You’re not going out dressed like that!
With those words, parents seek to protect their daughters from objectification: being seen as one-dimensional “things” that exist to titillate men.
But the attitude could help to create objectification.
Some guys think girls flaunt skin to gain power and superiority over men.
But most do it because “hotness” so often measures a woman’s worth. And a girl likes to feel good about herself.
So plenty of young women feel pressed to put on the act, even if it feels awkward and overexposed.
I’ve created a string of thoughts that come from my women students, Colbie Caillat’s “Try” and Ashley Judd’s response to chiding over her “puffy” face:
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An old boyfriend told me that I wasn’t as attractive as other girls. I asked him why he didn’t think so. He said,
I don’t know. You’re always all covered up. Maybe you’d look more attractive in a cocktail dress. You don’t open your clothes and let men in.
• Piece of tail
• Piece of ass
• Piece of “that”
That’s how a sexually attractive woman might be described.
Well, “attractive woman” is an overstatement. Attractive body part, maybe.
The whole woman isn’t wanted. Just a piece of her. Read the rest of this entry
Looking at other women has become a big problem for me.
I want to learn how to stop. I mean no harm, but it upsets my wife and hurts her. She says I lose touch with reality and become a different person — and don’t even notice her.
That’s from a 42-year-old man whose been married 16 years. He’s totally satisfied with his wife, he says, and has no interest in anyone else.
But he feels he has no control over his ogling. Read the rest of this entry
A lot of men think that women wield power over them.
In a lopsided way which leaves guys defenseless, and that cannot be returned in kind.
Weirdly, the feared feminine potency emerges from sexism. Read the rest of this entry
The four Fs. That’s all you need to know about women. Find ‘em. Feel ‘em. F- ‘em. Forget ‘em.
The only time 12-year-old Phil had a man-to-man chat with his dad, he got that advice. By the time he was a married 39-year-old professional with two daughters, he seemed to have absorbed the lesson: Read the rest of this entry
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.