What if the roles were reversed? What if women’s roles in ads were played by men?
I’ll tell you ‘what if’ – it is creepy and weird. Watching men as sexualized objects selling products just feels wrong.
We have become so conditioned to accept images that objectify and demean women, we don’t bat an eye when a woman is lying on a bed covered in Doritos. But put a man in her place and all of a sudden it’s unsettling and not at all sexy.
Ask yourself, why is it considered sexy to watch a woman in a bathing suit take an enormous bite of a hamburger? When we watch a man in a bathing suit do the same, it’s hardly a titillating experience. It is dehumanizing.
Research has illustrated that sexualized women are dehumanized, specifically being seen as more animal-like than non-sexualized women
This is a subtle form of dehumanization called infrahumanization and it involves seeing a person as lacking uniquely human characteristics such as rationality, culture and refinement. Dehumanization can have damaging consequences.
When men dehumanize women by associating them with animals or objects, they are more likely to sexually harass women and they also have higher rape propensity.
|Kimberley A. Johnson (BIO) is the author of The Virgin Diaries and an activist for women’s rights. Like her on Facebook, Twitter or follow her on FB HERE.|