11:14:23 AM

Women’s clothing and the blame game

This post first appeared in the Verily Magazine blog. I loved the author's, (Janet Sahm) response to the reader's question about women dressing well and the male response, and felt the need to cross-post it here.

A reader responded to our “Most Revealing Swimwear” post a few weeks ago, commenting;

“So, men objectify women and the solution is for women to ‘cover up’? This is a problem with how men see women, so why should I, as a woman, have to change *my* behavior when it’s not *my* problem? And then you get to the sticky situation where women who don’t cover up are seen as inviting men to see them as objects…once again, it’s the woman’s fault. Blame the man’s shortcomings on the woman, why don’t you. Where is the male responsibility in all this?”

It’s understandable to be frustrated and feel annoyed with this generalization. The Princeton study, however, was not blaming women but rather sharing an important insight into what happens in the male brain after viewing images of women in bikinis. In a way, our praise of one-piece swimsuits was in recognition and understanding of a reality about human nature. It goes without saying that men and women are physically attracted to one another. But, would anyone doubt that, in general, men tend to be more visually stimulated than women and are susceptible to using and viewing women as objects?

The underlying question may be: Why should we care–even if we are being used? It’s certainly the case that men need to strive to respect women even more and reject treating them as objects. But, are we meeting them halfway in this pursuit, or are we making it easier for them to see us as a means of enjoyment by the way we dress?

Let’s not forget that, as people, we’re all susceptible to using one another forour own gratification. For a man, it may be to solely focus on a woman’s sexual values, leaving the rest of who she is fade into the background. For a woman, it may be to fantasize about a man she’s just met, crafting a romanticized imaginary future that’s sorely in need of a reality check. We’re in this struggle together.

If you come to the conclusion that you don’t want to be used, then there’s something you can do to help. We cannot control men, but we can control our actions.

Without saying a word, what you wear influences how people respond to your beauty. Perhaps it’s not that bikinis reveal too much, but too little.

comments powered by Disqus
about this blog | Bookmark and Share

Search this blog

 Subscribe to Tiger Print newsletter
rss Subscribe to Tiger Print RSS feed

 Recent Posts
Words that still matter
18 Feb 2013
No time for Valentine’s blues
17 Feb 2013
New Adult books and the message of love
1 Feb 2013
Rise of the online bully
13 Jan 2013
What’s your word for 2013?
11 Jan 2013

 MercatorNet blogs
Population issues: Demography is Destiny
Family social policy: Family Edge
US political scene: Sheila Liaugminas
News about bioethics: BioEdge
From the editors: Conniptions

Feb 2013 | Jan 2013 | Dec 2012 | more >>

  From MercatorNet's home page

The law and Martin Luther King Jr
4 Apr 2018
Fifty years ago today, Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated. Here is one of his most powerful attacks on lukewarm…

Making the case for a new Olympics model
5 Aug 2016
The burden is just too much for a single city to bear

A vote’s consequences and a voter’s conscience
5 Aug 2016
Thoughtful Americans are caught between a rock and a hard place in the upcoming election

How the West failed in the war on terror in the Middle East
4 Aug 2016
An Australian counter-insurgency expert admits that there is no simple solution

Why the LGBT community should embrace its inner Donald
3 Aug 2016
They have far more in common than you might think

parenting, texting, humor, google, loans, America, holidays, truth, work-life balance, politics, shoes, TV shows, suitcase, voters, government, protest, children, job, England, society, confidence, matchmaking, student loan, chastity, Muslim, google+, movie, debates, death, modest, laws, music videos, dignity, Roe v. Wade, attire, american idol, tips, death penalty, marathon, glasses, coral, Jane Austen, Osama bin Laden, New Year's resolutions, sex, magazines, marijuana, first lady, feminism, image, summer, virginity, cheating, daughters, eyes, Love and Fidelity Network, purchases, comedy, swap, publishing, indie, twilight, mail, running, Mothers, elections, service, budget, size, high school, ipad, new adult, christmas, Girl Scouts, letters, TV, sports, twitter, celebrity culture, Europe, childlessness, joblessness, reading, freelance, phone, employment, young adult, war, sexual reproduction, book, women, singing, bracelet, social experiment, sms, reality TV, iPad, pajamas, authors, dating,