Earlier this week I had a girls night with one of my closest, straightest female friends. And like most times she and I are hanging out in a private-ish space stocked with a copious amount of wine, the conversation eventually turned to men—men in general and the ones we call our own in particular—how gorgeous they are, how stunningly, unwittingly sexually attractive men are, just ambling about their day-to-day business without a clue of the things we’re thinking about them.
Women know. All women know, on a very basic level, that other people see us as sex objects. It’s all around us, all the time; it’s embedded, more or less overtly, in nearly every message our society sends us. And that’s the problem there, is that it’s in every message, that it’s expected to be our primary purpose, regardless of whatever else we may be or may be doing. That sucks, and isn’t okay, and is another subject for a whole lot of better writing elsewhere. In an appropriate context, however, it’s pretty great: being willingly, consensually sexually objectified is a helluva lot of fun. And objectifying someone else in service of your own satisfaction? That’s a head trip and a half, and it’s a pleasure that most of us rarely get a chance to enjoy in the media provided for our entertainment. Sitting in my seat at the movies, I’ve gotta get my pants-buzz watching Jason Statham just happen to look the way he looks while he’s pretending to murder nameless bad guys; it’s unlikely that there will be a scene showing him strip down solely for the purpose of titillating people like me. That’s been changing recently, however, and Maker bless BioWare, nobody does a better job of catering to (or trying to cater to, at least) everybody’s desires. Continue reading Maker Bless Dat Ass: Cullen Stanton Rutherford and the Female Gaze