This is a comment by wellokaythen on the Comment of the Day: “Society wants dads to ‘step up’, but they are literally stomped down when they do.”
“I haven’t worked out the terms just yet, but I would make a distinction between ‘mild’ objectification and ‘severe’ objectification. (That makes it sound like acne or something. I welcome suggestions for better terms.)
“Mild, run-of-the-mill objectification is simply noticing physical features and letting that influence your thoughts about that person in any way. It is not incompatible with seeing that person as a human being or treating that person with basic respect. It could just be a matter of not knowing anything about a person besides what they look like, because you know that person by sight before anything else. You may even begin to make some tentative predictions about what the person is like based on appearance, but you’re not committed to those predictions.
“Severe, total objectification is totally reducing that person to only constituent parts. That person is just a body, divorced of all personality or intellect or individual identity. You make absolute assumptions based on that person’s body. They are not really human but just a collection of individual parts that exist solely for your pleasure or disgust.
“I don’t think the mild version is a problem, and it is to some degree unavoidable anyway. You can find examples of the sever kind in many places, but it is not the same.
“It’s comparable to ‘greed.’ It’s a question of degree. Seeking individual economic interest, like going back to school in order to get a higher paying job, is actually commendable. Seeking individual economic interest by screwing over other people with fraud and theft is unacceptable.
“To those who want to destroy all objectification root and branch, I have to ask you to model what that would look like. What would it look like to be attracted to someone on sight without there being any objectification whatsoever?”
Photo credit: Flickr / SebastianDooris