The Machinification of Women

The Machinification of Women - essay 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.

About davidwallacefleming

David Wallace Fleming is a U.S. writer, living in Austin, Texas. He is the author of the coming-of-age, social media novel GROWING UP WIRED, and the satirical science fiction audiobook, NOT FROM CONCENTRATE.
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20 Responses to The Machinification of Women

  1. Anonymous says:

    so looking ahead (assuming we’re all not busy swimming for higher ground from melting ice caps) … the hypothesis is that ‘computer sex’ will adversely affect male sexual conduct on a cross-cultural basis. which is pretty much a given — there’s no way it CAN’T have fallout.

    but i’m not sure am seeing where you tie that in to lowered quantities of creativity and communication from ‘female energies’ …… all based on women being ‘pissed?’

    first, we don’t know if the fallout of computer porn will be positive or negative. it well might be that men who graduate on ‘more self-fulfillment’ will be MORE attentive and willing-to-learn lovers. so are building up an argument for a premise that may or may not exist.

    now, we’re talking about those maturing in this time frame … because those of my generation, yes — are going to be all kinds of ticked off when sugar bear turns to the monitor for his jollies. it’s like a hundred times worse than trying to compete with magazines.

    but the girls today? these are the ones who are already texting pictures of their private parts in highschool. doing strip teases for web cams. i think these girls, as they go to be the women for these boys — are going to be adapted in a COMPLIMENTARY manner to their counterparts. that’s what i would theorize.

    no doubt, the objectification of women is a roadblock for those of little mind to see anything else — but in focusing on education and developing minds to their potential, perhaps future generations will be equally horrified by ANY exploitative act that threatens our understanding of humanity.

    • I think the biggest “problem” with the objectification of women via porn is the fact that women, all people, in fact, are held to standards of sexuality and beauty that are unreal. How does a real woman compete with a lipo-suctioned implanted dyed tucked and fried woman? How does a real man compare with a Viagra hyped, rippling abded, tanned, and toned man with just the right slick and seductive line? My point here is this: I see no way for this situation to yield good and healthy results. In fact, the results are potentially more disturbing than the cause. I see a generation of mal-adapted, fantastical thinking adults who don’t know how to relate to another human being (a real human being), and who don’t know the value of that which goes deeper than the skin. A sad state of affairs.

      • Khaalidah, thank you for your comment. You may be correct that there are problems up ahead on both sides of the gender dynamic regarding unrealistic expectations. The only hopeful thing I can put forward is that I believe trends like this tend to have a backlash over time. (People get tired of all the fakeness.)

  2. Great comment. Very interesting and thought out. It’s food for thought and refreshing to see different perspectives.

  3. With regard to the lack of explanation of how ‘female energies’ can have an effect on creativity, my thinking is this: 1. when men and women talk to each other (in flirting or courtship or what have you) the differing viewpoints of the sexes creates a greater than otherwise exchange of information which leads to creativity in all aspects of life. 2. Oftentimes men, (not being saints) talk to women because they want to sleep with them. 3. If the female form becomes too ubiquitous on the web and on cell phones, this could lower the motivation for men and women to interact, thereby lower the creativity that results from these interactions.

    • dianerivers says:

      This is a fascinating and, I think, very accurate perspective. I would have to check “yes” on all three of your points above. I am in the camp that believes this “machinification” (great word, by the way) of women can only be detrimental for both genders and is definitely a creativity-killer on every level. Thanks for thinking it through and communicating it so well.

      • Diane,

        I’m glad you found it interesting. I have been thinking about it for a while. My “Just Talking 11” podcast discusses other aspects and insights into this problem and, of course, my debut novel Growing up Wired is all about the machinification of women (which made it problematic for me to pitch to New York since it was based on an idea I coined).

        I really appreciate your feedback.

        David

  4. In this age, objectification and machinification is happening simultaneously and the sad thing is, it’s not limited to women alone. Even our interaction is “machinified”. People can now smile, wink and hug without leaving the comforts of wherever they are. Just a combo of keyboard strokes and voila! Communication is even further reduced to LOL, LMAO, LMFAO, IMHO. Scary!

    – Rowena

    • Rowena,

      I agree that those abbreviations have their drawbacks. One glaring one being that you can’t get feedback from the person who wrote them to know how or IF they really are LMFAO or IMHO.

  5. LadyJsVoice says:

    Very interesting insight. Really caused me to reflect.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I believe much of the motivation that men have is based on women. Is it also possible that the machinafication of women could be effecting male success? The graduation rates from every level of education high school to post doc are majority female and are shifting more and more in that direction each year. I am not sure if creativity female creativity is being stifled so much as male creativity via this mechanism. very thought provoking piece

  7. magicalme says:

    were you writing about ROXXXY, the “true companion”? do you know about it? lol @ it, its creator, and its market base. here is a review: http://www.cracked.com/blog/my-review-of-the-roxxxy-sex-robot/

    seriously — sometimes “progress” is sad. sometimes we are. like when we are replaced by robots. or like when we forget that realistic is not the same thing as real, because we’re too lazy to acquire/maintain some for-god’s-sake social/conversational/sexual skills.

    • I don’t think I had heard of ROXXY. Thank you for that review. It’s a nice contribution to what I was referring to and frankly takes the discussion into a whole other, more troubling, realm. PS: ROXXY looks really gross. They must have made her look that way on purpose to satisfy some need of their client base.

  8. Pingback: 10 Ways to Admire a Woman’s Body | David Wallace Fleming – Technical Satire

  9. To come straight to it, I believe it is unfair to put a gender on this subject, considering the time we live in. I love your argument but I believe it would be better served in an earlier time.

    These days woman too have come to view men as objects. The World Wide Web has granted access not only for the male’s instant gratification and illusion of intimacy but a woman’s as well. However, I also do not think it is fair that blame be put on said objects or machines. It is the man or woman who makes the choice to have something real, to work hard for that, and patiently explore the aspects of a real person; or to spend time in said illusion, picking out whatever they want without ever working to get it. Again, I cannot stress enough that people make their own choices. No one is forcing anyone to look; they simply chose the easy way, which is no one’s fault but their own.

    I also don’t think it’s about a person’s inability to receive rather than people have become lazy and selfish. Giving is receiving. Imagine if you had two individuals remember that when in reality. I doubt, then, you would wind up with boringly bad sex.

  10. Viktoria says:

    you know I think that even if you were to have a giant dark pink NO on your light pink workout shirt (on both sides) I think there are men in the world who would take that as a guentlat. I’m not sure where the blame lies for the mixed and mixed up messages in our society.Really well written and down right polite!now can you re-write that for the culinary fieldcan’t tell you how many times I’ve banished a rep after he said Honey, go get your boss for me in my kitchen

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