Terry Dresbach

Outlander Costume Designer

Reply To: On Objectification of Sam, et al


[quote quote=4199]trying to swim against the prevailing tide of a culture that seems to encourage leering, as long as it is accompanied by a laugh and the disclaimer “oh we’re just having a little fun.”[/quote]

I think this is what continues to disturb me in the bits of Facebook (DG’s or Outlander posts) and twitter (I’m not following tumblr, etc). We are swimming against what appears to be a prevailing mode in social media. We had a powerful discussion about the culture of rape and violence against women, and what allows people to think that sexual assault is permissible, much less to blame the victim for “inciting” it in some way. We have a history of centuries that, in most cultures and institutions of religion and government, treated women as property and objectifies or vilifies them (e.g., “curse of Eve”). The culture that excuses catcalls and lewd remarks as “expressing admiration” is not what I hope for, regardless of whether it’s targeted at me or someone else. I also don’t personally feel it’s right to contribute to the behavior, even if it is generally done. It’s perpetuating social norms that need to change. (The general acceptance of killing people, even in virtual online worlds, as “fun” is also not something I’ll go along with.)

I agree that admiring Sam’s, Graham’s, Tobias’, Benedict’s or Daniel’s or Cait’s anatomy comes with the territory of actor and audience – and I am part of that audience that wanted to see the Wedding on a full-size TV screen, more than once. That said, many have noted how fine the actors are in the show. If we’re expressing admiration for the actors or the characters they portray, I’m sure we can do it in a way that is far more eloquent – and less embarrassing to the actors – than by dwelling on their physical attributes.