Fair point. Hot is more specific.
But consider that the tone of voice for “cute” can split it into two different words:
Think of a “short cute” starting with a high pitch and gong to a lower but still high pitch. It’s kind of non-committal, equivalent to a male “yeah” said a lower tone with the same high low but same range.
Hmm.. I was gong to try to list all the ways to intone the word “cute” but that could take a page or two tongue emoticon
Think of the way a woman will say the word “cute” when she means “hot”. Compare to how a man says “hot” – the way the word sounds. They use the same way of saying it and it means the same thing in that context.
Now if a man is talking about a stove being hot he doesn’t use the word the same way, just a woman doesn’t use “cute bag” in the same way. Ok, it’s not equivalent, but the point is, the same word can have many different meanings, depending on how it’s said and in what way.
I think it’s just a kind of happenstance that while a guy trying hard being “cute” and a guy who is attractive is “cute” both are “cute” but they’re different cutes… whereas the word “hot” does not carry the dual meaning in that way.
Yet in the two different “cutes” referring to a man, it’s objectifying him in some fashion. But with “hot” from a man the objectification has a smaller set of meanings.
and, truth be told, if a man finds out that a woman thinks it’s “cute” that he’s trying too hard, he feels emasculated, which is the equivalent from a man’s point of view of a woman feeling objectified for being “hot”.
I’m re-reading the OP… OK … i WAS starting to go in the wrong direction in my explanations earlier… but I think for now I’m going to stick with “cute” as similar-although-not-quite-the-same-as word for “hot” in the contexts that you’re referring to.
Both are very versitile words.
Men call other men “hot stuff” too in a way that’s not sexual but has the equivlant use for women, for example. “On fire”, “smoking” etc.
Emasculation is objectification though from the man’s point of view. He doesn’t feel “whole”. His “I’m a man” image gets reduced to feeling as if he’s a preschool boy or at best, an awkward pre-teen. He’s lost his puberty, lost his virility. Not quite lost his penis but shrunken.
Consider the origin of belittle itself:
“late 18th century: a coinage of Thomas Jefferson originally meaning ‘diminish in size, make small’; the current sense dates from the very end of the 18th century.”
So yeah. It’s objectification, if not explicit.
Ok, you’ve gone a _lot_ further here than I was thinking. You’re incorporating the legal system, rape, introduced expressions I’d never use in a millions years.
My point is, on a everyday social level, not in the extremes that you’re speaking of (which _can_ be separated out for the purposes of discussion), women do objectify men on a regular basis socially. They do it to boys, they do it to men. Just as men do it to girls and men do it to women.
But from that point, the spectrums can vary wildly when you begin to introduce power differences in areas where there is a definitive inequality: the court systems and such.
Oh, men in my generation called women “hot” too. I knew what it meant then as I do now. My brain is just wired differently. “She’s hot” is a synonym to “she’s attractive” – I know that. So in that sense it’s used visually. One could say, “What about her is hot?” and then you get to find out how the man objectifies the woman in that case.
I just don’t usually participate in those conversations. Picking apart someone’s physical attributes was never interesting to me.