#WomenNotObjects ALMOST Gets It Right

Participation ribbon time:  You had me until the 2:08 mark, #WomenNotObjects.

This video appealing (to men, ostensibly) to treat women as more than objects means well and almost gets it right – until it (HERE WE GO AGAIN) reminds the viewer (men, ostensibly) that “I am your… in order to get their message across.

This video’s message goes from :

“I am NOT an object!  My body is not my worth!”

to:

“I am some man’s daughter/mother/co-worker/boss.  My relationship to a man is my worth.”

I wrote about this before in response to some catcalling videos where hidden cameras showed dads and boyfriends the harassment their daughters/girlfriends endured, as if to teach them “Wow, aren’t you pissed someone is treating your woman like that?”  Because it’s too much, I guess, to ask a man not to harass women, we have to remind them that women still belong to them, and that you don’t treat another man’s property like that.  Biblical.  Like, really.  Isn’t that the Ten Commandments?  Exodus 20:17 says

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house;
you shall
not covet your neighbor’s wife
or his male servant or his female
servant
or his ox or his donkey or anything that
belongs to your
neighbor
.”

Ooooh y’all got an atheist quoting scripture, you know I’m pissed.  That’s how old this idea is, and I don’t think it holds water anymore.  I want to believe women can say “No,” and not have to open their wallet and show photos of their dad, uncle, husband, son to prove they matter.  What about just being a human?  This was the problem I had with that popular “Dear Daddy” video as well:

Is it so far-fetched to accept that men and women (and all non-binary and in-between folks as well, obviously, #IntersectionalOrDie) are all people?  Humans, deserving of human dignity?

What do y’all think?

19 thoughts on “#WomenNotObjects ALMOST Gets It Right

  1. THANK YOU. I wrote out like twelve long responses to this that all basically equated to a really verbose version of "I HEARTILY AGREE WITH YOU AND AM HAPPY TO SEE SOMEONE ELSE BOTHERED BY THIS STUFF!" So I'll just leave it at that. And thank you for calling out stuff like this, because it's so important.

    1. I'd love to read ALL your long-drawn out responses! But basically, thank you for agreeing with me! Um, that sounds really conceited. When stuff like this irritates me, I wonder, am I overreacting? #InternalizedMisogyny. Even if you disagreed with me, I'd love to hear the opinion. I will always want to talk about the problems of objectifying women.

  2. Ugh, it tears me. On the one hand, sometimes the "she's someone's _____" is the mind-blowing gateway for men to really grok what feminism is. This sad, sad truth. On the other hand, IT SHOULDN'T HAVE TO BE FUCKING BE. And for probably an equal number of men, the "she's someone's _____" line isn't that feminist awakening but just a cognitive dissonance they're entirely too comfortable with: that it's okay for it to happen to women who exist in a contact- and context-less vacuum but NOT okay to happen to THEIR sister/girlfriend/etc.

    The eternal question: shoot for the common denominator or try to raise the standards? Which will have the more effective & beneficial outcome? Sigh.

    1. I think your question goes to the audience. Who is the intended audience here? I have three possible answers: Women, Nice Guys, and Bad Guys.

      Women will see this and want to see their struggle represented. Does it work? Arguable, but moving on.

      Nice Guys: this video will probably affect them. If they don't already know not to treat women like crap (? but whatever) this will be as you said the "mind-blowing gateway" for them because they're "nice" but they never actually considered this point before. Video, you have made your point.

      "Bad Guys," however, already know this. They already know that women are somebody's daughter/wife/mother/sister and They Know How To Exploit It. Hell, Jack the Ripper preyed on prostitutes with no family because he knew nobody would miss them! Page 22 of the domestic abuse handbook tells you to isolate a victim (women AND men) from friends or family so they'll be less likely to escape, get help, or be missed.

