I had the beginnings of a twitter argument last night, on a subject that is dear to my heart: Objectification.
@BigdaddyKeltik who is a trans man and a feminist said:
‘Objectifying women = rape culture’.
I find this view offensive, as a WOMAN! And Keltik is big on ‘calling out’ when someone says something offensive. Here I am. Calling him out.
First – if objectifying women is equal to and part of ‘rape culture’ how does objectifying men fit in?
Keltik has a lot of objectified images on his blogs. So his opposition to ‘objectification’ seems weak. Here are two, one of a woman one of a man:
Mark Simpson has written recently in The Guardian, in defence of men’s objectification, and throughout his metrosexual theorist career.
So men’s objectification is as important as women’s but feminists never mention it!
Second: Imposing the concept of ‘rape culture’ on me and all other people serves to ‘objectify’ us in a very bad way. Women are reduced to poor, helpless victims and men become nasty predators. I have written against the idea of rape culture at the good men project and other places.
Third: How does objectification prove ‘rape culture’ exists? As another person from twitter commented by email:
‘He [Keltik] is confusing causal links. In so-called rape culture, women would be objects, but if women are objects it doesn’t mean that we have/it leads to so-called rape culture. If it has been raining, the floor will be wet but if the floor is wet it doesn’t mean it has been raining – someone could’ve thrown a bucket of water out’.
Maybe as a trans man Keltik feels able to disassociate himself from those nasty predatory ‘men’. And also from those poor helpless victims ‘women’. But I can’t. And I feel upset and judged by his words.
If Keltik respects Mark Simpson then I hope he at least reads Simpson’s Guardian article before he rushes to accuse men of ‘objectifying’ women alone. Some men are homos for a start! And, as Simpson writes, metrosexuality is all about men objectifying themselves and each other
I sent the above comments in an email to Simpson, Keltik and others. Following my email Mark responded to a comment on his blog, from regular QRG reader, Tim, about David Beckham’s now infamous superbowl ad. Mark said:
‘American feminists have scientifically proven that male objectification doesn’t exist. Or if it does it is in no way comparable to female objectification because, er, it’s not about women. Even if it’s difficult to imagine how a human being could be more (willingly) objectified and commodified than David Beckham.’
Whilst I don’t know why Simpson felt the need to focus on American feminists (though Melissa McEwan and Dworkin do spring to mind), I am pleased he has spoken up against the F-word. I believe feminism to be Simpson’s main ‘enemy’ when it comes to his attempt to convince the world that men are willingly objectified.
Here are some posts by Simpson and me on men, women and objectification: