Who Bears Responsibility for Objectification

Objectification is a hot topic in the realm of gender equality. There’s all these debates about what is or isn’t objectification. If a woman wears a mini skirt and high heels, is she objectifying herself? What if she drinks a little and starts dancing? What if she dances on stage and sings into a microphone?

These are all things that people like to point at and cry, “Objectification!” Is it really, though, or is claiming a woman is objectifying herself by wearing revealing clothing another form of slut-shaming?

The definition of objectification or objectify in the dictionary is simple: to treat (someone) as an object rather than a person. As a verb, objectify is something a person does, but can a person do that to themselves?

The easiest example I can think of is that of a stripper. While I’ve heard the profession often demands dancing experience of newcomers interested in that line of work, it almost seems obvious that a career revolving around removing clothes and gyrating would be objectifying. That still doesn’t answer the question of who is doing the objectifying, though. Is the dancer objectifying herself when she takes off her clothes, that is, is she treating herself or viewing herself as an object? Or is it the spectators who are objectifying her, seeing her not as a person but as a tool for their gratification?

No matter the clothes or actions a person takes, are they ever responsible for the way other people react to them?

I’ve asked these questions because I don’t buy the idea that a person who wears revealing clothing, no clothing or acts in a certain way will always be objectified. The other day, I was having a conversation Kylie (from Kenny and Kylie) about porn and objectification. I wondered, if watching a naked person or naked people have sex always resulted in the objectification of said naked people, then what do people think of their lover when they have sex with them? Are they nothing but an object to them in that moment? Do they suddenly lack the ability to recognize someone’s humanity at the site of a breast or a penis?

That can’t be the case, which means it’s possible for people to enjoy the attractiveness of a person, receive sexual gratification from that person and still see them as a human being. There’s a plethora of issues when it comes to porn, including (but not limited to) the stereotypes it perpetuates, the health of the actors and the discrimination they face after they leave the industry. I’m not writing this to comment on any of those issues or to pass judgement on whether or not porn is okay to create or watch. What I am here to point out is that a person can watch porn without objectifying the actors if they so wish. They can be attracted to them and get off on them, if that is their wish, without degrading them.

This photo, “Caution: Teenagers” is copyright (c) 2014 CGP Grey and made available under an Attribution 2.0 Generic license
This photo, “Pornography” is copyright (c) 2014 CGP Grey and made available under an Attribution 2.0 Generic license

We live in a society that accepts the idea it’s okay to objectify a person in that light. That does not justify objectification in any sense nor does it mean its inevitable people will objectify other involved in those careers. The situations in which a person is and isn’t objectified varies by culture, anyway. In the Western world, many are inclined to objectify people who dance in revealing clothing on the dance floor. In other countries, people are inclined to objectify women who let their long hair flow freely. In some countries, wearing a burka doesn’t prevent a woman from being objectified, given the high rates of assault that tend to exist in countries where such clothing is required.

Why are people objectified regardless of what they do or don’t wear? I’m inclined to say it’s because what a person wears is not the reason they are objectified. A person may use what someone chooses to wear as an excuse for objectifying them, but that’s not the real reason.  A person objectifies another because they see them as less than human. They see them as being below them.

Throughout this post, I’ve tried to say people are objectified, as opposed to women, because anyone of any gender can be objectified. However, this is something we usually associate with the treatment of women. I don’t think it’s because women usually wear less than men or because they are somehow bringing it upon themselves. The reason why it’s more common for women to be objectified is because it’s more common for them to be treated as less than men across the world.

You could probably through non-binary sexualities and genders in that box, too. People will talk about sleeping with a transsexual or watching a homosexual couple have sex like it’s a kind of kinky conquest. Are they really seeing them as people, or are they just thinking of how they could use them as a tool for their sexual gratification?

People are responsible for their own actions, whether those actions involve choosing what they wear, what their occupation is or how they treat another person. While the porn stars and strippers of the world may not be completely innocent, they are still people, and they deserve to be treated as such.

Do you think humanity will ever rise above objectifying others? Is the solution of the future no objectification or equal objectification (where all genders and sexualities are equally objectified)? If a society routinely objectifies certain clothing or actions, are those choose to wear that clothing or take those actions automatically disrespecting themselves? How fair is it for us to judge whether or not a person wants to be objectified, or whether they respect themselves based off what they wear?

