At last we come to a consideration of some literary examples of objectification. We begin with one not mentioned in my first post , from Lady Chatterly :. He dropped the shirt and stood still, looking towards her. The sun through the low window sent a beam that lit up his thighs and slim belly, and the erect phallus rising darkish and hot-looking from the little cloud of vivid gold-red hair. She was startled and afraid. So big!
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Try to Download directly Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume. It culminated in the initial — but wrong — assumption that Muslims were responsible for the massacre of 77 people in Norway in July When the killer turned out to be an anti-Muslim zealot, Nussbaum argued that people needed to re-examine their attitudes based on fear.
But in this extended interview, she also discusses the challenge that the radical fringe of Islam poses for traditional western views of tolerance. Martha Nussbaum on the burqa ban. Article from Britain's Daily Telegraph on controversies over the local sharia courts in the United Kingdom. Andrew West : Hello from me, Andrew West.
This week, a special edition of the Religion and Ethics Report. She says Muslims have become victims of the politics of fear. But she concedes the challenge that radical Islam poses to Western liberalism. Andrew West : Now very early on in your book, The New Religious Intolerance you refer to the events of July 22, , when Anders Behring Breivik detonated a bomb in central Oslo that killed eight people and then he went on to murder another 69 young people who were at a Labour Party summer camp.
What were the initial assumptions that media commentators, newspapers, and bloggers made about that incident? And I think that is very telling because it was the default assumption was, oh, this is terrorism, therefore Muslims must be behind it. And of course then they had to eat their words when…turned out that it was not only not a Muslim but it was someone who was inspired by ideas of holy war that had been fomented by anti-Muslim blogs.
Andrew West : And what did that suggest to you about the popular understanding, or misunderstanding of Islam? And that makes it easier to have fear. And in my book I talk about The Protocols of the Elders of Zion where a paranoid fantasy about Jews was circulated which was a forgery in the 19th century and all kinds of people believed that, including prominent intellectuals.
They just believed that the Jews had met in secret and had this conspiracy to take over the world even though you could have told that it was a forgery very very easily. Andrew West : I want to come back to that distinction that you make. I just want to dwell on the role of the fear monger, as it were, after the Breivik incident.
You point to one particular person, a woman called Pamela Geller. Martha Nussbaum : Yes, I mean, her blog has for a long time been circulating very simplistic historically inaccurate views of Islam as a religion which as a whole is bent on world domination.
And unfortunately these ideas have gotten the toehold even in some of our intelligence agencies for a while. But they did invite some of these people associated with her anti-Muslim movement to give instructions on Islam for the FBI.
So I think what it shows is that the blogosphere makes it easy for historically totally irresponsible fictions to be circulated. And certainly the people who wrote The Protocols of the Elders of Zion could only wish to have the internet to circulate those fantasies. It makes it a lot easier. Andrew West : Well I think in the case of Pamela Geller you suggest that there was something even more serious.
Martha Nussbaum : Well yes. I mean, there was this anonymous post on her blog where a person who in many other respects, sounds like Breivik, in terms of the references to the crusades and so on, said that he was stockpiling weapons. But nonetheless, you know, the fact that this was sitting out there and you know of course the minute the violence occurred, she took it down. I think that was a problem.
How have…well maybe longer, I mean, but…. And then eventually they said okay, call him up and he did. Is it really an old world, new world, divide? But I think that because of the influence of romanticism on the founding of nationalisms in Europe, the concept of what a nation is, is often one that brings language, ethnicity, and religious homogeneity to the fore. And you find this in very fine people. And despite their tremendous dedication to social justice, they have a very hard time seeing somebody with dark skin or a Jew or a Catholic as fully Finnish—even if they speak the Finnish language, interestingly enough…which takes a lot of dedication to do.
Whereas in the US…. Martha Nussbaum : Well I think that is an issue. However, there are much more pluralistic countries such as Britain that are still very much ahead of the US in terms of their social safety net.
But in the US I think the difference is that the…from the very beginning everyone was there as an outsider. They were outsiders wherever they came from and they came there even though it was a very inhospitable country full of dangers, because they were not welcome where they were.
So at least that gave them some motive for constructive thought about difference. Andrew West : Yes. Martha Nussbaum : Well up to a point they were similar in that they both ascribed a great deal of importance to religious liberty. And they both urged nations to foster that and they urged people to adopt a spirit of charity, mercy and generosity, says Locke. But the difference was that Locke was more conservative in the sense that he thought that when the state made a law, even if its incidental burdens were greater on some religions than on others, because the majority had made choices that favour their own religious practices, people would just have to either obey that law or they would have to disobey it and go to jail.
So for example if the State decides to require military service, then people who for conscientious religious reasons are unwilling to serve in the military should go to jail. Or to give an example that is another one that comes up often in the courts, if we make laws about workdays and the law says Sunday is the day of rest.
