Hugh Hefner maintains that Playboy doesn’t treat women like sex objects … because women ARE sex objects. Hef can prove this because men want to have sex with women, and women want to be sex objects because we wear make-up and cute clothes. So there you have it!
The trouble here is not the sex … it’s the word “object”. An object has no personhood. An object has no reality outside of the viewers projection. A vase is an object. A book is an object. A woman is a person, even if she is sexy and men want to have sex with her.
Personally, I think a lot of men look at women as something other than hollow gourds for semen collecting. Certainly mature and fully adult men look at women as humans. Sure, they may think, “I’d tap that” but it doesn’t mean that they view that woman as an object. Someone they would like to see nekkid? Sure! But object? No, most men would understand she was more than just boobies and a vagina, she was a person with boobies and a vagina. Nor do they assume that sex was her only possible function. They may fantasize about pretty nurses, but if they are in the ER they want a nurse because there is a big cut on their arm. Men, as a whole, aren’t stupid. They know that women are not objects.
Women (straight ones anyway) like to look at men as well, and most of know we can deem men sexy without removing their humanity. I think Brad Pitt is sexy as sexy sexiness and yet I don’t view him as a sex object. Idol? Hunk? Hottie? Movie Star? Eye candy? Yes. Object? No. Because I know that that sex and sexual fantasy is not all he is good for.
I don’t have a problem with most porn, especially not the vanilla soft porn that Playboy dishes out. I think almost all straight men would like to see pretty women nekkid. Doesn’t bother me in the slightest. I’m not thinking of Dolph Lundgren’s master’s degree in chemical engineering when I’m looking at him. I’m thinking his body is bee-you-teh-full. But I don’t assume that is all he his. And the normal man is intelligent enough to know women are more than a body-for-sex.
So Hugh Hefner not only insults women when he maintains that we are sex objects, he insults all the men who know that we are human beings, albeit ones who may be sexually desirable as well.
As for his assertion that we were makeup and short skirts to be sex objects … no, we don’t. Women wear those things because we want, like most humans, to blend in with our culture. We want to be in fashion, in style, because those are status markers and usually humans try to ascribed themselves the highest status they can. If short skirts are in style, many women wear them. Does Hef think that men wear suits in the middle of summer because they are cold? Or is it because they need to project a certain status in their professional and personal lives? Thought so!
We wear makeup for the same reason we wear fashionable clothes. It’s part of a gender marker that, in our culture, makes women feel ‘prettier’. Do we want to look pretty? Yes we do. Do we want men to want us? In some circumstances. Do we want to be hotties? Yes, for the most part, because looking pretty and being desirable are also status markers and you are treated better by your culture if you are attractive. Those are the facts. But that does not mean that we want our boss to paw at us or to be treated as though we were capable of nothing else but attracting men. Very few women got dressed and put on their make-up this morning thinking, “I hope this helps me look like a sperm sponge”. Nope, we just wanted to look as pretty as possible because pretty is a cultural asset.
Some one needs to sit Hef down and explain to him, using teeny little words he can grasp, that “attractive” and “sex object’” have different definitions for a reason. Then that person can explain that women have thoughts and feelings, and were not put on this earth solely for his sexual gratification. Then smack him upside his head because he is a misogynistic asshat.
Herein ends the lesson.