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Nov 13 2005

I’m Not Dead Yet

Great Scott! I take one little unexcused absence and what the heck? An unchecked Mandos proliferation, Colette, some delusional chappie taking it on the chin for hottt nurses over 35, and now complaints that "butch" is a dirty word? I mean, what the heck?

Objectification, my young anti-nausea pills, is what happens when a person’s humanity is called into question by some fuckwad or fuckwads who imagine themselves, because of their perceived caste or social status, to be in a position to bestow or subtract the quality of being human on the person in question. It appears to be required behavior in a social system wherein relationships are defined by dominance and submission.

Note that, according to Twisty analysis, a woman, to use a familiar example, cannot actually be said to embody beauty, since she has human status, and is neither a material "thing" nor an abstract philosophical principle.

25 comments

1 ping

  1. Ms Kate

    Hey! I resemble that statement.

    Butch isn’t a dirty word in my book, but then I come from a long line of butch hetero women who rarely wore skirts, whacked bears with brooms and welded liberty ships and fixed cars. My mother wears army boots? Of course she does!

  2. nicky

    Twisty: I’m so glad you’re not dead yet.

  3. Tony Patti

    The problem of beauty is vast and mysterious. Men have these deep and seemingly objective illusions about what they consider beautiful and what it means to the way they categorize the world.

    Here’s my attempt at trying to cope with my own love of beauty, and trying to distinguish real beauty from sexist objectivication (sp?): Beauty is literally everywhere if you open up and see it. If you do, then weighing the difference between one beautiful thing (ie one of those wonderful bugs Twisty captures) and another (a middle-aged woman with red hair who loves me) is impossible.

    I’ve learned to love bodily defects like sagging and cellulite dimpling from looking with rapture on Rubens, and for seeing the person, human and beyond aesthetic judgement, behind the trembling flesh. My sexist right to patriarchal approval has been rescinded, and in its place, I see more beauty every day, the further I get from it.

    I still love to see young beautiful women in the incredible holy glow of youth and fullness too, but I can’t value them more highly than the people I love who are far older, trapped in the prisons of our aging flesh, whom I love.

    The average male victim of the patriarchy would never give up his right to judge the outward appearances of women, and lives in a much uglier world as a result. It’s small wonder to me that these lives are filled with an inexplicable murderous rage, since they walk among phantoms that allure them constantly with illusions they can never capture and control.

    Men are such sick fucks when they live in a patriarchy. And nobody’s telling them that life could be much better if they stopped acting like they deserved what can only make them crazier and crazier.

  4. Mandos

    “An unchecked Mandos proliferation,”

    You’re welcome.

  5. Mandos

    BTW, your entire argument rests on the “quality of being human” as being meaningfully different from being a “material thing.” This is interestingly metaphysical—not that there’s anything *inherently* wrong with this. But we are all material things, what makes us human is a material thing, and the very act of perceiving a human being inherently includes the power to judge someone as more or less “human,” given that it includes the power to ascribe characteristics to entities.

    In fact, the use of “human” here is not very meaningful either. Since humans are material things in every observable aspect, and since “beauty” is a character that perception ascribes to material objects including humans (and some non-material objects, like mathematics), then it follows that it possible to judge a human being on beauty.

    So you can’t really handwave away the problem like that.

  6. robin

    I’m not completely sure who Ron S., Mandos, and Tony are, but
    it’s nice to see men ( I assume they’re men? one can never actually know online) giving these subjects some serious thought, and attempting to deconstruct the construct of patriarchy to a certain extent.
    I will even go as far as to say, “intelligently written comment, Tony P.”
    A disconcerting note of the subject of beauty: babies prefer to gaze longer at images of “attractive” women than those with “less” attractive features, such as asymmetry, blemishes, or unevenly proportioned faces.. We are a victims of our physiology to a certain extent, but it is to hoped that with maturity and insight, and a deeper exploration of our humanity, we can see the beauty in people and things that transcends the superficial.
    Also, yes to Twisty’s definition of objectification. Very well put.

  7. Mandos

    I believe that Ron is female. Tony is definitely a man, as am I. I’ve been thinking about this for a long time, since characterizing certain aspects of perception is of, let’s say, professional interest to me.

  8. bitchphd

    Isn’t it fun how every time you turn your back on a blog, ppl go nuts? Hence the concept of the blog babysitter ;)

    I, too, am glad you’re not dead yet.

  9. Anonymous

    I FUCKING LOVE TWISTY
    & im drunnk

  10. Kate

    Mandos, Twisty said human status. That’s a slightly different thing to the ‘quality of being human’ methinks. I could be wrong. One is a question of standing, the other is a question of metaphysics which, frankly, makes my brain hurt.

    Sigh. I too am glad you’re not dead, Twisty.

  11. Hattie

    Yes, we do get out of hand when the boss lady isn’t around. We know whose fault it really is, don’t we.

  12. rose

    Well Twisty, thats what happens when we bicker, oops I mean chat among ourselves. Mandos clearly cannot be left unsupervised in the future.

  13. Mandos

    “Mandos, Twisty said human status. That’s a slightly different thing to the ‘quality of being human’ methinks. I could be wrong. One is a question of standing, the other is a question of metaphysics which, frankly, makes my brain hurt.”

