Social Question

lemming's avatar

Young women jellies: Do you feel objectified in public spaces?

Asked by lemming (3918points) March 2nd, 2012

I’m kind of sick of older or unattractive people thinking they have a right to look at me. You don’t have a right to look at me! They are obviously too used to giving marks out of ten to women in magazines etc…but hey, hello, you haven’t purchased me. This is my ass. I scratch it

(I don’t mean a the glance they give each other)

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

47 Answers

tom_g's avatar

@lemming: “I’m kind of sick of older or unattractive people thinking they have a right to look at me. You don’t have a right to look at me!”

Can you elaborate on this? For example, is it only “older or unattractive people” that you would prefer not to look at you, or shouldn’t have the “right” to look at you?

Edit: I realize this question is addressed to young, female flutherers. Feel free to ignore my question.

lemming's avatar

@tom_g they seem to think they have the right to look at us, for example, when I catch them, they rarely look away, they leave me feeling very uncomfortable and watched instead.

tom_g's avatar

Hmmm…So, regarding my question – you specifically mentioned “older or unattractive people”. Is it only these people that you feel shouldn’t have the “right” to look at you?

lemming's avatar

@tom_g well, this question is largely aimed at young women, but in a word, yes. I dress attractively, not to give the weirdo on the bus a little thrill, but to attract my future or present partner?? So young men can check me out, and there is a little competition going on between other younger women (in my standard – not the beautiful 16 year old) and we throw each other approving etc glances.

I don’t know why the mindle aged woman is looking me up and down several times, or the old fat guy is watching me. I’m none of their concern.

thorninmud's avatar

Like @tom_g I’m not too on-board with the idea that being young or good-looking confers rights.

JLeslie's avatar

@lemming Um, you don’t really get to choose who looks at you. If you present yourself in a way that attracts attention, you will likely get it. I understand if you are complaining that a man might make you nervous if his attention on you seems prolonged, or if he actually follows you, but follows is not looking. It is up to you to remove yourself from the sightline of the person making you uncomfortable if someone is staring, or just put up with it for the 5 minutes you are on a bus or standing in line, etc.

If you are talking about people you see daily at work or school, then they are acting innappropriately and it can be addressed, but really this sort of attention from any age would be creepy if you are not reciprocating the attention.

The middle aged woman might be either admiring your beauty or wondering why you are wearing such horrid attire. I don’t know, no one on the Q can know, especially since we don’t have a photo to go by.

thorninmud's avatar

I do get the “uncomfortable” part. Being objectified is a dehumanizing experience. But frankly, do you think that the young, good-looking guys aren’t objectifying you? Is there something about being young and good-looking that makes them see your dignity as a person in ways that the old and ugly don’t?

lemming's avatar

@thorninthemud its not natural to feel like your being watched everywhere we go. If i dont dress attractively i wont be attractive to those who i find attractive. Maybe the media has had a part to play by involving outsiders in this. I think so.
@jleslie i don’t even dress in a revealing way. What caused me to write this was me going for my morning run.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I can’t remember ever feeling objectified in this way to be honest. I don’t care if someone wants to check me out, in fact, I take it as a compliment. I work with the “look but don’t touch” rule. I cetainly don’t think that, if I am out in public, people don’t have the right to look at me. People can look at whatever or whoever they want to whether we like it or not. It may appear rude if the look turns into learing but I don’t consider it to be a matter of rights. I find it more disturbing that you think unnattractive (in your opinion) people don’t have the right to check you out but attractive people do. Shallow?

thorninmud's avatar

@lemming I’m not sure that we objectify women more now than before. There is, maybe, less pretense these days about it. I’d say it’s more an acceptance of the fact that we’ve been objectifying women all along and just pretending we weren’t. I’m not defending the objectification, but it does seem to have been a reliable feature of human interaction for a very long time.

geeky_mama's avatar

Here’s a shocker for you: I’m no longer young or pretty and I still catch people staring at me. All.the.damn.time.

