A Personal Gender Wo/ManiFesto
I believe women should not be seen and treated as sex objects on social media. Sexual objectification of women is an issue that has been debated for a long time. Feminists have looked at the various ways in which women are objectified. For example, in advertisements, in pornography, in beauty contests, or through their presumed want of cosmetic surgery or breast enlargement. It is pretty sad to realize that even with the significant strides that women’s rights advocates have made in fighting for women’s rights and dignity, sexual objectification of women is still rampant. With the evolution of the internet and social media, this trend has been taken to a higher level.
Sexual objectification of women, in my view, plays a significant role in promoting gender inequality. This is because it disregards women’s personal and intellectual capacities by giving them a lesser role in society, that of an instrument of sexual pleasure. This gives women and girls in society negative self-images that make them believe they are intellectually inferior and that society does not appreciate their competence. Such feelings can lead to depression and a sense of hopelessness in women.
Currently, there is a lot of sexual harassment and bullying on Twitter, Facebook, and other online social sites. In fact, women who do not fit in what society views as beautiful get negative comments on their physical appearances, weight, and anything else that objectifies them rather than accept them as human beings. Twitter trolls have become common for women who post comments on social sites where they are attacked because of their gender.
Notably, online sites have been put up where men can post pornographic videos or photographs of women who have left them in the name of revenge. Women celebrities have not been left behind in these attacks either. Recently, accounts of female celebrities were hacked, and their nude photos were posted online for the world to see. This is done to shame the women and make them feel inferior by reducing them to mere sex objects.
I want to campaign against this objectification of women in social media. I will do this by launching an online campaign to criminalize Twitter trolls and forbid posting women’s nude photos and videos online without their consent. After gathering enough support for the campaign, I will then push for the enactment of a law to make provisions where women can sue or take legal action against those who perpetuate the vices. I would also like to start another campaign whereby companies responsible for safeguarding the privacy of people online can be taken to task to protect people’s privacy.
I cannot agree more with Lucretia Mott, as she once observed, “The world has never yet seen a truly great and virtuous nation because, in the degradation of the woman, the very fountains of life are poisoned at their source”. Therefore, it is only when we all take the initiative to fight against the harassment and degradation of women on social media that we can achieve a truly harmonious and respectful world. Both men and women should make a conscious decision to refuse to participate in the objectification of women. In addition, they should push for implementing laws safeguarding online privacy.