Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Is Self-Sexual Objectification Empowering?

There are many feminist agendas to eliminate or decrease men's or the media's sexual objectification of women. One of the things we don't often discuss though, are the women who objectify themselves.

From teenagers protesting school uniforms, to voluntarily sending sexually explicit photos of themselves to seeking out relationships with older men (and often lying about their age), more and more females are embracing sexual objectification. More females (now at younger ages) understand their value in terms of youth and beauty and they know how to use those benefits of theirs to their advantage.

Feminist icons and role models are constantly sexually objectifying themselves and embracing it as empowering.
So is it empowering if women do it to themselves? 

How different is that from men doing it to them, especially if the women involved give their consent - such as women who dress up for their husbands etc?

The reason why women do not like when men sexually objectify them, is because of the "dehumanization" aspect. Studies show that when women present themselves in a sexually objectified manner (such as little bikinis), men actually do see them in the same way that they see tools and objects. So is it not dehumanizing when women do it to themselves?

When it comes to nudity, this can be especially attributed to Marilyn Monroe, who was the first female to pose nude on Playboy's very first issue. She is sometimes hailed as a Feminist/Sexual icon or at least, beloved by many Feminists, despite the fact that she was a "Mean Girl" who was trying to steal a husband away from his wife and family, as well as had publicly humiliated the wife on her husband's birthday.

According to Feminist icon, Gloria Steinem, who went undercover as a Playboy Bunny, self-sexual objectification is wrong. According to the founder of Ms. Magazine and former President of the National Organization for Women (NOW), women shouldn't be able to choose to objectify themselves, whether it's just nudity or even sex for money. Ironically, Steinem now claims "Feminists can wear anything they f*****g want," (flaunting what they have).

However, some women do choose to get paid for it and they enjoy it very much. They love to flaunt what they have and to get paid for "having a good time" or just "being sexy". Of course this is not all women, but some women do find this to be empowering. Furthermore, some women rate the "empowerment" or "appropriateness" of objectivity based on it's association with "luxury" or "high value".

On the other hand, many of these women can't find other jobs, and this is either the thing that they are the most naturally skilled at, or the only thing they can do properly and get paid for. And now that they are expected to work instead of get married (thanks to Feminism), this is the only work they can find that pays what they need to make. Is it right to tell them that they cannot make money this way, because some men and women will not respect them, even though it's their choice? Is it right to tell them they cannot make money this way, but they have to make money some way and be independent, or they're "setting back the women's movement" - especially considering "by any estimate of porn pay scales, women make more"?

Whether or not you think sexual objectification is empowering, is it really fair or in the spirit of "equality" to hold "objectification" to different standards based on the gender of the person(s) involved?

So if we are going to have a problem with objectification and want to draw the line somewhere, we should really be consistent about it.

Hypocrisy doesn't equal progression.
Can't Complain About Objectification In The Media Then Objectify Yourself; It Warrants No Respect Or Credibility

Friday, June 23, 2017

Are "Mean Girls" Empowered?

We are often warned by society about looking out for guys who don't have our best intentions at heart. Until recently, however, we weren't really warned about the girls who don't have our best intentions at heart. And with this new trend of mean girls, they seem to get meaner and meaner; With more backstabbing and manipulation than previous generations. Mean Girls used to "get what was coming to them" or turn over a new leaf and become a better person. Today, they are more likely to be considered the ones "we love to hate". Today, the Mean Girls are often the fan-favorites or even the lead characters.

But wait! What happened to Girl Code and Best Friends Forever (B.F.F.) and Girl Power and Female Unity and Feminism?

One rarely-mentioned side effect of the sexual, feminist revolution, is that women have become more competitive with each other than ever before. Before feminism, most women wanted to get married, expected to be married and got married. Ever since feminism, however, most women still want to get married today (as much as 80%) yet the share of American adults who have never been married is at an historic high and many women have begun to look at marriage in a bitter way, deeming it an "unrealistic fairy tale". Furthermore, "almost 47% of U.S. workers are women" and "more than 39% of women work in occupations where women make up at least 3/4 of the workforce." So whether in love or work, women have much more competition with each other today than ever before.

