Las Vegas, Sex, Technology, You

I walk by a hologram woman with fake looking breasts and the face of a young girl. She’s facing a table full of gamblers. They are middle aged women.

I’m in Las Vegas, and like so many moments spent here, I find this moment surreal–weird–meta. So far from anything I generally encounter in my daily life in the Bay Area.

Here women walk around in mini skirts and heels so high they look like stilts. Women adorn themselves in clothes and jewelry as shiny as the slot machines calling to you from the casino.

A photo I took at #CES. This company sells speakers and described the sound in the post as “deep” and used other sexually explicit adjectives.

You walk through hotels next to scantily clad women and you wonder, are you a “normal” woman or are you paid to work here and look like that? Are your tips determined by your clothes–or are you just here visiting from Ohio or Indiana or North Dakota? Are you pretending to have a different life for a night in Las Vegas? Will my boyfriend think I’m sexy next to you?

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One night I was at a dinner with a handful of influential people. A CEO from Israel was seated next to me. He told me out of the blue he thought the way women were depicted in Las Vegas was “disgusting.”

That night he hit me right through the heart with his words. I was shocked and moved.  I didn’t realize any of these business men noticed. Here is a spiritual person–not from the U.S.–with daughters–who can clearly see how bizarre our culture is.

You forget that there are people out there–men specifically–who are not happy with a culture that puts women up for sale. There are men out there who get it.

This was one of the highlights of my entire trip–meeting this person who could so clearly see the nonsense that happens in our culture.

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The truth is you have very little control of what’s happening out there, and so much of it is just plain awful. You need to work very hard to make sure the show that’s running inside of you is a pleasant one. If you are a woman, you need to constantly nurture and feed yourself messages of worthiness. You need to do this because no one will do it for you. It’s a matter of survival. And that way, Vegas will always stay in Vegas.

1 COMMENT

  1. I agree that what we tell ourselves is more important than the messages that are playing around us.  And, while we have little or no control over what is going on in our environment, our power lies in our ability to influence. 

    If we really want to change the way women are viewed and treated, the first step is to identify, assess and redefine what it is we want to change or create.  Social “norms” have been developed over the years and represent a community’s attitudes, values and beliefs.  Sometimes it is about a shift in policy, but it is often beyond that and up to a community to come together to change attitudes, traditions, and what is viewed as acceptable behavior.  After all, behavior – individual or system-wide – creates patterns. Patterns create culture, and the culture then reinforces behavior.  And so on.

    The best place to start to disrupt or change these patterns is to do something different: say no instead of yes, stand up, scratch Vegas off your destination list, begin and spread the conversation, exercise your power of influence, create a ripple.  It will not be easy or fast, but if we can change one thing, we can change everything.