You are either not logged in or not registered with our community. Click here to register.
 
December 05, 2016, 09:04:02 PM

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

Click here if you are having problems.
Default Wide Screen Beige Lilac Rainbow Black & Blue October Send us your theme!

Hark!  The Herald!
Holiday Issue 2016

Wiki Blogs Dicebot

Author Topic: Objectification and Gender Roles  (Read 2620 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline SheoldredTopic starter

Objectification and Gender Roles
« on: October 05, 2014, 04:02:55 PM »
Heya! I'd really like somebody more experienced to give me their more informed opinion on this particular topic by either answering my questions, speaking of their own experience if they're willing to impart with such information, or just generally making an informative post on the topic. And as a disclaimer, please try not to get mad if what I write in this OP might seem offensive to you. I'm merely seeking to mend my outlooks on life, in case they're somehow wrong, presumptuous or delusional, through civil conversation. We all come from different walks of life and have been exposed to different views, different information. So without further adue...



Where does the line between objectification and desire lie, exactly? It's only natural to be attracted to a female's(or male's) looks. Is it objectification if I'm attracted to women I see on the streets purely based on their looks and body language? I've had absolutely no chance of knowing what they are actually like - what education they have, their principles, their ideals, their status and so forth.

Is there something wrong with preferring women to be feminine? By this I mean mostly clothing, make-up, body language and other various mannerisms, I don't personally care if the woman has a more successful career and earns more money. I don't think there's anything bad about it when women prefer to wear gender-neutral clothes or clothes mostly worn by men and almost never bother with make-up but chances are, when I'm out to look for a girlfriend or mate or however you'd like to call it, I will inevitably be attracted to women that 'pretty themselves up'. I am more likely to walk up to them and compliment them, if it comes to that. I like stockings. I like lingerie.

But according to some feminists I'm an evil man for doing so because I support the objectification of women and that must be the root of all problems women struggle with these days, like lower salaries, prostitution, obsession with weight, low self-esteem, and whatever else. Because often enough women that don't feel like being 'fake' so to speak feel left out because all the men go for the 'fake' ones with fake tits and cleavage, as they put it. Or have I understood them wrong?
« Last Edit: October 07, 2014, 04:53:50 PM by Sheoldred »

Offline kylie

  • Bratty Princess of Twisty, Creeping Secrets. Frilly | Fussy | Framed | Dreamy | Glam | Risky | Sporty | Rapt | Tease | Ironic | Shadowed | Struggling | Whispery | Bespelled
  • Liege
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Apr 2005
  • Location: Somewhere in the future.
  • Darkly sweet femme for rich & insidious scenarios.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 1
Re: Objectification
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2014, 04:22:01 PM »
      I think it's a good question and people grapple with it a lot, often quietly or sometimes quite messily.

I'm tempted but it's the sort of thing I might tend to ramble about and I'm not sure my own phrasing would be very elegant.  (And I'm sleepy.)

      So instead, for starters...  See if this piece from "Everyday Feminism" helps a bit?  There is a working summary definition there (quoted below), but some of the other parts may be interesting too.

Quote
The Difference Between Sexual Objectification and Sexual Desire

Sexual objectification and sexual desire are two different things.

Sexual desire and attraction is a normal and natural part of life. It involves two (or more) people stating their desire for one another and consenting to mutually agreed-upon sexual activity.

So in the case of someone “using” the other for consensual sex, it’s not true objectification because both parties have agreed (hopefully!) to engage in the act.

Sexual objectification, however, puts one person in the role of subject and the other person in the role of object. In heterosexual coupled relationships, these roles are usually assigned to the man and woman, respectively.

Sexual objectification requires that one person choose what they want sexually and the other person is required to perform to their standards.

Offline Melusine

Re: Objectification
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2014, 04:34:44 PM »
If you desire women and treat them as human beings with dignity, without thinking of them just as walking vaginas for you to fuck, then I think you're pretty clear of objectification. As you said, it's natural for people to be attracted to other people's looks, especially on the street when you can't really perceive the other person's personality. You're admiring them aesthetically. Of course, if one's "admiration" extends to catcalling and comments about the woman's body, then there's a problem.

There's nothing wrong with having a "type", as long as you're not trying to claim that your type is somehow the only model women should aspire to be. If you like polished women, more power to you! Just accept this as a personal preference (which you are doing), not something that every woman should do.

Feminists complain about make up and polish because in most cases (media, magazines) it's the only model of woman that's allowed, otherwise she's laughable and ugly. The plain girl has to get a makeover to snag her guy. Women in movies and shows are shown with perfect skin, hair and body, which understandably makes the rest of us who live in the real world quite insecure. And something that's just as infuriating; society shows us this beauty ideal that can only be achieved through makeup (if not outright photoshop), and then makes fun of us for our frivolous pursuit of beautifying ourselves. There's the model of the "unique" girl, who isn't like other girls with their silly girly stuff like fashion and makeup, which is pushed pretty hard by some portions of society. That's what feminists are rebelling against.

I'm a (quite hardcore) feminist, and I don't think you're evil for preferring makeup and femininity on women. From what you've written, that's just your personal preference, which is fine in my opinion. Some guys like sporty girls, some guys like girly girls, some guys like hairy bears. It takes all types to make a world.

Offline Valthazar

  • Writer ͏͏● Educator ● Gamer ● Roleplayer ● Debater ● Tech Connoisseur ● Gym Rat ● Procrastinator ● As they say, "A simple PM may lead to lifelong friendship" ▬▬▬▬
  • Suspended
  • Seducer
  • *
  • Join Date: Mar 2013
  • Location: United States
  • Gender: Male
  • Proceed and be bold. Embrace your insecurities.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Objectification
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2014, 05:33:52 PM »
I think Melusine is very accurate on the true feminist argument of this situation.

As a man, I think the most important thing is to be aware of your principles and values.  Are you intending to downplay a woman's worth as a human being?  Are you suggesting that women who are not physically attractive in your eyes are less of a human being?  If the answer is "No" to these two questions, then you are certainly not objectifying her.

At the same time, you will surely get some people (due to a flawed understanding of feminism), who will criticize you for looking at, or being drawn to very attractive women.  In these situations, just remember your fundamental values as I said above.  You are not intending to devalue her as a human being, so don't feel that you need to second guess yourself.

Since you were open to personal experiences, my ex really enjoyed fashion and make up, and she mentioned that she often felt more objectified around other women than she did around men.  At first I thought this was because there was a subconscious "competition" among women based on looks, but ironically, she seemed to receive the most vitriol from the women who did not place much emphasis on their appearances and clothing.  I don't know if this was because they perceived her actions as her being oppositional to their feminist views, or if this was because of some other factor. 

I guess my point is that each woman (and man) has different narrative and frame of reference to drawn on during these situations.  Some women (like my ex) love nothing more than to receive a compliment from a man when they are out and about, while other women will be extremely put off by this.  So long as your intentions are genuine, don't worry about the reaction you elicit in these conversational situations.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2014, 05:38:47 PM by Valthazar »

Offline SheoldredTopic starter

Re: Objectification
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2014, 08:04:23 PM »
Quote
If you desire women and treat them as human beings with dignity, without thinking of them just as walking vaginas for you to fuck, then I think you're pretty clear of objectification. As you said, it's natural for people to be attracted to other people's looks, especially on the street when you can't really perceive the other person's personality. You're admiring them aesthetically. Of course, if one's "admiration" extends to catcalling and comments about the woman's body, then there's a problem.

It is something I am certainly striving for. However, I cannot claim that I've always been fair towards women. In retrospect, it can often be a fairly slippery slope, and many men don't even notice that they might be crossing the line from my personal experience. For example, would you say men bragging how many women they've slept with would be sexist? It implies a belief that a man's worth could be determined by the amount of females he has 'conquered' and mated with, which pertains to our primitive nature, the aim of which is to find as many mates as possible and conceive as much offspring as possible to ensure survival of the species as a whole as well as carry on one's personal genes. But do such notions have place in our contemporary society? On the other hand women are looked down upon as sluts if they 'conquer' many men. It's a classic double standard that has been discussed a lot, I'd reckon.

Do you think the media is responsible for making men less conscious of how they treat women? It isn't very uncommon to hear a woman crying about her ex or her current mate of treating her unfairly in one way or another, whether by cheating on her or whatever else she might find offensive. Basically taking her for granted and thinking that 'ah, she'll forgive me anyway, no biggie'.

And that leads me to another question. In the more unsavoury parts of the internet, you may often witness men insulting each-other by calling each-other 'virgins' or something similar to that. Basically, the point of the insult is to indicate that the person is incapable of attracting a mate of the opposite sex, and in most cases this insult is directed towards men. But do you think this could possibly be indirectly sexist towards women? Because in a way, the woman is indirectly the object that the man has to use, as the subject, in order to fulfill himself as a man and be respected by his peers. I got that from the nice article Kylie linked.


Quote
There's nothing wrong with having a "type", as long as you're not trying to claim that your type is somehow the only model women should aspire to be. If you like polished women, more power to you! Just accept this as a personal preference (which you are doing), not something that every woman should do.

Oh, certainly. Nothing wrong with a woman who decides to completely neglect trying to attract the opposite sex  entirely and focuses on her studies entirely, in order to become a doctor or a physicist. If I find some girl more attractive and desirable than another it certainly does not make her any better than other women, at least not by the grace of my desire for her alone, which is a completely subjective factor :P.

Quote
Feminists complain about make up and polish because in most cases (media, magazines) it's the only model of woman that's allowed, otherwise she's laughable and ugly. The plain girl has to get a makeover to snag her guy. Women in movies and shows are shown with perfect skin, hair and body, which understandably makes the rest of us who live in the real world quite insecure.