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44 thoughts on “Who Bears Responsibility for Objectification”

  1. Of course people are objects to others.Sex sells and that’s why there are “Adult sex toys” and multiple children to women with different fathers. Entertainment. “The OBJECT of my affection ?! ” Estethics emotion, reason, Morality,at times ,who cares. We drift back and forth and after the fact try to rationalise. Is being a father “figure” a bad thing a provider ? Is being a cook cleaner and bottle filler and diaper changer not an objectiive duty. Does the sex of the doer matter .? and when hanging toys in a cradle takes the place of human interaction . . . what? Seems like this is a discussion on self esteem to me. I remember a female comedian saying on TV. about her sex toy, Mine has gears, and the batteries last forever. Come on Man !!?

    1. Sex selling, sex toys and children with multiple fathers hardly proves to me that people always see others as objects in sexual situations. I mean, treating a literal sex toy as an object isn’t a problem. I just find it hard to believe people could establish long-term, emotional relationships with someone if they only see them as a sex object in the bedroom. Thinking someone is attractive and getting sexual gratification from being with them does not mean you see them as less of a person.

  2. The person objectifying the other bears sole responsibility, in my view.

    I can wear what I like, as I like, and if you have anything other to say than, “Nice shoes/skirt/cleavage” etc, you’re probably being a dick and/or objectifying me. If I’m overweight (I am) I can wear skin-tight clothes, and that’s great. If I have massive breasts (I don’t) I can wear the lowest-cut top imaginable, and that’s great. If I’m far from the typical “ideal”, I can reveal as much skin as legally allowed, and that’s great. If I am physical “perfection” I can cover myself head-to-toe, and that’s great.

    No matter what I, or someone else, chooses to wear; or how flirty they choose to act; or how confident they are in themselves, etc; if another person tries to make them feel shitty about it, and/or stops seeing them as a human being because of it, the fault is completely with that person (not the person who figured it was hot outside, so they’d wear a tank-top–it’s not their job to make sure other people don’t ogle them).

    I think I’m mostly agreeing with you, here. I don’t want you to get the wrong idea 🙂 My use of “you” is a hypothetical, and it’s certainly not aimed at you, the author of the above. I think we’re more or less on the same page.

    –AmandaQuirky

    PS A stripper isn’t necessarily objectifying themselves–bodies are nice to look at, especially doing skillful things, and if I could dance and had fewer (what I feel are) physical flaws, I’d love to strip for money–but it’s a fine line. I think that being a stripper is one of those jobs where you open yourself up to others’ judgments about you, and over time, you might start to internalize their comments. In a perfect society, of course, that would never happen, and people would realize that taking off your clothes is exactly that–an action performed–and it says nothing about ones innermost thoughts or interests or intrinsic worth as a person.

    And me, I’d probably tell them to grow a set and find something better to do than harass people they’re jealous of 🙂 Which I’m guessing some actual strippers do, as well.

    1. I agree. Objectifying (is that a word? Or is it, “objectification?”) is in the mind of s/he who is on the outside looking in. Personally, I think choosing to be a stripper, escort, porn actor/actress, lingerie (or other) type model is empowering and all are strong choices. When I was a much younger woman I once told my father, “I wish I had a great body, I would love to be in Playboy.” To which he replied, “I would be so proud if you were in Playboy.”

      I don’t think he meant “got into Playboy” as an author…. 😉
      (Dad was a pretty cool dude.)

      1. I’m sure it can be empowering under the right circumstances. I imagine you have to have a lot of confidence in your body to do something like that, although, from what I’ve learned of the porn industry, I’m not sure I would include that as empowering. Maybe in the moment, and at the conventions, but that’d be about it.

    2. I completely agree. I remember my father making the argument using the example of a server he saw at a restaurant. She had large breasts and wore a tight, low cut top. When she attended tables, she would lean over. Maybe she thought this would get her more tips, who knows. Like the strippers, she might have been banking on some people objectifying her enough to leave a generous tip. “What does she expect?” he asked. If one of those guys approached her in the parking lot and tried to make a move against her will, well, what did she expect to happen? I countered that what we should all expect out of every person is basic human respect. Even if he thought her actions or clothing was a offer of sex, when she says know and pushes him away, he’s expected to comply. If he chooses to force himself on to her, using her as an object for his own gratification, that’s 100% on him.

