Hollywood actor Chris O’Dowd, perhaps most famously the male romantic lead in Bridesmaids, thinks that religion is sexist (“So the Church of England votes against female Bishops? That’s the most sexist thing I’ve heard since religion last did something.”).

I think this is sexist:

[In the video, O’Dowd plays “the man with the best job in world,” which is to be the health & safety office at the Topless Female Trampoline World Championships. All as part of an “awareness” campaign for male breast cancer.]

O’Dowd literally and actively participates in sexist mainstream media as his career.

I’m very vocal about how I feel about breast cancer awareness campaigns that focus on boobs. This extends to campaigns about male breast cancer that still manage to focus on women’s naked, bouncing boobs.

This isn’t to say that religion (a broad category) isn’t sexist. Certainly the Anglican Church’s vote yesterday to not lift the ban on women being bishops (which is what O’Dowd is specifically referencing) was sexist. Lots of religions perpetuate sexism in lots of ways. I’m not trying to debate that or apologize for it. But there are lots of people who are religious, who participate in religion, who are religious officials who are not actively working to implement or maintain sexist policies. In fact, MOST of the Anglican Church hierarchy and lay members support allowing women to be bishops. Saying “religion is sexist” obscures the reality of the complexity of the people who make up and participate in “religion.” But it sure is pithy!

It’s always interesting to me when someone like O’Dowd, who clearly has no problem being sexist himself (hell, profitting directly off of it), suddenly decides to call out sexism. Religion, apparently, is an easy foil these days.

Our entire culture is saturated with sexism. Religion both causes that and is a product of it. But so does and is Hollywood. And so do and are breast cancer awareness campaigns that focus on boobs.

I await O’Dowd’s tweets about them. I will not hold my breath.


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