EDIT #3: Our fashion-challenged Mouse has responded not once, but twice! And both times manages to miss the point by miles. Plus he goes on an entertaining mini-rant about the APA is using propoganda buzzwords to demonize his libido, or something. Repeat after me: This is NOT about what you do or don't find attractive. It's about how you treat women. Mouse was the one who said sexualized in his post. Sexualization is not about what you THINK of women; it is about what you DO to them. I think I made the distinction between "attraction" and "sexualization" pretty clear in my post, but Mouse continues to respond as if I'm criticizing him for what he finds attractive or sexy.--Nenena
There are several components to sexualization, and these set it apart from healthy sexuality. Sexualization occurs when
- a person’s value comes only from his or her sexual appeal or behavior, to the exclusion of other characteristics;
- a person is held to a standard that equates physical attractiveness (narrowly defined) with being sexy;
- a person is sexually objectified—that is, made into a thing for others’ sexual use, rather than seen as a person with the capacity for independent action and decision making; and/or
- sexuality is inappropriately imposed upon a person.--The APA
Here's an interesting question: At what point do we define something as not being thought about someone, but being done to them?
"Objectified" is a good example. Supposedly, if I look at some cheesecake picture of a woman, and as the APA indicates, I do not see her as a person with her own individual personality and motivations, but instead view her in an entirely sexual manner, then I am "objectifying" her, and that is a form of sexualization.
However: I haven't actually done anything to this hypothetical woman except perhaps applied some personal lustful thoughts. And aside from some Gorean-style master/slave kind of arrangement, in what way could I seriously, truly, in this civilized part of the world, actually cause some woman to become literally nothing more than a sexual object by virtue of my thoughts alone?
And yet, that's the APA, defining "sexualization". And though that's not precisely the way Nenena herself uses it in her post, she cites the APA a couple times as the source of the definition.
As I mentioned previously, the APA's definition is so vague and/or broad as to be able to be applied to almost any barely-related situation. I don't think this is an accident. If you can say that nearly anything is "sexualization", then you can speak out against nearly anything you disagree with and slap a Bad Nasty Label on it. Sexualization is Bad, This Thing is Sexualization, therefore This Thing is Bad.
If you are going to use the APA as the source of your definition, you ought to factor in all of what that entails, not just what's convenient for your argument at the time.
For the APA, as presented in the definition above, it IS about what people think, what they find attractive. Do I need to elaborate? Very well:
"a person is held to a standard that equates physical attractiveness (narrowly defined) with being sexy"
While "sexy" isn't (for me, at least) based entirely on physical attractiveness, it's sure as hell the primary factor. Or to be more exact, physical attractiveness has to be present for "sexy" to occur in my brain. A good-looking woman does not always give the signal of "sexy"; however, an unattractive woman simply does not spark that signal at all.
Now, you can parse the APA sentence above in a number of ways. If "physical attractiveness = sexy" is the standard, then what is the result and injustice the APA is implying here? That if someone is good-looking, that they are automatically assumed to be "sexy"? Or is it that someone who doesn't measure up to someone's standards for physical attractiveness can't be considered "sexy"?
In either case, whether someone is considered "sexy" is first and foremost what someone thinks, not what someone does, although whether someone is considered "sexy" may well affect how that person is approached. Whether or not you think a person's criteria for "sexy" is reasonable or fair, that's how they think. The APA would have you consider those thoughts to be "sexualization".
Nenena may have a clearer, narrower, more precisely-defined version of "sexualization" she prefers to use.
Maybe she should present it to the APA first, so they can make it an official part of their lexicon. That way, when she takes me to task for not using her version of the word, there'll actually be someone else using her version besides, you know, her.
----------oh, and also----------
"but Mouse continues to respond as if I'm criticizing him for what he finds attractive or sexy."
Let's recap: I compared Wonder Woman's outfit to sexy lingerie. Nenena's response was to mock me for being "confused" about what was sexy lingerie and what wasn't. If that isn't a criticism of me finding something about WW's costume to be sexy, what is?
"I have an idea! Let's get on Anon's case for saying WW's outfit is sexy like lingerie, and then pretend like that's not what we said at all! All alternate personalities and realities in favor, say 'aye'!"