Terry Dresbach

Outlander Costume Designer

Reply To: On the Objectification of Sam, et al. PART II (added per the request of Terry)

Home Outlander Costuming Discussion Forums General Outlander Discussion On the Objectification of Sam, et al. PART II (added per the request of Terry) Reply To: On the Objectification of Sam, et al. PART II (added per the request of Terry)


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<div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>conniebv wrote:</div>
The only person that can address Diana’s comments properly is Diana, and she tends to do so pretty decisively. I suggest putting that question to her directly on her FB if you want an honest answer, because she’ll give it, and all we could offer is speculation.

Hi Connie;

While I agree that Diana is the only one who can answer why she said something, I find it troubling that there seems to be a “don’t call out Diana on anything” attitude that goes on in the fandom. I don’t really care why she said what she did – to me it was inappropriate for the circumstances, just as it would have been inappropriate if it was a fan who said it in that type of forum. Probably even more so as she is a role model for so many. And look at the fall out – I have since seen her comment used as justification for fans to behave and comment in the same way.

Diana is a talented writer and she has given us a set of amazing books that I love but… she is human, she is not perfect, and she makes mistakes like we all do. If she says or does something that we find troubling I don’t unbderstand why it can’t be noted. Why is it ok to point out the inappropriate behavior of Fan X but not point out the same behavior when it is Diana doing it? I have something of a problem with that and I see that kind of overprotectiveness of Diana happening a lot in the fandom. Like Sam, she is an adult not a child to be wrapped up in cotton and protected from the world. She is just as accountable as any one of us for her actions.

Ok, so I missed the entire conversation today because (my) nighttime is really the only time I have to spend here. I won’t belabor points that were already beautifully made, but I did want to respond about Diana’s “ass” comment since I brought it up.

When I first watched that interview, I was slightly taken aback, but I won’t say that I was enraged. Clearly, as someone mentioned, Sam didn’t seem offended, and the audience lapped it up. But in the context of the original post in this thread, it really leapt out of my memory, and I thought it was relevant. I do believe that Diana and Sam have the kind of relationship that allows for that kind of jocular exchange. I personally have friendships with men that allow for similar — and worse. In my opinion, when Diana chose to, yes, objectify Sam Heughan on a stage in front of hundreds (let alone online for thousands more to see) of fans, she did two things: 1. As Barb said, she made it okay for others to behave the same way despite the fact that they DO NOT have a personal relationship with Sam, and 2) she highlighted for me the degree to which objectification of males is acceptable. Like Barb said in another post, what if Ron or another of the men one that stage had said something similar about Cait? She probably would have rolled with it, but I’m willing to bet the response would have been a bit more muted, if not more outraged.

Ultimately, that’s a good thing. As a woman, I was taught from an early age by any number of role models not to let anyone make me feel “less than.” In fact, not wanting to feel “less than” has been a motivating force in my life since I was in elementary school and insisted on playing whatever the boys in my class were playing on the yard. Connie, you mentioned that you teach your sons not to objectify women and reduce them to just a body. But do you teach them not to let anyone else reduce them to just a body? I have a 2 1/2-year-old son, and I can’t imagine ever having to make that part of the conversation, mostly because it just seems impossible that that’s something that he would ever face. And yet, here we are, having a very long conversation about men being objectified in modern society. Again, Sam and Diana are clearly friendly, but beyond that, I wonder how much (if any) of Sam’s response to Diana on that stage was the result of having no clue how to deal with being objectified because it’s not part of men’s cultural or gender conditioning? Or maybe, generally speaking, he simply found it flattering because it doesn’t infringe on his other capabilities precisely because he’s a man and his societal roles are not threatened?

I have no answers, and these are mostly heady, late-night, stream-of-consciousness questions anyway. I enjoy hashing these things out in my head, guided by all of the thoughtful comments herein.

And one last thing — regarding the replies on the other thread before it was locked, I want to make it clear that I am NOT interested in bashing Diana. I am a big fan of her books and I am incredibly indebted to her for having written them. However, I would like to talk about some of the things that bother me about those books, just as I have been able to talk about the things that I love about them. So, Rachel, if you’re interested, DM me on Twitter??