Appreciating Beauty or Objectifying Women?

A few weeks ago, I was hanging out with my good friend Dan in Boulder.  Among other wonderful things that we talked about that night, we had a challenging and important conversation about the ways we look at women.  Dan posed me the tough question of where the line is drawn between appreciating beauty and objectifying women.

What is beautiful? What is healthy?

We discussed this dilemma for quite a while.  It is tough.  As a straight male, I am attracted to a wide variety of women, and I like to think that I can appreciate a wide range of beauties.  I like to think that I can see a range of body types and see beauty in them all in different ways, appreciating the human form without over-sexualizing and objectifying the women whom I am appreciating.

However, both Dan and I recognized a struggle that we face as straight men who are trying to build a more positive masculinity and male sexuality.  We want to simply recognize beauty in the women around us, but too often we realized that it goes far beyond that.  The euphemism I use when I speak describes it well: Too often my eyes go down.  I stare at women’s bodies with an uncomfortable lust that holds them to a standard of beauty that, frankly, does not exist.

As I try to counteract this tendency, I find that unfortunately I don’t find much company among other men.  Dan, being an exception, is one who is committed to finding ways to build a masculinity and sexuality that is not based around unhealthy body images for women, but in my experience I find that few of the men I encounter are.  Sometimes I wonder, though, if there are more men out there who are committed to this counter-narrative who, like me, too often remain silent out of fear of not belonging or of standing too far outside of the hetero-normativity of masculinity in our culture.

I hate that I remain silent so often.  I hate that I participate in this dance of objectification.  I hate it, yet I continue to participate.  For instance, the other day I was hanging out with one of my best guy friends, and we decided to join his buddy at a pool for some time in the cool water and sun.  I quickly realized, though, that there was more of a motivation to go to this pool than a refreshing dip and a tan.  This pool was notorious for having a lot of very stereotypically attractive women in very little clothing.  To put it in the words of one of the men in our party, “Let’s go look at some bitches.”

We spent a few hours laying by and lounging in the pool, all the while staring at (while trying not to be too obvious) the women’s bodies around us.  Did we engage in meaningful conversation that would more humanize the breasts and butts we were staring at?  No . . . Did we learn the passions and interests of the women whose bikini lines we ogled?  No . . .

Is THIS beautiful? Is THIS healthy?

Unfortunately, this was not questioned.  It was normal.  Pretty much every man there was doing the same, and pretty much every woman there seemed (at least to our lustful gazes) comfortable with the reality of this arrangement.

In the days since this experience, I have thought a lot about it.  Why did I, someone committed to the antithesis of this reality, participate in the way I did?  Why did I not question the situation or the language used by the men there?  Another thing that really has stuck with me is that the women in this space had bodies that were probably the closest to the unhealthy standard of beauty that our society has constructed that I have seen in a long time, and it left me wondering, a standard to which I am sadly attracted.  Is this healthy for them?

I can’t say for sure and I can’t judge because undoubtedly there are infinite numbers of body types and I am not a woman, but I imagine that it could be unhealthy in a few ways.  To achieve this body type, I imagine many women would need to pursue one of two unhealthy courses.  First, they could eat very little while toning their bodies through exercise, thus depriving their body of nutrients and calories that are needed for everyday functions.  Second, they could eat relatively normally but work out so regularly that it could become an unhealthy obsession, working out every day to the point that it is no longer healthy emotionally or psychologically (even if their bodies are rather healthy).

Just a few things to consider about Body Image
The average woman in the United States is 5’4″ and 140 lbs.
Consider, though, the women we are constantly staring at in the media:
– Cameron Diaz, 5’9″, 120 lbs.
– Gwyneth Paltrow, 5’9″, 112 lbs.
– Meghan Fox, 5’6″, 114 lbs.
– Penelope Cruz, 5’6″, 109 lbs.
– Heidi Klum, 5’9″, 120 lbs.
– Beyonce Knowles, 5’5″, 130 lbs.
– Madonna, 5’4″, 100 lbs.
– Mariah Carey, 5’9″, 140 lbs.

