Sexual objectification in the media needs to stop

Vivian Englund – Copy Editor 

Sexual objectification can be defined as looking at people specifically as de-humanized “things” used solely for sexual pleasure. In dehumanization the people viewed as sex objects are seen to lack personality or any intellectual depth whatsoever.

The media often portrays sexual objectification in advertisements, music videos, and TV shows, but the list goes on and on.

Women, specifically, are objectified as their bodies are seen as a collection of body parts and sex organs, rather than a whole human being. This is derived from the fact that women have consistently been portrayed as things for men to have sex with in the media.

Sexual objectification is not only a theme in the media, but occurs in real-life situations as well.

Media targeted at women is strewed with qualities for women to succumb to the expectations of men, rather than for self-improvement and empowerment.

Sexual objectification is being cat called. Seeing how women cannot walk down the street without men commenting (sometimes graphically) about their appearance feeds into a bigger picture as well.

This bigger picture is: through objectification women are solely judged based on their appearances, where men are not.

Sexual objectification in commercials and advertisements use women’s body parts to sell their products. Decidedly, it does not matter what companies are trying to sell these days, objectification is used to sell even the most random things. For example, you have all seen it before—a half-naked supermodel standing on a beach somewhere eating a burger.

This corresponds with the fact that women are often used to ornament music videos, rather than to be a subject of it.

While marketing companies have no issue producing advertisements that have images of women’s breast plastered throughout—women are shamed for breastfeeding in public.

Sexual objectification is the sexualizing of women’s body parts for charity. (e.g. The “I Love Boobies” campaign) Since when is cancer supposed to be sexy?

An example that we have all heard loud and clear seems to be the dress code issue, primarily in high school settings.

Administrators constantly ridicule girls in high school for the outfits that they wear. Whether their “shorts are too short,” or “their bra strap is showing” these girls are being made out to be sexual objects. Why is this even a thing in schools?

Schools often blame that girl’s bodies are distracting to their male classmates…. Really. Bare shoulders are really that distracting?

Transgender women are often objectified because of society’s failure to define them properly, and instead defining them by their sex organs.

All of this objectification adds to a culture that promotes sexual violence. It enforces the argument that men are the sexually dominant over women.

Since the media portrays men as sexually dominant, it argues the idea that men cannot be raped—which obviously is not true. This is because the media also feeds into the masculine ideals that men are stereotypically supposed to fit.

Objectification enforces the ideas that men should treat women as objects, while women should act as such.

Perhaps there is not a concrete solution to this problem. Though some small victories have made way, there is still change that needs to happen.


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