Objectification: Round 2, it’s still only a problem when men do it.

Posted: April 28, 2014 in Uncategorized

A month or so ago I wrote a blog on objectification, or, more importantly, how we only ever seem to see objectification of women. If you want to read it, it’s here:

https://johnsalmonsworld.wordpress.com/2014/03/15/objectification-making-a-mountain-out-of-a-molehill-2/

Though it’s not essential reading in order to understand this particular entry, it does outline nicely the way I feel about the current objectification minefield. I’m going to assume you read it and I don’t have to repeat myself too much.

I will say this – objectification is fine. I honestly don’t have any problems with it. As I said in the earlier blog, I do have problems when simply appreciation of human beauty crosses the line into harassment, either verbal or physical, but the act of objectification is not a problem in my eyes. If we can’t appreciate the beauty of fellow human beings, both men and women, then I wonder how on earth we are supposed to develop an attraction to each other.

That’s one thing that is constantly at the front of my mind when I hear someone droning on about objectification, and it’s a question I asked a feminist (or at least someone who displayed feminist tendencies) recently, only to be met with silence: at what point does sexual attraction become objectification, and how does one develop an attraction without objectifying?

It seems that, in 2014, simply saying a woman is attractive is some form of oppressive objectification. As a man, I’m constantly shamed for my looking at a woman, then shamed because I’m not man enough to make the first move on a woman. It’s absolutely insane. I can’t win, I’m damned if I do, damned if I don’t. If I was to see a woman in a bar, how am I supposed to evaluate my attraction to her on anything other than her appearance? What else have I got to go on?

At what point does sexual attraction become objectification? And why is sexual attraction such an inherently negative thing? Yes, like I’ve said, harassment is not cool, but I’m not talking about harassment. I’m talking about the moment a woman (or man) walks into the room for the first time and takes your breath away. I’m talking about the first time you look into someone’s eyes and get lost. I’m talking about the first time you make an absolute fool out of yourself in front of a beautiful woman because her beauty distracts you. Isn’t that, like, what romantic comedies are made of? When did it become so bad in real life?

Look, I’m short, overweight, ginger and quite hairy, I don’t get objectified much. Maybe that’s my problem, maybe I’m just jealous or something. Maybe I just crave attention because, when it finally does happen to me, usually by drunken, middle aged woman, I see it as a positive, something that reaffirms my own attractiveness, something that, finally, convinces me I’m not the slightly uglier brother of a Morlock. (If you don’t know what a Morlock is, shame on you!)

All hyperbole aside, there must be some reason that objectification is seen as such a massive topic of discussion, particularly when it’s women? And there must be some reason that objectification of men, despite now being just as frequent as objectification of women, is ignored or brushed under the carpet, particularly by feminists? I highlighted a few examples in the previous blog of men being objectified not just sexually but for other things as well, namely their wealth and influence, just to show that objectification is not simply down to being made in to a se object.

I want to highlight some more examples of sexual objectification of men, for no other reason than to show that it does happen.

The thing is, it’s claimed that women have been objectified for years, particularly in the film industry. This is where the feminists have it wrong. Yes, women have been objectified for their looks, you only have to think of Marilyn Monroe and other Hollywood starlets to see that, but the idea that men have never been objectified is ludicrous. As I mentioned on the previous blog, objectification of wealth, power and influence of men has been de rigueur for decades. You only have to look at one of the most enduring icons of cool, James Bond, to see plain objectification:

http://search.babylon.com/?s=img&babsrc=HP_ss&rlz=0&sd=1&q=sean+connery+james+Bond

http://search.babylon.com/?q=Roger+Moore+James+Bond++&s=img&as=0&rlz=0&sd=1&babsrc=HP_ss

http://search.babylon.com/?q=Pierce+Brosnan+James+Bond++&s=img&as=0&rlz=0&sd=1&babsrc=HP_ss

http://search.babylon.com/?q=Daniel+Craig+James+Bond+&s=img&as=0&rlz=0&sd=1&babsrc=HP_ss

You see, objectification, in one form or another, has been around as long as the film industry, we just seem to not see it when men are objectified.

So, when we see feminist sites like Jezebel publish articles like this:

http://jezebel.com/hollywood-men-its-no-longer-about-your-acting-its-abo-1565779471?utm_campaign=socialflow_jezebel_facebook&utm_source=jezebel_facebook&utm_medium=socialflow

It pretty much highlights everything I think about the feminist movement: they actively desire to place women as victims. When men are ‘victimised’ through objectification, feminists can’t help themselves, they can’t deny that they love the way a man’s body looks, yet try to play it away by saying it’s a new phenomenon. It really isn’t, that’s just a way for feminists like those at Jezebel to enjoy looking at a man’s body without having to acknowledge the rampant hypocrisy within their own movement that, seemingly, wants to see women as victims and only as victims.