*Source*

Maybe I am wrong.  Maybe they are just very healthy young women, but I do know that the way that the men at that pool were looking at them and interacting (or not interacting) with them was not healthy.  It was unhealthy because we were not only holding the women around us to an unhealthy standard of beauty while treating their bodies as objects, but we were encouraging within ourselves the unhealthy relationships with women that lead to sexual violence, relationships that treat women as simple objects of our desire rather than human beings deserving of our full respect.

It is time that we as men work to change the way we view women.  This is our responsibility, and this is hard work . . . I know because I have been working on it for a long time and I struggle with it every single day.  Socialization is a powerful thing, and we have been socialized to see women as sexual objects that should look a certain (read: unhealthy) in order to be worthy of our attention.  It is time for us to create our own counter-socialization.  We need to hold each other accountable to the ways in which we are looking at and talking about women.  We need to call each other out and hold ourselves accountable as well (something I failed to do in going to the pool only a few days ago).  We need to not be upset or defensive when women call us out or hold us accountable (and women, it is my hope that, while not your responsibility, you will be more willing to call men out as we further constrict the box of body image in which you are expected to live).

A few more things to consider about Body Image
– At age thirteen, 53% of American girls are “unhappy with their bodies.” This grows to 78% by the time girls reach seventeen.
– Five to ten million adolescent girls and women struggle with eating disorders and borderline eating conditions.
– According to The Center For Mental Health Services 90 percent of those who have eating disorders are women between the ages of 12 and 25.

*Source*

So where is the line drawn between appreciating beauty and objectifying women?  I want to hear from my readers!  For me, the line must be drawn with relationships.  If I am simply staring at a woman’s body, separating the beauty of the female form from her as a person, I am simply objectifying her.  When, though, I can appreciate how beautiful a woman is in the context of her as a person, her physical beauty mixed with her beauty as a person with hopes, dreams, passions, faults, and realities, I am taking a step toward appreciating beauty in a much more healthy way.  In doing so, though, I must keep in mind the standards of beauty laid out for the women in my life by the media and the men (including myself) and learn to see all types of beauty.

Now your turn: Where do you think the line is drawn between objectification and appreciation of beauty?

——————————————-

Post Script – While this post focuses on the unhealthy body images pressed upon women (and its connection to the larger sexist society), it is important to note that more and more, men are struggling with their own bodies, trying to reach an unhealthy body type portrayed in media and sports.  We do need to begin moving toward a more healthy understanding of beauty for both the women AND the men in our society.

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24 thoughts on “Appreciating Beauty or Objectifying Women?

  1. Jamie,

    I LOVED this post. You articulated and summarized the issue very well, and I agree with you. I, too, had a similar beach experience recently, but the gender dynamics were different. I was with another woman, and a man, and the two of us stood by as the man openly scrutinized the female bodies around us. I, too, wish I had said something. By allowing him to speak about the women around me, I was indirectly allowing him to objectify me too. MY silence suggested acceptance of my own objectification. Why did I do it? I think partially, I assumed that it took some pressure off of me, since I knew he was focused on other women. But that’s obviously not ok. I hate that the summer, and beaches, become spaces where it is somehow more allowed to objectify, because we’re wearing less clothes.

    On another note, I thought I would throw out a concept from my summer camp that I really loved. As an all-women/girls environment, we were trying to cultivate positive femininity, and become powerful girls who could tackle any type of gender oppression. One of the fundamental camp rules was no “body talk.” This meant that during camp, no one was allowed to comment on another’s body. I think this took the idea to an extreme by desexualizing us completely, but it also helped me learn how to appreciate the functions of people’s bodies separate from their “attractiveness.” We were encouraged to say, for example, “wow…you are so strong when you hammer” or “you’re a really good swimmer.” It took the focus off of the ways we can’t control living up to society’s standards of beauty, and taught us to take control over the way our body worked, and the ways we could be powerful women. I don’t know how that idea could be applied to life outside Farm & Wilderness, but I still thought you might find it interesting!!

