It's Not Just Women "Increasingly, male objectification is portrayed in the media as both common and humorous... For some women who feel the weight o

         
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It's Not Just Women

"Increasingly, male objectification is portrayed in the media as both common and humorous... For some women who feel the weight of unrealistic, and pornified beauty standards, they see it as a chance to give men a “taste of their own medicine.” Others just assume that mentally reducing any passerby, male or female, to sexually appealing parts is the new normal.

“36 of the Greatest Summer Olympic Bulges”, Magic Mike XL, Sports Illustrated. Our society runs on the belief that sex sells and that others' bodies (especially those in the spotlight) are ours to do with as we please, including 'harmless' sexualization. We have become desensitized to female athletes being asked questions about their clothes or their husband/spouse/significant other rather than their performance, or reduced to the assumed worth of their bodies. As sad as it is to say, we've come to expect and even accept this sort of oversexualized treatment.

But, and I hate to be the bearer of bad news here, it gets worse. It's no longer just women on the receiving end of these comments, questions, and news articles. In a recent article, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation explored the recent increase in male objectification, particularly surrounding the Olympics. .

While the consequences of male objectification are rarely addressed, we know that they exist. "Muscle dysmorphia, eating disorders, and anabolic steroid use are all serious problems plaguing many men today. And all can be inflamed by the mass media objectification and glorification of the idealized male form."

If you need more proof, check out this article from Buzzfeed about male athletes' genitals at the Olympics. (They have since written one bashing the way the media portrays female athletes so maybe they've learned their lesson.)

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation is the leading national organization addressing the
public health crisis of pornography and exposing the links between all forms of sexual exploitation. NCOSE embraces a mission to defend human dignity and to advocate for the universal right of sexual justice, which is freedom from sexual exploitation, objectification, and violence.

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So Why Does It Matter?

Maybe men deserve a taste of their own medicine? I mean, women have suffered sexualization for years and we're all right, right? It's all 'harmless' fun, or so we've been told.

"One 2010 study from the European Journal of Social Psychology demonstrated a causal link between the objectification of men and women, and a denial of personhood by the objectifier. This observation is alarming, because an objectified person is viewed as if they do not possess a real, individual, mind and as if they are less deserving of moral treatment.

Being viewed as less of a person obviously impacts the objectified individual. But it also impacts society and relationships at large, for both men and women."

The bottom line is: treat people like people. Period.

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