The Morality of Bodily Objectification

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by scem0, Jul 14, 2006.

  1. scem0 macrumors 604

    scem0

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    #1
    Wikipedia

    I'm curious to know what people think about objectification. Many people get angry at models, strippers, etc. saying "Why do they let people objectify them like that?" Some people even would say that they are objectifying themselves by doing the jobs they do.

    Do you consider it immoral to put yourself in a position to be objectified?

    Do you consider it immoral to objectify people you have never met or talked to?

    Do you consider it immoral to objectify people you know?

    Other thoughts?

    e
     
  2. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    #2
    Immorality is an unhelpful and very strange term to use in the context of this discussion.
     
  3. jelloshotsrule macrumors G3

    jelloshotsrule

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    #3
    this is a tough call. like you said, you'll get people saying that the model/actor/actress is empowering themselves through the role. using their sexuality as a sort of control and power. then you'll have others saying they are "letting themselves" be used for sexual purposes.

    i'm not sure what i think, though i guess my general opinion of morality (or right/wrong) is that a porn star who has sex with many many many partners, etc, is not someone i'd hold in too high regard. that's my own personal values coming into play though. whereas a "soft core" porn model or whatever who doesn't interact with someone else (or not "really" anyways) wouldn't be as "bad"... again, bad is relative, and based on my views. i'm not one to judge either way.
     
  4. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    Without objectification on some level the species would die out, no? Lust and the physical gratification of sex are a large part of what drives the reproductive process.

    So some level of objectification is ok, but there is also an inappropriate level of is as well. People that can only deal with someone they've objectified are the extreme example there.
     
  5. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #5
    I personally love objectifying and being objectified. :) It's the way the game is played, no matter how you look at it. We can deny it all we want, but it is fact.

    And just a note: when I was younger and more idealistic, I was against all forms of objectification and tried to steer clear of all that stuff. I was miserable. I'm having more fun now. :)
     
  6. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

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    #6
    Without answering whether objectification is wrong or right on any level, I'd say that the answer to your first question is no, the species wouldn't die out without objectification.

    It is entirely possible to imagine a sexual drive driven by the recognition of and attraction to a particular human being, an individual, instead of to an objectified version of that individual.

    I'm not trying to say that sexual attraction is tied to an individual as opposed to a generalised idea of a sexy human object, just that objectification isn't necessary for reproduction.

    My own view is a bit more nuanced than this. I don't think it has to be an all or nothing. I think both extremes can be unhealthy / make people miserable in different ways.
     
  7. mactastic macrumors 68040

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    #7
    I suppose you'll have to define objectification. My working definition is that of pure physical attraction -- lust without love if you will.

    And seeing all the many ways plants and animals present themselves (showy, not deeply emotional beings) during mating strongly leads me to believe that that same physical attractivness plays a role in our relationships. I'm not saying it's the only one, or that you can't develop an intense relationship with someone without a physical attraction, just that it often forms a basis for an initial attraction that can lead to something more.
     
  8. Thanatoast macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    I'm not sure I buy the argument that lust is by definition objectification.

    I do think that we as a society would be a lot healthier if we considered sex to be a sacred act (not by the christian definition) instead of a dirty habit.

    (The christian crack is because they say married sex is sacred but non-married sex is dirty. Therefore they're implying that sex is bad and marriage is good, independent of eachother. I think this is crap.)
     
  9. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

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    Re mactastic:
    Yeah, sure, I also think that there is a large portion of non-personal attraction involved in human sex drive. I'm just pointing out that we could still have reproduced as a race even if we evolved into losing all non-personal sexual attraction in favour of a biological attraction that didn't trigger until after you developed psychological ties to a person.
     
  10. XNine macrumors 68040

    XNine

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    #10
    You know what? I'd rather see a girl bending over in front of me than bloody carcasses and dead bodies of children on the news.

    If a girl (or guy) wants to take it off and have people look at them, then so be it. I see nothing wrong with it at all.
     
  11. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #11
    Bingo. Nor do I. ;)
     
  12. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #12
    So let's sort out what objectification is then. I'd call it pure lust -- you've turned the person into nothing but a physical object with no regard for what they think or feel or care about.

    But I'm open to amending that definition.
     
  13. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #13
    Yeah, I have no problem with it either. The only problem comes in when people are objectifying others and are unable to form any other type of connection with them.

    I've met people like that, they generally have a hard time with relationships.
     
  14. tristan macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    Objectification is just fantasy. Most of us guys know that if we ever got that girl on TV home, she'd tell us to pick up our clothes and seriously take out the trash for god's sake! :D

    I think models, strippers, booth babes, whatever are basically actors or performers, creating an image that we know isn't real but is fun to think about. I don't see the harm, and whether I know the person doesn't make any difference.

    And besides, I don't think I've ever bought anything because I liked the model in the picture.
     
