A while back I had a conversation with my SO about a friend. I was frustrated because it seemed to me like people objectified her. He responded by saying that being objectified was her choice. If she wants to be seen in a certain way, she should be able to do so. On the surface this seems reasonable, but if you dig deeper, I’m not so sure. I don’t think that minorities…any minorities…enjoy the same kind of freedoms that white men do in our society.
Imagine if one black person decided s/he would prefer to be a slave, and found a way to legally sell him/herself into slavery. How would that affect civil rights in the US? Even if it didn’t have any legal implications, how would it affect societal perceptions? How would that perpetuate existing bigotry and racism?
By that same token, one woman deciding that she prefers to be seen as less than a person affects societal perceptions of women. The LGBT community are already dealing with this phenomena. Milo Yiannopoulos undermines the entire community by supporting the conservative agenda that, by its very nature, takes rights from that community. Conservatives hold him up as a torch to justify their bigotry because he’s gay. They are very quick to say, but Milo Yiannopoulos _______ and he’s gay. Every time this happens, it becomes harder for the LGBT community to gain the rights they deserve. All it takes is one person reinforcing preconceived societal perceptions about a minority group to undermine decades…even centuries…of work towards equality.