someday’s I don’t walk my talk.. I just ignore it all and run away

Last night I went to a Landmark Education Forum introduction night.  I’m not sure exactly what it is, so don’t ask questions for me to clarify. 

what  I do know is that it is some sort of “life changing” motivational workshop thingy.  So yes they were trying to sell me their ideas.  So you have to be open to getting a breakthrough.  I’m really open minded (or like to think so, or try to be so) so I really atttempted the sample excercises with gusto.  To do this you must allow yourself to feel a little vulnerable.  This is all necessary to set the scene as they say.

Anyway………

The last excercise we did was to make a table with two columns.  We chose something in life that we weren’t happy with, or that we were avoiding.  then listed the cons of leaving this thing the same in one column.  In the other collumn we were to write how leaving the situation alone gave us some sort of benifit (i.e. the reasons we weren’t changing it). 

She then asked us to share what we chose as the thing we were avoiding.  A man from the back of the room yells out, “shrek in a dress.” 

what?  know one understands what he means.  Apparently he means some woman at his job is ugly and obnoxious or something and he refers to her thusly.  (once understood people laugh nervously).

I immediatly stiffen up.  under con’s he yell out, “I’m unable to see women as sexual anymore” (a little less nervous tittering including from the lady in charge who seemed unable to deal with the comment)

I should of jumped up and told him that women do not exist as objects to fulfill his sexual desires.  I should have at least walked out.  instead I stared at my paper thinking the excercise was not adequately explained because my choice didn’t have a solution I could put in place that would be effective in my lifetime and contemplating doing those thing I feel I should have done. 

not only was it innapropriate but it completely shut me down.  There was no way I was going to share and grow in a situation like that.   and after the lack of support from the people running the course, there was no way I was going to drop NZ$625 on a single weekend workshop.  (which I can’t afford right now anyway.)

just when I almost forget that many men don’t see me as human, I get reminded again.

 

Is objectification the same as oppression?

This is a real question I’m posing to the universe.  This is a thinking out loud type post so comments are truly appreciated.  Dissenters welcome, as long as you are respectful.

 Perhaps it could be better stated as: Is objectification always a type of, or symptom of,  oppression?

 I would say that objectification of women as a class is oppressive.  That is to say viewing all women as merely objects, yes oppressive.  (or anyone in power viewing any group as objects for that matter.)   But what if you are walking down the street and notice a woman and you find her really attractive.  You are never going to meet this person.  You’re not hollering cat calls at this person, but you think to yourself, “wow, hot.”  Or maybe even remark to a friend that sentiment. 

 Is this oppressive to that person?  Is it even really objectifying them if your behaviors are not changed toward this person? 

Now really I’m asking because I want equality, and I want to check out guys.  Am I objectifying them?  Is the only thing that keeps me from being an oppressor my status as a disenfranchised individual? 

 Because if that’s so, that’s not who I want to be. 

 Should we totally turn off our hormonal reactions?  I would say that is impractical and silly.  I don’t think checking some one out because they are physically attractive is wrong.  I do think that basing all judgments on a person’s physical attributes is wrong. 

 I think the big difference is that, if you do meet or talk to that person, you acknowledge them as that: a person, and not just pretty thing to look at. 

But to say that one leads to the other is the same old anti-pot argument I dislike.  People who do heroin generally started with something like pot, so pot is an evil gateway drug.  I bet a lot of people who use heroin also ate popcorn at some point in their life.  And there exist a lot of people who use pot and don’t use harder drugs. 

I think the same could be said about checking people out.  Of course I may just be trying to rationalise my own behavior.