Objectification

There is a lot of talk about objectification when people start talking about pornography. This is very appropriate. Most pornography I have experienced has presented women as objects for the viewer’s pleasure and crucially an absence of the woman’s own existence as a protagonist in this process.

Objectification to put it crudely is the reduction of a person or a class of person to a tools for use. An old flatmate of mine had a saying on his wardrobe I loved,

“Love people, not things; use things, not people. ”

As far as I can tell this quote is from Spencer W. Kimball whoever he is…

I think the reason objectification is especially relevant to pornography is that it is difficult to find porn that isn’t doing this reduction of people to objects.

What I want to say though is that this still does not mean that pornography as a genre is by definition bad. It seems to me that porn again is, to use a Family Systems Therapy metaphor, the symptom bearer in a sick culture.

FST says that a particular member of a family or system will often be the one that exhibits visible symptoms that manifest the malfunctioning of the family unit or system. So you might have a child bed wetting and upon investigation discover that Dad has been hitting Mum… In this kind of system the child does not need to change and anything you do do with the child will not make a difference because the child is not the problem.

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