Thursday, March 3, 2011

Sexist culture still objectifies womens

Our reductive society does not treat women as complete people.

While I agree with some of the points that Kristina Rosett made in her Feb. 28 letter, “Strip clubs are not sexist, shaming women for expressing their sexuality is,” I found a number of her assertions to be problematic. While it is upsetting that women are not allowed to express their sexuality as they see fit, I believe strip clubs, pornography and other commercial avenues of sex are sexist because we live in a sexist society that values women’s bodies over other important pieces of their selves.
If women choose to exercise their sexual agency and work in the sex industry, more power to them, but our culture still accepts to using women (and men) as objects to sell products, to make money and for one’s own sexual pleasure.
Our culture thinks that what women think and say is far less important than how “hot” they look. In the last presidential election, female candidates ran for both president and vice president of the U.S., but folks spent time critiquing their hairstyles, outfits and looks instead of talking about their ideas or policy positions.
My objections to strip clubs have little to do with slut shaming and everything to do with women being objectified, dehumanized, reduced to their body parts and not treated with the respect that they deserve as human beings.
When this happens, domestic, sexual and other types of violence are huge problems. When we reduce people to less than their full selves; when we neglect to consider that they have thoughts, feelings, hopes and dreams; and when we do not grant them the respect they inherently deserve, it makes them far easier to mistreat.
Women who work in the sex industry are still getting paid to do what others (usually men) like. This “free” expression of their sexuality is still largely controlled by what customers want to see and experience.
I want women, and everyone, to live in a world where we’re not reduced to our body parts and where we can express our sexuality in healthy ways that do not hurt ourselves or others.

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