Posted in Gender

Four Ways You Objectify Men and Don’t Realise It

The objectification of men is not something we really talk about. The “O” word comes with the assumption that it is about women’s bodies. Yet men are, and always have been, objectified albeit in different ways. Here are just four of them.

The Success Object

What is it you value most about him: his character or his status? When are you most proud of him, when he achieves a small personal goal or when he gets another promotion? Would you leave him if he lost his job tomorrow? If a man was physically attractive to you, made you laugh, put you at ease but was unemployed would you still date him? Depending on your answers… perhaps, just perhaps, you value him more for his success than you do as a human being.

Marilyn Monroe said that “a man being rich is like a girl being pretty”. Like it or not, men are valued for wealth and status. Hypergamy, whether nature or nurture, is important to women no matter how much even the most staunch feminist claims otherwise, most would choose a rich man over a broke one anyway. Yet when all you see is the wealth, the job and the status, you are objectifying him.

The Romance Object

Do you just want a tall, dark and handsome stranger to sweep you off your feet? Do you have a long set of steps you expect him to follow and to know, before you deem him worthy of your time? I’m talking about things like knowing when he should buy you chocolates, when he should open a door for you, when he should kiss you, when he should do this that and the other, when you are ready for sex (and how he should know). He should read your mind, be a good doggy and follow your rigid set of romance rules. Every time he puts a step wrong is a black mark against his name.

Aside from making you controlling, this rigid definition of how a relationship should progress is far less about him and more about your princess fantasy. You could put any man in that place because you are less concerned about his feelings and desires than you are about your own expectations.

Man The Appliance

Do you expect him to fix you or fix your devices? Do you treat him like an errand boy from day one? Maybe he’s just an appliance to you, a taxi, a DIY professional, a gardener… anything but a boyfriend or husband. When all you see is what he can do for you and improve your life, you stop seeing him as a human being with his own wants and needs. Some of this stems from the rigid and outdated ideas of romance presented in rom-coms and romance books. You will expect him to crawl over broken glass while showing him no gratitude for anything he does as though it is his duty.

Man The Accessory (Or The Stepford Husband)

The Accessory Man fulfils the list of her requirements. He is the right height, right weight, the right job, the right education. He wears the right clothes, wears his beard the way she wants it, has the right tattoos, likes the same things she likes, shares your religious and political views, drinks and eats the same food and drink, speaks only when spoken to, waits on her hand and foot.

This is perhaps a phenomena of modern online dating, treating a man like an accessory – like a bit of furniture or an item of clothing. You will never meet this man because he doesn’t exist and few will be impressed with your 25 strong list of demands on your POF profile, especially if you aren’t as fabulous as you perceive yourself to be. When you value a man for a long list of things that in the grand scheme of things are not important, you are guilty of valuing him more complementing your lifestyle and are unconcerned (and perhaps unaware) that this is a human being.

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Author:

I go by the name of Frank Speaking. My blog "In the Mind of Men" (former name Chin Up, Chest High) started out as a chronicle of my mental health recovery. Now it is a forum where I discuss issues related to male mental health.

12 thoughts on “Four Ways You Objectify Men and Don’t Realise It

  1. A lot of people miss that people can be reduced to objects in more ways than sexually. Further additions to the list:

    5.- The sperm donor. Where a man is being used to produce an infant with little to no concern for his desire to be a father, his place in the infant’s life, the couple’s life and situation and/or his abilities as a future parent.

    6.- The wallet. Where a man is being led along for the sake of extracting money from him, his emotions being treated as coldly and methodically as any other sex worker weighing the cost of her services.

    7.- The iPad. Where a man is kept for her entertainment, called on when she is bored, demanded to play puppy dog and jump through hoops for her, only to be discarded as soon as better entertainment arrives.

    1. Great additions. At first I would assume that The Wallet comes under The Success Object. The more I think about it, when you value a man as a success object, you value him for his accomplishments, not necessarily for his money or earning potential.

      I found that when I was dating, I attracted women who were not even remotely what I was looking for. I think it was because I put I had a master’s degree. They may have assumed I had money, but they were probably more drawn to the qualifications and the potential of having bagged, for want of a better term, an Academic Alpha Male – the prestige of a highly educated guy to show off to their friends.

      1. Exactly. A wallet may not be attractive or powerful or respected enough to be a status symbol. He may live in a closet “man cave” in their house and be hidden in shame during social events. He’s just there for the money. Even more extreme of a split when it’s dating and not marriage. The Success Objetc is paraded around in front of girlfriends and desirable for long term. The Wallet is strung along behind the scenes, maybe as part of a flock of Wallets, taunted with hints of sexual access until he spends his money on her.

    2. lol @ #7. I’m going to start referring to those girls on OKC as “looking for an iPad.” I saw them all the time on there – girls who wrote in their profiles that they’re bored and wanted someone to make them laugh and keep them entertained. Literally those words. I always said to myself they were acting like guys were circus poodles that were supposed to turn tricks and jump through hoops for their amusement.

  2. OMG CUCH! I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE THIS:

    “You will never meet this man because he doesn’t exist and few will be impressed with your 25 strong list of demands on your POF profile, especially if you aren’t as fabulous as your perceive yourself to be.”

    That should be a bumper sticker. Or a disclaimer on those dating sites. LOL!

    1. haha yes. Sadly, it’s a fact of life now that the most demanding women on dating sites are those who don’t really have much going for them.

      Even if I did match up to the demands of the checklist dater, I would never message them. You just know they will never be happy.

  3. I love it! Hilarious and true! Very thought provoking article! I would also include man as a bank 😀 Emotional and financial neediness makes you attract co-dependent relationships that, in the long run, don’t fill either of these needs. Both emotional and financial need can be addressed in the short-term (money can be earned and support can be given), but it establishes a false sense of security in the long-term.

    1. Thanks Clarissa. Superslaviswife mentioned above “The Waller” which is roughly the same thing. I think you make a good extra point that “the bank” can also be an emotional bank where the man is treated as a bank for emotional fulfillment in a co-dependent relationship. This is very true and I think possibly romance literature and films have nurtured this in the same way that pornography has nurtured false attitudes about sex in some men.

      My ex-wife had that sort of relationship with her mother and I was in danger of being dragged into it. I spent 12 years resisting and any challenge to their unhealthy relationship was met only with anger and hostility. I learnt after a while that my emotional needs were unimportant.

      1. Excellent point and great analogy between porn and men.

        It’s unfortunate about your ex-wife. You really can’t fix people. You didn’t break them to begin with. Change can happen if the person: a) wants it or b) life forces it of them. You can be a change catalyst if the person is at either of these points in their lives. Other than that, you can’t correct other people’s fucked-upness to your partner.

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