But it does so to men too, doesn't it? In fact I'd argue that men have it even worse but of course I might be biased here, being male, so take this with a grain of salt. Basically, as a male, the kind of oppression I've felt lies in the notion that in order to be a man I have to be able to fix cars, own one too, know how to fix anything, in fact, be competitive and outgoing(being a shy guy can easily get you stigmatized and stereotyped), always take initiative, not show emotion. It's ok for a woman to cry but when you cry as a guy you suddenly lose the respect of your peers.

Psychology says that crying is a mechanism babies and children in general use in order to give a sign they desperately need something, be it sustenance, warmth, emotional support or whatever else, aside from the 'cleansing' effect. I have a feeling that the society in general is more forgiving towards women who cry and seek support from her peers, but men are encouraged to be more independent, more self-sufficient. A guy hugging his guy friend and crying his eyes out is unacceptable and 'weird'. For women that's normal. You could see it both ways. That women are generally seen as the 'weaker' and more emotional sex and thus its sexist against women. But countless women have used this to their advantage too. You often hear of scandals where women win in courts simply by pretending to be the victim. I don't see any advantage here for men, on the other hand. Only for those who can truly meet expectations and be considered the 'alphas'.

 Not to mention Hollywood movies tend to portray male protagonists as tall, handsome and fit too, with perfect hair. Just like your average heroine from a romantic movie doesn't look like your average woman in real life, neither does the average guy look like the hollywood hunks who are in fact often paid and provided with more than enough money to get personal trainers, nutritionists and so forth. Besides the looks, the men in movies are shown as very confident and successful. The classic example would be James Bond.

And I don't want to come off as bitter but I do have a feeling many women tend to have unreasonably high standards, and its possible they do so for the very same reasons men prefer the prettier girls. Because the way media tends to idolize these perfect examples of both sexes.

Quote
As a man, I think the most important thing is to be aware of your principles and values.

That's worth quoting :P.

Quote
Since you were open to personal experiences, my ex really enjoyed fashion and make up, and she mentioned that she often felt more objectified around other women than she did around men.  At first I thought this was because there was a subconscious "competition" among women based on looks, but ironically, she seemed to receive the most vitriol from the women who did not place much emphasis on their appearances and clothing.  I don't know if this was because they perceived her actions as her being oppositional to their feminist views, or if this was because of some other factor.


I've heard similar stories before. Could it be that these women feel so inferior that they think that even wearing make-up and wearing pretty dresses or skirts wouldn't make them as pretty as the more naturally beautiful women who do the same, still ending up bitter and less preferred by men? Thus they hide their insecurity by trying to claim that make-up and dresses are bullshit that men use to manipulate women. Sort of how homophobic men hate on homosexuals because they're afraid of their own hidden attraction. A defensive mechanism of sorts, that's actually self-destructive and debasing.



Offline consortium11

Re: Objectification
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2014, 08:57:07 PM »
So instead, for starters...  See if this piece from "Everyday Feminism" helps a bit?  There is a working summary definition there (quoted below), but some of the other parts may be interesting too.

I'm not really a fan of the definition used by Everyday Feminism and combining it with the "sexual objectification is always bad position" because it puts the example Sheoldred mentioned ("Is it objectification if I'm attracted to women I see on the streets purely based on their looks and body language?") squarely into the "sexual objectification" category... and sexual objectification is bad. In that case there is clearly an observer (Sheoldred) and an object (the person he finds attractive) and there is no way to escape that, thus sexual objectification. If you find someone attractive you are sexually objectifying them... you are viewing them as a sexual object.

But here's a point... and it's one the Everyday Feminism article touches on but doesn't go the whole way with... is sexual objectification in-and-of itself bad?

Let's start by pointing out a certain incoherence in the Everyday Feminism definition. Sexual desire requires two (or more) parties stating their desire before consensually acting on it.

But if sexual desire only appears once both parties state it, then what desire are they stating?

And unless in a moment of ludicrous coincidence the two (or more) parties see each other at the exact same moment and immediately state their desire at the exact same time then both have been sexually objectifying the other up to that point.

Is that wrong?

Sexual objectification is, at its heart, viewing another as a sexual object. If I see someone and consider them attractive I am self-evidently doing that. I'm still doing that even if I know and take into account their personality, history, mindset, principles etc etc and still find them attractive... I'm still viewing them as a sexual object. I don't think that's wrong... I think it's not only natural but, in-and-of-itself good... without viewing someone as a sexual object then sex becomes a mechanical procreation exercise.

But that doesn't mean sexual objectification doesn't come with a whole load of issues.

One is mentioned in the Everyday Feminism article (and is largely the basis for it); the gendered nature of sexual objectification and the position it has in our culture. I used the example of this comic cover in an earlier thread on objectification



You can argue that Sentry (the beefy character in the middle of the cover) is objectified; he's standing tall and mighty with a rippling chest and all his well defined muscles being easily (and improbably) visible through his outfit. But, objectified or not, he's still standing tall and mighty... he's bold, powerful, strong. The two female characters? As I said at the time:

Quote
Well, Natasha is giving us the classic "show your bum while looking over your shoulder so there's a flash of boob" pose which basically every female character ends up stuck in at least once and Tigra is giving us her best "I'm a filthy sex kitten... meow!" pose and look.

The male character's pose may be objectified but it also speaks to something else. The other two? Not so much. That's something I'll touch on later.

That type of presentation is far from rare in comics... you'll find hundred of examples of female comic books characters getting the objectification treatment that their male counterparts don't (just look at the outfits each wear for example). The Everyday Feminism article details the issues in the wider world of this quite well.

The second issue... and in my mind the main one... is when sexual objectification goes from thinking of someone as a sexual object and thinking of them as only being a sexual object. That's why I mentioned the differences in the poses above; the male character may be objectified but there are other elements to his pose; the two female characters are only objectified. If I attend a lecture by an expert in something and think (s)he is attractive then it may be sexual objectification but that's fine... the issue is when I stop thinking of them as an expert and only think of them as a sexual object. The issue is when I focus on them only as a sexual object and not as anything else.

In essence for me the issue (using the definition above) isn't with sexually objectifying someone. It's with only sexually objectifying someone. It's finding someone attractive (and I should stress that isn't limited to just their body, it also includes their personality) and viewing that as the sum total of that person... someone who is sexually attractive to me. It's viewing them as only being a sex object, of ignoring everything else about them. And where it becomes a huge issue is when the logic in ones head twists to say that because they've caused a sexual reaction in me they want me to put that reaction onto them.

Offline Valthazar

  • Writer ͏͏● Educator ● Gamer ● Roleplayer ● Debater ● Tech Connoisseur ● Gym Rat ● Procrastinator ● As they say, "A simple PM may lead to lifelong friendship" ▬▬▬▬
  • Suspended
  • Seducer
  • *
  • Join Date: Mar 2013
  • Location: United States
  • Gender: Male
  • Proceed and be bold. Embrace your insecurities.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Objectification
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2014, 09:38:21 PM »
I've heard similar stories before. Could it be that these women feel so inferior that they think that even wearing make-up and wearing pretty dresses or skirts wouldn't make them as pretty as the more naturally beautiful women who do the same, still ending up bitter and less preferred by men? Thus they hide their insecurity by trying to claim that make-up and dresses are bullshit that men use to manipulate women. Sort of how homophobic men hate on homosexuals because they're afraid of their own hidden attraction. A defensive mechanism of sorts, that's actually self-destructive and debasing.

This issue is perhaps more emblematic of how women themselves share such diversity of thought on issues like objectification.

If you look at 2nd wave feminism, one of the main reasons it made such social progress was due to the unanimity of opinion among women.  For the most part, the vast majority of progressive women in the 60s and 70s (staying away from a discussion on race or social class) wanted the same things: being able to have jobs and careers of their own, having control over their bodies, and reducing harrassment/discrimination - among other issues.  3rd wave feminism, while certainly equal in merit, lacks the same cohesion, and often faces criticism from 2nd wave feminists.  See here for more information.

As an example, from a functional point of view, SlutWalks are a very important cause in reminding people that it doesn't matter how a woman dresses or acts, but that sexual assault can happen to anyone.  This is something all feminists can agree on.  However, there is significant division between 2nd wave and 3rd wave feminists on the success and long-term ramifications of actively embracing words like slut, rather than condemning its use.  Both views represent "feminism" yet there lacks cohesion.

As such, women opposed to make-up and fashion are equally as "feminist" as those women who choose to doll themselves up and embrace their "slut" image.  However, each school of thought tends to feel that 'their' philosophy is the accurate one, which often hurts the feminist movement as a whole.  In fact, what motivated you to make this thread (expressing confusion/division over how people perceive objectification) is likely rooted in differing values within feminism itself.

Offline kylie

  • Bratty Princess of Twisty, Creeping Secrets. Frilly | Fussy | Framed | Dreamy | Glam | Risky | Sporty | Rapt | Tease | Ironic | Shadowed | Struggling | Whispery | Bespelled
  • Liege
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Apr 2005
  • Location: Somewhere in the future.
  • Darkly sweet femme for rich & insidious scenarios.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 1
Re: Objectification
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2014, 02:00:44 AM »
I'm not really a fan of the definition used by Everyday Feminism and combining it with the "sexual objectification is always bad position" because it puts the example Sheoldred mentioned ("Is it objectification if I'm attracted to women I see on the streets purely based on their looks and body language?") squarely into the "sexual objectification" category...
     I scanned through the article again and I did not find that particular example you raise.  So I think it would be up to you to spell out at more length how their definition must interpreted and deployed to be so "firm" on that.  I can imagine, with some work, a way you might interpret it that way.  But I'm inclined to think (maybe and hopefully) that's not really what the author intended.  I don't see that what you say in this part must follow from the contours of the short discussion she gave.

