Oh Santa Subjectivity! We Love You!

Joan Marques, MBA, Doctoral Student
August, 2002

What, oh what would become of us if everybody possessed the dubious quality of being objective? Can you even slightly comprehend the disastrous outcomes for most of us?

In a good number of my articles, I have been criticizing our tendency to brand others, to judge on basis of mere hunches, and to rely on appearances. However, if every one of us was objective and shared the same opinion about everything, the majority of our kind would be nowhere in many regards.

Consider our looks: if there was just one standard for beauty, there would literally be one handful of people that were wanted by the rest of the billions our earth harbors. The greater part of humanity would be forced into mandatory celibacy. No need to emphasize that, as a result to that, the end of our species would soon be in sight!

Consider our jobs: if there were no male recruiters falling for "shallow" but eye-caressing qualities, such as emphatically present female chests or behinds, but only ones that were solely hiring employees based on their academic skills, what would happen to the less intellectually gifted members of the sisterhood? And can you imagine what workplaces would look like? I can think of only one advantage to this situation: sexual harassment would be a non-existent phenomenon...

Consider our business operations: if everybody had the same taste, some brands of toothpaste, laundry detergent, soap, perfume, or what have you, would not even be granted a chance to survive. Result: the world would only have one giant in each production area: monopoly would be inevitable, and the lucky business tycoon that founded the corporation would employ everyone else. And we haven't even thought of the picture that would exist: everyone would drive the same car in the same color, live in the same style home, equipped with the same furniture, curtains, carpets and kitchenware, all in the same color and quality. Radio and television would only show movie after movie, and there would never be any advertisements, for there was no competition. Not that that wouldn't be a relieve for the confused viewers of these times, though...

The actors would be the same in every movie: Denzel Washington would fulfill the role for every colored man, Halle Berry would be the colored screen goddess, Harrison Ford would be the older white screen hunk, Richard Gere would fulfill all the pre-middle aged parts, and Brad Pitt would star in all the younger roles.
Jennifer Lopez would sing every song that required a woman's voice and Enrico Iglesias every song that required a man's voice. All other artists would be banned to the bathroom if they needed to practice their vocal chords, and to earn a living they would either become background singers to the main and only star, or employees in the mammoth companies of the earlier mentioned tycoon.

Another consequence: creativity would be taboo, because no one would be receptive to new inventions. Engineers would therefore not have to bother with revolutionary devices, only with possible innovations. This entails that radicalism would not be an option only incrementalism. "The power of being different" would, hence, not be a power anymore, for "different" would not even be a word in our vocabulary!

Consider our spouses, finally. We would not have any, of course, for we would all desire the movie stars, who, logically, would have been married to each other.

Have I made my point clear enough? And do you now agree that we have to build a humongous statue for the phenomenon subjectivity? It should have as honorable a place as the Statue of Liberty, for it?s ultimately this experience - subjectivity - that enables competition, happiness for many people, and diversity. Not to forget: the existence of our world up till this day!

So... Ode to subjectivity! We love you!