the objectification of women begins before birth

"Baby Object" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

“Baby Object” cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

I read this smart post by Lauren Martin, Ladies, The Smarter You Are, The More Likely You Are To Be Single. It inspired me to draw this cartoon.

And we all know that if this is generally true, it is specifically true in some expressions of religion and religious organizations such as the church.

We have a daughter who feels the pressure to dumb in down. But she won’t. She is aware of the cost. But to dumb it down is even more costly in an even more detrimental way.

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6 Responses

  1. Cecilia Davidson says:

    Objectification certainly begins before birth by somehow saying a collection of cells that do not LOOK like a human child is a human being – and then to say it and the child’s mother can fuck off for asking for aid.

    Which begs the question – how did virgin come to mean never had sex? I thought virgin meant a maiden or priestess.

  2. Wendy Smith says:

    Growing up, I HAD to dumb it down, a lot. A girl says a word with 3 syllables in it and she can feel spinsterhood set in. Eyes glaze over. Then I felt like a fraud because I would NEVER date someone as ditzy as I played it. Now, if I’m going to be a spinster, it is going to be on MY terms. Period. Even saying that I’m smart feels somehow show offy to me. And I really am smart. Tested and everything with a 142 IQ at 15. (Now I’m bragging.) Is there no middle ground?

  3. Amy Renfrow says:

    Wendy, dear, you just quantified yourself while complaining about being objectified.

  4. Robin says:

    what I find interesting is that growing up with three siblings in “learning support” classes, is that I felt the need to dumb myself down to not outshine them academically while my other brother (smart like me) did not.

  5. Melody says:

    Just got my copy of Gone with the Wind out of the bookcase, to comment on this (I quote a little loosely as I have to translate it, my copy isn’t English)

    “You need to be sweeter and calmer: don’t interrupt men, even if you know better (than they do). Men don’t like girls who say things like it is.” (54) : Ellen and Mammy in raising Scarlett. “Girls who say ‘I want’ or ‘I don’t want,’ will never get a husband.” (54) “Girls who eat much will never get a man.” (69) Ellen marries at 15: “Before their marriage, girls have to be sweet, tender, and beautiful: afterwards they need to be able to run a household of 100 plus.”(slaves in this case.) (53)

    Scarlett is continuesly told to keep her mouth shut, keep her opinions to herself, dumb herself down, not have business skills etc. etc. I guess this is what I love the most about the book, not so much the love story itself but the exposure of the double standards and the way both Scarlett and Rhett disobey the rules. All the things women have to pretend they are, when they are not and the other way around: Scarlett doesn’t (and neither does Rhett when it comes to rules of honor etc.) Obviously there is a lot wrong with it as it definitely celebrates slavery and tones down its horrors considerably. But when it comes to showing this double standard, it’s pretty good. The use of men in contrast to girls is pretty telling too.

    Anyway, my point is that it is pretty sad that this kind of advice is still given to young women and girls. To think that this book was written in the 1930’s, is depicting the 1860’s, and that the advice (and the results) is still mostly the same….

  6. nakedpastor says:

    Yep. Excellent comments Melody.

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