    Hannah

  2. Hey Jamie,

    I think about this issue a lot too. BTW, you’re definitely not alone in this…I’m in an anti-patriarchy mens reading-group where we try to support each other in developing better ways to be male in our society and reflect on these types of uncomfortable situations we find ourselves in that run counter to our values.

    I’ve been trying to understand appreciation vs. objectification from the angle of emotional connection (I’ve been reading “Nonviolent Communication” and “The One Thing Holding You Back”, two excellent books not to be judged by their cheesy, self-helpy covers). First, I think it is important to try to non-judgmentally be aware of the thoughts and feelings that arise when looking at women. Even if we tell ourselves that it is wrong to objectify women, that will tend to create a weird internal dynamic of suppression and guilt, which ultimately will not be successful in achieving the behaviour or peace of mind that we might be looking for. Furthermore, it prevents us from attempting to make a second connection with the emotions of the women in these situations. It is interesting in your narrative that you attempted to note the feelings of the women (“pretty much every woman there seemed (at least to our lustful gazes) comfortable with the reality of this arrangement.”). I think I’ve been in this situation, and the more I wrestle with myself about whether I’m crossing some “line” into objectification, the less I am actually present to the other people present. I think what I might want in such a situation is to know better how the oglees were feeling. Is my gaze uncomfortable for you? What would make *your* trip to the pool more enjoyable? Is there a consensual way for me to appreciate your beauty? (and is this actually possible in our current society?)

    Marshall Rosenberg (“NVC” author) talks about how expressing appreciation can often by “violent” by his notions. By this he means any appreciation that is expressed as a judgment (“you are a great cook!”, “that dress is pretty.”) is imposing psychically on another person. While these are positive sentiments, they may not be welcome. Notice how these types of compliments often generate push-back. Marshall would suggest instead that we express appreciation by sharing our feelings and needs with the other person. For example, “I’m really delighted by the food you made.” or “I like that dress, it brings a lot of beauty into my world.” It sometimes sounds a little fruffy and unconventional to speak this way, but I think it tends to create the opportunity for the person who would otherwise become the subject of your judgement to instead hear your emotion and enjoy that they were able to bring you joy. In a similar manner, you can better connect with a target of masculine oppression by listening for their feelings and needs rather than their judgments (real or perceived).

    Well, those are my ideas, at the moment. Have not actually tried this at the beach.

  3. Good stuff here, and definitely a subject that deserves more attention. Body-image issues are created by both the observer and the observed, so that we all have a stake in changing the paradigm. My personal experience has been that physical attractiveness is just one facet of what makes up an entire person, and many other factors will often play into the overall attractiveness of that person. For example, it’s easy to think of stunningly gorgeous people I know who are assholes or bitches, and also rather homely people with hearts and minds of gold. You say: “When, though, I can appreciate how beautiful a woman is in the context of her as a person, her physical beauty mixed with her beauty as a person with hopes, dreams, passions, faults, and realities, I am taking a step toward appreciating beauty in a much more healthy way.” I think this is a crucial point, and often I find that physical attractiveness becomes secondary or even tertiary to my overall impression of a person based on a variety of factors.

    Moreover, I think that most other men think of this also, even if they do so less consciously. Many people talk of “relationship material” or “marriage material” when speaking of a partner who fulfills more than just a purely physical desire. Perhaps it would be helpful here, as in many instances, to move away from our Western habit of expecting instant gratification. When we lust after a physical body, we ignore the other factors that come along with that body. When we are attracted to a whole individual, we may be more accepting of minor flaws (including physical flaws). It really becomes an issue of defining what it is that we desire: do we desire sex and sex only, or do we desire a deeper connection? I would argue that most people come to a point in their lives when no-strings sex becomes unfulfilling. Of course, there are also other issues at play here, such as many mens’ perception that we must “conquer new territory” or have many sexual partners in order to prove our virility to our peers. Women may also feel the need to prove their (at least potential) fertility through engaging in what becomes, under such circumstances, ritualized sex.

