Thursday, January 16, 2014

Sexual Objectification

An informative TED talk on sexual objectification -- the personal damage it does and what we can do to stop it.

The speaker's position was that sexual objectification is societal dehumanizing.  And when you dehumanize women, it's much easier to discriminate and abuse them.  Women are not the subjects of advertising here -- we are objects.  The difference is that subjects have the freedom to act, while objects are acted upon.  The excuse that sex sells is also false.  Contrary to popular believe sex is not being sold, otherwise there'd be as many pictures of naked men as women.  Men are being sold sexual subjectification -- that they are in the drivers seat and can derive power from being surrounded by women who are sexual objects.  Women are being sold the message that they derive their value from being the ideal sex object.  The speaker explored how this affects our own behaviour, the main one being self-objectification.  For starters, when we habitually body monitor ourselves and others, we are wasting time evaluating and working on our appearance,  instead of using our time and energy for good.  We also end up competing with other women for men's attention, which we think is a finite resource to be attained.  Gawd, this is so depressing!
So what can we do? 
Stop consuming damaging materials
Stop competing with other women
Stop seeking attention for our bodies
Stop evaluating each other based on appearances

I can see where I do self-objectify.  No good can come of it either -- depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, body shaming ... However, it is getting easier with age.  I am way more comfortable in my skin then as a young woman. I can do more though -- not just for me, but for my children.

Sunday, January 12, 2014


I'm intrigued by the recent research on Introverts I read that shows their value to society is largely unappreciated because extroverts dominate our society -- not only in number, but in force (obviously).  It's not a bad idea to stop and consider all that introverts have a lot to offer, including in positions of leadership. Introvert managers are more likely to let their employees go with their own ideas rather than force their own stamp on their employee's ideas (crap, I do this).
Introverts value solidtude, which is where creativity flows!  In fact, by forcing everyone to work like extroverts (ie constant collaboration) we are also devaluing freedom, autonomy and privacy.  Wouldn't it be better if we gave people space to work out their ideas and them come together as a team to build on them?

Another point I found interesting is how we got here.  The culture arose from the decline of the agricultural industry.  As people moved to cities and started working in offices, they were no longer working alongside people they knew in their small community.  They were working with strangers and thus had to 'get noticed'.  Being an extrovert is what got you ahead.

Thankfully we're starting to see the value of introversion -- of thoughtful decision-making and communication instead of impulsivity.  I know that I'm an extrovert, but more and more I seek solitude. Sometimes I want to be along with my ideas.  Bliss.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Compulsion to buy

From an interesting CBC documentary on habits, ask yourself 6 questions before you buy something:

Why am I here?
How do I feel?
Do I need this?
What if I wait?
How will I pay for it?
Where will I put it?

Brilliant.  I know that if I did that every time that I shopped, I would not own even 10% of all the stuff I currently have.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

5 simple rules to be happy

From a chain letter on FB.  Complete cheese, but true!

1. Free your heart from hatred - Forgive.
2. Free your mind from worries - Most never happen.
3. Live simply and appreciate what you have.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less from people, but more from yourself.