  3. This tends to be a touchy subject. Are figure models to be objectified? Are they not putting themselves out there for that sole purpose, as an object for the artist to capture? If so, is that bad? The issue that I have with the accusations of objectification is that the person making the accusation ascribes motive. I can look at a beautiful woman, who I know nothing about and think to myself how beautiful or sexy she is. I don’t think once about denigrating her for what she is wearing. She’s just appealing to me. As far as attracting attention with ones selection of clothing, isn’t that the point? I know that when I want attention, I’ll dress in a manner that I think will attract attention from the opposite sex. Isn’t this the same with the clothing selection that a woman makes? It certainly doesn’t mean that he/she is inviting rude comments – or worse. But doesn’t it mean that he/she feels good about themselves and wants to emit that vibe?

    1. I think a lot of that has to do with perception. I’ll put on a cute, sexy dress to go dancing with friends because I feel good in that dress. While I will take compliments with appreciation, that attention is not the reason why I choose the dress. But, depending on the person, someone might look at me and say “that person is asking for attention by wearing that.” In this particular case, they would be wrong in that assumption. And, as you say, even if I were asking for attention, that doesn’t mean I am at fault for any rude comments – or worse, that should happen. On the flip side, if I go to a dinner event for my boyfriend’s work, I will be more choosy about what I wear, want my presence to paint my boyfriend in a good light in front of his coworkers. In that case, you could say I am dressing to impress.

      I guess what I’m saying is that people do dress in a certain way when they want to attract romantic interests, but an observer has no way of knowing that’s the reason a person dressed a certain way without asking. It’s possible to wear clothes just for you, just so you can look in the mirror and think to yourself, “I look great today!” To me, dress isn’t a good indicator of what a person wants. If you talk to someone (an action perhaps instigated by attraction instigated by clothing) and they start flirting with you, etc. then maybe you can assume they are dressed as they are to attract attention. But, as I said, you can look at a person, be attracted to that person and, based on that attraction, approach them with romantic interests. None of that is wrong and none of that requires objectification.

  4. I think we think objectifying more towards women then men because of the reason you stated but also because in our society, it would seem less manly or acting like a woman if a man complains or acts against objectification. I wonder how many men get treated that way but we don’t know about it because they keep their silence?

    1. I hear men talk about it, but maybe that’s because I bring it up. I also think there is a bit of a double standard out there. For example, just the other day I was watching America’s Got Talent. A particular fit man was performing on state and the female judges were talking about how he didn’t need to have his jacket on. To their delight, he then took off his jacket, revealing his chest. He finished to screaming women and proceeded to flex his muscles, smiling when the women screamed louder. Many of those woman may have simply been expressing the fact they found him attractive, but some of those women may have also been objectifying him. How could we tell the difference? But a commentator may look at that performance and say the man’s action of revealing his chest showed how confident he is in himself. Such action has, traditionally, been associated with male confidence. Now, that isn’t to say a man might feel objectified, especially if people started throwing rude comments at him and touching him without permission.

      A blog I love called BroadBlogs once wrote on this, saying society teaches men to objectify women but does not tell women to objectify men. I’m sure men are objectified too, but I assume to a lesser degree simply because women aren’t as likely to look at a naked man and think of him as purely a sex object.

  5. I think since the rise of critical linguistic study, we’ll never get over objectification until we get over analysis. The concept of objectification relies heavily on language and applying language to previously unnamed concepts. The Subject can be an actor, but the Object is always acted upon. Things or individuals are objectified when they are viewed in the context of being acted upon. Take the sentence “Mario saved the Princess.”; the very nature of language has objectified the Princess in this case!

    In the case of pornography, I don’t see how one cannot objectify the participants, since they are not people in the sense that they are there as wholly actualized individuals, but rather they are existing in the medium as graphic depictions of people, either in the form of print, digital image or video; they are part of an object, which is being acted upon (viewed for pleasure) and are therefore objectified. In the case of a real world partner, they are there, with you in the present, and not a part of some tableau created specifically to elicit a particular response.

    1. I like what you have to say about language. In a way, I think the language we use will evolve as we get closer to equality between genders and sexualities. For example, in the future, people may be less likely to say “Mario saved the princess” and more likely to say “Mario saved Peach.” Peach has now been given a name, which I would think would imply she is more than just an object to attain.

      On what you say with porn stars, would you say the same thing for all actors. When you go to see a movie, any movie, are you objectifying the actors because they are not there with you and only exist on screen for your entertainment? I think it’s easier to objectify people like that because they’re rarely there to complain about being objectified. In a perfect world, I would think a person could watch porn and other movies, get their entertainment, and still recognize the actors as human beings. As I type this, I am thinking of a documentary about porn stars after porn and how they are quite literally thrown away like used up objects. I was thinking this was different from other celebrities, but it’s really not. We assault celebrities with paparazzi and pick apart each of their characteristic. They are not people, in those cases, but objects to entertain or art to criticize.

