Originally posted here
Most girls hate men that objectify them - the type of guys that think of girls as nothing more than a thing to use as they please, someone to control, etc.
But amidst all their complaining of how guys are evil, selfish beings with no good guys left, most girls are doing the same thing they hate those guys for- making unrealistic images out of men for their own selves.
Fantasies based on nothing more than selfish dreams.
Here are three ways I feel we, as girls, objectify men. Remember, these are just my personal convictions and things I've noticed in other girls (and myself) and the subsequent consequences of what they did/ did not do. :)
When a girl does this she is not thinking of the guy in a very nice way. He's become an object in her mind, one she is trying to conquer for her own personal and emotional reasons. She is not thinking of him as a friend. She is not considering ways that she can help him... but of ways that he can please her. Be something to her.
One who plays with a guy's emotions through means of flirting does so to satisfy her own wants.
2. Dramatizing About Guys Through Discussions or Media
I've seen this done in several ways: blogging, social media, literature, and friends. In every situation girls will talk about real and fictional guys with unrealistic ideals about them. I will use 16 year old fictional characters Jana and her friend Carol to explain what I mean of how girls do this with boys.
Jana, has several "guy friends".
Not that this is bad.
She texts them all regularly.
This is not necessarily bad either.
But her whole life is wrapped around these guys. One evening after a terribly long, stressful day Jana gets on facebook. Her friend, Chad is on, so she sends him a message. He doesn't reply as soon as she'd like. She sends out quick messages to her three other friends, Bryon, Luke and Tim who are also on facebook.
Soon after one of them replies. She gives a quick squeal of delight and texts back. Not long after this most of her guy friends are texting Jana. Her fingers are typing rapidly as she talks to each of them.
One of her girl-friends, Carol, sends a message to Jana.
Jana replies... only after having replied to each of the other guys multiple times each. They chat a bit, but Jana is disinterested with her best friend right now and doesn't keep her part of the conversation up. Soon she's just facebook messaging her guy friends. Jana feels like her day has been pretty good after all as she finally goes to bed late that night, all her stress gone.
Now what was wrong with this? It isn't that what she was doing was necessarily bad... except she was making false images out of all these young men.
Already her happiness was wrapped around how they treated her - her happiness was purely based on a selfish level.
It had nothing to do with how her friendship was with Carol, what she did with others, or even her relationship with God. It was purely based on the vibes she got from her guy-friends.
"Have you started Mockingbird yet?" Carol runs up to Jana the next day.
"A little. Isn't Peeta so great in this one?"
Jana smiles and pulls the book from her bag, "Just listen to this!" She reads a part from the book depicting their favorite character doing a particularly unique thing. "I can't wait for the last movie to be released!" Carol sighs as Jana finishes reading.
"Which reminds me," Jana squeals in agreement, adding "There's a new movie coming out next month and you won't believe who acts in it?"
"Who!?" Carol asks, eyes big.
As Jana tells her, Carol returns, "Not him! Oh, I'm just dying to see that!"
Again, fiction fan talk can be fun... and not bad. But why do so many girls focus only on the guys in fiction? the plots (unless it's that romantic twist) don't matter. The other characters are okay... but those fake guys - "If only there were a real man like - I'd marry him today!"
The sad thing is most of these girls are serious. And even sadder... few of them can understand that men and fictional characters are two different things... you can't base real life dreams off of a made-up idea.
Later that night Carol is excited because a certain guy messaged her - first! She quickly calls Jana to let her know of the "good news".
"No way!" Jana giggles. "What did he say? Really!?"
Carol must have asked Jana how her guy-life was doing, because Jana next says, "Really good. Chad messages me a lot still. But guess who has started talking to me more!? Jordyn!!! I know! I still don't know which I like best. He has just like the greatest hair ever, but Jordyn is just so sweet!"
I think it's pretty obvious that these girls are boy crazy :/ And I may have exaggerated a little (not much, you can be sure).
The way girls and women do this online and in real life, about unreal guys is just as sickening.
Whether talking about all the awesome guys in Twilight, Hunger Games or Lord of The Rings. Or comparing and dreaming about boy-celebrities in music and tv ( I don't need to give examples, I'm afraid because there are soooo many ). Or swooning over the terribly chivalrous men of the Jane Austin era literature, girls are comparing each guy to how their future husband will someday be by making "objects" and idols out of them.
Girls, what we are doing is "drooling" ( figuratively ) over men in an unladylike way. As if guys were made just to please us...
3. "I just can't talk to guys." - Through shyness
"Wait....how's that objectifying boys????"
This is the most common and subtle way girls dehumanize men. A lot of my readers might not relate to my first two points... but many of you may be in this third category.
A while back I read a book by Elizabeth and Anna Sofia Botkin. I disagreed with most of their book and thought it too extreme, but they made one very crucial point.
"Boys are people, too."
When you say you can't talk to guys in a specific age group you are automatically saying that you do not see these certain men as people but as objects. Instead of reacting with firtation, you ignore them totally (as if that is better).
You are forgetting that they are people. Just think about it. I know guys that act so shy and won't hardly speak a word to girls. This irritates me to death. When someone is so shy that they can't talk to you because of your gender or age... that's just horrible.
People tend to classify me more in the first category as I can be "too" friendly so I take it as rude when people (guys) won't talk to me. I'm like, "Come on, dude! This is just a conversation not a marriage proposition." Lol. If a guy can't talk to me he's got problems. What do most guys think when we won't talk to them?
Not that it isn't a struggle. We have so many people telling us girls how to act, talk, and dress around guys. There's so much peer pressure about either catching a good guy or acting appropriate.
I'm not saying it's not hard.
But we still need to think about how our words and action will make those guys feel.
It can actually be worse to not talk to a guy than to flirt with him. By not talking you show that you are so interested in him as a guy that you can't talk to him, yet aren't interested enough to find out more about him as a person. You don't care about him as a human being, is what is being unintentionally said.
But how should we treat guys?
We should treat guys our age just like anybody else.
If the occasion calls for it, say "hi!". Ask how they are doing. Start conversation, or observe. If they are disinterested, don't force them to keep talking, or if they walk away, let them, just like you would any other person. Treat a guy just as you would a person. Be you.
If the guy still walks away after you have been nice - that's their problem. All you can do is be sociable. If they move on, do the same yourself. Talk to the next person - guy or girl. If you know someone, don't ignore them - even if they are a guy.
It's not wrong to initiate or have conversations with guys, even multiple guys. What's wrong is thinking of guys in an unrealistic way and how you react to those thoughts.
And for the benefit of my many girl friends who label themselves boy-crazy - I'm not saying it's wrong to like guys or even want to get married. I'm saying treat guys like people.
Don't idolize them.
Don't hurt them by flirting with them.
Think of them, not yourself, more often. And also, make sure to keep the multiple girls in your life, too. Don't just have friends that are guys. That's just weird, and choosing your friends a little too closely. ;)
Don't objectify specific people or ideas about people, but be a friend to all people. Of course even when being friends with guys, there's a balance. It's extremely hard when trying not to flirt to accidentally fall into category 3, or when trying to not be rude to become too flirty.
And people will often falsely accuse you as you try to find this balance.
But that's okay... just keep being nice.
And you can't quite treat guys as you would your close girl friends, but you can treat them as friends, as people deserving respect and friendship, with out being awkward or rude or flirty. :D
What do you think of my thoughts on this? As a girl, do you get classified as a certain type when around guys? What are some things you think you can do to be a better friend to EVERYONE? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this!