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Objectifying Gender and Social Conditioning (satire)

First of all, interested parties may want to Google "gylanic" and look for the feminist criticism of it, as well as research the role the matriarchal archetypes of virgin, mother and crone. Otherwise, we'll be working out of ignorance of what role feminists, Riane Eisler, and those archetypes play in daily life.

IMHO it's a joint effort. How it gets done requires that men refrain from doing their thinking with the little head, and that women remember that the male ego is a myth.

Otherwise it may become a battle of wills if either side has an axe to grind.

In order get beyond the objectifying of women, both sides have to acknowledge the role that the patriarchal roots of human society plays in it.

Likewise, the matriarchal archetypes of virgin, mother, and crone also play a role in women-only views of patriarchy and also need to be addressed to help sensitize the men to what women want to help both sides overcome this age-old problem.

Yet it is more than an age-old problem, it is also a challenge for both men and women due to social conditioning.

That is why I suggested that we make use of the extensive research that shows that objectifying women (and men) is due to social conditioning. The only thing that is "hardwired" into the brain is the sex drive.

As well, the terms "man", "woman", "heterosexual" and "homosexual" are artifacts of that social conditioning. The first two terms are genders rigidly defined by patriarchal society, and the latter two are forms of sexuality (sexual expression).

However, I am not suggesting that we try to undo all of our social conditioning. Rather, the focus is on objectifying women (and men).

When a person listens to a story of general interest written by another person without knowing the person's gender, it is impossible to know whether a man or woman wrote it.

Before the 1920s, after which time the genders were rigidly enforced and homosexuality was criminalized, a person's sexuality was nobody's business and homosexuality was condoned, provided that both parties remained discreet.

Once upon a time, transgender people were not subject to rigidly enforced surgical and often psychotherapeutic intervention, depending on the person's socio-economic background.

In other cultures, the third sex is accepted but within context of social rules sometimes being eroded by patriarchal values imposed by first-world nations, much as nationalism was imposed on peoples living in societies prior to the rising of nations both in Europe and in the Americas as well as Asia.

However, objectifying women (and sometimes men) is due to social conditioning. It is patriarchal in nature, and neither gender nor sexuality are immune to its effects. One of many ways to reduce the effects of such social conditioning is to sensitize oneself to the way such social conditioning plays on our relationship with others.

Alone, one does not objectify others, apart from treating oneself to be of sole importance to oneself and considering trusted others to be essential to one's well-being. Thus, one trusts first family and then friends.

Then how does objectifying others work? Objectifying implies that one is presenting the objectified as an object and thus depersonalizing the other. In contract, personalizing then implies that the other becomes known as a person, and subsequently respecting his or her rights as an individual, thus individualizing that person. As well, in language, personal pronouns tend to personalize a person while depersonalizing a person happens when s/he is described as an object to fulfilled the material needs of a person in power. Thus, there is a dominator-submissive dichotomy in the power structure associated with objectifying women.

Thus, maintaining an impersonal idea of a person without careful consideration of that person as a unique individual with the same rights as you or I is also a factor in objectifying other people.

Even so, the system of objectifying a person is not called objectification, which refers to the act of representing an abstraction as a physical thing and is the concrete representation of an abstract idea or thing. While people are not abstractions nor are they an abstract idea or thing, our ideas about other people are abstractions when we do not know them personally.

The only term which defines the process of objectifying is depersonalization, which has both personal (from the point of view of the self) and social (from the point of view of the other within the context of self). Thus, other people cannot be objects without feeling depersonalized on learning that they have been objectified. Likewise, the person doing the objectifying may be unaware of the effect that such depersonalization is having on himself/herself.

Depersonalization has detrimental effects on both the objectified person and the person doing the objectifying. It is morally irresponsible for the latter to deny such effects or to blame the objectified for them.

However, objectifying a woman (or a man) is another case of situational ethics in that within the auspices of a loving relationship, the tendency to objectify each other is reduced by getting to know each other as people. Instead, by making it personal and a shared experience, such a relationship can reduces the tendency to objectify each other. Thus, objectifying another person denies a personal and shared experience.

As well, what defines a personal and shared experience requires communication between both parties on an equal level. Proponents of the view that prostitution is an objectified relationship deny that the prostitute and the customer are on an equal level, despite the fact that in some cases, as the customer gets to know the prostitute that he has chosen as a regular customer, they both may cross from a depersonalized relationship into a deeply personal and loving one.

Even the language used in prostitution depersonalizes each party: a customer is called a "john" and a prostitute is called many kinds of name, including the neutral term "professional".

Returning to the objectifying of women, this is a matter that may be remedied by social interaction both on a public and a private level. It cannot be done informally without facing the risks that depersonalization entails. Nor can it be done by people who are not familiar with the terms I have introduced here.

This is why I have introduced most of the concepts which face each and every person, men and women, as well as heterosexuals and homosexuals.

Originally posted on December 26, 2010 at 9:36 PM


Social conditioning:

1 comment:

Steve said...

Both matriarchy and patriarchy are post-modern terms.