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Objectification of women...

Women Objectification Culture

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#1 QueenTiye

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Posted 22 July 2003 - 03:54 PM

O.k.  I'm going to try to stay calm about writing this - but I'm not sure I'm going to succeed.  

It seems to me that women are often complaining about being objectified - treated as sexual objects.  Yet - I also observe that women are often the most willing contributors to the objectification!  Such things as playboy magazine, music videos, mainstream media, western dress codes...all contribute to the objectification of women - and all rely on the willing participation of the women in question.  The "oldest profession" prostitution - is another one of those scenarios where we know some women are oppressed and forced into it - but we also know that some women voluntarily become prostitutes.

What's the deal?  Why do women do this? Are we REALLY sure we DON'T want to be objectified? I'm throwing this open to discussion - and I'll have more comments later...

QT

Edited by Certifiably Cait, 02 September 2012 - 03:46 PM.

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#2 Nikcara

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Posted 22 July 2003 - 04:07 PM

I think for some things, like prostitution, it's a matter of 'I need money, here's a way of getting money' or of stupid twits who think that money is worth more then anything else on the planet.  In that sense they're letting themselves be used.  I think most women who dress naughty and walk around in public do it because they like the attention - it makes them feel pretty and special, and therefore feeling like they're NOT an object.  I can see how someone could really enjoy being paid to be turned into someone everyone wants (personally, it would drive me nuts, but I'm obviously not all women).  They may or may not care about women in general being objectified, but I'm sure that none of them would enjoy being treated the way one might treat a pedigree dog - something pretty, but not that useful, bright, or important.

Overall, I just think that there are men that are twits, women that are twits, and waaaay too many people that will go too far for money and fame, and it's up to the rest of us to maintain some amount of sanity in our lives.
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#3 bandit

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Posted 22 July 2003 - 04:18 PM

More to the point in my mind, then the (very valid) points that QT brings up (and here i was just going to start a thread about this  :blink: ) is this:
Many of the women that i personally know dress in a provacative manner, an being asked why, they answer "Its attractive" or "Its styleish" and then they complain about men looking at them like a peice of meat.
Dress modestly, its not that hard, yes it is a little bit difficult to find fingertip-length shorts, and you may have to look a bit more to find a top that does not show cleavage, you don't have to buy that bikini, you would probably be just as comfortable and just as good-looking (though in a less garish sense) in a one-peice.
I usually do well in keeping a balance between noticing looks and intreast in the person behind them, but its a lot easier when that neck line is just one or two inches higher then normal, and not being able to see your panties helps too...

#4 schoolpsycho

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Posted 22 July 2003 - 05:48 PM

Hello QueenTiye.

I wish I could answer these questions you have that could help. There are answers I'll give. But, please forgive me for babbling and repeating myself first.

When you ask a question, sometimes you have to live with how uncomfortable the answer is. And I know both men and women were reassuring when I asked. I asked if women thought we were creeps, and could they trust us. But, then I had to ask myself. Because that's who I have to live with. Others were reassuring; still even now, I have doubts, because, I asked myself the question. I had to. I feel better now. But from now on, I'll still ask.

Let me put it this way.

We are all what we cherish and despise, in all the best and worst of ourselves.

I know that doesn't really help, but... :)

As for the answers, jmo:

Just as everything else. Some do for want, some do for need, some do because it's who they are, and all who do know at some point they will. Sometimes they can live with it. Sometimes they can't. Sometimes they're happy. Sometimes they aren't. Doesn't make them good or bad. Just human.

And we're so busy calling them names just because of what they wear and what they do, making them feel less than human. I'm sure Britney and Christina have spent many a night crying from things said about them, when, in their view, they're just being themselves. And in a world such a this, the hardest thing to be is yourself, especially when judgment is harsh.

I hope you find the answers you seek. :)

sp
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#5 sierraleone

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Posted 22 July 2003 - 06:25 PM

I don't know. I can barely get into any mind set of someone who likes to be goggled, much less more. I don't dress modestly because I am ashamed of my body, or embarrassed, or think I am unattractive (or actually am), which many people seem to think  :blink: I dress modestly because I don't like being goggled/looked at like a piece of meat or objectified. If you are going to appreciate me, appreciate the whole me. If you find me attractive thats fine, as long as thats not the only think you are focusing on. People like me never seem to get attention though ;) :) *edit* ack, that last sentence has many ambigious meanings :p :D I mean, people like me do not seem to be noticed, and I mean on a platonic sense, as much. Sort of how we hear stories of murder and such so often in the News, but not of the heroes or Animal Shelter Volunteers. Though I am sure some of the alternative meanings might work too ;) :D

Edited by sierraleone, 22 July 2003 - 06:32 PM.

