Objects in Mirror are Closer than They Appear
In her lecture, Tomi-Ann Roberts will frame the #MeToo Movement within the feminist scholarly frame of the psychology of sexual objectification. In a book Roberts co-authored in 1997, she argues that objectification is sexism and is harmful to women and girls by treating them as mere collections of body parts. In this lecture Roberts will speak about the ways this objectification theory has influenced work in academics and public policy over the past two decades.
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[00:00:04.500]Well, good afternoon, it is so heartening
[00:00:06.920]to see so many people here, what a wonderful turn out.
[00:00:09.340]Thank you, for being here on this beautiful day.
[00:00:12.060]As Katie said, I'm Shari Stenberg, I'm the Acting Director
[00:00:14.590]of Women's and Gender Studies.
[00:00:16.000]And on behalf of the WGS Faculty, I'm delighted
[00:00:19.650]to welcome you to our first Annual Women's
[00:00:22.610]and Gender Studies Lecture.
[00:00:23.920]And this event will replace our Colloquium Series.
[00:00:28.500]Our goal with this event is to choose a speaker like
[00:00:31.320]the wonderful Tomi-Ann Roberts.
[00:00:33.500]whose scholarship reaches across disciplinary lines.
[00:00:36.400]But also, addresses audiences both within
[00:00:38.900]and beyond the university.
[00:00:41.670]Before we introduce Dr. Roberts, I'd like
[00:00:43.740]to acknowledge many people who helped support this event.
[00:00:47.440]First of all, we are very grateful to our co-sponsors,
[00:00:50.010]the Convocations Committee, the Departments of Psychology,
[00:00:53.940]Sociology, and Educational Psychology,
[00:00:57.000]the College of Nursing, and the Nebraska Center
[00:00:59.390]for Children, Youth, Families and Schools.
[00:01:01.580]And we were, I think their sponsorship shows
[00:01:05.060]the great interest we had across campus.
[00:01:07.930]I also want to thank Katie Holland, who is my partner
[00:01:10.770]in organizing this, and alerted us to
[00:01:13.140]the wonderful work of Dr. Roberts,
[00:01:16.330]Rose Holz, Emily Kazyak, Jennifer Haley, and Juhee Kumar.
[00:01:21.950]So, thank you, again, for being here today.
[00:01:23.860]I'll turn this over to Dr. Katie Holland,
[00:01:26.370]who is a Faculty Member in Women's
[00:01:28.120]and Gender Studies, and Psychology.
[00:01:31.930]I'm thrilled to introduce Dr. Tomi-Ann Roberts.
[00:01:34.850]She's actually one of my personal academic idols.
[00:01:37.440]I was fan-girling very hard.
[00:01:40.150]Dr. Roberts received her BA from Smith College,
[00:01:42.680]and her PhD from Stanford University.
[00:01:45.420]She is now, and has been, a Professor of Psychology
[00:01:48.210]at Colorado College.
[00:01:49.990]Her groundbreaking work on sexual objectification theory
[00:01:52.830]has laid the groundwork for decades
[00:01:54.870]of important feminist research.
[00:01:56.750]The first paper that she co-authored
[00:01:58.970]on objectification theory was published
[00:02:01.480]in Psychology of Women Quarterly, and it is
[00:02:04.480]to this day the most widely cited article
[00:02:07.660]in that journal's 40-year history.
[00:02:10.270]Dr. Roberts served on the
[00:02:13.003]American Psychological Association's task force
[00:02:15.300]on the sexualization of girls.
[00:02:16.980]And she is the current President of
[00:02:18.960]the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.
[00:02:21.720]In addition to her scholarly contributions,
[00:02:24.710]her ability to translate research into social action
[00:02:27.560]and change is truly an inspiration to me.
[00:02:30.690]We are very lucky to have her here with us today.
[00:02:33.310]Everyone, please, join me in welcoming Dr. Roberts.
[00:02:44.140]It's interesting to be in a standing-room only audience,
[00:02:47.270]and hear yourself introduced, and be like, um, hello.
[00:02:51.544]Thank you, for that, I feel
[00:02:53.740]so honored to be here, and to have been asked to be
[00:02:59.540]once-a-year speaker for the Women's
[00:03:01.510]and Gender Studies program, and that,
[00:03:02.780]it just means to much to me.
[00:03:04.580]And this team has worked me hard, people.
[00:03:07.240]I've already, I'm already exhausted, so, we'll see,
[00:03:10.570]we'll see what we can do with this talk. (laughs)
[00:03:14.230]This is what I have planned for my talk.
[00:03:16.610]I'd like to start by discussing the culture
[00:03:19.570]of sexual objectification.
[00:03:21.670]And then I'd like to move into the construct
[00:03:24.520]that my colleague, Barb Fredrickson, and I derived,
[00:03:27.750]basically, from Simone de Beauvoir,
[00:03:29.530]we stole it from Simone de Beauvoir,
[00:03:31.100]and we recast it as a psychological theory
[00:03:36.300]I'd like to talk about
[00:03:38.500]empirically verified consequences of being objectified.
[00:03:44.020]Some empirically verified consequences, or costs
[00:03:47.560]of this self-objectification, or this internalization.
[00:03:52.060]I'd like to talk,
[00:03:54.224]and I'm hoping I can spend quite a bit of time on this,
[00:03:56.710]because sort of where I'm living nowadays,
[00:03:59.800]which is kind of bringing objectification theory out
[00:04:03.110]of the hallowed halls of academia,
[00:04:05.160]and into the world of policy, and of,
[00:04:09.250]hopefully, law and
[00:04:14.040]And then I just have a couple of suggestions
[00:04:15.750]for all of us individually, to get naked,
[00:04:17.850]get angry, and get ugly.
[00:04:21.060]Okay, the culture of sexual objectification.
[00:04:31.280]a philosopher and I really think
[00:04:33.460]sort of an American treasure,
[00:04:35.230]an American Philosopher at the University of Chicago.
[00:04:38.620]And she really wrote, I think, sort of
[00:04:41.530]the foundational piece some time ago on
[00:04:45.760]what it means to be objectified,
[00:04:48.770]what are the qualities of humans
[00:04:52.690]who are treated like objects.
[00:04:55.970]And she derived seven characteristics of what we can see
[00:05:01.130]when we see individual human beings being treated
[00:05:04.330]not as humans, but as objects.
[00:05:07.210]And so, the characteristics of objectification
[00:05:09.350]for Martha Nussbaum include instrumentality.
[00:05:12.310]You can imagine what that means.
[00:05:13.700]That means the idea of using another individual as a tool
[00:05:18.510]for your own,
[00:05:21.592]as a sort of means to an end, right, instrumentality.
[00:05:24.440]Denial of autonomy means that that tool
[00:05:27.330]doesn't get a chance to have a say in your use
[00:05:31.910]of him or her.
[00:05:33.170]Inertness means that, typically, when we see an individual
[00:05:37.650]being objectified, they appear to not,
[00:05:40.410]they appear sort of lifeless, right?
[00:05:43.070]There's a sense in which there's a vacancy there,
[00:05:45.780]that that individual doesn't, isn't animated,
[00:05:49.700]doesn't have an animated quality, right?
[00:05:53.500]Fungibility is one of my favorite characteristics,
[00:05:55.620]because I like saying the word.
[00:05:57.870]Fungibility, and I'm gonna just give you some examples
[00:06:00.220]of these ways of treating humans like objects.
[00:06:02.910]Fungibility means that an objectified individual
[00:06:06.930]can be traded out for other like individuals,
[00:06:09.920]and nobody would really notice the difference, right?
[00:06:12.410]One's as good as, and looks just like another.
[00:06:16.010]Violability means that an individual
[00:06:18.100]who's objectified's boundary integrity is not intact,
[00:06:22.090]and this is an individual who's boundaries
[00:06:24.060]can easily be crossed and violated.
[00:06:26.930]Ownership, of course, is the idea, you know, bride price
[00:06:29.910]is a good example of ownership.
[00:06:31.520]This is when we treat an individual like something that
[00:06:36.510]another person can pay to have access to,
[00:06:39.910]because we own them.
[00:06:41.580]And finally, denial of subjectivity.
[00:06:43.870]So in this case, an individual
[00:06:46.220]who's objectified's subjective experience
[00:06:49.350]of whatever's going on doesn't count, doesn't matter.
[00:06:53.200]Rae Langton is another philosopher
[00:06:55.790]who added three other qualities of sexual objectification,
[00:06:59.860]in particular, and her work has been really foundational
[00:07:03.260]to my thinking, particularly, in recent years.
[00:07:06.230]She argues that when sexually objectified,
[00:07:09.620]we see individuals reduced to their body
[00:07:12.220]or their body parts, as though their body parts
[00:07:14.420]can stand for them, they can stand in for them.
[00:07:18.020]So J.Lo's butt, or something, right?
[00:07:21.410]Dolly Parton's boobs.
[00:07:24.020]Focus on appearance is the idea that
[00:07:27.130]aside from all other qualities of this individual,
[00:07:29.650]their appearance is what matters the most.
[00:07:31.730]And then, finally, silencing.
[00:07:34.320]I think silencing has some relationships
[00:07:36.810]to both inertness, and denial of autonomy, and subjectivity,
[00:07:39.820]but it is its own quality, as we'll see.
[00:07:45.240]My colleague, Barb Fredrickson,
[00:07:46.910]who was my grad school office mate, and I
[00:07:50.360]have been doing a lot of reading of both
[00:07:54.070]the philosopher Simone de Beauvoir,
[00:07:56.050]as well as, Sandra Burke.
[00:07:58.110]I had come from Smith College, where my other true love,
[00:08:01.500]besides psychology, was art history,
[00:08:03.390]and I had red John Berger,
[00:08:05.840]who wrote a little volume called "Ways of Seeing".
[00:08:08.340]I had been interested in Laura Mulvey's idea
[00:08:11.240]of the male gaze, G-A-Z-E.
[00:08:14.720]I have to spell that out these days,
[00:08:17.150]because, yeah, yeah...
[00:08:18.360]I once had a student who (chuckles), who said,
[00:08:21.247]"I don't think male gays would like that image."
[00:08:27.007]"I don't think the Venus de Milo would appeal
[00:08:29.607]"to the male gays, who I know."
[00:08:33.570]And then I was like, "Oh, no, G-A-Z-E."
[00:08:38.270]And so, we wrote "Objectification Theory".
[00:08:40.840]I was talking in Rose's class yesterday about
[00:08:43.470]how hard it was to get this thing published.
[00:08:45.840]And it's just so funny now, to think about
[00:08:49.020]the history of something like this, and how crazy
[00:08:51.070]it was at the time, and how it seemed so radical.
[00:08:53.350]And now I look back and, and I'm,
[00:08:56.660]I'm amazed at what's happened to it.
[00:08:59.740]We argued that sexual objectification
[00:09:02.010]primarily targets girls and women.
[00:09:03.920]This was something that Karen Horney
[00:09:05.550]had noticed long, long ago.
[00:09:07.330]Karen Horney was one of Freud's greatest students,
[00:09:10.240]and one of Freud's greatest critics.
[00:09:12.670]And she said, "That sexual objectification
[00:09:15.447]"is sort of part and parcel of the culture
[00:09:17.587]"in which girls and women grow up,
[00:09:19.947]"and that this treatment occurs along a continuum.
[00:09:23.417]"It's characterized by the reduction of the female body
[00:09:26.367]"to its physical appearance, and the treatment of girls
[00:09:29.073]"and women as bodies, or body parts, separated out
[00:09:32.187]"from their personhood, and commodified."
