America’s Next Bill Clinton!


Christmas, women and objectification
I am at a bar. I frequent bars. I like to drink. A but how can I continue doing something I enjoy when I can see so much sexism at such establishments? How do I turn a blind eye and just continue to drink? How do I go on without asking if I am part of the problems as the customer?

I am not talking about the interaction between men and women at the bars. That’s a whole discussion on its own.

What I am talking about is dressing up women in costumes, as to be pleasing for men.

At my bar tonight the servers, who are all women, are dressed up hot Santa costumes, and as you may have guessed, without pants of course. Rather, they’re wearing a little skimpy something or other to cover up.
Why is it that women’s bodies are always changed from what they are intended for – nurturing, loving and all those things that come to us naturally, into something of a commodity? Why does it always have to be on displayed, to be sold and bought, to be gawked at, to be turned from belonging to a woman, to a mere object of pleasure.

Just because a woman looks tasty does not mean you have to treat her like a piece of meat. Sure, she has a choice as to where to work, but the sooner she says no to wearing certain clothes, she would be terminated. And my dear readers, can you guess the sex of the manager? Do you have to guess?

I can just easily walk out but instead I stay put. I want to say something but I would come across as a freak. Even feminist activists need days off. Today is mine. But I feel guilty. How do I not say something? If I do, what will it change? More important, I love sex, but why do we need to sell sex? Why can’t sex be something we do without having it to be unequal and so demeaning to women?

Advertisements

27 Comments so far
Leave a comment

”how can I continue doing something I enjoy when I can see so much sexism at such establishments?”
You mean Ladie’s Night?

”What I am talking about is dressing up women in costumes”
They are getting paid for it. No one forced them to dress up.

”why do we need to sell sex?”
Everything and everyone has a price.

”Why can’t sex be something we do without having it to be unequal and so demeaning to women?”
Sex is unequal and demeaning to women how? Reading too much Andrea Dworkin, are we?

Comment by dnxx1

I would respond to you, but you obviously are clueless. So, instead, I am going to sit back and watch others educate you.

By the way, try to come up with more than just one-liners as a response next time. It makes you look simple. No wait …you ARE simple.

Andrea Dworkin I actually have very little respect for as a feminist – but that’s just me.

Comment by ProFeministMale

”By the way, try to come up with more than just one-liners as a response next time. It makes you look simple. No wait …you ARE simple.”
If it takes a one-liner to counter your points, then it means your points are weak.

Comment by dnxx1

But dear bitter loser who hasn’t seen the inside of a woman since birth, you didn’t counter anything. You still haven’t explained anything. Nice try …re-group and do it again, huh?

Comment by profeministmale

”But dear bitter loser who hasn’t seen the inside of a woman since birth, you didn’t counter anything.”
And this has to do with…?

”You still haven’t explained anything. Nice try …re-group and do it again, huh?”
I have. Read my first comment, Mr. Illiteratebaldtard. Kill your inferior, worthless self, huh?

Comment by dnxx1

”You still haven’t explained anything. Nice try …re-group and do it again, huh?”
I have. Read my first comment, Mr. Illiteratebaldtard. Kill your inferior, worthless self, huh?

Comment by dnxx1

All right, this is getting out of hand …I am muting you from now on, because you’re stupid and you’ve got nothing constructive to say.

Excuse me, I’ve got to go and get shit accomplished now, because as adults, that’s what we do, you know – but you wouldn’t know, because you’ve never accomplished a damned thing in your life.

Good-bye, kid. Go whine on your own blog.

Comment by profeministmale

Shooling dnxx1 is a whold post in and of itself. Discussion of why even when women appear to choose to do something, it may not be a real choice. That’s an issue I’ve even had to explain to some of my female friends, And I’m not feeling articulate enough to do it.

and one complaint about the post: You still make a gendered assumption about what “women should be” as opposed to just seeing them as people. (“women’s bodies are always changed from what they are intended for – nurturing, loving and all those things that come to us naturally”) It is still a comodity even if what is being sold is a “nurturing nature.” What women’s bodies are intended for is a bit philisophical and deep for a throwaway line about postive stereotypes that are still limiting to a women’s social developement.

Comment by nakedthoughts

Wow just noticed all my typo’s… I’ve got a cold.. that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

Comment by nakedthoughts

Just because a woman looks tasty does not mean you have to treat her like a piece of meat.

I’m just reposting this so perhaps you may see how problematic this is — along with most of the rest of this post.