Add the fact that women are encouraged to "go after what they want" to be more empowered - using their "talents" to their advantage, yet not always taught how to control their emotions in a mature manner, and you have a recipe for disaster.

The sad part, is that in many cases, being the "mean girl" is encouraged and/or glamorized. Some women think the idea of being a "nasty woman" is empowering, not really caring about how their actions affect other people. They say "if you have it, flaunt it", not seeing the connection of how they make other women jealous and insecure about their own bodies/beauty. The fact of the matter is, just as a man can have a powerful effect on a woman, so can another woman.

Let's leave the men out of this as much as possible for a minute to focus on female-female dynamics: Even if a woman does completely trust her man and he does not do anything to make her jealous or suspicious or uncomfortable; Should we not hold the woman accountable for her actions? She sees the wedding rings, sees that the man is taken by another woman. Where is Girl Code and Best Friends Forever (B.F.F.) and Girl Power and Female Unity and Feminism in these situations?

Feminists are often quick to blame the man in this hypothetical scenario, claiming that "any man who can be baited away by Jolene isn't worth your time". What feminists tend to ignore about this song, is how inherently pro-female it is. Not only is the song written by a woman about women, but Dolly Parton says the woman has the ultimate power and tells the story of a woman choosing to trust in another woman. Men have different weaknesses than women, and Parton's song is asking women not to take advantage of their own strength, nor men's weaknesses, when they know it hurts other women.
Example of A Woman's Strength
Example of A Woman's Power
Women understand other women's strengths and advantages even better than men. This is why, sometimes, women are more suspicious of other women than men are. This is also why women partake in "slut-shaming" just as much as men, if not more. Women know how to use what they have to get what they want. Some women choose to go about this in a mature and respectful way, while other women choose to go about this in an immature and self-centered way.

This isn't limited to relationships with men, either. This female competitiveness can be seen in the workplace and even in schools for popularity and/or success. 

Mean Girls are very real and very hurtful. They can ruin your night, your job, your relationship, your career opportunities or even ruin your life. They do not care about "empowering women", they only care about themselves and getting ahead at anyone else's expense - male or female. Some of them will even pretend to be your friend, pretending to care about you, only to later use that friendship to their advantage and/or your disadvantage. Sometimes they are straightforward about their views, other times they call themselves "feminists" and pretend to care about things like true Gender Equality and/or Female Unity etc.

So how can you tell if you are dealing with a "Mean Girl"? You can't always tell. The most important thing you can do, is to remember that just as there are some males out there who will only use you to get what they want, so there are also some females out there who will only use you to get what they want. 

To undermine the impact that a female can have simply because of her gender would be a significant mistake.

Women are just as capable of hurting people, as men are capable of hurting people - it's just usually in different ways.

We wouldn't hail up "Mean Guys" as empowering, so why should we hail up "Mean Girls" as empowering?

Monday, June 19, 2017

Who Sets Beauty Standards For Women?

It is a true and common saying that women in the world today are far more beautiful than their ancestors and yet women today seem to struggle more emotionally with beauty standards than women before them.

Why is that?

Many people today will be quick to blame Hollywood and the media, laying all of the blame on the movie stars, which is a common answer.

Feminists will be the first to tell you that it's all men's fault (or society's fault, ran by men) for pressuring women into meeting "unrealistic standards".

Rarely, if ever, will you hear "I set my own beauty standards" or "women set their own beauty standards".

The truth of the matter is that it's really a combination of factors, though not all factors are equal. Beauty often works like fashion, going in and out of certain trends, while still maintaining some sense of consistency.

So let's break this down, shall we?

Hollywood's Role in Beauty Standards:

Hollywood Beauties
Beauty standards in Hollywood, as you can see from the picture above, have changed a lot over the years and are quite varied. Hollywood tends to reflect beauty standards more than it pushes beauty standards, though. This is because Hollywood is in the business of making money, which means that the audience largely dictates the standards. Obviously Hollywood can try to put whatever they want in front of us, but ultimately it is our choice whether or not to financially support Hollywood's decisions every time we choose to pay for a film.

