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)

#6317
barbc624
Participant

Thanks for two great posts Anastia. You said what I have tried to say so much better than me.

It seems to me that there are several issues that are being conflated here which is making for confusion.

1. Private behavior versus public behavior. I haven’t seen anyone here presuming to judge private behavior between friends, myself included. Like it or not, public behaviors, because they impact more than the specific parties involved, can and must be measured differently than behaviors in private that impact only the parties present. Twitter (unless the account is blocked to only friends), Facebook (same thing), media interviews, etc., are clearly public behaviors.

I firmly believe it is fair to hold public behaviors to a higher standard, especially when those engaging in them serve as role models to the public or group at large. Instead comments made about public behaviors are being taken as criticisms of private behaviors and then dismissed as not justified.

2. Behavior labeled “mothering” of persons versus comments about behavior that serves to objectify others. Two very different things and frankly, the mothering thing doesn’t even hit my radar as an issue of significance as it doesn’t affect people at large but is something unique to a small select privileged group. Objectification affects everyone – women especially but more and more men as well, and the great majority of those affected are not celebrities but are everyday ordinary people.

On a personal note, I am a mother and believe me I have no need to “mother” anyone other than my own family, especially celebrities. They are in positions of power and are well able to take care of themselves. Not to mention there are readily available tools they can use on social media to block or mute comments that are distatseful to them. They don’t need fans to guard their tender sensibilities.

Personally, I haven’t seen anyone saying they are defending Sam’s* virtue against the poor behavior. (Maybe I don’t follow the right people or am naive but I think most fans recognize that he is perfectly capable of defending himself if need be). What I have seen is the point being made more than once that the behavior objectifying Sam* is giving the person commenting (a) a distaste for the people engaging in it and also in some cases towards OL fans and (b) is serving to perpetuate the same sexist behavior from women towards men, that we as women have been decrying when coming from men towards women, i.e a double standard on our part. (Haven’t we as women been screaming about double standards for decades now? I don’t get it.) Unfortunately I have too often seem those comments quickly being categorized and thus deligitimized as “Mothering”.

*Sam is being used for illustrative purposes, could be any male OL who has been subject to the behavior in question.

The result of this is that there has been a diversion from the discussion of the very real problem of objectification of others, to discussions about “mothering” of celebrities and the rights of people to behave as they wish privately, which I don’t believe has ever been in contention.

I’m not saying this is being done deliberately, but simply that it is what I have observed happening. I hate to see that happen because I think objectification of others is an ongoing and very real problem, as Anastasia so clearly outlined, and it won’t stop anytime soon if we don’t feel able to call out the behavior of whoever happens to be doing it (or enabling it) no matter who they are or what their position.