Part of speech:
(Like “eat,” “try,” and “want,” all transitive verbs do something to an object.
You eat a banana, try a game, and want a new phone.
Likewise, you objectify something.)
When you objectify people, you're treating them as if they're just objects rather than human beings.
(Another meaning: to objectify things means to make them real or give them external form. But we'll focus on the first meaning.)
objectified, objectifying, objectification
How to use it:
Talk about someone or something objectifying someone else, as in "This annoying song objectifies women." You can use "objectified" as a handy adjective, as in "You can't help but feel like an objectified cog in a wheel as you walk through the queues at a theme park." The noun is also very useful: "A chief criticism of beauty pageants is their objectification of young girls."
It's usually people who get objectified, but occasionally you might talk abstractly about objectifying culture, objectifying poverty, objectifying music, objectifying homelessness, etc.
Jennifer Lawrence refuses to be objectified; when reporters on the red carpet ask her dumb questions about her dress instead of her acting career, she responds with wit and sarcasm.
If you've watched Meghan Trainor flaunting her body in her music videos, do you think she's empowering or objectifying herself?
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "objectify” means when you can explain it without saying “treat like a thing” or “dehumanize."
Think of a movie, show, advertisement, or anything else that's guilty of putting women, men, or children on display as objects, and fill in the blanks: "When did it become okay for (thing) to objectify (someone) by (showing something)?"
Example: "When did it become okay for hamburger commercials to objectify girls by showing them not even half-dressed while washing cars?"
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don’t go straight to the review now—let your working memory empty out first.
Playing With Words:
Messages that go through an automated translator into several languages and back into English again often end up sounding funny and garbled-- but still somehow meaningful. We’re having fun with that phenomenon this month as we play our game: Guess the moral from Aesop’s Fables after it has been translated into a few foreign languages and back again by a computer program. Some of the morals may be very familiar to you, others not so much. You don’t need to quote Aesop verbatim but rather just understand the message being conveyed. Try it out each day and see the right answer the following day.
Yesterday’s answer: The translation-babble said, “As clever people in trouble, he will find a way to advantage more.” Aesop said, “As soon as someone clever gets into trouble, he tries to find a way out at someone else’s expense.”
Try this one today: “You trouble if in pursuit of illegal gain awaits you.”
A Point Well Made:
Emily Dickinson: “Hope inspires the good to reveal itself.”
1. The opposite of OBJECTIFY is
2. You could argue that films are objectifying by their very nature, but _____.
A. million-dollar budgets don't necessarily guarantee big profits.
B. plenty of filmmakers have used the camera to highlight humanity, not just physical beauty.
C. you can't argue with the fact that millions of people have paid to see movies with obviously unoriginal plots.
Answers are below.
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Make Your Point is crafted with love and brought to you each day for free by Mrs. Liesl Johnson, M.Ed., a word lover, learning enthusiast, and private tutor of reading and writing in the verdant little town of Hilo, Hawaii. For writing tips, online learning, essay guidance, and more, please visit www.HiloTutor.com.
Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.
Answers to review questions:
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