  15. celebrian23 macrumors 65816

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    #15
    depends. I think it can be immoral. But there are times when I don't think that too. You have to know I'm one of "those christians" as it was put. I think the problem lies in when we take this "image" the person has formed and put that as the priority instead of seeing it's just what's they do.
     
  16. Agathon macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    Objectification usually means treating someone as a thing and not a person.

    In other words, you treat the object as a means to your own end and not an end in itself.

    For example: slavery.
     
  17. scem0 thread starter macrumors 604

    scem0

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    #17
    I agree.

    I am in a position where I let myself be objectified all the time. I'm a go-go boy/striper/exotic dancer/whatever the hell you want to call me. I dance in skimpy underwear on stage and I get tipped :). I don't mind at all! Its fun! It turns me on to be looked at in such a sexual way.

    But I agree, we can't let objectification get out of control. When you objectify to the point where you can't form good relationships, be them platonic or not, it becomes unhealthy.

    Although I think it's fun to be objectified, I'd never be in a relationship of any kind with someone who views me as a physical object.

    I objectify other people to some degree, but that's not near as much fun as letting other people objectify you :). I don't feel guilty about objectifying Vin Diesel though - he's such a hunk! But it's not complete objectification, I also like his personality a lot, he seems very nice.

    So I personally don't find anything wrong with objectification as long as it doesn't get in the way of meaningful relationships.

    e
     
  18. Agathon macrumors 6502a

    Agathon

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    #18
    What's wrong here is not you. You are engaging in this voluntarily.

    However, the customers are more than likely treating you as an object, hence the fault lies with them.

    It's wrong to treat people that way, but it's also wrong to think that way about people.
     
  19. scem0 thread starter macrumors 604

    scem0

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    #19
    What makes you say that?

    I don't think any of the people are wrong for looking at me this way. They have never talked to me, the only thing they have to value in me is my body. It's completely harmless for them to look at me.

    e
     
  20. blackfox macrumors 65816

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    #20
    ooooo...excellent topic before I head out to the bars.

    I guess my opinion falls in line with mactastics' (as I see it), in that a certain amount of objectivication is par for the course with male-female interaction (heterosexually-speaking) - that it is probably tied into our more base instincts - and as such is practical.

    I guess the problem is really narcissism. Or perhaps it's just me...
     
  21. fistful macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    I find it more offensive objectifying women as house maids in about 90% house hold cleaning ads. Maybe that's their target demographic but it's not like men can't and/or don't clean up after themselves.

    Sexual objectification is much too carnal, subconscious to be controlled imo so it's best to either accept it as a fact of life, ignore it or shut yourself away if you don't like it.
     
  22. scem0 thread starter macrumors 604

    scem0

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    #22
    But if it could be controlled would you support controlling it?

    I wouldn't, personally. I think it's fun! It's fun to objectify others to some degree. It's fun to go to a club, see a hot stripper and watch them. Or to watch a Brittney Spears video, etc. But it's more fun to be objectified. I love it! When I'm dancing and a guy looks at me with lusty eyes, it makes me really happy. I don't think "that guy has no respect for me! How dare he look at me that way?". I think "yeah, you want me." :p

    I guess it's an ego trip. Plus, it's fun to be sexual! I love being nearly naked in front of so many people. It's exciting. It's raunchy. It's trashy (I love trashy stuff :D). I always go home feeling sexually content, which is kind of odd. I'm never horny after a night of go-go dancing. All the objectification actually fulfills my horniness :p.

    I don't know where I'm going with this. But all the dancing I do has only resulted in positives for me and, I think, for the people who watch/objectify me. The only people negatively effected are the drunk people who tip me more than they can afford and wake up and wonder where their money went ;).

    e
     
  23. fistful macrumors 6502a

    fistful

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    #23
    I suppose they could try but when it comes down to it you can't control what people think (at least yet) or what they do. Let's say they enforced a ban on exotic dancing, it would just go underground like everything else they try to ban.

    To answer your question, no I wouldn't. There is definitely a line to be crossed but to be perfectly honest I don't really care. There's also a time and a place and I think most people know when it's appropriate or not.
     
  24. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #24
    I agree. And BTW my friend, straight men do NOT clean up after themselves. :) They rely on women or us homos to do it. :) And as for decorating sense, forget it. ;) Straight boys, no matter how much money they make, need help. ;)

    But also, I think the cleaning thing happens when a man and a woman get married. Ever seen a a bachelorette pad? EEK! The only thing that's just as scary is a bachelor pad. ;)

    Honestly, that's why staright men and women need each other. It's as if you both get conscious about the homestead when you guys get married. :)
     
  25. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

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    #25
    Is this sarcasm? I don't see it. If it's half serious despite the winky smilies, it's wrong. Maybe it's true as a generalisation of our culture, but not as an absolute. BTW, you're quoting the wrong post. At first I didn't see what this post had to do with this thread at all.
     

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