[00:09:34.670]So you can see that we're sort of using almost all
[00:09:36.777]of Martha Nussbaum's ideas here, commodified tool use,
[00:09:40.160]instrumentality, reduction to body parts.
[00:09:43.080]Regarded, the body then becomes regarded as capable
[00:09:46.790]of representing them.
[00:09:49.160]I want to take a minute to tell you
[00:09:52.410]about what objectification theory is and is not.
[00:09:56.990]It is a feminist psychological scientific theory.
[00:10:02.272]By that, I mean that we offered this theory,
[00:10:05.620]we borrowed heavily from philosophy and art history.
[00:10:09.240]But we published the theory
[00:10:11.370]in an effort to put out to the field of psych science
[00:10:15.570]some testable predictions.
[00:10:17.830]So some ways of taking ideas that a lot of people
[00:10:20.550]had already been thinking about, and saying,
[00:10:22.970]because the standard of evidence in my field is empirical.
[00:10:27.050]And so we said, here are some ideas
[00:10:29.450]for how we might test the predictions of a theory,
[00:10:33.460]called objectification theory.
[00:10:36.070]As a feminist psychological scientific theory,
[00:10:39.833]we say right from the beginning, and there are
[00:10:42.020]some ironies here, and when I speak to audience
[00:10:44.560]that are non, audiences that are non-academic,
[00:10:46.910]this can be tricky.
[00:10:48.830]Both sexual objectification and
[00:10:51.940]self-objectification, which I want to get into,
[00:10:55.760]serve to create,
[00:10:58.330]to promote, to reinforce patriarchy.
[00:11:03.270]We're all doing this. (chuckles)
[00:11:05.380]We're all doing this, right?
[00:11:07.290]So when I speak to
[00:11:09.540]audiences of parents of children who dance,
[00:11:13.500]mostly girls who dance, and I'm doing a lot
[00:11:15.600]of research right now on the high rates
[00:11:17.930]of sexualization of young girls in the dance world,
[00:11:20.800]the parents are very defensive, and they say,
[00:11:23.257]"Only a pervert would look at my daughter that way."
[00:11:27.290]And I have to try to say,
[00:11:30.070]the ways that the costuming, and the music, and the dance
[00:11:34.440]that your daughters are participating in
[00:11:36.920]freely and willingly, and because it's a wonderful way
[00:11:40.720]to exercise and move your body, compels a sort of gaze
[00:11:44.930]on the part of those of us who are in the audience.
[00:11:48.600]That is not willful, it's not willful.
[00:11:51.330]That's just how social psychology works, right?
[00:11:54.490]Self-objectification is a consequence
[00:11:57.270]of your daughters dancing in this way.
[00:11:59.280]They will begin to see themselves
[00:12:02.190]as objects to be appreciated.
[00:12:05.030]And that will itself feed into the machine.
[00:12:09.933][Female in Audience] So, this is a (mumbles words), but--
[00:12:12.130]We've already got a question.
[00:12:13.280]I was a (mumbles words)--
[00:12:14.547][Female in Audience] Are you saying things like
[00:12:16.525]to parents with the children,
[00:12:17.629]children in like (mumbles words), things that...
[00:12:21.003]Like, when I was in it, I wore a crop top.
[00:12:22.930]I'm not saying that my outfits couldn't be perceived
[00:12:25.840]as sexual, but like, is that bad for parents,
[00:12:29.310]to put their children in dancing?
[00:12:31.130]No, of course, it's not bad
[00:12:33.700]for parents to put children in these kinds of activities.
[00:12:36.840]What I think is bad, is for us to...
[00:12:40.790]I think there's a hypocrisy, when we don't recognize
[00:12:44.860]that sexualized evaluation occurs along a continuum.
[00:12:49.330]And we shouldn't be surprised, right?
[00:12:52.530]When the kinds of dance videos on YouTube that my students
[00:12:56.400]and I are studying with an eye tracker, that get billions,
[00:13:00.590]I'm not even talking millions, billions of hits
[00:13:03.530]involving, you know, eight-year-old girls
[00:13:05.800]who are dancing to "Bitch Better Have My Money".
[00:13:08.470]We shouldn't be surprised if
[00:13:11.570]some pedophiles are watching those videos.
[00:13:13.610]And when the FBI comes and looks at their history
[00:13:16.150]on their computer, they'll be just like, "I'm watching
[00:13:17.847]"a YouTube video of this great dance studio."
[00:13:21.220]All I'm arguing here, is not so much
[00:13:23.500]that any individual needs to be blamed
[00:13:26.280]for the culture of sexual objectification,
[00:13:29.310]or for the fact that girls themselves
[00:13:31.710]have every reason to self-objectify.
[00:13:34.580]I want to talk about that.
[00:13:36.070]What I am saying, is that we need to quit thinking
[00:13:39.370]that there are bad players like Harvey Weinstein
[00:13:44.070]who act alone, and are monstrous, and neglect
[00:13:48.250]a whole cultural milieu
[00:13:50.670]that is setup to support monsters like that, right?
[00:13:54.550]And that convinces you
[00:13:56.700]that you're truest, only value
[00:13:59.910]is your sexualized appearance.
[00:14:01.550]And that you don't have other wonderful things to offer.
[00:14:05.833]So that's what we're talking about here.
[00:14:07.840]I should say it like, it would be a mouthful.
[00:14:10.070]It's a feminist social psychological scientific theory.
[00:14:15.260]One of the things that I want us to keep in mind,
[00:14:17.670]is that I'm sort of taking will off the table here.
[00:14:22.850]I'm taking will off the table.
[00:14:25.610]We're talking about social cognitive processes.
[00:14:29.700]So, we'll see, see if you can stick with me.
[00:14:35.490]Our goals in,
[00:14:37.350]in the work that we do, is to identify the causes
[00:14:40.540]of these often invisible processes.
[00:14:42.510]Right, so I'm saying it's invisible.
[00:14:45.373]Before you know it.
[00:14:48.180]And then to uncover the cognitive, emotional,
[00:14:50.250]behavioral, economic, and even political costs
[00:14:53.560]that are carried predominantly by those who identify,
[00:14:56.290]and are identified as
[00:14:59.360]female, girls and women, who's value comes almost entirely
[00:15:03.170]from their physical appearance.
[00:15:04.530]And then, as I've been, as I was saying,
[00:15:06.990]and as I want to get to at the end here, this,
[00:15:09.260]to do all this, is to be able to provide to practitioners,
[00:15:13.430]and policymakers, and activists, an evidence-base,
[00:15:17.470]to try to combat objectification in the lives of girls,
[00:15:20.377]and women, and female-identifying folks, right?
[00:15:23.250]I'm the kinda person who wants to bring the data.
[00:15:27.290]I wanna bring the data.
[00:15:32.930]Here are some examples of
[00:15:39.280]artifacts that illustrate Martha Nussbaum's and
[00:15:44.040]Rae Langton's characteristics of objectification.
[00:15:47.740]This one up here of, I guess,
[00:15:49.030]they're probably Victoria's Secret models,
[00:15:50.640]we see the kind of fungibility idea.
[00:15:52.880]Sort of swap one out for the other.
[00:15:55.090]And besides some sort of very minor variations in skin tone,
[00:15:58.770]you're like, I can't tell them apart, right, they're all,
[00:16:01.490]they're all one thing.
[00:16:03.520]Here we have a creepy example of ownership,
[00:16:06.650]denial of subjectivity, and then also this inertness thing.
[00:16:11.040]This individual here looks sort of like, I don't know,
[00:16:14.850]she's made of clay, or something, not human.
[00:16:18.790]Violability, ownership, denial of autonomy, silencing,
[00:16:22.270]inertness, and instrumentality,
[00:16:24.920]reduction to body parts.
[00:16:26.820]You see, you've seen all this stuff.
[00:16:30.110]When I served on the American Psychological Association
[00:16:32.590]Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls,
[00:16:36.203]the APA will frequently appoint a task force,
[00:16:39.580]to try to bring together some experts to address
[00:16:43.800]whether or not we maybe have a mental health concern.
[00:16:47.040]For example, there have been task forces on the effects
[00:16:50.040]of abortion on the mental health of women.
[00:16:53.920]There have been task forces on
[00:16:57.260]the effects of violent video games
[00:16:59.590]on children's aggression, et cetera, et cetera.
[00:17:02.320]This task force was named to examine
[00:17:05.700]the cultural and interpersonal contributions
[00:17:08.340]to the sexualization of girls, and I served on it.
[00:17:11.730]And we found that media and marketers present sexualized
[00:17:16.450]and sexually objectified adult women, of course.
[00:17:19.260]But then, also, younger and younger girls.
[00:17:21.910]And what's interesting, is that we also see
[00:17:24.210]a sexualization of girlhood.
[00:17:26.260]So this is a silly example, but,
[00:17:29.340]I think we have to recognize that there's kind of
[00:17:32.900]an age concatenation here.
[00:17:35.000]And so, we see very young girls often depicted
[00:17:38.520]in adult clothing, in adult poses, right?
[00:17:42.340]But then we also see adult women depicted
[00:17:45.470]in a youthful, girly, like pigeon-toed, bows and things.
[00:17:49.910]And so, this is a sexualization of girlhood,
[00:17:53.070]and the schoolgirl idea, and that sort of thing, right?
[00:17:59.200]This is blurry,
[00:18:00.720]but this is an interesting push-up bikini-top.
[00:18:05.400]I think it's marketed to about eight-year-olds,
[00:18:07.600]six, seven, eight-year-olds.
[00:18:13.810]On the task force, we argued that not only is there
[00:18:16.380]the cultural milieu of sexual objectification.
[00:18:19.350]So objectification occurs in three different,
[00:18:23.140]on three different levels.
[00:18:24.490]It occurs at the cultural level.
[00:18:26.540]It occurs at the interpersonal level.
[00:18:29.027]And it occurs at the intrapersonal level, right?
[00:18:31.810]We can objectify ourselves, which I'm gonna get to.
[00:18:35.270]Here's some examples of interpersonal treatment.
[00:18:39.380]From cat calls, to close calls.
[00:18:42.720]I want to take a little bit
[00:18:44.130]of a pause here, to tell you that
[00:18:49.220]two years ago I was,
[00:18:52.220]I came up from my classroom
[00:18:54.720]where I was teaching to my office,
[00:18:56.930]and I was sitting down to start grading papers.
[00:19:01.640]And I looked at some New York Times headlines,
[00:19:03.700]and I saw a New York Times piece had just come out,
[00:19:06.160]written by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey.
[00:19:09.150]And in this piece
[00:19:11.320]a detailed story of Harvey Weinstein harassing Ashley Judd
[00:19:16.720]was depicted in this story.
[00:19:19.260]And I (gasps), I read the story, and I couldn't believe it
[00:19:24.380]because this story sounded exactly like what happened to me.
[00:19:28.280]In 1984, when I was a Smith College student,
[00:19:32.090]and I was spending the summer in New York, and I was
[00:19:36.330]very active in the theater, and I was doing auditions,
[00:19:40.830]and, yeah, so!
[00:19:42.980]He had an MO, but I didn't know it at the time.
[00:19:45.580]And the MO is to be in the bathtub or the shower.
[00:19:49.340]And when I was harassed by Harvey Weinstein,
[00:19:51.870]I thought I was going to a party for people
[00:19:54.500]who were involved in this movie
[00:19:55.890]that he and Bob were making.
[00:19:58.150]This was in 1984, before there was
[00:20:00.250]a Weinstein Brothers company.
[00:20:01.770]The company was called Miramax, they were brand new.
