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.
When I used to use Craigslist personals, I would specifically say that I did not want anyone who only wanted to date Asian women. I cannot tell you how many ‘I LUUUUUUUV ASIAN GIRLS’ responses I got. Along with dick pics, which I also said I didn’t want. There were also the white women who wanted to date me because they wanted to diversify, which is a whole different post.
I don’t know why this is still a thing–thinking that Asian women are docile and submissive. I mean, I do in theory, but it doesn’t really make sense in reality. Asian women that I’ve met have some of the strongest personalities I’ve ever met. There’s a joke amongst Asian women that if two meet, they either become besties or bitter enemies.
So, yeah. I don’t want to date/have sex with anyone who has a fetish for Asian women. Not the least because I’m still unsure of my gender. Today, I identify as genderqueer, but that is likely to change. Why? Because I just don’t really care about gender all that much. I hesitate to say that because I support people who are struggling with their genders and find it a person-defining aspect of themselves. I can’t relate with that feeling, but I understand having an aspect of yourself not being recognized as important.
Hell, that’s 95% of my personality. So much of it is ignored, unseen, and not valued. I made my peace with not mattering a few decades ago. Not mattering to the greater society, I mean. I am different in about every way there is to be different. In fact, the smash success of Elden Ring has me a little disconcerted. Yes, the other games are niche hits and FromSoft has changed video games in general. Soulsilke is a genre, now, and so many devs aspire to use those ideas in their own games (or angrily decry them for being bad out of jealousy).
Elden Ring, however, took the world by storm. People who had no idea what the Souls games were wanted to know more about it. It sold more in a week than the each previous game has sold at all. Hold on. Something I like is actually popular? I’m not sure what to do with this feeling.
Because of this, the idea of being objectified in any way is repugnant to me. I get that on the regular. Jessica and Rich say that you can blend objectification and love, but what if I don’t want to? She mentions that she loves being faced down and getting railed from behind, but I don’t understand how that is innately objectifying.
Look. I can do one-night stands. I can do them better than I can do romantic relationships, actually. Because I’m really good at objectifying and I used to think my soul worth was how good a fuck I was. (That and how good a listener I am, which is on the same plane. It’s not about me as a person, but how much I can give the other person.)
My difficulty is doing the love thing. So I don’t need to be encouraged to be objectified. That’s what most people do to me (and, to be fair, it’s in part because they literally can’t understand me), and it’s alienating to me. I feel lonely because there are so few people who actually understand me.
I’ve thought for a long time that I should be an advice columnist. There have to be other people out there who think about things on several levels, yes? Or is it truly just me? I know that I’d have to do it with some kind of gradated response. One basic level for those who just want the nitty-gritty. Then, different levels of depth after that. I don’t know how that would work practically, though.
I know I’m the annoying person who always asks, “Yeah, but what about…”. I cannot help it. It’s the way my brain works. I wish I could find a way to make it beneficial to other people, but I can’t make someone else understand what I’m saying. That’s just not possible, unfortunately.