“Should I be a killjoy now and point out that we are objectifying all these people?”
Not two days after two acquaintances were railing against gender inequality, the continued need for active and vigilant feminism and the gross objectification of women, insisting that we are not heard and are constantly interrupted, not only did they interrupt and talk over each other, they wheeled out loads and loads of pictures of people active in CrossFit and started commenting on their muscles, their bodies, their appearances, and their preference for “muscular women who don’t appear muscular in clothes”. Normally I would not care – this would be something I’d happily and easily ignore because this kind of commentary is not my thing, but this time, suddenly I was thinking, “What the hell is this?” It’s somehow okay to objectify people (granted, these people have public, visible Instagram accounts where their muscles are on display) and critique them like it’s the fucking Crufts Best in Show? As I say, I don’t care in theory – this is just what we do as people, even if I don’t participate, but the muted hypocrisy defied reason, smacked of inconsistency and screamed ‘double standard’.
I’d argue that most of us are objects and objectifiers in one way or another. It’s how we make sense of the world and the people in it. I’m hypersensitive to it and, at the same time, questioning my own blind spots. Whom am I objectifying, overlooking or generalizing about without knowing it?
En garde: Gotta be vigilant and police the self.
Short Time -Gavin Ewart She juliets him from a window in Soho, A 'business girl' of twenty. He is a florid businessman of fifty. (Their business is soon done.) He, of a bright young man the sensual ghost, Still (in his mind) the gay seducer, Takes no account of thinned and greying hair, The red veins webbing a once-noble nose, The bushy eyebrows, wrinkles by the ears, Bad breath, the thickening corpulence, The faded, bloodshot eye. This is his dream: that he is still attractive. She, of a fashionable bosom proud, A hairstyle changing as the fashions change, Has still the ageless charm of being young, Fancies herself and knows that men are mugs. Her dream: that she has foxed the bloody world. When two illusions meet, let there not be a third Of the gentle hypocrite reader prone to think That he is wiser than these self-deceivers. Such dreams are common. Readers have them too.