I admit that I was frustrated and flustered when I wrote the original Sexual Objectification blog entry, therefore it isn't well written. Here is the edited version, beginning with some definitions:
sexualization: prioritising the sex, sexuality and sexiness of a person.
sexual objectification: treating a person as a sexual object.
feminism: the belief that people of all genders and sexes should have equal opportunity and choice.
the women's movement: the history of feminism, particularly in America in the 1960's/'70's
A friend posted this on her facebook. She and her peers are religious,
involved mothers and they all commented about how relieved they are
that being religious, involved mothers combats early sexual
I pointed out that I was under the impression as a child that I would
marry by 16. My mother and the mothers who volunteered at my Catholic
school (which, I discovered much later on, was an extremist parish) all
emphasized that little girls should prepare for marriage constantly
until they're at the altar - sexual objectification was encouraged,
though in manners less obvious than skimpy clothing. Religious,
involved mothers can do more damage than good - another lady commented
about how her mother actually pushed her in the opposite direction and
Nobody in this discussion on the article replied to my point, but
eventually one of them commented "It's as though the women's movement
created more objectification than less of it."
Because of the
correlation between the women's movement and shifts in advertising, this
can appear as a causation. In the years leading up to the women's
movement, sexual objectification in advertising was minimal - women
still appeared in advertising as service objects, only fully clothed.
The levels of sexual objectification, particularly of women, in
mainstream advertising are at a disturbing high today in American
However, women were more sexually objectified, to the point of
being considered property of father/husband before the women's
movement. Higher education was discouraged for a woman because it made
her a less serene servant - and nobody saw the problem in proclaiming
this conundrum bluntly. Women themselves chose to abandon education in
order to objectify themselves.
So I replied to this lady " the
women's movement made it illegal for a husband to rape his wife...so
no." What more obvious example is there that the women's movement gave
women human status?
She replied "that's a law, this article is about culture."
Don't most laws come about through cultural shifts?!?!? The women's
movement is incomplete, it isn't finished. It gave women choices,
that's what feminism is. However, because woman-as-sex-objects are
still very highly valued in our culture - as evidenced by advertising -
many women make the ill-informed choice to objectify themselves.
I argue that a choice made without awareness of other options isn't an
autonomous decision at all, which is the difference between
sexualization and sexual objectification. If you want me to elaborate
on how I know these women's decision-making, please ask.
is still working to elevate women's minds to equal societal value. I
hate to say it, but the women who choose to be sex objects, as opposed
to sexual human beings, are perhaps the biggest obstacle to feminism.
And yes, I'm aware that my privileges are showing...I'm working on it.