Business As Usual in the Land of Objectification

Well, it’s been an eventful week for women.  Many, many, many people have already commented on the events listed below.  I will briefly contribute to the din.

1) Kim Kardashian posed nude for Paper magazine.  I can now add her to the list of several thousand people I’ve seen naked.  Yippee.  I’m assuming she understood that she would be objectified (literally: her body as a table or a champagne bottle) and criticized (“A mother shouldn’t do that.” – perhaps the most ridiculous comment ever).  My concern is that she may not have fully understand the historical context of her choice.

In medicine we use “informed consent” before performing procedures.  We discuss the risks and benefits of a procedure, give patients an opportunity to ask questions, and generally try to be reasonable rational human beings with our patients’ best interests at heart.  From what I’ve read, Ms. Kardashian lacked information about the risks/benefits of her choice and therefore was not able to give true informed consent.  Additionally, I’d like to point out that the buttocks-as-table-for-champagne-glass pose puts an inordinate amount of strain on the lumbar spine.  Best not repeat that, Kim.


Who needs champagne? I can balance a pomeranian in a laundry basket on my derrière!

2) The Kardashian moon nearly eclipsed the unbelievable scientific accomplishment of landing an un-humaned spacecraft on a comet.  Crazy.  European Space Agency scientist Matt Taylor told the world about the mission while wearing a shirt featuring barely-dressed women in sexual positions.  Now, I’m all for freedom of expression in people’s personal lives.  But Taylor’s “casual sexism” and almost inconceivable lack of A Clue make him a lousy spokesperson for ESA.  Some folks completely missed the Why-It-Matters boat.  Others didn’t.  Congratulations Dr. Taylor.  This is your titular moment in history.

3) Meanwhile, Alyssa Milano caught some flack for feeding her baby.  Heavy sigh.  Is our culture so entrenched in objectification and sexualization that we can no longer accept Homo sapiens for what we are?

Folks, we’re MAMMALS.

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Musical Moment

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8 Responses to Business As Usual in the Land of Objectification

  1. Sharp observations all around, Anne. I’m glad I saw this tonight.

  2. evilcyber says:

    “Well, it’s been an eventful week for women.”

    No, it’s been an eventful week for feminists. The vast majority of women in the world didn’t give a toss about that shirt nor Kim Kardashian.

    But then again you may be defining proper women as “people who share my opinion.”

    • anne says:

      Thanks for taking the time to read my post. I hopped over to your website and noted your coverage of the rice/arsenic situation – I’m turning to the Environmental Working Group and Consumer Reports for guidance on the issue. Hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving.

  3. Hieronymous Pseudonymous says:

    You know, we’re mammals. So: A picture of a dog.
    A picture of a gorilla. A picture of a (naked) human.
    Is any of those treated differently by the law under certain circumstances?

    Whether the reaction to Ms. Milano is part of a consistent
    stance on anyone’s part is of course another story entirely.

  4. Carla Hagen says:

    Love this. I especially like the interwoven references to medicine and informed consent. Evil Cyber needs to develop a sense of irony!

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