Thursday, June 07, 2012

'IT' is a compliment?

Sometimes people argue that their comments about women's appearances aren't objectifying or dehumanising the women concerned, but are actually complimentary. But if that was the case, why would the words 'that' and  'it' so often be employed?

As in, "It's not bad for forty!" This was a comment referring to a woman whose birthday it was, from SIK* who thought he was among friends, with another man, not realising I could hear.

It's quite disturbing to realise that out of earshot, I and any other woman could easily become 'it' to him, no matter how nice he can be to my face. I don't see how anyone can pretend using 'it' is not about objectifying someone.

It's a deliberate choice of language, isn't it? It's just not natural to use 'it' instead of 'she/her' unless it is for the purposes of these so-called compliments.

Possibly it's about 'in' groups and 'out' groups - SIK othering the woman with the birthday and trying to bond with the other man.

* Someone I Know

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