What does Sexual Objectification mean?
.@NandosIndia disgusting, disappointing, disturbing, absolute rubbish# u need sensible marketers @unwomenindiapic.twitter.com/TL8VtKUXQM
— Nishtha Satyam (@SatyamNishtha) March 26, 2016
“the more men are exposed to objectifying depictions, the more they will think of women as entities that exist for men’s sexual gratification (specific sexual scripting), and that this dehumanized perspective on women may then be used to inform attitudes regarding sexual violence against women (abstract sexual scripting).”
You cannot negate sexual objectification by arguing the right and freedom for women to wear what they want
When PETA India ran the above ad, with the ex-porn start lying alluringly on a bed of chillies to encourage the public to stop eating meat. (in line with their international campaigns which are also equally provocative), Sowmya Rajendran from TheNewsMinute wrote an article: ‘PETA India’s Sunny Leone ad: Is it ok to objectify women to save animals?’
As a woman who, like Leone, has used both her mind and her body to campaign for animal rights, I have to say that I find it offensive that Rajendran is essentially dictating what another woman must wear, what she should do with her body, and, now, how she should engage in a social justice campaign. Rajendran’s tut-tutting is reminiscent of a father forbidding his daughter from wearing a skirt, and from going out alone, while he decides whom she would marry.
One can never talk about the objectification of the female body in any media if we’re going to equate this with someone dictating a woman’s choice of dress. The women we see in films and advertisements are performing with their full consent but that doesn’t mean that there is no objectification involved in these representations and that they cannot be subjected to feminist critique. Or that the companies and organisations who run these campaigns cannot be questioned.