Friday, June 13, 2014

A New Approach

I think it's time to address an issue that has taken contemporary Western culture by storm. Perhaps it's an uncomfortable topic, or perhaps you simply don't care to accept the fact that it's an issue, but I nevertheless feel it deserves in-depth analysis and proposed solutions. This issue has slowly become one of the most prominent in the world, and it has embedded itself so deeply into the collective psyche of the male gender that shaking its influence seems to be a daunting, if not impossible, task.

It's time we talk about the objectification of women.

It's the norm to identify a woman by her physical attributes as opposed to the content of her character. When a name is dropped in a conversation, impulse motivates man to give his opinion on the way she looks, not on her sense of humor, intelligence, or uniqueness. When a woman walks by in a tight skirt, impulse motivates man to track her as though she is a lion's prey, and ultimately he disregards the fact that she is a human being. When confronted and challenged for acting in such an animalistic manner, impulse motivates man to shift the blame, which most often results in the absurd claim that the victim of those unwanted gazes provoked such actions.

I use the word "impulse" for a reason. It's not that we, the male gender, want to objectify women in such an insensitive way. It's that we have been raised in a culture that allows, if not encourages, such twisted objectification. Sex is idealized and endlessly present in the mainstream of American culture, and it's therefore no wonder as to why we can't help but think about it. We've been conditioned to look first and listen second. Understand this, though: I am in no way justifying these immoral impulses; I am merely speculating as to why they're so prevalent.

Furthermore, many of us have never been taught differently. We've never been questioned for objectifying, and we've never been instructed to do otherwise. That's where the current generation comes in. It's our duty to change the tide in this losing battle. Though, again, impulses are incredibly difficult to control, they are not entirely impossible to change.

We have the power to give forethought before we objectify. We have the power to make a concerted effort to analyze, converse with, and explore the depths of the women we come across. Our only option is not objectification.

I can proudly say that I am a sane, reflective man. Therefore, I have it in me to approach my perception of the opposite gender in a different, far more humane way. I put these thoughts in writing as I prepare to embark on my personal journey toward gender equality in both the physical and conceptual worlds. I urge those reading to join me in this difficult battle, as I'm sure that our changed perceptions will further inspire the generation that follows us.

It's time that we saw other humans for who they are inside, as opposed to what they have to offer on the outside. Join me in this journey toward sensitivity and understanding. Let's change the way we think, and hope that such actions will lead others to do the same.

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