Overcoming Objectification: A Carnal Ethics

Objectification is a foundational concept in feminist theory, used to analyze such disparate social phenomena as sex work, representation of women s bodies, and sexual harassment However, there has been an increasing trend among scholars of rejecting and re evaluating the philosophical assumptions which underpin it In this work, Cahill suggests an abandonment of the notiObjectification is a foundational concept in feminist theory, used to analyze such disparate social phenomena as sex work, representation of women s bodies, and sexual harassment However, there has been an increasing trend among scholars of rejecting and re evaluating the philosophical assumptions which underpin it In this work, Cahill suggests an abandonment of the notion of objectification, on the basis of its dependence on a Kantian ideal of personhood Such an ideal fails to recognize sufficiently the role the body plays in personhood, and thus results in an implicit vilification of the body and sexuality The problem with the phenomena associated with objectification is not that they render women objects, and therefore not persons, but rather that they construct feminine subjectivity and sexuality as wholly derivative of masculine subjectivity and sexuality Women, in other words, are not objectified as much as they are derivatized, turned into a mere reflection or projection of the other Cahill argues for an ethics of materiality based upon a recognition of difference, thus working toward an ethics of sexuality that is decidedly and simultaneously incarnate and intersubjective.
Overcoming Objectification A Carnal Ethics Objectification is a foundational concept in feminist theory used to analyze such disparate social phenomena as sex work representation of women s bodies and sexual harassment However there has be

  • Title: Overcoming Objectification: A Carnal Ethics
  • Author: Ann J. Cahill
  • ISBN: 9780415882880
  • Page: 376
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 1 thought on “Overcoming Objectification: A Carnal Ethics”

    1. Cahill's Overcoming Objectification is a strong and thoughtful theoretical construct. She breaks down the concept of objectification and articulates why it presents theoretical problems for the feminist movement, particularly as it grows out of the Kantian and Enlightenment construction of the person in which the mind is prioritized to the detriment of the body. This text is particularly useful for scholars working on gender and sexuality studies. It is incredibly readable and would be accessibl [...]

    2. Cahill takes as her starting point the concept of objectification that much feminist discourse identifies as the problem with certain portrayals and treatments of women. She critiques the versions of objectification articulated by Nussbaum (1995), Langton (2009(?)), and LeMonchek (1986ish) as being too Kantian, which commits them to seeing the sexual body as akin to an object in certain ways. In other words, the body as an "object for sex"—which it is, at times, and often with positive effects [...]

    3. I found the distinction between objectification and derivatization very useful. Although the latter oncept should be more theoritically refined by the author I think the examples of mothers and disabled women offered a convincing argument in favor of the idea that objectification is not necessarily harmful.

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