    Yes but I was arguing that your standing has little effect on the inescapability of objectification. Rather, I would say that it only has bearing on the EFFECTS of objectification at best.

  14. Hattie

    Yes, you can’t trust no one these days.

  15. Sara

    Also glad you’re not dead yet; hope you’ll soon be feeling very much better.

    Does your reference to anti-nausea pills reflect your having gotten some? If so, are they working for you?

  16. ehj2

    I’m not dead, I’m not drunk, I’m at least partially human, and Twisty is one of the most beautiful humans on the planet.

    Given what I know of the patriarchy, Twisty is also one of the most civil, patient, kind, longsuffering, and wonderful teachers on the planet, too.

    Twisty wishes she were cynical, but it really isn’t in her. The fact she still talks to us demonstrates she hasn’t given up on us, men and women alike, who support and sustain the patriarchy.

    We don’t appreciate her enough, and I Blame The Patriarchy.

    Long Live Twisty.

    /ehj2

  17. Tony Patti

    Mandos Mandos Mandos!

    “Since humans are material things in every observable aspect, and since “beauty” is a character that perception ascribes to material objects including humans (and some non-material objects, like mathematics), then it follows that it possible to judge a human being on beauty.”

    You make claims that cannot be demonstrated such as above, and then sit back in some whirligig of self-reflective inanity, couched in impenetrable masks of indefinable verbiage, and think that you’ve made a point when actually you have only made it obvious that hollow pedantry is still, as always, a waste of space.

    Is beauty a character? Is perception able to define universal and objective truth? Is one man’s meat another’s poison?

    Are humans material in every observable aspect? Then what of thought, which no one can observe unless it is translated into language and shared? I could go on poking holes in the nothingness you so glibly exude, but why bother?

    It is possible, of course to judge a human based on beauty, and the obviousness of such a remark is somehow, I infer, calculated to lend some authority to the parade of empty thoughts that precede it. It is smug privilege that serves as the basis of suchlike judgements that makes them the tools of the patriarchal order; be it the fat bastard scoring the women around him despite his own unworthiness or be it the victimised woman forever gazing at her own form with the fears of what a man or what another woman would think a man would think of her.

  18. Mandos

    Tony,

    You’ve made it pretty clear that you don’t like my writing style, and you connect it to things I never said anything about. Very nice.

    So let me put it this way, then, since you’re unhappy with the way I put it before: Twisty is claiming in this post that objectification follows from domination and submission. I claim that objectification as such follow necessarily from the act of perceiving.

    So this means that either

    1. domination and submission are inescapable conditions.

    2. or, domination and submission aren’t necessarily related to objectification.

    I cannot back up my claim regarding perception and objectification without resorting to language that I suspect you would find objectionable for some reason. A failure of imagination on my part, perhaps. So I won’t.

  19. CafeSiren

    “The average male victim of the patriarchy would never give up his right to judge the outward appearances of women, and lives in a much uglier world as a result. It’s small wonder to me that these lives are filled with an inexplicable murderous rage…”

    Tony, I think this is great. I’m stealing it. (will send royalties)

    Note that I deliberately took the last clause out of context (hence the ellipses, for which I apologize to our favorite spinster aunt). In my appropriated version, the rage is caused by living in that ugly world of their own making.

  20. darkymac

    TONY PATTI The average male victim of the patriarchy would never give up his right to judge the outward appearances of women…,CAFESIREN, In my appropriated version, the rage is caused by living in that ugly world of their own making.

    I can’t tell whether it is their own making or one into which they are inducted and from within which cage they have not perspective.
    My sadness is that there is no way of knowing. Although I’ve perceived a touch of enlightenment in the beardless youth. But this could be my own objectifying of the beauty of vulnerability. They are all such soft flowers, the youth, and it’s the only time that they speak up to women about what is in their heads.

  21. TeenageCatgirl

    What is metaphysical about Twisty’s argument?

  22. Twisty

    Mandos sez BTW, your entire argument rests on the “quality of being human” as being meaningfully different from being a “material thing.”

    All right then, a human, if it is to be reduced for the purpose of this goofy argument to a material thing, is a collection of atoms and chemical reactions arranged according to some common theme. It is what it is; its human-ness is not contingent on some fucktard misogynist observer’s analysis. If the reactions and atoms are there in all the biologically necessary places, it’s a human.

  23. Ron Sullivan

    Mandos has one material thing right, I’m female. I’m not even particularly butch; I just pruned my forename to a monosyllable for most uses.

    I’ve also been off frolicking among the wild swans and cranes and mud for a couple of days, but when I left the preceding post I was talking about “attractiveness,” not some ethereal and functionally useless bisyllable like “beauty.” And my point is that all that foofaraw about “standards” is totally outside the question when you meet someone who attracts you — which is a completely subjective thing, if you’re not a robot, and likely to be pretty damned unpredictable.

    Not only do we have the right not to be subjected to y’alls’ “judgment” of our various bits and how they harmonize — at least not within our hearing — but you all look like damnfools whan you loudly and laboriously attempt to arrive at an official consensus about the matter.

  24. Chris Clarke

    I’m not even particularly butch;

    Sez you.

  25. Ron Sullivan

    Sez you.

    Wait, I thought that was you.

  1. Second quote of the day: Objectification « Anti-Porn Feminists

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