So..either I look weird, talk too loud or my saggy bust looks good in my bra today…but hey, it happens.

Nothing you can do about it except to stare right back at ‘em. If you seem hostile about it, btw, they chalk you up as a b*tch. If you smile..unfortunately some number of them will take it as an invitation and start talking to you.

Such is life..just be glad if they’re staring at you because you’re attractive as opposed to horribly disfigured and move on.

JLeslie's avatar

@lemming It does no have to be revealing, you have youth on your side.

To be honest you sound like someone who really has no clue what it is like to get older. Your perspective sounds very young and naive. Probably some of the people you perceive as old and unnatractive are not so old, and were gorgeous in their day. I could be completely wrong, but since you single out women as well as men, I am going to assume it is not so much you think someone is going to physically harm you, but just that you don’t like the attention from someone you do not find attractive yourself. If someone thinks I look good I find it to be a compliment from anyone who thinks it, as long as their intention is a good one. If an 85 year old wrinkled woman in her bathrobe tells me how beautiful I am, why would her age or wrinkles or attire affect her appreciation for beauty?

FutureMemory's avatar

Oh god.

Get over yourself.

JLeslie's avatar

@lemming Wait, I just read what you wrote more thoroughly, morning run? So, what exactly are you wearing? I don’t know many people who run in a baggy jogging suit. My guess is your body shape is fairly revealed, even if it is covered.

deni's avatar

….........I don’t care who looks at me. People look at me all the time. Let em look. My boobs aren’t hanging out. I usually don’t dress too sexy, maybe once a week, usually much less than that though, if I’m going out for a big night on the town or a date or something I actually care about. But regardless men are going to look at women, it really doesn’t matter what they’re wearing. My final answer is no.

tom_g's avatar

It sounds like you are working a lot of this out right now. My suggestion would be to consider biology and evolution a little bit into your analysis when you evaluate societal objectification of women – and you in particular. This stuff is real, and you seem to have picked up some of the key terms anyway (media, etc). The application might be a bit more nuanced than you can imagine right now, however.

There are some things in your comments that also speak about your own “objectification” of the individuals around you (“old fat guy”, for example). Starting to consider you own feelings about this “objectification” might be a good starting point. But there is a long way to go. Your feelings are one thing – your analysis is flimsy.

Response moderated (Writing Standards)
tedd's avatar

So…. people… specifically men of older ages… Should avoid any natural instinct or happenstance glance in your direction… Because you find it offensive?

Grow up. Come back and complain when one of them makes some kind of disgusting remark to you, or physically abuses/harasses you, or starts following you.

deni's avatar

I should also add that if I see a hot girl I’ll check her out in public. It’s the natural human response. And I am a young lady myself, not some old creep. Women look at women, men look at women, we’re all lookin at each other here!!!!!!!!

rojo's avatar

@geeky_mama We live in a college town, have for most of our lives, when we reached our late 30’s, a friend of mine pointed out that one of the perks about getting older was that there were more good looking women around because, as he put it “Not only are the girls good looking but their moms look great too now!”.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

I agree. Mandatory eye gouging for everyone!~

Aethelflaed's avatar

Um, yeah, sometimes, but not in the way you mean.

The way you’re saying “right” to… Maybe you’re not using it this way, but I definitely think people have a right to stare and objectify. Just like they have a right to be a raging racist. Obviously doesn’t make it right, but neither is me denying them a right.

