Remember diagraming those sentences in school? Subject, verb, object. “What is the subject of the sentence and how does it act (the verb) on the object?”
There is much hoopla made of women being sexually objectified but when these issues come up, I always try to think about it intuitionally as well as rationally because it’s so easy to stereotype based on gender.
It is widely observed that males do tend to be the subject of most movies, books, sporting events, commercials, anchors on the news, utility companies, Presidents, and CEOs. The male perception of things does, in fact, run the planet. That’s patriarchy.
But does that mean that men are never objectified? Think about the system of patriarchy a second. Patriarchy is about usage and consumption. It’s about money, power, death, and oppression, control and victory at any cost. There isn’t much good about it. I’d say there is nothing good about it. In a system such as that, militarism, monetary debt, toxic waste, pathological lying, corrupt government leaders and religion are rife. It doesn’t do much good on the planet. But both women and men shore up patriarchy by accepting their roles of subject-object and rarely reversing them. They could reverse them, or in a loving partnership, both of them are subjects and never objects. So, in that scenario, isn’t it reasonable to assume that:
“Patriarchy eats everything”; Subject/verb/object. Men are consumed as well by the monster. They, in turn, are taught and expected to consume woman.
No one escapes and no one wins really. That means men are objectified too by the system as being set up over and over again as the subject of every last, damn, thing. They are, after all, most of the millions dead from two World Wars. Just watch TV with pen and paper and make two columns Male/Female and make a vertical slash every time you see a woman, every time you see a man and watch the men’s column pile up. That’s not a good thing for men or for women. It’s unbalanced! I personally wouldn’t want all that focus. It’s too much pressure. When women are portrayed on TV they are rarely if ever portrayed as subjects or the ones acting first in the sentence. If they are it’s as a conniving wench, a bitch, a sweet mother or a nurse. Patriarchy doesn’t allow for women to be portrayed as a strong subject; a female lead. Hillary Clinton did that and she was crucified. The message, “Women, don’t ever try to be the subject of the sentence in the United States of America.”
I’ve had too many men say to me, “You just want attention.” My response, “No, I’d just like to be the subject, not the object being acted upon by you most of the time.” But somehow, I doubt most women even know they’re the object being acted upon. They take it for granted that it is their role because they follow system dictates unconsciously. The media and the church do the brainwashing.
For the first time in my life, living in the house I own, I am the subject of my own life and I am able to give focus and make each of my patients that come here the subject in my office. I started out my physical life as a child being extremely objectified by my parents, then school, then college, then my parents literally threw me to a Chicago curb when I was eighteen like so much garbage, then men, on and on for half of my life. Women are not seen or known or even wanting to be known by anyone as people! But are men either? They have that subject role to carry around all the time like a rock in a backpack. Not even our other women friends who are too busy being objectified by their families that define them, want to spend time with me.
Well, in my house, “The patient receives therapy from me.” Subject/verb/object. I guess I’m a pronoun in my office. That’s just fine because I’m the subject of my life the rest of the time because I have important work to do and I’m doing it. I’m on this planet to act, not be acted upon and that’s not selfish. It’s what we all need to do; act on behalf of ourselves in our own lives so we can unconditionally give to one another.