     Personally I'm not wedded to the website, but for a relatively quick explanation, I'd say it's not bad and at the same time it seems broadly principled with a focus on intent and consequence, rather than generalizing vaguely about situations.  At the same time I would be inclined to agree that there are probably a few traces of what Val mentioned -- that is, a few different (and sometimes conflicting) ideologies that sometimes inform various feminisms (or strains of feminism if you prefer). 

      But here, I think maybe you're being a little oversensitive about stuff they didn't spend time to really analyze.  It's a short piece and I don't see the actual article stating an intent to conclude all that you are concluding.

Quote
... and sexual objectification is bad. In that case there is clearly an observer (Sheoldred) and an object (the person he finds attractive) and there is no way to escape that, thus sexual objectification. If you find someone attractive you are sexually objectifying them... you are viewing them as a sexual object.

     While I realize some people speak like this, and a few even overgeneralize it rather shotgun style...  I don't think this is built into the heart of that definition quite as you suggest.  To me, the heart of the definition revolves more around conceptualizing what is basically consensual, and what is more a true representation of self or openness to allowing true representations onto the playing field (i.e. who gets to go to work or walk on the street at all -- without being excluded or picked on over stereotyped "attractiveness.")

     Here, you are only focusing on sexual desire and you are starting from your own point of view.  And I think what is eating you there, is that if you assume your point of view is the common one, and if you assume they are demanding equal access for every female body to every man's date card on any given day...  Then I suppose, the article definition might come across more as placing the desires of those women who are not conventionally made up -- say, desires to get a date etc. -- somehow 'above' the preferences of those men for conventional feminine performance in the looks field.  However, they have not really stated such in the article.  To be sure, I guess we would have to ask for comment specifically about this sort of scenario -- it's not really raised as a model case. 

     I think their intent with "subject" and "object" is not really to ban gazing and viewing to suit simple desire.  But rather to encourage people to think more about how desire is often itself nurtured, shaped -- even socially limited as to what desires will be allowed to be mentioned -- for many people by convention, and often regardless of personal preference.  And moreover, to think about how certain desires are packaged into "types" of people who can have more power systemically:  Not simply in gazing as a matter of attraction, but more in controlling some people and driving others way from dating and from public life more generally at the same time.

Quote
But here's a point... and it's one the Everyday Feminism article touches on but doesn't go the whole way with... is sexual objectification in-and-of itself bad?
     You said above you had already concluded they modeled it as if it always were.  Though this could also be taken as some tacit admission that they haven't talked much about the stuff you have been saying was so obvious as to what you claim to be 'certain' what the author intended. 

     Feminists often use the term like we generally use the word rape, yes.  Fine.  I guess we can agree there.  But to your question?  I don't feel that all situations with objects need to be placed under their concept of sexual objectification.

     Sometimes people do overshoot.  There are certainly some feminist analyses I take great issue with, in small or large part.   But to me that is a problem with the analysis.  It's not necessarily a crisis for this working definition.  Though I do imagine from a certain angle, linguistically, it could be possible to draw out the questions you raise until it feels like any fully positive or negative words could be totally unworkable in life.  We might also then have to constantly second guess words like consent, and rape, and idealism completely too.  I'm not sure it helps us, on the whole, to go that far. 

Quote
Let's start by pointing out a certain incoherence in the Everyday Feminism definition. Sexual desire requires two (or more) parties stating their desire before consensually acting on it.
     Perhaps they could have gone without "two or more," or taken some time to explain why they are interested in that particular version here.  I think it makes more sense if we assume the article was initially concerned with a particular form of objectification (call it exploitation, if changing the word a mite helps you any).  It makes it easier to show the principle when people assume the ideal case of consent involves both parties.  But with a little imagination, you could apply much the same principle to matters of sexual desire generally. 

    The point isn't just who asks first or who looks at who first.  It's more a question for whoever is acting: How much of what the other person does, do I imagine is what they would prefer (or at least, are very happy to settle for) -- and how much do I wonder if they might not be into it at all, but it's work they do because they feel at some level they have to do it to have opportunities or perhaps simply to be accepted at all?  The nagging thing for feminism on the social theory side is, many of those things people "have" to do pile up as stuff women often enough do not like or find in their interest, no matter that many are quite good at gaming it or going through the motions -- and women as a group do often suffer both sexually and in public life if they don't do (or are even spoken of as a "type" who probably wouldn't do) many of those things.

And this also can be one perspective from which some women who do not present as conventionally feminine, may sometimes come out as highly critical of women who do seem to play that game more devotedly.

( As to who gets to gaze, it's more of a problem for feminism generally that women are somewhat practically forced to assume a passive and decorative role, not because they may enjoy pretty things or fashion but because they want to get a job in many companies serving the public, and to go about life outside the door without being mocked.  And there it becomes more of an issue whether it's usually, so-called "normally" the man who is placed in the role in the gazer and the asker and the initiator...  But that's a somewhat different discussion. ) 
 
Quote
But if sexual desire only appears once both parties state it, then what desire are they stating?

And unless in a moment of ludicrous coincidence the two (or more) parties see each other at the exact same moment and immediately state their desire at the exact same time then both have been sexually objectifying the other up to that point.

      I suppose you have a certain point in there.  But then, so does Ridgway.  I think her idea of desire is a more socially motivated one.  You strike me as using a model of desire where it's sort of organic and spontaneous.  To put it another way, I wonder if she would say, be interested in more direct negotiation of how things are going to be done, whether on the street or in the bedroom.  "Can we sit down and talk about how this is going to be played now, between us, to make it all more fun?"  Whereas you seem to me to implicitly question whether anything that must be verbalized or negotiated (or even materially organized over time and through work and cooperation), can actually be spoken of as "desired."  And it goes round and round, because I would say -- and I think she would -- that many of the things we do with others (yes, granted they feel spontaneous and sometimes even one-sided to start) are also scripted and imagined in advance.  But how much of that is personal desire and individual intention, and how much is just social manipulation -- at the moment, manipulation that often limits women in macro ways.   

      Forgive me if this sounds like I'm concluding stuff you would not say at all.  But I'm not sure you quite explained what your model is, and I'm trying to reconcile a particular gap I sense.   

Quote
Sexual objectification is, at its heart, viewing another as a sexual object. If I see someone and consider them attractive I am self-evidently doing that.
     There I think you're wrong about the heart.  You're trying to reduce it to a very physical definition in your concerns above and in chasing down so many possible uses of the word "object."  I do get very wary of definitions when it seems like they might readily be applied to smack things that I think are basically innocuous or natural too.  But here, the definition is more about principle than physical mechanic. 

     How much of what you consider attractive, might be already systemically drilled into people and used to manipulate them on many different levels?  How much are you aware of when it is and how?  And do you take into account that there are other dimensions to people in your relationships?  Do you ask about consent when there could easily be problems?  Do you have a philosophy about dating, or even viewing, or at least about people and society, that somehow tries to help?  You say you do at least some of these things, or at least sometimes.  Good.


« Last Edit: October 06, 2014, 02:25:34 AM by kylie »

Offline consortium11

Re: Objectification
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2014, 05:24:00 AM »
     I scanned through the article again and I did not find that particular example you raise.  So I think it would be up to you to spell out at more length how their definition must interpreted and deployed to be so "firm" on that.

Sexual desire (going by the article) "involves two (or more) people stating their desire for one another and consenting to mutually agreed-upon sexual activity." In the example Sheoldred listed the woman in question hasn't stated her desire for him and neither partner has consented to mutually agreed-upon sexual activity. Thus when he finds that woman attractive, according to the definition, it's not sexual desire.

Sexual objectification (going by the article) "puts one person in the role of subject and the other person in the role of object." In the example, Sheoldred is clearly the subject (his thoughts and feeling are being considered) and the woman is clearly the object (her thoughts and feelings aren't; she's just being considered attractive). Thus, sexual objectification.

If sexual desire requires all parties to state their desire to each other then until that statement is made there self-evidently can't be sexual desire. Up till that point the person finding the other attractive (and that could be every party involved) is viewing themselves as the subject and the other party as the object.

I can imagine, with some work, a way you might interpret it that way.  But I'm inclined to think (maybe and hopefully) that's not really what the author intended.  I don't see that what you say in this part must follow from the contours of the short discussion she gave.

You know what they say about intentions and the way to hell...

When you put down a definition, that's what we have to go on. If that definition doesn't reflect your actual thinking then that's the fault of your use of language. Going by the definition, sexual desire only exists once it is stated and, furthermore, once mutually agreed upon sexual activity is consented to. That, and only that, is sexual desire according to the definition. Likewise sexual objectification is putting one party in the role of subject and one in the role of object. If an observer sees someone and finds them attractively they are self-evidently putting themselves into the role of subject and the other party in the role of object.

If that doesn't reflect what the author intended then she should have chosen her words better.

But here, I think maybe you're being a little oversensitive about stuff they didn't spend time to really analyze.  It's a short piece and I don't see the actual article stating an intent to conclude all that you are concluding.

If you include a definition then you have to expect that definition to be used. If the intention wasn't for the definition to be used, then one has to ask why it was included in the first place. And, as above, the definition used puts the example of seeing someone and considering them attractive squarely in the "sexual objectification" camp.

Here, you are only focusing on sexual desire and you are starting from your own point of view.  And I think what is eating you there, is that if you assume your point of view is the common one, and if you assume they are demanding equal access for every female body to every man's date card on any given day...  Then I suppose, the article definition might come across more as placing the desires of those women who are not conventionally made up -- say, desires to get a date etc. -- somehow 'above' the preferences of those men for conventional feminine performance in the looks field.  However, they have not really stated such in the article.  To be sure, I guess we would have to ask for comment specifically about this sort of scenario -- it's not really raised as a model case.

I'm not sure I follow you here.

My issue with the definition certainly isn't that it places female desire above male desire or the like; the definition is gender neutral and *touch wood* my analysis of the definition is as well.