Even feminist activists need days off. Today is mine.

Know why you get to have a day off? Mmmm, I love the smell of male privilege in the morning.

Comment by L

Interesting how on the very post where you argue that women should not be objectified, you then go on to say that a man is not a man until he has slept with a woman. Not sure what that says.

I’m sure there’s plenty of bars where the women aren’t forced to dress up as santas or sluts. Most of the ones I remember frequenting in college did not have a slut dress code, and consisted of many male workers as well as women. You can go to bars that don’t make their waitresses into displays, and help support them instead of the Hooters variety.

BTW, I’ve also found that, when dealing with asinine people, it’s best to just ignore and not respond. It’s no use fighting for the last word.

Comment by Marcy

L – I appreciate your feedback. I am scratching my head wondering what’s wrong with the quote, from your perspective, in that I meant it in two ways – it recognizes that we’re sexual beings and brings on a sex-positive light. Secondly, it implies that while we’re free to pursue our sexual interests and be humans, we’re not free to objectify others. If you could explain, I’d greatly appreciate it.

Comment by ProFeministMale

Marcy, I understand what you mean completely. My defense for it is that – well, firstly, I was wrong and I rightfully admit that. Second, I thought getting into a pissing contest with a patriarch and speaking his own language, comparing “manliness” based on his definition, would be better off. I was wrong on that, too, and I apologize.

Comment by ProFeministMale

I am scratching my head wondering what’s wrong with the quote, from your perspective, in that I meant it in two ways – it recognizes that we’re sexual beings and brings on a sex-positive light. Secondly, it implies that while we’re free to pursue our sexual interests and be humans, we’re not free to objectify others. If you could explain, I’d greatly appreciate it.

Well, “tasty,” for one thing, is not an adjective one should use to describe any other person’s sexual desirability. It’s particularly problematic for a man who is working on becoming a feminist ally to use to describe a woman he is sexually attracted to. Women are not consumable. We are not food to be eaten. For another thing, in my opinion, that quote saying a woman is “tasty” does objectify her because it continues and reinforces the tired “OMG she’s so hawt” line of thinking about women. You’re still only looking at this hypothetical woman as an object of your sexual desire, even if you aren’t “treating her” as one. And I trust your ability to treat a woman like a human being about as far as I can throw you. This blog and your ridiculous apparent inability to grasp the very basic concept of “women are people” is making it difficult for me to talk to you like an adult. How can you really not see that saying a woman is “tasty” without having met her is objectifying her? How can you be so absolutely clueless? Even my boyfriend, who is by no means attempting to become a feminist ally (in part because he already is and can make sense of this stuff without me holding his hand for every single explanation), understands this basic stuff. You’ll probably use me in your updated post about how bad and stupid radical feminism is because of this, but really, you need to pull it together. Feminism is not that fucking difficult.

Just to add, this isn’t me saying that you should go play at antimisandry.com because you’re being a sexist hypocrite. I think you’re quite capable of being a solid feminist ally — you just have to work a little harder more often, at least when it comes to this blog. You’re welcome in the pro-/feminist community whenever you’re ready to participate in a way that works for the movement — I’m angry now, but that doesn’t mean I hate you or think you’re a bad person. I hope this makes sense to you.

Comment by L

L – understood and understood. Question, still, however: is the recognition of a person’s sexual desirability in itself a misogynistic thing, or is the fact in which one carries out misogynistic? Are we, as humans, okay to pursue our sexual interests while at the same time still seeing a person as human?

Where you’ve misunderstood me, I think, is that by seeing my mates as desirable, that I am not seeing them as human beings. I do. I appreciate them for who they are, and I respect them (as I do you) for their thoughts and opinions and the fact that they are humans, but this does not mean I should cut off my sexual drive in order for things to be equal.

By the way, I’ve read a few things in the forum of I Blame the Patriatry. I would respond, but of out respect for it being a “safe space,” I am not going to …if you could pass it on to one of your fellow posters there that I never deleted any comments – from her or anyone else, it’d be much appreciated.

Sometimes, I just am busy with other things and take a long time to approve a post. I don’t mean to silence anyone, it’s just that I’ve not taken the time to figure out to let people comment without me having to approve it.

Perhaps our ideals of feminism are different – I’ve spoken with a great deal of my feminist friends – males and females – and they saw my quote as one that speaks out against the objectifying of women, rather than objectifying them.

