I know this doesn’t sound terribly progressive of me, but I think some objectification is healthy, whether one is male or female. I believe that both male and female desire should have a place in our discourse – which is why so much of my professional work is dedicated to football and footballers and footballers’ legs. It is all quite serious. Stop smirking.
I do think that because of power differentials, objectification of women more readily becomes a springboard for abuse, and worse. But I do think that there is a genuinely OK way of expressing one’s appreciation for someone else’s physical body and/or persona (and hell, a beautiful mind can be just as sexy). And I want more women to be comfortable with expressing their views on men and women that they find attractive, and even be superficial about it.
These conversations can be dangerous. Desire can be dangerous. But a world in which we do not have these conversations would be too sterile for my taste. Too many times, I run up against the notion that it is somehow “undignified” for a woman to participate, to be too sexual, and too frank, or allow herself a moment of shallowness; I hear people say that she is merely “lowering herself” to the status of men (I’ve seen that on feminist blogs as well as other types of blogs). But I disagree wholeheartedly. I think it all depends on context.
I’m interested to know what you all think about this.
- On the Myth of Inherent Female Bisexuality by Ryan December 5, 2005
- The Good Body by Jill October 26, 2006
- Science Reporting Still Sucks by Thomas February 14, 2008
- I believe in the radical possibilities of pleasure (I do, I do, I do) by Sarah June 17, 2010
- One more thing before I go: Feminist blog readers are the shit by Nona September 27, 2009