Briefly on objectification and contradiction

Do women who always complain of being objectified actually enjoy being “objectified”?
But they hate to admit that fact to themselves and to all people because they want to pretend that they have a “sense of propriety”? Notice that most women who complain about being objectified are the ones who wear almost nothing.


You may think you have had a significant insight, but you would be wrong.

How women are treated in our society has lead to a very complex and difficult situation... it comes down to a clash of logic, sociology, psychology and emotions. I'll try to sketch it out a little for you, but keep in mind that humans are complex beings who have built a very complex society that could never be fully explained in a few simple paragraphs:

1. Women are treated as objects. This means that a woman is valued more for her physical presence and appearance than her intangible properties - like personality and intelligence. We use images of women to sell things to both women and men. We judge womens appearances very harshly (Review some of the media around the American presidential elections. Were people discussing the male candidate's appearances even near the amount they discussed the female's? Read some message boards where people are discussing a female of notable talent - a recent one involved a lab assistant who used creativity to save her research facility some hundreds of thousands of dollars. The majority of the comments were regarding her appearance and ranged from "Wow, that was smart! And it's nice to see a geeky girl who is cute, too!" to "I'd **** her", all of which are inappropriate given the context of the article - her innovative approach to an expensive problem.)

2. Women are bombarded with opinions on how they should look and act, how their sex lives should be, who and what they should like and what their interests should be. Even more confusing is that these messages often conflict each other - "Be yourself, everyone is beautiful", vs "Big boobies are great, and all girls should wear heels and be hairless and tanned and like to cook"; "Guys like promiscuous girls who just want to have fun" vs "girls that have sex before marriage are impure sluts who deserved to be raped and have babies". Girls have to pick their way over this landscape of media and opinions and carefully chose what they want to be and what they want to believe. But no matter how logically one can evaluate these claims, no matter how much they truly want to be confident and believe they're beautiful and that sex is healthy and whatever else, they will still internalize some of the other messages, which leads to...

3. Most humans have some inner turmoil and conflict, but right now the discussion is about women and the apparent contradiction between hating objectification and craving it. A woman can intellectually know that it is harmful to herself, to the men around her and to her society that she be treated as an object, however a good portion of the media she absorbs still encourages it. It makes her wonder if it's normal that women should be reduced down to their physical appearance. She wants to be wanted - she wants to be lusted after and loved and showered with attention, just like any other human being on the planet. Not only does she want it, but she knows how to get it. Her whole life she has been absorbing the media of her society - all it takes is for her to be hot and she can be loved.

How can you blame some women for giving in to such temptation? Her other choice is to fight against it every day for the rest of her life, constantly having to re-convince herself that she's beautiful and the world is screwed up... that it's not healthy that she be reduced to an object, that she wants to be loved for her personality and intelligence. That when people insult her for her beliefs and make assumptions about her that it's not their fault - it's society's fault for letting them become so twisted and uninformed...

As a strong proponent for gender equality, even I find myself longing to look a certain way, to have attention showered on me, or have my photos passed around the internet to be admired by thousands... who wouldn't? Insecurity is part of being human.
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"Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect."