Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Sexual Objectification


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 sexualization.
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 - sexualization 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 hated sexuality.
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."

At first glance, that line of thinking isn't illogical.  Magazines, commercials, billboards, etc. show highly sexualized women, which didn't exist before the women's movement.  Women in advertising back then were still objectified and portrayed as stupid, only they were fully clothed.
However, women in general were more objectified, to the point of being considered property of father/husband.   Higher education was discouraged for women 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."

......WHAT?!?!?!?  Don't 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.  Because women are still valued most highly as sex objects, many women still CHOOSE to fulfill that.  Feminism 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 are perhaps the biggest obstacle to feminism.

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