Intro to Women's Studies 2010

etsu: 2011-2014

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Sexual Objectification

In class we watched a video by Laci Green about sexual objectification. In many ways I agreed with her concept on how women are viewed in society and how they are treated. I feel like in some cases most women are seen as objects of desire instead of people with feelings and desires/plans of their own. Women are put out in society as sex objects by how they are portrayed by the media. Media has made sexual objectification worse. They put in magazines how women should look, act, and how to please their men. This effects me personally as a woman. Many times I will be looking at a magazine with a beautiful celebrity on the cover with an add next to the picture giving ten ways to please a man sexually. When I look at these magazines I think ‘Well if I looked like her, maybe I could please my man those ten ways’. I feel like media pressures women to feel insecure about themselves and that they have to look a certain way to attract and please men sexually.

I also feel womens bodies are used as an advertisement to society to sell certain things or to persuade people. To me, this just makes women seem like nothing but something to show off. It’s like womens feelings don’t matter but her body does.I guess this is why its called sexual OBJECTification. Personally, I think women can’t get where they want in life unless they give off that sexual look or look attractive. I always thought, looking at these types of magazines, that women are proud, happy, and honoured to be half way naked on the cover of a magazine. AND THEY ARE! This is only because this is how society has made it. This is self objectification. These women on the cover of magazines, and women in daily life, see themselves in terms of how sexually desirable they are to others.


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Double Standard of Virginity

With this week’s readings on virginity and sexuality, I couldn’t help but consider how long and how deep the double-standard has prevailed in our society. Women are still encouraged to remain chaste, while men are heralded by their peers if they have numerous sexual partners. This reminded me of an article I read many years ago in Reader’s Digest on the topic of the double standard. The author was making an argument that the double standard was a necessary and natural genetic process for a man to perpetuate his genes. The article stated that since a man never knew for sure whether the child his partner carried was in fact a reproduction of his genetic makeup or DNA, it was only natural and necessary for his genes to seek to deposit themselves wherever and whenever they could to increase the likelihood of reproduction. The article (written by a man) stated this was a primal and subconscious drive that has not been altered over the entire course of human history. In other words, his genes made him do it! After reading the article, I threw the book against the wall and promptly cancelled my subscription to Reader’s Digest.

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Sexual Stigma

So in class we were talking about how guys are seen by society as sexually aggressive and women are seen as submissive. This goes hand-in-hand with the stigma women get from expressing themselves openly when it comes to sex. A guy gets congratulated by his friends when he has sex, and a woman has to endure judgement and resentment from her friends. For years now I’ve seen girls get the third degree for talking about having sex, and it baffles me that we still have this problem in 2015. We’re okay with so many other things, yet we get judged for one of the most basic human instincts? I’ve always tried to be nonjudgmental about people’s personal lives, and I don’t understand why others can’t extend the same courtesy. It’s a personal matter, and it isn’t anyone else’s business what they do with their bodies or their personal lives.

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To have sex or to not have sex?

Having sex is natural and it depends upon the person. My mom had me at an early an early age. Growing up knowing this did not really hit me until I got into middle school where after they taught about the dangers of having that I had became interested and the feeling of wanting to explore. Unlike my mother who had gotten pregnant with me, I did not nor did I experience any of the “dangers” that they claimed that I would have. Having sex for the first time was weird because I did not know how to react. I told my closest friends and that was it. Later when I had gotten older I told my mom which she said that she already knew. I would not say that I regret that I lost my virginity at such a young age I just wish I could change who it was. You have the choice to become labeled as a “slut” or someone who has just simply lost their virginity.Either way you should feel proud and comfortable with yourself. Losing it or keeping it is your decision what you do afterwards can either make you or break you.

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Women are more than Objects

Looking into the notes and watching the YouTube on how woman are considered the objects and men are considered the subjects, really bothered me. We all have our sexual desires but it seems as if men use that desire as an advantage against women just so they can have that sexual pleasure, while some women are more about the connection and possibly foreseeing a future with this person. With one’s own personal experiences they may notice these own characteristics in their sexual relations, such as my own. I would rather be the domain one in the sexual experience and let them know that they are not going to take advantage of my feelings nor consider me as just a play toy, or object.

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What is Virginity?

Today in class we watched a short film entitled, “How to lose your virginity.” This film seeks to analyze the concept of virginity. The film raises a number of questions that I had thought very little about like what is “virginity”? While most feel that they can answer this question very easily it becomes more complicated when one starts to analyze the idea of virginity more deeply. For example, when does one lose their virginity? Is it the first time you experiment in a sexual manner with another person or does full-fledged sexual intercourse have to take place. The situation becomes even more complex when different sexual orientations are taken into account. In my opinion, virginity is a concept designed by humans to glorify the act of sex and may also have been used to oppress and control women. Basically, virginity is what we make it if we choose to give it power and life then it exists and if we do not then one day it may be nothing more than an odd concept of the past.

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The Male Gaze

In class we talked about a concept of “The Male Gaze.” A clip was shown of the movie Transformers, where the main character was staring at his female costar, as she was fixing his car. The camera angles took the role of the main character(and possibly the male viewers)eyes and panned all over the sultry features of Megan Fox, the female in question. It got me thinking about times in my life when I have done the same thing. I believe everyone, at one time or another, has looked on the opposite (or same) sex in an attitude of wanting them, or their bodies. It can be done on purpose, or by accident. Through research, I found that the “Gaze” applies to both sexes…whether it be men drooling over women in public, or on the screen, and even women, fantasizing over bulging Marvel superhero movies or the male stripper flick “Magic Mike.” In certain situations, it could be considered lust, and doesn’t help a person’s cause to not want to be self-objectified. Our eyes are powerful tools, but its best we watch where we’re going, in the future.