“It’s ok to objectify guys, they’re guys, they don’t care.”
“Guys can’t get raped, they never don’t want sex.”
“Men should be the ones to do the asking.”
“Men should always pay on a date.”
“It’s okay for me to be sexually attracted to watching two gay men have sex, but not for men to be attracted to lesbians.”
“It’s impossible for men to be victims of domestic violence, they’re bigger and stronger than women!”
“Sexual predators are always men.”
I don’t think that objectifying anyone, trespassing on anyone’s personal space, or sexually harassing anyone is right.
After looking at this post I scrolled right down to the latest post I reblogged of one of those Hawkeye-and-Scantily-Clad-DC-Heroine-TM switch pictures. Hawkeye is dressed in tight, revealing, ostentatiously sexy clothing, looking primly off into the distance. Is this objectification?
I think that in hindsight, the answer has some slight potential to be a little nebulous. He’s a fictional character, and in those pictures we are grabbing his appearance, putting him in clothes and situations and poses that look ridiculous on him, and giggling. He is a clown.
He is also, however, a statement. His character and appearance are being used as juxtapositioned with his line-facing female spy friend, who (by contrast) is being put in those poses and clothes that we just acknowledged as being silly—but in all seriousness. We can laugh at Hawkeye because we know that when it comes down to it, those clothes and poses aren’t actually who he is. In that sense, he is not being objectified: we still know that his default state is kicking ass and blowing stuff up with improbably explosive arrows. Black Widow, on the other hand, does not have that status.
Therefore, depending on your degree of sensitivity, yes, those posts are using Hawkeye as a temporary clown, and thus using his character as a plaything to prove a point. Otherwise, no, I don’t think those posts objectify him.
In this fanfic I’ve been writing, one of the characters is blind. I didn’t set out with his character to make a great big statement on disability, and I’m also not trying to make any points with him. In all honesty, I didn’t really think much about it, beyond that I liked the flavor of the story more with his blindness than without.
Now that I’ve gone a round writing him and am approaching the end, however… I’m at the point where I feel like I need to really examine what I’m doing before I show it anywhere.