“Can women objectify men?” That’s a question that gets asked a lot. Viewing it simply, one would think that the answer is yes. Because if we define sexual objectification as seeing people as no more than the sum of their parts and what those parts can do for us sexually, then yes, of course women can objectify men. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as that.
With stories like The Hunger Games, Divergent, The Fault In Our Stars, and Bridesmaids hitting the market in the last few years, women and girls are finally being represented in media. While this is amazing, there are still groups of people who are underrepresented — including women and girls of color. This lack of representation does a disservice to everyone.
Often, straight men become frustrated when they meet a woman who doesn’t trust them immediately. They’re frustrated that women impose a “guilty until proven innocent” mentality on all men. But there are reasons why women feel this way. If we can work to understand those reasons, we can learn how to work with her in a supportive role, if that’s what she wants.
Chances are, as feminists and other liberal-minded people, most of you have heard the phrase “rape culture.” It’s used often in feminist circles, and it describes a social conditioning that we experience culturally. But how many of you know what it actually looks like? Perhaps some people truly don’t understand what rape culture is. So here are 25 examples.
Teen and “tween” (that difficult, in-between age of 9-12) girls nowadays have it rough. Contrast this with the caveman era that I grew up in, that oh-so-long-ago decade known as the 1990s, in which girls could simply chillax and be themselves…kind of. But before we roll our eyes at the behavior of “kids these days,” we should at least consider how our adolescence was different.
Within the last ten to fifteen years, shows like South Park, Family Guy, Futurama, and American Dad have been popping up, creating huge hordes of followers and dominating the airwaves. These shows are unique in that they are animated, which allows for extremely off-color, inappropriate, or even offensive stereotypes. The question is: Are these stereotypes positive or harmful?
American media has a history of ignoring the marginalized in our society. That’s slowly changing, but there’s still one group that’s often excluded altogether. And that’s America’s poor. Now you may be thinking “But wait! I can think of an example!” And yes. Perhaps you can. But unfortunately, media representation isn’t enough; diverse and accurate media representation is essential.
Liberalism vs. conservatism is at the heart of American politics. And while engaging in healthy debate is encouraged, stepping over the line of respectful disagreement and engaging in personal attacks or hate speech is never okay — for either side. Shannon Ridgway discusses how those who identify as liberals and feminists can be more understanding toward the opposing political party.
It’s okay to disagree with people. It’s even okay to hold disdain for other people’s politics. But when we cross over into personal attacks, we’ve gone too far. Not only are we being rude, we’re also being unfair. So the next time you find yourself criticizing conservatives, remind yourself that what you’re critical of is their belief system – not the people themselves.
Patriarchy is a major issue that still affects the livelihood of everyone — men included! Living in a patriarchal society places immense pressure on people of all genders to fit into prescribed roles and meet social expectations. Shannon Ridgway discusses how to eradicate gender stereotypes, break free of these assigned roles, and free ourselves — as well as others.