What's eating me is that the definition doesn't make logical sense (in essence it breaks down to "sexual desire is sexual desire and consenting to mutually agreed-upon sexual activity") and that following the definition considering someone attractive is sexual objectification which, from the tenor of the rest of the article, is a bad thing.

I think their intent with "subject" and "object" is not really to ban gazing and viewing to suit simple desire.  But rather to encourage people to think more about how desire is often itself nurtured, shaped -- even socially limited as to what desires will be allowed to be mentioned -- for many people by convention, and often regardless of personal preference.  And moreover, to think about how certain desires are packaged into "types" of people who can have more power systemically:  Not simply in gazing as a matter of attraction, but more in controlling some people and driving others way from dating and from public life more generally at the same time.

What desire are you talking about?

Because as the definition makes absolutely clear, sexual desire cannot exist until both parties state it and then consent to mutually-agreed sexual activity. Up to that point it cannot be sexual desire. Looking at someone and considering them attractive? Not sexual desire. Looking at someone and thinking you'd enjoy sleeping with them. Not sexual desire.

The definition puts an incredibly high bar on what can be considered sexual desire. Anything that doesn't clear that bar isn't sexual desire and the vast majority of it will be sexual objectification.

I think in this case it's you reaching beyond the article. The use of "subject" and "object" was to define what sexual objectification is; it's when one party is the subject and the other is (somewhat self-evidently) the object. It's in the definition. Until the actions of both parties then get over the bar for it to be sexual desire (both parties stating their desire and then consenting to mutually agreed upon sexual activity) it remains sexual objectification.

You said above you had already concluded they modeled it as if it always were.  Though this could also be taken as some tacit admission that they haven't talked much about the stuff you have been saying was so obvious as to what you claim to be 'certain' what the author intended.

I don't think anyone would read that article and not leave it with the conclusion that the author thinks sexual objectification is a bad thing. I don't think anyone would read the vast, vast, vast majority of articles on objectification, especially those in the feminist webspace, and not conclude that the authors think sexual objectification is bad.

Feminists often use the term like we generally use the word rape, yes.  Fine.  I guess we can agree there.

I'm not sure I follow; where did the discussion of rape come from? And what are we agreeing about with regards to rape?

Though I do imagine from a certain angle, linguistically, it could be possible to draw out the questions you raise until it feels like any fully positive or negative words could be totally unworkable in life.  We might also then have to constantly second guess words like consent, and rape, and idealism completely too.  I'm not sure it helps us, on the whole, to go that far.

Again I'm not really sure I follow. My issue with the definition isn't so much linguistic based as it is logic based; I don't think the definition holds up in and of itself and I don't like the conclusions the definition leads to.

Perhaps they could have gone without "two or more," or taken some time to explain why they are interested in that particular version here.  I think it makes more sense if we assume the article was initially concerned with a particular form of objectification (call it exploitation, if changing the word a mite helps you any).  It makes it easier to show the principle when people assume the ideal case of consent involves both parties.  But with a little imagination, you could apply much the same principle to matters of sexual desire generally.

I've got no issue with the "two or more" part; sex isn't limited to two people engaging in it and as such it is only logical that neither is sexual desire.

I suppose you have a certain point in there.  But then, so does Ridgway.  I think her idea of desire is a more socially motivated one.  You strike me as using a model of desire where it's sort of organic and spontaneous.  To put it another way, I wonder if she would say, be interested in more direct negotiation of how things are going to be done, whether on the street or in the bedroom.  "Can we sit down and talk about how this is going to be played now, between us, to make it all more fun?"  Whereas you seem to me to implicitly question whether anything that must be verbalized or negotiated (or even materially organized over time and through work and cooperation), can actually be spoken of as "desired."  And it goes round and round, because I would say -- and I think she would -- that many of the things we do with others (yes, granted they feel spontaneous and sometimes even one-sided to start) are also scripted and imagined in advance.  But how much of that is personal desire and individual intention, and how much is just social manipulation -- at the moment, manipulation that often limits women in macro ways.

Again I don't follow.

The definition of sexual desire requires "two (or more) people stating their desire for one another and consenting to mutually agreed-upon sexual activity." But what is "their desire for one another" if not sexual desire? It's circular and incoherent. Following the definition for their to be sexual desire both parties have to state their sexual desire... but sexual desire only appears after both parties have stated it (and also consented to mutually agreed-upon sexual activity). It's a complete logical mess.

As for me, I engage in BDSM play. Informed consent requires me to sit down and talk with my partner about what our desires, wants and limits are.

I'm in no way saying that something that is verbalised or negotiated isn't desire. I'm picking at the fact that the definition doesn't make sense because it pre-empts itself and that even with we handwave a way around that, following the definition anything that occurs before both parties state their desire and consent to mutually agreed upon sexual activity isn't sexual desire.

There I think you're wrong about the heart.  You're trying to reduce it to a very physical definition in your concerns above and in chasing down so many possible uses of the word "object."  I do get very wary of definitions when it seems like they might readily be applied to smack things that I think are basically innocuous or natural too.  But here, the definition is more about principle than physical mechanic.

Sorry, how is sexual objectification not, at it's heart, be based around viewing someone as a sexual object? The very definition of objectification is viewing someone as an object.

Offline Melusine

Re: Objectification
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2014, 07:04:18 AM »
It is something I am certainly striving for. However, I cannot claim that I've always been fair towards women. In retrospect, it can often be a fairly slippery slope, and many men don't even notice that they might be crossing the line from my personal experience. For example, would you say men bragging how many women they've slept with would be sexist? It implies a belief that a man's worth could be determined by the amount of females he has 'conquered' and mated with, which pertains to our primitive nature, the aim of which is to find as many mates as possible and conceive as much offspring as possible to ensure survival of the species as a whole as well as carry on one's personal genes. But do such notions have place in our contemporary society? On the other hand women are looked down upon as sluts if they 'conquer' many men. It's a classic double standard that has been discussed a lot, I'd reckon.

Men bragging about how many women they've slept with is quite sexist, in my opinion. Treating women as notches in your bedpost so you can appear as more of a man is rather objectifying. And yes, the inverse of women being called "sluts" because they've had lots of sex is also sexist. There isn't even the notion of them conquering men, people tell them that they've given themselves away. Regardless of anthropological perceptions (and how, conveniently, primitive humans apparently behaved according to 1950's gender roles) our modern society should be more enlightened.

Do you think the media is responsible for making men less conscious of how they treat women? It isn't very uncommon to hear a woman crying about her ex or her current mate of treating her unfairly in one way or another, whether by cheating on her or whatever else she might find offensive. Basically taking her for granted and thinking that 'ah, she'll forgive me anyway, no biggie'.

Obviously. There are very few fully realized female roles in the media, with the complexity that real women have. Upset women are often stereotyped as "crazy" or "unreasonable". And there's also the stupid perceptions that Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, and never the twain shall understand each other. All that prevents both sexes from understanding that we're all human beings who can understand each other.

And that leads me to another question. In the more unsavoury parts of the internet, you may often witness men insulting each-other by calling each-other 'virgins' or something similar to that. Basically, the point of the insult is to indicate that the person is incapable of attracting a mate of the opposite sex, and in most cases this insult is directed towards men. But do you think this could possibly be indirectly sexist towards women? Because in a way, the woman is indirectly the object that the man has to use, as the subject, in order to fulfill himself as a man and be respected by his peers. I got that from the nice article Kylie linked.

I'm not sure if this is sexist towards women. It implies that the man is awkward, or unattractive. Similar insults are levelled by women to other women. In such cases I think it's more destructive and harmful to men, because it's a kind of social pressure: if you're not sexually active, you're not a man. You're lesser. Which is, of course, bullshit.

But it does so to men too, doesn't it? In fact I'd argue that men have it even worse but of course I might be biased here, being male, so take this with a grain of salt. Basically, as a male, the kind of oppression I've felt lies in the notion that in order to be a man I have to be able to fix cars, own one too, know how to fix anything, in fact, be competitive and outgoing(being a shy guy can easily get you stigmatized and stereotyped), always take initiative, not show emotion. It's ok for a woman to cry but when you cry as a guy you suddenly lose the respect of your peers.

Certainly, men also have restrictive gender roles to deal with. The examples you cited are all correct and you're absolutely right to protest about having to behave in a specific way to be considered a man. A patriarchal society destroys individual expression in both sexes. However, I really don't think men have it worse. Women still have to contend with constant sexual harassment, lower wages, less chances for a career advancement, the pressures of motherhood (which in most cases are worse than the pressures of fatherhood) and restriction of their bodily autonomy.

Psychology says that crying is a mechanism babies and children in general use in order to give a sign they desperately need something, be it sustenance, warmth, emotional support or whatever else, aside from the 'cleansing' effect. I have a feeling that the society in general is more forgiving towards women who cry and seek support from her peers, but men are encouraged to be more independent, more self-sufficient. A guy hugging his guy friend and crying his eyes out is unacceptable and 'weird'. For women that's normal. You could see it both ways. That women are generally seen as the 'weaker' and more emotional sex and thus its sexist against women. But countless women have used this to their advantage too. You often hear of scandals where women win in courts simply by pretending to be the victim. I don't see any advantage here for men, on the other hand. Only for those who can truly meet expectations and be considered the 'alphas'.

Society is definitely more forgiving of emotional women, and I genuinely feel for men who have to stifle more vulnerable emotions. And yes, there is a percentage of women who exploit that. You're right that there's only an advantage for the men who fit that alpha "model" at the expence of their emotional health. But the disadvantage for women is that we're considered weak and overly emotional for our feelings.

