Objectification of Women: Madiha Bhatti Ask To Turn Up The Volume But Turn Down The Noise
It is commonplace and normalized in mainstream media to objectify women - from Hollywood movies to advertising to pinup calendars. But what happens when the words and vivid images does more damage than good? When young ladies and even women feel like their individual body parts are not perfect enough… unattractive… or on the other hand reduced to objects and used as male territorial markers. The result, diminished dignity, lack of safety, broken spirit and shame. For those of you who are unsure of what "objectification of women" means - it is when you don’t think about a woman's real sum-value, reducing her inhumanely as an object to be desired, acquired and exploited. It is simply a narcissistic way of focusing on her while depersonalizing, dehumanizing and decontextualizing her. Madiha Bhatti, a young Muslim spoken word poet, chose to spit her own rhymes rather than have her ears bleed from the so called music of cowards who hide behind cool beats. Check out her inspiring rhymes below.
There are women who say they celebrate beauty and women empowerment… But as Madiha Bhatti elegantly puts it, “is it empowerment when you consent to be portrayed as being animalistic, because on one hand you’re exotic, you’re fierce, do no wrong. On the other you’re a female dog in every song?” as she calls out her girl Beyonce. It reminds me of my earlier days before I wised up, and calls to mind Nicki Minaj’s latest single cover, Anaconda – where she is in a drop-it-low pose showing off her butt in a barely there pink thong. I’m sure she thought it was empowering until her fans plastered the web with objectifying memes of her backside, reducing her talent down to her but size. Which then triggered her status “I'm sad,” with a SpongeBob meme.
Don’t get me wrong, to each his own… but too often objectification is confused with being sexy and attractive (healthy sexuality), only to reduce women to just being an object for male pleasure. It becomes unhealthy when it moves to defining a women based on her sex parts. We are bombarded daily with images of women’s body parts and cleavages, yet we frown upon a women breastfeeding in public. It is OK for men to be all shapes and sizes but women are told that only one body type is acceptable. Dads encourage and celebrate their son’s so called “conquers” but crucify their daughters and put them on lock down for the same… Forgetting that they celebrated their son's conquering of someone else’s daughter. Isn't that hypocrisy?
Can men be objectified? Sure! But is it the same? No! The main difference men are subjectified (they act) and women are objectified (acted upon). In the end, men does not have their accomplishments, talents and or personality stripped down to only butt or breast sizes, they’re just seen as whole people. Women even have to look a certain way to be taken seriously, teaching us to self-objectify from a pretty early age.
What are your thoughts on Nicki Minaj's latest single cover?