    This is such a difficult question because we inevitably run into our own personal and societal biases, and we cannot escape our own culture (nor would that even necessarily be desirable). Perhaps here, as in so many other situations, we would ultimately benefit most by moving away from an economy of violence and toward an economy of generosity. That is to say, many of our present sexual relationships are based on a mutual, implicit threat of violence (psychological/emotional as much or moreso than physical violence). I’m not sure what a sexual economy of generosity might look like, but it might for example involve bringing the concept of Free Love back into our paradigm. As we become more capable of appreciating and accepting many different manifestations of beauty, we might also be able to loosen the stifling bonds of cultural conformity that currently restrict us, and we might be more able to discourage the callous objectification which so often leads to mental/emotional and physical violence – either by the observer or by the observed and either outwardly directed or self-inflicted. As with so many other facets of capitalistic, hierarchical society, the most damaging aspect societally is the desensitization to violence that we experience as we are encouraged to benefit ourselves at the expense of others. Becoming more mindful of the harm we inflict, and thus seeking to eliminate that harmful behavior, must be one of the first steps toward creating a paradigm that values love-based emotions over fear-based ones.

    I’m not sure how much this speaks to the questions you raise, but it’s just my two cents anyway. Thanks for another interesting and thought-provoking piece!

  4. Hi Jamie,

    I read your post and agree wholeheartedly with you on the issues surround body image for both women AND men. This is not just a gender issue, it is absolutely a societal one.

    Societies have always seemingly had strict standards of beauty, we are not the first in history to hold ridiculous notions of beauty in high regard. You can trace it through the ages and through cultures. During the Medieval times and the Renaissance a woman was beautiful if she was larger because it was a sign of wealth; in Japan it was women with tiny feet; in parts of Africa and Asia it is the elongated neck; in Europe you had the corset. The sad thing is that one of the main links between all these standards of beauty is pain. The painful and unhealthy methods and lengths women went to, to be considered beautiful. And our society is not much different now – eating disorders, plastic surgery, injecting toxins into your skin. And men feel are really starting to feel the pressure as well – extreme body types, most likely in enhanced with steroids and plastic surgery because not every man is built to look like a brick house.

    The most interesting thing for me in your post was your statistics of the average size of a woman in the US, compared to the average size of a female celebrity in the US. When you see the numbers staring back you it’s really quite disturbing, when you realize that the average celebrity is 5 inches taller and 20 pounds lighter than the average woman.

    But, despite all the history and statistics that point to a dire state of society and it’s views on beauty, there are people like you who see the flaws in society’s perception. Fashion, beauty, image – these are ever changing concepts and all you need is for someone to see the flaw and point it out. Things are changing, however slowly. Not many men, or women for that matter, could question their perception of beauty like you did, myself included. and you’re right, the line between appreciation and objectification does come down to your relationships, because we are our own worst critics and ultimately it’s the people in your life who see you for your best, and your worst, and the right people will not only point out both but appreciate you all the more for the imperfections that make you just as human as them.