Not to mention Hollywood movies tend to portray male protagonists as tall, handsome and fit too, with perfect hair. Just like your average heroine from a romantic movie doesn't look like your average woman in real life, neither does the average guy look like the hollywood hunks who are in fact often paid and provided with more than enough money to get personal trainers, nutritionists and so forth. Besides the looks, the men in movies are shown as very confident and successful. The classic example would be James Bond.

That's true. Men are also idealized. But, to bring this back to your original point, men are seldom sexually objectified. They're portrayed as the active subject who has sex with many women and is manlier for it. The camera rarely lingers on their ass or chest. They have more personality traits than a shallow love interest. Still, they are highly unrealistic and put pressure on the average man.

And I don't want to come off as bitter but I do have a feeling many women tend to have unreasonably high standards, and its possible they do so for the very same reasons men prefer the prettier girls. Because the way media tends to idolize these perfect examples of both sexes.

No disagreement there. Shallow men and women both exist.

I've heard similar stories before. Could it be that these women feel so inferior that they think that even wearing make-up and wearing pretty dresses or skirts wouldn't make them as pretty as the more naturally beautiful women who do the same, still ending up bitter and less preferred by men? Thus they hide their insecurity by trying to claim that make-up and dresses are bullshit that men use to manipulate women. Sort of how homophobic men hate on homosexuals because they're afraid of their own hidden attraction. A defensive mechanism of sorts, that's actually self-destructive and debasing.

As a woman who has no idea how to wear makeup and "doll up", I have to admit I sometimes feel insecure and "less feminine". When I was a teenager I tried to deflect this by idolizing the exact model of the "special nerdy girl" I described in my previous post. I read a lot of books, played videogames and had many male friends. I thought that girly habits were stupid and shallow.

Nowadays I understand that my behavior was internalized misogyny. There's no "right" way to be a woman. Performing femininity is just as valid as being a tomboy. My past behavior absolutely was a defensive mechanism that was damaging to me and other women.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2014, 07:06:34 AM by Melusine »

Offline Lady Laura

  • APPROVAL REVOKED
  • Permabanned
  • Bacchae
  • *
  • Join Date: Oct 2014
  • Gender: Female
  • This is some personal text. There are many like it, but this one is mine!
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Objectification
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2014, 04:00:37 PM »
I'm not much for the PC thing, I think if you like someone and want to get to know them even if the initial attraction was all physical than that is fine, I think it is even ok to admire someone from a far if you like their legs or arms or whatever it is about them. I don't think that is objectification but more like admiring their beauty.

To me objectification goes deeper than that, it is things like strippers and web cam girls/guys, true in these cases the performer objectifies themselves however it sits awkwardly with me as I don't believe I have to help them with that by watching. So for me it becomes this odd situation where I/the viewer helps them turn themselves into a commodity where they will perform acts for money.

Maybe I have all the definitions wrong here but to me that is objectification when you see someone purely as a piece of meat for your amusement rather than someone you think is beautiful and want to admire or get to know.

Intent is everything.

Offline Steampunkette

Re: Objectification
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2014, 06:35:59 PM »
Goooonna go ahead and hop in here to say that yes, sexual objectification is bad.

Any form of objectification is bad, to be honest. Sexual Objectification is just the most prominent one (and the one almost exclusively applied to women).

Objectification is not "Oh, I find this attractive" or any variation of that form. It's reducing the person into an Object. They are no longer a person with perspectives and agency and interests, dreams hopes and fears, they are just some thing to find sexy. No more human or active than a table lamp in the shape of a befishnetted leg.

Before any pedants show up and comment that all images are objects or that women objectify themselves by (insert completely missing the point reasoning, here): People are not objects and they cannot self-objectify by definition. Why? Because objectification requires there be only one perspective: The External. A Lamp does not object. It doesn't do anything. It's a lamp. It sits there until someone else acts on it. Now a person could -allow- others to objectify them, or encourage it, but the act of objectification is external to the person being objectified.

Now with that stated: Is a character, like Power Girl, Objectified or Empowered?


By the power of Boobs!

The answer is: Objectified.

No character in the history of characterization is Empowered. Nor can they be. The Fantastic Four threw a hissy fit over people commenting on the Invisible Woman's objectification and the sexism in Marvel Comics Sue Storm herself piped up and cried out against all the mean people saying she wasn't a good female role model. But Sue Storm has no voice. No agency. She's just a character on a page. Any words she says are determined by the writers and artists who created her character and draw, ink, color, edit, letter, and publish the comics she is in. She doesn't exist as a concrete entity and doesn't represent herself in any reasonable fashion.

Similarly, for all the bluster of Comic Fans Power Girl having a Boobwindow in the middle of her one-piece swimsuit superhero costume, is not empowered. She isn't a feminist who goes out and fights crime to show other girls how it's done without complaining about guys staring at her body. She is an Object. A Puppet controlled in the most literal way imaginable by the men and women who create her comic.

Similarly, female characters in TV Shows and Movies are not empowered. They are the creation of writers, directors, costume departments, and producers portrayed by an actress. That actress might be an empowered feminist, because she has Agency. The ability to control her own actions and statements, a perspective on reality, and a real history.

Now a female character can be written in such a way as to mimic being empowered or being a feminist. Can be shown as a good role model for people of all ages. But she is not, herself, empowered because she does not exist.

In the history of media women have been objectified. We have been made goals or macguffins, rewards and motivations. For a huge swath of time the idea of getting into a woman's perspective has been the stuff of "Chick Flicks" and Soap Operas. The media loves to investigate the inner workings of masculinity and male life, however. And most movies give us deep and involved explanations of what makes the main (male) character who he is. The first third of Conan, a Film about a dude with a sword hacking up the people who killed his family, is devoted to a montage of his life with a serious voiceover of how he grew up from the boy who watched his family killed into a slave and then a gladiator (for whom slave women were delivered to be pounded) and then finally into a free man who could take revenge. Compare and contrast to Red Sonya, which gives us the death of her people, a 40 second scene of making her oath, and then she's fighting. What happened to her 20 minute origin story and exposition where male slaves are delivered for her pleasure?

And this perspective is so pervasive, so all consuming, that it is seen as default. As neutral. You have Movies and then you have Chick Flicks. There's no specific "Dudebro Films" or any similar title that segregates out the movies Men are supposed to watch but women will get bored of like men are supposed to get bored during Chick Flicks.

Sorry... kind of went on a tangent on perspectives, but the point stands. Objectification of real people is wrong. And creating characters with the explicit intent of sexually objectifying is seen as normal... when it's women being objectified.

When a dude gets objectified it feels awkward, disingenuous, and confusing. This just shows the problem for what it is.

I'll go ahead and link two videos of incredibly sexy men doing sexy dances and generally looking as sexy as they can. I can't embed them, sadly, but hopefully you'll enjoy it.




The former is a group of gay men trying to entice other men. It's DAMNED sexy in pretty much all the ways that women in music videos are presented as sexy. Bedroom eyes, bit lips, enticing grins, oiled up bodies, interacting with phallic props, shaking their asses and dancing smooth and sexy throughout. The second is a man standing in his living room dancing to Beyonce's Crazy in Love and yee gods I have to fan myself whenever I watch it because -that- is a sexy guy. Like shivery in my spine and tummy sexy. Gonna go watch it again before I continue typing...

Woo...

Now some people like to throw out the canard that dudes are just as objectified by big muscles and power that women are attracted to... To which I say Tom Hiddleston, Benedict Cumberbatch, Neil Patrick Harris. All men who aren't muscular, but whom women fawn over. For further evidence: Every Boy Band that has ever had Panties thrown at them, Clint Eastwood, Fred Astaire, Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly, and Humphrey Bogart. All male sex symbols, none of them beefed up like Schwarzenegger.

I mean... just look at this. This is Hugh Jackman on the cover of Muscle and Fitness, a magazine primarily marketed towards Dudes.


Tell me how that looks NOTHING like what you'd see in a comic book of Wolverine's. The "Eye Candy" for women, if the Canard I meant to be followed.


Now contrast to how he is portrayed on this cover of Good Housekeeping, a magazine marketed to women the same month that Muscle mag came out.


One of these things is not like the others! One of these things just isn't the same!

Dudes are almost never objectified. And when they are it is almost inevitably on their own terms, such as the Cazwell video or Chris Koo's dancing... *goes to watch it again* hooo...

Anyway... yeah. If men were objectified in the media to an equal extent as women we'd be having a VERY different discussion. And objectification is wrong. And Chris Koo is sexy as all get out. But he isn't an object, he's a dancer. Just so we're clear, on that one.

Offline roulette

Re: Objectification
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2014, 07:56:52 PM »
Okay, I'm going to stop reading some of the posts because I can't really keep up and my head is spinning. The way I think of objectification isn't about subject and object, but more like...

Personification is when you take a thing and apply human qualities. The tree wept. Trees don't weep, but when we say they do, we imply some level of personality and character. Weeping implies emotions. The trees look sad and wilted. Objectification is when you take a person and take away their human qualities. An objectified woman is stripped of her emotions and personality, hopes and dreams, and the ability to act for herself.

I don't even remotely agree with the definition of sexual desire given. Desire means wanting something. Attraction means enjoying or being drawn to something. Consent has nothing to do with desire or attraction. I need not consent to someone's attraction or feelings toward me; that would be absurd. But a man thinking I'm attractive and admiring my appearance is not the same thing as being gawked at and catcalled. Staring tends to make some women quite uncomfortable and to defend the right to stare because, "Hey, you shouldn't get so worked up. I'm just trying to admire the way you look! Why'd you get all dolled up if you didn't want to be seen?"

But to see someone and think they are attractive? That's not objectification. At the very least, that's not what most (sensible) people are actually talking about when they're discussing objectification, so if the very literal meaning of the word is different, I think we can probably save time by not arguing the semantics of the phrase.

