In the article “Unpacking an Erotic Icon: The Sexy Librarian” Dustin (Oneman) unravels the blog post Naughty Librarians and the Eroticism of Intellect by J.M. McFee. Dustin adds a historical and western cultural perspective to how the librarian, schoolteacher, and nurse became sexualized and turned into enduring erotic icons.
The article draws the reader in by analyzing so-called “radically desexualized” western cultural features; two fabrics being hairstyle and clothing. The article presents hair as a universal symbol for sexuality and in some cases a sexual status. “In the West hair is a link to the wild and animalistic – and “civilized” people keep their hair trim, just as they keep their sexuality in check.”
Dustin identifies that as women of the late 19th early 20th century began entering the workforce, librarians along with schoolteachers and nurses had to “wrap themselves in an aura of respectability”. It is ironic that this same “aura of respectability” “heightened desires to attain the prize underneath.”
Why is it that when something is made intentionally ambiguous that it receives more attention than it otherwise would? It seems as though ambiguity instilled curiosity, and with a twist of oppression, founded some today’s most popular erotic icons. These icons are deeply rooted in our western sex culture playing roles in movies, TV shows, commercials, erotica, and even come to life every Halloween.