Women And Gender Studies

Submitted By kstiving
Words: 1549
Pages: 7

Kaelyn Stiving
WGS 280

Autobiographical Final Essay Throughout this Women and Gender Studies course I have learned, in depth, about various topics that have affected my life in one way or another. Our society has created this image where we women are seen more as walking objects than as equal human beings. This idea is portrayed in many articles and books that we have read throughout this class, some of which have really hit home for me. Growing up as a white girl I have encountered numerous counts of sexism and fallen prey to many very judgmental stereotypes. It is never fun to be apart of these judgmental tendencies and the heart-wrenching thing is I haven’t even experienced half of what others in this world face on almost a daily basis. I never really noticed these acts or the oppression that happens around me everyday until taking this class. Two of the main topics that really stuck out to me the most throughout this semester are objectification and social construction. I believe these two go hand in hand and are some of the main reasons girls, and women, can have such low esteems when they feel don’t fit into the ideal image. This image that is set fourth by society and is almost impossible to achieve and therefore leaves all females, from young girls to elder women, in a constant losing battle to make themselves look like the women photo shopped into the magazines. I have fallen into this trap many times and it effects me daily because I am always fighting myself on what I look like and what society wants me to look like. The social construction that I see everyday is creating a world where women are stuck in these stereotypes of perfection. Objectification is one of the most reoccurring problems I can honestly say I see almost everyday of my life. This term is used to describe when women, and occasionally men, are treated as objects instead of human beings. In the objectification theory article, the author states several times that objectification dates back to the beginning of westernized societies. Women were owned by their fathers before marriage and by their husbands after marriage. This is one thing that made women get sucked into self-objectification because they never really knew any different. “Men act and women appear. Men look at women. Women watch themselves being looked at. This determines not only most relations between men and women but also the relation of women to themselves. The surveyor of woman in herself is male: the surveyed female. Thus she turns herself into an object-and most particularly an object of vision: sight”(John Berger, Objectification Theory, pg. 1). This quote is basically saying that women are typically the victims of objectification but men aren’t the only suspects. Granted that men do almost always start this act, women are convinced that’s the way they should be looked at and treated and start to be a victim of their own self-objectification. I truly believe that over the past couple years, objectification has gotten worse due to one of the worlds largest industries, the porn industry. Porn is such a huge phenomenon and is setting quite an example of objectification that men bring into real world circumstances. Between videos, magazines, calendars, Photoshop etc., women are now constantly portrayed as having big boobs, curvy, fit, long hair, tan skin, the list goes on and on. I use to work at Home Depot and the way I was treated by some customers was just shocking. Between cat calls, dirty comments, the winks and stares and even one stalker, I felt almost abused and certainly disgusted from the way men thought they could treat me. I like to think of myself as a hard-shelled girl but there were some things that just got to me and I couldn’t control the emotions that came along with their objectifying comments. I felt worthless and violated in a way; women in todays society are taught that feeling violated is normal a accepted but it is not. It’s moments in my life