Feminism is about equality. There are a lot of different women on this planet. As any group, they will naturally disagree on what they want. As any group, there will be vocal fanatics. I resent the people who dismiss me and my ideas about feminism only because some other woman pissed them off. Feminism is not about man-hating. So, whatever. Maybe it's a handful of feminists that might think Sheoldred is evil for liking femininity in his intimate partner and not requiring it from anyone at all. But let's be very clear about this from the start: it is not these people's feminism that prompts them to have such thoughts, but generally their idiocy.*

* Unless there's a particularly awesome argument for this line of thinking that I have yet to hear from a sane individual, but I highly doubt it. Anyone who thinks men are inherently evil is just... ugh.

Just another side-point: if an individual woman benefits from sexism or intentionally uses it to her advantage, it is still sexism. Regardless of whether her actions are ethical (though if they are not, I would not condone pretending they are). Sometimes women are manipulative and crafty. Sometimes they're just making the most of a bad situation. They're as human as men are.

Offline Valthazar

  • Writer ͏͏● Educator ● Gamer ● Roleplayer ● Debater ● Tech Connoisseur ● Gym Rat ● Procrastinator ● As they say, "A simple PM may lead to lifelong friendship" ▬▬▬▬
  • Suspended
  • Seducer
  • *
  • Join Date: Mar 2013
  • Location: United States
  • Gender: Male
  • Proceed and be bold. Embrace your insecurities.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Objectification
« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2014, 09:11:57 PM »
As any group, they will naturally disagree on what they want. As any group, there will be vocal fanatics. I resent the people who dismiss me and my ideas about feminism only because some other woman pissed them off. Feminism is not about man-hating. So, whatever. Maybe it's a handful of feminists that might think Sheoldred is evil for liking femininity in his intimate partner and not requiring it from anyone at all. But let's be very clear about this from the start: it is not these people's feminism that prompts them to have such thoughts, but generally their idiocy.*

I agree with you that women latch onto feminism for a myriad of reason.  There is far more breadth of perspectives today within the umbrella of feminism, than in many of the past decades.  There are many feminists, like yourself, who believe in the equality between men and women, but the unfortunate reality is that there is no governing body, or mainstream 'reference' upon which to empirically state that this is the "true essence" of 3rd wave feminism.

I guess my point is that while I agree with you, there is little basis upon which to suggest that this version of feminism is any more accurate or inaccurate compared to the those feminists who will criticize men like Sheroldred.  From what I have read in the past, the response is usually that, "this isn't what feminism is all about."  Yet at the same time, both sets of perspectives are espoused by women who actively consider their interpretation to be the true feminism.

In fact, I think much of the aversion to the term "feminism" by many contemporary women is due to these divisions.  While I agree with your interpretation, roulette, and on a personal level, also criticize feminists who would find fault with men for simply being drawn to certain traits, what empirical basis do we have to make that criticism?  They are as entitled to their interpretation of patriarchy as we are.

Offline roulette

Re: Objectification
« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2014, 09:47:11 PM »
But I mean, the definition of feminism is literally about equality. I typed in "What is feminism?" in Google.

Google definition:* Taken from Oxford, it seems
Quote
the advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.

Redletter Press: (first result)
Quote
British suffragist and journalist Rebecca West famously said, "Feminism is the radical notion that women are people." In other words, feminism is a commitment to achieving the equality of the sexes. This radical notion is not exclusive to women: men, while benefiting from being the dominant sex, also have a stake in overcoming the restrictive roles that deprive them of full humanity.

Wikipedia: (second result)
Quote
Feminism is a collection of movements and ideologies aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, cultural, and social rights for women.[1][2] This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment. A feminist advocates or supports the rights and equality of women.

About.com: (third result, the definition was not given so clearly about equality, but it was mentioned and I am including the relevant parts).
Quote
Feminism refers to a diverse variety of beliefs, ideas, movements, and agendas for action.
...
The assumption in feminism is that women are not treated equally to men, and that women are disadvantaged in comparison to men.

These are the first three links that came up, if you don't include the google definition. Here are some more definitions:

Quote
Dictionary.com
the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men.
(sometimes initial capital letter) an organized movement for the attainment of such rights for women.

Merriam-Webster
: the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities
: organized activity in support of women's rights and interests

Oxford English* Same as the Google definition
The advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.

I agree that people are very confused about what feminism is, but I do not believe there is a lack of a central definition of the movement. I think many people disagree on how equality is to be reached. But I think it is very central that feminism is about equality. How we get there is the big question, and the big division, and perhaps you and I shall agree to that.

Note: Scout's honor that I included each definition I found in the top results, and would have included any results that did not support my position. I didn't pick and choose. I also hope I didn't list too many sources; I in no way intend to be unkind or patronizing or "rub it in", so to speak. So I hope I did not offend.



edit to note the sameness of the Google and Oxford definitions.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2014, 10:05:29 PM by roulette »

Offline Valthazar

  • Writer ͏͏● Educator ● Gamer ● Roleplayer ● Debater ● Tech Connoisseur ● Gym Rat ● Procrastinator ● As they say, "A simple PM may lead to lifelong friendship" ▬▬▬▬
  • Suspended
  • Seducer
  • *
  • Join Date: Mar 2013
  • Location: United States
  • Gender: Male
  • Proceed and be bold. Embrace your insecurities.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Objectification
« Reply #15 on: October 06, 2014, 10:14:07 PM »
What I'm saying is that the paths required to be taken to achieve equality differ considerably among feminists, based on their understandings of what constitutes bias, sexism, and patriarchy in different contexts.

In other words, no feminist would ever say as a direct quote that "Sheoldred is evil for liking femininity in his intimate partner" - but rather, some feminists may critique his appreciation for traditional femininity as a patriarchal influence that subjugates women to "less than equal" status, and thus criticize his actions in that manner.  Even the feminists you dismissed as man-haters rather than feminists, are using the very same terminology of equality in developing their stance.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2014, 10:15:14 PM by Valthazar »

Offline roulette

Re: Objectification
« Reply #16 on: October 06, 2014, 10:37:24 PM »
Then we are in agreement, Val.

But when I attack man-haters, I do attack man-haters. I am certain there are people who would critique his appreciation for traditional femininity. They have their opinions and if they can discuss the topic in a respectful manner, then I think maybe they'll have points that are thought-provoking, and they may have something to contribute to the conversation. I would not agree with them personally.

But if that's the kind of person we're talking about? I don't agree with saying those kind of people would consider Sheoldred to be evil. Implying that "some feminists would consider him evil" to me either that we are actually talking about vocal fanatics and idiots, or that a very offensive accusation is being made about someone's peaceful and legitimate opinion. So I really hope, with that quote, we are not talking about level-headed feminists who would critique his appreciation.

I only mean to say one of two things, whichever is relevant:

If someone says they don't agree with the way you do things, or that they think you've done something wrong... don't even summarize that into "Oh, well, these people think I'm evil for doing this." It's dismissive and insulting and inaccurate. Thinking you're wrong is not the same thing as thinking you're evil. Feminism has enough of a bad rep without the exaggeration and villainizing that this statement implies.

If, on the other hand, someone is actually saying you're evil? If they're incredibly hostile and belligerent and petty and nitpicking? I don't know, ignore them. But do not consider those people and their opinions to be representative of feminism. It's not feminism.

I would say exactly the same everywhere else. The Westboro Baptist Church and cults centered around Christianity, though they say they are Christians all they like, are not representative of Christianity. ISIS is not representative of Islam. I am aware that this can cause confusion and that, of course, opposing parties will use the radicals to beat down the religion or movement. And it works.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2014, 10:38:49 PM by roulette »

Offline kylie

  • Bratty Princess of Twisty, Creeping Secrets. Frilly | Fussy | Framed | Dreamy | Glam | Risky | Sporty | Rapt | Tease | Ironic | Shadowed | Struggling | Whispery | Bespelled
  • Liege
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Apr 2005
  • Location: Somewhere in the future.
  • Darkly sweet femme for rich & insidious scenarios.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 1
Re: Objectification
« Reply #17 on: October 07, 2014, 03:57:28 AM »
           Consortium:  Granted some definitions may be neater than others.  Quick definitions are always so-called "vulnerable" to picking over words because there are so few words.  Long definitions are always "vulnerable" to picking over the discussion because...  There are so many words and exceptions.  And if someone wants to fuss over the same words forever without making a serious effort to understand the context and intent the author spoke with, particularly when they are batting around an example which the author they are bashing never even took up?  Well if those are the rules, then everyone can pretty much forget adopting any shared definitions of anything because no one is ever going to have an honest conversation (or at least, not a productive one) with each other that way. 

            The road to obfuscation is paved with purposefully and vindictively avoiding all discussion of context and intention.  And that is as much fuss as I care to gave that particular diatribe. 
« Last Edit: October 07, 2014, 04:27:07 AM by kylie »

Offline kylie

  • Bratty Princess of Twisty, Creeping Secrets. Frilly | Fussy | Framed | Dreamy | Glam | Risky | Sporty | Rapt | Tease | Ironic | Shadowed | Struggling | Whispery | Bespelled
  • Liege
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Apr 2005
  • Location: Somewhere in the future.
  • Darkly sweet femme for rich & insidious scenarios.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 1
Re: Objectification
« Reply #18 on: October 07, 2014, 04:25:07 AM »
Quote from: Sheoldred
Where does the line between objectification and desire lie, exactly? It's only natural to be attracted to a female's(or male's) looks. Is it objectification if I'm attracted to women I see on the streets purely based on their looks and body language?
         I don't think so.  (With perhaps minor qualifications below.)

