Objectification

Peeing in bushes: you’ve come a long way, baby.

Over one hundred and fifty THOUSAND Facebook members have joined the group *30 Reasons Girls Should Call It A Night*. Among these reasons, numbers 11 (“You talk to stupid skanks you really hate and tell them you really do like them and that ya’ll should be friends.”) and 14 (“You become overly enthusiastic when someone offers you $20 dollars to make out with your friend when you totally would have done it for free”) stand out as first-rate examples of how popular culture demeans women. Because, like totally the only way for a female to have a good time is strip down, smear some makeup on her face, and wade out into debauchery.

Number 18: “Your make-up is smeared all over your face and somehow you have still managed to make out with 5 different guys. very classy.” It’s clear that what’s going on here is veiled self-reproach; when someone does something which they would be embarrassed by if they had any sense, they mock the same behavior in others while remaining aloof to their hypocrisy. In an article for the UK Daily Mail, Alcohol Concern spokesman Frank Soodeen was quoted as saying that this group is “symptomatic of the culture of acceptability around drunkenness.” Of course, drunkenness is a means to an end, namely, the dismantling of dignity and mores which stand between women and objectification. A very non-scientific study of the members of “30 Reasons” reveals that 40% are male — a ready audience for the photos and videos of drunken foolishness that college women are being convinced is the finest way to spend one’s time.

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2 thoughts on “Peeing in bushes: you’ve come a long way, baby.

  1. The self-reproach here is not even particularly well veiled. The comment “your make-up is smeared all over your face and somehow you have still managed to make out with 5 different guys. very classy” is equal parts pride and self-loathing. On one hand the commenter appears contrite for her behavior, and on the other hand she is proud of her “laddish” behavior and her defiance of “ladylike” stereotypes–i.e. if the boys can get drunk and make fools of themselves, we can too. What the commenter does not take into account (or perhaps she does?) is that both the dainty and demure lady and the objectified, self-loathing woman-as-merely-sexual-object are equally limiting, brutalizing and benighted positions.

    “Ladette culture,” as it’s called in Britain, is discussed in the UK feminst journal “The F Word”: http://www.thefword.org.uk/features/2005/08/attention_seeker

    The author of the blog discusses how Sara Cox, a well-known British radio personality, was upset when construction workers refused to whistle at her as she sashayed by in her tight jeans. When did women start thinking that men whistling at them on the street was something to take pride in–a matter of self-worth–rather than a distressing reminder of unbalanced sexual stereotypes?

  2. This concept goes along with the problem of making objectification/sexism/racism acceptable through normalized stereotypes and internalized oppression. If we, as girls, make fun of ourselves, then it becomes OK for other people to make fun of and stereotype us. Once this is acceptable, objectification results from such stereotypes, and violence–in one form or another–is inevitably the result of objectification.

    At the risk of being accused of a “feminist without a sense of humor,” I believe this group is insulting and serves only to perpetuate the rape culture in which we live and against which we, as feminists, are trying to fight.

    Make fun of yourself for acting like a drunk idiot, but don’t normalize or justify “acting whore-ish” through alcohol, because as soon as you do that, you take the responsibility of sexual harassment off the male and place it onto the intoxicated female…hello “grey rape.”

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