Either all objectification is okay, or none of it is.
In case you missed it, Lenny Kravitz had a party in his pants this week, and we were all invited. During a concert in Stockholm, Kravitz split open his trademark skin-tight leather pants and revealed his manhood to world.
If you're a celebrity, wardrobe malfunctions are bound to happen. When you have cameras pointed at you nearly 24/7, the odds that people are going to see something you wish they hadn't rapidly increase.
Every nip slip or article of clothing that turns see-through under the light of a camera flash becomes a guilty pleasure for anyone with a curiosity and an internet connection. But there's a double-standard when it comes to men: we don't feel so guilty.
The world got to witness what happens when female celebrities are exposed against their will with "The Fappening" — the hack that leaked dozens of nude celebrities, famously including Jennifer Lawrence.
While creepers got their jollies, we had a national discussion on the nature of privacy and the sexual objectification of women.
Reddit, which is generally extremely lenient with "offensive" content, was shutting down subs dedicated to the leak. Social media echoed with the sentiment, "Don't forget, celebrities are still people with feelings. They don't just exist for your sexual gratification."
People who wanted to satisfy their lust did so, certainly, but we agreed on a broad level that this sort of exploitation and behavior isn't acceptable in society.
So surely, when Lenny Kravitz suffered an embarrassing, unplanned exposure, we all remembered that he's a human being and entitled to the same level of decency and privacy that we all are?
Just kidding, we're posting that sh*t everywhere with no remorse.
I mean, don't take my word for it. Here's where E! says Kravitz "made all his fans' dreams come true." Or just look at your Facebook and Twitter feed; I'm confident I don't need to spend too much time actually proving that this is happening.
What's more, it's not just objectification we're OK with; we're perfectly fine shaming him, too.
The internet is filled with Twitter comments and mainstream articles like this one from VH1: "Seeing Lenny Kravitz's Actual, NSFW Penis Makes Me Feel Like I've Been Lied to My Whole Life."
Now imagine an article titled "Jennifer Lawrence's Labia Made Me Realize God Is Dead." Would the internet still be laughing?
And this double standard is nothing new. It only took one Jezebel author 30 minutes to show her hypocrisy on the matter.
How about when someone leaked Hulk Hogan's sex tape? Did we talk about how his privacy should be protected? LOL, nope. We plastered it all over the internet with no regard to how we would feel if it were us.
I get where some of the double standard comes from. Our society is still feeling the residual effects of our puritanical roots, especially in the more conservative parts of the country, when it comes to how we view sex and gender.
Traditionally, women were valued for their sexual purity, while men are viewed as helpless slaves to their libido. Over time, we've started to realize that view is total bullsh*t. I mean, just look at Saudi Arabia if you want to see how that mentality ultimately plays out.
But the lingering effect, even in our more progressive society, is that we still see a woman's sexual purity as something that needs to be protected — while a man's sexuality is meant to be as prolific as possible.
In simpler terms (according to societal undertones), the more promiscuous a woman is, the less value she has. The more promiscuous a man, the more value he has. There's harm on both sides of that equation.
The consequence is that we're more apt to protect women when their sexual purity is violated, but it's no big deal when it's a dude.
Why else can men show their nipples, but when women do it, it's suddenly obscene? Why else, when a female teacher commits statutory rape with a male student, do so many people just say, "Oh well, he wanted it anyway"?
It would be universally considered embarrassing and in poor taste to post the Jennifer Lawrence nude leaks to my Facebook wall. But in the past few days, all I see are Lenny Kravitz posts without a hint of indignity or reluctance.
I'm not trying to say the type of response to the Lenny Kravitz incident is necessarily right or wrong; I'm just saying it's hypocritical to treat the situation differently based on gender.
Ideally, we'd live in a world where there's no shame in revealing the bodies we all have, but until then, we have to come to an agreement: either it's all OK or none of it is.