Sexual Objectification

I was reading a review of the movie Magic Mike, a movie I must admit I have not seen, which discussed the question of whether the mainstream media was starting to cater more to women’s sexuality. Showing hot young men with glistening bodies does appear to be content directed at heterosexual women and gay men. However, the question that was then asked was: Does the objectification of men move us forward in the fight for sexual equality?


This question of objectification is one that I have found fascinating for a long time. When we walk down the street, go to the beach, sit in a bar or restaurant, or take in some entertainment, are we objectifying the people around us if we look at them and enjoy their physical (or even sexual) beauty?


Don’t get me wrong; I’m not condoning leering or obnoxious comments and propositions. I just wonder whether there’s anything wrong with seeing a beautiful man or woman and having a basic, evolutionarily natural, pleasant sexual response. Does looking at someone and thinking that it would be great to have sex with them really make them somehow less in any way?


It seems to me you can enjoy someone’s beauty and even have some sexual thoughts about them while still respecting their innate worth as a person, and just as importantly not acting stupid, inappropriate or lecherous in the process.


I’d be interested in hearing others’ thoughts on this.

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