Lastly – I don’t need you to hold my hand – as I am trying to understand your thought process in being a Radical, 2nd Wave feminist. Understanding and wanting to become one are two different things.

Comment by profeministmale

Question, still, however: is the recognition of a person’s sexual desirability in itself a misogynistic thing, or is the fact in which one carries out misogynistic? Are we, as humans, okay to pursue our sexual interests while at the same time still seeing a person as human?

Of course, being sexual and being attracted to whomever you’re attracted to aren’t inherently misogynistic or otherwise oppressive. It’s the way one “pursues” this attraction or seeks to consummate it that defines its level of oppression of the pursued.

Where you’ve misunderstood me, I think, is that by seeing my mates as desirable, that I am not seeing them as human beings. I do. I appreciate them for who they are, and I respect them (as I do you) for their thoughts and opinions and the fact that they are humans, but this does not mean I should cut off my sexual drive in order for things to be equal.

See, by calling a woman you don’t know “tasty,” you’re NOT treating her as a human being. “Tasty” is an adjective that describes food. Food is an object. Making women into food is objectifying them. Maybe you don’t think you’re oppressing them, but using words like “tasty” leads me to believe that you’re either in denial about how you treat women who are attractive to you or you’re feeding me a line with all this feminism stuff.

Could you explain what you mean by “this does not mean I should cut off my sexual drive in order for things to be equal”?

Perhaps our ideals of feminism are different – I’ve spoken with a great deal of my feminist friends – males and females – and they saw my quote as one that speaks out against the objectifying of women, rather than objectifying them.

Yes, the sentiment of that sentence is anti-objectification. But the connotations of the word “tasty” call your intent into question.

Comment by L

Okay, I absolutely consider myself a feminist and I am a writer and words are powerful for me. However, I completely disagree with you L. Tasty is a word of great enjoyment. I does not mean to digest or to consume, I means to be flavorful or to have good flavor, taste. I often say that the man I’m in love with is delicious. I use the adjective to describe his personality and his body.

Sex is very tactile and if profeministmale wants to use certian words associated with food to describe a woman, than I say mange.

Being feminist does ask that we recognize when women are being unjustly sexualized but it should not turn us into politically correct droids. It should never limit expression of language.

I devour the man I love. It is the fever and need, the instinct of hunger that we associate with sex.

However, I do agree with nakedthoughts. Women’s bodies as creatures of nurturing – yeah no. nurturing is an act, accesible to both men and women.

Comment by laiven

As I said more than once in my comments, I think “tasty” is objectifying of a woman coming from a man who does not know her. You thinking your husband is delicious and everything is a totally different set of circumstances than what I’m calling out on PFM. Words are also powerful for me, and my position is that PFM needs to pay closer attention to his language use.

Comment by L

My apologies, laiven, I said “your husband” when you did not say he was your husband. I should have said “your significant other.”

Comment by L

We could circle around all day…and I think that in general we would be arguing the semantics of the definition of the word tasty. And let’s face it we’d rather have men not thinking in terms of tasty because althought from me it’s fairly harmless, from them it could mean something very different, again semantics.

Rather than repetedly redefining the word ,let me ask the question: Can I call a man I don’t know delectable? Because I do observe handsome men and find them attractive and when I do I am not 100% aware of the words I choose to describe that moment of physical response.

What I am 100% certian of is that you (PFM) and L and naked thoughts encourage me to think and further define myself and the feminist I want to be so…I thank you all. This conversation is fun to read and to participate in.

Comment by laiven

You can do whatever you want, laiven. I don’t honestly care if you call men delectable or tasty or whatever. You and what you do in your life are not the subject of this discussion. Besides, as I said in my previous comments, a man objectifying a woman (especially a man who claims feminism) is different from a woman objectifying a man given male privilege and the patriarchy.

For the record, I do not support any objectification of anyone, regardless of gender identity/expression, but I recognize that part of living within a patriarchy is developing coping skills to survive within that patriarchy. The patriarchy legitimizes and privileges the “male gaze” that judges people based on their fuckability and on nothing else — women (including me) are capable of taking on this “male gaze” to objectify men as men objectify women. This is empowering to women in a sex-pos, superficial, momentary way, but it does nothing to eradicate the structures that limit people’s humanity and worthiness to their fuckability. In the end, the objectification of anyone ends up hurting women more than men because objectification is a patriarchal method of deleting individuals’ humanity in order to demean and oppress them in service of the social hierarchy that privileges men over women.

