Modesty is made               for men who gaze,
spectacles are sent           to sinfully seduce,
objects othered                 by ogling egos,
value invisible                   unless it’s visual.
Old used bodies                are out of order,
pristine virgins                   are void of guilt,
people paid                       are pleasure tools:
interchangeable                individuals.
Art aesthetics                   —an apt excuse—
ethnic exclusion                or exhibition.
Women’s work                  is tamed or “wild,”
models merely                  a mirror for man.
Stereotypes of                  society stifle,
phallic phantom                in females’ minds.
Reinforced standards       irrevocably wrought,
sexual subversion            a sensitive bind.
Doing looks                      denotes our difference:
physical features              to floating norms.
Words are thoughts         that lead the way,
focused ears                    will follow.



A lot of the issues identified in the course readings for “Bodies at Work” are consequences of society’s emphasis on the visual. I think that individual differentiation and features are important, but people tend to use physical appearance as a way of categorizing without discretion; for example, through what Elizabeth Wissinger refers to as “lookism.” In my utopian alternative, society would be less concerned with aesthetics and more concerned with their auditory perceptions.

Iris Marion Young’s alternative metaphysics of objects suggests that our separation of object and subject was established in response to the distance afforded by the male gaze. Therefore, if the gaze was replaced by the simultaneous nature of touch, there would be “no clear opposition between subject and object”[1.Iris Marion Young, On Female Body Experience: “On Throwing Like a Girl” and Other Essays (New York: Oxford University Press), 2005. 81.] Additionally, if value was derived from what an individual has to say—rather than what they look like—prejudices and classifications based on inconsequential physical differences would be reduced.

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