While browsing the web I found this gem of a video: Sexual Objectification. In this piece, Laci Green, the host, discusses the how women have been objectified while men are the subjects who use them. This video goes into great detail about these roles and how they further impact gender roles in the society.
I learned about this during my Women in The Media Class in college. I even recognize some of the examples used in the video. We had to write papers analyzing those advertisements; is no doubt that sex sales. The problem is that the only sex we see is that of a woman. Not a whole woman, but bits and pieces of her are used to market everything from jewelry to fast food. Sometimes ads are so overtly sexual, we don’t even know what they are selling exactly.
Though this is a continuous issue, I’m happy to report some positive steps that have been made recently. The first thing I’ve noticed are these music video parodies. Is no real news that the music industry uses half naked women to sell songs and perpetuate the male ego and their roles as subjects. However, when Robin Thick’s Blurred Lines video hit the web, feminist jumped at the opportunity to shine a light on the music video’s use of women. The Law Revue Girls’ version caused some stir as some loved it while others, including other feminists, were harshly against it. I personally admire the creativity and the courage to post this video online. Laci Green points out that this objectification has become such a norm, that when the roles are the reverse, it makes both men and women feel that the image is awkward or out of place. Why is this? Because for every 12 pairs breast we see on television/film, there’s maybe 1 male genitalia shown.
Another artist taking a stand is Ingrid Michaelson with her new single Girls Chase Boys. The song is a break-up anthem’s video is an homage to the Robert Palmer’s Simply Irresistible. While Palmer’s video is full of sexual objectification, Michaelson places men in women’s shoes (literally) and uses them as Palmer’s used women before. In an effort to level the plain field, the video does not only portray men dancing but women as well. And isn’t this what we want to achieve one day? Equality.
A French short film called Oppressed Majority takes role reversal a step further. In the short, men are the objects while women are the subjects; making the rules and using the opposite sex as they please. The humorous piece demonstrates the reality of how women feel in a man’s world.
These baby steps, as insignificant as they might seem, make a difference at the end of the day. The more they are spoken about and seen through the web, the more common they become. Right now, they just seem as parodies and not taken seriously. Hopefully one day we can all share the role of subjects!