29.10.08

Objectifying Sarah

Why is Ms. Palin being made out to be a bimbo when everyone else is in the process of selling themselves as well? Had I been a US citizen it is most certain that I would not vote Republican, but I find the treatment given out to Sarah quite distasteful.

How many American feminists have raised their voices against the look-alike strippers at a gentleman’s club in Las Vegas who were judged based on how much they resembled the senator wearing a swimsuit? What is the reasoning behind such reductionism? That she is a former beauty queen? How about a contest for McCain lookalike war heroes? Or Obama-type lawyers? Or community workers? Or Joe Biden anti-Viet heroes?

The sexism isn’t restricted to gender alone, but to a certain kind of woman. Strange. Mother Teresa was against abortion and she got a pedestal. Hillary Clinton ‘stood by her man’ and was deified. And what about her make-over? They are talking about Sarah’s wardrobe. Yes, it costs a lot of money, as much as getting cheerleaders and other symbols of support.

There is not much issue-based opposition going on. It is not necessary to respond to bimboesque behaviour in a similar manner. Dumbing down does not work when the stakes are high.
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The idea of objectification itself is complicated.

Someone told me at a time when I was posting pictures of parts of me that I was objectifying myself. It led to an internal monologue (parts of it were posted earlier in the soliloquy series):

Me 1: “Why do you do it?”

Me 2: “Perhaps I want to put myself up there by removing myself from me.”

Me 1: “So you objectify yourself?”

Me 2: “One gets objectified anyway by others.”

Me 1: “Why do you want to play their game?”

Me 2: “It isn't the same. They see disembodied parts. Eyes, mouth, nose, neck, breasts, waist, hips, hands, fingers.”

Me 1: “And you are not? You are doing precisely that.”

Me 2: “I am turning this objectification on its head. If you notice, I have distorted as well. I do make a statement. In my put up ‘parts’, I made a cross over it, essentially saying this is cut out, deleted, unimportant.”

Me 1: “So you are reducing yourself?”

Me 2: “I am reducing the idea of the Self as parts.”

Me 1: “Who is going to see the metaphysical when the physical hits you first?”

Me 2: “I know I am not a Barbie; you cannot just put a key in me and get me started. That level of self-esteem is there, which is why it is possible for me to do what I do. That is also the reason I do not feel devastated by feministic critiques that tend to be hugely one-dimensional.”

Me 1: “The question remains: will anyone get it?”

Me 2: “That’s not important. Seeing something is of the senses; understanding requires more. Besides, don’t people visualise things?”

Me 1: “I still feel there are pitfalls here. It can become a cause for humiliation.”

Me 2: “One does not have to put parts of oneself to invite humiliation. People find ruses – words, actions, shared moments, confidences, the past, the present…everything becomes removed from the person one is. I do not fear the kind of humiliation that comes with putting up these ‘objects’ because I have control over them. They are truly mine and do not need the crutch of another. But it depends on the way of seeing. And perceiving. There can be several truths.”

Me 1: “As in truth is relative?”

Me 2: “Also, the truth has to work within the parameters of several lies, so it breaks itself up into several truths.”

Me 1: “Can truth be objectified?”

Me 2: “It can be ‘subjectified’ to fit into our worldview. Therefore, what we call objectification is what I see as ‘subjectification’. As subject I do not fall prey as object because I have the benefit of a conscious decision. This exhibit can raise hell, so to speak.”
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Returning to Sarah Palin, I think she is aware of her role. Her gaffes may become as comedic as Bushisms, but no one walked the ramp in a fire helmet or a torchlight aimed at some godforsaken cave to humour him.

6 comments:

  1. FV:

    Making an issue of the issue of Sarah Plain's sexism is not an issue worth agonising over. Period.

    ReplyDelete
  2. FV
    American Leftist extremist liberals including media, democratics,Nobama's campaign, Nobama, Feminists(LOL, so called) ironically have had reached the new lows in harrassing, attacking and disgracing their own American women leaders (Hillary Clinton/Sarah Palin)in the most disgusting ways that makes me believe that there is NO difference between Islamic extremists/Talibans and them in mis treating women. As a matter of fact those brutal liberal feminists are more radicals than Talibans....they are supposedly for the rights of women freedom and liberty,but, ironically they are the most sexist women/men ever in the history of modern era.

    Even India, Pakistan, Bangla desh and other third world countries have no problem in having women PMs and Presidents...

    this is shameful and a big embarrassment for sensible Americans, if, there is any???

    All of them are PIN HEADS.

    Sarah Palin is the most qualified VP among all the four candidates, Clinton was also governor of a small state of Arkansa with no foreign affair experience, nobody raised any eye brow on him.
    Sarah Palin is the future republican star......and that's what makes those Neo Nazi Liberal feminists insecured and that's their own complexes and insecurities that make them puke every time they try to utter words...........they are sick, simply sick.....

    cirle

    ReplyDelete
  3. FV
    Sorry for mistyping.
    Above post is mine.
    circle

    ReplyDelete
  4. It was terrible watching that parade of women and glad you have shown the hypocricy.We are more corrupt but more of our women get powerful positions.Surveys say Obama will win

    ReplyDelete
  5. FV,
    Thanks ...this is seriously a new tangent in your philosophical depth...two shallow comments ;
    One : We get "objectified" unitentionally and unknowingly, females more than males...because teh society still has not evolved to a level to detail the persona above teh physical description....example ...what do we think when someone types the name Gulzar...sheer poetic depth , signature white "kalaf kurtas" and ciggarate ....and what do we think of Pam anderson .....sillicone .
    As an accomplished craetive person, your capability to "Create gems out of ordinary" is your tag ....

    At this juncture in life, I have also concluded that criticism is people 's way of telling you that why are better than me and also ..s.ee yoiu are so worse off .....I wish i treat criticism with benign negligence ,,,,but i cant ,,,,just cant ...thats human ...

    Cheers...

    ReplyDelete
  6. PS:

    You know I disagree with you here. Sexism isn't a non-issue.
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    Circle:

    I absolutely agree that we in the subcontinent have fewer problems with women leaders. There are other problems, but in the main this sort of thing is not expected in a liberal and progressive society.

    I say this despite a woman political stand or ignorance or whatever she is accused of, Sarah cannot be treated like a bimbo.

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    KB:

    Yes, and I think have elaborated on that above.
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    Manish:

    I make a distinction between unintentional objectification or one where the person is in charge and intentional where others bring you down...

    A pleasure to read some of your comments...Pamela...I don't think of silicone but future back-ache!

    And thank you!

    ReplyDelete