July 8, 2019
Let’s Do a Social Experiment
Slap! The sound of a strangers hand hitting my butt echoed in my head and then nothing. I was simply enjoying a Luke Bryan country concert one warm, summer night with some friends and was objectified by a man who disappeared into the night in a matter of seconds. Instances like this happen all too often to innocent young women, but why not men?
The definition of objectify is to treat someone as an object rather than as a person. Throughout the formation of America as we know it there has been numerous discrepancies dealing with objectification of women and stereotyping of both genders. This short video clip from the movie “Playing it Cool”, with actors Chris Evans and Michelle Monaghan, directed by Justin Reardon portrays a common reality of gender stereotypes in today’s society.
The short clip from the movie begins with the two actors discussing the topic of men not being objectified and women only being wanted for their body and not their pocketbook. Then actress Michelle Monaghan asked actor Chris Evans, “Do you wanna do a social experiment?”. The clip then continues with Chris and Michelle entering the elegant, charity gala with the mindset of both performing a staged performance of role reversal to see the reactions of the guests. Michelle starts by quietly approaching an older gentlemen and saying, “Nice ass, you work out?” followed by her clearly checking him out and then walking away, leaving him to ponder what she had just said. The older gentleman looked immensely confused, but did not say a word most likely because he was surprised due to the fact that men are not usually objectified. Similarly to my brief story earlier, this goes to show how often men can be aggressively sexual towards women without any prior reason besides that they believe it is socially expectable. For Chris’ first attempt at a role reversal he asks a women, “Is that dress a Valentino? You know what this suit is made out of? Boyfriend material.”. His choice of words definitely came off funny to the audience because we do not typically hear men wanting a relationship right off the bat, but women generally like to tie guys down before it is too late. Michelle then walks up to another older gentleman and then harasses the poor man saying, “That suit looks good on you, but I bet it would look even better balled up in the corner of a hotel room .” This statement came off very creepy from a women, but it implies that women receive sexual comments like this very often. The scene ends with Chris briefly talking to a rich, elder lady saying, “Well I’d love to travel more, but I have crushing student debt”. The elder lady immediately leans in to kiss Chris and as he awkwardly pulls away not expecting what had just happened, Michelle grabs his arm and takes him away. This instance Chris just portrayed is spot on in the eye of a female. It explains how we can just be trying to have a normal conversation, but the male has other plans. Overall, this short movie clip comes off very humorous to the audience, but its significance is all too real. Objectification of women and stereotyping of both genders is a real world problem that needs more attention.
As shown in the short clip, there was clear evidence of men showing superiority over women, even though the male role was played by Michelle. In the twenty-first century mens’ portrayal of superiority comes off as more of a sexual dominance, but in the past women have been dealing with being undermined for decades in other ways. From the formation of America, the controversy of a woman’s status in society has been questioned. Woman had to fight for the right to vote, the right to have another job besides being a mother and taking care of household duties, and also to run for office. Napoleon stated, “Woman is our property we are not hers because she produces children for us — we do not yield any to her. She is therefore our possession as the fruit tree is that of the gardener.”(Campbell). Women have come a long way since the second century, but sadly still deal with stereotyping.
Stereotyping happens everyday and often without a single thought to other people’s feelings. Yes, men can be stereotyped, but in no comparison to what women deal with. In the clip when Chris asked the elder woman, “Is that dress a Valentino? You know what this suit is made out of? Boyfriend material.” This line is showing how men stereotype women by believing all women want to be in a relationship. This stereotype was more true in the past than today in the twenty-first century. Nowadays most women care so much about being successful and being respected as a person that they do not have time to engage in a romantic relationship. We can find gender stereotypes in what we watch, what reread, the people we spend time with, and through our family and community. “Putting people into categories can send the message that there are ways males and females ‘should’ behave…It can be hard if we’re walking around feeling boxed in by other people’s expectations and judgements about how males and females are supposed to act.In reality people are much more interesting than a stereotype. People can be so many different things.”(Gender Stereotypes). All of the stereotypical behavior in the clip and in real life are simply based on pathos. There is little logic or credibility to the issue. The only logic I believe is present is stated in this quote, “Why are stereotypes dangerous? Because when people quote or use them they start being relied on as ‘the truth’.(Stereotype Trap). Michelle and Chris may have added humor to an irritable problem, but their purpose was to bring clarity to the audience regarding how stereotypes will affect your expectations of a relationship and your thoughts and feelings about a partner.
Michelle commented to two elder gentleman in the clip, “Nice ass, you work out?” and “That suit looks good on you, but I bet it would look even better balled up in the corner of a hotel room .” As she was playing a male role, her comments came off uncommonly realistic compared to Chris’. The reason for this is the profound abundance of sexual objectification towards women. “SO occurs when a woman’s body or body parts are singled out and separated from her as a person and she is viewed primarily as a physical object of male sexual desire”(Szymanski, Moffitt, Carr). There are studies that show how objectification of females contributes to mental health problems that affect women such as eating disorders and depression. This occurs from objectification that starts with a minor male comment and leads to women self-objectifying themselves by placing a greater emphasis on one’s appearance attributes. Sexual Objectification of Women: Advances to Theory and Research created a flow chart that shows sexual objectification experiences leads to self objectification that leads to psychological consequences such as appearance anxiety, reduced flow, diminished internal awareness, body shame and anxiety about physical safety that leads to mental health risks such as disordered eating, depression, and sexual dysfunction(Szymanski, Moffitt, Carr). The short clip from “Playing it Cool” used major pathos striking the audiences emotions on the topic, but clearly there is evidence of logos and ethos. The proof of logos and ethos is evident in scientists Szymanski, Moffitt, and Carr’s research.
The main purpose of this scene from the movie is to raise awareness on stereotyping and objectification of women.The audience targeted was both men and women in today’s society. The message was mostly consisted of pathos, but if you dig deeper into the two topics at hand people will find logic and credible research about the issue. The most effective solution to this problem is to raise awareness for it and it’s psychological impact it has on women. The lesson we as people should learn from this short clip is that stereotyping and objectification of women needs to come to an end so the psychological consequences can stop negatively affecting our strong women in society.
Theline.org.au. (2018). The stereotype trap – Girls think guys are… | The Line. [online] Available at: https://www.theline.org.au/the-stereotype-trap [Accessed 9 Jul. 2018].
This website shows numerous points of view on stereotypes both true and false. It brings awareness to the negative effects stereotyping has on both men and women. I will use this site to explain to my audience how stereotypes can dumb as down and have a major negative impact. This site is credible because there was extensive research done and it is a .org site.
Campbell Ph.D., P. and Storo, J. (2018). Girls Are… Boys Are… : Myths, Stereotypes & Gender Differences. [online] Campbell-kibler.com. Available at: http://www.campbell-kibler.com/stereo.pdf [Accessed 9 Jul. 2018].
This website is an in-depth look into the history, differences, myths, and oversimplification of stereotyping. There are many intriguing thoughts regarding the topic. I will use this site to give a better understanding of the stereotyping problem. It is credible because there are references and sources used and it was posted by the Office of Educational Research and Improvement.
Theline.org.au. (2018). Gender Stereotypes. [online] Available at: https://www.theline.org.au/sites/default/files/THELINE_Preteen_Resource_AA_final.pdf [Accessed 9 Jul. 2018].
This website explains what gender stereotypes are, where they come from, why they matter, and how we can re-define them. It gave important knowledge I found interesting about how stereotypes can box people in due to other peoples expectations and judgements. I will use the website to quote some of its information. It is credible because its information lines up with research and is a .org site.
Szymanski, D., Moffitt, L. and Carr, E. (2018). Sexual Objectification of Women: Advances to Theory and Research. [online] Apa.org. Available at: https://www.apa.org/education/ce/sexual-objectification.pdf [Accessed 9 Jul. 2018].
This website is an outline of an experiment done by multiple scientists regarding the sexual objectification of women. It explains how objectification can have psychological consequences on its victims and how we can help the problem come to an end. I will use this site to come off more credible to my audience on the topic. It is a credible source because it was an experiment put on by multiple scientists.