That is: he is an intellectual object to me, an instrument towards my intellectual stimulation.
When I visit a supermarket I commercially objectify the shop staff, treating them mainly as means to satisfy my own demand for groceries. I treat them with courtesy of course, try to acknowledge their shared humanity for a second with a smile, but our relationship is brief, shallow and professional. I use them to buy food, they use me to pay their wages.
In the socio-psychic phenomenon of the “sexual objectification” of girls and women, massively manufactured by certain media and the majority of pornography, woman is represented, perceived, assumed and treated (by the innumerable viewers), in reality, as a sexually materialized object ready to be exploited (like a disposable toy) exclusively as a means to produce sexual gratification, but not at all as an end in herself i.e., a human subject with her own sexual will and human dignity.
In one scene the dumb-cluck girlfriend came home from a dance and met Priscilla Lane and Richard Powell who were standing arm in arm - blue-eyed, radiant and beautiful - and they asked her, 'How was the dance?'She said, 'Awful. I danced every dance with a chemistry professor.'He remembered how the audience tittered.'Have you ever danced with a chemistry professor?' the dumb-cluck girlfriend asked. The audience laughed. 'Ohhhwww, my feet!' she groaned.The audience howled with laughter.Except one. He sat there, his face burning, and finished the movie with the same kind of stunned depression he felt now, a feeling of dislocation and paralysis, devoured for a moment by this other pattern that made himself and everything he believed in worthless and comic.
Any thoughts? I post this more as a question than editorial, I haven't entirely thought it through yet. Why is it not acceptable to sexually objectify people, but it is acceptable to objectify them in other ways?