The term objectifies, defined by Dictionary.com, means ‘to present as an object, especially of sight, touch, or other physical sense’. To objectify a person means to reduce them to mere objects, often objects of sex and/or physical gratification. From my vantage point, there are varying degrees of objectification; there is misogynist objectification, male chauvinist objectification, societal objectification, and self-objectification.
Misogynist objectification is the complete reduction of women to mere objects with no regard for their dignity, rights, or feelings. The woman is treated to the extent to which she is needed, to pleasure the man and to bear his children. The Male chauvinist objectification regards women as not being deserving of any other treatment but that of an object. The chauvinist treats her as if she is made to be treated as the plaything of the man. Societal objectification is where the woman’s body is used as a tool, a means to an end, whether it is to increase a company’s bottom line, to improve its visibility or brand, or to make it more appealing to the public. Societal objectification influences the masses to believe that women should be sexualized and their bodies perpetually put on full display. Women, as a result, believe that they should be sexualized and objectified, and in turn, objectify themselves. They understand that appearance is important to both society and the opposite sex; as a result, some women reduce themselves to mere boobs, butt, and thighs.
Female objectification is an age-old topic; women have been objectified and sexualized since the dawn of time, so much so, that women have fought tirelessly to be viewed by society and men, not as the bearer of children and to provide pleasure to men but as smart, intelligent, capable human beings who are equal to all men. It is ironic though, that the fight for women’s rights and equality has been sullied. Women now no longer wait for men to objectify them, they do it themselves.
Many women objectify themselves without even knowing it, while others do it, simply because it is expected. We have become so consumed by sex and sexuality that we cannot exist, identify ourselves, or operate in a world without it. Sex has become an integral part of our daily lives. It is in magazines, on the news, in music videos, in advertisements, and just about everywhere you look. We are living in a sexualized era, sex and sexuality are no longer taboo.
Some women, as part of their identity, have embraced and celebrated their own sexuality. They put it out there for the world to see, objectifying themselves on their own terms, beating society to the punch. Society frown upon these women for being too sexual, they frown upon them for doing the same thing that is being done to them.
I am a woman. I am a sexual being; I want to feel sexy; I want to feel wanted and desired. I, like most women, sometimes, want to be admired for how good we look. We want to be told that we look wonderful, ravishing all those good stuff. We do not want the fact that we look fabulous in our bikinis to be all that matters. We want our bodies to be celebrated, not objectified!
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