Have you ever been catcalled?
Felt like you were being watched or followed when walking alone at night?
Felt uncomfortable when walking past a group of men all staring at you?
Heard a verbal comment directed at you?
Been honked or whistled at?
Been touched or grabbed in a sexual way by a stranger in public?
You’re not alone.
Studies have proven that over 99% of women have experienced some form of street harassment (stopstreetharassment.org).
We have already established that many films which include themes such as sexual objectification, sexual assault, sexual violence, sexual abuse, stalking and pornography can have adverse affects on the mental health and body image of young girls.
But these films are essentially promoting these ideas to millions of people, with how their female characters act and by how their male characters treat women. This is not only causing women to be impacted in terms of mental health and body image, but also exposing these ideas to men and boys, teaching that this sort of behaviour is acceptable and is socially tolerated.
Have you seen Project X (2012)? You may not have realised how objectifying and degrading it is to women, showing how men treat women as objects for their sexual pleasure.
Or Bad Teacher (2011), a film starring Cameron Diaz which glamourizes the sexual objectification of women with its materialistic and sexist plot?
Sexual objectification has no place in our society and the film industry is producing movies which covertly promote it alongside themes of sexual assault, sexual violence, sexual abuse, stalking and pornography. Its impacts on both sexes are often invisible – for example, a guy might be more prone to catcalling a girl with his friends because he was subconsciously influenced by watching a movie where women are treated similarly.
The below clip by Cosmopolitan shows men’s reactions to their girlfriends being catcalled. It’s a more lighthearted take on the issue but it’s still a great video because the boyfriends are all so shocked that their girlfriends actually experience sexual objectification on a daily basis – highlighting how more awareness needs to be raised to tackle the issue.
As usual, let us know what you think in the comments below!
– S x