Usually when I object to being objectified, all I really want is to be objectified in a different way. I don't want to be a sex object like Bruce Willis. Of course not. Because as that sort of object, I'll lose. I make a lousy sex object. I want to be a clever object, a sensitive object, something in the Alan Alda line. I can compete there. Objectify me that way, please.
Is there a difference between wanting to be admired for being able to read six languages, and wanting to be admired for having six-pack abs? There most certainly is -- to wit, I don't have six-pack abs. Any other difference? I don't think so. It takes certain physical and mental qualities to learn languages. Likewise, to have a trained and beautiful body. Why do we call one set essential, and one superficial? Insofar as they both require a certain amount of discipline and willingness to take trouble, they're pretty much the same. Insofar as they require a knack, a certain amount of native ability, they are also pretty much the same.
As long as I want to be loved for being handsome, I will have to expect to be shunned when I am ugly. As long as I want to be loved for being intelligent, I will have to expect to be shunned when I am stupid. As long as I want to be loved for being kind, I will have to expect to be shunned when I am cruel.
If I really want to be loved as a subject -- which I do, desperately -- I will have to be a subject. I will have to stop objectifying myself. The enormity of that task becomes more and more apparent. I will have to accept love that doesn't value me at my own price, in my own way.
I want to be loved for what I am. But what is that? A slender stream of wandering thoughts and emotions. As long as I pretend to be anything else, as long as I insist of the world that it take me as anything else, then I make myself an object. And I can hardly object, then, when I am objectified. It's what I have been asking for.