[00:20:04.680]And I showed up, and it turns out it was his apartment.
[00:20:07.750]And he called me down the hall, and he was in his bathtub.
[00:20:11.300]And he said to me, that there was not gonna be anyway
[00:20:15.300]I was gonna be able to be cast in this movie,
[00:20:17.420]if I wasn't comfortable with his nakedness,
[00:20:20.360]and then with my own.
[00:20:21.720]And would I please take my top off, to show him
[00:20:24.930]that it was gonna be okay for him to cast me in this movie,
[00:20:28.810]because there were gonna be topless scenes in the movie.
[00:20:31.500]And some little feminist Jiminy Cricket on my shoulder,
[00:20:34.900]at the age of 20 years old said, "Get out now."
[00:20:40.140]And I'm smiling, and I'm laughing.
[00:20:41.550]And partly that's one of my defense mechanisms.
[00:20:44.200]But I do want to tell you all
[00:20:45.850]that I was not traumatized, I was not.
[00:20:49.230]I did get out of there, but, I don't think I'm a hero,
[00:20:51.490]for having gotten out of there.
[00:20:52.520]I think there are a lot of women who don't have
[00:20:54.300]the chance to get out of there, right?
[00:21:00.360]I threw my acting aspirations in the wastebasket,
[00:21:03.950]and I went back to Smith, and I got my degree in psychology.
[00:21:07.710]This is a true story, I didn't declare my psych major
[00:21:09.960]'til my senior year, when I got back.
[00:21:12.360]But, anyway, I have dedicated
[00:21:15.360]my life, really, to studying these phenomena.
[00:21:19.360]I don't know why I hadn't really put
[00:21:21.730]these two things together until I read
[00:21:23.560]that New York Times piece.
[00:21:25.080]I know it's strange to say that, but, I hadn't.
[00:21:28.340]As you might imagine with a person like me in academia,
[00:21:31.860]there aren't a lot of opportunities to tell people
[00:21:34.160]in your life that you like experienced the casting couch.
[00:21:37.770]Once in awhile, at an Oscars Party,
[00:21:39.780]I might have said something like this.
[00:21:42.320]So at that moment, I was just, I was so flooded,
[00:21:46.110]and I decided to write an email very quickly
[00:21:48.590]to Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey at the New York Times,
[00:21:52.140]and say, "You're gonna think this is crazy.
[00:21:54.417]"I'm not an actress, I don't live in Hollywood.
[00:21:57.047]"I'm a college professor of psychology.
[00:21:59.457]"But this thing happened to me in 1984, and it sounded
[00:22:02.187]"so uncannily like Ashley Judd's experience."
[00:22:05.540]And they wrote me right back.
[00:22:07.650]And thus commenced a flood of things.
[00:22:12.370]I am sharing this with you now,
[00:22:14.330]because I really feel as though a good feminist theory
[00:22:18.720]ought to recognize
[00:22:21.200]that the personal is political.
[00:22:24.070]And that my,
[00:22:26.790]my own experience was one that I wanted to share,
[00:22:30.530]not because I wanted, not because I felt ashamed,
[00:22:33.650]and not because I felt traumatized.
[00:22:35.680]But, because I wanted to add a scholarly voice
[00:22:39.400]to the Me Too Movement.
[00:22:40.880]And I wanted to say, not only do I study this stuff,
[00:22:44.670]but I know what it's like
[00:22:46.430]to be treated like a piece of meat.
[00:22:48.380]And feel like you are making a choice that was,
[00:22:51.840]I thought that what I was,
[00:22:54.160]was a dumb, dopey,
[00:22:59.350]sexually repressed person.
[00:23:01.340]That's what I thought at 20 years old.
[00:23:04.130]I was ashamed leaving.
[00:23:08.240]What, right? (laughs)
[00:23:09.680]I literally thought, like, somebody cooler than me
[00:23:11.930]would have gone along with this.
[00:23:13.500]And I would get the part, right?
[00:23:15.780]But, like, I'm not cool enough.
[00:23:18.250]That's what I thought!
[00:23:19.470]That is really what I thought.
[00:23:20.960]Okay, so, with that aside, I want to play
[00:23:24.600]part of an interview that
[00:23:28.507]I did for Slate.
[00:23:30.962][Tami-Ann Taped Interview] I can't probably say
[00:23:32.410]that there's a direct line between that,
[00:23:35.210]that experience with Harvey Weinstein and my,
[00:23:38.560]my research on the sexual objectification,
[00:23:42.000]and sexualization of girls and women.
[00:23:45.030]But, there certainly is a dotted line. (chuckles)
[00:23:48.420]These were the kinds of experiences that accumulated for me.
[00:23:51.990]You know, that wasn't the only time
[00:23:54.130]a man presented himself to me in a,
[00:23:57.590]in an aggressive way, seeking something from me.
[00:24:01.030]It wasn't the only time my physical appearance
[00:24:03.910]was commented upon in a context when I would
[00:24:06.550]have rather been recognized for my competence.
[00:24:11.878]That began to interest me.
[00:24:13.480]I began to study what the consequences are
[00:24:17.470]to girls to women, of living in a culture
[00:24:20.650]that routinely treats us as though our sexualized bodies
[00:24:24.650]are the most valuable thing we have to offer.
[00:24:29.890]I can't probably say--
That there's a direct.
[00:24:36.840]Obviously, sexual objectification occurs
[00:24:38.810]along a continuum.
[00:24:40.230]There are cat calls on the street.
[00:24:42.290]There are close calls, like my one with Harvey Weinstein.
[00:24:45.200]And there's actual harassment and assault
[00:24:47.590]on the other end of this continuum.
[00:24:49.430]But it is a continuum.
[00:24:51.800]The more things change, the more they seem to stay the same.
[00:24:56.570]I wrote an email to Christine Blasey Ford,
[00:24:58.620]as you might imagine.
[00:25:00.140]Because when this happened, I was like, oh, girl, boy!
[00:25:03.630]But, she, as you also know, is in hiding,
[00:25:07.300]like it's impossible to get through to her.
[00:25:09.260]Can you believe that?
[00:25:14.210]How does this culture of sexual objectification
[00:25:18.730]in media, in products, as well as interpersonal treatment,
[00:25:23.030]get translated to self-objectification?
[00:25:27.300]When we published our paper,
[00:25:28.850]this was our original model here.
[00:25:31.140]We argued that this climate of sexual objectification,
[00:25:34.620]both cultural and interpersonal treatment,
[00:25:38.100]leads to the first consequence that we hypothesized.
[00:25:41.490]And this first consequence is internalized objectification,
[00:25:47.440]Becoming in your own eyes, viewing yourself,
[00:25:50.900]surveilling yourself as a sexual and subordinate object.
[00:25:55.100]And then we argued that from this self-objectification
[00:25:58.240]can come a number of consequences.
[00:26:00.970]More body shame, and anxiety.
[00:26:04.660]Deficits in attending to the body's actual
[00:26:12.190]Little did we know, that many, many, many
[00:26:14.230]other psychological consequences would be documented
[00:26:16.710]in the 20 years since.
[00:26:18.800]And then we said that these would accumulate,
[00:26:21.080]to predict some mental health risks that disproportionately,
[00:26:24.290]they have gender differences, right?
[00:26:27.120]We are arguing that self-objectification
[00:26:29.320]is a preoccupation with appearance.
[00:26:31.600]And we wanted, just like Karen Horney did,
[00:26:33.930]to thumb our nose at Freud, and say, "Okay, Freud.
[00:26:37.167]"You call the fact that women look in mirrors a lot vanity.
[00:26:40.597]"You think they're very vain."
[00:26:42.370]We think they're looking in mirrors a lot, because,
[00:26:46.550]the way they appear plays a significant role
[00:26:50.230]in the outcomes of their lives.
[00:26:52.390]So that looking in mirrors, becoming preoccupied
[00:26:55.380]with one's appearance, is actually
[00:26:57.170]more appropriately viewed, we said, as a strategic
[00:27:00.470]set of behaviors.
[00:27:03.670]It's not that they don't carry costs, right?
[00:27:05.930]But the strategic set of behaviors is a way of predicting
[00:27:09.740]how you're gonna be treated in the world.
[00:27:11.640]Yes, you spend a lot of time getting ready
[00:27:13.620]before you go out and make your appearance.
[00:27:15.430]Because, guess what?
[00:27:16.850]Your appearance is gonna matter in how you're treated.
[00:27:20.180]We said that this strategic preoccupation
[00:27:25.000]has, it's not trivial, it fragments your consciousness.
[00:27:28.410]When you're thinking about how your hair looks,
[00:27:31.480]when you're thinking about your hemline, or your neckline,
[00:27:35.440]you have relatively fewer cognitive resources
[00:27:38.007]to attend to other things.
[00:27:41.125]Simone de Beauvoir said, "A woman is always
[00:27:45.037]"accompanied by her own image of herself."
[00:27:49.330]We further argued, and this will make more sense
[00:27:52.320]to the psych people in here than anyone else,
[00:27:54.000]that self-objectification can occur as a trait, or a state.
[00:27:58.070]In other words, some of us will become so preoccupied
[00:28:02.490]with our physical appearance, that it will be
[00:28:04.670]the dominant view we take on ourselves.
[00:28:06.870]And at a trait level, we'll be sort of carrying around
[00:28:10.580]a high degree of self-objectification.
[00:28:13.480]We also argued, and it's cutoff here,
[00:28:15.920]that certain experiences, and certain contexts
[00:28:19.900]will put us in mind of a state of self-objectification.
[00:28:24.400]So if we're out jogging, and we're doing it,
[00:28:26.422]in the middle of a running, we're running,
[00:28:27.810]we're in the flow, we've got our headphones on.
[00:28:29.720]And then, like somebody screeches their truck,
[00:28:32.550]and rolls down the window and goes like, "Whew, whew!"
[00:28:35.050]That might suddenly sort of take us out of
[00:28:38.790]the absorption we had in our flow experience,
[00:28:41.630]and we would be maybe experiencing a state
[00:28:44.010]of self-objectification, okay?
[00:28:51.040]Sarah, who's here in the audience.
[00:28:54.120]Sarah Gervais, and Rachel Calogero, and I recently wrote
[00:28:57.290]a summary piece, where we were sort of looking at 20 years
[00:29:00.470]of research on objectification theory.
[00:29:04.400]We realized, that when you think about it, there are kinda,
[00:29:08.070]self-objectification can occur
[00:29:10.760]via a very direct, sort of reactive pathway.
[00:29:14.580]And it can occur by a kind of cultivated pathway.
[00:29:17.750]In other words,
[00:29:19.420]sometimes, we directly experience
[00:29:22.060]sexually objectifying interpersonal treatment,
[00:29:24.530]and that can result in self-objectification.
[00:29:27.760]Other times, we're embedded in objectifying environments,
[00:29:31.310]and mere exposure to sexually objectifying material,
[00:29:35.370]will sort of cultivate in us a self-objectification
[00:29:40.010]So here are some direct, reactive pathways.
[00:29:43.300]Sarah and her colleagues have shown
[00:29:45.160]that direct experiences with objectifying treatment,
[00:29:48.780]being ogled, being given the one-up-and-down,
[00:29:52.070]can lead to self-objectification.
[00:29:55.070]We know that extremely egregious forms of objectification,
[00:29:58.920]such as sexual assault, also lead to
[00:30:02.470]individuals becoming very preoccupied
[00:30:05.040]with their physical appearance, and the ways
[00:30:07.100]their body is moving in the world.
