I saw an article written by a "religious" [so she identifies herself] woman about how it is the fault of religious Jews and rabbis that women are objectified. Because they stress tzniyus and tell women to cover up and not feature pictures of women in periodicals they perpetuate the notion that women are mere objects. That was her basic, strongly worded argument [aired on an anti-semitic jewish website].
Here is the response:
Men don't need help in objectifying women - it comes quite naturally. Every man who sees an attractive woman, even if he has never met her, has a [possibly supressed] desire [on some level] to go to bed with her [please excuse my bluntness but it is an important point]. If not at that moment then at some time in the near future. If he doesn't then he is either a] the "tzadik" of the sefer hatanya who has completely vanquished his yetzer hara [if you know such a person please tell me - I want to give him a check and a kvittel to daven for me] b] homosexual c] it is his mother or sister d] has dangerously low testosterine levels e] is 109 years old, connected to life support and will die within the next half hour. Otherwise, if he is a healthy male that is what he wants. If he denies it then he is probably either lying or in category "a" to "e".
What stops him? A few possible factors:
1] Hashem. He doesn't want to go against what Hashem said.
2] He doesn't want to be punished. 20 minutes or so of sensual pleasure [regardless of its intensity] can never ever be worth the loss of eternal bliss and an express ticket to gehenom.
3] He is scared his wife will find out.
4] Guilt and conscience. He knows he would feel badly about it afterward. It's really not the right and moral thing to do.
5] Society doesn't approve. We know how to deny ourselves gratification in order to be accepted members of society.
6] Who says she is willing.? Women are deeper that men in the sense that they generally don't want to have sexual relations with a person they have never met. Men don't stand on that "ceremony". So her unwillingness [that is understood without him asking] stops him. If women were built like men in this sense there would be a ton more of it going on.
With all of these mitigating factors it still happens all of the time between people who aren't married. But they deter certain people completely and others to a certain extent.
Those are the facts. There is NOTHING WRONG WITH IT because that is man's innate nature. His job is to control and sanctify himself.
Tzniyus is not just about covering arms and elbows [although that is part of it]. Tzniyus [which applies to men as well] is about becoming a person whose emphasis is on the soul. When women dress modestly the message is that "I am a neshama that just happened to be housed by a body. Please appreciate and value my primary element." She must first feel that about herself and then radiate that to the outside world. [See Maharal's Nesiv Ha-tzniyus!!]
Modern society tries VERY HARD to de-emphasize the soul. Souls don't sell products and get viewers. Revealed flesh does.
So - instead of writing articles attacking rabbis and the frum community for trying to de-emphasize the body and re-emphasize the holy soul, it would be MUCH MORE PRUDENT to write articles about the damages of television, movies and the Internet to people's marriages, purity, families, children and all of our society. Why attack a community that tries so hard to do what is right???