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Napat Parapat (NAM) 1202

The Myth Behind Women Objectification

I believe in equality. And I believe there is no difference between a


man and a woman. I even believe that a woman is more powerful than
men. Malala Yousafzai

Several months ago, I was scrolling down my twitter wall and I spotted

#Womennotobjects hashtag. This tag was ranked as a popular trend at that time. I knew nothing

about the tag and wondered what does this hashtag really mean. After that, I googled it and

found out that #Womennotobjects is a powerful campaign which encourages womens justice

and educate people that women are not toys or assets. In many countries, we may see

inappropriate commercials via TV programs, printing medias, or internet which convey about

gender discrimination and definitely shows gender inequality.

Until recently in modern Thai society, many ideas and behaviors of Thais are changed

and developed into a modern way. On the other hand, there is some situation or it can be

called behavior or culture that have no change or a little change in the case of women

rights. Generally, tradition Thai women are taught to reserve themselves and sex is not allowed

before marriage. Behavioral expression such as showing chest, thigh, or body parts in public

may also view as a wrongdoing action. Thailand is not different from other countries in the

world where its tradition admits the idea that Its a sad house where the hen crows louder than

the cock. Hence, it has been found that Thai women are experiencing various types of gender

inequality; for example, violence, abuse, women stereotype, and objectification.

A word sexual objectification by its definition means a view toward person as

depersonalized objects of desire. The concept of sexual objectification especially women

objectification is the main focus for feminist that it is not fair for women to view them as an

object.

Pictures do not lie.


Napat Parapat (NAM) 1202

Evidently, we all have seen tons of womens pictures on TV program, magazine covers,

advertising, and movies around Thais society. Every Sunday, Thai Rath newspaper cover page

will have a woman model wearing a sexy outfit and pose in a seductive way. The data from

Thai Ministry of Health also stated that 80 percent of Thai dramas are containing a sexual

scene. All of those medias contribute to become a myth that people are familiar with because

it happens so naturally in the society. I think it is not fair for women that if they are wearing a

sexy outfit and showing body parts, they will be denounced as harlot while shirtless men can

be in public without concerning about others thought.

Unfortunately, sexual objectification impacts on both male and female in the different level.

From Fifty Shades of Grey and Calvin Klein underwear advertisement, men are objectified

same as women right now. Shirtless sexy men are experiencing the same level of discrimination

as women. Some feminist or non-feminist are debating that the sexual freedom for both women

and gay may lead to the increase of men sexual objectification. However, the interview from

Kit Harington, actor from Game of Thrones, also feels the pain that it is not just men that is

objectified sexually but women are treated like that as well. It seems like a sexist double

standard anyway. For instance, perfect body actor who plays a silly scene have never been

confined for their mistake but also being dominated to other dramas or TV shows and receiving

lots of money because of their six packs. But if actresses are naked in public, they will be

depersonalized and reduced the value. Likewise, men who are watching the naked women and

the camera is spanning on the body parts slowly and slowly, they are experiencing the male

gaze.

As always believed, women are always experience an adverse than men primarily in gaze.

Gaze is about power. Those who watch are those who have power while those who are kept an

eye on have inferior bargaining power. In particularly, in the patriarchal society where men are

the only gender who has rights to hold the male gaze. It is not just found only in movies like
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pornography but it is expanding to all medias. The action of male gaze reduces the value of

women. Her value depends on her weight or how her boobs looks like. In a different manner,

there also has female gaze which is from a womens opinion. Women are truly using female

gaze in the different way. Men are not lowered their value in female gaze and women are not

just only looking their six packs or muscle but also looking for their habits and mystery behind

men.

The concept of equality between women and men appear to be an awareness of the

international organization, the United Nations (UN). In 1979, UN declared the Convention on

the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) to give equal rights

to men and women and finally, Thailand participated in this declaration in 1985. Due to the

Womens Aid Organization, the CEDAWs fundamental principles are:

1. State obligation: Government needs to submit a report after one year of acceding the

convention and every four years after that, state parties must submit the report just to make

sure that government is concerning about the convention.

2. Non-discrimination: The definition of discrimination in CEDAW is any act that has

the effect or purpose of nullifying, impairing, or denying the exercise and enjoyment of all

rights by women.

3. Substantive equality: An opportunity for women to be able to access in any kind of

womens advantages; i.e., access to countrys resources, get protection from laws and policies,

and able to achieve change for a better life.

Instead of treating women as an object, we need to treat it as a right. Instead of seeing

women rights as privilege, we need to see it an equality. In actuality, I have never seen

government or Thai feminist who stand up against gender inequality that much and express

their opinion about women objectification. It maybe because Thai people are not brave enough

to share their point of view but I think today the rights of women and men are not just a law or
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a condition that people should follow. Without choosing a man or a woman, we should respect

in the equality and give opportunities to every gender even they are transgender. Equal

opportunities are the most important thing. However, in Thais society, women are lost in the

education system, so the society must focus on building knowledge and seeing everyone as a

valuable source.

I think it is right that women should get equal respect as men.

I think it is right that women should receive equal education as men.

I think it is right that women should be paid equally.

And I think it is right that women are not mens assets.

I believe that women are mothers sex and they have rights, have thoughts, have minds,

and have soul as same as men. Every human in this world are born from womens womb, so

human should be equal and remember that equality does not mean priority.