Reversed Roles

According to James J. Dean’s article about Straight Men in “Introducing the New Sexuality Studies”, men often sexually objectify woman to project sexual identity. What if roles were reversed? What if women were told to degrade men and to sexually objectify them? Would women have more sex drive? Would roles in relationships reverse?

Women are commonly known to be the more intimate, ‘fragile’ figures in relationships. However, if roles were switched, and if women were raised to be sexually driven, would everything align? Would relationships occur where woman are seen as masculine, and powerful and men considered fragile? In the article by Dean, men rely on sexist and homophobic behavior to convey being straight. The article presents interviews with three different men, who all touch on points on why they are hyper-masculine.

One man says that he compete with both men and women to keep his hyper-masculine mindset. He feels the need to ‘win’ women’s sexual attention over other men. William’s mindset does not work for him all of the time, because he often prefers the women he hooks up with to be bisexual, so that he can hook up with two women at a time. However, William is single and 38 years old. This concept has not been working out for him too well. However, this article does not touch on women objectifying men.

On everydayfeminism.com, I found an article relating to my topic. There are not too many websites with articles on reversed roles, as many researches are not feminists. You would think that objectifying a man is simple. You may have heard of many women using men for sex, but there are differences between sexual objectification and sexual desire. Sexual objectification requires one member of the sexual act to make an empowered decision, and for the partner to agree and to participate. Meanwhile, sexual desire is something that everyone has, which means that it cannot be reversed, because it is natural. The article touches on important concepts involving day in and day out sexism. Sexism is definitely something that can be reversed for a day, or for a certain time period, but it is something that our society has lived with and dealt with for a very long time. It is similar to racism. Today, some white people argue that reverse racism exists. This is not true. It might exist in a certain situation or short time period, but it is nowhere near as significant racism towards blacks, as it has evolved and had a long line of history. Sexism is just the same. It has been here for a while. It may evolve, but it is just the way things are.

Women in the past few decades have certainly received more respect in the workforce and gained far more power compared to norms in the past. But in the bedroom have things changed? Have women gained more respect? According to research by Melissa McDonald of Iowa State University, “Many gender equality advocates (Cortese, 2007 and Kilbourne, 1999) argue the sexual objectification of women within advertisements is affecting our society’s view of femininity and womanhood in the United States. Much of the literature found on the subject sees the representation of women and men within advertising to be alarmingly threatening to the public, specifically to that of young boys and girls growing up with gender stereotypes molded in their minds due to what they see in the media.” Today, women are objectified more and more through advertisements. However, light is shed more and more on feminism than it ever has been in the past. In the past, women have only been expected to cook and to clean, now women are currently reversing gender norms through out the work force. But today’s advertisement contradict all of the hard work that women have done to be on the same level as men, respect wise. This is interesting because it leaves one concept hanging, while the other has entirely evolved. Women are getting less respect over time through media, yet more respected in the workforce. Why is this?

In summary, woman can objectify men, but it would be on a micro level. Our culture today teaches men to be more powerful than women, just because it has been that way for a very, very long time. Could this change in the future? Certainly. Has it changed? Yes, but in multiple ways. Women have gained more power in the economy, but not necessarily in the bedroom.

When talking about roles being reversed, do you think that women would in turn be the one’s more prone to rape?

Do you think that women will eventually grow to objectify men?

Or is this something that we do naturally because of hormones?

Do you think that media has increasingly helped reverse gender norms or has harmed them?

Do movies differ from advertisements in how gender norms are portrayed?

Since feminism works on making things equal between men and women, do you think it suggests that men stop objectifying women? Do you think that this is effective or that it is and has been a norm for too long for it to suddenly change?

Citation of Melissa McDonalds Graduate Theses: McDonald, Melissa, “Getting out of the kitchen and into the bedroom: The objectification of women in advertising through the use of design elements Exploring the perception of sexual imagery and objectification in advertising amongst graphic design undergraduates” (2014). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. Paper 13807.

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