[00:30:10.330]What's crazy, of course, about this kind
[00:30:12.440]of interpersonal treatment,
[00:30:13.480]is that it's often very ambiguous.
[00:30:15.720]And a study came out recently that I love the title of,
[00:30:18.027]"Don't Bother Your Pretty Little Head," in which
[00:30:21.160]participants were subjected to objectifying gazes,
[00:30:25.420]and appearance commentary.
[00:30:27.030]And what we're finding in this research,
[00:30:28.880]is that even appearance compliments, compliments,
[00:30:33.850]are associated with improved mood.
[00:30:36.690]In the immediate
[00:30:40.160]You feel good, right?
[00:30:42.200]But, also increased self-objectification, overall.
[00:30:45.770]And, oftentimes, disrupted performance.
[00:30:48.265]This is where my work started as a grad student, actually.
[00:30:51.360]I was doing studies where people
[00:30:53.180]had to give persuasive speeches,
[00:30:55.220]about topics that matter to them.
[00:30:57.100]And they were given positive content feedback,
[00:31:00.020]or negative content feedback, or irrelevant feedback
[00:31:03.650]about the content that was about their appearance.
[00:31:06.040]And even if that feedback was positive,
[00:31:08.440]I found that it disrupted and derailed the performance
[00:31:12.680]of women more than men, in those persuasive speech contexts.
[00:31:17.170]That was my dissertation.
[00:31:19.620]The indirect, proactive pathways are interesting.
[00:31:26.480]Szymanski and her colleagues have done
[00:31:28.050]some really interesting work on what they call
[00:31:30.220]sexually objectifying environments.
[00:31:32.370]I had to write some notes down about this.
[00:31:34.680]These are environments defined as promoting
[00:31:36.770]and reinforcing sexual objectification, by putting
[00:31:40.580]the female body on display.
[00:31:44.010]Or openly, or tacitly encouraging others
[00:31:48.400]to consume the female body.
[00:31:51.520]These are contexts where you have a right
[00:31:54.700]to consume the female body.
[00:31:56.860]In fact, you're encouraged to.
[00:31:59.310]Such environments abound.
[00:32:03.660]Exotic dancing, strip clubs.
[00:32:06.630]But also, chain restaurants, like family chain restaurants,
[00:32:11.700]where women's sexualized bodies, or body parts
[00:32:15.620]are sort of on the menu.
[00:32:17.230]So these are Hooters.
[00:32:19.990]Have you, there's a new one, yeah, here,
[00:32:22.330]this one's called The Tilted Kilt.
[00:32:26.640]It's Scottish, I guess, I mean, I don't know.
[00:32:29.690]There is one in Denver called Twin Peaks.
[00:32:35.800]Ironically, such environments compel the women
[00:32:38.830]who work within them to consume goods, push-up bras,
[00:32:46.140]The women who are working there have to consume goods
[00:32:49.000]that transform themselves into consumable goods.
[00:32:57.680]Now the dining experience not only includes your food.
[00:33:01.730]But, the socially sanctioned right to consume
[00:33:04.780]the staff's sexualized bodies.
[00:33:07.460]One study of young women wait staff at Hooters revealed
[00:33:10.440]that the work environment led them to take
[00:33:12.290]the highly regulated beauty standards
[00:33:14.300]of the restaurant outside into their daily lives,
[00:33:17.640]modifying their beauty routines.
[00:33:19.470]In other words, they self-objectified.
[00:33:22.500]Fixing their clothes, monitoring their weight.
[00:33:24.650]And another study of more
[00:33:25.940]than 250 female breastaraunt employees,
[00:33:29.220]that's what we call them now, breastaraunts,
[00:33:32.390]who worked in highly sexually objectifying
[00:33:34.220]breastaurant environments, experienced higher levels
[00:33:37.230]of body evaluation, unwanted sexual advances from others.
[00:33:41.380]Which in turn predicted their own self-objectification.
[00:33:44.690]And, in fact, decreased job satisfaction.
[00:33:48.860]These products, there have been some wonderful doll studies
[00:33:52.450]that have been done with very young girls.
[00:33:54.780]When presented with sexualized dolls,
[00:33:56.950]or non-sexualized paper dolls, so Bratz dolls,
[00:33:59.970]or I think right now there's something called Monster.
[00:34:05.060]Monster High dolls versus paper dolls,
[00:34:08.560]there were six to nine-year-old girls in this study.
[00:34:11.330]The ones who were presented with the sexualized dolls,
[00:34:13.920]said that they wished they looked like the sexy doll,
[00:34:16.660]thought that the sexy doll would be more popular at school.
[00:34:19.800]The sexy doll would have more friends,
[00:34:21.970]and more people would want to sit next to
[00:34:23.730]the sexy doll at the lunch table.
[00:34:26.380]Another doll study of even younger girls showed that...
[00:34:31.470]In this second study was an experimental design,
[00:34:34.070]and half the girls played with a Barbie doll.
[00:34:36.270]The other half of the girls,
[00:34:37.380]and they were six-year-old girls,
[00:34:38.500]played with Mrs. Potato Head.
[00:34:40.970]And after Barbie play, these girls career choices
[00:34:45.070]were severely restricted.
[00:34:46.670]So the girls who played with Barbies,
[00:34:48.210]said they could be a model, or a movie star.
[00:34:50.840]And the girls who played with Mrs. Potato Head,
[00:34:53.080]said they had all kinds of different,
[00:34:54.337]and they could be an astronaut, or they could be whatever.
[00:34:57.580]So by the way, Barbie has responded, and been like,
[00:35:00.400]there's like Doctor Barbie now and
[00:35:05.970]I don't know what Math Barbie looks like, but...
[00:35:07.267][Female in Audience] I was gonna say, I know
[00:35:08.650]that STEM Barbie, one of things--
[00:35:10.320]There's STEM Barbie?
But, what she can make,
[00:35:12.350]is a rotating jewelry case, a closet.
[00:35:14.990]There's also a washing machine.
[00:35:17.363][Female in Audience] A student of mine was like,
[00:35:18.771](mumbles words) STEM Barbie, and her lab coat
[00:35:21.340]only comes up to about mid-thigh.
[00:35:24.190]Short lab coat.
She doesn't have gloves.
[00:35:27.919]And she doesn't have--
[00:35:32.920]How are you gonna do the work without gloves?
[00:35:34.277][Female in Audience] Yup.
[00:35:36.480]Studies of media consumption that clearly show,
[00:35:39.560]my colleagues, Monique Ward and Marika Tiggemann,
[00:35:42.460]these studies clearly show
[00:35:43.770]the more sexualized media consumption,
[00:35:46.000]the more self-objectification.
[00:35:48.080]Even at very young ages.
[00:35:50.887]"Self-objectification," said Rae Langton,
[00:35:53.797]"is both a matter of seeing, and a matter of doing."
[00:35:56.990]So we begin to see ourselves
[00:36:00.640]as someone who feels as though it better to look good,
[00:36:04.130]than to feel good.
[00:36:06.100]This is the centrality of appearance in my self-image.
[00:36:11.030]The awareness, and the acceptance
[00:36:12.760]of these idealized standards or sexy or thin appearance
[00:36:16.380]then become sort of central to the project
[00:36:19.650]that I'm now gonna undertake, which is the matter of doing.
[00:36:22.910]So now I'm gonna have to do a body project,
[00:36:25.890]to keep the centrality of appearance front and center,
[00:36:30.220]and to keep up with the ever changing standards that I see.
[00:36:34.340]So I'm going to be engaged in habitual body monitoring.
[00:36:38.060]I'm gonna participate in all of these kinds of activities.
[00:36:42.760]I want to talk to you about uptalk studies
[00:36:45.310]that I've been doing.
[00:36:51.210]One way to make someone an object,
[00:36:53.180]is to make her make herself an object.
[00:36:57.620]I love that line.
[00:36:59.210]I saw this...
[00:37:01.390]This is kooky, that it sort of rearranged things.
[00:37:04.530]But, I saw...
[00:37:05.850]Are any of you familiar with the Guerrilla Girls?
[00:37:08.090]Oh, man, they're amazing!
[00:37:09.510]And I saw, I went to the Whitney Museum
[00:37:12.640]two years ago, and there was a wonderful exhibit there
[00:37:16.010]on the history of protesting.
[00:37:18.220]And there was a whole section on the Guerrilla Girls.
[00:37:20.670]And this was a poster that was out in the early 80s.
[00:37:23.720]And I don't know if you can see this.
[00:37:25.730]I took out who they were blaming, just because, yeah.
[00:37:30.930]It, right, at the time it mattered, but...
[00:37:34.480]And it's folks do believe in a woman's right
[00:37:36.770]to control her own body.
[00:37:38.090]She can have nose jobs, face lifts,
[00:37:40.080]liposuction, breast implants,
[00:37:42.800]foot binding, cliterjectomy they called it then.
[00:37:51.900]Empirically verified consequences of being objectified.
[00:37:57.300]Here are some examples of what I'm thinking of
[00:38:01.140]as illustrations of some of Martha Nussbaum's
[00:38:06.140]philosophical propositions around objectification,
[00:38:09.350]that have now been empirically verified in psych science.
[00:38:13.320]So Sarah Gervais and her colleagues have shown
[00:38:15.550]that women's bodies, compared to men's, are perceived in
[00:38:20.930]piecemeal ways, in ways, so we're looking at
[00:38:24.250]the upper-left column here, upper-left corner.
[00:38:28.670]Reducing the body to the sexualized body parts.
[00:38:32.220]What's interesting about person perception,
[00:38:34.920]is if you study cognitive psychology,
[00:38:37.580]research shows that when we're perceiving people,
[00:38:40.490]we tend to use a kind of holistic processing.
[00:38:43.800]So we do a top-down rather than
[00:38:45.350]a bottom-up kind of processing.
[00:38:47.090]When we perceive objects, we do a sum of its parts
[00:38:50.420]sort of processing.
[00:38:51.770]And what these researchers have discovered,
[00:38:54.600]is that you can do little studies where you show
[00:38:57.190]that people's perceptions of women's bodies
[00:39:00.670]look more like the way we perceive objects.
[00:39:06.700]Men's bodies tend to be perceived
[00:39:08.330]more holistically and top-down, and women's tend
[00:39:11.130]to be perceived more piecemeal.
[00:39:13.260]And here you see, in the upper-left hand corner,
[00:39:15.340]what's known as the inversion effect.
[00:39:17.420]Which screws people up, when viewing men's bodies.
[00:39:20.480]But doesn't screw them up when viewing women's bodies.
[00:39:24.130]So do you see what's being illustrated here?
[00:39:26.220]Isn't that fascinating?
[00:39:28.030]If you show upside-down male bodies,
[00:39:30.500]people are like...
[00:39:34.270]I don't know what I'm seeing.
[00:39:36.840]But if you show upside-down female bodies,
[00:39:39.120]oh, well, yeah, same thing.
[00:39:40.220]Got the boobs, got the butt, yup.
[00:39:46.043]So the inversion effect, fascinating.
[00:39:51.500]In this case, what we have is a study where
[00:39:55.060]participants were brought into a room, and they had to
[00:39:59.980]give a little talk.
[00:40:01.240]And they are either being shown giving their talk
[00:40:04.740]to someone in the next room, with a video camera
[00:40:07.290]focused on their face.
[00:40:09.430]With a video camera focused from the neck down,
[00:40:11.690]on their body.
[00:40:13.520]Or in an audio condition only.
[00:40:16.210]And what this study showed, was
[00:40:18.300]what I think of as the silencing effect, of Rae Langton.
