The Apprentice: Women Objectifying Women

By Kizzy Katawonga, Uganda:

So there's a huge movement against the objectification of women. Campaigns run by huge corporations like Dove going against the airbrushing of models, encouraging “big” women in wonderful and strange ad campaigns.  Phrases like “Zero is not a size” emblazoned on
t-shirts, etcetera, etcetera.

We can all safely agree that objectification of women is wrong, wrong, wrong. But then, why are women embracing objectification more than ever? From models to musicians to office gals, the amount of sexualisation is astounding.

No single female musician or actress seems to be modest in their presentation any more. Booty shaking, cleavage showing, eroticism are the tools of the trade. Every year there is increasing scandal in the dresses worn by our idols at award ceremonies and appearances.

A young Miley Cyrus who appeared completely naked in one of her music videos caused an uproar; every one screaming, 'bloody murder' at the lecherous old music executives who forced this young girl to objectify herself for the sale of more records.

But what caught my attention was an article by a popular female journalist (whom I can't remember now) who defended the actions of Miley, arguing that it was her choice to objectify herself and no one made her do it. She cited that in this empowered generation, women are making the choice to use their sex and femininity to their advantage. Why not? It works like a charm every time.

Women have always known men's weaknesses for their wiles and some have not been shy in using their endowments to control or manipulate men into getting what they want. In the old days of course, such overt behaviour immediately branded most as sluts.

The phrase “sleeping your way to the top” or “being a target worker” used to be something most women would do anything to distance themselves from.

However, like a lot of other strange and obscene changes in our society, a lot of women are now embracing these previously frowned upon techniques to get ahead in life. It's the whole “If you've got it, flaunt it”.

Take our dear Kim Kardashian. To this day, I have no clue what she does for a living but clearly it has little to do with her school studies. She recently attempted to 'break the internet' with some nude pictures that she was reportedly paid millions of dollars for.

Was the uproar about her, stomping on women rights by objectifying herself to the masses for pay? No. It was about the racial undertone of the picture that was reminiscent of one taken decades ago that apparently showed black women in lesser light. Really? I rest my case.

I've always told my friends that there are few things as dangerous to the male species as a woman who's completely bold in her sexuality and isn't afraid to use it to get what she wants.

I'm seeing a powerful movement of bold women lately. Although men started the objectification of women, it seems newly that empowered women have picked up that mantle and are running with it like runaway freight trains.

Which leads me to wonder, how are we supposed to crush something that demeans women when more and more women are championing it?

Founder and Editor in Chief of the Readers Cafe Africa

Comments (4)

  • Yule Mweupe

    objectify verb to degrade to the status of a mere object. (from Wiktionary)You ask why 'women are embracing objectification more than ever'. I wonder, does shaking one's booty mean they are objectifying themselves? When male musicians (because this is the example given above), say Chris Brown, show off their dance moves and abs in their music videos, is this objectification?Also, your seeming equation of sexual boldness to sexual exploitation is a little worrying. These two are by no means the same thing.

    • Kizito "Kizzy" Katawonga

      Yule, the essence of this piece is to understand what is going on. Some might saying you are arguing semantics and the reality is far different.Shaking ones booty for the entertainment of men is not objectification in your mind? And yes, there is such a concept as the objectification of men.And, if a man promises favors or reward to a woman for sex, that is objectification and exploitation. Why should we call it by any other name when it is the woman seeking favors by using her sex? is she not degrading herself in this case? I am merely trying to understand, I am not declaring myself an authority here.

      • Yule Mweupe

        Indeed, Kizzy, this is a case of semantics, and semantics is everything. We should not separate words from their meaning, or apply different meanings selectively.Shaking one's booty for the entertainment of men may very well be objectification, however, I'd refrain from thinking that everything these entertainers (and women in general) do is for the express entertainment of men. This is part of the oppression and objectification cycle: the notion that a woman's actions are always or largely done for others, especially for men's approval and enjoyment.And, if a man promises favors or reward to a woman for sex, that is objectification and exploitation; I do not disagree with this. I just think that perhaps your wording could be a little less ambiguous when you write about 'boldness' and 'sexual boldness' for that matter.I appreciate that neither of us is an authority in any of these matters, however it is important that we discuss and dissect opinions presented in public fora that may have wide reach and influence.

        • Kizito "Kizzy" Katawonga

          Objectification (specifically, sexual objectification of women) "occurs when a person is seen as a sexual object when their sexual attributes and physical attractiveness are separated from the rest of their personality and existence as an individual, and reduced to instruments of pleasure for another person."This can be as in the case of women doing it to themselves or external party such as men

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