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)


I’ve been reading this thread and thinking about where my “line in the sand” falls. This is a bit random and disjointed, fueled by lack of sleep and lots of coffee, so please bear with me.

There has been a lot of talk, and writing, about how Outlander in general, and
“The Wedding” in particular, is groundbreaking because it shows sex from a feminist perspective. We, as women, have been given something we have never had before on television, a beautiful man acting in sex scenes from a feminist perspective, but the biggest discussion about it is our collective guilt over how we are reacting to it. Rather than celebrating the fact that someone finally (Ron!) has respected our POV enough to center an entire series and characters around our experiences, we are wringing our hands and debating male objectification. I’m not talking about the tasteless and mean spirited tweets or trying to look up someone’s kilt, those are inexcusable in any form. I’m talking about giving ourselves permission to acknowledge our own sexuality, in this case by admiring and yes, being aroused by, a beautiful man who is—both in the books and on the series—someone we are supposed to be aroused by.
Why are so many women of so many ages losing their collectives minds over Sam and the “tush that would stop traffic,” as my favorite recap site said? Women going crazy over men isn’t a new phenomenon (see: Elvis, Beatles, Tom Jones) but this feels different. Part of it is the Internet and the way we can all gather together in forums like this, and those less respectful, to share our proclivities. But maybe it’s also because there’s something going on, a feeling, a movement even, bubbling up in which women are starting to own, and be unashamed by, their own sexuality. So looking at a beautiful, naked man on our 60-inch HDTVs who is presented to us in a way deliberately created to make us look at him, is making many women giddy with newfound freedom to express their feelings. Not always good, though, often horrible, sometimes dangerous and scary. That is not Ever.Right. But just because some tasteless women are behaving badly does not mean that every one of us who watch, and find ourselves a bit breathless and squirmy in our seats, are objectifying anyone.
One last thought: I may be the only one here to have a different take on the whole DG Objectifying Sam thing: I don’t think she did. I watched the entire video of that event soon after it was posted so I didn’t know that comment was coming. She said out loud what every woman who sees “The Wedding” thinks the minute Claire begins her stroll. That is not objectification, it is sincere appreciation of a beautiful male body, both in Clare’s actions and in DG’s comment. Now, if DG had said, “You have fine ass, Sam, now go put on this lovely Chippendale costume and serve us all coffee so I can see that tush as you bend over in those nice leather chaps,” now, that would be objectification. I have never met DG, but I have always thought she has a very healthy attitude toward sex and sexual matters, and she is comfortable being a sexual being in her own right. It’s informed her writing and made Jamie one of the most sensual male characters in literature, and that didn’t come from a place of objectification.
I hope my comments don’t come across as mean or combative; it is the last thing I intend. I love this blog and the discussions here, thank you Terry for creating it and for letting us be a part of it.