ehowton (ehowton) wrote,
ehowton
ehowton

Objectification


After authoring Outrage I gave a lot of thought to objectification. Unsurprisingly, experiences have led me to change my view on this over the years. When I was a young idealist, everything fit neatly into their boxes, and if high school and minimum wage jobs taught me anything it was that we were each valuable as individuals. Had my life-goals ceased to advance from that point, I can't imagine how confused I might be when faced with something a little more unrealistic.

I suppose it started when I enlisted. Which is a lot like indentured servitude, or being objectified. I became an asset of the United States - nothing more - and was thrilled with the arrangement. Now that I work remote, I have a string of managers who come and go, most of whom I've never met, let alone spoken to. Hard to see them as a valuable and unique individuals, as I assume I appear similarly to them. Again, its an arrangement I've agreed to and have no problem with it whatsoever. At some point, my number will come up, and it will be entirely impersonal. I wholly accept those terms.

Sexual objectification is actually not much more complex. I was 40 before it dawned on me losing my virginity to the sister of the girl I was seeing had nothing whatsoever to do with me - I was a pawn in a decades old sibling rivalry likely they weren't even aware of. When this realization hit me, I laughed aloud. One on-again, off-again lover of mine told me flat out that my platonic attentions to her as a person didn't sate her the way being used as an object could. At the time I was shocked at her declaration, but she was speaking temporally - something I didn't grasp at the time and totally makes sense to me now.

So while psychologists could lament the harm done to young women who felt they had to objectify themselves because of a video game, a little impersonalization in this world might make everyone a little less offended, and I bet I'm not the only one who would love to see more selflessness.
Tags: philosophy
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