off the cuff, relationship rhetoric

A Hypersexualized America


Sheikh Zayed Mosque

As some of you may know, I took a much needed vacation of a lifetime to Dubai, UAE during the holidays (part of the reason for my blogcation). This was an all-encompassing trip to celebrate my birthday, New Year’s Eve, and life in general. The most common question I was asked while away and upon my return was, ‘Did you have to wear those things on your head?’  It’s ok, I am well aware of the impression Americans have of the Middle Eastern culture, but no I did not, and those things are called abayas.  The only time I was required to wear an abaya (which was provided) was when we visited the Sheikh Zayed Mosque (pictured above) in Abu Dhabi – one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen.

Saudi woman wearing embroidered thawb

The modesty of the culture, however, was certainly a nice change of pace from the racy United States, and it was absolutely refreshing to look around and see a place free of ashy butt cracks, skinny jeans and boobs stacked chin- high at every turn. I relished in it, and respected it.  For the most part, women and men were able to dress how they pleased, but many women chose to wear the native garb out of respect for their husbands. Respect…there’s a word you don’t hear often here in the good old US of A.  Some of the women wore their thawbs (pictured right) so elegantly and gracefully, I was starting to wonder where I could cop me one, and their shoes were always fly.  These women carried themselves in a manner that reflected their status (most Emirates are loaded) and high self worth.  In doing so, they showed reverence to, not only their men, but their culture and religion.

Incidentally,  as I shared how fascinated I was by some of these women who were completely covered, yet still astoundingly intriguing and beautiful,  a male coworker of mine asked, ‘how can a man be attracted to a woman who’s all covered up?’ Although I scoffed at the suggestion that attraction could only come from a visualization, or even sampling of “the goods,” I admittedly wondered the same thing.  So as not to show my own implicit agreement with his sentiments, I sarcastically replied, “Maybe by coming to know her and being attracted to her personality.”  However, I do also realize that many of the marriages there are arranged, which is another phenomenon I won’t discuss now, but that I would like to address at another time.

Still, having grown up in a country where women are increasingly baring their bodies to the masses, it is sad that we cannot fathom a culture where women and men come into relationship based on an appreciation of beauty that comes from within rather than without.

Ironically, shortly after my return, I happened upon the video below, which gives a rudimentary explanation of how objectification harms women and society in general.   It’s interesting that men will fight against the objectification of their mothers, daughters and sisters, but will turn around and unwittingly objectify someone else’s mother, daughter or sister.

Objectification occurs when a person is seen simply as a tool or “object” to be used for one’s own pleasure or gratification.  Take a looksy…

Not to sound anti-feministic, but it seems that with freedom came the degradation and objectification of women, and not solely by the opposite sex, but by ourselves, as well.  We began to view our bodies differently and downplay the importance and sanctity of our own sexuality.  As stated in other articles here, the feminist movement was definitely both a gift and a curse.  I’d love to rid our society of its negative effects and cultivate the positive.

Do you think American society is over-sexualized?  Does it bother you? For the men, do you think the objectification of women has played a role in how you view and behave towards women?  Has this objectification played a large role in the demise of relationships and the rise in divorce rates?  Has the belief that “less is more” become obsolete?

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Discussion

14 thoughts on “A Hypersexualized America

  1. “it was absolutely refreshing to look around and see a place free of ashy butt cracks, skinny jeans and boobs stacked chin- high at every turn.”

    You are wrong for that comment. Lol. But on the real – none of our American culture was present overseas? Then again, you did travel to Dubai so I don’t imagine we are of significant influence in that particular region of the world.

    On the whole, I most definitely agree that our culture focuses on the external rather than internal measures. But not all of us live our life from that somewhat shallow perspective. Personally, after being woefully burned to the core by a woman so externally beautiful, I’m now all about what the heart reveals. In other words, I grew up! Lol.

    To answer your questions: yes, America is oversexualized. Yes, it plays a role in how women are viewed and treated on a whole. Yes, it has an effect on marriage/divorce rates. Do I look at women as objects? Hmm. I don’t think I do. At least I hope not. Do you personally feel as though I disrespect you? And I’m not commenting to advocate for women, cause you and I both know there are droves of women who don’t mind being objectified.

    Lastly, has the belief that “less is more” become obsolete? Well, it depends. That’s probably the best way to put it. It just depends.

    Good read.

