Posted by: hellonhairylegs | November 10, 2008

The Pornification- It Burns

Everywhere. I turn around to see slick billboards and homemade cardboard posters celebrating the great patriarchal tradition of objectification. In film I can rely on the gratuitous cleavage shot, watching women being stalked down a dark street, being kidnapped and tied up. The threat of rape, ever present, rarely spoken, always sexualised.  And then reality, the beep of horns, the look-over and self satisfied smirk. These should not be rites of passage. The murmour of men’s voices, dissecting women with words. Determining whether that arse is worth that pair of breasts.

And then someone tells me earnestly that she objectifies men too.



  1. Gah. High school is so much easier if you haven’t yet taken the red pill.

    Hang in there.

  2. Ah yes, there are those who don’t see a difference between objectifying someone and being attracted to them– because, of course, there often isn’t a difference when a heterosexual man is attracted to a woman.

    I find it useful to look at objectification in terms of the gaze. When you look at images of men that heterosexual women are supposed to find attractive, the man in the picture almost always confronts the viewer with a direct gaze, or he will be looking up and off into the distance. Pictures of women for heterosexual men, however, tend to use a coy sidelong glance, or, she will be looking downwards. That, to me, is the heart of it– women who are attracted to men are expected to confront the man as a fellow human being, but the same is not expected of men attracted to women– instead, men attracted to women are expceted to treat women as prey. Of course, this whole system marginalises queer relationships.

    You do find the occasional exception of course– I find that images of David Tennant, for instance, often use the coy sidelong glance that is more typical of images of women– but of course, Doctor Who/Torchwood/SJA fucks with notions of the gaze all the time, in addition to fucking with notions of default heterosexuality. Not to say that they get it 100% perfect (because they very much do not), but I find that women in the Whoniverse shows usually have a very direct gaze, and I think that is a big part of what makes me like them so much– there’s a real sense that the women in the shows are people before they are anything else.

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