Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Subjective/ objective

When it comes to objecting to fat acceptance, it is often said that certain people are well meaning. This may be to distinguish them from those who are seen as most definitely not, such the weight loss diet industry, MeMe Roth etc.

I disagree, so what do I consider to be well meaning? First off, listening and hearing what the person has to say about their own experience. For instance,  an appointment with a doctor is called a consultation, not a dictation, s/he asks you what is wrong, your subjective answers, plus whatever can be observed, is filtered through the perspective of their knowledge, training and experience into an objective assessment.

It's like a piece of string, on one end is the objective-the removed observation and at the other end, is the subjective, the intimate, insider view. The objective, that which can be noted by others repeatedly and similarly, is in a way the refinement of subjectivity, now observable not just by the other, but by you. It's like a pulse of flowing data along a fibre optic cable.

The differences are in what can be seen or perceived or noticed. When you go out with your zip undone, unknowingly, anyone can observe it, objective, you can also observe it to, a subjective view of an objective fact.

Your feelings about it, you are mortified, or you find it funny, subjective. That subjectivity, can be shared invoking similar kinds of reactions in others, or other surprising ones.

The subjective informs the objective, we've all heard the doctor say, when people have x like you, they usually feel y or have response z to it. The subjective and objective have a relationship to each other, when people are not listened to, especially those having the experience, that cannot be properly understood.

If you do not want to listen, you do not wish to understand, to master, to progress, wishing to stay with what you already have, to not add to that, except perhaps on the terms of your already formed conviction.

Asking about your pain, not only where it is, but what kind, the frequency, level etc., This is drawing out subjective information, it's your pain, but how you answer helps the doctor to diagnose or confirm your condition, objectively.

There is no such thing as shunning the subjective experience and labeling it "irrelevant" or "lies" because its not what you want it to be. Any wise scholar will tell you, you can often learn far more about the group you are studying from their mistakes, errors, even lies, than you can from sketchy, objective but incomplete truth.

If fat people only lie, then interpreting those lies objectively, not false morality would be well meaning more than that, a good job.

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