Friday, October 12, 2007,12:01 PM
Objectifying Men
Gender rant to follow.

So I don't hide the fact that I own the label "feminist." I know that in many circles feminist is the "f-word" and those who use it despised. And yes, I know that there are different waves and types of feminists. I get that. It's complicated.

And I also get that one of the reasons feminism is so despised is because some feminists have exchanged misogyny for misandry. Instead of seeking equality of the sexes or even (the preferred imho) respect for all peoples, they promote women as better than men or seek to ridicule, deride, and humiliate men. For the record, I don't support that sort of feminism. Anything that is based on hurting others in the name of selfish ambition is wrong. No question there.

But.

Sometimes I do wonder if the whole "walk a mile in another's shoe" approach might be helpful. For some men it might just take being treated in the way they treat women for the message of equality to get across to them. And I'm not just talking about being the minority at events, getting talked over in conversations or having to wear the prosthetic pregnant belly either. I'm talking about the subtle (sometimes) sexual objectification of women. What if when a women got up to speak at an event, her husband was introduced only in reference to his physical appearance? And I thank Mike, my handsome and sexy husband for his support in being here with me tonight.... Or what if after a man preached, the congregants focused not on the content of his sermon but on the fact that his shirt really wasn't a good color for him? Or how about expressing surprise that a well known women could manage to find such an attractive and intelligent husband? Could we try that for awhile? Do you think it would make a difference (or just backfire and feed the male ego?)

I guess I'm just sick of the references to women that while intending to be complements just continue to objectify and oppress us. It is not a novel thing that a woman is intelligent. And I know I am not a "beautiful" person, so it gets really demeaning when that is how I am referred to - did the person even bother to get to know me or did they just go with the old standby of commenting on a woman's body? Do men really not get how belittling that can be? So I just think it could be a fun experiment to turn things around and treat men the way they treat us. Even if it doesn't change things, it could still be interesting. A science experiment perhaps.

(and yes, in case you were wondering, listening to Gwen Stefani's 'Hollaback Girl' prompted this post. shake them bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S....)


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posted by Julie at 12:01 PM ¤ Permalink ¤


8 Comments:


  • At 10/12/2007 12:37:00 PM, Blogger Mike Croghan

    And I thank Mike, my handsome and sexy husband for his support in being here with me tonight....

    LOL! You totally have to say that at some convention some time! :-) I don't think Mike would mind. But...nor do I think guys in the audience would get it. No, men really don't get how belittling that can be, I think.

     
  • At 10/12/2007 12:56:00 PM, Blogger Sarah Jane Rhee

    I think I ranted about this a while back on my blog in reference to comments people make about my daughter. All she ever hears is "Cute!" "Beautiful!" "Adorable!" and I shudder at the self-image these words are creating for her. As if looking good is all that matters.

     
  • At 10/12/2007 02:17:00 PM, Blogger Mike Clawson

    "And I thank Mike, my handsome and sexy husband for his support in being here with me tonight...."

    You can introduce me this way anytime. ;)

     
  • At 10/12/2007 02:50:00 PM, Anonymous Man

    Points well taken.

    But consider this: men, yoo, are judged up and down, in a multitude of ways every day, by other men -- and, shall I say it? Yes, even women, not on their looks, usually, but on their success. That's generally the only measure of a man's worth in this society, the same as it was Willy Loman's time when "Death of a Salesman" was written. In case you haven't noticed, that leaves most men wanting, feeling like failures in varying degrees.

    I can't imagine why women want to aspire to the sort of "equality" where your your worth as a person is valued according to your paycheck. Isn't this trading one sort of objectification for another? The question scarcely survives its statement.

     
  • At 10/12/2007 02:53:00 PM, Anonymous Nicholas

    I always like to say, "and that is my kick ass wife, Leslie"

    Does that work?

     
  • At 10/13/2007 08:44:00 AM, Blogger Julie

    Man - :)
    Good points. Using a paycheck or position as a way of judging a person is objectification and is unfair. It does often happen to men, but is more commonly happening to women as well. And it is not my point at all to exchange one sort of objectification for another. Equality in my mind does not mean forcing women into the role men have occupied, but instead redeeming the whole system. A person's worth is not based on the outward signs of success they have chanced upon. They should not be reduced to those things.