  5. Lovely post, Jamie. It so wonderful to hear your commitment to your own self-growth, the growth of others, and everyone living with responsibility. Here’s another twist to the question of objectifying women: in the feminist revolution, it seems to me that women have taken on more masculine qualities in order to compete with men, and are still frowned upon for being powerful in a feminine way. Our society is still dealing with a lot of sexual repression issues which, as is clear from your post, not only hold back women from being boldy and sexually powerful, but also holds back men from embracing their own arousal. I have been wondering recently about what changed since the eighties when busty women with wide hips, wild hair and powerful charisma were so popular, and since then, such types of women are shunned. I think it is also the responsibility of women to learn to accept men for their sexual differences. Generally, men are more visual-oriented and have a different sex drive (usually more concerned with sex than women). Women must learn to reserve judgement of objectification to actual relationships in which they are under the clear impression that they are only valued for their physique, and there is no appreciation for their spirit, mind and soul. If we can reserve judgement in this way, we can allow men to freely be stimulated and turned on by whatever turns them on. Ultimately it is as simple as each individual being responsible for how we live our lives moment to moment. I choose to interpret objectification as a compliment for the most part. Unless I get a vibe that a guy is creepy, which honestly, is probably mostly influenced by whether or not I am attracted to him and want him to be someone who is attracted to me. I don’t like magnetism when what I’m feeling is repulsion. This makes me also wonder if the anti-objectification mantra, while perhaps started in a context of men being ignorant of women’s intelligence and value, has been continued by women who truly don’t want any men to be attracted to them. There is often confusion that what might seem right to me, say if I am a lesbian, should be what is best for all others like me, say women. Anyway, this has turned into quite the rambling on. Suffice it to say, the subject of sexual empowerment of both genders is a topic I am very interested in and am excited to be able to engage in! Thanks again for the post, Jamie!

    ~Elizabeth

  6. Jamie,
    this is a very important and beautifully written post. As is your usual style, it is strikingly honest and personal and yet asks more questions than it offers answers. I love the comments that people have left – everyone approaches this topic from her/his own angle and the result (as I’m sure you intended) is that a powerful dialogue is evolving, creating a positive space for each of us to grapple with this complex and emotional topic and to help each other along the way.
    When I posed the question: “where is the line drawn between appreciating beauty and objectifying women?” I certainly didn’t know how to answer it. Jamie’s response that night set me off on a lifelong journey in search of a new counter-socialized conception of beauty. His personal answer to the question, which he begins to unwrap in this post, is deceptively simple: to build relationships with people. I don’t recall exactly how he explained it, but it immediately resonated with me and has stuck with me to this day. You see, it is far easier for me to objectify, judge or even hate you if I don’t talk to you or listen to your story. Once I get to know you and begin to understand your complexities, it becomes much more difficult for me to process you in such judgmental and stereotypic ways.
    Society has trained me to objectify and sexualize women by observing them from a distance (e.g. checking out “bitches” on the beach). As long as I keep my distance and don’t get to know a women as a person, I am able to judge and objectify her using the societally perpetuated standards of beauty that the media feeds me. But as soon as I listen to a woman’s story and begin to see her “as a person with hopes, dreams, passions, faults, and realities,” this veil of objectification is lifted and I can begin to appreciate her in the diversity and totality of her beauty.
    Building accountable relationships with women (and men) is the first step toward a healthier and more holistic conception of beauty. Accountability to ourselves and others is key. As a man, I try hard not to let myself get away with using degrading or objectifying language. My best friend, Ian, and I hold each other accountable to never say the word “bitch,” not because we want to appear politically correct but because this degrading language hurts us and the people we love. Holding each other accountable has really strengthened and deepened our relationship because each of us finds in the other a positive male role model who reaffirms the internal work that we are doing.
    I have found that building accountable relationships with people begins with becoming accountable to oneself. Ultimately, most of what we hate and fear in other people is a reflection of what we hate and fear in ourselves. Part of why I hold women to a standard of physical beauty that does not exist is because I hold myself to that same standard. Part of why I have a hard time finding beauty in those who do not meet society’s standards is because I struggle to find beauty in my own physical appearance. In other words, the shortcomings that I perceive in myself are often the same ones that I perceive in others. And since we live in a society in which advertisements tell us how ugly and out-of-shape we are on a daily basis, it is easy to see why we have become so judgmental of ourselves and, thus, of others.
    So, my goal – as I work with this topic – is to start by identifying and appreciating all of the ways that I am beautiful. As I move forward, I know that I will begin to discover diverse layers of my own beauty that I hope will help me to see new layers of beauty in the people around me. It really is time for all of us to create develop a new conception of beauty; one that is healthy, empowering and diverse. This is just the start of a never-ending adventure for me but what a gift it is to have a friend like Jamie to inspire me to take the first step. And thank you all for positively impacting my evolving consciousness as a human being!