Quote
Is there something wrong with preferring women to be feminine? By this I mean mostly clothing, make-up, body language and other various mannerisms...
        Not immediately.  I'd like to be more feminine, and so would lots of women in certain aspects at least.   ;)  I think where the objectification question comes up is more:  Can we also keep an eye out, at least part of the time, to realize that there are also situations where demands are placed on women in general to do a really huge range of things (some of them even mutually exclusive things!) that are conventionally considered "feminine" or even "ideally feminine," and those who don't are punished -- again, not only about dates but in terms of jobs, treatment by the media, how people may react to them in certain conversations, on and on.  So people who use the term objectification care about whether we are also sometimes thinking about that. 

      There are places where how we talk about or perhaps how we display sexual desire overlaps with how social systems exploit people -- in short, sometimes power has gotten mixed up a whole lot with desire.  That is more what the overall genre I would say of "objectification" theory is concerned about at the core:  Can we tell or can we really manage both well in this sort of society?
 
Quote
But according to some feminists I'm an evil man for doing so because I support the objectification of women...
      Basically I agree with you. 

      The philosophical complexity, and at least some of the sticking point with that particular branch of feminism, would involve arguing about exactly how or why one might actually be able to guess what is objectification.  Or what is not, for that matter.  While there are some feminist strains that might fuss more about who likes to see what, I think it's more productive here to speak of interactions.  What happens when she sees you looking?  What happens if you do date her?  Or what happens when you talk to others about her (or about less feminine women for that matter)?  There, it's maybe clearer if someone is maybe (even incidentally) being framed for one purpose or another beyond their interest in life, or in the relationship. 

     So in that sense -- to whatever degree that it doesn't in the moment involve other people so much -- I agree with those who say generally, gazing in itself is not likely objectification.  Though gazing with a thought of, "Why can't all women be like her?  It's so frustrating!"  I dunno, that might move one step closer...  So some feminists do get on edge because it's not always easy to tell who or what else is implicated, sometimes without much conscious thought at all, in gazing and interactions that often are related to it.       
« Last Edit: October 07, 2014, 04:28:35 AM by kylie »

Offline SheoldredTopic starter

Re: Objectification
« Reply #19 on: October 07, 2014, 06:09:23 AM »
Quote
Before any pedants show up and comment that all images are objects or that women objectify themselves by (insert completely missing the point reasoning, here): People are not objects and they cannot self-objectify by definition. Why? Because objectification requires there be only one perspective: The External. A Lamp does not object. It doesn't do anything. It's a lamp. It sits there until someone else acts on it. Now a person could -allow- others to objectify them, or encourage it, but the act of objectification is external to the person being objectified.

That's not true. Hypothetically speaking, if I could transform into the hottest woman conceivable in my own mind, I'd totally objectify myself before a mirror. ;)

Speaking of which, for the sake of the topic I decided to share a specific detail about myself that my ex found appalling. If I need some alone time with myself, so to speak, I always think about female parts. Not that they'd be separate from the woman but I basically focus on parts and probably objectify the female body, yes. Heck, sometimes it makes it easier to think of fantasy races(elves, draenei etc) for me instead of real people. That, or porn actresses. However, I cannot ever bring myself to masturbate to people that I know - not even actresses. If I've seen the actress in a proper movie, not some mindless porn, I just can't do it. The ex I mentioned got mad at me because she was probably insulted by the fact that I can't toy with myself using her pictures or imagining her and its pretty important for a woman to be acknowledged as beautiful, isnt it? Even with her full consent I just somehow couldn't do it. Not that I had a strong moral stand on it, my conscious just didn't let me. It simply felt 'wrong' to create a duplicate of the real person in my own mind and make them act how I'd find it pleasing. On the other hand, just focusing on the body without giving it a name seemed much easier. Whenever I do give the woman a personality, its a fictional woman of my own imagination, usually not even entirely human(again, elf or some persian princess or something like that).

Quote
The first third of Conan, a Film about a dude with a sword hacking up the people who killed his family, is devoted to a montage of his life with a serious voiceover of how he grew up from the boy who watched his family killed into a slave and then a gladiator (for whom slave women were delivered to be pounded) and then finally into a free man who could take revenge. Compare and contrast to Red Sonya, which gives us the death of her people, a 40 second scene of making her oath, and then she's fighting. What happened to her 20 minute origin story and exposition where male slaves are delivered for her pleasure?

Don't you dare criticise Conan the Barbarian, it's one of the most epic movies of all time! OF ALL TIME! It's sacred. >:c

Honestly, all the sequels went downhill, so I'm not sure if this specifically has anything to do with women being portrayed as 'less' of a character. But my gut feeling is telling you're probably right. Perhaps they thought the male audience would feel unnerved if a woman was put in such a position of power that she was the one offered male slaves, not the other way around.

I, for one, would totally RP with a powerful mistress on the other hand :p.

Quote
Now some people like to throw out the canard that dudes are just as objectified by big muscles and power that women are attracted to... To which I say Tom Hiddleston, Benedict Cumberbatch, Neil Patrick Harris. All men who aren't muscular, but whom women fawn over. For further evidence: Every Boy Band that has ever had Panties thrown at them, Clint Eastwood, Fred Astaire, Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly, and Humphrey Bogart. All male sex symbols, none of them beefed up like Schwarzenegger.

I mean... just look at this. This is Hugh Jackman on the cover of Muscle and Fitness, a magazine primarily marketed towards Dudes.


What you're saying is true, women are more objectified as sexual objects. But I think this won't ever change either unless we all became hermaphrodites because of the way male and female psyche works, and due to how the culture and society likes to define sex roles and further empower the stereotypes ,it becomes even harder. Men will never know what it's like to be objectified at its worst, and women won't know the pressures men are under, and the expectations, and the impact of the social stigmas when you're labelled a complete loser. Statistically, men suicide more, do they not?

Quote
The former is a group of gay men trying to entice other men. It's DAMNED sexy in pretty much all the ways that women in music videos are presented as sexy. Bedroom eyes, bit lips, enticing grins, oiled up bodies, interacting with phallic props, shaking their asses and dancing smooth and sexy throughout. The second is a man standing in his living room dancing to Beyonce's Crazy in Love and yee gods I have to fan myself whenever I watch it because -that- is a sexy guy. Like shivery in my spine and tummy sexy. Gonna go watch it again before I continue typing...

Linked these videos to my straight female friend, she thinks these videos are unfunny and unsexy. I'm quite interested to know why is it that you think you're attracted to men dancing like women? Perhaps the movements this Chris Koo is performing are actually universal and unisex at their very core but our cultures have distorted our view and raised us to think only women are meant to act like this? But the body language is extremely effeminate, is it not? The movements seem to convey submission to me. Compare it to this video -



Tatum conveys more masculinity while still wooing women. You think Chris Koo's dance is sexier?

And would you say this is just as sexy?




Offline Melusine

Re: Objectification
« Reply #20 on: October 07, 2014, 06:41:18 AM »
That's not true. Hypothetically speaking, if I could transform into the hottest woman conceivable in my own mind, I'd totally objectify myself before a mirror. ;)

That's probably because you'd think of your female body (assuming your ideal female body has breasts, vagina and related characteristics, which isn't universal) as something temporary and other than yourself, at least your true self. Female bodied people who are attracted to women aren't attracted to themselves. Otherwise, lesbian/bisexual/pansexual women would be staring at their own breasts all the time.

What you're saying is true, women are more objectified as sexual objects. But I think this won't ever change either unless we all became hermaphrodites because of the way male and female psyche works, and due to how the culture and society likes to define sex roles and further empower the stereotypes ,it becomes even harder. Men will never know what it's like to be objectified at its worst, and women won't know the pressures men are under, and the expectations, and the impact of the social stigmas when you're labelled a complete loser. Statistically, men suicide more, do they not?

So according to you, men are wired to objectify women sexually? Pardon me, but that's total bullshit. What about gay men? Asexual men? The male and female psyche are influenced by society and upbringing, and men don't have to become hermaphrodites to treat women decently. Don't you think that's kind of insulting to men? "Oh, we can't help treating you like meat! It's natural for us, it can't change unless we become hermaphrodites or something!" Men aren't biologically destined to be sexist assholes. Sex roles and stereotypes are purely societal. They can and should change.

Also, men are more successful in suicide. Women attempt it more, but because of the methods they use which usually aren't instantly lethal (pills, for example) they dodge death more frequently. Men use more violent methods (like guns) which have higher success rates.

Linked these videos to my straight female friend, she thinks these videos are unfunny and unsexy. I'm quite interested to know why is it that you think you're attracted to men dancing like women? Perhaps the movements this Chris Koo is performing are actually universal and unisex at their very core but our cultures have distorted our view and raised us to think only women are meant to act like this? But the body language is extremely effeminate, is it not? The movements seem to convey submission to me.

When I saw the videos that Steampunkette linked, I was both aroused and slightly uneasy. Aroused because, obviously, they're attractive men, they display their sexy bodies. But uneasy because there was a visceral feeling of "they're not supposed to behave like that, they're men, it's not right". In our society, displaying one's body in such a seductive way is the domain of women. Men aren't supposed to pose and dance to entice, just as they're not supposed to be penetrated. Of course, this idea (and my visceral reaction) is sexist and rather gender essentialist. "Effeminate" is a label we assign to their body language because our culture tells us it is. So is "submission". They convey submission to you because they're feminine/effeminate, aka submissive. The two go hand in hand in our culture.

Steampunkette is probably attracted to these men (and I don't want to talk over her, I'll just make an educated guess) because why not? Just like you, Sheoldred, are attracted to feminine women, some men are attracted to masculine women. And some women are attracted to "feminine" men. They like the type. Blurring the lines of gender presentation can be very attractive and appealing to some people. As I said before, it takes all types to make a world.


Offline SheoldredTopic starter

Re: Objectification
« Reply #21 on: October 07, 2014, 07:37:43 AM »
Quote
That's probably because you'd think of your female body (assuming your ideal female body has breasts, vagina and related characteristics, which isn't universal) as something temporary and other than yourself, at least your true self. Female bodied people who are attracted to women aren't attracted to themselves. Otherwise, lesbian/bisexual/pansexual women would be staring at their own breasts all the time.

