Skip to main content

The Objectification of Men

By Renee Pitter
As a black feminist, I spend some of my time thinking, speaking and educating on the dangers of the objectification of women. The notion that women are somehow not fully human and can be seen, compared to and thought of as things (que R. Kelly's "You remind me of my jeep."). When people are not seen as fully human entitled to inalienable rights or worse not even seen as somebody's child, sister, mother or friend; it becomes easy to dismiss their needs and ultimately leads to much of the abuse and violence we experience in our culture.

I would like to make the case for a different kind of objectification. One that often goes under the radar, but is a source of strife, struggle and often leads to the destruction of relationships and whole families. The objectification of men.

From the time women are young, they are trained that they must find a mate. (See Chimamanda Adiche's “We should all be feminist”) Much of their worth and value is tied to not only attracting a mate, but keeping that mate. Hence, the billion dollar beauty industry (debatable, I'm aware, but follow me for a sec). If you can not keep a man surely you are flawed in some critical way (you ugly, you stank, or the cardinal sin and every woman's worst fear, you got wack puss).

Because of this existing framework, desperation for a mate, even if it is subconscious, begins to set in for a lot of women. Particularly black women who are told by their families, media and statistics that there is a shortage of men who will want them. Because of this, men for a lot of women, stop being men. They stop being friends, sons, brothers and fathers. A human being with whom to make memories, build a relationship, and share their deepest vulnerabilities. Men become a means to an end. A way to prove to the world and themselves that they are worthy of love, admiration and attention. Men become a source of security (not necessarily financial, but emotional and physical). There's comfort in knowing your body count won't rise for a couple years and if you play your cards right, maybe not ever. And finally men are seen as the means to the most priceless end. A baby.

For some women, whether conscious or unconscious, having a baby is a way to ensure eternal love. We've all seen at least one teen mother on a talk show or after school special, look down lovingly at her infant and utter "I just want someone who will love me." Well, newsflash there are plenty of grown, very accomplished women who feel exactly the same way.

Many men enter interactions with women knowing none of this. Whether it be a one night stand, relationship or marriage, they are unaware of the great expectations placed upon them. They often do not know they are a means to an end. Tasked with filling a void that they are neither qualified nor equipped to fulfill. They are unaware of the expectation that a woman may have of needing a man to complete them and fill a bottomless hole. This disconnect can be the source of much strife and struggle in relationships. Leaving men feeling inadequate and women extremely frustrated.

As someone who has walked this road, I believe it's time to shine a light on this issue. We as women need to start coming to our interactions with men complete. We need to be able to see men as more than our validators, void fillers and sperm donors. They are fully functioning people entitled to complex personhood. It is totally unfair for us to expect them to give us the love that we are unwilling to give to ourselves. We as women have to know in our marrow, that we are worthy of love, attention, effort and gentle care. Not because of what we look like, how smart we are, how much money we make, or how well we can cook. We are worthy because we are here. And that is enough. You are enough.


Popular posts from this blog

Perk Up Buttercup

By Capt SistaGurl  On the very worst days of our lives, we tend to revert to the lower versions of ourselves. “This is happening to me because I must’ve done something to deserve this. “ I’m being mistreated because I forgot to xyz. “ Fun fact: every action does have an equal reaction. However, all wrongdoing doesn’t necessarily stem from your poor deeds. It can often occur based on your poor mindset.  Picture me saying this loud and reverently like Eric Thomas. Bad things happen to good people all the time, it’s not about what happened to you, it’s about YOUR behavior afterwards. (Y’all can hear him right?)  Let’s proceed still in that voice, you get to choose how and if you will survive something.  You are granted the right to look at yourself in the mirror and say, man this sucks but I GOT ME, and I got this. I can and will overcome this.  Back to my voice, you can also say nothing to yourself in that mirror, forgo it and showers, and wallow. I want to be clear every now and again a

No More Drama: Goodbye to my toxic marriage and hello to Freedom

Ladies, Make Him Act Right! (From a man's perspective)

So ladies, we have a tendency to get advice from women about MEN far more than we should. So I have a special treat today. We're going to get some advice on how to entice, encourage, and exalt a man from you guested it.. A MAN. I picked one, who speaks with the sole purpose to educate. So some of his language may be a bit harder than you're used to but.. you will not be disappointed. Capt SistaGurl Out!  Introducing Tikko Brohey  Ladies do you feel like “dudes ain’t shit” or “dudes don’t act right?” Have you ever thought about the things you do that contribute to that? The answer is probably not.  Now granted there are dudes out there who just ain’t shit, and that’s just what it is. Majority of men are good men. But his partner can often determine just how good he'll actually be. Every woman deserves to be treated like a queen, as every man deserves to be treated like a king. The disconnect comes from when there’s an argument all the King and Queen shit is out the