Geeks and the Objectification of Women
Back in November (2012), Cameron Diaz told the British newspaper, The Sunday Times, it’s healthy for women to want to be objectified.
“I think every woman does want to be objectified. There’s a little part of you at all times that hopes to be somewhat objectified, and I think it’s healthy,” she said, adding that she finds revealing photo shoots to be “empowering.”
She went onto say,
“I’m not some young girl with the photographer going, ‘Will you take your clothes off?’ I’m like [mimes stripping], ‘How does this look?’ They’re like, ‘Today we’re not going to put anything other than bras and heels on you,’ and I’m like, ‘These heels are not high enough.’”
Diaz is comfortable objectifying herself but many women say such objectification is a bad thing for women everywhere. Now I am a guy and as such I can’t say that the objectifying women is a good thing or a bad thing. Only a woman can decide if it is good for her self esteem. What I can say is that after attending hundreds of conventions in my life, I have seen thousands of woman and young ladies who appear to enjoy being objectified.
At a typical convention in the eighties we were lucky if we saw any women at a convention. Today, sci-fi, horror, and gaming conventions are overwhelmed with women. Last year at GenCon I would hazard to say that nearly half of the attendees were women. Now lets look at the women attending these conventions. They dress is skimpy costumes, accentuate their femininity, draw attention to their assets in every way, shape, and form. As you move through the halls the cosplay girls flock around you practically begging you to take photos with them. The costume contests overflow with women who are trying to gain the attention of not just every man but every other woman as well. These conventions are all about objectification. It is almost as if the entire convention center becomes a fashion model’s runway with every woman of every shape and size, trying to gain your attention. Not all women going to conventions get in on the fun but the vast majority do. I remember walking through the halls of a Marriott at a recent convention and noticing about thirty girls dressed as anime characters performing a scene from La Blue Girl. They had a crowd of nearly 100 people watching and cheering them on.
Now we move back to whether objectification is a good thing. As an outside observer I must say that the women who put themselves on display in this manner, certainly seem to be having fun. They seem to thrive on the attention and it seems to build their self esteem. I have read many articles that attack games, movies, magazines, etc that objectify women but I, as an outsider, fail to understand what the problem is. If the woman being objectified enjoys her position, then what harm is it doing to her? I have come to realize that the so called experts are often wrong on various issues and I think in this case, they are wrong once again. As with all things there is a dark side to objectification but I do believe that there is a healthy side to it as well. I guess it all comes down to the individuals involved and the effects on their personal psyche.If you feel good dressing down, hiding your sexuality, and/or not being noticed; good for you and I respect that. If however you like dressing up, looking good, and showcasing your sexuality, once again good for you. It all comes down to the individual and there is no right or wrong in this. Simply preference.
Now I am not saying it is OK to go stare at the girls in the mall drooling over them. I am not saying it is OK to touch or make rude comments. I am not saying it is OK to make Lewd suggestion. I am saying that if someone dresses in a provocative manner, then they should not be upset when they provoke a response. I guess that is why I like going to conventions. The people who dress provocatively at the cons get mad at you if you don’t have a response. This means I get to be a guy, a geek, and a buffoon without causing any harm.
I enjoy looking at artwork filled with beautiful women. I love a sexy villain in a movie. I can’t get enough comic books filled with sexy girls in costume. Video games with sexy characters draw my eye faster than boring bleak games. I am a guy and a geek too. I remember Lewis from ‘Revenge of the Nerds’ saying, “…because all Jocks ever think about is sports, all we ever think about is sex.” Well you know he was right to some degree. I know it is not politically correct to admit these “likes” but they are my likes and I am not ashamed to admit them. You shouldn’t be either.
I wrote this story for Not The Singularity last year.
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