    ~Dan

  7. Really great post, Jamie. So many interesting thoughts, both in your post and in the replies!

    I definitely agree that building relationships with people and getting to know the whole person (I love the line that everyone has been quoting – “as a person with hopes, dreams, passions, faults, and realities”) is so key to really appreciating someone. The pool situation is problematic because that relationship-building isn’t a practical possibility. Is there a way to appreciate instead of objectifying when all we know about someone is how they look in a bikini? Is objectification avoidable in these types of situations?

    I feel like this goes back to consent. What Elizabeth said about interpreting objectification as a compliment made me think of this. She wrote that there’s a big reciprocity component, and I agree. I’m a lot more likely to be ok with someone checking me out if I’m attracted to him too. Does the reciprocity make it any less of objectification? Maybe not, but my feeling is that it’s ok if both people are ok with it. The problem is that, again, there’s really no opportunity to establish consent/build a relationship in this situation.

    On the other hand, I think the societal problem is that people take this consent too far and make objectification the ultimate goal. I guess this is more pertinent when there are guys who want to “go look at some bitches” (we have a problem when “bitches” is synonymous with “women”), and women who maybe even went to the pool specifically to be looked at. I think that’s when we’re at risk for health and body image issues.

    I’m not sure exactly what the solution is. I do think that it’d be pretty awkward to walk up to someone/be walked up to and ask/be asked “Hey, can I check you out?” (Haha :P.) On a more serious note, though, I am so glad you’re bringing it up and thinking about it. Next time I get that creepy feeling that someone is looking me over like that, I’ll appreciate even more that some guys engage the issues and their own expectations of physical beauty. And I’m glad I get to participate in engaging these issues! Thanks Jamie!

  8. […] 20, 2010 at 3:56 am (Sexual Orientation) In a recent post, I identified myself as a straight male.  After reading the post, someone who knows me well […]

  9. […] into the incredibly restrictive standard of beauty in our society is the reverse side of the “objectification of women” coin that I so often struggle with.  When we ridicule those who stray even so slightly […]

  10. Jamie,

    I always enjoy reading a man’s perspective on women, especially when he is as self-aware as you are. My post probably presents a very different view: I am an anti-feminist. That night at the concert was the first time in months I had worn pants, and you may have noticed that I kept my shoulders covered. Being Christian, I realize that a woman’s body can tempt a man; it can lead him to sin. Whether or not those thoughts are considered sinful by others, they are natural and present in everyday life. I’ve chosen to not cast those problems onto the men who see me by covering up and only wearing skirts. I consider it to be just a decent thing to do. I am more inspired now to continue knowing that men like you and Dan realize the irony of feeling the need to cultivate a degree of chivalry amidst some women who don’t outwardly show any appreciation or even desire for it.

    I know this response is months behind the rest, but this topic suits me and I may share it with my friends.

    ~Amaya

  11. […] I found myself, at times, struggling with many of the same things that I described in my blog on the objectification of women. Simply put, despite my frustration and disgust with the whole scene, too often my eyes went […]

  12. Being a woman myself, I feel most women do not have sexual thoughts when they look at an attractive man. At most, they wonder what his personality might be like.

    Gazing at his beauty is like looking at a sparkly object; It’s just pretty or interesting to look at (in a nonsexual way). Men are influenced by the media and society to see women’s every body part, hand position, standing position, stare, and sigh/moan as sexual.

