Well at the risk of once again sounding like a mom, let’s talk about what two researchers found when they scanned the brains of men looking at women with different clothing.
No big surprise here. They found what most people already know–men tend to see women as sex objects when they are barely clothed. It’s why dads tell their teenage daughters to put on more clothes, or why women who want to be taken seriously at the office, dress conservatively.
Researchers Susan Fiske from Princeton and Jennifer Eberhardt from Stanford did MRIs on a number of male students in order to image their brains when they looked at various photographs of women. The part of the brain that activated when the men saw bikini clad women was the part associated with objects or “things you manipulate with your hands.” And the students remembered the women’s bodies better than the clothed women…not their faces, their bodies.
Important to note though, is that men can override this part of the brain. So its not like men are victim of thought.
However, seeing half-naked women in music videos, advertisements, TV. movies and other media, reinforces the “women as objects” stereotype. And while this is nothing new, it does put science behind dispelling the feminist idea that you are empowering yourself as a woman by DECIDING to take off your clothes. Science says, no you are not. The impact of your half-naked body is the same on men, whether or not, YOU (women) try to frame the idea differently. And that is my point.
Taking off your clothes empowers no one. It objectifies you.
So that itsy, bitsy, tiny, weenie, yellow polka dot bikini…is not a fashion statement! And the expectation that actresses have to take off their clothes to be considered serious actors is nuts!
Objectifying women is not new, but seems to be accepted and even promoted in our media with little push back from women. Beyonce has talent without stripping off her clothes. Vanessa Hudgens doesn’t have to pole dance in a movie to be taken seriously. But because sex sells, we are to believe that this is a legitimate path for women to be successful.
Let’s be honest. Shedding clothes is a way to sell product. It has nothing to do with looking at a woman with respect!