Bits & Bobs On Feminist Theory #13: On Inanimate Objects As Coded Female

I've been thinking a lot about the objectification of women, and the way in which it is normalized in a misogynistic, patriarchal society. One of the things that struck me was the way in which inanimate objects are very often coded as female. Cars, boats, planes, countries; they're all afforded what I call "The Royal She."

It seems innocuous, but labeling inanimate objects as female contributes to the idea of actual women as objects; objects you can own. It plays into the idea of ownership of the female body, and the subsequent "rights" afforded to someone who "owns property."

When we make the connection between objects as female, we also make the reverse connection of women as objects. And objects exist to be owned, dominated and conquered. The symbolism of conquering land that is "inherently" female is quite shocking when you think about it. Especially when you consider the attitudes of the people who do so. Early settlers colonized and seized land because it was their "divine right" to do so. It was their "duty" to control and expand at will. New fertile land existed to serve their needs. Does that logic extend to women's bodies too?