Saturday, November 14, 2009

It is not bad if a woman is sexy

Although a man, I consider myself a feminist. I am for women and for making opportunities for women to be who and what they want to be. I am also for men and for people of all races, and people of all sexual orientations and sexual identities. I am a humanist and want all humans to have opportunities to be who and what they want to be, provided they don't hurt others.

My morality is simple: it is not good to hurt others (sexually, physically, emotionally, mentally, socially, etc). Now, I have a few caveats to that which is not relevant in the current discussion.

I admire and value intelligent and accomplished women. I also admire beautiful and sexy women. I also admire nurturing and supportive women. I can find nothing fundamentally wrong or demeaning about being sexy and beautiful. Appreciating one or another attribute about a woman does not equate to objectifying them. When I recognize a woman as intelligent (or am even turned on by her intelligence), that does not mean I see that woman as nothing more than a brain built for the sole purpose of stimulating me. Similarly, when I recognize a woman as hot (or am even turned on by her hotness), that does not mean I see that woman as nothing more than a hot body built for the sole purpose of arousing me.

Now, I do have a big problem with those who truly objectify women as it gives them permission to invalidate the woman (her feelings, her personhood, her worth, etc). And I believe that is damaging to her.

But, I reject the notion that a woman flaunting her sexiness is by definition demeaning herself.She could be, but it does not necessarily follow that she is. It could be argued that there are women who demean themselves by flaunting their intelligence if they think they would be worthless if not for their intelligence.

The danger comes in thinking that this or that attribute is the only one of worth, and that we or others are worthless without it.

So, I'd suggest we lay off those who celebrate their sexiness. If we don't know them, we don't know whether or not they are demeaning themselves as it depends on what they think about themselves and the meaning they give to what they are doing. Furthermore, we should not think that a woman who flaunts her sexuality is demeaning other woman. It just does not follow. We need to spend more time battling ideas and beliefs than being critical just because we see a portrayl of someone being sexy. The ideas that we need to battle is objectification (that a woman is not a person, but exists only for us), that the only characteristic of worth is sexiness, that if you don't look hot you are worthless.

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