The Culture of Consent
The Culture of Consent

The Sexualization of the Female Body

Modern Objectification

The Sexualization of the Female Body

I hate to start this all feminist with you, but almost every woman around you, from your mum to your sister, will have experienced either sexual discrimination or sexual harassment at least once in their life. This is the case more often that it is not.

Sexual discrimination exists when a person or group is treated unfavourably based purely on their sex.

Sexual harassment is the presence of any unwelcome sexual advances.

Cat Calling

Cat calling is in fact sexual harassment. (Wowzer! Shocking!) This is based purely on the fact that it is definitely a sexual advance, and you definitely don't know if it's welcome or not coming from outside your car window. You would also never see a woman drive past a male walking alone down the street and start shouting at them in a degrading manor via their car window. Or do you honestly believe they would?

When I ask men the big dreaded question of "Do you think it's acceptable to whistle at women?" I get mixed responses. However, when I ask a woman, the answer is always none other than "No, I think it's degrading."

90 percent of British women have reported being cat called for the first time during puberty; just to give you a piece of mind—that's between ages 11 and 17. Keep in mind, that statistic sounds absolutely awful, but it still doesn't adequately portray the truth of it—think how many more women are being cat called, but think too little of it to report it. Sadly, it happens so often these days. I know, I am one of them, people. Cat calling is not a compliment to women in any way, shape, or form, nor will it make them at all interested in you. In fact, if anything, it will make them think you are weird, pervy, and view women as sexual objects.

Ass Grabbing

What's even with this? Men are too often finding their unwanted greedy hands on random women's asses in public. Just because you like the look of it doesn't give you the entitlement to touch it. Seriously though, men, has a woman ever waltzed over to you and stroked your abs? More importantly, as a result of your disgust, have they ever turned around and justified their actions with a limp, "Well, sorry it's just your tops off and I couldn't help myself?" This happens most commonly in settings like house parties or night clubs. It's almost like men become vultures as soon as a woman wants to look nice for herself, and they automatically assume that she must want to look nice for them. We are in the 21st century, technology is evolving so rapidly, we can turn our heating off when we're in a different city—yet we seem to be incapable of teaching men that women are allowed to wear tight skirts and not want you to talk to her ass. You wouldn't touch just anyone without permission, so why invade a woman's privacy in such a sexualizing manor? Dear women, don't date greedy, over-entitled men.

Dancing Close Behind a Woman

Generally, men seem to think that coming up close behind a woman and dancing up against her, when she hasn't the slightest idea that you are there and has not allowed you to make that move on her, is perfectly normal. However, most women view it as being totally predatory and forceful. Think about it logically, and take into account the fact that it is literally impossible to tell a man that you don't want to dance with him—if he never even asked you and offered you the right to deny. Women feel so vulnerable when men just assume that they're into them; too many people are scared that it wouldn't matter even if they denied a man the right to dance near them and they would proceed regardless. So, maybe we could just start approaching women from the front? Like we do everyone else, from men to horses.

The Media

Women are over-sexualized by the media. Most things the media portrays shows them in a bad way, but women? Women really get it tough. Women and girls are generally more likely than men to be objectified and sexualized by media outlets. This cycle has become so habitual. It basically means that when women are sexualized and exploited, more money is just made by the big greedy industries. This is because people seem to more inclined to buy a magazine if the size zero model on the front is not only female, but also in clothes that objectify them. In magazines, women are three times more likely than men to be dressed in sexually provocative clothing for photo shoots. Some people argue that women chose the career they have and chose the industry that they work within, and that's almost always true. However, it doesn't adequately explain why a woman can't work in an industry that promotes self-love and beautiful bodies without having it virtually entirely on show—especially when a man can. It is the same industry with different standards.


Several consequences of objectification have been discovered through psychology study. The research states that chronic attention to physical appearance leaves us with little cognitive resources available for other mental and physical activities. Meaning that, generally, as a result of the media's objectification of the female body, females exhaust their brains thinking about how they look all the time and leaving nothing left to think about anything else. Almost what men do when they think about sex. This can create appearance anxiety and lead to body dissatisfaction in women and young girls, which will inevitably lead to mental health issues and in worse cases: Eating disorders. The media is good at destroying women's self-esteem; it can successfully do this before they even know what it is.

Victim Blaming

I am tired of seeing people blame the women for they way that they pose in photos, or the low-cut t-shirts they chose to wear, or even the way that they stand. This victim blaming is the heart of the issue; it is what stops us from talking about it as the actual serious issue that it is.

One in four girls have been a victim of sexual violence before the age of 18, and for one in four girls the first time having sex is forced. Women and girls are too often hyper-sexualized and objectified, the media's awful habit for contributing to gender stereotypes often trivializes violence against women. When models of femininity are being objectified in the media—day in and day out—negative implications effect the mental and emotional wellness of hundreds of women all around the world.

What I Want

I want there to come a day when women aren't touched without their permission.

Where they aren't being whistled at like a dog being summoned.

When women don't post thirst-traps to achieve approval or attention because it's the only kind of attention they've ever known.

I want their to come a day when I'm asked what victim blaming is because no one does it anymore.

I want domestic violence to turn heads towards the issue, not turn them away in shame. I want rape to be considered the psychological malfunction in the human brain where we acknowledge that it is their stupid fault for not keeping their filthy, greedy hands to themselves.

I want women to be considered sexy in sweatpants and a baggy jumper, rather than a leotard or hot pants.

I want women's minds and willpower to be considered the sexiest part of them as a person.

I want women to drag down the most powerful men worldwide with ambition.

I want women to be treated like men.

Peach Verdi Pietersen
Peach Verdi Pietersen
Read next: The State
Peach Verdi Pietersen

See all posts by Peach Verdi Pietersen