      1. Actually, yes, it is true in all media; those who appear are there as part of a product, appearing for the enjoyment of an audience. Whether you agree with the concept of the Male Gaze in film or not, there is a certain voyeurism at work when audiences are watching/listening to actors. One can consciously attempt to convince oneself of the humanity of those involved, but that’s really not how the brain works when digesting entertainment..

  6. I am happy that you brought up this issue that many of us have been concerned with. As you stated above, I do believe that objectification is not the result of a person wearing a certain type of clothing. It stems from the perspective of someone on the outside looking in; for instance a man sees a woman in tight clothing, and views her as an object for sexual pleasure only. Obviously this can play in the reverse also, with a man wearing revealing clothes and being objectified by a woman. To answer your question I do not believe that society as a whole will ever get past this.

    1. So, are you saying it’s not likely a person could look at another in tight clothing and view them as just as much a person as someone wearing loser clothing?

      1. Well, rereading my comment I can see why you would ask that. What I was trying to say is that it depends on the perspective of that particular individual. For instance I’ve seen numerous situations where someone is objectified with clothing that completely covers them from head to toe. But to answer your question someone in tight clothing can be viewed as much of a person as someone in loose clothing.

        1. Well, then let me answer your original comment this way:

          I think there are a lot of issues in this world that will never be 100% solved. Hunger and poverty fall under those categories. We can fight all we want to get rid of them and we can succeed in reducing them, but the world will probably never been completely rid of those problems. Objectification is probably the same. It’s worth fighting and worth trying to reduce because we can reduce it, but there will always be some people who feel the need to objectify others.

  7. (could you delete my other comment? I deleted the wrong word when I was editing it)

    Good topic to bring up. Things are weird right now. People actually (finally) have to start thinking about the way they behave towards others, and in a lot of cases, the very idea that they could be in the wrong infuriates them. (Read: that one comment at the top, here.)

    It’s insane. All people need to do is take one single step back, and then everything is in focus, they can see that they were wrong and that all they have to do is change in order to not be wrong.

    It’s a really hard battle to fight, because it seems to be human nature to want to be “right” as opposed to being “good.” It seems so obvious to me that treating others with respect is the solution, rather than going hard the other way in response to any accusation of poor behavior.

    1. I think it’s hard for people to understand you can be attracted to someone without objectifying them. It’s assumed that’s a part of sex, but, at the same time, people have a hard time understanding what something like rape is more about power than lust or physical attraction. On one hand, we say you can only think of someone sexually as an object and on the other hand we’re saying you can’t treat someone like an object if you don’t have a little bit of feeling for them.

      Objectification is a way for us to avoid discomfort, to avoid thinking that we’re doing something wrong to a human being. It’s easier to treat an object poorly than it is a person. It’s easier yet to blame an object for being used as an object than it is to deal with the fact a person was just disrespectfully treated like an object.

      ..yeah… I think that made sense… maybe. Sorry is that seems random.

  8. Everything and everyone are either lamps or coffee tables to me. Makes it hard to find the fridge, stove, toilet, ect. It’s not objectifying, it’s furniturfying.

    God I wish I knew what lamps were real and which lamps are just quite people. And clearly I’ve never heard of the rule “if you have nothing to add, don’t add anything at all.”

  9. We can change any behaviour. The problem is getting society to see the behaviour as harmful to it as a whole and educating them on how to behave better, so everyone’s on the same page. After all, that’s how we’ve dealt with smoking and drunk driving. The main thing holding us back is that many societies have a lot of people in it who have a vested interest in making sure certain people remain objectified. They’re not going to give that up without a fight. At the root of the problem is the very human instinct to fear the ‘other’ and to work to exclude that person from ‘the normal’. How do we go against deeply ingrained human instinct? There are lots of ways, but I think you’ll always keep coming back to education, laws and persistent public acknowledgement that the behaviour is wrong and should be changed.

    1. I think we just have to keep pushing. You mention smoking and drunk driving. There are still ads and signs all over the place promoting the idea these actions are wrong. If people didn’t keep fighting, those who don’t think those actions are wrong (who will always exist) will push their agenda and overcome the progress society has made. Objectification is the same way. We just have to keep pushing. When the good fight wins, we have to keep reminding people. There will always be someone read to push back the second we get lazy.

