Category Archives: objectification
By Lisa Wade @ Sociological Images
We’ve all heard the truism “sex sells.”
But whose sex is sold? And to who?
If it was simply that sex sold,
…we’d see men and women equally sexually objectified in popular culture. Instead, we see, primarily, women sold to (presumably heterosexual) men. So what are we selling, exactly, if not “sex”?
If women catcalled men:
- Damn boy! You look mo-no-ga-mous!
- Hey baby! Hey baby! You hear me? Yeah, because you’re a good listener!
- Oooooooo!! You look so emotionally stable!!!!
- What you got under that shirt, sweetie? Bet it’s a good heart.
- You look like a real mess. Let me fix you!
They’re so fun that we’ve named them funbags, squeezeboxes, jugs, hooters, racks, boobs, and tits.
They’re fun to look at, fun to touch and squeeze. They bounce. Men like them, and that is a good thing.
Breasts can be fun to own.
They give a woman pleasure, and that is a good thing. They are an important part of a woman’s body—emblematic of her femininity, her sexuality. When a girl begins to develop breasts, it is her body’s way of saying she will one day be a woman, and a girl listens to that. She listens as the growing pains shoot through her chest, she listens as her mother and grandmother talk about finding a bra. Breasts are such an important part of the transition from girlhood to womanhood that we sometimes call them girls. Read the rest of this entry
Men act and women appear. Men look at women. Women watch themselves being looked at.
That’s what art critic John Berger famously observed.
But some feminist artists have turned the tables in the exhibit, Man as Object: Reversing the Gaze:
With a gallery filled with men stripped naked this body of work exposes women’s cheeky, provocative and sometimes shocking commentaries on the opposite sex (which) may make the viewer squirm a little. But that is precisely the point.
Guys post stolen nude photos of famous celebs online, and it’s all about sex, right?
Men stare at women walking down the street. That’s all about sex, too.
Or, a woman is blamed for an attack because a guy can’t resist exposed cleavage — or a bit of hair that has fallen loose from a Saudi veil.
Actually, a lot of things that look like sex are really about power. Read the rest of this entry
By Erica Dalton
My brunette, Jewish mom was happy to have a blonde, blue-eyed daughter.
But then, she grew up being told that what’s desirable was the opposite of her. Sexy was blonde, from Cinderella to Grace Kelly to Marilyn Monroe.
Even though my mom grew to love herself, I guess she was glad that I would not have to feel unsexy.
Sure, men are privileged by being male, but attractive females are privileged, too. You are noticed more. You’re more popular. You get attractive guys.
If you don’t mind the stigmas attached to “sexy” you can milk it for all it’s worth. Read the rest of this entry
The more skin women reveal, the less men see them as intelligent or empowered.
Instead, nudity promotes the notion that women are sensitive, “feeling” creatures.
Turns out the perception runs both ways with women seeing men as less intelligent and less competent when they show skin, too. In fact, simply “taking off a sweater — or otherwise revealing flesh — can significantly change the way a mind is perceived” say researchers.
Imagine living a year without seeing your reflection in a mirror.
That’s what Kjerstin Gruys did when her engagement transformed her from intelligent grad student to “bridezilla.”
You’ve heard of the “bikini body.” Well, Kjerstin fretted over not having an adequate “bride body” in time for her wedding — if ever.
As she viewed dress after dress in the scrutiny of dressing room mirrors, and through the mind’s eye of her imagined wedding day — and after purchasing three different dresses — she knew she had a problem. One which echoed an earlier eating disorder.
So she pledged to give up mirrors for a year, in hopes of regaining her real values. Read the rest of this entry