Note: This post contains artistic depictions of male and female nudity.
In a video, a man (Jason Evert) uses a study done by Princeton University to prove that men see women wearing bikinis as objects, not as human beings.
Here is the video:
My objections to this are the following:
1. The study cropped off the heads of women wearing bikinis. So, I think it is obvious then that a man would see a woman as an object and not a human being. Here is why: There is an old saying: “The eyes are the window to the soul.” If there is no head, there are no eyes, if there are no eyes, there is no soul, if there is no soul, there is no human being. So, to me, it is obvious that the men in the study would see bikini-wearing women as objects — the humanity of these bikini-wearing women was cropped off.
2. The images of bikini-wearing women were shown for a fraction of a second. Images of more modestly dressed women were shown for the same amount of time. At the end of the study, men remembered seeing the bikini-wearing women, but not the more modestly dressed women. Such a conclusion is understandable. But. In real life, men won’t be seeing women — bikini-wearing or not — for only a fraction of a second. For example: If I spend a day at the pool, I’m going to be around women who are wearing bikinis all day. Sure, if I see a bikini-wearing woman my first thought, out of pure male instinct, will most likely be “Sex.” But that doesn’t mean I will be thinking “Sex” the whole time I am around this woman. While I lie on a towel reading, or while I swim in the pool, I could choose to brush thoughts of sex away and focus on seeing this woman as a human being, not a fulfillment of desire. And I could walk up to this woman, start a conversation, see that we have a lot in common, and just have a nice time with her before we go our separate ways.
3. I refuse to believe that it is impossible for a man to look at a woman wearing little or no clothing and see her as a human being.
If it is impossible for men to see women wearing little or no clothing as human beings, than why isn’t Michelangelo’s David hidden away? After all: David is naked.
David could cause women to see men as objects. But nobody bats an eyelash at David.
I know there is a difference between nude art and pornography. Why can’t we as a society apply that difference between the two to how women (and men) are looked at in real life?
Whether a woman is naked, wearing a bikini, or covered from head to foot, she is a human being.
I don’t believe that it is the clothes that make the man. I believe it is the man that makes the man. What I mean is: At the pool, a woman wearing a bikini or a woman who is naked can be just as modest, if not more so, than a woman wearing a one-piece bathing suit. In this case, what being modest comes down to is how these women act — not how these women dress.
4. In the video, Jason Evert says it is weird that a woman who is in a locker room in her underwear will scream at a man “Get out!” and frantically cover herself, but will wear the same amount of clothing (a bikini) at the beach. (Watch 3:06 — 3:18.)
Here is why I don’t think it is weird: Context.
A woman who is in her underwear is changing her clothes, or getting ready to bathe.* As a result, if a man walks in on her unexpectedly, the woman will be surprised. Thus, the yelling of “Get out!” and frantically covering up. Such behavior is a defense mechanism. It is the same for men.
A man wearing underwear and a man wearing a swimsuit are wearing the same amount of clothing. If a woman were to unexpectedly walk in on a man when he is in his underwear, the man would be embarrassed. He would, for example, blush, turn his face away, and throw on whatever was closest.
Note: For reason #4, a friend of mine brought up a good point: The word is not “Context.” The word is “Consent.” The reason why is because a woman wearing a bikini understands that she will be seen by others. When a woman is in her underwear, she must give consent before being seen. Thank you, friend.
*Or, a third possibility: The woman just like being in her underwear.