"Objectize" is a verb that is derived from the noun "object" and is typically used within the context of sociology, philosophy, and feminist theory. It refers to the act or process of treating someone or something as an object, reducing their worth or importance to that of an inanimate or subordinate entity, devoid of individual agency or subjectivity. When an individual or a group is objectized, they are dehumanized and seen solely in terms of their material or instrumental value for the benefit or pleasure of others.
This concept is particularly relevant to feminist discourse, where it is often associated with the objectification of women, whereby they are perceived primarily as sexual objects for male desire, and their other qualities, desires, and aspirations are disregarded or dismissed. Objectification perpetuates gender stereotypes, reinforces inequalities, and hampers the recognition of women as fully autonomous individuals.
The consequences of objectization are detrimental, as it undermines individual dignity, compromises personal autonomy, and contributes to the marginalization and oppression of the objectized individuals or groups. Recognizing and challenging objectization is an essential step towards fostering respect, equality, and social justice.
In summary, "objectize" refers to the dehumanizing act of reducing someone or something to the status of an object, denying their inherent subjectivity or agency, and disregarding their dignity and worth as individuals.