    Personally, I feel sexual thoughts should be reserved for someone whom you love. The best part about being in a relationship is feeling special, and men can usually always expect to feel special in a relationship. Women rarely receive the same treatment in return. If we bring up this topic, men continue to make excuses about how porn & viewing other women sexually is “natural”, regardless of whether we are hurt by it.

  13. […] of body image, particularly as I tried to understand what are the larger issues at play when I am objectifying women.  In addition, lately I have been having a lot of conversations with friends about the connections […]

  14. […] of body image, particularly as I tried to understand what are the larger issues at play when I am objectifying women.  In addition, lately I have been having a lot of conversations with friends about the connections […]

  15. […] are the larger issues at play when I am objectifying women.  In addition, lately I have been having a lot […]

  16. […] memorizing the shape of her backside.  I shook my head in frustration with myself . . . after all, haven’t I written this blog before?  I ordered my sandwich and walked a few blocks to the coffee shop where I planned to work for a […]

  17. This was a great post and thanks for this. I too, struggle with what is beauty appreciation and what is objectification.

    One thing I do want to note: you seemed very hard on yourself and self-punishing for being at all visual. I think this approach to change may be unhealthy, as while it drives change, you are also inhibiting something within yourself. Most of the sexual violence that I’ve been around stemmed from men being punished, told they’re “sinful”, and told they should never expose their own sexuality. I don’t want to worsen sexual tension in this way. My goal is to find a more productive way to acknowledge that humans are very sexual and men are very visual, and at the same time, prevent a thought pattern that REDUCES personalization.

    I think that’s where “Appreciation” and “Objectification” differ. Objectification is reducing personalization, not increasing visual reaction. That is, you can think the girls in the bikinis are hot in the same way a girl would enjoy watching Mr. Toned running on the beach. But that it’s not objectification until :
    1.} You lose the appeal of being interested in who they are (that is, you’re not interested in knowing them, just looking at them.)

    2.} You respect the other girls less on the basis that they don’t look as good.

    Most of my friends are girls and many are overweight. I’m turned off by overweight, but that only affects my attraction to them, not my friendship with them.

    So the point isn’t to be ashamed of physical attraction, that’s counterproductive denial. The point is to keep it separate from personal respect where possible.

    On another note, look at how some girls dress vs guys. I’m not blaming here, but in HS there were a lot of girls wearing shirts that said “slut” on their chest with their boobs squished together. When guys would read the shirt, the girls would get offended. I’m not saying don’t dress freely, I’m just saying if you’re wearing a shirt with objectifying intentions, you’re basically saying the objectification is okay or welcome. (I’m not talking about tank tops or something like that. I’m talking about Cleavage-based shirts and stuff like that. It doesn’t serve a particular purpose outside of making men stare.)

    In one phrase: “Use your clothing to show your personality, not your features.”

    Again, not a blame or a guilt trip. Just a guideline to help society along in general.

  18. […] the shape of her backside.  I shook my head in frustration with myself . . . after all, haven’t I written this blog before?  I ordered my sandwich and walked a few blocks to the coffee shop where I planned to work for a […]

  19. […] written about this topic a few times before, but I brought some new insights to my EF piece.  Hope you […]

  20. shannon knox

    Thank you thank you thank you. My heart has been crushed by this phenomenon. Where is love and adoration? Where is being bowled over by who someone amazing is? Women fear loneliness if we don’t participate. Who among us can hope to be loved and seen for our loving selves if we speak against these frightened men? You sir set us free. And again I say thank you! Love to you.

  21. […] I don’t recall ever hollering to a woman on the street, there are plenty of times in my life when I have used my eyes and body language to treat a woman as little more than an […]

  22. […] don’t recall ever hollering to a woman on the street, there are plenty of times in my life when I have used my eyes and body language to treat a woman as little more than an […]

  23. […] everyone can see Beauty – they see Lust and that creates shame and feelings of inappropriateness because you don’t know […]

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