So I’ve been thinking seriously about — I probably am — going back to school, and concentrating on the overlap between psychology, society, economy, politics, communications and media. Which sounds really like a lot, but just imagine the venn diagram where all that stuff overlaps. There’s a lot there.
Anyway, so lately I’ve been thinking a lot about sexist objectification and sexualization and what’s what. How to stop myself from instinctively thinking in ways that objectify women, and why I think I’m worse about that than I used to be. I’m sure there’s been lots written already about the internet and modern life and how it might encourage people to be even more sexist than they were, say, 20 or 30 years ago, but it sure is striking to think about.
This is a little ridiculous, but taking an example - when I think of the late 80s I think of something like, let’s say, Night Court, which was a popular sitcom from 1984-1992. No one (I think?) was trying to be deliberately progressive with it. But out of the 6 characters that were in the opening title sequence for most of its run, 2 were women and they were both actually strong, independent female characters, one a lawyer and the other a police officer (and she was black, too, btw). [See also: The Cosby Show, Cheers, Star Trek: The Next Generation …] I’m sure they had the occasional problematic thing, but that was just standard de rigeur representation of women to the average kid (i.e. me).
Impressionable young men aren’t watching sitcoms so much, but they do have a ton of video games and access to infinite pornography at any time of day, forever, and tons and tons pictures of all of their female acquaintances due to social media, all the time. Hmm. Hmm.