Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Objectification & Sexualization

When I visited Facebook this morning my home page contained a link to an article about the use of Photoshop and the modeling world. You can view it here.

My take:

Photoshop is only one expression of the messed up standards in society. But, it's probably never going to leave - it makes too much money due to the men who buy the images and fantasize over them, and the women who look at it and think they need the next cosmetic line, fad diet book, or some other item that 'should' make them look just like that female on the glossy pages. Photoshop all you want - just know that all you are saying is that women are pieces of ass for sexual gratification.

On the other hand, Photoshop does occur for images of men... just not the same extreme and probably not as socially powerful. Girls are taught from a young age that they're objects which should be objectified and sexualized for men (aka - take a look at your Sun (if you're in England) - you don't see any naked men in there, do you).

I have spent time in both North America (home) and England (E's home). While I do love England, don't get me wrong, I *cannot* stand the status of women in that country. As a young woman, every time I step away from my North American culture and enter England's I feel like I have stepped back into a time when feminism did not exist. I feel objectified - I feel that, as a woman, I am supposed to be an object for male sexual desires alone. Walking down a street or in a mall is a different experience in and of itself - the Brits aren't as shy as their North American counterparts in expressing any form of lust.

You can buy porn on the shelves of so many stores. It's just sitting there, in easy reach for young children. Last year, as we waited in a train station, we decided to spend some time at a little shop that sold magazines and other travel goodies. Again, there were the naked women magazines in clear sight, front of the shelf, for even children to grab. I politely asked, "where are the naked men magazines, then? There are so many containing images of women there must be some with men." I received a stunned look and was told they did not have any magazines with 'those' kinds of pictures.

Where is the equality?

PS - for an interesting read on the difference between North American and British culture, please take a look at The Anglo Files: A Field Guide to the British by Sarah Lyall. A comedic book which definitely gets to the point of cross-cultural clashes. I reviewed Lyall's work in 2010.

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