Am I perhaps a little odd in finding modestly-dressed women attractive? It is hard to tell how odd, for men seldom discuss such things among ourselves. In moments, I’ve suspected this is our best-kept secret -- that we don’t actually like women to be dressed or to behave as tarts. (Not just the clothing, but the vocabulary and demeanour.) Still, few of us would say this aloud, especially in a public forum. For it cannot possibly be “politically correct”.
The current premise of Hollywood and the “popular” culture is the precise opposite -- that men and women alike prefer women as tarts, and now, boys as boy-tarts. Look at the models of stage and screen. Then look at their imitators along any urban sidewalk, when the weather is warm enough to make the imitation practicable. We won’t go into forensic details: look at any tabloid, most broadsheets too. A woman is deemed attractive if she can command drooling. A man is assumed to be Pavlov’s dog.
Curiously enough, this reduction of women to “sex objects” is the final achievement of a feminist movement that advanced the “Playboy philosophy” of the 1960s, by other means. The attack on what was supposed to be patriarchy proceeds by degrees to an attack on decency in any form. And somewhere along the line of this inversion, abortion replaced motherhood in its claim on apple pie.
He's not alone. I think the difference comes from men's ability to separate sex from love. We don't want to see our sisters or close platonic female friends displaying their bodies because that reduces them to sex objects, and we know them as much more than that. We love them for who they are therefore we don't think of them as sex objects. (This past Sunday, I was in Baltimore with some female friends from college. One of them noticed a brochure for a Hustler Club and made a crack about formerly working there. I told her I could never think of her that way. I don't think she was complimented, but it was meant that way: I could never reduce her to a sexual object. She's too important to me to demean her that way.)
It's women we don't know that we don't mind seeing as sex objects. We don't know them so it's easier for us to objectify them and there enjoy seeing them in revealing clothing.
The point made above is true: The Sexual Revolution is over, and men won. Thanks to feminists who somehow thought they were acting in the interests of women, men can now obtain what they've always wanted: commitment-free casual sex. Way to go, feminists! (I made this point to a female friend last week, and she looked a little stunned. I could see her realizing I was right but not ready to face up to it.)
Now the fact that men can and do do this does not make it right; objectifying women is wrong. The problem comes in that as long as women allow it, men will continue to do it. Women need to demand more from men, not less. Demand we treat you as the individual you are, not the object of sexual gratification they want to turn you into. If a man truly cares for you, he will treat you the way you deserve. We'll give you what you demand of us, but noone will get respect if they don't respect themselves.