People look. There are lots of places where people go specifically to look at others and be looked at. I don’t really mind others looking at me – even looking at my breasts and butt in a sexual way – because I do it back. I have zero problem deciding which line I use at the grocery store based on which clerk is cutest, or going to see a speaker on campus just because I want to see if they have a nice tushy. It kinda helps to figure out if you think someone is attractive (and in general, what traits you find attractive in other people) when it comes to the dating world. And when they’re talking, I listen, and make eye contact. I don’t expect that just because they have a cute butt, they owe me any “personal time” with it. I don’t know that just appreciating someone’s physicality (or for that matter, judging it in any other way) really constitutes objectifying more than not seeing the thousands of people you come into contact with for a short period of time as anything other than their job (eg seeing your plumber/landlord/retail clerk at the GAP/teacher as really only your plumber/landlord/retail clerk at the GAP/teacher, and not really thinking about how their someone who has a home and friends and possibly a family and a significant other and maybe pets and maybe some chronic condition they’re struggling with and possibly a degree…), which it seems like the human brain is set up to do; that there’s a fairly small amount of people (in the hundreds) that we can see as “fully human”. What matters more to me is, upon being presented with the opportunity to learn more about me and get to know me, do they keep only seeing me as a physical being? If they don’t have that opportunity, I don’t care, if they do get that opportunity and handle it well, I don’t care if they started out by leering at my ass.

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

I am a single man in his 30’s, so perhaps not your target person to respond. But I rarely go a day without a strange woman in a convenience store telling me I have beautiful eyes or that I am handsome.

Tell you what. I love it. And when little old ladies are around I flirt with them like they are schoolgirls, because it will brighten their day. And when the women in their teens try to flirt I tell them they are lovely but they should probably date a nice boy their own age.

Maybe because I was pretty awkward and unattractive when I was younger, but I appreciate the attention now, and try to make people’s day a little better because its fun and costs me nothing.

Sometimes, I run into the pretty girls from High School, or College, the ones that thought very highly of themselves back in the day, and complained about older men staring at them. Often, they invite me home. I take a great deal of satisfaction now in telling them no.

GladysMensch's avatar

@lemming, I have a task for you. Define “older” and define “unattractive”, and be as specific as possible. At what age is a person “older”. What exactly makes a person “unattractive”? Is it purely physical, and if so, what physical traits make a person attractive vs unattractive (male and female, since both seem to bother you).

GladysMensch's avatar

Wait a minute, I just realized something. I’m over 40, male, balding, and am not currently in the fashion or movie industries. Therefore, I’m obviously not worthy of looking at you, much less talking to you. As a matter of fact, in hopes of not offending you, I’m looking away from my screen as I type this. Why on Earth would you want to hear anything I might have to add to the conversation?

GracieT's avatar

I am 42, but I am a female. I used to work in a hospital where one of my jobs was to deliver records all over the hospital. I know people looked
at me, and actually I was flattered. I’ve had several men tell me that I was attractive.
(they were usually older men) I
was flattered. That’s all. Why
should they have to stop

Blackberry's avatar

“Oh god.

Get over yourself.”

- FutureMemory

lemming's avatar

‘Get over myself??‘lol if you say so blackberry!!:)

(I’m not boasting…)

Eh, anyway, it’s not a new idea, and there is a certain kind of girl who would know exactly what I mean. A few generations ago in my country women covered themselves up for a reason, and they still do so in parts of the middle east. I would if I could, but for now I’ll be that girl in the little flowery dress and a curious smile on her face. See you around ;)

zensky's avatar

Double oy.

JLeslie's avatar

@zensky You are so clever today.

deni's avatar

@lemming I think you just solved your own problem. (I don’t know a lot about the middle east so correct me if I’m wrong) but if that’s where you are, and you’re wearing little flowery dresses with a curious smile, why do you think people wouldn’t look at you?!?!?! You’re asking for it. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that! But you do, apparently. So, dress cute and expect and deal with the fact that people are gonna check you out, or cover up and no one will look at you :)

zensky's avatar

I’m just biting my tongue.

wundayatta's avatar

When I was a lad, I tried to keep myself from staring because I thought women didn’t want to be objectified. Sounds like I missed that boat. Maybe the young women wanted me to stare?

Now that I’m over 50, I give up. It’s too hard. I’m going to look. Too bad if you don’t like it or feel objectified. That’s on you. I’m not objectifying you. I think you look beautiful. If you look at me I’ll smile at you. I’ll talk if you want, but we don’t have to. I am no longer going to be ashamed of thinking that you are beautiful and I am no longer going to stop myself from looking at your ass or legs or boobs or face or whatever else stops my heart at the moment.

