Years ago, my ex-husband took me to see a performance by a legendary woman stripper. Her name was Tempest Storm…she was from my parents’ era. “Do you remember her?” I asked Daniel. He wasn’t familiar with her.
Me: She was popular during the fifties, sixties and into the seventies–dubbed “The Queen of Exotic Dancers.” She was a burlesque star and also starred in a few films. I think that she was in her late 60’s or early 70’s when we went to see her performance. She had long white hair. Her skin was translucent-white; she was famous for her milk baths. Her image was projected onto a larger-than-life screen behind her as she stood on the small stage dancing and doing her act. The whole two hours, I couldn’t stop crying. The tears flowed and flowed. I tried to muffle them…but I couldn’t. My husband didn’t know what to think. Nor did he offer support or comfort. Years later, I realized these weren’t my tears. They were her tears that I was crying. I didn’t even know her! Here she was still performing, both beautiful and objectified…a body.
No wonder those tears couldn’t stop, I was feeling her. This was an empathic response from within me. Nothing about the mind.
Daniel: That is the attunement that you have with certain people. You’re very sensitive to frequencies and to being impacted. You are susceptible, vulnerable. This sensitivity is pushing you to self-mastery to control the frequencies that you surround yourself with–discernment and knowing so that you won’t get blasted.
Me: Yes, otherwise I’m buffeted by everything. I need to find ways to maintain my balance no matter what is outside of me. This all somehow has to do with mother, my mother in the care home, my daughter giving birth, this woman dancing–objectified woman…somehow it all has to do with woman or some aspect of mother. How do we bring honor and reverence? It’s the same old stuff–bringing honor to the World Mother if you want to call it that. Why do we have so much objectification of women in our society?
Daniel asked me to explain what I meant by the word objectification. Steeped in this view of woman across the world and over time, it might have been difficult for Daniel to see outside of this box. The idea of woman as an object of desire and that there is no person beyond that…no intelligent, wise, funny, flawed, wonderful whole person.
Daniel offered the term depersonalization rather than objectification. (I recently looked this word up and his word isn’t the correct one for what I’m intending.)
Me: Playboy magazine is another example of what I mean by the term, objectification. Glossy images, a centerfold displaying a woman’s fully nude body as if that is all that she is. They give a little bio to the side…but there is no sense that she is a woman of depth with emotions and with her own thoughts. This fantasy version plays into the psyche of men (and women). Women are seen primarily as objects of desire. If she falls short of that glossy perfection, she’s failed. If that’s all that he wants in a woman, he isn’t truly interested in her wholeness. That’s what I mean by objectification. Such objectification shapes a woman’s self-perception and a man’s perception of women.
Daniel: The object of desire. Hollywood has done a tremendous amount to support this idea…it regards women as inferiors…now that’s a topic to discuss…how men regard women as inferior. The predominant male attitude towards women. Why do men behave in a negative way towards women? Because they regard them as inferior.