      So for the most part, I find the reminder that women are somebody's and not somebodies to be a fruitless act. I'd rather a viral video go on the offensive and just be a variety of different women screaming into a camera over "sad violin" – "Don't harass women Don't rape women Don't objectify women WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?!? HOW COULD YOU THINK THIS IS OKAY?" I'm going to start a kickstarter to make that video…

    2. Thank you for that video! That was really interesting for the most part (the dis on Islam did elicit a cringe from me). I agree, this ia definitely a better attempt because it sort of says "what if you were in her shoes?" as opposed to "what about the men in her life?" Thank you for linking this.

    3. omg yeah the patronizing "here as a white person let me explain to you, brown person, how to perform feminism" thing is EHHHH. as an honorary European, I'm allowed to say that we need to admit that we have this issue and address it head-on. someone should make a similar one flipping white/$Other roles, it'd be really interesting.

    4. Yeah – my big thing with feminism is CHOICE. I think the most important part of feminism is ensuring every woman has a CHOICE what she wants in life, and then to back it up by supporting that CHOICE no matter what it is: wearing leggings as pants, going back to work & putting kids in day care, taking naked pictures of herself, staying home with the kids, WHATEVER. The problem I have is when women DON'T have a choice, and that's when I have a problem. Women should feel free from judgement and repercussion to wear a hijab or get tattoos or get a nose job WHATEVER and that's what feminism means to me. Wave to crowd, thank the panel of judges, cross fingers I win Miss America.

    5. You should say that again, "CHOICE!!!" I get so tired of hearing Americans trash Islam as oppressive to women because of hijabs. I actually know a number of Muslim women who prefer to wear hijabs because it protects them from being ogled. It's their CHOICE. Let them have it or any other CHOICE you did or didn't mention here. CHOICE!!! Feminism is CHOICE!!!

  3. BOOM! Megan's at it again with an eye opening post! I love it! I'm not the most observant person or super thoughtful when it comes to these issues (although I do agree with them), so I love reading posts like this that inspire me to think about these issues a little more.

  4. Spot on! It's always a step forward when people raise awareness on cat-calling, abuse, gender-related issues etc. but it shouldn't always have to come down to whether or not a woman is worth something to a man. The issue isn't that men need to think 'oh but this could be MY women'; the issue is that they need to think of ALL women as worthy of respect regardless of their relationships with men. You need to care because she's human, not because you don't want it to happen to a woman in your life.

    Toxic masculinity, macho-ness and the inability to empathise with women (and other men!) and just generally show care and emotion needs to be challenged instead of just pandering to what most blokes already know with 'but what if it was your girlfriend!?!?'.

    http://www.thezombiesaid.blogspot.co.uk

    1. Bingo, bingo, bingo. You said it! If "mattering to men" actually stopped women from being assaulted, objectified, and worse, we'd all just wear t-shirts with pictures of our sons/fathers/boyfriends/brothers on them. When cornered in an alley, the rapist would tear open our coat and see all the men that care about us on our shirt. "My mistake, madam," he'd tip his hat and pick up his tire iron, "I didn't realize you were spoken for." LOLOLOL but REALLY.

  5. Get real tired of telling creeps I have a boyfriend in order to get out of talking with them at bars or whatever. Get tired of the only reason why creeps leave me alone is because my dad is with me. I am my own person, not an extension of a male. That's why I loved this post and many of the comments. <3

    1. I used to get hit on in retail so often that I started wearing a thick ring on my left index finger. It was conspicuous enough that people noticeably stopped hitting on me and also I really liked the ring. I enjoyed wearing it even though I knew it was playing into the patriarchal idea that in order for me to be "safe" from aggressive attempts to ask me out while I was just trying to work. I had conflicting feelings over the wearing of a "decoy" ring, but the fact that I knew in my heart it was the ring I bought myself made me feel independent and special, coming to symbolize the notion that I didn't need a man to wear a ring I liked. Ah, but really clueless guys ignored my ring and my attempt to silently pass as "taken" and would hit on me anyway. Can't say I didn't try!

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