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)


For the record, I am not mothering anyone – nor am I trying to shield anyone. The problem with saying “Well, they haven’t said anything, so obviously they aren’t bothered by it, so why should I be?” is that if we place all the burden on speaking out on the direct victims (who may genuinely not be bothered by it, or may not feel as though they can speak up, or may not even realize what’s happening), nothing will ever change.

And the perception that they are victims is your perception. I don’t see it that way and I haven’t seen anything that says they do, so we aren’t starting out from the same assumption. That’s what I am pointing out.

Objectification and its uglier sibling, rape culture, are so ingrained in our society and culture that many people can’t see it and don’t recognize it when it happens, even if it’s happening to them. It’s that pervasive. It behooves all of us to speak out when we see it – even if the victim does not, even if it seems as though the victim doesn’t mind – because that doesn’t make it any less dehumanizing, and it doesn’t suddenly make it OK and right.

This is a HUGE leap. Really, to me, rape culture is the Godwin’s of feminism. Suffice it to say that while I am an outspoken feminist, I don’t believe that I am endorsing rape culture by not assuming that Sam or Cait view themselves as victims of objectification in the cases we have discussed here, which is the subject. Other extrapolations are so varied and subjective as to be meaningless for purposes of this discussion.

It’s akin to saying that the woman who is walking down the street and getting catcalled, but who doesn’t turn around and say something, must like it and thus it’s OK for the men to keep doing it. When the truth is that it’s far more likely she doesn’t feel safe in saying anything.

But, let’s go with the assumption that she does like it! Guess what? The problem is that the men won’t just catcall her – they will catcall every woman walking down the street, many of whom won’t like it and who will be made to feel afraid and humiliated by it. And that’s the crux of the issue – it’s not just about one person, it’s about something far bigger than that.

Everything I said above applies here.

And saying it’s just a part of their jobs is in my opinion not only an excuse, but a poor one. You don’t see this same level of insanity in the entertainment industries of other countries. So it’s not a “given” that anyone choosing to be an actor therefore has to just accept and put up with this sort of nonsense.

It’s a good thing I’m not excusing it, then. Also, I have lived in four other countries and I will tell you right now in South and Central America at least, it is MUCH MUCH worse. And I never said they had to put up with it. That’s an incorrect inference. I said it was an aspect of the job, however unwelcome.

The only way this will ever stop is if we speak out – and yes, it can be exhausting, to always be the one going against the grain, to feel like you’re the only voice in a sea of “So what?” and “It’s no big deal.” I’ve been there all my life, as have many others.

And here we can agree, that the only way that we can stop inequality against women, LGBT, people in positions where they are treated in a subhuman manner, where their voice is continually silenced, ignored. They absolutely need advocacy. I don’t believe the situations we have discussed here require that. Mike Brown? Absolutely. Leelah Alcorn? Hell yes. An author telling the star of her show that he had a fine tush? Not great. I wouldn’t have done it. But to raise it to this level is something I just won’t do.

So that’s our disagreement, and it’s fine. The difference between mothering and having an opinion (to me) is trying to make others act according to your conclusions, and I’m okay if no one acts according to mine. They’re just for me. And now I’m off to take my 4-yo to the MD because 102 fever is no fun. Thanks for keeping me busy while my car warmed up. 🙂