Objectification often shows up in OUR sessions, either directly or indirectly.
Yes there was also defensiveness in some of the responses but there was something missing that I had expected to see. Very little of the conversation explored or alluded to how women have been seen as two dimensional by men.
As I heard this conversation on human dignity, I heard ringing in my ears from many conversations about the objectification of women. I was expecting the discussion to widen to the objectification of both sexes. People are not things whether they are men or women whether we know them personally or are watching from afar.
However as a man it was sort of fun listening to people talk about the issues involved in seeing a man as two dimensional. Yet I realize that for men the expressed objectification by women seems less common and newer. I believe that many men are unprepared for the changing roles that this conversation explores
Objectification in the Consulting Room: Changing Environment
As a therapist I often discuss with female clients different approaches that they can use to deal with men who are seeing them two dimensionally. When this two dimensional lens is trained on a person close to us, the destructiveness to our human dignity becomes even greater than when it is thought of from afar.
Some men will show great adoration for a woman’s looks and attributes of her personality, but not really attempt to know her, honor her, or respect her. Although men have become much more sensitive to women over the last few years, there are plenty of men that don’t understand the meaning of the word NO. Women have been becoming more direct and are better able to deal with these advances than women from other eras.
In the past some women were afraid of being called names or being labeled and were reluctant to stand up for themselves. Today more and more women seem to see these advances for the unwanted overtures that they are and they find a way to stop them without much fear of being labeled.
As men, it is important to understand that as women become more empowered and successful, they will not always embrace the best of female or male values. Sometimes we are going to need to learn a new set of skills to deal with the unintended (and sometimes dysfunctional) outcomes of change.
Allen Rader, LCSW – Allen is a therapist, entrepreneur and founder of ATS Wellness and Therapy. He enjoys assisting people in transforming their lives rather than just learning to cope with the challenges of life.