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.
Ever since the sexual, feminist revolution, more females have started to engage in sexual activity and at younger and younger ages (for better or worse).
- Between 1943 and 1999, the age of first intercourse dropped from 19 (young adults) to 15 (young teenagers) for females.
- During the same period, the percentage of sexually active women rose from 13% to 47%.
- Between 1969 and 1993, the percentage of of female teenagers and young adults having oral sex skyrocketed from 42% to 71%.
- In 1943, only 12% of young women approved of premarital sex; by 1999, 73% did.
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?
After all, ignoring women's role in beauty standards doesn't seem to be "empowering" women, but making them feel more like victims instead.
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|