In Favor of Women as Objects: Propositions

  1. A gun.
  2. A Chanel shoe with a gun heel.
  3. If you look for an abstraction in the pure form of an idea, if you look for a method of rescuing women from their own objecthood, you will not find it in the world of dirty objects, which is really just the world.
  4. A pile of soiled panties litters Sunset Boulevard. Most people walk past, ignoring it. But one old woman in a large, black, straw hat and mourning clothes delights at the treasure she stumbles upon. She stops, she stoops, she picks through the panties, touching them with care. She sees in the panties a miracle of life. She takes the pairs she favors and stuffs them into her big, black purse. She does not seem to care that they smell and are unclean. She walks away from the pile slowly, smiling radiantly.
  5. This woman has the right attitude.
  6. The right attitude is more important than the right idea. (The right idea, in clouds and not earth, floats on past.)
  7. A lunch bag with a crudely drawn Chanel logo on it.
  8. A teenage girl’s cheek with the Chanel logo drawn on it in eyeliner.
  9. The typical definition of “objectification” connotes a kind of flattening. The thing in question, a woman, is rendered property, non-autonomous response-unit, sexual pleasure machine, stroke-dude’s-ego machine. But this view, which attempts to explain the way objects labeled women are viewed by other objects labeled men (or more precisely a system of culture that distorts and limits the vision of all), fails to embrace the reality that on the physical plain we are all objects in a world of objects to be used and enjoyed, to use and enjoy, two yous and in joy.
  10. A Chanel shoe with a light bulb heel.
  11. A Chanel shoe with a light bulb heel turned on.
  12. That historically and presently women are flattened culturally is true. That this is negative and limiting is true. Yet the subsequent discussion of how women’s humanity has been hijacked by patriarchal objectification supports binaries between “us humans” and the world of objects at large. It promotes the idea that humans are at the top of the Totem Pole, as opposed to totem: interconnectivity, atoms, miracles.
  13. That objects exist—that there is any thing where there could be no thing—is life’s miracle.
  14. A faux flower. A Fiat. A cotton candy wig. A rope. Scissors. Angel wings. A princess tiara. A pink 1950’s rotary telephone. Star tattoos. Mint green Lime Crime lipstick. Chanel No. 5. Skin. Succulents. These are objects d’ Kate Durbin, but the whole list—the treasure pile—is endless as I.
  15. Just one object on my list is endless as I.
  16. A woman can, anytime she likes, enter the world of objects, by virtue of her cultural relegation to that world. Again, when I say world of objects I mean the physical world, our world. Being object, a woman is generally closer to this world and its ornamentation, and therefore closer to death, the ultimate fate of any glittering box or bee.
  17. A woman need not consider herself other than object, but rather, instead of rescuing herself from the objecthood inscribed upon her by culture, heroically fighting ideas in the clouds, she may find freedom in the low world of things, in making love to things. Then she may laugh at anyone who thinks they can flatten her, for she knows she is not flat but multiple, trail of diamonds, mountain of dead flowers, part and parcel of all that is.
  18. Never forget that an object might transform her indefinitely. Just as any thing in the physical world might mutate, melt, morph, die and be born, crawl and then fly.
  19. If we are objects fused to other objects fused to other objects then our life goes beyond this one tiny body, this one prescribed gender, this one old sad song.
  20. Into our rococo cathedrals, overgrowth of our flesh.
  21. Into our flesh, overgrowth of our gardens.
  22. If we love our objects we will know to become our guns when the time to defend our objects has come.
  23. Or as a rose.


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