in politics with her pleasure physically, sexually. Yet I'm not convinced this advertisement really demeans women. After watching the ad, I felt more of a "You Go, Girl!" than a "Oh, Heaven Help Us, Not More of the Same..." According to the BBC:
The leader of the conservative opposition Popular Party of Catalonia, Alicia Sanchez-Camacho, said the video was an "attack on the dignity of women".
The health minister, Leire Pajin, who is a Socialist, called on all parties to show respect for women and to act responsibly.
What do you think?
Aimee Boyle is a regular voter and never shows how fun it is in public. She is a regular contributor to EmpowHER.