Do you Objectify other people?

objectify 2

This is an interesting subject, I think, and pretty fundamental when we are talking about any aspect of human relations, our social and political structure, and our fundamental humanity.

Objectifying another, which means reducing a human being down to finite terms as an object, tends to be relegated to gender or sexual objectification, of which, unfortunately, the male gender seems to be most guilty when it comes to viewing or seeing the female gender as mere objects of sexual gratification.

But I am not referring to that aspect, as that represents probably less than .0000005% of the true objectification which to one degree or another, most people engage.

Let’s take the longer road to get to the point of this talk.

I hold to the general idea that all men and women are their own leaders and that to assume otherwise, to take on any other platform, is to automatically objectify people; that is, to reduce their inherent capabilities and say that some are able and some are not – I don’t happen to agree with that and I think there is plenty of evidence to support that view.

In truth, we are all born free and with the exact same field of opportunity available to us. We chose our roads and our dreams as we grow up. The moment a man or woman agrees to being subservient to another idea or another person, is the moment that they, to whatever small degree, abdicate their god-like throne and their entitlement to self-rule.

Society puts a lot of constraints on a totality of freedom of thought and action. It reminds us constantly that the “ideal”, the ultimate accomplishment of our life pursuit is to be highly educated and to achieve our dream career, money, family and the eventual fruits of a life well-lived, retirement and relaxation before we kick the proverbial bucket.

All of that may well be, but how we get there and the roads we take are important. If one starts off by permitting himself or herself to be objectified by others, a process which afflicts the mind and soul and which permits one to be fitted to the conventionality of boxes or pegs in a hole, then one can be controlled, even denigrated.

When a person abdicates their inherent sense of self-responsibility, self-rule and one’s innate godliness, one tends to subjugate oneself to unseen will.

There is nothing wrong with the basic cohesiveness and structure of our society at large. Governments are necessary to prevent anarchy. Hierarchies or command charts must exist so that order and predictability are possible amongst the millions. But, one can still be a king or queen in that structure, and one does not and should not abdicate their essential rights, cognitive abilities, principles and integrity.

One of the greatest forces at work on us every day, a result of social and symbiotic cohesiveness as a group, nation or culture, is Objectification. A mentality tends to form, a sort of zeitgeist or social state of mind, which objectifies others and which objectifies us.

The process is quite sublime, quite subtle and yet quite pervasive. The “them and us” mentality and the idea that “they are different” – all of which tends to instantly allude to other people, races, colour, creeds, ethnic as being somewhat alienated in our minds.

It’s a synthetic process of morphing an otherwise clean-slate to one with false ideas about other people.

War is the state wherein two opposing forces see the other as the enemy, or as different and therefore with that state of mind, with the enemy relegated as somewhat less than oneself, it seems justifiable to commit murder, to plunder, to rape and to even wipe them out. It would seem that all one need do is convince a people that another people, of the same race no less, but maybe with different ideas, are not worthy of the same respect, regard or rights – and once that seed is planted, Objectification has taken hold and then all bets are off.

Human rights and in fact, our very quintessential qualities which make us capable of the highest order of sentience, cognitive and empathetic qualities, are dynamically opposed to Objectification. They are the reasons why we have seen transformational laws in our culture, those which have leveled the playing field as equal for all men and women of whatever creed or color or race or ideology. To the degree that violence, murder, war and conflict continue – it is a direct barometer of how entrenched Objectification is within our mindset.

If you find yourself being treated or labeled as this or that, black or white, Jew or Muslim, man or woman, inept or not; if anything is being put on you which arbitrarily delineates you as different from another, then see it for what it is – it is objectification, and to a very large degree it is a process of denigration and an attempt to control.

And if, in your own eyes, you see yourself as less, if your self-confidence or your self-esteem or your view of your ability to reach out and achieve your goals seems blunted – then look for who objectified you. You might find that in fact in was not someone who did it, but rather, by your own hand, you bought into the idea, shoved yourself into a corner, into a box and you closed the lid and no one in fact is holding it down harder than you.

Objectification is a basic violation of our quintessential qualities as people. One cannot quantify people – and Objectification is a process of quantification.

The old saying goes; that you can’t judge a book by its cover, and that goes for people too. You can’t put arbitrary labels on people which classifies them – because the process is denigrating, demeaning and it alienates them.

By leveling the playing field, by observing our actions and the actions of others and diffusing the long-term practice of objectification of one another, we will find that wars, conflict, bigotry, prejudice, bias, hate and other negative factors, will drop and that a new popular (already growing) humanity will dominate.

We are capable, as a people, of something so much higher than the mentality of objectification – which is nothing more than a low-order of control and denigration and in extreme cases, a means of simply generating hate and war. In our current times, our heightened humanity, education, social proximity, precludes the ease of escalating hate between one other. Now it is necessary to fly air planes into buildings to catalyse the response necessary to motivate a populace.

But that aside, look at this for yourself. Do you objectify people? Do you automatically walk by certain types and mentally assign them qualities, good or bad? Do you tend to see one man as different than the other, just because of perceived and possibly false values?

Try resetting the computer, clear out all the garbage and just look at people as your equal. It’s very refreshing. If the majority of people did the same, there would be no basis for hate, war, or conflict and culturally speaking, we’d be focusing on the stars and not on defending our borders from one another.

Réal Laplaine is an author and speaker. 


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