How do I feel less uncomfortable with sexism in the media?
May 9, 2014 9:53 AM Subscribe
How do I feel less uncomfortable with sexism in the media? Or am I the problem?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (34 answers total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
I'd first like to say that I enjoy sex. I think it's a beautiful, mutually satisfying experience and I have an incredibly loving and thoughtful partner who shares similar beliefs. I don't think that I'm a prude. I am a college-aged female (not sure if that is relevant). This is an embarrassing question for me, but it is something that I have grappled with on my own for a while and I hope that you can help me to understand it better.
I get a visceral, sick-to-my-stomach feeling when I see a movie, commercial, etc. that depicts women as sexual objects. In the case of a movie, it usually ruins the experience for me. I avoid most movies that exist solely to be raunchy or "appeal to the male gaze," simply because their content does not interest me. However, even when I see a movie that I think will be OK, usually because my partner wants to see it, I'll come across this. The movies that I choose, just because of their nature, are usually less likely to feature this, but I don't want to be a wet blanket when my partner wants to watch something different. This feeling just makes it difficult.
I don't know if it is insecurity... I think I'm confident and I like myself. Perhaps it is, though, because I feel more uncomfortable when I see these scenes with my partner present (or even, weirdly, when I'm with my dad, but it's worse with my partner). I think sex and nudity in films can be tasteful and appealing, particularly when two people are mutually engaging in it. I enjoy porn, typically of the "female-friendly" variety, as well.
Though I have been feeling this way for years, I haven't explicitly talked to my partner about it because I worry that I am being unreasonable and immature. Many women seem to be OK with it, so I wonder why it bothers me so much. I just hate the argument that "men are visual creatures" and as a woman, I'm just supposed to accept that as the answer to why the media is the way that it is; I believe that the media instead perpetuates this blameless "boys will be boys" attitude instead of being the product of it. I am a person with sexual desires, too... why am I supposed to "just deal with it"? It just really bothers me.
Aside from avoiding these forms of media, is there something I can do to "get over it" or at least make myself less upset? Is this something I'll outgrow? Really, any advice on how to deal would be appreciate. Thank you!