I guess I’ve been pretty sheltered, or oblivious in the past, but I’ve never really been much aware of feeling objectified by men until recent history. It really struck me in the last couple of weeks, when I’ve had some up close and personal encounters with men who are willing to make me feel like a piece of meat. It makes me wonder if a burka wouldn’t be a wise fashion statement.
Roommate has a “stalker” on ldssingles.net who sends her a 27 item list of his requirements from a girlfriend, ie. Don’t ever tell me I’m cute. Don’t expect me to tell you I love you. etc.
Minding my own business, and man on the street asks seemingly harmless question, but takes the opportunity to undress me with his eyes, completely unashamed and not subtle at all. Please keep in mind: I am wearing frumpy, sweaty, moving clothes, with no make-up, and fabulous nasty hair.
While hanging out with my boyfriend, asked if I’m still under warranty by random sleazy guy.
Friend’s husband overhears more than obnoxious comments made about his wife. Dismissed as “just the way guys talk.” This one actually offends me most because this woman was in a professional setting, modestly dressed and looking and behaving as a professional, while these men completely disregarded her talent and abilities, and reduced her to a sex object. Her children were within earshot (hopefully oblivious).
I don’t really even know what to say. It really takes me by surprise when these things are directed at me personally. A comment was made in Jessawhy’s last post that keeps ringing in my ears–that women are seen as sex personified.
One thing this has made me do is take a good look at my own closet. Living in California, my church-going attire consists of knee-length skirts and short-sleeved shirts. These are usually accessorized with sandal heels. I compare this to the long pants, white shirt, and tie that men are required to wear every Sunday, and I can’t help but think I should revamp my wardrobe. It also occurred to me that in most stores, the more formal the attire, the more difficult it is to find “modest” fits. When women dress up, they actually dress down.
But, I digress. I don’t actually think that modesty is the real culprit. Obviously it doesn’t help to have skin displayed, but as evidenced by the stories I related, you could be in a full burka, and still be objectified. And is the burka really the ultimate objectification? (That’s another post.) Is it really just “the way guys talk,” and something to be accepted as just the way things are?
Do you have any practical advice for dealing with objectification? How can we encourage our children to avoid objectifying another human being?