Originally published on Laci Green’s YouTube channel.
Oh hi babes! Yours truly here. This is an object. Objects exist to do something for me. Well Laci cutter of paper and the subject. Subjects act while objects are acted upon.
Now I know you’re thinking crazy Laci what’s this got to do with sexuality and the answer is everything!
I’ve been wanting to make a video on this topic for ever because I think that it is a huge hindrance to a truly equal healthy sex positive society and it’s really all we want to like drum roll please, sexual objectification.
Objectification is defined as the viewing of people solely as de-personalized objects of desire instead of individuals with complex personalities and desires or plans of their own. In less fancy speak, it’s where someone is treated as basically a thing to have sex with.
Women are very often portrayed as pretty things to look at, something to try to have sex with. Turn on almost any sitcom on TV and you’re going to see this normalized. We’re so happily exposed to this imagery that scientists have found that both men and women see women’s bodies as a mish mash of sexual body parts while we see men as whole people.
Hot right? Umm, umm, not really. Actually I think it’s pretty messed up. Speaking of hot though, often objectification is confused with thinking that a woman’s hot. Objectification is not the same as being sexual or being sexually attracted to someone. That’s a natural part of life right?
But what’s not natural and is very much manufactured is constantly portraying women as sex objects for mere pleasure. Objectification is women’s magazines being littered with all of the things that men don’t like.
Objectification is being cackled and harassed just for walking down the street. It’s “save the boobies” and “don’t let cancer steal second base” as a breast cancer campaign slogan. It’s shitty commercial after shitty commercial using women’s bodies to sell everything from A to Z with close-ups on her arse, her lips, her breasts to sell beer, cologne, jeans, jewelry. Sometimes it’s hard to tell what they’re even selling.
Objectification is the preoccupation with trans woman’s genitals and defining her in terms of her sex parts. It’s being bombarded with sexy cleavage in every magazine ever while being told that breast-feeding is obscene.
A school dress code for girls that are designed not to distract the boys because her knees, her shoulders are so sexualized that a tank top is deemed inappropriate.
Objectification is the thousands of comments on my YouTube videos where men talk about my breasts, my body and make graphic sexual comments about me.
It’s a flood of movies and TV shows where men of all different body types take women of one body type. Women’s body is used as sexy background accessories in music videos.
Objectification is the idea that men and women simply cannot be friends because men could never see a woman as anything but sexual. It’s regular Halloween costumes for boys and sexed up versions, only sexed up versions for girls.
Seeing women as sex objects is a part of our cultured subconscious. We do it and we live in it and we aren’t even aware of how bizarre it actually is. In the same world, one that we do not live in everyone will be mostly subjects and occasionally objects.
This is actually the status quo for men right now. This is not the status quo for women. 96% of sexually objectifying imagery is of women’s bodies. This pattern reveals one hell of a message about gender that men are mostly sexual subjects and women are mostly sexual objects. That inequality is the reason why this picture looks commonplace while this picture looks kind of awkward.
In this kind of culture, men are granted more sexual power than women, which leads us to see the world through men’s eyes. We learn that male sexuality is active, that they’re visual creatures and that the objectification of women in their lives using women for sex is both normal and praiseworthy. Hell! It might even be funny and charming.
Secondly, we don’t require that men look a particular way to be taken seriously. The cultural narrative looks at men as cool people which leads to mostly men stories being told 80% and political offices being occupied by men, men occupying the highest ranks in virtually every industry in the world.
Thirdly because women’s bodies are subject to constant frivolous criticism, girls learn quickly to self-objectify. The APA reports that self-objectification results in lower cognitive and motor functioning, increased sexual dysfunction and body shame. They found that self-objectification is directly related to girls pursuing fewer careers in STEM fields. It’s also a major contributor to mental health issues like eating disorders and depression which disproportionately affect young women.
And to go all the way into the shadows, sexual objectification contributes to a culture where sexual violence isn’t taken seriously. It tells us that male power over women is normal and sexual equality is something that most people don’t even understand, that men are sexually aggressive while women are sexually submissive, that men should want and women should want to be wanted by men.
She should take that harassment as a compliment. She asked for it. He can’t help himself. He can’t be raped. We all deserve better because this … this isn’t bullshit. Everyone should be pissed but this is so normal. Are you pissed? I’m pissed. Let’s change it.
First step, you’ve got to be aware of it. And cue the microchanges. It’s pretty simple to do actually. Stop evaluating women on how they look and treating them like sex objects.
Treat women like people. You already do that. Yayyyy!
Then it’s time to speak up when you see companies and media doing this. Let them know it’s not okay. Support people who are speaking out and become a giant cyclone of change that is unstoppable.
You made it this far. You have officially made it through my longest video on YouTube. Goldstar!
Laci Green is a 23-year-old peer sex educator and YouTuber from San Francisco. She makes videos to help people learn about sexuality and bodies so that they can enjoy them! She likes to make people laugh and think, preferably at the same time. Follow her on Twitter @gogreen18.