It was mostly a jest! I am well aware that the chemistry of the female body is different. Although do you think there's a correlation between being more feminine and heterosexuality? From my experience lesbians tend to look more androgynous while the more feminine women are more likely to be strictly straight but there are exceptions, of course.

Quote
So according to you, men are wired to objectify women sexually? Pardon me, but that's total bullshit. What about gay men? Asexual men? The male and female psyche are influenced by society and upbringing, and men don't have to become hermaphrodites to treat women decently. Don't you think that's kind of insulting to men? "Oh, we can't help treating you like meat! It's natural for us, it can't change unless we become hermaphrodites or something!" Men aren't biologically destined to be sexist assholes. Sex roles and stereotypes are purely societal. They can and should change.

No, they don't, but there's a lot of sexism out there, and I think it stems from the 'natural wiring' which is further conditioned by the media and the society. My point is that men should be more conscious of these issues and ensure they don't fall into these traps because of their own ego and the media portrayals of women. Lest they want to end up like this guy:



But its' going to take time since there's already so much 'trash' out there. Not that these movies and games are exactly bad, but it requires a certain level of sensitivity and consciousness to recognize how women are objectified so we don't subconsciously transcribe those values into our daily lives. It isn't something that is taught in schools. At least not around here.



Quote
Also, men are more successful in suicide. Women attempt it more, but because of the methods they use which usually aren't instantly lethal (pills, for example) they dodge death more frequently. Men use more violent methods (like guns) which have higher success rates.

I've some speculations about this but I'll keep them to myself for now.



Quote
Steampunkette is probably attracted to these men (and I don't want to talk over her, I'll just make an educated guess) because why not? Just like you, Sheoldred, are attracted to feminine women, some men are attracted to masculine women. And some women are attracted to "feminine" men. They like the type. Blurring the lines of gender presentation can be very attractive and appealing to some people. As I said before, it takes all types to make a world.

Of course, I just find it curious. My own country is rather dogmatic in its views. For example, nearly all the girls and women I've personally met here were quite fond of the stereotypical representations of men. Anything effeminate, like K-pop and J-pop starts were just weird and awkward to them. Just to give you more perspective, apparently 96% voted against changing the laws of marriage in the country to accommodate gays, out of all the people who actually bothered to vote.


Offline consortium11

Re: Objectification
« Reply #22 on: October 07, 2014, 07:52:55 AM »
           Consortium:  Granted some definitions may be neater than others.  Quick definitions are always so-called "vulnerable" to picking over words because there are so few words.  Long definitions are always "vulnerable" to picking over the discussion because...  There are so many words and exceptions.  And if someone wants to fuss over the same words forever without making a serious effort to understand the context and intent the author spoke with, particularly when they are batting around an example which the author they are bashing never even took up?  Well if those are the rules, then everyone can pretty much forget adopting any shared definitions of anything because no one is ever going to have an honest conversation (or at least, not a productive one) with each other that way. 

            The road to obfuscation is paved with purposefully and vindictively avoiding all discussion of context and intention.  And that is as much fuss as I care to gave that particular diatribe.

Or, rather than it being a "diatribe" where I'm supposedly not many any effort to understand the context or intent, could it be that it's actually just a poor definition? Roulette likewise doesn't agree with the definition... is she she equally guilty of "purposefully and vindictively avoiding all discussion of context and intention"?

Let's remember quite how silly that definition is. Unless all parties not only state their desire for each other and consent to mutually agreed-upon sexual activity it's not a sexual desire (and thus a non-sexual desire). So one person fantasing about their partner? Non-sexual desire. Someone wanting to have sex with someone else? Non-sexual desire. Two people expressing their desire for each other (the exact words from the definition)? Non-sexual desire unless they also consent to mutually agreed-upon sexual activity.

Under that definition a desire to have sex with someone is a non-sexual desire. I think when a definition of sexual desire excludes a desire to have sex with someone it's time to sit up and think perhaps this wasn't the best of definition.

I fully well understand the intention (to explain the difference between sexual desire and sexual objectification) and the context (as part of a wider article which said that men can be sexually objectified but it tends to be in a less harmful way and have lesser consequences... something I agree with). Nothing changes the fact that it's a pretty awful definition that puts an exceptionally high bar on what can be classed as "sexual desire" and a very low one on sexual objectification.



Now some people like to throw out the canard that dudes are just as objectified by big muscles and power that women are attracted to... To which I say Tom Hiddleston, Benedict Cumberbatch, Neil Patrick Harris. All men who aren't muscular, but whom women fawn over. For further evidence: Every Boy Band that has ever had Panties thrown at them, Clint Eastwood, Fred Astaire, Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly, and Humphrey Bogart. All male sex symbols, none of them beefed up like Schwarzenegger.

But the counterpart to the beefcake trope of attractiveness would be the (frequently) blond bombshell Pamela Anderson/Marilyn Monroe... all big lips, big bust, big butt etc etc. And while many men certainly do find that attractive, it's certainly not the only "type" people like. A quick perusal of FHM's list of the 100 sexiest women (where men voted for the women they found sexiest and is pretty much the perfect example of the sort of objectification men find sexy) shows comparatively few of the "bombshell" types... the top five read Kaley Cuoco (who probably just about fits that mold), Emily Ratajkowski, Rihanna, Michelle Keegan (a UK soapstar/actress) and Jennifer Lawrence... the last four of whom I'd argue clearly don't. There were only three in the top 10 (Scarlett Johansson, Lucy Mecklenburgh and the aforementioned Kaley Cuoco) who fit the bombshell mold at all and you'll see Emilia Clarke above Kate Upton, Emma Watson above Kelly Brook, Taylor Swift above Holly Willoughby, Zooey Deschanel above Mollie King and the un-bombshell-like looks of Susanna Reid, Jenna-Louise Coleman, Cressida Bonas, Amanda Seyfried and Irina Shayk all rank highly.

Just as the bombshell is only one way of objectifying women, beefcake is only one way of objectifying men.

Offline Melusine

Re: Objectification
« Reply #23 on: October 07, 2014, 08:10:31 AM »
It was mostly a jest! I am well aware that the chemistry of the female body is different. Although do you think there's a correlation between being more feminine and heterosexuality? From my experience lesbians tend to look more androgynous while the more feminine women are more likely to be strictly straight but there are exceptions, of course.

I think the correlation between femininity and heterosexuality is mostly a stereotype. I know many straight tomboys. But since I don't have many interactions (to my knowledge at least) with lesbian or bisexual women, I can't really answer this reliably.

No, they don't, but there's a lot of sexism out there, and I think it stems from the 'natural wiring' which is further conditioned by the media and the society. My point is that men should be more conscious of these issues and ensure they don't fall into these traps because of their own ego and the media portrayals of women. Lest they want to end up like this guy:



But its' going to take time since there's already so much 'trash' out there. Not that these movies and games are exactly bad, but it requires a certain level of sensitivity and consciousness to recognize how women are objectified so we don't subconsciously transcribe those values into our daily lives. It isn't something that is taught in schools. At least not around here.

No, I absolutely disagree. There's no natural wiring that makes men believe women are inferior. There's no evidence and no proof. Media and society create the problem. That man is a prime example of the harmful effects of objectification. He just wanted women to have sex with him, regardless of their own needs and desires. He died, but sadly he isn't the only one with such views.

Of course, I just find it curious. My own country is rather dogmatic in its views. For example, nearly all the girls and women I've personally met here were quite fond of the stereotypical representations of men. Anything effeminate, like K-pop and J-pop starts were just weird and awkward to them. Just to give you more perspective, apparently 96% voted against changing the laws of marriage in the country to accommodate gays, out of all the people who actually bothered to vote.

My country is similar, and it's also quite backwards in these matters. Sexist and homophobic.

Offline Valthazar

  • Writer ͏͏● Educator ● Gamer ● Roleplayer ● Debater ● Tech Connoisseur ● Gym Rat ● Procrastinator ● As they say, "A simple PM may lead to lifelong friendship" ▬▬▬▬
  • Suspended
  • Seducer
  • *
  • Join Date: Mar 2013
  • Location: United States
  • Gender: Male
  • Proceed and be bold. Embrace your insecurities.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Objectification
« Reply #24 on: October 07, 2014, 08:28:31 AM »
Steampunkette is probably attracted to these men (and I don't want to talk over her, I'll just make an educated guess) because why not? Just like you, Sheoldred, are attracted to feminine women, some men are attracted to masculine women. And some women are attracted to "feminine" men. They like the type. Blurring the lines of gender presentation can be very attractive and appealing to some people. As I said before, it takes all types to make a world.

While I understand your perspective, I tend to agree with Sheoldred on a more practical level.

It's easy to espouse these egalitarian views on a theoretical level, but in practice, a "straight feminine man" is only fooling himself if he actually believes that the majority of feminist women (or women in general, for that matter) are so open-minded as to not factor in traits of "masculinity" in their own dating partners.  I'm certain many will disagree with me on a philosophical level - which I agree, is quite unfortunate for the more effeminate straight men out there.  While one could certainly make the case that this is due to deeply internalized gender roles even among feminist women, it is my belief that many women simply tend to find traditionally masculine traits as "attractive" (and why should that be discouraged if that is their preference?).  As was mentioned, there are certainly women who are exceptions to this rule, but suggesting that these individuals represent a true diversity of thought only trivializes how rare it actually is for women to actively 'seek out' effeminate, straight men as a first choice.

How much of this is due to societal influence is often a point of contention.  Purely my personal thoughts - I am not quite sure this can be entirely attributed to social factors alone, though it most certainly plays a significant role.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2014, 08:30:17 AM by Valthazar »