Tuesday, 24 September 2013

#402 Objectification

     Much is said and written about men objectifying women - perceiving and thus treating women as if they were mere sexual objects.

     "Objectification means treating a person as a thing, without regard to their dignity. A person is objectified if treated:
          • as a tool for another's purposes (instrumentality);
          • as if lacking in agency or self-determination;
          as if owned by another;
          as if interchangeable;
          as if permissible to damage or destroy;
          as if there is no need for concern for their feelings and experiences." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Objectification

     Of course it's not only women - and men - who are objectified. Don't we all, at times, have similar reductionist attitudes, and thus inappropriate behaviors, towards animals, jobs, food, homes, cars, vacations, the ecosystem - everything - even ourselves? Objectification arises from deep, unexamined hunger. This hunger limits our attention to the one specific quality of the person, animal, product, activity, or natural resource that we desperately, unrealistically, hope will quench our desire. It all starts with the "life unexamined" - instead of looking at our life as a complex, nuanced whole, we reduce it to likes & dislikes, and end up compulsively chasing desires, and fleeing aversions.

     "The robber sees only the saint's wallet."

     To perceive each person, animal and thing as they are, in the appropriate context of this time and place, awareness must be open (instead of narrowly focused) and equanimous (as undistorted as possible by the observer's needs). Practicing mindfulness helps to shift consciousness from egocentric towards allocentric & ecocentric.

     See: #398-401

No comments:

Post a Comment