Do you objectify?

When we speak about “objectification”, perhaps the first notion that surfaces is of women’s rights and abuse held against the female gender. However, I have a slightly broader perception to the term, if the idea is to relate how humans are treated as mere objects, I wonder why no one raises their voice against objectification when people are used, misused and abused in our daily lives.

When we seek out relationships that benefit us, and discard them the moment we are done. When we emotionally invest in connections that seem “profitable”, by throwing parties, giving gifts, and passing compliments, but as soon as a negative encounter occurs and “losses” start taking over, we retreat, withdraw and escape. When we throw our feelings “out of the window” or “in the garbage” or “trash talk” our once favorite people, just like we get rid of broken or used objects. When we no longer choose to mend and fix relationships that are broken, because if things can be replaced, relationships can be, too, now.

I wonder why no one screams and shouts, when we objectify our parents, use them for all resources they provided, and never look back when we are out on our own. When we objectify our children, only hugging and loving them when they are obedient and good, but push them away on their innocent mistakes. I wonder, when we stopped differentiating between things and relationships, to the extent that we have forgotten how to treat them differently, how to treat humans like humans, not dependent on profits and costs, but on feelings and emotions, thoughts and growth, meaning and purpose.

Because it is due to this lack of distinction, that as we place value on things on their mere appearance, we have placed the same on people. As we factory produce things to look and serve a similar purpose, we have also started producing a generation of individuals without their personal identities, but only social associations defining them. We have started picking and choosing relationships that look good, without realizing, relationships are meant to feel good in. We have objectified every single individual in our lives, and placed value on every single interaction or encounter, mostly without intention or knowledge. We have become so consumed (no pun intended) in a material world that we have forgotten, humans weren’t defined by it, but were meant to be above it.

Hanna Seyal