It is a notion central to feminist theory. It is defined as seeing or treating a
person, usually a woman,as an object. Martha Nussbaum has identified seven
features that are involved in the idea of treating a person as an object:
The treatment of a person as a tool for the objectfiers purposes.
- Denial of Autonomy:
The treatment of a person as lacking in autonomy and self determination.
The treatment of a person as lacking in agency, and perhaps also in
The treatment of a person as interchangeable with other objects.
The treatment of a person as something that is owned by another (can be sold
and bought by other's
The treatment of a person as lacking in boundary integrity.
- Denial of Subjectivity:
The treatment of a person as something whose experience and feelings need
not be taken into account.
Objectification of WomenEmmanuel Kant, MacKinnon and Dworkin,Bartky,Haslanger and others views:
According to Emmanuel Kant:
Sexual love makes the loved person as an object of appetite, as soon as that
appetite has been stilled, the person is cast a side as one casts away a lemon
which had been sucked dry... as soon as a person becomes an object of appetite
for another, all motives of moral relationship cease to function, because as an
object of appetite for another a person becomes a thing and can be treated and
used as such by everyone.
These Scholars also included many aspects like inhumanity, inequality,
prostitutes, concobinage , physical appearance and many more.
According to Haslanger:
when it comes to women's sexual objectification
by men, the above conditions are:
- men view and treat women as objects of male sexual desire
- men desire women to be submissive and object like and force to submit.
- men believe that women are in fact submissive and object like by nature.
Objectification of Women under Indian Penal Laws:
There is huge list of crimes against women in IPC 1860 and few of them are as -
The most heinous crime rape, kidnapping, abduction, assault to outrage her
modesty, domestic violence, Sexual harrassment at home and work place ,dowry
death,Eve teasing, acid attacks,chain snatching, stalking,human trafficking,
disrobing,yovourism and many more they face in their life.
Recent Analysis Of Crimes Against Women:
Justice delayed, it is often said, is justice denied. In India though, justice
is often indefinitely kept pending. The result: There are 4.5 crore pending
cases across all courts in India, as of September 15. In fact, in 2019, there
were 3.3 crore pending cases - which means that in the last two years, India has
added 23 cases every minute to its pendency list. And this despite a major part
of last year being affected by Covid-19 that led to restricted functioning of
courts which meant fewer additions to cases as well as lesser number of cases
being disposed of.
In fact, former Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju, in an opinion piece in
2019, had said that if no new cases were added, it would take 360 years to clear
the entire backlog of cases across all courts in the country.
Between 2019 and 2020, pending cases increased by 20% in high courts and 13% in
subordinate courts, PRS data shows while between 2010 and 2020, pending cases
grew by 2.8% annually.
The image above mentioned in this article depicts the Bartky's view on physical
appearance of body of women.