    Posted by Don | February 8, 2014, 12:40 AM
  2. @Don It was! It was also cool to see women who weren’t thirsty and doing the most. That is one of the things I detest about our culture. Too much sex – EVERYWHERE! Actually Dubai was westernized. That’s why women and men could dress how they want, everyone spoke English for the most part, and American food options were aplenty!

    Awww I’m sorry you are a man scorned, but that is how we learn and grow, which it seems you have.

    Did you watch the video? I think part of objectification comes from looking at women as a sum of their parts. I’m sure we all objetify women to some extent, and women objectify themselves.

    I guess I just wonder how bad is it going to get before we start to correct this hypersexual behavior. Thank God for laws against “indecent exposure” or I think we’d already be there smh. Thanks for commenting. One last one though, how do you think objectification affects marriage/divorce rates? Are men less likely to marry certain women because they don’t carry themselves a certain way?

    Posted by 30thoughts | February 8, 2014, 1:46 AM
  3. Wait…lol. I didn’t say I was scorned. Please don’t do that to me. Lol. I just had to learn the hard way that it might’ve helped if I had focused on something other than beauty, concerning that particular woman. In the end, those lessons are the reason why I am in a great place nowadays, relationship-wise.

    I didn’t watch the video. I didn’t know Dubai was westernized, it’s good to learn something new. Your comments concerning incedecent exposure – hilarious. Yet so true. Well, I believe our society is immoral and not sure if anything will change. It appears one generation learns from the previous generation, then turns around and push the envelope even further. And here were are.

    To answer your question: oversuxualized is the term you used, which is understandable. I’d probably describe our society as immoral, and not conforming to accepted standards of morality places marriage/relationships in general (more times than not) into uncompromising positions.

    My two cents.

    Posted by Don | February 8, 2014, 5:58 AM
    • My bad @Don! Lol. You’re not scorned…where did I get that! Silly me. You may be right about pushing the envelope. Can you imagine what the next generation will be like? I’m very afraid lol

      Posted by 30thoughts | February 8, 2014, 11:58 AM
      • I once watched this documentary called The Man Who Saw Tomorrow, which was Nostradamus, and in the end he stated how the undoing of the “New World (America)” would be its morals. Helluva prediction, huh?

        Posted by Don | February 8, 2014, 10:06 PM
      • Definitely!! I’d have to agree. We’re just living in a time where anything goes and nothing is shocking anymore!

        Posted by 30thoughts | February 10, 2014, 11:15 PM
  4. Nice article! I am jealous that you went to Dubai – that’s sounds excellent!

    America is definitely over-sexualized. I don’t know how we got this way; probably somewhere under “free speech”.
    I certainly don’t dress provocatively (at least I don’t think I do) but that still doesn’t stop men from thinking of women in that way.

    Posted by Chocolate Vent | February 8, 2014, 12:18 PM
    • Thanks @Chocolate Vent

      It was an amazing place! So, you think it all started with free speech?? Interesting…how so?

      You think no matter how women dress, men would still treat them or view them as objects?

      Posted by 30thoughts | February 10, 2014, 11:14 PM
      • I think people took the whole “free speech” thing to another level. Speaking freely became dressing freely & freedom became a free-for-all. Freedom of self expression. It’s unfortunate.

        I think men objectify women because of WHAT we do & HOW we carry ourselves, not necessarily because of what we look like. A woman can wear a turtleneck & sweatpants everyday but if they are sleeping around, they are still “objects”

        Posted by Chocolate Vent | February 11, 2014, 11:59 AM
      • Hmmm interesting. You raise good points. However, I still think the way a woman dresses has the most to do with our objectification. If not, the inverse if your example would be true too (a woman scantily clad who carries herself a certain way and is celibate will still experience the same objectification). She may not be disrespected but she will still be viewed by men as the sum of her parts – big butt, big boobs etc. women say they want a man to love their mind, but he is too distracted by all the skin she’s showing. You can’t have it both ways.

        Posted by 30thoughts | February 14, 2014, 4:40 AM
  5. i think everyone knows that america is very sexualized. i love to see women who are so simple in dress and attitude but are very beautiful. glad u had a good time on vacation

    Posted by K. Andre Daniel | February 8, 2014, 9:54 PM
  6. You make a good point about the inverse of what I wrote being true. Again, thanks for the article but next time you go on vacation take us with you!

    Posted by Chocolate Vent | February 14, 2014, 6:39 AM

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