Objectification is the act of treating someone as a meager object, without regard to someone’s feelings, thoughts, and beliefs. The objectification of women reduces their potential and all about them to their physical appearance. They are seen differently and limited in their ability to meet societal standards of beauty and sexual prestige. Women are being portrayed as objects solely for men’s pleasure.
Objectifying women is not a funny skit, and it should not be treated as such. It has a significant negative effect on women and society at large. The effect of objectification is abundant. It leads to body shaming and negative self-esteem, as women are being burdened with the image of what a perfect female body should look like. It makes women feel insecure, as their bodies might not reach the standard of the publicized and assumed perfect body.
Different skits parading social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok lately have been sending dangerous messages to society. Their line of content has been bolstering the idea that women’s bodies are solely for the pleasure of men. And schemed to narrow the mindset of the viewers that a woman with a body contrary to their image doesn’t deserve to be loved. Doesn’t deserve to be happy. And shouldn’t belong in the same group as those that have been assumed to be perfect.
Objectification also propagates unsafe gender stereotypes buttressing the idea that women should be limited to objects of men’s pleasure. This can bring about misogyny and sexism, where women are treated with mediocrity and are denied equal opportunity and respect.
Nicholas, C. A (2017) investigated the portrayal of women as sexual objects in a Nigerian dance video by Timaya titled bumbum and the adverse consequence on gender relations. It highlights how women are reduced to robotic tools that have no say and how this misconception has poorly presented women to society as dreadfully preyed upon by men for catching attention, emphasizing their physical character over other qualities or abilities. The study raised awareness about the negative effects and promote a more inclusive and gender-equitable environment. It promoted representations that highlight their distinct talents, achievement, and contributions to society.
Moreover, content produced by Nigerian entertainment industries has been stereotyped to emphasize the limitation of women to tools for receiving media visibility and acceptability. There have been several attempts to prove this ideology. Some of them are the creation of social media accounts in disguise of a woman to gain followership which is known as CATFISH. This has been rampant on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Fraud cases published by the Economic and financial crimes commission (aka EFCC) shows that young men have been scamming people of their hard-earned money disguising themselves as a woman through these platforms.
EFFECT OF OBJECTIFYING WOMEN
The negative consequences of the objectification of women have been traced to conflict in families.
Husbands now see their wives as a subordinate and items of no value other than staying in the kitchen or serving in the other room. It starts from the parent’s lifestyle into how they groom their children. It starts from discriminating about house chores and inhibiting superstition and values between male children and female children. Female children are made to believe that they should remain in the kitchen while men sought for livelihood. Female children are exposed to traditional methods of instilling sexual purity such as female genital mutilation and isolation. They are wired to believe that they can’t be exposed like the male gender.
Disagreement and normalization of gender-based violence and even death.
In society, it has been traced the development of irrational behaviors in our neighborhood such as raping, fraud, sexual harassment, and violence. Women have died in the line of being raped, and beaten because they are seen as objects that must be subject to their owner regardless of come what may.
It hurts the mental health of young girls and women.
It has also been linked to the development of body image issues, self-esteem damage, and pressure to join gangs for self-fulfillment. Women tend to seek validation outside their territory to fit into what they have been brainwashed to be a perfect woken. Seeing themselves as an object of making money, they go into shady businesses and prostitution. Young girls have dominated clubhouses as nude dancers or items of enjoyment for clubgoers. They do not believe in their potential because of the information they have digested.
HOW TO CURB WOMEN’S OBJECTIFICATIO
To eradicate this menace, there is a need for a collaborative effort from stakeholders in the industry, including the government, entertainment practitioners, and society at large.
This can be achieved by the enactment of laws that screens content that goes into our social media platforms through the entertainment industry.
There should be broad awareness of the capabilities of women through the media.
The media should celebrate women heroes more to inhibit values and morals in videos.