Men can be sexualized, too: A young woman’s view after the Oscars

Some men feel flattered, others brush it off. I honestly want to hear what they have to say

Timothée Chalamet on the red carpet of the 94th Oscars® at the Dolby Theatre at Ovation Hollywood in Los Angeles, CA, on March 27, 2022 (Photo from Matt Sayles / A.M.P.A.S.)

Credit: Access/YouTube

It all began when I was watching TikTok. I’d already seen some clips of this incident on Instagram, but it was on TikTok that I saw the full clip. It was a clip of Regina Hall calling for the “hot” men in the Oscars for PCR tests, since theirs were “missing.” It was obviously a joke. But what made it rather disturbing for me was when they were around, she started telling them that they had to take their clothes off and she would run her tongue down their throats as a swab. At first it was funny, then I started feeling that it was bad and rather cringe-worthy. I thought that if women were placed in that situation, it wouldn’t be okay.

I had so many questions in my mind. Is it okay to treat men this way? Is it just a joke? Where do you draw the line between a joke and a sexualized comment when it comes to men? When is it not okay for men?

One of the first few feelings I get when I see something like that is that I don’t want to see a man I know to get sexually harassed. It can be scary for men, too. My immediate reaction is to give tips on how to stop this. But I wondered, how do you stop this? I don’t know how. I didn’t have answers. How do women stop doing this kind of treatment of men?

I do admit I have crushes, but I also wonder, am I going overboard with my actions?

I do admit I have crushes, but I also wonder, am I going overboard with my actions? I cringe when I feel like I am. I don’t want to disrespect anyone. Sometimes, I even ask people I trust if my actions are correct; the people I know also tell me off. I always take into account what they tell me. When I see that a line has been crossed, I feel sorry and try my best to learn and apply such lessons to my life.

But aside from that experience, I’ve met men who’ve acted in their own defense against women, when they feel stepped on or uncomfortable. Some men feel flattered, others brush it off, still others fight back. I respect that; I honestly want to hear what they have to say on the matter, and treat them properly with respect.

Why is it so important? It’s simple. Men are people, and they deserve to be treated with respect.

It feels rather prehistoric if women start sexualizing men in an uncomfortable manner. I mean, we’ve experienced men doing it, and we feel like they’re acting like cavemen. If women do it, it doesn’t make us any better than men; rather, we seem like we didn’t learn. Shouldn’t we be more civilized? Is civilized even the right term for it?

Where is the line you must not crossed? Only when they tell you off? When they look uncomfortable? How would you know? When you feel like you went overboard? That might be overthinking. My thought is, if you don’t know where it is, think—how far should a man take his joke regarding a woman? Then apply this to how you treat men. Still don’t know where that is? Maybe apply the universal principle to treat others the way you want to be treated. Or maybe apply the guidelines on human rights of the United Nations. I’m not joking. We have ways to learn how not to sexualize men, and it can be done if we just strive to search for the answers.

Other things we can do to know our “limits” is to remember or to learn some values. Or maybe we need to read more, or listen more to understand their situation. I may sound too preachy, but I like to think it’s more of respecting someone before it becomes a problem. It’s prevention. And this applies both to women and men. Don’t think you’re off the hook, guys.

Everyone should get equal or fair treatment, no matter who they are. I’ve heard from women I know that it’s not a woman’s fault that they are sexualized by men. I’ve started feeling that it applies to men, as well. It has become more apparent now since people are free to discuss different topics. More “freedom” without proper thought can lead to over-the-top comments. These can be bad if not properly thought about. Speech without taking into account someone’s rights or feelings is bad. Men deserve respect when it comes to their bodies, the same way women do.

Regina Hall with Simu Liu, Bradley Cooper, Tyler Perry and Timothée Chalamet during the live ABC telecast of the 94th Oscars® at the Dolby Theatre at Ovation Hollywood in Los Angeles, CA, on March 27, 2022.
(Photo from Kyusung Gong / A.M.P.A.S.)

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About author


Mica describes herself: “I am a straightforward person who also can be a perfectionist. But I know there are limitations. And one thing I declared to myself is to live my life as if it was art. It sounds cheesy but true. I grew up in Rizal, and I believe that it built my character and exposed me to a lot of Filipino values and beliefs. I went to college at DLSU-Manila and took a degree in Political Science. There are times I feel like a nomad because, ever since college, I’ve been staying in different places to be closer to studies or work. I’m a nerd and I find that cool. I believe in the power of learning, and I see myself as the result of years of education. Good and bad. I expose myself to a lot of experiences. I have exposed myself to topics related to art, politics, literature, religion, history, medicine, etc. Consistently, I like to do a lot of things. I get bored easily so I keep myself busy. I have to say that I love art. It is home for me. When things get rough, I always find myself drawn to it, and see it as a way home. But I have to say writing has been my dream. These days it has become my way back to myself, and a path to my peace of mind. I have no formal training, but whatever I do, I believe it develops good content. I want to write things that matter, and I believe I do.

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