Sunday, May 06, 2007

"Objectifying yourself" is an oxymoron

An AlterNet article (via) about the feminist politics of stripping starts with these seven words:
If a woman chooses to objectify herself...
And I have to object immediately. If to be objectified is for a human body to be stripped of its humanity and treated like any other object in space, I don't know how we can speak of a woman objectifying herself. One may submit to or encourage their own objectification, but they cannot make themself into a simple object (except perhaps by suicide or unconsciousness). It is only the observer, the objectifier, who has the power to deny the reality of the human being that animates a human body.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Right. That's what makes self objectification so bad. It means that a woman takes on the male gaze and sees herself first and foremost as an object for sex and centers her life around trying to meet the expectations of that self-imposed male gaze. For example, self-objectification leads to eating disorders and body dysmorphic disorder in many women. Eating disorders are a great example because in these cases women and men are willing to put their desire to accomplish society's view of perfection ahead of their own health and quality of life.