Fighting objectification carries a gigantic risk. (Yes, I actually wrote those words. Read them again. Then please continue on with the rest of the article.)
Thank goodness our culture is having a conversation about the dangers of objectifying women. People are publicly demanding an end to cat-calling. Celebrities are posting pictures of themselves that have not been altered by Photo Shop. Politicians on both sides are fighting the porn industry. Companies have realized the benefits of advertising products with empowering messages. While we have a long way to go before we heal the damage done, it’s important to celebrate how far we have come. It’s encouraging to see the endless ways people are trying to eradicate the objectification that plagues our world. But we must be careful.
When we take a stand against the objectification of women, we run the risk of exchanging one incorrect way of thinking for another.
Why is it wrong to objectify a woman? Objectification reduces a woman to just her body, and this is wrong because it neglects the other parts of her identity. It is incorrect to define women by our bodies. But it is equally wrong to ignore our bodies. While women are so much more than just our bodies, our bodies remain an important part of who we are. Ignoring a woman’s body is simply the other side of the objectification coin: either way, you are not looking at the complete woman.
How can we fight objectification without falling into this trap?
We will only defeat objectification by looking at the fullness of who each woman is. Be curious about her personality. Learn about her journey. Celebrate her talents. Share her joys and sorrows. And educate yourself about how her body works. It is time for us to learn about the intricacies of fertility. It is impossible to have a successful relationship with a woman if you ignore the changes her body experiences each month. It is impossible to teach a girl about puberty if you don’t understand it yourself. It is impossible to provide holistic healthcare for a woman if you refuse to look at the biomarkers that can signal reproductive complications or illness.
When we don’t know how the female body works, we are guilty of the exact same wrong that the people who objectify women commit: we are refusing to see the totality of women’s humanity. Let’s eradicate the objectification of women without ignoring the connection between our bodies and our identities. Her body speaks. Learn to listen. Learn more at https://bodylanguagelife.com/.