Posts Written by sangetencre

Language Matters: A few thoughts on “Some man’s daughter.”

Every time you choose to view pornography, attend a strip club, solicit a prostitute, or in any other way, treat a woman like a piece of flesh rather than a person, remember one thing:  That girl is some man’s daughter.  From: Lessons I Learned Raising My Daughter

(Emphasis mine.)

I found this particular admonishment on The Art of Manliness . (I can’t remember how I ended up over there…link hopping, probably.)

I digress.

My thoughts for this post were sparked by that last line.

I’ve encountered this and very similar admonishments quite often when it comes to the harassment and objectification of women.

The language bothers me.

I realize that people use this and similar phrases to try to make men (generally) think critically about the fact that there is a person on the receiving end of the harassment. The admonishment plays off the question "How would you feel if someone did that to your daughter/mother/sister?" It tries to make the impersonal personal .

And I know it’s effective for some audiences, that it does make them stop and think.

But I also feel that we lose something when we use the kind of language in this type of admonishment.

We lose the idea of autonomy.

The woman as her own person. Deserving of the basic respect to not be harassed, othered, objectified.

We, instead, seem to be defining the appropriate treatment of ...