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Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.
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#6 Rhea

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Posted 23 July 2003 - 01:23 AM

schoolpsycho, on Jul 21 2003, 11:41 PM, said:

We are all what we cherish and despise, in all the best and worst of ourselves.
Actually, that's both true and profoundly sad.  :pout:

I think the din of the hype from Hollywood and elsewhere about how women should look (for women, either anorexic or with fake boobs and midriff on display, and skirts so shirt that you can't bend over without flashing the room) is far louder than the objections of the folks who feel that it objectifies us.

We are bombarded in all the media with the idea of what's cool in both male and female dress. And even the best of us succumb.

I have common sense on my side, so even though as a young girl I had very pretty boobs and a nice body, I never wore stuff with lots of cleavage or that was very short (except on special occasions), and the only time I showed off my midriff was when I was wearing a bathing suit. I'm a LOT :p older now, and the urge to flash anything has long passed anyway.

But truthfully, and it's probably not a flattering thing to say about our species as a whole, most people are sheep. They'll wear or do whatever is hyped as cool in the media - magazines, TV, movies, whatever. And I'd be surprised to find that as much as 10% worry about objectification.  :crazy:  :wacko:

Edited by Rhea, 23 July 2003 - 01:24 AM.

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#7 Julie

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Posted 23 July 2003 - 04:04 AM

Okay, reasons I can think of off the top of my head as to why young women dress immodestly:

1) They like the attention.

2) They don't think guys will look at them like nothing more than sex objects.

3) The majority of the fashionable clothes available are designed to flaunt their bodies.

4) Most other girls their age dress that way.

Personally, I try to dress modestly, but it's more because of Christian values than a fear of "objectification."  I can understand why so many girls I know like wearing the skimpy stuff.

#8 Tyrman

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Posted 23 July 2003 - 04:44 AM

If I may give my views on the subject?

I'm in high school. I see a lot of girls scantily clad in all kinds of stuff. Not much left to the imagination. And it sickens me. It's just wrong. It's gotten to the point at which the administration has had to enforce a dress code. I'm the kind of guy who thinks that there is a lot more to being noticed than how you look or how little you're comfortable wearing.

Now, I have a girlfriend. She is *thankfully* not one of the girls who goes around wearing practically nothing. She has good morals and high values. That's part of what makes her so attractive. She refuses to make herself open to objectification. And I would never dream of objectifying her, because she means the world to me. Even when we're alone together, the most that happens is a few kisses. Nothing more.

What's my point? My point, and I'm sure you all know this, is that not all guys are sick, twisted, perverted, objectifying jackasses.
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just like everybody else does"

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#9 QueenTiye

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Posted 23 July 2003 - 04:49 AM

Nikcara, on Jul 22 2003, 01:00 AM, said:

I think for some things, like prostitution, it's a matter of 'I need money, here's a way of getting money' or of stupid twits who think that money is worth more then anything else on the planet.  In that sense they're letting themselves be used. 
I'm sorry, but I'm going to be nitpicky about this - because I think we shy away from the issue too much.  Let's start with this "necessity" issue.  Why isn't the purchase of MEN as prostitutes a necessity to women?  Is there something specifically different about men and women that makes the ratio here so imbalanced?  

Quote

I think most women who dress naughty and walk around in public do it because they like the attention - it makes them feel pretty and special, and therefore feeling like they're NOT an object.

So - in other words, we want to be treated like objects to be sexually oggled.  

Quote

I can see how someone could really enjoy being paid to be turned into someone everyone wants (personally, it would drive me nuts, but I'm obviously not all women).

What can you see about it?  See - the problem I have here is that it goes right back to the idea that we WANT to be looked at a certain way sexually - and go out of our way to promote ourselves this way.

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#10 QueenTiye

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Posted 23 July 2003 - 04:54 AM

schoolpsycho, on Jul 22 2003, 02:41 AM, said:

And we're so busy calling them names just because of what they wear and what they do, making them feel less than human. I'm sure Britney and Christina have spent many a night crying from things said about them, when, in their view, they're just being themselves. And in a world such a this, the hardest thing to be is yourself, especially when judgment is harsh.

I hope you find the answers you seek. :)

sp
Thanks, schoolpsycho.

