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On how some women are never satisfied

One of feminism's main complaints about society's treatment of women is a phenomenon they refer to as objectification, a notion central to feminist theory. The dictionary definition of the term "objectification" is the act of representing an abstraction as a physical thing. The feminist use of the term objectification makes this specific to people; objectification is the act of treating or seeing a person as an object. The focus of feminist complaint regarding this is sexual objectification, or the treatment of specifically women as sex objects.

Among other claims related to the concept of sexual objectification is the assertion that display of women in sexually suggestive clothing and portrayals by media outlets like fashion magazines contributes to people's tendency to sexually objectify women in everyday life. They complain that this specific type of sexual objectification hurts all women by normalizing a focus on women as sex objects.

Complaints related to objectification have become pretty mainstream in the female population, even when women aren't actually being objectified. For instance, some women fail to differentiate between noticing a woman's appearance, and treating her as a sex object.

There is also the complaint that these magazines communicate unhealthy standards for beauty, requiring models to maintain a physique that is unrealistic and dangerous for women to attempt to maintain. Many women have made their voices heard on this - they want to see popular media using models of different physiques, representing more of the female population.

Elle Magazine's November cover model should have satisfied both of these interests; she's not a thin woman, and though she looks quite lovely in the image, that appeal is not achieved by placing her in revealing clothing and a sexually suggestive pose.

Instead, some women saw the cover as another opportunity to complain: OMG! Elle Magazine didn't sexually objectify Melissa McCarthy because she's fat! How dare they!

Seriously. That is the complaint, boiled down from an article-length rant to its basic nature. McCarthy was wearing a coat. It's not tight-fitting. She wasn't showing any skin. She wasn't showing any tits and ass. The pose she's in isn't suggestive... therefore the cover is bad.

So in addition to the rules "Don't show women in revealing clothing and sexually suggestive poses" and "Use models who aren't skinny" there is now also "If you follow both rules at the same time, we're going to complain about that, too."

And we wonder why we have a reputation for being unable to make up our minds?


Anonymous said...

Hello lady. My account is being "discriminated against" over on reddit.

I was wondering if you know of anyone that can help me. As it stands, subreddit moderators are telling me that they can't help me and no one is responding when I message using the admins contact link.

By the way, the "darned if you do, darned if you don't" complaints about McCarthy on Elle are feminism 101. It's about power for them, being able to throw tantrums, shame, and point the finger. They could care less about scruples, consistency, or human harmony.

Hannah Wallen said...

You've been shadow banned.

That means you can comment and post as normal, but nobody can see your comments or posts except mods, unless mods approve them.

I've messaged you in a reply to an old message on reddit. You should be able to reply back to me. I think I know why you were banned.

Anonymous said...

Hi. I sent messages to you and TB on Reddit, from a different account. Don´t know if you all got them.

In case you all didn´t get the messages on Reddit, ask TB if she wants me to do up the CDC NISVS post in article form.

I wouldn´t mind a bit doing it. Getting the ban has given me extra computer time for the moment.

Hannah Wallen said...

I checked with Typhon to see if she got your message. I can't find one in my reddit inbox, but it's also been flooded with comments from trolls from /r/againstmensrights, so it might be there and I'm just not finding it in among the mess of stupidity with which it may be surrounded.

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