[00:40:22.760]Because what you found, was that in the body only condition,
[00:40:26.200]female participants, but not male participants,
[00:40:28.950]just simply spoke less.
[00:40:31.120]They did not speak as much, it quieted them.
[00:40:37.010]Over here, these are chilling studies done,
[00:40:40.610]showing that our perceptions of sexualized girls,
[00:40:44.740]result in the same sorts of dehumanizing ideologies
[00:40:48.660]as our perceptions of sexualized adult women.
[00:40:51.400]And in this case, in Australia, a team
[00:40:54.870]took photos from a children's clothing catalog.
[00:40:58.300]And they had adults view the child in the clothing catalog,
[00:41:02.850]either in this bikini swimsuit, or in those plain clothes.
[00:41:06.380]And then they were told to imagine this child
[00:41:09.140]was a victim of a bullying situation.
[00:41:11.980]And the adults who viewed the girl in the bikini swimsuit,
[00:41:16.030]were more likely to perceive that the girl child herself
[00:41:19.060]had some responsibility for her victimization.
[00:41:22.760]That they were less likely, or less interested in helping
[00:41:27.340]this girl child, who had been depicted in this way.
[00:41:30.070]So again, very subtle social cognitive effects here.
[00:41:34.410]Very subtle, but chilling.
[00:41:42.290]My colleague, Jamie Goldenberg, is doing some new research,
[00:41:45.090]where she's arguing that on some level we could say
[00:41:48.150]that objectification can dehumanize in two distinct ways.
[00:41:53.680]And I want to give you an illustration
[00:41:55.210]from their most recent publication.
[00:41:58.350]So what they did in this study, was they,
[00:42:00.160]I don't have the third video.
[00:42:01.420]There were three conditions.
[00:42:02.810]You either saw Beyonce here.
[00:42:05.960]I'm gonna show you this one.
[00:42:06.950]Or you saw Beyonce here.
[00:42:09.020]Or you saw Beyonce in pictures with Jay-Z and the kids,
[00:42:12.330]and like at home.
[00:42:14.290]So here is the first.
[00:42:49.690]This is the other condition.
[00:42:57.930]She makes this really quick adjustment, it's amazing.
[00:43:18.911]Women of color so often are objectified
[00:43:21.830]in this animalistic way, right?
[00:43:25.000]So the overlaying of the like cheetah print.
[00:43:29.071]♪ Ohhh. ♪
[00:43:30.750](types on keyboard)
[00:43:32.869]What they found was fascinating.
[00:43:35.290]In the first case, what you see is a body
[00:43:38.670]that's valued for attractiveness.
[00:43:41.250]And what I'm starting to think about,
[00:43:42.513]is that this is a way of dehumanizing
[00:43:46.580]that many researchers have studied,
[00:43:49.140]that I would call sort of mechanistic dehumanization.
[00:43:52.180]In some ways, what you see in that first Beyonce video,
[00:43:55.670]is the inertness, the fungibility quality, right?
[00:44:00.960]It's hard to walk in that dress at the Oscars.
[00:44:06.130]There's a kind of...
[00:44:07.400]What you found in their studies, was that when Beyonce
[00:44:10.900]is depicted this way, presumptions are made
[00:44:13.770]that this is an individual who's relatively cold,
[00:44:16.670]lacking in agency.
[00:44:18.090]So the dehumanized qualities that we associate
[00:44:20.840]with mechanistic objectification
[00:44:24.200]is this sort of agency problem.
[00:44:27.040]Yup, incompetence problem.
[00:44:29.520]Over here on the sexualized condition, what they found
[00:44:33.100]is this is about a sort of tool,
[00:44:35.440]this is the sort of instrumentality,
[00:44:37.190]this is the consumable good, right?
[00:44:39.500]Here's a commodity, decorative, valuable.
[00:44:43.020]This is a consumable good.
[00:44:46.070]Nussbaum's, I think, conditions here
[00:44:48.400]would be instrumentality and violability.
[00:44:50.420]This is linked to animal dehumanization.
[00:44:52.700]And when we dehumanize animalistically,
[00:44:55.490]we tend to think of these individuals
[00:44:57.620]as undeserving of moral concern.
[00:45:00.580]Unrefined, right, they're lacking in the very special things
[00:45:04.560]that make a human different than an animal, right?
[00:45:08.230]In this case, what you have is someone lacking in
[00:45:11.440]the special things that make a human different
[00:45:13.730]from a machine.
[00:45:15.860]Right, or a mannequin.
[00:45:22.170]What about the empirically verified costs
[00:45:28.980]These are a couple of studies, I'm just picking a couple,
[00:45:31.530]because there have been so many,
[00:45:32.920]there is too many to count. (chuckles)
[00:45:34.670]And these are cases of studies where
[00:45:37.840]we experimentally manipulate a state
[00:45:42.100]Remember, I said it can occur as a trait or a state.
[00:45:45.080]These were some of the first studies we did in the late 90s,
[00:45:48.940]where we manipulated a state of self-objectification,
[00:45:52.280]by having university students, like yourselves,
[00:45:55.290]participate in a consumer decision making study.
[00:45:58.350]That was the cover story.
[00:45:59.660]We social psychologists often deliver a cover story.
[00:46:02.810]But we're doing something slightly different, right?
[00:46:05.260]And in this study, we had you come in,
[00:46:07.600]and one by one, you did things
[00:46:09.320]that you would typically do in a shopping trip.
[00:46:11.490]So you smelled some different fragrances,
[00:46:14.300]and then we asked you to please go into this dressing room.
[00:46:17.300]And you were randomly assigned,
[00:46:18.920]whether you were male or female, to put on some headphones,
[00:46:22.100]and then you were randomly assigned to select
[00:46:24.490]your appropriate size of swimsuit, or sweater.
[00:46:29.750]So you're trying on, alone in the dressing room,
[00:46:31.730]either a swimming suit or a sweater.
[00:46:34.340]And then, while you're getting used to garment,
[00:46:37.570]we have you do some, some math problems,
[00:46:41.490]for the math department.
[00:46:44.030]And then we're gonna just, now, that'll be a,
[00:46:47.050]you know, kill 10 minutes.
[00:46:48.560]And then we're gonna ask you how you feel,
[00:46:50.140]like if you'd like to purchase this garment, or not.
[00:46:52.620]And then after that, we have you leave the,
[00:46:54.457]you know, you put on your regular clothes, you come out,
[00:46:57.200]and you do a taste test, okay.
[00:46:59.050]But our most significant finding here,
[00:47:00.840]is the sort of brain drain that I believe...
[00:47:04.260]We were maybe the first study, now there have been many,
[00:47:06.730]where we're showing that self-objectification is the kind
[00:47:10.500]of preoccupation that takes up cognitive resources.
[00:47:14.870]The women in the study who were in the swimsuit,
[00:47:19.370]performed significantly more poorly on the math test,
[00:47:22.840]controlling for their SAT, and ACT math competence.
[00:47:26.970]So we adjusted for their actual math capabilities, right?
[00:47:31.110]Whereas, sitting and doing math problems in a swimsuit,
[00:47:34.100]if you're male, it turns out there's no difference here.
[00:47:36.500]Many people are like, "Wow, dudes did better in a swimsuit!"
[00:47:41.450]They didn't do significantly better, statistically.
[00:47:45.130]But, interestingly, what we did find qualitatively,
[00:47:48.810]was that many of the young women in the dressing room
[00:47:51.640]who were in the swimsuit condition, there was like,
[00:47:56.140]they reported feeling disgusted, ashamed.
[00:47:59.970]We had audible laughter coming from the dressing rooms,
[00:48:02.920]when males were in the dressing room.
[00:48:04.660]So they definitely felt self-conscious in a swimsuit,
[00:48:07.830]if they were male, but not shamed.
[00:48:11.430]A much more lighthearted self-consciousness.
[00:48:13.710]So whatever that self-consciousness was,
[00:48:15.910]it did not disrupt their cognitive performance
[00:48:19.330]in the same way as it did.
[00:48:20.990]This was also adjusting for BMI, body mass index,
[00:48:24.680]adjusting for everything.
[00:48:30.220]This has been some work I've been doing lately
[00:48:31.920]with my students.
[00:48:33.340]We got some more studies coming out soon.
[00:48:35.480]Have you guys heard of power posing?
[00:48:38.599]Yes, you've heard of power posing.
[00:48:41.120]Well, when I first heard of power posing,
[00:48:42.800]I was like, "Wait a minute.
[00:48:44.667]"Hold on a second."
[00:48:45.978](people mumbling and laughing)
[00:48:48.380]I power posed,
[00:48:51.020]that feels as though it's different
[00:48:53.120]than if a man power poses.
[00:48:57.743]I think there's racialized things to think about
[00:49:01.270]with power posing, as well as gender.
[00:49:05.423]So what is power posing?
[00:49:06.460]Power posing goes like this.
[00:49:08.210]Apparently, if you stand like this
[00:49:11.350]in front of the mirror, before you go in for
[00:49:13.450]the big job interview, you're gonna nail the job interview!
[00:49:17.008]Because, as Darwin himself predicted...
[00:49:21.440]Darwin actually said that our facial positions,
[00:49:26.120]and our spine can impact our felt mood state.
[00:49:30.180]And that has been confirmed, time and time again, yes.
[00:49:33.740]Right, I can put you in a study,
[00:49:35.000]and I can make you hold your pen this way, or this way.
[00:49:38.120]If you hold your hand this way,
[00:49:39.590]you think things are funnier, right?
[00:49:41.970]And so, the power posing literature came out,
[00:49:44.300]and it was like, all we have to do
[00:49:45.430]is go around power posing.
[00:49:46.690]And I remember thinking, yeah, and I had a young,
[00:49:50.240]my younger daughter was probably in ninth grade at the time,
[00:49:54.250]and she was doing the like stooped thing.
[00:49:56.830]And I would say, "Mia, Mia, you have to stand up straight."
[00:49:59.130]And she'd be like, "That looks like
[00:50:00.227]"I'm sticking my boobs out."
[00:50:02.730]So that's when I thought, okay, that's weird, right?
[00:50:05.940]If it looks like I'm sticking my boobs out,
[00:50:08.310]power posing may not have the same beneficial effects
[00:50:12.600]for individuals who exist in
[00:50:14.770]a sexually objectifying culture.
[00:50:16.500]There may be compromises to power posing effects.
[00:50:20.080]And that's indeed what we found.
[00:50:21.800]And in this study, we actually found that
[00:50:24.510]our female participants performed significantly better,
[00:50:27.810]and felt significantly better about
[00:50:29.240]their performance in the slumped posture,
[00:50:31.910]which we surreptitiously manipulated.
[00:50:34.260]We were like, oh, we have to, we're doing
[00:50:35.900]that ergonomic study, where we're trying to be like
[00:50:39.160]what's the best desk position?
[00:50:45.270]So they had this very counterintuitive,
[00:50:47.460]non-power posing effect, where males had the intuitive one.
[00:50:52.121]What was interesting, is that then we went along,
[00:50:54.810]and this is a complicated graph, but in this study
[00:50:58.740]we found that
[00:51:00.870]women, again, performed more poorly,
[00:51:03.350]and were less satisfied with their performance
[00:51:05.770]when they were seated in a position
[00:51:07.560]that emphasized their sexualized body parts.
[00:51:10.300]So we had only women subjects, participants in this study,
[00:51:13.960]and they either wore a very form-fitting tank top,
[00:51:16.940]or a really loose sweatshirt, right?
[00:51:19.370]And then we also had them sitting in a tiny child's chair,
[00:51:22.700]or a big (fumbles with mike)
[00:51:24.740]like a throne that we borrowed from the college chapel.
