Let’s Talk: Objectification

Due to the serious nature of the topic, this will NOT be a thread for “playing Devil’s advocate” or declaring that you are okay with being objectified. The aim is to discuss the greater implications of objectification in pop culture/society and its impact on our perspectives. If you feel like you cannot contribute in a serious manner, please refrain from contributing at all.

From Vice: Have men experience sexism to help combat it.

Human embodiment of enthusiasm Terry Crews speaks out against the cult of toxic masculinity.

Joss Whedon still unsure why his Wonder Woman script failed; possibly the objectification.

Objectification is, at it’s core, viewing or treating another human being as a dehumanized object, generally speaking as a sexual object. Dehumanization is a key component here: you are not objectifying women by finding them attractive, but you ARE objectifying women if you act as if the most important thing about them is how attractive you find them. Objectification can also include thinking of other people as only existing to give you pleasure or attention, ignoring the thoughts and feelings of people or groups you are attracted to, constantly commenting on the bodies and looks of other people, outright staring, and a huge variety of other behaviors.

Objectification is also connected to the male gaze, where any portrayal of sex, sexuality, attraction, or really any action is centered around what an assumed male viewer would want to see. Think lesbian sex scenes that involve lots of staring at a camera as if inviting a viewer in, or stars women with incredibly long fingernails as if that’s realistic to actual experience.

Adding even more complication and frustration for people who speak out against objectification is that it is connected to more insidious forms of sexism and abuse: almost like a “gateway drug”: if you think of a group of people as objects, it is much easier to ignore their humanity and do them harm or believe harmful things about them.