Personal Epiphany need input please

7 posts / 0 new
Last post
Rihter's picture
Rihter
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 27 2010
Posts: 77
Personal Epiphany need input please

I am bringing this topic to the community because I have no other place to raise this thought and hope to get an intelligent response. (I love this forum)

I was thinking about the critical mass needed to make an impact of the 3 E's and the divide between women and men entered my thought process. How do we come together in mass, when a majority of our population are publicly categorized as a minority being dicriminated against? A person would have to watch almost no news coverage to not be aware of a political battle being waged on the issue of whether, or not, women are treated equally in our society. At the same time, women make up more than 50% of our population. I have to shake my head in disbelief, and worry, at the thought of this peculiar notion. The historical existence of Women's Suffurage, Civil Rights Movement, The Constitution, and Feminism lay enough ground work for me to recognize there is a real issue at play here.

My thought turned into curiosity, so I started to reflect on my own personal views of women. I instantly realized I had no strong views that surfaced right off. I had to really analyze my belief system, and how it  pertains to the women in my life. The most important women in my life currently is my wife. So I started there.

So I started "there". When I phrased my wife as "there" in my mind, my epiphany came about. I completely objectified her. My wife asks me sometimes why I'm forward with her, and not other women. She asks why I'm quick to compliment other women on their apearance, but rarely her. I never considered why. I usually just try and difuse a potential argument, and not actually analyze why. I think I know why I am able to view other women and their appearance so easily. My wife is more to me than just a visual object. She has real substance to me, so I am more critical of her other traits, above and beyond her looks. Her even asking me the "How do I look" question, to me, is evidence that both of us objectify the female appearance out of habit.

If I am typical in my practice of physically objectifying women, then I have a grim outlook on our ability to reach critical mass. How do we work toward making a real impact on the 3 E's, when we struggle to conceptualize eachother as anything other than an object? A tool? A means to a selfish end?

I didn't stop at just my wife, or even women. "Workers", "Capital", "Labor", "The enviroment", etc.... are all objects. I know they make up complex systems, all of which are populated by complex individuals. When we refer to these complex groups of dynamic people we tend to minimize them into a mental obect we can wrap our head around. Or at least I do. That is probably a function of communication, but letting it stray into a reference to an individual being objectified, as part of a broader reference, is a slippery slope.

Is it possible to ask an individual to make changes in their life, and treat them as an object  in the system, simultaneously? In treating the women closest to me like objects at one moment, then asking them to adjust "their personal" life the next, a fair thing to do? I could fill in the blank with any other objectified group and make the same point.

(((( Disclaimer- I am trying to avoid perscribing my discoveries to anyone else. I do have influences in my thought process, but they are my own. I feel ashamed even discovering this about myself. I have always thought of myself as someone who doesn't view any people in a broad way. I personally think this is a result of our consumer, materialistic, marketing culture. We treat women on par with shiny cars. Athletes (real people) on par with stock certificates. We equate groups of people (workers) with stacks of paper (money) as reflexive as making an accounting measure. I'm going to work on this in my personallife ))))

Be gentle ;)

Travlin's picture
Travlin
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 15 2010
Posts: 1322
I predict a long and tumultuous life

Rihter

I predict this thread will have a long and tumultuous life. You’ve stuck your head in the lion’s mouth here Rihter. I hope you can extract it intact. 

It is too early in the morning for me to formulate the kind of response your thoughtful post deserves. On a first reading I see three major issues you are presenting. 1 – Forming a critical mass around the 3Es. 2 – The divide between the sexes. 3 – Viewing and treating people as objects. Any one of these is a major discussion all by itself. Throwing them all out at once will probably result in an unfocused three way conversation at cross purposes. I’m going to sit back with a big bowl of popcorn. 

I admire your efforts to seriously consider important issues, and your courage to honestly follow where they lead. Good luck.

Travlin 

 

Rihter's picture
Rihter
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 27 2010
Posts: 77
Re: Travlin

Thanks,

I tried to seperate the ideas, but I when the light bulb went off, they were like dominoes falling. It took one idea to progress to the next, for me.

