Sexual Desire : A Common Idea Essays

1410 Words Nov 26th, 2014 null Page
Sexual desire always objectifies: a common idea argued over by many esteemed philosophers. But is it true? If it is, then sexual desire of any sort would be morally wrong, along with sexual activity itself. For, if we objectify another person, we are viewing them as a mere means, going against Immanuel Kant’s categorical imperative, which states that we must “‘always treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, never simply as a means, but always at the same time as an end’” (Mappes, 229). Sexual desire, however, does not always objectify, and is, therefore, not inherently morally wrong. Martha Nussbaum, in her article Objectification, discusses “seven ways to treat a person as a thing” (256) and lists instrumentality, denial of autonomy, inertness, fungibility, violability, ownership, and denial of subjectivity (257) as these seven. If these methods are taken into consideration when discussing objectification, then it becomes clear that there are certain situations in which sexual desire does not objectify, and, furthermore, that “[i]n the matter of objectification, context is everything” (Nussbaum, 271) and within and outside of relationships can even be looked at from a positive viewpoint.
In today’s society, humans, especially women, are objectified daily. In social media body parts such as breasts, butts, penises, hips, and lips are commonly referred to as objects of desire and are separated from the human beings themselves. As Kant…

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