In Los Angeles, CA where Hollywood culture thrives the most, women are the least offended by "Hollywood body types" and use the term "unrealistic" the least. However, in New York City - where Hollywood culture is more looked down upon - women are far more offended by "Hollywood body types" and use the term "unrealistic" at much higher rates, even to the point of accusing those women in Hollywood of being photo-shopped or air-brushed etc. and not wanting to see advertisements that have really skinny women. (Celebrities like Katy Perry are actually photo-shopped in the ads there to look thicker not thinner, than she actually is, or her advertisement would make women less likely to buy the product.)

In reality, Hollywood just follows the beauty trends in our society. In the 1980's, there were many more Caucasian buxom blondes who dominated the TV screens and media ads. In the 1990's, there was a shift from buxom to skinny - regardless of race as Tyra Banks and Halle Berry showed - and an expansion from blondes to include brunettes. In the 2000's and 2010's, there was another expansion with petite and multi-ethnic women like Isla Fisher or Eva Longoria.

Hollywood has a lot of problems but setting our beauty standards is not one of them.

Society's Role in Beauty Standards:

Barbie vs. Non-Barbie
The introduction of a "perfect body" Barbie doll leads many to blame society for littering American homes with an unrealistic doll. But did you know that Barbie was created by an American businesswoman and inventor named Ruth Handler? She modeled Barbie after a German doll which was modeled after a TV show character. Are we really going to accuse this woman of having some malicious agenda just because we're not happy with our perceptions of her product? After all, if you look at life-sized mannequins used in American malls and clothes shops at the exact same time, it's easy to tell that Barbie is just a miniature fashion mannequin.

Barbie vs Mannequin

This might upset you to hear this, or it might just make you laugh, but you should know that this body form was used for mannequins - and Barbie - because of how great it highlights fashion. It was always meant to flatter the fashion styles presented as much as possible. After all, you can understand how stores would want to show their fashions in the best possible light to sell them, right? The stores were not thinking that women would suddenly develop insecurities about the mannequins so how could Barbie's inventor - a woman - think that a miniature doll version would suddenly make little girls develop insecurities?

Barbie was always meant as a fashion doll; Not a beauty standards-enforcing doll. That's why Barbie - and mannequins - are not made in "realistic" forms but fashion-flattering forms. Yes, it is an unrealistic body type but women should know that it was never made with any intent to offend or pressure. Mannequins were made to sell women clothes and Barbie dolls were made to sell doll clothes to little girls in preparation for the adult fashion they'd be buying later.

Men's Role in Beauty Standards:

Victoria's Secret Ad

Straight men are attracted to the female form, it is a fact of nature. Another fact of nature is that the female form attracts men for reproductive reasons. This is why men are attracted to what they perceive as fertility factors. In fact, women even become more attractive when they are at their most fertile, according to men and women!

In different areas of the world, there are divergent perceptions of what "beauty factors" are. In colder regions, buxom women are more valued because they have a higher chance of reproduction success since they can withstand the colder temperatures better. In tropical climates, smaller women are more valued because they have a higher chance of reproduction success since they can withstand the hotter temperatures better. This is why they say "beauty is in the eye of the beholder".

Most commonly though, men just like when women look like women and have feminine features that are different from the features that men have. Believe it or not, men really value the physical differences in women and appreciate seeing a woman that doesn't look like himself. This is why the most consistent beauty factors throughout all cultures, tends to be femininity.

Just as women have standards for men, so men have their own standards for women. However, the media and Feminism tends to vastly over-exaggerate what men's standards exactly are.

While it is true that men are visual creatures, they are not quite as picky nor quite as open-minded as they are made out to be. Some women think that men are so attracted to the female form that they are sexually open to any woman so long as she has woman parts, this is not true. Other women think that men focus on tons of nuances and subtleties and demand precise perfection, this is also not true.

Young guys who are not ready for commitment are not the same as men. Young guys are much more open-minded since they have a biological necessity that pressures them to find a certain amount of release for sexual tension. Men, however, are much more balanced and do not just rely on physical beauty but personality beauty as well.

A woman's physical beauty to a man can be changed by her personality, for better or worse!

American men don't really pressure women in regards to beauty standards. Of course, they each have their own preferences in women just as all women have their own preferences in men, but that's about as far as their role goes in this context. So if you want to know what kind of beauty is the most ideal to a man, it really depends on his individual preferences and culture.

