"Hey sexy, nice ass..." and other objectifications

Earlier this year I posted photos from my other blog, shadowsexposed.com, about an art series I created titled, I objectify women (IOW).    In it I present my thoughts on how I objectify women through my art.  For me, there are many different types and degrees of objectification of another human.
IOW Jacqui - gel transfer onto old cotton shirt - 102413

This morning I read an article at Slate.com about the artist Hannah Price who photographed men that cat-called her while she walked the streets of Philadelphia.  I suggest you look at the photos and read the article.  I found that her photos are brilliant in how they transgress the sexist boundaries of cat calls by not returning them with a sharp retort.  She both humanizes the cat callers and also objectifies them in a way.  From what little I learned of her series she engaged the cat callers in dialogue and took their portraits.  I wonder if this has changed their attitudes about their verbal outbursts?  Hopefully.
IOW Jacqui - gel transfer onto old cotton shirt - 102413

Ms. Price is exposing one of the many types of objectification.  Cat calls can be range from pretty subtle (yet in their way still very intrusive) like, "Smile for me, beautiful" to horrifically vulgar, degrading and threatening.  I guess that is true of many types of objectification.

All of this makes me wonder on the intent of the objectifiers.  I think there are a few major categories of objectifiers.

1. They (and society) know they are doing it and it is accepted as normal by most.  This is the most common with advertising, movies, television, etc.  There are dangers still, but until society shifts, it will be there.

2.  They know what they are doing even though it unacceptable to society.  This may be porn, cat calls, comments on forums, jokes, created art, materials, etc.  Much of this stuff has to be kept underground or on special interest websites.  Depending on the content, it may be protected under free speech, but maybe considered dangerous or directly threatening to the "othered".  Some are ashamed they do these things, others do it blatantly and may have ill intent behind them.

3. They don't know it is objectification (both at the individual and societal levels).  I am guilty of this.  Many times it is subconscious, yet pretty pervasive (and may also be perverted?).    Examples of this are the male (and female gaze), unconscious thoughts, jokes, and other subtle and not-so subtle manifestations.

I believe that objectification will always be part of our world and that not all forms of objectification are bad.  Sometimes they are necessary filters to get information quick and make decisions.  The major danger though is when they become the only form of information we gather about the objectified and also how we treat and interact or act upon them.


I am back...

Me(out of focus) - 102013

...finally.  I have not published here since late February and I have missed it.  There are many reasons and excuses for neglecting this space, but as a wizened friend told me once, "There is a difference between reasons and excuses."  Some of these excuses/reasons are superficial and some are deeply personal.

As you may remember, I started another blog with a friend, shadowsexposed.com.  It is going well and  I am enjoying it.  It continues to focus on the life and art erotic.  While that takes some time to create, it should not have pulled me away from this blog and life, and it didn't.  I did that to myself.

Without going into the details,
I had a nervous/psychological breakdown (with even a psychologists diagnosis to go with it) in April and May.  I hit that moment head on and went through the windshield of depression, anxiety and other mental pains due to a mix of my own failures, fractures, and defense mechanisms.  I hurt myself psychologically and hurt those around me as well.

I am not going into the details yet because I want to write about them in the future as part of the putting it into my past and discovering who I really am.  I am planning to explore these parts of me through new art, this blog, further therapy, meditation, praying, introspection, and deep reflection.  Not all will be shared here, because some just wont work well in this medium.

I am doing much better now and I believe the traumatic part of it is behind me.  The next steps are to continue the healing and to make sure it never happens again by learning from what I did wrong.

For my long-time readers; along with these reflective pieces, I still plan to share some humor, a few nudes,and art that has nothing to do with the dark times.  One thing I am learning is that it is important to feed those parts of my life that make it beautiful, fun and worth living.

PS - During that time, a long-time blog friend reached out and shared care and concern, which I deeply appreciated.  Thanks you.

PSS- The beard is for Halloween.  I can't wait to shave it off November 1st.