It's really great and all that women of the late 1960s and most of the 1970s blazed a path of freedom for expression (RIP Betty Friedan and thank you to The Runaways), but why does it seem like people with vaginas are far more objectified now than they ever were circa 1940-1965? In today's society, lyrics, images, and overall attitudes toward "ladies" are laughably offensive. And yet, back during the era of what is now looked back upon as overt sexism, men would tip their hats, say a few kind words, and even--gasp--have a conversation about something other than which orifice he was going to stick his dick in (not that this is ever usually an elaborate conversation topic).

Is it simply that women had this pent up need to be viewed as slutbags and men, likewise, had been waiting all this time to finally stop feigning politeness and just express their sole desire to fuck? I haven't the foggiest idea. All I know is that in the last decade alone, the things that are permitted to slip by in the media have reached a point where nothing is shocking anymore in terms of sexual explicitness and an overall disregard for the idea that a woman might have a mind behind those big, dumb eyes staring straight at your cock. This isn't to say that women aren't in control of how they come across; all of the females reigning in the pop charts right now are entirely conscious of the sex-soaked image they have created. But it is to say that they are influenced by what they feel men want.

Where dudes can definitely be blamed is in the category of lyrics. Most songs in the Top 40 at the moment feature lyrical content that would make Eleanor Roosevelt blush and then burst into flames. Some examples include: "I'ma disrobe you then I'ma probe you" (courtesy of Kanye West in "E.T."), "All I need is some vodka and some coke and watch, she gon' get donkey konged (courtesy of Pitbull in "On the Floor"), and "I heard you good with them soft lips...the things that we can do in twenty minutes girl" (courtesy of Drake in "What's My Name?"). Look, I'm all for parading your sexual whims, but does it all have to be phrased in such a goddamn crass manner?

Of course, both periods of time--now and then--have their advantages and disadvantages in terms of how women are perceived, but, in the vague defense of "then," at least ads like the one below were to be expected. The nature of how women are viewed hasn't really changed, it's just become repackaged for twenty-first century consumption.