If that makes you uncomfortable, then I’m sorry. It’s not meant to. I’d rather you took it as appreciation. And I know you think the young guys are all so hot, but not every girl is like you. Some like their sugar daddies and whatnot. And some don’t see everything in terms of sex and mating. Some are even happy to talk to someone older who has a lot of life experience. Some even don’t mind that I look at you like I’d like to eat you up.

I might. You look delicious. But I won’t. It’s not appropriate, in any case, and besides which, I have no interest in someone your age as any kind of equal partner or even in a purely sexual relationship. A), I’m taken. B) it is unlikely we could have an interesting conversation. I’d give you a chance if you wanted one, but I’m sure it wouldn’t go very far. As it happens, I have my own daughter who is far more interesting to talk to because I know a whole lot more about her. She’s easy on the eyes, too. So’s my son. In a few years, he’d probably be one of those boys you want to look at you now, but you can’t have him. I don’t like your attitude. I don’t like the way you look at people.

Still. Good luck with that. You sound pretty bitter, though, and that can eat a pretty big hole in your psyche if you let it last.

rojo's avatar

@Imadethisupwithnoforethought You are sooooo lucky. People have stopped me in stores to tell me I look like Willy Nelson. The nicest complement was from a woman who told me I look like Willy Nelsons “younger” brother. Took some of the sting out of it.

janbb's avatar

People check out other people. Looking doesn’t cost anything. I’m old and arguably unattractive and check out men (and groceries) in the supermarket all the time. Get over it.

lemming's avatar

@Imadethisupwithnoforethought I wasn’t the pretty girl in high school, I don’t think very highly of myself, I’m actually only coming out of a long bout of depression that could have killed me. When I was unwell, I thought I was being stared at. And now I look back on things, and I see I was. Now I know your sitting there with a cynical smerk on your face, but I had a point and for obvious reasons it hasn’t gone down well with you people…it’s the last out of the main-stream thought I’ll ever make on fluther, in fact it’s the last thing I’ll say on fluther full stop.

tedd's avatar

@lemming Someone’s a sore loser, lol.

rojo's avatar

@lemming Please don’t. Just because you have a minority point of view it’s ok to express it. In fact differing points of view are what make life interesting. Keep on Fluthering.

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

@rojo I assure you I was an ugly duckling until after 30.

@lemming I am just asking you to consider, if you come back to read this that you won’t always look the way you do now. I may have considered the question differently if you had said “people”.

When I read “older or unattractive people”, it appears to me you think higher of yourself than them. Which eventually while bite you every time.

KateTheGreat's avatar

No, I don’t feel objectified because I choose the way I present myself and personally don’t give a fuck who is checking me out.

Get over yourself. “Older or unattractive people”? What makes you think you are better than them? Are they not people too? Would you feel objectified if a person that was seemingly attractive and young was doing the same thing to you? If you’re flaunting yourself, then you give everyone the right to look at you.

It does not matter one fucking bit.

Ponderer983's avatar

Who the fuck do you think you are? If you don’t want anyone to look at you, then don’t leave the house. We were given eyes as human to LOOK AT THINGS! And do realize, my dear princess, that people may also be looking at you because of many reasons, not just a sex object. They could think you are ugly, you have a piece of toilet paper hanging out of your ass, they think they know you, you have the same shirt on that they own, etc.

”...they have the right…” I have never heard such a pompous statement in my life. Whether or not you are beautful on the outside, you are a fucking troll on the inside. Watch out, because karma is a bitch in the form of a physical deformity. THEN you will know why people are ogling you.

BeccaBoo's avatar

If you dont like the attention….shut your eyes and stop looking to see who is looking at you!! Jeeezz your not gonna be the cutest thing on two legs with that attitude suga!!!!

FutureMemory's avatar

It’s so classic that one of the topics for this was idiots.

Answer this question




to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther