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It starts young


The objectification of women becomes normalized in a sexualized society

Normalization of sexualizing and objectifying  women begins at a young age, meaning that boys are taught to conduct themselves with this mindset and girls are expected to live to please men. Sexualization often is rooted in the mindsets of children raised on subtle sexism, which can easily bloom into the normalization of sexualization. It begins with young boys being raised on the concept that they are stronger, and somehow inherently better than their female peers, and escalates to a point at which men feel they can take advantage of women for no reason other than wanting something from them, with or without consent.

Within the past century, the common perception of women has evolved from frail, delicate, and dainty to a hyper-sexualized view that offers unrealistic and damaging expectations of what the average woman should be. This view has put the pressure on women to constantly meet impossibly high standards to be taken seriously, respected, or simply feel worthy.

As found in a study on everyday sexism by social psychologists, 94% of undergraduate women faced sexual comments and actions toward them at least once every semester. These experiences are prevalent even at PRHS, and though it may at times go unnoticed or be dismissed as harmless, it can have a tremendous impact on the girls who face it.

“When you’re being sexualized, you can talk all you want, yell at the top of your lungs, but you really don’t have a voice at all,” Junior Rita Chase, who has faced objectification and actively stands against this behavior towards herself and others, said.

Generation after generation, men have been raised on the same sexist ideals, and the result is over 150 countries with an actively sexist law, 28 young girls forced into marriage before they are ready every minute, and one in three women having experienced physical or sexual violence. Young women face greater risk of being

Chase believes that rape culture is driven by the sexualization of others, which can be especially damaging if the victim is at a young age. “It can take a long time to grow from this,” Chase explained.

raped or becoming a victim of domestic violence than cancer, automobile accidents, malaria, or war, according to Global Citizen, a social action platform.

Although this most heavily affects women, men face consequences caused by these stereotypes as well. The normalization of inappropriate behavior misleads males to believe that there is little fault in lacking respect and an understanding of the opposite sex. Additionally, men can face the same assault that women do, but it is often brushed off because of the common view of women. Within the last couple decades, a societal enlightenment has begun as women are standing up and demanding the treatment they deserve. However, young girls often cannot comprehend the bias they face, leaving it up the adults and teenagers to change their own behavior to create an influence for young boys being raised in a sexist society.

“To fight the issue of being sexualized is hard, but I’ve tried to own my sexuality the best I can, because when you do, no one can take it away from you,” Chase said.

Though many issues remain, this way of thinking has spread nearly worldwide, and as thoughts become actions, tremendous progress has been seen within the last century.

However, in a broader sense, this progress isn’t enough. The general view of women has been demeaning, overly sexualized, and altogether unrealistic within the past decades of “progress.” We have run out of patience, we are tired of the so called harmless jokes, and we will not longer put up with the sexism and sexualization we were raised on. It’s time for a change, and it is the women who faced sexualization at a young age who are going to make it.

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