Tuesday, 31 July 2012


Artwork by Linder Sterling, 2011

Extract from Nina Power - One Dimensional Woman

What the autonomous breasts and the concomitant becoming­ CV of the human means is that the language of objectification may not be useful any longer, as there is no (or virtually no) subjective dimension left to be colonized. The language of objec­tification demands on a minimal subjective difference, what Badiou quaintly identified in the realm of personal relations as 'the intangible female right . . . to only have to get undressed in front of the person of her choosing.' In the realm of work we could call this the right not to have to lay bare one's entire personality and private life. In effect, this is what the world of work increasingly demands: that one is always contactable (by email, by phone), that one is always an 'ambassador' for the firm (don't write anything about your job on your blog), that there is no longer any separation between the private realm and the working day (Facebook amalgamates friends and colleagues alike). The personal is no longer just political, it's economic through and through.

Perhaps a further sign of the death of the objective/subjective opposition comes in the form of a parodic historical inversion. It's relatively acceptable for women to make general (usually whiny) claims about men, or to say that a man has a 'cute arse', even at work, because it's so obviously a toothless parody of the sexism of decades past. Objectification implies that there is something left over in the subject that resists such a capture, that we might protest if we thought someone was trying to deny such interi­ority, but it's not clear that contemporary work allows anyone to have an inner life in the way we might once have understood it.

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