Dear Mr. Hamm,
You’ve never met me and I’m not altogether certain we’ve ever been in the same state at the same time. I’m a big fan of Mad Men and I think you’re hilarious whenever you’re on SNL. Plus, you were great in Bridesmaids and choosing not to even take a billing credit to upstage Kristin? What a team player you are.
I’m writing this open letter as an apology for ogling your crotch on the internet. As I know you are aware, people have become fixated on the bulge that appears whenever you wear pants. Obviously, being public eye-candy comes with being a celebrity, and as female movie stars have accepted, fixation on their… private regions is an accepted form of public worship (think Lindsay’s crotch flash and every near-nipple wardrobe malfunction on the red carpet).
But here’s the thing. With female celebrities, body obsession is pervasive, yes, and problematic, but understood by the general public as sleazy and violating. If there was a popular blog devoted to furtive photographs of Jennifer Lawrence’s crotch, chronicling every outfit she wears and the degree with which her lady bits appear through the fabric (which there might be but I’m going to spare myself the Google search), the public would be outraged. Think pieces would be littered across the pages of The New Yorker about how Oscar-winning actresses are meat for sexual consumption, and the good people at Buzzfeed would surely not declare that the photographs “will restore your faith in humanity.”
And yet, “Jon Hamm’s Wang” exists, a Tumblr devoted solely to photographs in which you, mainly in your period-piece costumes, are slightly…exposed in outline below the belt. And on November 8, Buzzfeed published a series of photographs juxtaposing your crotch against the celestial heavens with the title, “These pictures of Jon Hamm’s Little Hamm Will Restore Your Faith In Humanity, Penises” and a tagline “Today is a blessed day.”
I think I might understand the difference here. Women have been objectified for so long by men that a reversal seems like a kitschy gimmick instead of an equal means of harassment. The “Sex and the City” generation of feminists turned men into accessories and now, you, Jon Hamm, serve as a model for the type of sexual harassment parading as a show of confident girl power.
I have seen the error of my ways. It’s fun for a moment to be a girl playing the part of objectifier instead of object, to harass and rate men and value them for their sexual worth in the way men have done to us since the beginning of time. But after the you peel away the persona of the Samantha Jones-style Female Sex-Positive Girl Power Feminist (TM), you’re left with people taking pictures of an actor’s crotch. And man or woman, that’s not OK.
Dana – a feminist, fan, and proponent of you wearing whatever undergarments or lack thereof you so choose.