There is something I would like to attempt to communicate, but it was a difficult twist for my mind, and so I suspect it might be for others. It might
even be a provocative one, stirring resistance and objection. (didn’t mean to make a pun, there, but it works).
We women often oppose being objectified by men. I know I have. Yet so many men do it. With time, I came to realize even my own husband, who I love
dearly, objectifies me.
I first thought that meant he sees me as a pretty object to possess. Well, yeah, he does.
I seriously put our marriage into question then- it was a major crisis between us.
Now, I don’t know if he is representative of most males, or if he is weird. I know he has lots of friends who think the same. The thing is- he LOVES
objects. Everyone, including himself, is an object, in his mind.
He has a LOT of objects…. I collect ideas, I could be called a hoarder, and thank god no one can see the mess in my head. But they CAN see our home,
our cellars, our property crammed with objects. Heck they can certainly see the Checker Cab and the jet fighter in our front yard!
I used to frown at this, and wonder how he can cherish “things” so much when there are people who are so much more important. When I’d find him
sitting in one his Checkers, stroking the seats silently, I’d ask- why do you love this?
He would explain, in a reverent voice- all the lives! All the experiences! Can you imagine how many people have sat on this seat?? Each one with a
whole life time of relationships, of experiences, of loves and hates, pains and pleasures?? It is enormous!
I still didn’t get it.
Then he got the plane. Which I was none too happy about. But he found the serial number on it, and he began restoring it, and he started looking up
it’s history… he began to find pilots who flew in it, pilots who fought in Vietnam with it. Found out it had a colourful past- one of the first
MiG killers. He began to form friendships with these men, and ended up writing a book. They guys have come to call it a biography of an aircraft- not
a kind of aircraft, but that specific one.
It is really about the men who flew it. A chapter on each one, the stories of their lives, pictures of them and their families, their flight logs, and
the missions they undertook with it.
These guys did things no one ever heard about, and they were so touched by this, you can’t imagine! So many other men spoke up after the first
edition, he had to make a second, with more pilots included. We go each year to reunions with them, and I have sat to listen to their stories, and
watched them cry, hugging that book.
That is when it all made sense to me. These objects are part of the world of persons, to him. Each one of us is formed by the many persons we came
into contact with from the time we were born.
Yes, I am an object to him- but not at all void of meaning, or value- he sees my mother and father, and siblings, and friends…..my teachers, my
country, my whole past!
Now, I dislike the vision of being something formed by the exterior world. I like to see myself as someone formed by myself- a self made person, my
personality made by me. THAT is what I wished he saw. But he doesn’t see that as meaningful.
The me that formed me, was originally formed by the exterior and others, so … we get into the whole question of freewill even existing,
The objects he loves, including me, are not meaningless- they are not limited to the colors or shapes they hold. They are symbols and containers of
In a way, he sees me much bigger than I do- I would tell you I am made of this point of view, and that opinion, and this preference… he would
describe me as so much more- a billion different moments of experience living.
I don’t know if I am expressing myself clearly on this. I had to use the example of my own life to relate to what I am trying to say. In the end, I
came to realization that it is okay that I am an object to him, and that he sees himself as an object.
It is a different point of view than what I knew before, but it also made my life richer to grasp it. It brings together imagination, memory, and
emotion with the material world.