I’ve ben fighting with the images of women’s sexuality lately– specifically trying to find how women can be sexually confident and “own” their sexuality while not becoming a sexualized object. I’ve recently discovered that all women are already sexualized objects because that it what we are symbolized as in today’s society. As a minority, you do not get to choose what you are portrayed as. Women shouldn’t have to take their sexuality and their representation into their own hands, because it shouldn’t have been taken away in the first place.
I love this video because it explains how women are sexual objects, and men are sexual subjects. She references Berger’s Ways of Seeing and Kilbourne’s Killing Us Softly among others in this speech. (if you like this speech, I recommend you check these out)
I appreciate that she attacks the excuse of “sex sells” in advertising (it is used as an excuse by advertisers and society), and calls it what it really is: sexual stigmatization of women sells to men because it appeals to their sense of dominance by portraying women as objects and there for their pleasure; but it also sells to women because it is ingrained in us through ideology and it’s collaborators (religion, politics, family, government…) that this is what we should aspire to, and that we are here because of men (Adam and Eve) and should thus, serve them.
Even if I attempted to own my own sexuality and express it openly in a confident way, I would be perceived as a sexual object because that is the only way this society (men and women) know how to interpret a woman’s expressed (displayed) sexuality.
This video gives advice on how to change “the system” but you are basically trying to remove yourself from modern ideology, and that is a close to impossible task.
When Heldman pointed out the effects of sexualizing women in our society, and explained what habitual body monitoring was, I was completely shocked. I do that everyday. Every minute of everyday, and I even pride myself in being less vain than my friends and less vain than I used to be… being less concerned with my displayed body image. It gave me a reality check.
The ending of her speech really hit home. “I’d like you to image a world where women are valued for what they say and what they do, rather than the way they look. I’d like you to image a world where instead of spending time on dress and appearance, we actually directed our energies to serious problems.”
Like she said, We are the architects of our future. Sometimes architects have to demolish paradigms in order to build a better world.
Is this the type of world you want to live in?
– Agent Change