Firstly before i get into this i wanted to thank the I-power crew for the bigger than i-power status, muchos appreciated - albeit a bit weird seeing my AV in the corner of the main page!
This blog post was inspired by something i realised about myself, and is in the list of bad habits on my previous blog; i check women out ALL the time. I don't seem to be able to help myself, and at times i suppose i would have perfectly fit that classic lecherous and perverted stereotype of a bloke drooling over some insanely hot girl. Now while this is a disturbing admission to me and maybe others, i know that i am not alone in this. I've always known my friends and me to be like this, all the while fiercely defending myself and others in the presence of female company - to the point that i didn't even realise that i did it, a sub-conscious process if you will.
I've been thinking recently about how this happened, essentially I am really angry at myself for conforming to this stereotype, and as i have recently decided to hold myself accountable for the way i conduct myself i can now be in a position to stop this behavior. However, while i do not wish to palm the blame off, i did wonder what kind of social programming added to this, and how much of this was an animal instinct hard-wired into my genetics as a male of the species; we live our lives as sexual beings so how much of this state is nature and how much nurture?
Living in a capitalist society driven by profits and money, we are becoming puppets at the hands of the companies producing and promoting various products, be they new bathrooms or new clothes. We are BOMBARDED every day with advertisements; visual, auditory you name it - there is a constant effort to get us to 'buy-in' to the next big thing, the next awesome gadget. (this all stems from this materialistic society we live in - more on that another time)
This is where i see the most prolific objectification of the human form, male and female. Fashion mags, perfume, clothes, underwear, film, television, music, celebrity. These are all saturated with this sexualisation and objectification of human beings. Sex sells, it's been known for a long time, from the pin-ups of Monroe to the shameless flaunting of flesh and sexual suggestion on Big Brother. The pornographic industry its self is based on this very basic concept. All of these industries and adverts are removing the personality from the individual, objectifying us so that its all about the tits, the ass, the legs, the hips, the biceps, the pecs, the huge dick, the shaved pussy, the skimpy bra, the six pack, the plastic surgery. Its. Fucked. Up.
It's not a surprise that eating disorders are rife, that girls and boys grow up with an image of how they should look. Failure to achieve this causes huge anxiety and depletes self esteem. Personally, I was a fairly large guy growing up, only in the past 3/4 years have I been of a 'normal' size. I know from personal experience that growing up in this kind of world can cause some unhappy emotions if you do not conform!
It dawned on me that I had grown up being told what was attractive, what was sexy, and what was not. Culturally AND commercially defined parameters. Culture is essentially controlled by commercial interests more and more these days (iPod, mobile phones etc) so my model of what is good looking has been hardwired from a very young age. It begs the question of how much of what i find attractive is down to MY personal preference.
This brings me to consider the nature side of things. We are here to reproduce, biologists can argue that that is out primary purpose. Is it not normal to look for things that i find attractive and go after them? I'd imagine it is normal, but the issue i have is the way in which we do this. I love my girlfriend more than words can describe, and I would never cheat on her, or get myself into a situation that she wouldn't like me to be in, but i always seem to check girls out despite this. Is this social or physiological programming? One thing i know is that while i find my girlfriend incredibly attractive on a physical level, my emotional connection to her is most definitely stronger - objectification just presupposes this isn't important.
I suppose that in writing this my prose may feel disjointed and perhaps unplanned, I also feel like i'm not answering any questions that i ask myself - i don't feel qualified to, to be objective about this kind of thing is very hard and arguably impossible.
Despite this, the question i shall answer to myself is 'how do i stop this process?' It would be easy to say that i shall just not look at girls from here on in, but that is unnatural and unrealistic - i'm an inquisitive being and i am stimulated my environment. I do believe, however, that it is possible to alter the mental process when this happens. Instead of having lecherous or perverted thoughts i shall just repeat an affirmation in my head to banish such thoughts. I will stop myself from staring at particularly good looking girls, and switch my gaze. I have already stopped watching pornography, which i believe will help a lot.
What will this achieve? I would hope that this process will 'un-do' the social programming and objectification of women but leave the innate elements of attraction and sexuality intact. At the very least i will feel within myself a better sense of control over the environment i exist in. I don't think that objectification is an intrinsically negative thing, but i believe that there has to be a balance between objectification and consideration. Consideration for the person and their feelings, but also consideration for how powerful this phenomenon is and how it needs to be controlled.
Reading back on this I find i may have painted a bad picture for myself; I am not a text book 'pervert' and I dont troll the streets drooling at the asses of girls as they go by - I'd expect that i am pretty average as far as 'men' go, but it would be a lie if i said i never looked at a girl and wondered what they looked like naked or if they would be good in bed. I've tried to be as honest as possible, and in doing so i may have done myself a dis-service. I don't think for a second that the people here would pass judgment on me for getting the tone of a blog wrong, but this is still a disclaimer just in case. I simply believe that i would be a better person if i could remove at least some of the objectification that has been programmed into my psyche, regardless of the origin of that coding. I believe the world would be a better place in general if we diluted this intense objectification of the human form. Our minds are infinitely more important when it comes down the the line.
thanks for reading.