Self Objectification

Objectification is to degrade, devalue and reduce something/someone to an object. Self-objectification is when people view themselves as objects for use instead of as human beings. A sex worker could sell sex and she wouldn’t have to objectify herself, her performing sexual activities and having sex with a client is the job, sex is the object but she isn’t. She is the subject and the subject is making use of sex as the commodity, the object being sold.

When it comes to objectification based on gender, women are at the losing side, they’re the ones who are sold in the industry as objects and ornaments only used to compliment one’s social status or create a fantasy for men. In the music industry, we have music videos that degrade women and tag them as bitches whose only use it so hit n’ quit it. We have songs from male artists going on about having money and getting all the bitches they want, we have songs talking about promiscuous women and women who act like sluts and money hungry gold-diggers. The music industry has objectified women and degraded us so much that it has moulded parts of the society we can never recover. The men who sing about women, money and their sex lives don’t do it for love, they don’t do it because they supposedly care about women, they do it because it creates controversy, sales and increases their status. We know sex sells and that is why the entertainment industry uses it to their will, the men want a fantasy, they want the life of being a rich rapper who can get any woman he wants because it is the “dream”. If sex didn’t sell, the pornography industry wouldn’t be generating revenue worth $15 billion. Sex sells and men invest in the business.

We have different ways society has objectified women that goes beyond sex, we don’t need women to be objectified by selling sex when we have forced them into performing free domestic labour, we don’t need women to be objectified by selling sex when women aren’t allowed to be people until a man comes into the picture, we don’t need women to be objectified by selling sex on free will when we only recognize them as baby producing machines, we don’t need women to be objectified by selling sex when it has been made clear that the man is the head and owner of the home while the woman is the neck who complements the home. We don’t need women to be objectified by selling sex when we already have fathers giving out their 13 year old daughters as pay checks to older men.

In the world we live in, women complement the world and men own it. We are simply made for the consumption of men.

Women have been objectified for so long and for us to think women who use the system to their advantage and make revenue off of it are “objectifying themselves” then we do not know what it means to be objectified. The women who identify as sexual workers and perform sexual activities aren’t objectifying themselves but making use of a system that objectifies them to empower themselves and earn a living. Sex workers do not get frEe MoNEy, they work really hard in trying to create a fantasy for different types of men and women, they come up with new ideas and new skills to please their client, for the amount of work they put in, they deserve all the money they’re getting.

“female sexual activity is much in demand and has high social value, in contrast to male activity, which is plentiful and easy to come by and therefore worthless”.

When it comes to the body of a woman and how it can be used by herself, there would always be a large number of men and women feigning morality and trying to give their unsolicited opinions on what she should do with her body. I recently watched a video which included popular Nigerian musician, Falz being asked about slut-shaming and the first thing that came out of his mouth was “wow, feminist in the building”, he went on about feminist being hypocritical on the objectification of women and just how much he hated transactional sex. For such an educated man like Falz, his education flew to the wind while he was answering that question and I’m not surprised. This is a man who made a song, “child of the world” which he was supposedly taking about rape but all I saw was a smart virgin who got raped by her uncle which turned into a high sexual drive and a crave for sugar daddies that ended up giving her HIV. This song was supposedly about rape and his victims but it turned out to be a slut-shaming anthem towards rape victims, he didn’t talk about justice being served in the video, he didn’t talk about the rapist uncle but his focus was on making the victim have HIV because of the number of men she slept with after being raped.

I don’t want to spend my time talking about this man and his inconsistency in what his target audience claims to be women empowerment. He claims to hate transactional sex but we have Falz’s song something light talking about transactional sex and him encouraging it, he sings “Ogbologbo, she dey search for maga, I told her wait first I go bless you after” and we have Ycee’s part as “But you still wearing bra
when I’m offing light, this your own attitude
” isn’t it obvious what the lyrics are implying! Falz and Ycee expect the women to have sex with them simply because they took them out, whew! The contradiction. The blessing Falz talks about is money and you can pretend like you don’t see it but that is the blessing and Ycee’s lyrics are self explanatory. I don’t see anything wrong with Falz not wanting to endorse sex work and encouraging it but it’s all types of wrong when you say to women who choose to have paid sex are objectifying themselves, it’s wrong when you continuously to slut-shame women just so your music can be controversial and your publicity increases, it is wrong for you to only focus on the women in the business rather than the men endorsing and patronizing the business, it is wrong when your lyrics are speaking about you practicing transactional sex and you picking up the mic to say you hate it. I’m not surprised by Falz’s behaviour and his response to the question, he knows his target audience, educated or not, he’s still a Nigerian man who loves to dictate what women should do and what they shouldn’t.

Supply is dependent on demand.

If we didn’t have men who went out of their way to find sex workers they could afford to be with, I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t exist but we do. We have men who look for women they could pay to have sex, we have men asking for sex and willing to pay money for it, of course we would have people who would like to monetize sex.

We also have people who compare selling sex to fraud how this is even a thing is funny but not surprising. I also saw a comment on how sex workers are responsible for tarnishing the image of men and ruining their families. Now, you could direct your anger towards the people patronising the business or you could forever hold your peace.

Everyday, men tell me there’s no limit to their stupidity.

Are we really going to blame the other existence of sex workers for married men’s infidelity, is it really the sex worker’s fault that the husband/father prioritizes his sexual needs with another person over his wife and children? Lol. Comparing a woman’s choice to get paid for sex (without hurting anyone) with another man’s choice to engage in stealing from other people is very dull. Sex workers do not scam men into having sex and they do not steal from men. Sex workers discuss and make a fixed price for the services they will be rendering and the person who demands for sex would be expected to pay, as much as the patronizers of the market are getting their fair share it’ll be unfair and very ridiculous to accuse them of scam. News flash, no one sent you to commit infidelity.

Having sex for money or for free isn’t supposed to make you lose your essence.

I know if a sex worker is cheated out of her money, brutalized or raped, there would hardly be enough people to defend and protect them. Women going into the business of selling sex are indeed in a dangerous business but it doesn’t mean they do not deserve the same sympathy, protection a defense like any one who suffers from sexual harassment at a desk jobs. Selling sex with consent and being forced into having sex are two different things. We should care about the things that don’t affect us. One way or the other, we’ve been involved in transactional sex, either by speaking about it or practicing it and for that, the only difference between a sex worker and regular person is “one is a career” and the other isn’t.

A woman’s vagina is the most dictated part of her body, there’s so much misconception, expectations and pressure on a woman’s vagina. Our vaginas are just vaginas. The need to dictate what goes in, how it is used and what it’s purpose is for has become suffocating.

Let’s be guided.

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I know this piece isn’t my best neither is it the most well written piece of mine but I promised to upload today and I’m sorry I didn’t do a great job.

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Image by: Rosanne Lambert & Janet McLeish.

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6 thoughts on “Self Objectification

  1. As women are going into sex work, do you think it’s a good idea for feminists to support it? Because we know how the sex industry is ran by men. Isn’t that enabling men and the patriarchy you stand to defeat?

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    1. You’re right but feminists supporting the sex work movement is a way of telling women that they have the choice to be sex workers if that is what they want, since sex and other forms of sexual contact is the service their providing they deserve to be treated as anyone with a job without having to worry on being cheated and abused at their workplace.

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