I found a few inspirational messages in my search for answers. I'll save those until after I have a chance to asses the mood of the thread. If it ever takes off.

Also, the 3 points you listed are spot on.

 

Travlin's picture
Travlin
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 15 2010
Posts: 1322
The concept of roles

 

Human beings are complex, and their interactions become very complex. In large numbers the complexity becomes overwhelming. To make a functioning society we have to simplify. Instead of using the word objects think of roles, as in a play. One of the ways we express our complex personalities is by assuming more narrowly defined roles, usually based on functions. We become spouses, parents, workers, artist, etc. This is a way to present ourselves to the world and be recognized. We take on and shed many roles throughout our lives. The key is to have choices to assume or leave roles. That leads to happiness. Feeling trapped leads to misery. 

Travlin

 

herewego's picture
herewego
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 11 2010
Posts: 156
Rihter, related musings

 

Hi Rihter

I run into questions like this too when considering the task of shifting the culture we have to one that truly has the qualities of sustainability.

I.E.

"How can we effectively decide to work cooperatively when we are completely used to competition, ignorance of the experience of others and exploitation as our modus operandi?"

Or

"How can we we give up our terrible cultural habit of destroying primary wealth to get our hands on some tertiary wealth when we can no longer remember the difference and have pinned all our survival tensions onto paper/electronic symbols?"

This family of questions interest me because they highlight what I now tentatively take as a given: we humans mostly don't currently inhabit the consciousness required to make the transition to sustainability, or even maybe to survive as a species. We keep forgetting that nothing is an object, that every molecule of Earth and her life forms are essential to our survival, hearts and souls. We don't seem to recognize how much we love and need it all. So we make crappy decisions from inside our tiny little badly-informed minds.

I think shifting these kinds of cultural blocks to clear thinking about each other, our planetary home and our behaviour here is a crucial part of prepping. I love this inner work because it gives the freedom to decide for myself if I think other people are objects or not, if I really preceive this fabulous planet as only a giant resource-object, if money actually is a fixation I wish to be absorbed by and so on. The hard part is going through mental confusion and emotional pain as the unexamined assumptions become examined ones and lose their grip. The exciting part is tending to the state of love, finding understanding with another, making a solid, non-exploitive deal with someone, tripping over wonder and gratitude - all prepping skills if you ask me.

I don't have a wife, but am imagining that moments of seeing her with clear, non-objectifying eyes and an appreciative heart could be fine indeed. So it's great to see you questioning your previously unaware assumptions about your wife, who undoubtedly is not an object really but rather a walking miracle like the rest of us. Even better that you so quickly saw how the same mental mechanism distances you from so many other people.  Don't stop!

Susan

Rihter's picture
Rihter
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 27 2010
Posts: 77
re: Susan

Susan,

Great response. Thank You! Here are 2 quick videos that helped shape my new perspective, a bit.

www.youtube.com/watch  -  Katie Makkai , Pretty

and

www.youtube.com/watch - "That Girl" by  Alysha

Jim H's picture
Jim H
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 8 2009
Posts: 2391
Objectification...

I personally don't see the point as it relates to woman, or shall we say sexism... vs. any other, "ism" like racism.  For the most part, I find my corner of America to be very much post sexist... where I work more of my line managers are female than male, on to and past the VP level... and the mother of one of the kid's attending my son's sleep over birthday is a Dr., while her hubby doesn't work, instead taking care of the kids.  My wife makes more than I do.  One can objectify, or maybe one can be on the other end of the spectrum and be highly empathic... I don't see what this has to do with the 3E's myself.  

What I do see is a near total lack of critical thinking skills.  I see people locked into a MSM-supported normalcy bias... assuming that we as Americans are exceptional, even as the things that maybe did make us exceptional at one time (The Bill of Rights, Checks-and-Balances, reasonable distribution of wealth) are being eroded away under our (sleepy) watch.  Nobody has the slightest idea what is coming at them, and from my experience, they don't want to know.                     

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Login or Register to post comments