There was an interesting discussion between Jessica and Rich on How to Do It about objectification and how to do it in a meaningful and thoughtful way. My immediate reaction was that you can’t. I was pretty adamant about it and upset by the concept. Even with Rich’s caveat about sapiosexuals, I still thought they were being too flip about it.
Then I calmed the fuck down and read it with a more tempered eye. I had my own objections to objectification, but I think Jessica and Rich are two of the most thoughtful columnists on the net. Rich a little less so than Jessica, but they are both heads and shoulders above many of the other advice columnists.
Here’s the thing. I get objectified all the time. All. The. Time. The further out from the norm you are, the more objectified you are by society. Being Asian growing up was a whole traumatic thing. That’s the one Rich mentions in passing, that objectifying someone who might be very sensitive about race would make the sex not great. Which, while he’s right, I think really undersold how undermining it can be.
When I was a teenager, no one wanted to date me. There were many reasons for it, but a big one was being Asian in a white Minnesotan suburb. Then, I hit my twenties when Asian women started becoming exotic. This was….not great. I had an argument with my bestie in our late twenties when I declared that I was done with white guys. Every single one who wanted to date me had an Asian fetish, which fucking sucked. She argued that I was being discriminatory and I should give the white dudes a chance. Not because they were white dudes, per se, but because no one should be discriminated against.
Which, nope. When it comes to dating, I am all about discrimination. Or rather, I would not want someone to date me because they feel obligated to or because they fetishize me. My argument was this. In that time of nascent Asian fetishization, most people in Minnesota did not consider Asian women datable. Therefore, those who were attracted to Asian women, had to overcome the societal indoctrination that only white women were worthy of dating. In other words, they had to be predisposed to dating Asian women, which quickly turned into fetishization. And, every single white dude I dated in my twenties had an Asian fetish. I did not want to waste my time, emotional bandwidth, and energy on someone who had a 90+% chance of only being attracted to my race.