Of course, they all have lovely bottoms
For men to compliment women is far more common than for the reverse to happen. It’s one of those socialized traits people barely notice unless they’re particularly alerted, what with it being so widespread as to be ubiquitous. Unsurprisingly, the majority of compliments directed towards women tend to praise appearance as opposed to ability or personality. The overall effect is one that can breed frustration in recipients as it reinforces harmful gender roles.
Gendered compliments are of that type of benevolent sexism that generally flies under the social radar. Getting praise is lovely, right? Surely it raises self-esteem and spreads good will to all the boys and girls.
Speaking of well-intentioned, personally I remain sceptical of whether Objectify A Man Day will succeed in its goal or obscure it. It’s true that a bit of awareness and empathy can help men to see sexism to which they’re normally blind, but the condoning of benevolent sexism is a much harder thing to shift. The event stands no chance of emulating the problems of misguided compliments, what with the lack of everything else that makes benevolent sexism so disconcerting (including, odiously enough, the sincerity).
Those in on the joke need no convincing, while those outside might barely even notice anything’s different. Most likely it will bolster the belief of many that getting complimented on one’s appearance is flattering, not insulting. And if well-intentioned men can get through one day of receiving superficial compliments, it may just encourage them to think that benevolent sexism isn’t so bad after all.
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