And if make-up and such things are not an outgrowth of this, it is a comercial exploitation of this!
Very true... which is another issue; commodification. One also of dire consequences, many of which the western world (particularly those on a profit driven basis) run into. Sex is used to sell so much, so often, that through constant inculcation, views are altered in terms of what's "good", "right" or "desirable". Nasty business...
So yea, tough one. But if I may muse some more on this...
I just noticed that somehow this thread got nasty (I suppose I should check it more often, more thoroughly) and that's sad. I think it a fine mark of the caliber of folks frequenting these pages that they feel so very intense in their views of right and wrong. Like all things, the heart must be tempered. In any case, I think there's a lot of what I call "Violent Agreement" (wherein parties agree more than disagree, but language, emotionally-loaded terms and the like, get in the way).
So yea, I'd like to toss out one more summary of view that perhaps might clear some clouds, unmuddy the waters as it were...
Ethically, objectification (in its strictest definition) is actually *treating* someone as if they're an object. In this, the person doesn't recieve the respect and consideration they deserve; since (in the eyes of the observer) their net worth has been reduced to 'that element'. Treating someone like an object - to my mind - isn't ever ethical or right
. The extremes of objectifcation can be horrific and all who see the individual as worthy of personhood's respect would necessarily abhore such treatement. But this is treating someone as an object... and objectification (as a sociological phenomina) is more complex; and its in that complexity that it touches the subject at hand. The problem is that humans are creatures of necessity.
[INDENT]Mr Mailman is someone I don't know. Given his appearance, he's a man of some years who, no doubt, has a myriad of stories and experiences, values, faults, strong points and more. Yet, to me... as I sit on my porch and see him come up, he is "the mailman". I have well in mind that he's a person and give him the requisite respect, but that's not what first comes to the human attention: He's the 'mailman', he has my mail! BOOM... Objectified (not treated as an object, but as a representative association).
[/INDENT]We objectify (in our views) on a regular basis.
[INDENT]When, at long last, the nurse steps into the waiting room and calls my name, for that instant I don't flash upon what makes him up as a Person. With any interraction, respect must of course be paid, but for that instant he's my savior! He's called my name! I'm given a pass... he's Objectified in that he is my key into the doctor's office. He represents something of interest.
[/INDENT]This isn't anything new, nor is it necessarily bad. It is but something that must be guarded against. How many of us have worked in an establishment where one is treated badly by customers who wish to vent their anger with the establishment? Who would like to be the proud recipient of all the hate one has pent up against a <thing>? This type of objectification happens all the time.
We initially recognize others by what they represent to us
. This is natural - this is normal. But once again, we must guard against this which can only be done by consciously remembering that these are people, not things! Keeping this behavioral propensity in mind, let's get back to the topic.
[INDENT]Sally just noticed a particularly appealing male and does a rubber-neck double-take as he walks away, she is guilty of the Second Measure of Objectification. Her pleasure - her interest - isn't for him as a Person. She hasn't shown him any respect for his intellect, feelings or rights. She saw a body that she found appealing and reacted in a natural way. Shall we condemn her?
I have a beard. I honestly could take it or leave it (especially at *this* age), but my wife likes it. When I groom myself, I take care to trim it nicely (especially the hairs below my lip) because I know she likes it. I make myself up in a manner that I believe will please her. Have I digressed to a sloven, abject and belittling schmuck? Am I a sell-out for wanting to be visually appealing? I think not
[/INDENT]The complexity of human behavior prohibits us from putting a single face on such behaviors. Cultural taboos, mores and values have perhaps the largest effect. Further, how might we judge one person's motives for "fixing" themselves up
? I've spent a good bit of time in my humble life in the pursuit of trying to understand others and from my experience alone, the answers you'll get are as numerous as can be.
Back in college, I found feminism. Yep... I'll admit it. I was probably about 25 or so when a particularly-influential Sociology professor presented materials, case-studies and the like that completely opened my eyes. To this day, I am inspired by the epiphony I experienced in those classrooms. Until then, I had no idea how deep-rooted and pervasive discrimination was. The good-old boy network is *well* in place and the last place I worked had in its employment probably the most sexually-discriminatory supervisor I'd seen in 46 states and 3 countries over two continents! Yep... he's still there and still hires based on bust size (nope, not kidding, and does it openly)
Males must; repeat MUST guard against treating women as objects.
Our nature (to some greater or lessor extent) places us in a position of pursuit for 'the object'. How many of you know that guy who can't stop sexual inuendos and overt, sickening sexual references whenever a woman is discussed or seen? Horrible isn't it... embarassing isn't it!
We can and should appreciate all the beauty we encounter, in all its forms including sexual
! But when we interract with people we must be on guard to give people their due respect.
I'm not sure this helps, but I do honestly believe the vitriolic nature of this discussion is due more to terminology and poor-wording than core differences in views.