Thursday, August 14, 2014


The other day I was watching a Ted Talk for Youth.  The presenter was helping teens to understand what sexual objectification is.  Warning:  I will use the word sex in this post.  If this bothers you, skip this one.  If you came here via a search engine, looking for something else, you might be disappointed.

I think the presenter was right when she said that we don't have a firm grasp on what sexual objectification is. I'm glad she was teaching teens how to recognize and avoid it.  It also occurs to me that I am glad she clarified my own thoughts about it.

As Children of God, we are people of sacred worth.  We are not objects, and we should not treat each other as objects, or allow ourselves to be treated that way.

How do you recognize sexual objectification especially in the media?  These are five questions that the presenter used to explain the concept, and I have found them in various locations across the internet.

  1. Does the image show only parts of the sexualized person's body? - In this kind of image, perhaps we would only see her legs and his behind.  Maybe her face would be covered, removing her humanity, so that we only see her body.
  2. Does the person stand in for an object? - Think of a woman's legs standing in for table legs, or barely clad woman begins used as a table.
  3. Does the image show sexualized persons as interchangeable?  The image that comes to mind to me is Robert Palmer.  His band was all women, and they looked exactly alike.
  4. Does the image affirm the idea of violating the bodily integrity of a sexualized person who can't consent?  That one is kind of self explanatory without me drawing you a word picture, don't you think?
  5. Does the image suggest that sexual availability is the defining characteristics of the person?    Picture a beautiful woman with the catch phrase, "Used, but you don't care" to sell pre-owned cars.

Why did I feel compelled to write a blog post about this?  I think too often we forget to see the person in front of us; instead we see an object, sexual or not.  We become so immune to it that we don't recognize it in the media, and we say nothing about it.

Actually, the trigger that caused me to write this post was a very innocent beautiful baby contest in our newspaper.  Should we be voting on the visual beauty of infants?  Please don't be offended by this - It is where my mind travels after listening to this talk and then seeing the contest.  We just need to be aware, and teach our children.



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