Tuesday, April 19, 2011

"Objectification is Worse for Men", and other loads of CRAP. A public response to Andre, Alexei, Lawrence, and Dave

image was found here

What follows is from the comments section of a post from Sociological Images *here*, showing many examples of how nude men are being displayed in advertising. My comments are a response to that collection as well as to men's ridiculous patriarchy-denying and CRAP-ignorant comments below.

With thanks to JPLee for her responses to Alexei and Lawrence.


  • Julian 10:18 am on April 19, 2010 | # | Reply

    First, if you’re not among the ten to eleven million who have seen this, I welcome you to see this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYhCn0jf46U (or just Google “Dove Evolution video”)
    No matter how thin, no woman wakes up in the morning computer-digitally altered.

    I’ll add that these ads perpetuate the most vile forms of contempt for certain “other” women. AS IF women are all extremely pale, thin, young, and very tall. This particular body type, where it does occur “in nature” occurs in Europe among a very few Caucasians. Not commonly in Asia–and Asia goes from China to Indonesia, and from the “Middle East” to Japan! Not so much in Indigenous populations in Asia and the Americas. Not in any part of Africa, unless among a few whites descendants of colonists. And, in case no one has noticed, the Americas, the UK, and Australia, and other places where Elle magazine and Vogue magazine are sold and distributed, such as most cities, mostly people who are none of those attributes live there, including NYC, London, and Perth.

    Yes, Laura. I totally agree. Why don’t we men organise and not just speak up when it seems “the women are ignoring our pain”? Why don’t men speak out against what pornographers do to men, what pimps do to males of various ages, and advertising execs get rich doing to mostly white people that negatively impacts all people?

    “The fairer” sex also means whiter/lighter, as in “mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest one of all”. (Answer: Snow White… get the racism?) Fair skinned is allegedly “better” than dark skinned. So racism against women runs all through these images. And that is horrendously marginalising and alienating to women of color, to non-superthin women, to older women, and one other category as well… can you guess which category?

    The “type” of woman that rarely gets discussed when discussing ads about women, and is never seen in media at all, unless to denigrate her terribly, is butch women, non-femme women. These magazines won’t go near any woman who isn’t ultra-femme to the point of having to be painted from head to toe, because NO women look like the women above, ever. (See that famous “Dove Ad” on YouTube to know what I mean, linked to above in this comment.)

    So that one man, as mentioned, could be gay, but the women only exist for/draped on the men to do with as they please. They are Barbie dolls. Is he HER accessory, or is she HIS? (Hmmmm: is there a “gay” inference: do naked white-but-tanned men play with Barbie dolls?)

    @Matt: almost no white men have hairless upper bodies AND hairy lower bodies. Possibly some “Aryan”/Nordic men. So you do, and another .001 percent of the population. But “nature” doesn’t work that way for most of us, and men’s chests are now moving back towards being hairy on television, which means those actors won’t have to have that hair ripped or shaved off.

    If you sense agitation in my posts, it’s because I hear from the people who are profoundly negatively impacted by this and other media. The women and men who believe women are “undesirable” and “ugly” and “ought to stay inside” if they don’t have stick-legs, are not “pretty” as defined by pimps and cosmetics companies, and “fairest of them all”. The lesbian women who never see their desire, their aesthetics, depicted anywhere. Even depictions of “lesbianism” in dominant media is “for heterosexual men” to “enjoy”. Ugh.

    These women, above, and men, only exist in relation to one another. For each other. Lesbians and gay men exist too, and we don’t all look like the people in the images above. And NO Black man looks like that polished ebony form above. (Not even him.) If you don’t see the harm, just breathe in the pain and suffering caused by these and all the other images shoved at us 24/7. Feel that pain. Of raw throats from vomiting several times a day. Of not having a clear mind and strong body due to self-starvation for one to twenty years. Of all the girls who don’t have, as Toni Morrison wrote, “The Bluest Eye”.

  • Andre 8:07 am on May 30, 2010 | # | Reply

    I don’t see anyone turned into objects here. I think this concept is misguided if people think being sexy is somehow “bad/wrong”

  • Julian 9:11 am on May 30, 2010 | # | Reply

    @Andre,
    The point isn’t that being turned into objects is bad/wrong. The point is to note how capitalist white male supremacist media market the flesh of white women, white men, women of color, and men of color, while noting as well what it has to say bout heterosexuality and lesbianism and gayness. The issues are discrimination, harm, oppression, and dehumanisation, not being “bad/wrong”.
    You can decide for yourself if racism is bad or wrong. But this blog exists to document misogyny, racism, and heterosexism, among other realities, that do injure people physically and emotionally. You can care or not care about matters of gross exploitation, the promulgation of harmful ideas of “beauty”, and social and sexual subordination. That’s entirely up to you.

  • fox 6:07 pm on June 3, 2010 | # | Reply

    I notice that the same thing often critisized in this blog is present in this post: first there are naked and sexy “men”, followed by a “black man” being objectified. So the first ones are just men, not “white men” – and the last one isn’t just a man, but a black one.