Comment by L

I’m getting a Phd in Art and women’s studies. I am well aware of the male gaze, but I do believe that the tables have turned and that we have begun (mind you I said begun, as in we are beginning) to gaze at the male in a similar way as we gaze at the female. Look at the Calvin Klein ads.

I also believe that there are huge issues with associating worthiness and “fuckability.” L, I completely understand your point but I am trying to understand if there is a balance. Must we be completely unanimalistic and all thought. Must we always expect controlled behavior or sometimes can we just be.

I will not agree that sexual attaction and objectification are completely of the patriarchy. Sex is a natural function. Sexual objectification is not soley a bi-product of the gaze.

PFM, I comend you on your attempts to grow as a feminist. Sure, sometimes you might hit on ideas that are not quite right but not to worry, shit happens.

L, once again…if ever i feel the need to debate…I’ll come a calling.

Comment by laiven

Must we be completely unanimalistic and all thought[?] Must we always expect controlled behavior or sometimes can we just be[?]

I never said and don’t believe that not-objectification = no sex or no attraction. Being attracted to someone is not the same as objectifying them.

As for your “unanimalistic” comment, I think we owe it to each other as human beings to be as humane and just as possible. If, for you, this means thinking about your every move, then so be it. What’s worse, in your opinion: having people
“just be,” when they’re in positions of sexual power and have no qualms with dominating you against your will? Or having people think about their actions and about their role in patriarchal hierarchies so that they might control their behavior and oppress and dominate you less? Is it really so bad to be “unanimalistic”? (This, btw, is not in the context of consensual sexual relationships. I don’t care what you, PFM, or anyone else does behind closed doors as long as it’s consensual, enthusiastic, and wanted by all parties. I’m still discussing men objectifying women they don’t know via language, aka a non-consensual situation. Which brings me to another question for PFM: Would you be willing to ask your unknown lover-from-afar if she consents to being called “tasty”?)

I will not agree that sexual att[r]action and objectification are completely of the patriarchy. Sex is a natural function. Sexual objectification is not sole[l]y a [by]product of the gaze.

That’s fine not to agree. Obviously, sex is not part of the patriarchy; it is indeed a natural function. However, patriarchal constructs have reframed sex and sexual attraction as a manifestation of dominance and submission. That is, one person (usually the woman, or the effeminate person) will be subdued while the other person (usually the man or the masculine person) will do the subduing. Or to stick with our terminology thus far, one person will be the active subject (the dominant/masculine one) while the other (the submissive/feminine one) will be the passive object of the subject’s attraction/desire/arousal. The way that we think about sex, as products of a patriarchal culture, is that this is normal and natural — women are just “supposed” to submit to men, and men are “supposed” to dominate women, in one way or another. One thing I hope you’ve learned in your WS PhD is that anything deemed “natural” demands questioning and deconstruction. Again, I’m not saying that being sexually attracted to another person is bad or even that the things that turn you on are bad. I’m saying that these attractions and turn-ons are culturally informed to a very large extent. Leaving these attractions unexamined and labeling them as “just natural,” especially for men who are learning about feminism, is a very bad idea that perpetuates oppressive patriarchal structures.

Comment by L

I just wanted to include a few links to comments from IBTP that I think are fitting to the discussion I’ve been having with PFM and laiven.

In my world, where the individual is celebrated, we have a group of humans happily living their lives, seeking out fulfilling work and play to the benefit of all in the peaceful society. Person A and Person B meet in the course of happily living their lives, working for the betterment of themselves and society, and develop a mutual friendship and respect. Sexual thoughts begin to ensue.

Actually, the comments just before that one and the ones following it are especially poignant. Highly recommended.

Comment by L

Lai – thanks for dropping by and engaging with others on this blog. I happen to agree with you.

L – I would answer your question, but I am not sure what you’re asking. Would you clarify? “Would you be willing to ask your unknown lover-from-afar if she consents to being called “tasty”?)

Comment by profeministmale

I’m asking whether you would feel comfortable going up to a gal you don’t know yet deem fuckable and asking her if she would consent to you calling her “tasty.”

Comment by L

[…] too narrowly on what I’ve read in Pro-Feminist Male’s blog lately (specifically this), but I can’t shake the sense that mainstream feminism coddles men and too easily allows them […]

Pingback by Feministing, Men, Feminism, and Consent Controversy « Editorializing the Editors




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s



%d bloggers like this: