Our Culture of Dehumanizing Individuals
What is the definition of dehumanizing? To remove from a person the special human qualities of independent thought, feeling for other people, etc. (Cambridge dictionary).
With the new craving of video games, magazines, and technology we can influence individuals at a faster rate than ever before. What we see is often less than the reality of what true individuals look and behave like. With video games, they use fake names, use vulgar language, and often promote violence, rape, and other gruesome activities. What if you were to replace the names of your friends, relatives, and people you love into the video games? I think it would help bring things back to reality. Kids and adults think that it is just a game and that they can detach themselves from these types of images. That could not be further from the truth! Video games make women and men look like they are fake images and not real. Not all games are like this, but many are. When children play games, they are not maturely ready for, they have a hard time knowing what is real. They tend to apply that to everyday circumstances. Women and men are made into objects and not people
Because of these images, many women feel that they need to be skinny to be recognized by men. And so, they are willing to do whatever they need to make themselves noticed. This image is on billboards, cell phones, and magazine shelves at the grocery store! No matter where we look we see these images. Men and children are learning that women are products and not individuals. Objectification theory (Fredrickson & Roberts, 1997) postulates that many women are sexually objectified and treated as an object to be valued for its use. This 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 (Bartky, 1990).
But are men being dehumanized also? The filmmaking industry might target men by staying longer on the female body in an advertisement or movie in which women are dressed provocatively for seemingly no reason. They dress this way to get the attention of the men. We assume that men are the ones to be the consumer of media. It creates a culture in which men do the looking and women are looked at, in which men are the subjects and women are the objects.
However, that is what most people think, and I believe that men are also objectified by women. When I was young and dating, I always wanted the tall guys. It wasn’t practical for me to even date someone over six feet because I was only about 5 feet. It seemed that I was more interested in the guy if he was good looking, tall, and had all the muscles. It wasn’t until I got older that I decided that wasn’t going to buy me lasting happiness in a marriage and so I changed my thoughts on what really mattered. Being attracted to the opposite sex is normal and God intended it to be so. But when we take the beauty of love and turn it into lust it becomes dehumanizing. When people begin to mistreat the member of the opposite sex with abuse of any kind, it becomes wrong.
Changing how we look at other individuals is possible once we look at them the way God intended us to do. Explaining to our children the reality of video games, and life can make all the difference. Teach them the value of the nurturing qualities that women have and how men are to lead the family, protect, and provide. Love is more than what is on the outside. It will only last when we realize the value of the individual from the inside.
Written By: Lisa Nielsen
References: Fredrickson, Barbara, Roberts, Tomi-Ann. 2006. Objectification Theory. Retrieved on May 2018