davidstarlingm wrote:Do you see how portraying women as if their sensuality is their only worth objectifies them?
I'm curious if you distinguish between portraying women as if their sensuality is their only worth
, and only portraying the sensuous worth of women
Thanks for bringing it back to the topic of discussion, Pfhorrest.
Pfhorrest wrote:....is accentuating only women's sexuality equivalent to disparaging their non-sexual traits, in your book?
No, they are not equivalent. Clearly, one statement is stronger than the other.
Pfhorrest wrote:I ask because, while there are certainly plenty of notable examples of the first kind, the overwhelming majority of what I see in the popular media is of the second kind. Lots of things draw attention to how sexy women are, but much fewer (though certainly not none, I admit) explicitly put down everything non-sexual about them.
Agreed. Ludacris and Lil Wayne are clearly extreme examples of sexim. The former is more prevalent in what rap I have heard; the latter is more characteristic of the culture as a whole.
I would point out, though, that extreme focus on the latter at some point begins to approach the conclusion of the former. When the vast majority of one's revenue comes from exploiting male desire by sensual depiction of women, it becomes difficult to argue that the business isn't
treating women like sex objects.
Ol' Hefner would no doubt insist that he believes women to be much more than mere sex objects, but there is very little in the average Playboy to reinforce this.
The point is that by continually and persistently portraying sex as the primary function of women, the media contributes to society viewing women as nothing more than sex objects. And we treat people how we view them....hence the statement that society wants to treat women as whores, and Christianity disagrees. Yes, it's a generalization, but everything is a generalization to some extent.
Pfhorrest wrote:(And [admittedly to a lesser extent, though increasing in recent years] men are sometimes framed with only or predominantly their sexual characteristics accentuated. The first example that comes to mind is the 90s TV show Ally McBeal, where many of the male characters, mostly incidental but some of the main cast as well, were portrayed primarily as objects of sexual interest of the female protagonist(s). A more recent, but lesser example I ran across just yesterday was a rerun of Farscape, where one female character asked another if she "liked men for sex", and the other replied ambivalently that they're sometimes good for other things, "but they're REALLY good for sex". And before you say that these are examples of the sexualization of the female characters in question more so than the men they're talking about, I ask what would you say if the genders were reversed? Is a portrayal of men talking about how sexy women are portraying the former as sex objects, or the latter? Whatever your answer, it should be the same for a portrayal of women talking about how sexy men are.)
While it is obvious that the media is much more focused on objectifying women (mostly because that's usually more profitable than objectifying men), the insistence on viewing everyone as sex objects is applicable to both genders. However, due to traditional gender roles, this usually manifests in different ways. Like I said before, society encourages men to be overgrown sex-crazed adolescents who view women as objects to be used and discarded. Occasionally reversing roles just intensifies the effect ("Gee, that woman views me sexually? She must really be a slut!"). On the flip side, everyone knows (or assumes; this is what is encouraged) that men are already sex-crazed.
Traditionally speaking, men are the greater source of wealth in society, so the media caters to and encourages their desires first. As was pointed out back when Palin's son-in-law posed for Playgirl....girls aren't the primary audience that
magazine is intended for.
The media can make the most money by encouraging men to stay sex-crazed and convincing them that women are equally sex-crazed. For them, it's just about the money, but it has the unfortunate consequence of encouraging sex addiction and the continued objectification of women by society. Ultimately, it contributes to perversion and sex crimes.
At least that's the way Christians view it.