Letter to the Editor: In defense of the Bod Squad

To the Editor,

I am writing in response to the Talking Point articles about the Bod Squad. While I do agree with the authors that there are some men who have body image problems, I also think that we must be careful with how much we focus on them. It is an interesting intellectual exercise to discuss the negative effects of patriarchy on both genders, but if we pay too much attention to how the dominant power is harmed by its own hegemony, we lose sight of the main problem. From my interpretation, the Bod Squad sets out to empower women using the bond of sisterhood and to build solidarity amongst themselves. By focusing on men, it is easy to lose sight of that solidarity and to cloud the issue itself; the lack of respect women have for their own bodies. The one author brings up the objectification of male bodies as a means of criticizing the Bod Squad. Personally, I think this is a totally different issue. Yes, some magazines and advertisements do objectify men’s bodies, but I am curious to ask – who sits on the executive boards of those magazine and advertisement companies? I don’t have any statistics, but I’m willing to bet that it’s mostly men. The question then becomes, can the male gender objectify itself? Regardless, the Bod Squad did a fantastic job doing what they set out to do – increasing the level of respect women have for their own bodies. Does this mean men can no longer love theirs? I think the males of this society are already empowered enough; they do not need support from a women’s organization to claim love of their own body.

Ryan Farnkopf