Because of the strangeness of this post’s title, it’s important to establish some things up front. I am not some crackpot theorist. My emotions are in perfect working order, I assure you. I watch TV and, when I watch—if it’s funny—I laugh.
Why just the other day I was picking out a birthday card for my mother and I saw a picture of a puppy dog staring up at me and I thought, ‘that may just be the cutest golden retriever I have ever seen. It looks like it’s smiling up at me.’ So why am I allowing such an ugly word as ‘Machinification’ to be in so close proximity to a lovely word like ‘Women?’
Maybe I put that title up there because nobody talks about the Objectification of Women anymore. And why not? In the Sixties, people talked about it a whole lot and certain groups, for various reasons, were very angry about the Objectification of Women. Aren’t they angry anymore? Or, do we have something new to be angry about?
It seems to me that the mounting anger over the Objectification of Women was perfectly timed with the mounting success of Playboy Magazine. Playboy Magazine’s success was largely dependent on the commercial viability of cheap, high-quality color photography. This allowed naked women, in a sense, to be put inside of a magazine. And this was kinda fun. Except that a magazine was an object; and women aren’t objects. This worried people. Perhaps rightly so.
The trouble with thinking of women as objects is that women are an essential component to the foundation of any society’s creativity. I think this is because women love to communicate and communication is the conduit that feeds a society’s creativity. On the other hand, magazines don’t talk; objects don’t talk. And when they do talk, they oftentimes say predictable things in soothing British accents such as “turn right in… one… point… four… miles.” I think we need more than that in our global society. We need unpredictability in our talking in our global society—we need that “What the hell are you talking about, woman? What the hell does that have to do with anything that was just said” kind of talking.
And now here’s the real rub, we’ve got the largest population of boys the world has ever known coming into adolescence right now. And, in all likelihood, a great deal of them will have their first experience with femininity via a machine, probably a computer. Kinda sad. As a matter of fact, it’s probably happening en mass right now. Kinda gross. Try not to think of it. Try not to think of it. Too-oo late.
So what’s the real difference between the Objectification of Women and the Machinification of Women. An object, such as a magazine, is constrained in space and time. A Machine, such as a global interconnected web of computers, is not. This means that individual niceties such as videos or images can each be granted near metaphysical powers of duplication. And further, the thing about objects and machines is that they both lack consciousness and free-will. Because of this, in a philosophical sense, machines and objects cannot give to a boy or a guy in any real way. So, as a further consequence, what we will have is a growing army of male adolescents who lack the ability to receive. We’re all hopefully mature enough here for me to mention that the diminishment of men’s ability to receive is likely to lead to a great deal of boringly bad sex.
The proliferation of this stuff may, if it hasn’t to a large extent already, serve to block out the collective voice of women and thereby rob our global society of its creativity. I mention these annoying things because what escapes our attention, rules us.