Women's Role in Beauty Standards:

Heidi Montag famously got surgeries AFTER getting married and having fame; not TO get married and have fame.

Surprise, surprise! 

Women play the biggest role in beauty standards, as well as tend to be the most obsessed with beauty and standards of beauty.

That's right. Women notice "flaws" and criticisms that most men don't even notice!

The sad truth is that many women do far more in the beauty department than they need to, because they think or feel that they have to. Most women just need to exercise more and eat healthier, not get any kind of surgery or other drastic measures.

In addition, most women rank themselves against other women and use other women as their beauty standards.

Just as little girls love to imitate the pretty princess and wear the princess clothes, jewelry and/or make-up; So do women sometimes end up imitating other women (often celebrity women). Or they get jealous and criticize.

Take the picture above with Heidi Montag for example. Hollywood didn't make her get surgeries, she had more TV time pre-surgery than post-surgery. Society didn't make her get surgeries, she was known as a "hottie" long before the surgeries. Men didn't make her get surgeries, she found herself a husband who was attracted to her just the way she was before surgery. (Plus, believe me when I say that there are tons of men out there who find her to be more attractive pre-surgery than post-surgery.) The sad truth here is that this woman got all of these surgeries because she wanted them. She criticized herself, pointed out "flaws" in herself and made a drastic decision to "improve" them. She implemented unrealistic beauty standards on herself and in turn, made herself look unrealistic.

Women are each other's harshest critics. Women will notice the most nuanced of details that sometimes even other women don't even notice. Women get jealous and competitive. Feminists don't want to admit it but the reason is that most women want and like attention for their beauty. They like receiving positive attention for their beauty and they love when someone considers them "beautiful".
Beauty pageants don't exist without women who want their beauty rated against other women - and wanting to be ultimately recognized as 'most beautiful'.

Whether you are the kind of woman who only likes that attention from your lover or the kind that likes that attention from as many people as possible, it's just a natural and innocent feminine tendency to want your beauty to be appreciated.

What is not natural or innocent, however, is an obsession with beauty. Some women allow themselves to be so overwhelmed and obsessed by beauty that they actually attack themselves or other women based on their beauty standards and they do so in harsh manners. 

Now I am not saying that women should not have beauty standards or should not allow themselves to embrace certain beauty standards. What I am saying, is that everything in life requires balance, including beauty standards.

The most important and universal beauty standard is healthiness.

As long as you are healthy, you are beautiful in your own way. If you have certain preferences for yourself, that is perfectly normal! Sometimes women prefer to look a certain way and there is nothing wrong with that but you should never destroy yourself for beauty. In America, no man, society or Hollywood is dictating the beauty standards for women; Women have the power and control to dictate their own beauty standards.

So the next time you are feeling insecure about beauty, try not to attack yourself or another woman. Instead, try to focus on why you are feeling insecure. Should you be feeling insecure? If the only reason you are feeling insecure is because you think another woman might be more physically attractive than you are, do not let that bring you down! You can let it inspire you to step it up in the beauty department (hit the gym, eat better foods, use more organic products less harsh on the skin, etc.) but don't let it become a compulsive obsession (anorexia, plastic surgery, etc.)

Physical beauty is only one part of the equation of overall beauty.
Personality, attitude and even values are all parts of the equation as well.

The more women choose to focus solely on physical beauty standards, the more they are choosing to objectify themselves by choosing to focus on only 1 aspect of beauty.

Women in America are fortunate because they get to decide what is beautiful:
If they chose to focus more on acting ability, then actresses in Hollywood would be more talented than beautiful.
If they chose to focus more on sociability than fashion then society would reflect personality more than looks in advertisements, etc.
If they chose to date men and not young guys who are too immature for long-term commitment, then those men will value their overall beauty more than their physical beauty.
If they chose to be more accepting and understanding than jealous and competitive, then they would have more female unity than female cattiness and "mean girls".

So remember: Women are empowered in America and women do control more than feminists want you to believe. After all, if you believe you have no control then you're more likely to submit to feminists who claim they can get that control for you, after you donate to their cause, of course.