So the American view that came to prevail was that these minorities get what was called an accommodation from laws that are, in general, applicable to all people. And George Washington, in one of his first statements as our first president, wrote to the Quakers and said, your conscientious scruples are well known to me, and it is my earnest wish and desire that the law shall always be as extensively accommodated to them as a due regard for the essential interests of the nation may permit.
Now drug laws have been an area of particular controversy because there are religions such as Native American religion that would like the rights to use peyote in the sacred ceremony. And of course…. Martha Nussbaum : Yes. So the Controlled Substances Act eventually was amended to permit the sacramental use of peyote.
Andrew West : But this accommodationist philosophy, it leads I think in the words of one of your Supreme Court justices, it can lead to anarchy. Whereas the Native Americans, where we can study their history, we can look at their rituals and so on, they will.
So that I think, is the way of making it a little bit…work a little bit less chaotically. And, you know, if the choice is really between a system that has that risk and the system that has the risk of gross unfairness to minorities…how terrible that people should not be able to observe their sacred day just because it happens to be Saturday when the people who happen to have Sunday as the day have no problem at all. Martha in the latter part of the interview I want to look at the burqa ban, enacted by the government of France.
Why are you so vehemently opposed to a ban on the burqa which many feminists believe to be a real act of coercion, an infringement? Martha Nussbaum : Well I think that all the arguments that are made against the burqa as in support of banning it, are quite frankly, hypocritical.
That is to say, they target a minority practice without targeting similar practices of the majority. So take the feminist objection that the burqa objectifies women, that is, causes women to be treated as mere objects, rather than persons. Now as a feminist who years ago was one of the ones who was writing about the concept of objectification, I know that what we were talking about was the treatment of women as objects in the porn industry, in advertising, in violent pornographic films and magazines, and of course in more diffuse social practices, like the way girls dress up for the high school dance, marketing themselves as sex objects.
And then you also mentioned coercion. Now is this violence particularly common in Muslim families? But one thing we do know is that violence against women and children in the home is strongly correlated with alcohol abuse.
And observant Muslim families are therefore less likely to have that factor. My father threatened to disinherit me if I appeared in public in a group, any member of which was an African American. That was harsh. Now all of these are forms of emotional blackmail and it applies to things like lose weight, take a shower and so on. So the burqa is in that class of parental practices. Andrew West : Now you very systematically do knock down a lot of the arguments in favour of the burqa ban.
You know, the old order Amish are in their own way, very very extreme. They refuse the whole modern world. So what do we do? We look for people who actually threaten the rights of others. Andrew West : But do you acknowledge that the burqa issue is, in a sense, where the rubber hits the road on this question of religious tolerance or religious intolerance?
And they are worried about the transformations of their otherwise liberal societies that they have spent most of the post-war era trying to create. Because look, the first thing that France did was to ban the headscarf in schools. Now the headscarf is not associated with any particular extreme version of Islam. And they also banned the Jewish yarmulke , which of course is not extreme in any way. And the Muslim way, covering the hair, why would one do that?
So why would that be? I think there was a sharia judge who said that Britain ought to introduce a penal code that involved stonings and amputations. It happens everywhere…I mean people always want to do that. So yes, we have to be on our guard against that.
And we should say the law is the law. And the law is everyone. Thank you for joining us on the Religion and Ethics Report. Audio Player failed to load. Play Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume. Image: Robin Holland. Download Martha Nussbaum: the new religious intolerance Duration: 28min 39sec Broadcast: Wed 16 Jan , pm. Transcript plus minus.
The Ways of Lust
Sexual objectification is the act of treating a person solely as an object of sexual desire. Objectification more broadly means treating a person as a commodity or an object without regard to their personality or dignity. Objectification is most commonly examined at the level of a society, but can also refer to the behavior of individuals and is a type of dehumanization. Although both males and females can be sexually objectified, it is mainly associated with the objectification of women , and is an important idea in many feminist theories and psychological theories derived from them.
The Problem with Objectification
Try to Download directly Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume. It culminated in the initial — but wrong — assumption that Muslims were responsible for the massacre of 77 people in Norway in July When the killer turned out to be an anti-Muslim zealot, Nussbaum argued that people needed to re-examine their attitudes based on fear. But in this extended interview, she also discusses the challenge that the radical fringe of Islam poses for traditional western views of tolerance. Martha Nussbaum on the burqa ban.
Seven Types of Objectification (part 2)
After giving her examples of objectification, Nussbaum distinguishes seven ways to treat a person as a thing — that is, to objectify them. Is each of these sufficient for objectification to occur? Or do we need several of them to obtain to identify objectification? Nussbaum prefers not to answer, though she discusses some possibilities for considering some features of objectification more critical than others. Objectification is a messy concept. Nussbaum first considers the relationship between parent and child. Here there is a denial of autonomy, and also some aspects of ownership, though not all.
Martha Nussbaum: the new religious intolerance