The Washington Post

Ending the objectification starts with you, guys

Matthew McConaughey in a scene from "Magic Mike." (Claudette Barius/AP)

The hostess at Jimmy's in Aspen was lovely. But, really, old guy still wearing your Aspen Idea Festival badge signaling your Ivy League affiliation? 

Barely got that one in before your wife arrived. And your younger male pal seemed to get such a kick out of it.

But at the next table, my husband and I groaned. For the same reason my friend Mary C. Curtis won't be going to see "Magic Mike.” Which is that objectification isn’t funny, period. And the solution to men objectifying women is not women objectifying men.

I'm not interested in ogling others, men or women, or in making sly comments about anyone’s appearance. As a former waitress, overhearing someone else verbally use what's basically a pickup line on someone far younger and in a position of providing a paid service is highly annoying.

Perhaps the Aspen Ideas speaker in his 70s could imagine it this way. What if he'd made such a remark to a pizza parlor waitress in the early '70s? Back then, Lisa Najeeb Halaby was spending a year in Aspen to escape the pressure she felt as one of the first women to attend Princeton University. 

Today, that waitress is known as Queen Noor of Jordan. She spends much of her time advocating for women and children in the Middle East.

And she’d probably have groaned at that remark, too.



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