[00:51:29.550]This is wild stuff, yes! (chuckles)
[00:51:33.250]What we did find, was that that tank top
[00:51:35.730]really was very disruptive of power posing's effects.
[00:51:39.150]What's interesting, is like the previous study
[00:51:42.300]on appearance compliments, what we find in our
[00:51:45.500]stooping to conquer studies is that
[00:51:48.580]women feel the positive emotional effects of power posing.
[00:51:54.610]What happens, is that that positive mood state
[00:51:57.970]is then undermined by poor performance,
[00:52:00.680]and then lower satisfaction with your performance.
[00:52:03.050]So in other words, you might get the benefit of that,
[00:52:06.260]of that upright posture.
[00:52:08.320]But the whole thing gets sort of compromised, because,
[00:52:11.300]at the time that you're getting that benefit
[00:52:13.130]of the upright posture, you're sort of developing
[00:52:15.570]this awareness of what's happening with your breast area,
[00:52:19.780]and the fact that you're out there.
[00:52:21.630]And all of a sudden, the whole house of cards
[00:52:24.010]comes tumbling down.
[00:52:25.150]So we always find in our posture studies,
[00:52:28.130]that the mood effect of upright posture remains.
[00:52:31.390]Where we get the problem, is in satisfaction,
[00:52:34.360]and performance disruption.
[00:52:37.330]And here is, you can't even read this.
[00:52:39.760]This is how many, and there's even more,
[00:52:41.700]we couldn't fit them all on here when Sarah, and Rachel,
[00:52:44.360]and I wrote our review paper just this past year.
[00:52:47.390]We tried to summarize the health and physicality
[00:52:50.730]effects of self-objectification.
[00:52:52.900]Motivational and affective outcomes of self-objectification.
[00:52:56.640]Social and environmental outcomes.
[00:52:59.670]Cognitive and behavioral.
[00:53:00.910]And there are just tons, right, tons.
[00:53:04.380]And so, this has been a very generative theory,
[00:53:07.100]and that makes me very proud.
[00:53:13.110]One of the most chilling findings of late
[00:53:15.820]comes from my colleague Rachel Calogero's lab.
[00:53:19.586]And she is showing that self-objectification
[00:53:22.280]is system justifying.
[00:53:24.530]Let me explain system justification.
[00:53:27.780]John Jost, in my field of social psychology,
[00:53:31.250]argued quite sometime ago that members
[00:53:34.140]of disadvantaged groups, ironically,
[00:53:37.930]not only pretend to accept their station in life,
[00:53:41.050]but often do see themselves through
[00:53:43.970]the dominant cultural lens.
[00:53:45.730]So you can become
[00:53:50.260]an unwilling participant
[00:53:53.240]in your lower status, because you come to believe
[00:53:58.450]that you're disadvantage is not really a disadvantage.
[00:54:05.320]Many disadvantaged, socioeconomically
[00:54:07.760]disadvantaged individuals will vote
[00:54:11.380]in the United States for candidates and policies
[00:54:15.050]that are directly undermining of their
[00:54:21.370]And yet, they will do so, right?
[00:54:23.150]So there's a something system justifying going on there.
[00:54:26.520]And what Rachel has argued, and what her lab has shown,
[00:54:29.240]is that self-objectification
[00:54:31.630]serves a system justifying effect.
[00:54:35.500]The more self-objectification we see,
[00:54:38.510]the more young people endorse a self-objectified view
[00:54:43.250]of themselves, their body, and their physical appearance
[00:54:46.160]is most important about them, more important
[00:54:48.440]than what their body can do, or how it feels,
[00:54:51.320]these individuals are far more likely to endorse
[00:54:55.320]the gender status quo.
[00:54:56.960]It's as though this is a kind of benevolent sexism.
[00:55:01.090]And then this support for the gender status quo, in turn,
[00:55:04.460]predicts less likelihood to identify with feminism,
[00:55:08.650]less likelihood to participate
[00:55:10.670]in gender justice collective action.
[00:55:14.670]And it's the only way I've been able to understand
[00:55:20.170]the 50 some odd percent of white women
[00:55:24.480]who voted for Donald Trump.
[00:55:26.920]Right on the heels of the pussy grabbing
[00:55:33.390]That was so confusing to me, that was so hard
[00:55:35.830]for me to comprehend.
[00:55:37.240]And when I put it in this model,
[00:55:39.020]I understand it quite a bit better.
[00:55:41.150]That these are women who see that
[00:55:43.810]their only social gains can be made
[00:55:46.120]triangulated through affiliation with a powerful man.
[00:55:50.450]And through the use of their beauty as currency.
[00:55:54.740]Right, and so, to the extent that you're investing
[00:55:57.130]in this body project.
[00:55:58.910]It takes time, and money,
[00:56:01.630]and surgery, and a lot, right?
[00:56:04.860]You have just invested in an ideal of femininity
[00:56:08.250]that is not particularly feminist.
[00:56:12.383]And so, now what are you gonna do?
[00:56:13.300]It's not like you're gonna feel like, oh, yeah,
[00:56:15.600]and P.S., you know,
[00:56:18.070]power to the women, Hillary!
[00:56:21.270]You're supporting the gender status quo,
[00:56:23.260]because this very project
[00:56:26.440]is the gender status quo, right?
[00:56:29.000]So this is you in your disadvantaged status,
[00:56:32.030]sort of upholding the system.
[00:56:37.310]I wrote back a long time ago, that self-objectification
[00:56:41.660]I didn't write it this way, but it makes objects
[00:56:43.660]in mirror closer than they appear.
[00:56:45.790]I wrote that it operates as a form of internalized control,
[00:56:49.680]achieving a sort of colonization of the mind
[00:56:52.590]that ensures self-imposed powerlessness.
[00:56:55.430]In a self-objectifying culture, self-objectification leads
[00:56:58.930]to chronic vigilance to the body's outward appearance,
[00:57:02.030]keeping us in a constant state of preoccupation,
[00:57:05.130]ultimately undermining our capacity for happiness,
[00:57:08.020]self-fulfillment, and self-determination.
[00:57:13.810]I cannot tell you that objectification theory
[00:57:17.000]has gone to these justices.
[00:57:19.200]But I just wanted a chance to put their faces up here.
[00:57:23.318]I love them so much!
[00:57:25.840]Objectification theory goes to court.
[00:57:27.830]I want to give us plenty of time for questions.
[00:57:30.900]Oop, John Berger.
[00:57:34.010]This is me
[00:57:38.050]well, about a year after I had my encounter
[00:57:41.820]with Harvey Weinstein, and my college roommate bestie
[00:57:44.880]at graduation from Smith College.
[00:57:46.873]I mean, it was in the Smith College Library
[00:57:49.180]where I discovered this little book, "Ways of Seeing".
[00:57:52.040]And in this little book, John Berger, the art historian,
[00:57:56.480]makes a couple of really interesting observations
[00:57:58.950]about the history of the nude in Western Art.
[00:58:03.330]And also the ways in which the nude
[00:58:06.730]carries forward even in popular advertising,
[00:58:09.860]and things like that.
[00:58:11.000]And there's this moment, there was a line in this book
[00:58:13.950]that shook me to my core, and that
[00:58:15.730]I still think about every day.
[00:58:18.320]And it's so funny, because, (chuckles)
[00:58:20.610]Rose asked me last night if I had ever seen the movie
[00:58:24.677]"Little Miss Sunshine", and here it is.
[00:58:28.020]What John Berger said, is "To be naked
[00:58:32.057]"is to be yourself.
[00:58:35.497]"To be nude is to be seen by others,
[00:58:38.337]"and yet not recognized for yourself."
[00:58:41.170]To be naked is just to be yourself without clothes on.
[00:58:46.210]To be nude
[00:58:47.580]is to have your body
[00:58:51.230]put on display.
[00:58:52.780]I think there are some bikinis that are far more nude
[00:58:56.710]than a naked body with nothing on it, at all.
[00:58:59.640]And the reason why the Abercrombie Kids push-up bikini top
[00:59:05.410]for a six-year-old is sexualizing, is because what?
[00:59:09.900]It makes that naked child
[00:59:13.880]It turns the body
[00:59:16.570]into something it's not meant to be.
[00:59:20.120]By covering up things, we imply
[00:59:23.090]that what's underneath the covering is forbidden.
[00:59:26.680]And then we begin to see younger and younger children
[00:59:30.690]as appropriate sex targets.
[00:59:33.760]I think we have to acknowledge it.
[00:59:35.600]And that is the chilling message
[00:59:38.510]of "Little Miss Sunshine," right? (chuckles)
[00:59:40.660]This is a funny movie that's a deep cultural commentary,
[00:59:44.390]about the hypocrisy
[00:59:46.820]of a world where you can put false eyelashes
[00:59:49.800]on some of these girls.
[00:59:51.370]But then when one girl comes out
[00:59:52.760]and does a Super Freak dance, we're like, "Oh, hell no!"
[00:59:57.610]It's an incredible movie.
[01:00:00.157]"Nakedness reveals itself.
[01:00:01.737]"Nudity is placed on display.
[01:00:03.567]"The nude is condemned to never being naked.
[01:00:06.917]"In this way, nudity is a form of dress."
[01:00:09.050]Now, I'm telling you this, because it's,
[01:00:11.050]it's relevant to the two cases that I want to talk about.
[01:00:16.490]This idea of the difference between naked and nude
[01:00:19.790]has also played a big role in some work I've done
[01:00:23.150]with Jamie Goldenberg, where we say, you know, it's funny,
[01:00:27.200]the female body is both idealized as an object of beauty.
[01:00:31.250]But it's also derided for it's creaturely functions.
[01:00:36.020]Just in the bathroom today, someone had done
[01:00:39.120]the greatest little graffiti.
[01:00:41.150]The sign said, "Feminine products are available."
[01:00:44.180]And the person was like, "Menstrual!"
[01:00:47.920]Cross off feminine, menstrual.
[01:00:51.580]They're feminine products, right?
[01:00:56.090]argue that reminders of women's creaturely bodies
[01:01:02.970]Reminders of women's animal, creaturely, physical,
[01:01:08.030]biological bodies often lead to disgust,
[01:01:11.310]and sometimes anger reactions
[01:01:16.000]And lead to shame and abjection in women themselves.
[01:01:20.280]I can't believe what I see in airports now,
[01:01:22.470]which is we've now made a pod for you, a windowless pod
[01:01:26.730]for you to go in, to breastfeed your child.
[01:01:28.975](people quietly laughing)
[01:01:29.808]How generous of us.
It's a windowless...
[01:01:34.722]You can't sit in the airport and breastfeed your child?
[01:01:38.200]You have to go into a windowless pod!
[01:01:41.070]Have you seen these?
[01:01:43.120]Oh, my God!
[01:01:44.470]That's just, it's terrifying, right?
[01:01:46.390]And, like, who might be waiting in the windowless pod,
[01:01:49.380]to, like, stab you?
[01:01:52.860]Why can't you feed your baby from your breast in public?
[01:01:58.190]Right, how is that offensive, it's bizarre.
[01:02:01.600]Objectification, we argue, and self-objectification
[01:02:05.130]serve a psychic function, it's an ironic psychic function.
[01:02:08.940]It strips the body of it's creaturely animal features,
[01:02:12.920]leaving it sanitized, deodorized, denuded,
[01:02:15.830]and therefore, less threatening.
[01:02:17.230]So if I use a tampon applicator,
[01:02:21.300]with my dioxin, and chlorinated,
[01:02:24.920]dyed feminine hygiene product,
[01:02:28.070]then I never have to touch my labia,
[01:02:31.610]I never have to encounter the blood.
