Saboteurs And Objectifiers

It is commonly said that when a man goes to a prostitute, he is “objectifying” her. This is a word that, like “counterrevolutionary” in the Thirties, is rarely analysed but serves primarily to stop discussion in its tracks. That it is not possible to relate to a stranger as a Thou rather than an It within the framework of an hour in a brothel is never demonstrated, merely assumed. If it is not possible to treat prostitute “as a person” in one hour, how is it possible to treat anyone else as a person in one hour? And even if it is not possible, it may still be that the customer is honestly attempting it. Contrariwise, there rarely any discussion of whether a man who picks up a woman in a bar is “objectifying” her, and no discussion of “objectification” at all when it is a woman who picks a man up in a bar.

Posted on January 9, 2012 at 11:15 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink
In: THE NAME OF THE GAME, The Ultimate Crime?

3 Responses

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  1. Written by The Ghost in the Machine
    on January 12, 2012 at 17:11

    One little point, if I may: Pick-up bars are often referred to as “kjøttmarked” (meat markets). Near as I can figure out, that is a recognition of objectification.

  2. Written by Hugo Grinebiter
    on January 12, 2012 at 17:24

    Hmmm. I would suggest that “objectification” and “meat-market” are terms employed by two different demographics.

  3. Written by urban
    on January 13, 2012 at 07:49

    True, Hugo, but that bolsters Ghost’s point. When one shops at a meat market the purpose is to pick up a piece of meat. No one is pretending that objectification isn’t the name-of-the-game.

    No one who has thought about it much denies that men have a great deal of trouble with ‘I Thou’ stuff. Irreducible. But if anything women are worse. Not that women objectify the other and use that human being as a means towards their own ends any more than men do. Indeed, I’d bet the family farm that men and women objectify other human beings at similar and alarming rates.

    The main difference is that men don’t lie about it. They’ll call the bar they go to to pick up women a ‘meat market’. It’s honest, straightforward, everything that female denial, bobbing and weaving, and dragging red herrings across the trail is not.

    Objectification isn’t a male problem. It’s a human problem. Denial that one is objectifying others all day every day is, however, a typically female problem.

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