If it`s not OK to objectify women than it should be OK to objectify men because that’s totally a double standard, right?
But there is a slight difference. We live in a world where female objectification leads to catcalling, victim-blaming and higher rate of sexual assault and rape. A woman`s value is often based on her looks.
Objectifying women leads to all those things and clearly the objectification on men does not.
“The Male Gaze”
Most TV shows, advertisements, movies and other forms of media are specially created to satisfy a straight male audience and that`s a fact.
I`m sure you`ve noticed how the camera lingers a bit longer on a female`s body in some advertisement or a movie in which women are usually and intentionally dressed more provocatively… that`s the male glaze we are talking about.
All these things create a culture in which men are considered to be the dominant consumer of media. Men do the looking and women are looked at. This makes much more sense if you know that men are in control of the majority of the media behind the scenes.
The Women’s Media Center, a non-profit organization that tracks female progress in the movie industry has reported that women direct only 28.7% of the top-grossing movies, they are only accounted for 13% of editors and only 2% of directors in photography.
So, more men direct the stories and therefore they control the gaze.
On the other side, there is no such thing as a “female gaze,” except maybe when women go to see “Magic Mike.”
Unfortunately, male gaze also exist in everyday life. Many women are judged solely on the way they look, how youthful they look and whether or not they are attractive.
Furthermore, objectification turns women into things, a piece of property that can be owned or claimed. On the top of it all, the society we live in doesn’t hesitate to define a woman`s worth by someone else standards – specifically, by men.
As for men, they neither operate this way nor live to satisfy a so-called female gaze.
Why a comment on a woman’s appearance isn’t just a comment, but a comment on a man’s appearance is?
Women don`t have the luxury of living in a world where comments on her appearance is just a comment.
Lindy West gives a perfect example of what a comment on a woman`s appearance can mean in her piece “You Can’t Tell the Attorney General She Has an Epic Butt, But Here’s What You CAN Do.”
A man isn`t defined by his appearance so commenting on it has a completely different meaning than commenting on a woman`s appearance.
When a NY Magazine article asked men if they can be fat-shamed, the answer was no! For example, when Leonardo DiCapri gained some weight it didn`t affect his identity at all because his extra pounds were “no more or less damning than the hideous graphic T-shirts and newsboy caps he wears.”
On the other hand, when Jessica Simpson gained few pounds, it was so dramatic that a whole emotional show was centered on her “weight-loss journey.”
This is just a small example of why objectifying women has much heavier and noteworthy meaning. By doing so we are projecting the idea that her worth is defined by her appearance. But when men are objectified… well, that`s just fun!