What about the trusty firefighter meme:

http://i1276.photobucket.com/albums/y472/johnsalmonworld/suddenlymyhousecauhtonfire_zps2f8eba22.jpeg

http://i1276.photobucket.com/albums/y472/johnsalmonworld/excusemewhileilightmyhouseonfire_zpsc631814c.jpg

And just to show that women firefighters don’t get left out:

http://i1276.photobucket.com/albums/y472/johnsalmonworld/IMG_3668_zps492d9e9d.png

I thought I’d show the picture as part of the Facebook status I took it from because, funnily enough, it was written by a woman. Yep, a woman doing something natural and objectifying a group of women, shock horror!

The thing that really bugs me is the way in which objectification of men is accepted and, in some cases, actively endorsed. Like, for example, Zac Efron having his shirt ripped open on stage at a recent awards ceremony (fuck if I know which one):

http://youtu.be/A8GRc0aViPY

It bugs me because there is absolutely no way in which the reverse would be acceptable. The fact is, Zac Efron made no effort to show he was willing to take his shirt off, yet Rita Ora decided it was perfectly acceptable to tear his shirt open without his permission. Why is that acceptable? Yeah, Efron made the best of a bad situation by taking it off completely, but that’s not the point. And before you start with ‘but he was already showing his body off by having the top button undone, he was just asking for it’, I’ll counter with ‘but she was wearing a short skirt, she deserved to be raped’. Yeah, not very acceptable is it.

Or how about Efron’s recent appearance on Graham Norton, where it was made into a little nugget of comedy where women were actively encouraged to objectify him on his body and nothing else:

http://youtu.be/QFLnwdTpDYU (the fun starts at around the 4 minute mark.)

Can you imagine if men had been actively encouraged to objectify a woman on Graham Norton? In fact, the week before this particular show, we had to suffer Cameron Diaz going all ‘for the wimmins’ when talking about pubic hair and the ‘beauty standards’ all women felt the need to adhere to. Apparently, women’s bodies are to be left alone, men’s bodies are to be leered at. Who knew?

http://youtu.be/djYGC_8JvnY

But let’s leave sexual objectification alone for a few minutes and move on to something else: general objectification and how it is possibly the worst thing you could do to a woman, bordering on harassment and being just downright creepy:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/catesevilla/so-the-women-who-eat-on-tubes-facebook-group-is-pretty-creep

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, it’s only creepy and harassment when it’s happening to women. In fact, this hilarious happenstance of hypocrisy is made even more enjoyable when you realise the above story is on Buzzfeed. The story claims taking pictures of women who eat on the tube is creepy and unnecessary. Yet, on the very same site, admittedly by a different author but that’s not really relevant, there’s this little packet of piousness:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/alisonvingiano/men-taking-up-too-much-space-on-the-train-is-the-feminist-tu

And then, just to add insult to injury, here’s another little secret that the feminists don’t seem to want to talk about:

http://tubecrush.net/

Yep, taking pictures of women eating is apparently creepy and unnecessary and makes women fearful of taking public transport (feminists claiming something makes women scared? Surely not!), but taking pictures of men, solely for the purpose of embarrassing them for the amount of room they take up, or to objectify them solely on their looks, is perfectly acceptable. Nice work, feminism!

If you want to show how much this issue is not gender-specific then there are sites like this, actively showing people, not just men but people, taking up too much room:

http://goingwitheddie.com/page/3/

Or how about women only wanting to date men taller than themselves:

http://houston.cbslocal.com/2014/02/10/study-majority-of-women-only-date-men-taller-than-themselves/

Is that not as sexist as men only wanting to date women with big boobs? I don’t see that being at the forefront of the feminist whinge machine.

As I said in the first blog, I have no problem with people, men and women, objectifying others. It’s a natural way of life. Despite the claims of feminists, everybody objectifies someone at some point. Whether that’s on initial looks, sexual availability, wealth, power, influence or any other reason it’s not something that is inherently discriminatory, nor is it inherently gender specific. The problem is that there is still a double standard. Objectification of women is still seen as some horrendous patriarchal act designed only to suppress women and judge them only by their bodies, yet objectification of men is either ignored or made out to simply be ‘about time’ in the merry-go-round of who is discriminated against most. As Karen Straughn (I believe) said, if this is the Oppression Olympics, objectification of women has been around since the first modern games, objectification of men is a new addition. Of course, that’s rubbish, objectification has been around, and will continue to be around, for years.

I’m tired of being shamed for saying ‘wow, she’s beautiful’. I’m tired of being shamed for trying not to objectify a woman, then being told I need to ‘man up’ and make the first approach. I’m tired of being told that women don’t want to be approached when out and about, then being shamed for not making the first move when a woman was giving me ‘the eye’.

When an openly feminist site revels in the ‘new’ trend of men being judged on their bodies, while other feminist sites actively trounce men for objectifying women who eat on tubes, while actively endorsing those sites who objectify men in order to shame them for the amount of room they take up, you can see why feminism is pretty much becoming a laughing stock.

‘We despise men who objectify women, but we do love the look of a toned man.’ Score another win for feminism.

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