Unfortunately we didn't launch into an interesting discussion on objectification, but it got me thinking about the subject. Then yesterday it occurred to me that one of our greatest struggles as we try to relate to other people is our need to objectify ourself. What I mean is that, paradoxically, although we have so much more information about our own experiences than anyone else's for this very reason we often cannot understand ourself. We lack the context to understand ourself as a human being precisely because we have such a skewed perspective on ourself, and we struggle to fit ourself into the role of human as we cannot compare ourself to anyone else since we lack comparable data on any one else's experiences. Thusly we struggle to objectify ourself, or to consider our experiences from an objective, rather than subjective, point of view, because that is the only way that we can relate to other people, whom we must all view, to some extent, from an objective perspective.
I think this is related to an idea which I borrow from Hegel. Hegel posits that the individual left all alone is not a Self, that we must come into relation with some Other in order to differentiate ourself as a Self. Once we encounter the Other, another person, we may begin to realize that we are not just a bunch of immediate sensations and experiences, but we are also something that this alien Other might interact with much in the same manner that we interact with this alien Other. No longer can we simply encounter life as a series of stimuli, now we must encounter life with the notion that we are a unified entity, a Self, an objectification of the subjective.
So then, if objectification is one our social goals, what is wrong with follows wanting to stick singles into my suspenders, shouldn't I want to be objectified as a slab of hott man-flesh? Well, the answer may be yes, but there is still something wrong with it. When someone wedges Washingtons into a waistband, they are not objectifying them self, quite the opposite actually. In viewing the dancer as a source of entertainment, stimulation, they are celebrating their own subjectivity at the expense of the dancer's objectivity. If the purpose of objectification is to enable us to relate through our shared humanity with the Other, this self-gratification instead alienates us from a relation with the Other, because we attempt to deny the full subjectivity of the Other's experience of self and instead replace it with our own fantasy of the objectivity of their self.
This is not to say that I whole-heartedly disapprove of people sticking singles in my suspenders, I gain perspective, money, and it was mentioned in jest. However, I do believe the social practice that is being mocked is one deserving of criticism.