    I'm calling for people to be respected as people and to be identified by their personality, their gifts, and their passions. Someone can be a good musician no matter how successful they are. And being a musician is part of who they are and what they love.

     
  • At 10/16/2007 03:38:00 PM, Anonymous Karl

    For some reason this post and the comments following reminded me of the recent (supposed) Craigslist posting and reply that made the rounds. As "Man" pointed out above, the objectification and superficiality can go both ways. Redeeming the system sounds like a good idea for both sexes:

    THIS APPEARED ON CRAIG'S LIST
    What am I doing wrong?

    Okay, I'm tired of beating around the bush. I'm a beautiful (spectacularly beautiful) 25 year old girl. I'm articulate and classy. I'm not from New York. I'm looking to get married to a guy who makes at least half a million a year. I know how that sounds, but keep in mind that a million a year is middle class in New York City, so I don't think I'm overreaching at all.

    Are there any guys who make 500K or more on this board? Any wives? Could you send me some tips? I dated a business man who makes average around 200 - 250. But that's where I seem to hit a roadblock. 250,000 won't get
    me to central park west. I know a woman in my yoga class who was married to an investment banker and lives in Tribeca, and she's not as pretty as I am, nor is she a great genius. So what is she doing right? How do I get to her level?

    Here are my questions specifically:

    - Where do you single rich men hang out? Give me specifics- bars,
    restaurants, gyms

    -What are you looking for in a mate? Be honest guys, you won't hurt my feelings

    -Is there an age range I should be targeting (I'm 25)?

    - Why are some of the women living lavish lifestyles on the upper east side so plain? I've seen really 'plain jane' boring types who have nothing to offer married to incredibly wealthy guys. I've seen drop dead gorgeous girls in singles bars in the east village. What's the story there?

    - Jobs I should look out for? Everyone knows - lawyer, investment banker, doctor. How much do those guys really make? And where do they hang out? Where do the hedge fund guys hang out?

    - How you decide marriage vs. just a girlfriend? I am looking for MARRIAGE ONLY

    Please hold your insults - I'm putting myself out there in an honest way. Most beautiful women are superficial; at least I'm being up front about it. I wouldn't be searching for these kind of guys if I wasn't able to match them - in looks, culture, sophistication, and keeping a nice home and hearth.


    PostingID: 432279810
    THE ANSWER
    Dear Pers-431649184:
    I read your posting with great interest and have thought meaningfully about your dilemma. I offer the following analysis of your predicament. Firstly, I'm not wasting your time, I qualify as a guy who fits your bill; that is I make more than $500K per year. That said here's how I see it.

    Your offer, from the prospective of a guy like me, is plain and simple a cr@ppy business deal. Here's why. Cutting through all the B.S., what you suggest is a simple trade: you bring your looks to the party and I bring my money. Fine, simple. But here's the rub, your looks will fade and my money will likely continue into perpetuity...in fact, it is very likely that my income increases but it is an absolute certainty that you won't be getting any more beautiful!

    So, in economic terms you are a depreciating asset and I am an earning asset. Not only are you a depreciating asset, your depreciation accelerates! Let me explain, you're 25 now and will likely stay pretty hot for the next 5 years, but less so each year. Then the fade begins in earnest. By 35 stick a fork in you!

    So in Wall Street terms, we would call you a trading position, not a buy and hold...hence the rub...marriage. It doesn't make good business sense to "buy you" (which is what you're asking) so I'd rather lease. In case you think I'm being cruel, I would say the following. If my money were to go away, so would you, so when your beauty fades I need an out. It's as simple as that. So a deal that makes sense is dating, not marriage.

    Separately, I was taught early in my career about efficient markets. So, I wonder why a girl as "articulate, classy and spectacularly beautiful" as you has been unable to find your sugar daddy. I find it hard to believe that if you are as gorgeous as you say you are that the $500K hasn't found you, if not only for a tryout.

    By the way, you could always find a way to make your own money and then we wouldn't need to have this difficult conversation.

    With all that said, I must say you're going about it the right way. Classic "pump and dump." I hope this is helpful, and if you want to enter into some sort of lease, let me know.

     
  • At 10/16/2007 06:24:00 PM, Blogger Julie

    Wow that's disturbing. I think it just shows how messed up the gender roles indoctrination is and how badly it has warped our values - both ways.

     

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