[01:02:34.920]So my self-objectification helps me distance
[01:02:38.200]from my own physical, creaturely body.
[01:02:40.930]And others' objectification,
[01:02:43.830]we can have a wet T-shirt contest in this bar,
[01:02:47.130]but you may not breastfeed your child in the same bar.
[01:02:51.350]You can't buy a nursing bra
[01:02:52.790]at Victoria's Secret, my friends.
[01:02:55.700]No, because Victoria's Secret tits are for men.
[01:03:04.940]Same amount of cleavage, only one offends people.
[01:03:07.150]So our argument here, is that this is an ironic
[01:03:11.030]and strange psychic defense,
[01:03:13.590]that objectifying women's bodies,
[01:03:16.210]and self-objectification help us distance from our,
[01:03:19.870]those animalistic, creaturely functions
[01:03:22.600]that feel very threatening.
[01:03:24.160]And I'm telling you all this, because it's relevant.
[01:03:26.930]So I've just participated, I wrote a 30-page expert report.
[01:03:32.300]And we have just
[01:03:34.190]received the fantastic news, I mean,
[01:03:36.450]this literally happened a couple weeks ago,
[01:03:38.370]that we've gotten a 53 million dollar suit settled.
[01:03:42.310]Here are the things that happened in this case.
[01:03:46.150]I got a call from a civil rights lawyer in Los Angeles.
[01:03:49.370]And she said, "I want to tell you about something
[01:03:51.527]"that's going on that Los Angeles County Jail."
[01:03:54.520]When women return at Los Angeles County Women's Jail,
[01:03:58.350]it's jail, not prison, that's important.
[01:04:01.790]When these jailed women, all of whom are in jail,
[01:04:04.260]because they wrote bad checks.
[01:04:06.650]And I'm, I'm not kidding.
[01:04:08.640]Or they were involved with a boyfriend who convinced them
[01:04:11.350]to make the drug deal, and then they got caught.
[01:04:13.950]So that's how they're in jail.
[01:04:16.030]So they're in jail, and if they have to leave
[01:04:18.150]for a doctor's appointment, or a court appointment,
[01:04:20.980]when they return, or when they first get booked,
[01:04:23.550]when they return, when they first get booked,
[01:04:25.900]they are subjected to a full strip and body cavity search
[01:04:29.780]in a bus depot, in a bus port.
[01:04:34.150]This is monitored by female deputies.
[01:04:38.410]And the women are subjected to this en masse.
[01:04:41.840]In other words, between 20 and 60 women at a time
[01:04:45.110]are in the bus port.
[01:04:45.943]They have to take all their clothes off.
[01:04:48.890]And then, they have to lift their breasts,
[01:04:51.560]they have to lift their bellies, they have to bend over,
[01:04:53.597]spread their labia to expose their vaginas,
[01:04:56.470]spread their buttocks to expose their rectums.
[01:05:01.100]Menstruating women, I was told on this phone call, I'm like.
[01:05:06.910]And she's like, "I found you in the research literature."
[01:05:09.340]Menstruating women have to remove their soiled products,
[01:05:13.190]and they have to stand there
[01:05:14.580]and wait until the procedure is over,
[01:05:17.870]many of them bleeding down their legs.
[01:05:20.890]While waiting to finally receive a clean product,
[01:05:25.270]and carry on, right?
[01:05:27.880]Ahh, can you imagine getting a call saying
[01:05:30.043]that they needed an expert to say this was problematic?
[01:05:36.810]And so, I was just like, "What?"
[01:05:41.400]That, all right.
[01:05:45.500]was very grounded in objectification theory,
[01:05:48.220]and what I just told you in the previous slide.
[01:05:51.000]So what I said was, (chuckles) "The disgust reaction
[01:05:55.407]"to menstrual blood
[01:05:57.987]"is part and parcel of
[01:06:00.937]"a sexually-objectifying culture.
[01:06:03.287]"And that the shaming that these women endured,
[01:06:07.567]"was the most perfect misogynist punishment."
[01:06:11.570]And the female deputies knew it.
[01:06:14.170]And they degrade, their abusive language, you know,
[01:06:17.557]"Not that hole, the other hole!"
[01:06:21.085]We have depositions of these inmates, who were just,
[01:06:25.340]it's unbelievable, how they were degraded
[01:06:27.670]by these female deputies.
[01:06:31.340]When we no longer have the option to sanitize, deodorize,
[01:06:35.250]and denude, we are what philosophers would call abject,
[01:06:40.240]the lowest of the low.
[01:06:42.400]And so, I argued, that this is therefore a cruel
[01:06:45.650]and unusual punishment.
[01:06:47.180]And, thank God...
[01:06:49.220]Thousands, by the way, thousands of women endured this.
[01:06:53.380]We've just gotten this 53 million dollar lawsuit now.
[01:06:56.320]You're looking at 53 million dollars, and you're like,
[01:06:58.300]thousands of women, oh, my gosh, that's not gonna be a lot
[01:07:00.810]for every woman, that's true.
[01:07:02.890]I do want to tell you, I put this description
[01:07:05.480]in the present tense for a reason.
[01:07:08.360]And that is because
[01:07:10.480]it turns out that in this case, the ruling was not
[01:07:14.490]that the procedure was illegal.
[01:07:16.710]The procedure remains legal.
[01:07:18.580]And what's happened, is that privacy curtains,
[01:07:20.810]and they're literally shower curtains from like Target,
[01:07:24.250]have been installed, so that the women undergo
[01:07:28.020]the procedure in privacy.
[01:07:31.200]That's all we got.
[01:07:32.880]But the reason it's in the present tense,
[01:07:34.310]is because I'm involved in another case right now.
[01:07:36.540]I'm on amicus brief to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals,
[01:07:39.980]where in an Illinois prison, same thing,
[01:07:42.470]200 women rounded up by correctional officers
[01:07:45.000]in riot gear, wielding batons.
[01:07:47.270]They're forced to go this, undergo the same kind
[01:07:49.620]of body cavity inspection.
[01:07:51.780]No accommodations for menstruating women.
[01:07:54.610]In full view of both male and female spectators.
[01:07:57.590]And all this was done in the name of security in this case,
[01:08:00.770]but as a gratuitous training exercise
[01:08:03.070]for incoming correctional officers.
[01:08:05.890]And two judges in the Seventh Circuit
[01:08:08.320]held over strenuous dissent by the third judge,
[01:08:11.330]that the impacted women
[01:08:12.390]had no legitimate expectation of privacy.
[01:08:15.440]They broke the law, they don't have any expectation
[01:08:18.360]of privacy, and that the Fourth Amendment has no role
[01:08:21.180]to play in protecting prisoners from strip searches,
[01:08:23.630]and body cavity inspections, regardless
[01:08:26.220]of the justification of the nature,
[01:08:28.410]or the nature of the search.
[01:08:30.080]And so, we're in the process with this amicus brief
[01:08:33.030]of petitioning the entire Seventh Circuit,
[01:08:35.450]to rehear the decision.
[01:08:41.260]Here's something interesting. (laughs)
[01:08:43.270]So I get a call from
[01:08:50.270]court, well, actually I got a call
[01:08:52.060]from another civil rights law firm in Northern Colorado.
[01:08:56.240]In this case,
[01:08:57.630]what I was asked to do was appear in court to argue that
[01:09:02.280]toplessness ordinances are sexist.
[01:09:05.410]Fort Collins is an example, you might want to look into
[01:09:07.900]what Lincoln's Toplessness Ordinance is.
[01:09:09.980]Most jurisdictions, and most towns have them.
[01:09:13.010]And the most toplessness ordinances are worded like this.
[01:09:17.540]over the age of 10
[01:09:19.470]is permitted to willfully appear in public
[01:09:23.700]without a top on.
[01:09:27.140]Exceptions can be made for, and then, it's like,
[01:09:30.590]you can't show the breast from the
[01:09:37.833]So that's the way to make an exception for breastfeeding,
[01:09:40.360]because you might see the top of them.
[01:09:42.770]And that's okay in a lot of places.
[01:09:45.310]But no female over the age of 10.
[01:09:47.210]And no such restrictions is on the books
[01:09:49.170]for any male, of any age.
[01:09:52.200]And so, here I was in the weird position,
[01:09:54.820]of having to appear in court and argue
[01:09:57.310]that the covering up of something
[01:10:00.010]is the sexualizing of it.
[01:10:01.790]And that was an ironic and difficult thing.
[01:10:04.510]But, holy crap, you guys!
[01:10:06.680]Judge Brooke Jackson of the United States District Court,
[01:10:11.610]unbelievably, wrote the most incredible ruling,
[01:10:15.190]and he wrote this, and he took it from my testimony.
[01:10:19.990]Look at what he wrote.
[01:10:21.967]"The female breast is a sex object because we say so.
[01:10:26.847]"That is, the naked female breast is seen as disorderly
[01:10:29.687]"or dangerous, because society from Renaissance paintings,
[01:10:32.267]"to Victoria Secret commercials..."
[01:10:34.480]I have a friend who's daughter's in law school,
[01:10:37.220]and she read this case in law school and called me,
[01:10:40.057]and was like, "You were in this case!"
[01:10:43.567]"Conflated the female breast with genitalia,
[01:10:45.507]"and stereotype them as such the irony is
[01:10:47.467]"that by forcing women to cover up their bodies,
[01:10:49.377]"society has made naked women's breasts something to see."
[01:10:52.860]These individuals are part of a movement in Europe,
[01:10:56.580]in Eastern Europe, and Western Europe, called FEMEN.
[01:10:59.690]Have you heard of these folks?
[01:11:01.360]They're starting, FEMEN is starting to make their way
[01:11:03.300]into South America, as well.
[01:11:05.260]I haven't seen much activity here in North America.
[01:11:07.570]But these are women who protest
[01:11:10.530]with their tops off.
[01:11:13.130]And they're powerful, powerful protestors, amazing.
[01:11:19.200]They get arrested for violating toplessness ordinances,
[01:11:22.110]as you might imagine.
[01:11:24.910]Here's some ideas for getting naked, getting angry,
[01:11:27.820]and getting ugly, suggestions
[01:11:29.650]for living a self-subjectified life. (chuckles)
[01:11:33.730]I'd like you to back away from the mirror,
[01:11:35.610]and enjoy your nakedness.
[01:11:36.850]I'd like you to remember the difference
[01:11:38.510]between naked and nude.
[01:11:40.240]And think about when you want to be nude
[01:11:43.620]in the eyes of your lover.
[01:11:46.120]And when you'd really rather just be naked.
[01:11:51.640]It seems to me as though the objectifying culture
[01:11:55.610]condemns female identifying individuals
[01:11:58.950]to always being nude, and never getting to be naked.
[01:12:03.510]Minimize social media time.
[01:12:05.150]We spent a long time talking in Rose's class
[01:12:07.280]about social media, curating selfies.
[01:12:11.490]Well, I have a chilling new finding
[01:12:13.120]with one of my honor thesis students just found in her study
[01:12:16.470]a really interesting affect, that Instagram users,
[01:12:19.660]and maybe you guys have some ideas about this,
[01:12:22.070]Instagram use is associated with greater empathy
[01:12:24.620]for your friends.
[01:12:27.120]But, greater hostility toward women.
[01:12:32.200]Right, you have empathy for your friends.
[01:12:34.590]You're doing your likes, or whatever.