Actually - I don't know at all if Britney & Christina spend ANY time crying about anything.  Nor am I all that concerned - since they are making millions of dollars being exactly what they are being.  And I don't believe that that is being "themselves."  They are creating a sexual image to sell to the mass media.  And - the sexual imagery being sold of women is far more... revealing? than that of the imagery being sold of men.  There is an obvious imbalance.  And it isn't just media - walk down the street at any given time and you will see women of all ages going out of their way to expose their bodies in all sorts of inveigling ways, and you will see far fewer men doing this.

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#11 QueenTiye

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Posted 23 July 2003 - 05:03 AM

Rhea, on Jul 22 2003, 10:16 AM, said:

But truthfully, and it's probably not a flattering thing to say about our species as a whole, most people are sheep. They'll wear or do whatever is hyped as cool in the media - magazines, TV, movies, whatever. And I'd be surprised to find that as much as 10% worry about objectification.  :crazy:  :wacko:
If it were only about media, I would still have the question of why there is such a disparity in the way women and men are treated in the media.   But the issue has a long history - or at least it seems to (to me).  It doesn't start in the media.

I could make a point about women's powerlessness - and our social skills toward using our attractiveness to secure male power on our side.  That to me seems the most logical place to start looking for an explanation.  But I'm not ready to throw out too many ideas until I understand what people think on this subject.

And - I find myself again asking (and Julie, I'm asking you too) why is it that WOMEN feel the urge to flash?  Julie said she can understand why so many girls like to wear skimpy stuff.  Well... I've done it, and went out of my way to do it when I did. I have to admit that I DID most certainly want to be oggled by men, went out looking for that kind of attention.  I wanted to control it, of course - and to be able to pick and choose from the males available - and have the rest stand down respectfully.  BUT...the fact is - I was out for the very kind of attention that we decry as objectifying.  And I tend to think that everyone who says that they can "understand" women wanting to dress in revealing clothing will (if they are being honest) have to admit that they are in fact understanding a desire for objectification on some level.

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#12 Julie

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Posted 23 July 2003 - 05:04 AM

QueenTiye, on Jul 22 2003, 01:47 PM, said:

And - the sexual imagery being sold of women is far more... revealing? than that of the imagery being sold of men.  There is an obvious imbalance.
So is your concern that women dress like sex objects, or that there's a double standard in how women and men dress?

#13 QueenTiye

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Posted 23 July 2003 - 05:06 AM

Tyrman, on Jul 22 2003, 01:37 PM, said:

If I may give my views on the subject?

I'm in high school. I see a lot of girls scantily clad in all kinds of stuff. Not much left to the imagination. And it sickens me. It's just wrong. It's gotten to the point at which the administration has had to enforce a dress code. I'm the kind of guy who thinks that there is a lot more to being noticed than how you look or how little you're comfortable wearing.
Thank you, Tyrman.  If other males are in the thread - I'd like to know how many of them also find women walking around in various states of undress "sickening."  

Quote

What's my point? My point, and I'm sure you all know this, is that not all guys are sick, twisted, perverted, objectifying jackasses.

Thank you again.  OTOH, the point of this thread is not to accuse men of being objectifying anythings, but to question women's participation in their own objectification.

QT

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#14 QueenTiye

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Posted 23 July 2003 - 05:12 AM

Julie, on Jul 22 2003, 01:57 PM, said:

QueenTiye, on Jul 22 2003, 01:47 PM, said:

And - the sexual imagery being sold of women is far more... revealing? than that of the imagery being sold of men.  There is an obvious imbalance.
So is your concern that women dress like sex objects, or that there's a double standard in how women and men dress?
My concern is women's contribution to this.

Its one thing to say that there is a double standard.  But the double standard exists because people allow it to.  Women buy the clothes they wear, and wear them.  Men COULD wear different clothes - but they don't.  Nor do they design them for themselves.  They show up naked less often in magazines.  This is not a double standard - this is human behavior.  What's the cause?

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#15 sierraleone

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Posted 23 July 2003 - 05:18 AM

Well, maybe it has to do with, in the past, a women didn't have to bring much to a marriage except health and fertility?? And "displaying" ones self was a way to show your health/fertility, and to get lots of attention from prospective mates, allowing you more choices. Personally, I don't like most of the men from who would give attention to scantily dressed women ;) They are not exactly the pick of the crop usually :p :D So I don't know how it would actually help a woman's prospects when it comes to mates, other than getting the attention of quite a few men.

Edit: Wheres as men bring other things to a marriage. Certainly health is attractive and great, but women are only concerned with their health and how it relates to providing for them and their offspring.

Edited by sierraleone, 23 July 2003 - 05:19 AM.

Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.
- Masha Gessen
Source: http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html

#16 Julie

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Posted 23 July 2003 - 05:20 AM

QueenTiye, on Jul 22 2003, 01:56 PM, said:

And - I find myself again asking (and Julie, I'm asking you too) why is it that WOMEN feel the urge to flash? 
You honestly don't know the answer to this?  For attention.

Quote

Julie said she can understand why so many girls like to wear skimpy stuff.  Well... I've done it, and went out of my way to do it when I did. I have to admit that I DID most certainly want to be oggled by men, went out looking for that kind of attention.  I wanted to control it, of course - and to be able to pick and choose from the males available - and have the rest stand down respectfully. 

Okay, so you do know why.  

Quote

BUT...the fact is - I was out for the very kind of attention that we decry as objectifying. 

Yup.  We probably do bring it on ourselves.  As for why, let me ask you something: at the time you dressed like this, was the objectification of women an issue that you found particularly important?

When you say "we decry," you have to speak for yourself.  Most high school girls who go around in outfits with less fabric than one sleeve of a sweater aren't all that aware of the objectification of women, nor, I imagine, do they care.  They care about looking sexy and catching guys' eyes.  Usually, they don't realize until later that that kind of attention isn't the type that gives them the respect they deserve.

#17 QueenTiye

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Posted 23 July 2003 - 05:27 AM

Yes - I realize I'm not saying this correctly.  

My question is not a moral one.  Morally I have a very strict opinion about dress codes for both men and women.  

My question is a social one.  WHY are women seemingly more prone to seek this kind of attention?  To that point, thank you sierraleone... your answer is in the direction I'm trying to get to.

QT

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#18 sierraleone

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Posted 23 July 2003 - 05:44 AM

QueenTiye, on Jul 22 2003, 10:20 AM, said:

Yes - I realize I'm not saying this correctly. 

My question is not a moral one.  Morally I have a very strict opinion about dress codes for both men and women. 

My question is a social one.  WHY are women seemingly more prone to seek this kind of attention?  To that point, thank you sierraleone... your answer is in the direction I'm trying to get to.

QT
I *never* dressed revealing... well maybe when I was two.... I liked to go naked (outside... I sometimes even ran away naked), or with a shoe and a hat on sometimes :p :D ;)

I wore somewhat form fitting clothes (never skin tight, *shudders*) but it always *covered*. No cleavage, no shorts even, And usually not even shoulders (but that has more to do with I sunburn easily and/or I never regularly shave my pits ;) :D ). Heck, I don't even like mid-riff revealing swimming suites, but I think its ok for other people to wear it if they are comfortable.

But I do see guys go around wearing no tops, or open tops, or undershirts, it isn't just girls. Guys wear things that are "cool" just as much as girls. What is cool for guys happens to be baggy pants :p :D I find guy "fashions" though, tend to be more comfortable, whether you are talking about socks, pants, shirts, or something else. A bigger question for me, is not really why women wear such revealing clothes, but why we seem to have to torture ourselves? Highheels, shaving/waxing/etc (men do to, but they don't *have* to, I think there is more pressure for women to have smooth legs/pits... remember when Julia Roberts had a picture with her arm in the air, and she had hairy pits? The back lash was pathetic :p ), make-up, hair, long nails (which usually only get in the way), tweezing eyebrows, diets..... :wacko: *sigh*
Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.
- Masha Gessen
Source: http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html

#19 schoolpsycho

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Posted 23 July 2003 - 05:48 AM

Hello again, QueenTiye.

***Actually - I don't know at all if Britney & Christina spend ANY time crying about anything. Nor am I all that concerned - since they are making millions of dollars being exactly what they are being. And I don't believe that that is being "themselves." They are creating a sexual image to sell to the mass media.***


They both have stated that the way they dressed in the past is either an extention or part of their true personalities, so, I tend to believe them, more because they seem natural while doing so.

***My question is a social one. WHY are women seemingly more prone to seek this kind of attention?***

To be accepted. To be "in". And, there's always that part of us that wants to fit in, to please, and to be wanted, and appreciated.

sp
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#20 Godeskian

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Posted 23 July 2003 - 06:06 AM

Well,

As a male, who certainly does enjoy the female form, i have to admit i'm rapidly approaching disgust with the general dress sense in England.

think about it this way, if you want to control a relationship then there is little better way than to dress in such a way that grabs a male's attention. It forces them into chasing you, and allows you to control the circumstances of just about everything.

Personally, i prefer women who don't act and dress like hookers, because i have this real problem appreciation a woman only for her body. Don't get me wrong, i like looking at gorgeous women, but at the same time, there has to be a keen brain betweent he eyes to keep my interest

i'm not actually sure this post answered your question, and I know it didn't end up where i had planned it to go

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