  • Alexei Soares 11:26 am on September 2, 2010 | # | Reply

    How can it be that intelligent authors fail to understand the pervasive and unrecognised nature of the sexual objectification of men in Western culture? It is everywhere, it is blatant, and it is most assuredly NOT exemplified by these pictures. These pictures are a myopic view of the sexual objectification of men as seen through the reality of women.

    A mean [sic] objectifies a woman when he evaluates her worth based mostly on her fitness as a reproductive partner. He bases his decision on proxy-fertility characteristics such as youth, body shape, firmness of behind, and breast shape and size.

    A woman objectifies a man when she evaluates his worth based mostly on his fitness as a reproductive partner. She bases her decision on proxy-genetic characteristics such as dominance, power, intelligence, financial success, and a larger than life presence.

    The best way to understand the objectification of women is the way women who do NOT posses the needed “object-characteristics” are treated as worthLESS. Fat, old, and ugly women are almost completely absent from cultural representation. I flew jetBlue last night, and the free movie was “Prince of Persia.” There was not a single old, fat, or ugly woman in the movie.

    The best way to understand the objectification of men is the way men who do NOT possess the needed “object-characteristics” are treated as worthLESS. Weak, powerless, and commonplace men are culturally represented in HUGE numbers, seen only for an instant (with no face) before being quickly killed off in a humour scene, as thought the death of an “inconsequential” man is worth no more than a laugh. The “Prince of Persia” is filled with funny scenes involving the killing of huge numbers of “weak” common soldiers, often “good guys” killed by the leading “dominant” male by mistake.

    • JPLee 8:30 pm on January 6, 2011 | # | Reply

      Your comment is ridiculous.

      It is NOT “sexual objectification” to evaluate a man’s worth based on his intelligence and financial success…

      What makes someone more valuable as a human being: a perfect body, or a brilliant mind? I don’t know about you, but I appreciate the artists, musicians, philosophers, and scientists of this world much more than I appreciate top models and pinups.

      When you objectify someone, you reduce them to a physicality, like a vase or a bottle of beer. Objects do not have thoughts, and so their purpose is to be USED by others to pleasure and satisfy.

      Of course there is unfair societal pressure on men to be intelligent, strong, or to conceal their feelings, but IT IS NOT THE SAME! You cannot objectify a mind the way you can a body!!
      Both sexes can be shallow when it comes to choosing a mate/judging the opposite sex, but women do not judge men on the same objectifying, intimate terms that have such limited shelf life as men do women.

      Women have it worse…..not pretty, but it’s true.

  • Lawrence 7:37 pm on February 7, 2011 | # | Reply

    I agree. women constantly whine about objectification and then insult us and call us immature if we point out their double standard. You cant watch a TV show or movie without all these athletic cut 20 something guys losing their shirts and many times even more. We have had a push of show showing male genitalia and they have been rated down to R. Show a woman’s pubic hair and you automatically get a NC-17, and you haven’t even shown her genitals. And then we get all these experts saying, “a flacid male organ is not erotic”. So, its still indecent and should garner the same treatment as female genitals. The beefcake in ads has gone way over the top and they know it. Women just want to have their beefcake and eat it too.

    • JPLee 12:28 am on February 8, 2011 | # | Reply

      Yes, we all have to contend with exceptionally hot (and touched up) people on TV. But at the same time…..now you know how we feel!

      Women are still objectified far more often than men (just going by the ads I see everyday). And only recently has the number of scantily dressed people in the media started to even out among the two genders…….I have to wonder why you are so pissed, when it is really just an eye for an eye.

      You really have to consider the long history of women being objectified before you can complain about things not being fair.

      PS. Who the hell are these experts telling us what to find erotic? I think we can figure these things out for ourselves. :P

    • Julian Real 1:26 am on February 8, 2011 | # | Reply

      @Lawrence – You seem not to grasp a very basic truth: that the men objectified are still valued for being powerful; the women objectified are valued for being weak. Why? Because however much men are objectified–including the objectification of white rich men as “wealth objects”, wealth, power, control, and force still remains in the hands of white men in the US. There’s no level playing field onto which such images fall. The field is mined against women of all colors in ways it never has been for men. It is mined against all people of color in ways it never has been for whites.

      If you want to narrow the gaze myopically to this issue of how people are presented in some print ads, that’s your myopic choice. In the real world, however, those images are part of a larger pattern of very threatening and horrific realities which, I would imagine–correct me if I’m wrong–you’ve not had the displeasure to be terrorised by, such as men following you as you walk to a bus station or train stop, or to your car; men pulling their cars over asking you to get inside; men harassing you on the street or at work; men feeling entitled to rape you at home, or to batter your face until bones are broken, or to batter your belly if it carries a fetus; grown men sexually abusing, trafficking, and enslaving thin girls–by the millions. I’ll wager you don’t register these horrors and terrors as “real” at all. And so you can pretend we are only discussing “a few images in some magazines”. You are quite privileged to be able to not make any more connections than that. This is to say, your privilege is showing.

  • Guest 3:46 pm on March 5, 2011 | # | Reply

    The next thing you know male models in ads display themselves while women display clothes.

