Objectification and Second Wave Feminism?

Hello any readers bored enough to visit this desert of a “blog”. Today I would like to voice my opinions on something that has certainly become central to the justification of neo-feminism. This is, of course, female objectification in all forms of media (excluding games, that is for another day).

I constantly hear that this so called “objectification” is evidence that there is a great patriarchy, demeaning women to the role of only sex objects, so men can control them and therefore rule the world. Well unfortunately this is simply not the case, and the real beginnings of this female nudity craze in our media was actually, Feminism. Well. Second Wave Feminism to be more specific, do not throw your phone/tablet/laptop across the room yet, let me explain.

During the first “wave” of feminism, the main focus of the movement was gaining legal rights for all women, most notably the right to vote. But equally as important, the legal equality between a married man and women, in which the female partner is not property, but rather an equal, marital companion. As can be imagined, this was a slow and arduous process, and unfortunately still perpetuated the idea that women should stay at home, clean and manage the house, and raise the children, instead of working and advancing their own careers.

By the 1960’s, Second Wave Feminism appeared, and it was in these years that women began to combat the stigma around motherhood. Women discussed the role of women in a family, and in society. One thing that was discussed a great deal was the female body, and the restrictions placed upon it. At that time in the United States, there were laws regulating things such as women’s skirt length and how much skin they were allowed to show in public. These “modesty” laws are easily comparable to “traditions” among Muslim Majority countries, like the Burqa. As you can imagine the Women of the feminist movement were not all to pleased with being told what they could and could not wear. Bathing suits became skimpier and skimpier, as did women’s casual dress. Women who appeared on television and or in film were not so “modest”. Magazine covers displayed half naked women advertising a whole range of unrelated products, and this was great. This empowerment, this sexual admiration was a huge leap for the women of that time. Women spoke of their own sexuality in a positive way, and so did men. There were no double standards, women could be as free as men now, which the women of the Second Wave loved.

Of course this could not please everyone. As the end of the Second wave drew near, the opinions and ideals of feminists differed from person to person, many women thought the female empowerment movement was fantastic, while others saw it as another slight against the female gender. Feminism, within itself, became more about, “who is right”, than gender equality. Differences in opinions shook the movement from within. Issues like abortion, porn and sexuality, gender-roles, and so on. This is where the true meaning of feminism splintered, hence why today there is a large opposition to mainstream feminism by women who once identified as feminists themselves. This should finally answer the question, “You are a woman, how can you not be a feminist?”.

What to me is most ironic, is that the real affect the “patriarchy” ever had on women’s sexuality was oppressing it, not respecting it. Seriously, is there even a right thing to do here? Should we go back to the modesty laws, of course not. But now neo-feminism is attacking the idea that women have the right to express their sexuality for money, or fame. I do not think that is very “talented” but I respect their right to do so shouldn’t feminists also.

Objectification and Second Wave Feminism?

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