  10. A friend and I were discussing this just yesterday. Sex and porn sells, people are making money from it, and our young people are getting desensitized to reality. Values and morals have been put aside for instant gratification and instant pleasure. It’s up to parents, family, churches, teachers and friends to reinforce morality and kindness to our young generation. Otherwise we are doomed as a society.

    1. I don’t think anyone has found the right system yet. I mean, like I said, you can think someone is attractive without objectifying them. That seems a difficult pill to swallow for most. It seems people have a hard time teaching others that it’s not okay to objectify but that’s it is okay and normal to be sexually attracted to someone.

  11. Here’s what I think: In a perfect world, men, and more specifically, women, could wear whatever they wanted and not be judged or objectified. But it’s not a perfect world, and we tend to think that women who wear revealing clothing are looking for attention, which usually results in negative attention. I think it’s because it’s engrained into our society that men should be studs, and women should be monogamous. When women aren’t monogamous, we automatically label them “sluts.”
    Maybe this is bad to say, but in a way, I’m not strictly against slut shaming, as long as it’s for either gender. Because it’s based on what behavior a person exhibited, and not what the person is wearing.
    If you’ve had a lot of relationships, and so happen to have sex with the person you’re in a relationship with at the time, I don’t care. At least you’re putting in some effort with each person you’re dating or hooking up with.
    If you just have sex with every person you can possibly hook up with, however, let’s just say I won’t admire you for your feats.

    I know that sex is something very personal and means different things to different people, but from what sex means to me, it’s not something that should be given into every time you’re horny. I guess maybe to other people, sex and love are not connected, and sex is just a need to be met. I can’t understand that view point, but that’s me.

    I think that sex should be reserved for a relationship with a special person, because not only is that safer behavior in terms of STDs and in society’s views, but it is also more rewarding when you haven’t thrown yourself at every person in your path.

    I guess what I’m saying is that everybody makes their choices, and some choices lean towards objectifying oneself. I think it’s the attitude you come into the situation with, more than anything else. If you act like someone who doesn’t care who you have sex with, well, you’re going to be treated as a person who is just that: someone who doesn’t care.

    1. The funny thing is, in order for men to be ‘studs’ some women have to be something other than monogamous (assuming that means sleeping with more than one person over the course of a lifetime).

      When it comes to the sexual choices of others, I usually reserve comment unless asked. I have had friends who go out just to find someone to have sex with. If they want to have casual sex, that’s their decision and their life. However, if said friend were to ever approach me and say, “what do you think about having casual sex?” I’d tell them my honest opinion – I don’t think it’s a good idea emotionally, physically or spiritually. Studies have shown that the stronger emotional bond two people have, the better sex they usually have. If anyone needs a superficial reason to reserve sex for relationships, there it is. For the casual sexual experienced, I’m pretty sure an actual object, like a vibrator, can do a better job than a stranger off the street.

  12. Objectification can only exist in the minds of the observer. Because of the definition: to see a person as a thing that exists for your gratification.

    While a couple is having sex, sex may be the only thing they are thinking about. And both may be seeing the other as a means to their gratification. But if they also care about their partners’ feelings — aren’t insisting their partner do things they hate for their own gratification, for instance… and if they feel a sense of connection with them… And if outside the bedroom they see this person as much more than A thing that exists for their sexual pleasure, then this sex is not objectifying.

    Thanks for the inspiration. I’ll have to write about this sometime, and reference your blog.

    1. Yay! I’m happy to inspire. This had been bugging me all week. It just seem so obvious to me that attraction and objectification don’t have to go hand in hand.

  13. A topic that has many subtopics and many angles to go curves not excluded. Get my point? Unless you have been born blind we are a people geared to sight and next to it sound. I have said if they ever get a TV that can produce smells we be enslaved permanently to them. Audio and Radio productions did not have to deal with the ability of people seeing what was going on people just imagined what was being said. The same with a good book. Enter talkies, HD and the mind is wired to the visual content. Sound systems that produce true sound quality where there is little left of actual distinction and we are a people sold to watch. Add to that those themes that are what is called “The Law of Diminishing returns” and you get a society wanting more bang, more buck more flesh, more sex, more constipation. Yet we see or think we know that there is nothing wrong with this debilitation of our minds. I hear it said a thousand ways if i heard it once: “It’s my body I will do what I want with it!” Fine but when you use someone else’s body to get your jolly wranchers off or your kicks then it is no longer your body. You have just involved someone else and not just one, it is a whole industry. Now you well here: “if they those who participate in providing the entertainment to desensitize you” get paid for it what is wrong with that – it is a business if there was no one to watch there would be no industry! Yet … yet … always there is the flagrant excuse. Yet why do you need an excuse if there is nothing wrong. So when others are used to enslave others and that is exactly what it is – it is OK right? You see; we are good at excuses we are not so good at being responsible the two can never be bed fellows. It is called compromise and responsibility becomes a vague and thus eventually disappears.