  • Dave 5:24 pm on April 19, 2011 | # | Reply

    How can eople complain of what happened historically when they are now all dead!! It’s today’s children we should be thinking of and objectification of men is far more rife than that of women. It’s just that women moan about it more when an advert shows a bit of female leg or a film shows a female bum. And yet men are supposed to shrug their shoulders and take it like a man when bombarded with adverts showing shirtless hunks all the time or films and dramas showing detailed shots of genitals.
    It’s a double standard and it stinks. Women are all smug about it at the moment but the middle-aged white male is the last minority group yet to be protected from societies onslaught of male-bashing and male objectification. Give it another 10 years and the young males of today’s generation will put a stop to this because enough is enough!!

  • Julian Real 9:06 pm on April 19, 2011 | # | Reply

    Hello Dave,

    I welcome you to open your eyes to what’s going on globally, and in the West specifically, to women and girls before you jump to erroneous conclusions about how much more objectified men are than women.

    You know, I hope, that father-daughter rape is the most common form of child sexual abuse in the U.S.

    The average age of girls–yes, girl children–entering prostitution and pornography is thirteen, due to male pimps lying to the runaways from incest-perpetrating and otherwise patriarchally abusive homes.
    There are many hundreds of thousands of girls and women being trafficked internationally, primarily for the “pleasure” and profit of men.

    And that men get away with battery and rape most of the time, and most cases of men beating the crap out of women and raping them are not reported at all.

    When men are asked to describe what they do, in day to day life, to avoid being raped, they generally scratch their heads. When women are asked, the list is long and men respond to it by saying “I had no idea!”

    When a segregated group of young men were once asked what they feared most from women, the answer was “being laughed at”. When a group of young women were asked what they most feared from men, the answer was “being killed”. So please stop putting out this nonsense about how things are so, so bad for the doods. Whatever objectification men get, it’s not tied into a gendered political system in which women let that initial interpersonal or industrial objectification be the doorway to terroristically harassing and sexually and physically assaulting men and boys.

    If we understand ‘objectification’ to be part of women’s subordination–as part of the economic discrimination and aggressively abusive activities men enjoy unleashing on and against women and girls systematically and usually with impunity, your argument sinks like lead and stinks worse than the apparently unrecognised privilege in your comment. That would be the privilege to be oblivious and insensitive to what women and girls are enduring the world over that you, Dave, are not.

    Dave 5:16 pm on April 20, 2011 | # | Reply

    Oh for goodness sake, get a grip! Mothers kill their children far more than fathers do. Fact – look it up. I think rape is awful BUT there are other sides to the story that often go unheard. Girls get away with false rape claims all too often and men aren’t protected from this despite the fact that it can ruin innocent lives. Men get raped too, but that’s not as bad, is it!

    There is no support from Governments regarding domestic violence against men either, despit the fact that, arguably, that just as many, if not more, women commit violent acts against their partners – look it up. Quite simply it goes unnoticed because men don’t tend to complain, probably due to their protective instincts. Nobody cares about men. http://www.youtube.com/watch[blahblahblah].

    Life these days is all about women isn’t it. It’s all about how we should protect women, often at the expense of men. Look at the Titanic as a classic example of how men’s lives are treated as second class, expendable etc. Nobody cares about mens feelings. There is less spent on male health. Education these days supports girls (and the results go hand in hand with the trend). Fathers don’t have the same custody rights over their children. White males are victims of positive discrimination in the workplace. They are the victims of male bashing in modern advertising. It’s funny when they get kicked in the groin in a film. You can say anything you like about a man. You can make programmes that strip them of their dignity and make them look foolish because they are a man. The list goes on and on and on…

    Nobody cares about men, not even men. But I’m telling you now, give it 5 to 10 years and the young males in society are going to realise what a stupid, uncilvilised nd unfair society it is that they are part of and, trust me, there will be a massive backlash. THey will not put up with this crap for much longer.

    It makes me laugh how stupid people are and how indoctrinated they have become what with all the feminist brain-washing that has taken place over the last few decades. Look how people complain when a music video shows a woman dancing showing a bit of flesh. See how they are so quick to place it in the sexist objectification catagory. THey say how bad this is for young girls and boys, firstly because it puts pressure on the girls to look good and secondly because the boys are supposedly not allowed to look. YET, those very same complainers are completely and utterly oblivious to the half-naked male hunks flexing their muscles for the benefit of the female audience, despite the fact that this, too, makes many young lads feel shit about their body. But who cares about them, eh! The girls are allowed to see hunky bare-chested men everywhere. Double-standard.

    I could go on but I really can’t be bothered because I happen to know that I’m about 20 years ahead of my time and people like you are 20 years behind. You’ll see, just watch, it’s the next big thing!
Julian's note:
Dave is demonstrating how incredibly privileged and clueless he is. His rant is not worthy of much of a response. Anyone who believes "nobody cares about men" has no grasp of reality. Which gender is wiping the asses of baby boys, then? And which gender is feeding and taking emotional care, physical care, and often economic care of males of all ages? Men's logical phallusy appears to know no bounds. But we already knew that, didn't we?



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