[01:12:36.630]But you're developing, maybe,
[01:12:38.030]in that same system justifying thing,
[01:12:40.400]a kind of feeling that women, as a category,
[01:12:44.670]are sort of competitors, they're out there
[01:12:48.900]taking in a zero sum game,
[01:12:51.950]all the goods from the body project, right?
[01:12:54.290]And I think that there's gonna be
[01:12:55.640]some really interesting work to do there,
[01:12:58.300]about this way in which we get into,
[01:13:01.810]what's there, the, we're gonna call it the body games.
[01:13:05.640]Right, that you get into kind of this zero sum game.
[01:13:09.900]Believe women and girls, listen to them.
[01:13:11.770]When safe, stare right back.
[01:13:13.550]I have friends who are like, "What do you mean?"
[01:13:19.610]It's very arresting to turn to an objectifier,
[01:13:23.290]and just ask them what they mean, right?
[01:13:26.950]Because it doesn't sound like a compliment.
[01:13:30.920]Use your privilege to meaningfully support sisters
[01:13:33.310]less privileged than you, lean into their lives,
[01:13:35.850]insist on their better treatment.
[01:13:37.200]It can be so difficult for us to do our own advocating
[01:13:41.280]on our own behalf.
[01:13:42.430]But I think we're really good at advocating for one another.
[01:13:45.290]And I think we should do that more.
[01:13:47.000]And if we participate in this, we lose
[01:13:50.220]that feeling of comradery, we lose the sense
[01:13:53.920]that we have something in common that we should strive for.
[01:13:57.620]And get out the vote.
[01:13:58.900]And remember, as Tarana Burke says, here she is,
[01:14:02.057]"This is a movement, not a moment."
[01:14:06.330]And, yeah, thank you.
[01:14:20.080]Thank you, so much.
[01:14:20.980]And so now we have time for questions,
[01:14:22.780]and we are taping the lecture, and so,
[01:14:24.700]I will be running around with the mike
[01:14:26.080]for those of you who have questions.
[01:14:29.550]Anybody who's ready, yes?
[01:14:36.908][Female in Audience] So, obviously, there's a bunch
[01:14:38.470]of different perspectives about feminism.
[01:14:40.900]And I think one of the popular views of like feminism
[01:14:44.620]in the media, is that you should support women's choices,
[01:14:47.760]no matter what they are.
[01:14:48.760]So I was thinking a little bit about,
[01:14:51.440]like, if a woman wants to wear a lot of makeup,
[01:14:53.640]or wear skimpy clothing, that's her choice
[01:14:56.450]and she should be empowered to do so.
[01:14:58.300]But, what's your response in
[01:15:01.030]how that contributes to here self-objectification,
[01:15:03.810]and her participation in a patriarchal society?
[01:15:08.300]I guess, my response to that is always,
[01:15:13.100]let's make sure you're making choices,
[01:15:15.210]and the choices aren't making you.
[01:15:18.850]I think that oftentimes we...
[01:15:21.810]And then, let's also make sure that whatever
[01:15:24.700]your choices are, are not monetized
[01:15:28.080]by a neo-liberal, consumer capitalist culture,
[01:15:31.410]that's like, look, it's called nude makeup!
[01:15:35.080]It's like you don't have any on, at all!
[01:15:36.900]But it takes two hours, right?
[01:15:38.790]And it costs, and it's the (mumbles) lip kit.
[01:15:41.800]It's a kit, it's two lipsticks, okay, whatever.
[01:15:48.160]I think we have to recognize that the choices
[01:15:51.350]are never made in a vacuum.
[01:15:53.810]And that the choices are always already
[01:16:00.690]We ask ourselves whether or not we want to participate
[01:16:03.940]in global warming, whether we want to recycle.
[01:16:07.280]But we often don't stop and ask ourselves,
[01:16:09.730]who am I fooling, like, who's pockets am I lining,
[01:16:14.130]when I buy these products, that I'm choosing,
[01:16:16.850]and that make me feel so good about myself, right?
[01:16:19.250]And, yet, I think we can all make those mindful choices.
[01:16:23.050]We just have to be aware of the choices are starting
[01:16:26.260]to make us, you know, and then we don't have money,
[01:16:29.240]or time left over for other things, yeah.
[01:16:32.990]But, yeah, as...
[01:16:34.960]I think it was Golda,
[01:16:37.490]no, who said this?
[01:16:39.010]Who said if I can't dress up, I don't want to come
[01:16:40.930]to your revolution?
[01:16:42.187][Female in Audience] Emma Goldman.
[01:16:45.830]And I don't want to, right?
[01:16:47.490]Because getting dressed up is awesome.
[01:16:51.257]I always try, also, to...
[01:16:55.080]I tried with my daughters, and I try even, like,
[01:16:58.040]I'm about to go to Italy to teach a course,
[01:17:00.990]a short-term course in Italy with my students.
[01:17:03.300]And I told them, "We are going to the opera,
[01:17:06.097]"so make sure you bring a fancy outfit."
[01:17:11.280]And I like the word fancy,
[01:17:13.400]because it's not a pretty outfit,
[01:17:17.010]it's not a beautiful outfit, it's an outfit, and it's fancy.
[01:17:21.370]And so, interestingly, none of the male students asked
[01:17:24.480]like what is that?
[01:17:25.580]But a lot of my women students were like,
[01:17:28.057]"What is a fancy outfit?"
[01:17:29.920]And I wrote back, and I was like,
[01:17:30.947]"Whatever you feel good in, to go to the opera."
[01:17:35.070]And they're still like, I don't know.
[01:17:42.550]But we, yeah, we say to such little, little girls,
[01:17:44.740]you look so pretty, you look so beautiful.
[01:17:49.892][Female in Audience] I'm wondering how ideas
[01:17:52.450]of objectification, and particularly sexual objectification,
[01:17:57.160]may intersect with
[01:18:00.110]ability and disability.
[01:18:02.942][Female in Audience] Particularly, the idea
[01:18:04.210]of a body project.
[01:18:06.300]Because a body project for a disabled body
[01:18:09.020]is real different.
[01:18:12.270]There's so much great work to be done there.
[01:18:14.230]Definitely, in my, and I...
[01:18:18.000]This sort of overlapping category of stuff that I do
[01:18:21.500]is for the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.
[01:18:23.757]And we've got a lot of really, really cool work coming out
[01:18:27.110]on managing the disabled menstrual body,
[01:18:30.080]and how product access, and product innovation,
[01:18:33.920]and everything is just like so behind the times.
[01:18:36.940]But I think there is a huge
[01:18:40.020]field waiting to be studied,
[01:18:42.750]to take, to do some intersections with disability studies
[01:18:45.600]and objectification theory, and I, I'm longing for it.
[01:18:49.630]I work at a small college with only undergrads.
[01:19:01.028][Female in Audience] So I know you were talking about,
[01:19:02.290]a lot about how like animal bodies like are perceived as,
[01:19:05.780]like the menstrual cycle and things like that
[01:19:07.360]are perceived as bad.
[01:19:08.400]How do you feel about
[01:19:12.480]like, two women choosing to get like the Depo shot,
[01:19:15.350]or another form of birth control
[01:19:16.670]that completely stops the period?
[01:19:18.110]Yeah, that's a great question.
[01:19:20.900]And I think a lot of
[01:19:23.670]young folks today are definitely opting
[01:19:25.980]for hormone-based birth control.
[01:19:28.080]There's so many great innovations
[01:19:30.220]in hormone-based birth control.
[01:19:32.190]But we are, there are studies that show
[01:19:34.800]that higher self-objectification is correlated
[01:19:37.950]with higher interest in menstrual cessation.
[01:19:41.770]And also, higher self-objectification is correlated
[01:19:44.750]with lower interest in breastfeeding,
[01:19:47.170]higher interest in C-section delivery,
[01:19:49.510]as opposed to vaginal delivery.
[01:19:52.980]So we are, there are definitely studies showing
[01:19:56.300]that the more you invest in a self-objectified view,
[01:20:00.190]the less likely you are to participate in, you know,
[01:20:06.120]to have your body participate in
[01:20:08.160]some of these like super-bloody
[01:20:12.300]many effluvia experiences. (laughs)
[01:20:20.880]Any other questions?
[01:20:25.090]I'm on my way.
[01:20:25.923]Recently, and I saw a sign on the wall that said,
[01:20:29.637]"Stay pregnant for at least
[01:20:34.913]Because that's a choice?
[01:20:37.120]I was like, "Wow!"
[01:20:39.310]Yeah, that was interesting.
[01:20:41.660]So it was like advice that you should
[01:20:47.300]I was like, really, people, yeah.
[01:20:48.960]My nurse practitioner was like, "Yeah, no,
[01:20:50.297]"some people come in and, like, I'm ready now."
[01:20:53.897][Female in Audience] All right, so,
[01:20:55.970]one of the things that I think is frustrating,
[01:20:59.030]is not knowing how to take that next step.
[01:21:02.640]We have all these really fantastic ideas about how
[01:21:05.640]to be more in touch with our bodies,
[01:21:08.420]and proud of our bodies, and expressing them,
[01:21:10.290]and engaging in the more like social sphere.
[01:21:13.670]But, what kind of policy changes do you think might actually
[01:21:18.380]help to get at some of this objectification,
[01:21:22.200]and the consequences?
[01:21:23.610]Yeah, that's such a great question, because
[01:21:25.735]as you're pointing out, it's just the same thing
[01:21:28.740]with climate change, where you're like
[01:21:30.330]there's my individual actions, yeah!
[01:21:33.230]And then what about this huge thing?
[01:21:36.990]I do feel
[01:21:38.380]like we have got to hold
[01:21:44.173]We have got to hold these social media platforms
[01:21:48.540]to the same standards we hold other media platforms.
[01:21:51.680]And they are getting away with murder.
[01:21:53.410]I said in the class yesterday, we now have absolute evidence
[01:21:58.810]to show that the way that domestic sex traffickers work,
[01:22:03.390]is through Instagram.
[01:22:05.380]And so, they're just finding girls' own Instagram pages,
[01:22:08.520]and then contacting them, and that's just like
[01:22:10.813](snaps fingers) easy pickings.
[01:22:13.000]And so, the House Judiciary Committee just recently did here
[01:22:17.740]from some experts on that, but nothing's happening, so far.
[01:22:21.200]There's just so much money involved.
[01:22:24.070]I think one of the first places we really need to agitate,
[01:22:26.850]is these platforms, because social media, right,
[01:22:30.560]in the hands of young people, and all of us,
[01:22:33.920]we have this false sense that we're,
[01:22:38.360]we are controlling the narrative, and we're not, right?
[01:22:43.010]When a young girl knows that the, you know,
[01:22:46.600]the market to compete in is the market of sexy selfies.
[01:22:51.110]Of course, and that's where you're gonna go,
[01:22:52.960]that's what you're gonna do!
[01:22:54.570]Obviously, that's what everybody's doing.
[01:22:56.400]And so, you're gonna do it, too.
[01:22:58.240]And when that makes you as vulnerable
[01:23:00.060]as we now it makes you
[01:23:04.060]nefarious interests, we've got a hold
[01:23:06.470]these platforms accountable!
[01:23:09.729](Gasps) I don't, I...
[01:23:12.710]I don't know how to do that, anybody here
[01:23:15.305]in like journalism or media studies?
[01:23:17.930]Who know how to tell Mark Zuckerberg to not be so horrible?
[01:23:24.030]The goal for all of us.
[01:23:26.900]I wish that we could be here all night.
[01:23:29.220]But, unfortunately, we're about at our time.
[01:23:31.370]And so, if everyone could just
[01:23:33.200]thank Dr. Roberts one more time.
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