It is clear to me that much of the ass-ogling (without limits) is from younger fans. There are clear demarcations in the behavior of Outlander fans by age, and this is entirely unscientific and conjecture on my part, but I think the clearest example of this is the emergence of Outlander fanfiction.
My personal experience with seeing outrageous comments, and inappropriate posts on Tumblr, have been from women in the 30+ year old range. Many of whom use the justification that they are closer to the actors age, and “finally have someone their age to worship,” when referencing Graham in particular. I do agree that there is the strong sense of a divide between fans loyal to DG and new fans to the Series, though I hope this divide lessens with the increasing popularity of the books.
Ultimately, I believe it is the anonymity of the internet that has caused a marked increase in this behavior. Many don’t share their tumblr/twitter accounts with family and friends, and therefore have little to hold them accountable, for their behavior, aside from fellow users. It’s easy to get caught up in the energy of the moment, especially when confronted with something as powerful as “Outlander” and even the glory that is Sam Heughan in a kilt. My biggest concern over the objectifying behaviors that we see, in the post and articles linked above, is the insidious nature of the behavior. When I’ve asked fellow female fans how they feel about the objectification of Sam Heughan specifically, the responses have been varied. There is, however, a strong thread of, “returning the favor, since we have been objectified for so long.” Then there are articles like this, that seem to tout Quid Pro Quo as an acceptable excuse for harmful behavior: http://nymag.com/thecut/2014/08/why-we-objectify-men-without-guilt.html. I don’t believe any good can come from that.
This was my response to the article that Rachel shared in the parallel thread. http://www.salon.com/2014/10/16/the_male_celebrity_penis_fetish_feminisms_final_frontier/
Thank you for sharing this article. I think the term Revenge Feminism is a brilliant description for this type of objectification. I have heard many women, while in open discussion about the objectification of men, say things like “well, they did it to us first.” My response has always been, how does returning the favor make it right? I know that this isn’t the equality I am looking for in a socially conscious and equal world.
My personal stance is that I think it’s healthy to recognize an attraction to a person/character, I think the line is drawn, for me, when attraction is expressed with possessive exploitation instead of appreciation. It’s my opinion, but it seems tasteless to degrade an actors talent over something as trivial as being able to see their junk through their clothes.
I know that I’ve felt embarrassed as a fan of the Outlander Series and Books, when other fans tweet degrading things to Graham and Sam. My instinct is to scream, “No, don’t do that…they’re people, with feelings…what are you doing?”
~Crystal aka CelticGlamazon
**At this point, I realize it’s 3:51 am, my time, and I should shut up and get some sleep. I apologize for the redundancy of my post…I’ve been discussing this all afternoon, and may be stuck in a loop.**