    So who is to say where does it stop? When is slavery ever OK? When does it stop being entertainment and being a destructive mental process? When does it cross the line or do we have any lines that are no longer blurred?

    Look at the Roman Empire and see what brought it to its knees and thus destroyed it – you will see a very real connection. Hey its OK its just entertainment!

    1. If I’m reading this correctly, what you’re asking is, if porn stars know that porn can have a negative impact on society and yet choose to act in porn anyway then don’t they deserve what they get?

      I guess I would argue that porn, like many forms of entertainment, isn’t a problem simply by existing. Naked people are fun to look at and sex feels good. There’s nothing wrong with that. It becomes wrong when we start promoting harmful stereotypes as normal and when we stop thinking of people as human beings worthy of respect – on both sides. It’s a problem for a porn star to objectify their viewers as easily manipulated money buckets as much as it’s a problem for the view to objectify those actors as objects for pleasure and nothing more.

      1. Nothing wrong with that? The thing about porn is that it sets up a falsehood. The problem there is you want to only live in a false world you have to keep it feeding yourself false information. It ‘porn’ has been shown to be very addictive and as it is that ‘if it feels good do it’ requires more each time to produce that level of dopamine created in the brain the first time it is viewed or enjoyed at that high mark. Yet never is achieved again. So as the law of diminishing returns kicks hard and destroys the viewer. I do not know the other side of what it does to the ‘porn stars’. I do know that such lifestyles are very short lived and tragic at their best. People will still say well it’s their minds, their bodies their life and it is a ‘living’. So to each their own. Yet what does it say of us as a whole? I just want to say – hey you are worth more than that! You are more important than that to allow your life to be dominated by this lifestyle. It has nothing to do with ‘how I feel or whether it is culturally accepted’ it is that I think that anything that enslaves us or any one for us to have it aught to say immediately – ‘That’s wrong’.

        1. I can accept that, but there are a lot of things that ‘enslave’ people with similar addictive properties, such as sex, sugar and alcohol. In moderation, no ones says those things are wrong. Again, I’m not saying there is nothing wrong with porn as it exist to day. There is plenty more wrong than right, but I hesitate to say porn is always, without a doubt wrong. I feel I’d then have to say the same thing about having sex or the consumption of alcohol.

  14. “Why are people objectified regardless of what they do or don’t wear? I’m inclined to say it’s because what a person wears is not the reason they are objectified. A person may use what someone chooses to wear as an excuse for objectifying them, but that’s not the real reason. A person objectifies another because they see them as less than human. They see them as being below them.”

    I agree, the clothes have nothing to do with it. People have lost respect for others who are different than them. No amount of clothing can cover that fact.

    1. Or maybe people are just a bit too closed minded. People can get so obsessed with their own culture and the way they see the world through their experiences, that they lack the ability to understand anyone who is different. “How can anyone who respects themselves wear that?” they ask. It’s because they are different and yes, maybe even different when it comes to values and ethics, but they are still human and worthy of respect.

  15. This post focused primarily on objectification and sex, but I think an even more common example would be those with menial jobs.

    It’s easy to think of your waiter not as a person, but as part of the Food Delivery System. The cashier is just part of the Point of Sale Machinery. The janitor is just part of the building.

    This is my litmus test: any time I’me not making eye contact, I’m treating that person as something less than human- and that’s something I need to watch out for.

    1. Those are all very good examples. Have you heard of a blog called “Sunday’s Are the Worst”? It’s a list of stories food servers have to tell about the customers they tend to get in on Sundays. Long story short, they are often treated as sub-human for daring to work on Sundays, but are still treated, as you say, as a part of the Food Delivery System. They are a machine, not a person.

      I’m so happy you pointed these out! It just goes to show you that a person doesn’t need to be in a sexual situation to face objectification.

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