So my husband and I had a general conversation this morning about the tendency of Western society to objectify others in society, so that we can treat them badly or transactionally, as a means to an end, and how it's important that our society needs to stop doing that, in order to grow - men and women of each other, one race of another, on socioeconomic class of another.
Mark: "I get how men objectify women, but how do women objectify men? Men love it if you compliment their bodies lol"
Me: "Not all men - and I suspect even those men don't want to feel valued JUST for their body, either, but regardless, that's just proof of the types of ingrained cultural-rot remnants that need to go - because your mind automatically went to sexual objectification, though there are many forms of objectification, it's not JUST sexual objectification lol.
" Anything that reduces another human being's entire value down to how they can meet just the other person's need/provides a service to them is objectification."
"Thus, women objectify men by making them not about who they are as people, their minds, hearts, and souls, but how much money they can provide them or security - that's a form of objectification, too, right?"
Whenever I have said this to the sort of men who b*tch about not objectifying women - who is NOT my husband, I assure you - suddenly a light bulb goes on lol.
Now, my husband has never been the sort to objectify women, even calling other men out for doing so (and his brothers attest to the fact that he was always like that, long before me).
As for me, I have never valued men for money. In fact, I have run like hell from men with money, in my life, due to personal experience, growing up in an affluent community, but that's another post lol. It suffices to say that money actually doesn't buy everything, nor make up for the sh*t you'd have to put up with in the sort of man who thinks he can buy you/everything - and thus, a man's mind, heart, soul, mean more to me than all the gold in the world :)
However, we are all products of our culture, a culture which is not perfect, has never been perfect, and that we can actually do something about, rather than pretending that it is ;)
And unfortunately, because we women haven't done such a very good job of explaining objectification, making it just about sexual objectification (understandably so, because it legitimately is rampant in our culture), most men will interpret "objectification" in only sexual, when there are several forms of it, and not just with women.
Because the truth is, nobody likes their entire value reduced to just one aspect of themselves.
In women, objectification is usually in the form of physical/sexual attractiveness - in men, objectification is usually in the form of their ability to provide/make money ;)
These are ancient, outdated ideas and remnants of cultural rot, in our society, that both need to go.
And with issues of race (and gender as well), reducing/limiting someone's value down to their ability to entertain you with music or by playing ball, voting, or otherwise perform your labor/provide some service for you - that's objectification, too.
With socioeconomic class, assuming that just because someone comes from a less fortunate background than you, without the same opportunities, they are not as intelligent, don't work as hard as you and thus deserve to make less money, or that they do not perform as valuable a service to society as you - that's objectification, too.
All of that needs to go - and until it does, we will continue to have problems - and people have more value than what labor services than provide, right?
And there should be at least social consequences for objectifying another human being - it's not about "punishing" anyone for objectification, it's about saying, "Nope, not okay to treat/talk to me/others that way anymore - we are more than the sum of our parts, and our value is more than the service we can provide for just you."
As for us women, we like it when you find us attractive, men - and you can let us know that, while allowing us to maintain our dignity, right?
Because no one is ever flattered by a compliment that is obviously only said because it benefits the person saying it - female OR male.
Some examples of appropriate VS. inappropriate compliments are below - *keeping that mind that none of these should ever been said in the workplace, as all could be construed to be unprovoked/unwelcome come-ons and lead to trouble, despite their intent*
Man to a Woman: "You're so pretty" - Appropriate.
Man to a Woman: "Baby, you look good bending over in that position." - INappropriate - objectifying.
Woman: "I am so proud of you and what you've been able to accomplish ." - Appropriate.
Woman: "I am so proud you could afford me the life I always wanted" - INappropriate - objectifying.
See the difference?
In both examples, only one is a true compliment for the other person and preserves their dignity - the other basically reduces them down to a benefit for yourself or service provided for you - you're objectifying them.
Though they all were maybe meant as "compliments," only two of the four really are - the other two objectify the other person.
Now, people reading this, don't write these down - it's not a combination lock, in which if you do A, B, and C, you're in lol.
The thing to remember is, are you complimenting someone because it truly flatters/benefits them ... or yourself? ;)
Also, lastly and importantly, let me add this about sexual objectification, it's important ...
***Unless you have an established relationship or actual proof such comments would be welcome (not just something that you may have actually misinterpreted)*** ...
I would strongly advise against ever expressing your lust or sexual attraction for them OR their body parts - physically OR verbally - directly TO that person - regardless of whether it's in or out of the workplace, public or private setting.
No one is ever flattered by those types of "compliments" - because not only are they beyond creepy, but they're the type of "compliments" most likely to land you in a sexual harassment lawsuit lol.