Do All Women Really Want To Be Objectified?

November 21, 2012  |  

 

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I don’t normally pay Cameron Diaz much attention and I don’t think many other people do either, but the statements she made in a recent interview will likely have a lot of women thinking, she’s no friend of mine. During a recent chat with the U.K.’s Sunday Times, Cameron used what I hope is nothing more than a poor choice of words when she spoke to the paper about the idea of being a sex object and said:

“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.”

“It’s empowering,” she added. “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?'”

As a woman of 40 years, it’s easy to read through the lines of Cameron’s response and see she’s trying to prove a point that at her age she’s just happy someone is still looking at her as a sexual being (as if 40 is really old but that’s a discussion for another day). Still, the use of the term objectify makes every legitimate point the actress was trying to make null and void, like the part when she said, “I’m a woman, I know how to handle myself. I know what I feel comfortable doing, and I know my sexuality.” Being comfortable with your sexuality is not a precursor to welcoming objectification, just as those who are not fully comfortable in their sexual skin are the only ones who can fall victim to objectification. Objectification is the experience of being seen as nothing more than a sexual object and I don’t think there are many women who are seeking that goal and I certainly wouldn’t conclude that it’s healthy.

See, contrary to popular Hollywood — and street harasser — belief , all attention is not good attention and most sensible women know this. Yes, all women at some point want to be seen as attractive and sexay and want to be complimented positively as a result, and maybe even asked to show a little more skin because someone thinks what their working with is kinda nice. But what we’re talking about here is the difference between someone saying, “Hey beautiful, your legs look gorgeous in that dress you should show them off more often” and “take your clothes off and spread your legs so I can see what I really came for.” There’s a certain level of disrespect and entitlement that comes from the aggressor or objectifier in that instance that is highly undesierable by most women of any age.

I’m sure there are also some women out here thinking we need to be empowering ourselves and not basing our sexual IQ on the attention of others but I won’t get in to all of that. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a little positive external affirmation, but again affirmation, attention, and objectification are not interchangeable. If that type of behavior puts a little more pep in Cameron’s step, more power to her, but I prefer that she not speak for all women nor give a pass to those who choose to practice this behavior which women have been fighting for centuries now to undo. And the truth is, very few women have the problem of not being objectified enough, it’s the issue of being seen as more than your T&A that’s the real struggle and I’m pretty sure working in the entertainment industry Cameron Diaz knows that full well. I don’t even understand why she let this crazy talk come out of her mouth. Just another Freudian slip caught by a reporter on top of his job I suppose.

What do you think about what Cameron said?

Brande Victorian is the deputy editor for madamenoire.com. Follow her on twitter @Be_Vic.

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