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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » My feminism vs. my predilection for pictures of cute girls

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Author Topic: My feminism vs. my predilection for pictures of cute girls
Kara Zor-El
Member # 14499

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I am at war with myself. I am a life-long feminist who is quite often bothered by the objectification of anyone of any gender. However, I really enjoy looking at pictures of pretty girls. A lot. I'm not talking about porn although I have been known to steal my brother's Playboys on occasion. No, I'm talking about pictures of clothed, beautiful girls. I feel that my fantasies and my politics should be kept separate but this is really troubling me. I'm not superficial in my real-life relationships but I'm concerned that my ogling is creeping into my real world. I'm a very visual person by nature and, being a dancer and a figure skater, I express myself visually on a daily basis. I think that's partly why I'm so visually stimulated, but am I being a bad person? Has anyone else felt this conflict within themselves?

"If you're going through Hell, keep going..."
- Winston Churchill

Posts: 123 | From: New York City | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 8067

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Something to think about:

The original feminist critique of "objectification" never said that it was bad per se for women to be objects of sexual desire: what it was attacking was a system which treated women only as objects of sexual desire, only as commodities for other people (men) to look at, never as people who could also be subjects with sexual desires and feelings of their own.

Personally, as a life-long feminist myself, I don't see anything wrong with looking at someone and thinking "wow, they're cute"; it's only a problem if you go on to treat them in a way which ignores their personhood.

When it comes to what counts as "ogling" in real life, think about how you feel about other people's reaction to you. I imagine that you wouldn't mind at all if you found out that someone thought you looked attractive. But you'd likely be offended (with good cause) if, say, you were trying to have a conversation with someone and they just kept staring at your breasts or crotch.

If you're not doing that, but are treating people in a respectful way, I don't think you have anything to feel bad about.

[This message has been edited by logic_grrl (edited 12-16-2003).]

Posts: 6944 | From: UK | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 11254

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i think its LOVELY you have so much respect for people!!! its really nice... i also like looking at pretty things - shiny objects, bright colors and lava lamps are amoung my favourites i'm on an art course, so i guess i'm a visual person too - the female form interests me visually (although, not often sexually) personally, i dont think its a problem for you to be looking.... as long as you're not (rudely) staring at people
Posts: 52 | From: england | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 15094

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Hey, I look at cheesecake (as per Olivia deBerardinis's art) from time to time. I don't think that admiring a woman's body should be considered counter-feminist; if you admire a man's body, are you objectifying him?

What offends me is when women are treated as desirable, but are described in disparaging or disrespectful terms (as is often the case in porn).


[This message has been edited by qitelremel (edited 01-04-2004).]

Posts: 19 | From: California, USA | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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