I don't find your questions difficult to answer because I believe there is a very, very clear line between objectification and sexuality. I can't see how this line can possibly be so blurry to some. Objectification shows a lack of respect while sexy does not (to men as well, because it treats you like you are all big throbbing penis's and nothing else). So, no one would really lose out unless they would prefer to view women as sexualised objects rather than sexy women.--An anonymous commenter who has read Adam Warren's Empowered
What's kinda interesting about this exchange between us is that it practically encapsulates several of my wordiest blog posts in a comparatively small number of paragraphs. But the above quote treads near something that I've probably said before, something others probably have said before, and if nobody has said it, they should. So if you have heard this before, well, you'll be hearing it again.
Now, maybe this is because I'm me, and not the stereotypical image of the loser obsessive comics geek, but: I don't get upset about objectifying depictions of my gender. I just don't.
Part of this, I'm sure, is because of the reasonings I make regarding fantasy and objectifications and all that, but beyond rational thinking, there is no innate, gut-level twinge for me if I should think about some woman looking at, say, yaoi porn. There is no inner response that says "how degrading!" or "that woman must not respect men... or me!"
The 12-year-old in me may think how cool it would be to be Batman or Superman, but nothing done to those characters in some negative fashion, either in canon or the spooky wilds of fanworks, presents itself as an affront to me.
Am I alone in this?
Certainly fanboys can throw fits over issues, like whether Spider-Man is a clone or what color the Hulk should be. Maybe I don't look in the right places, but I don't see a lot of male outcry against women objectifying them, which, true, could be because women are somehow less likely to objectify men in that way... but it could also be because that for the most part men just really don't give a damn about it in the way some women seem to.
I mention this because more than once I've seen (or been a part of) some debate where someone tries to make a point by saying "well, you wouldn't like it if such-and-so was done to YOU, would you now?" And if the action in question was something like getting beaten by police or having my significant other slap me around a bit, well, no, I probably wouldn't like it at all. Such an argument only works, however, when there is shared ground, and so anyone trying to plead for greater reverence for, say, the character of Wonder Woman, will fail if they try to say "but you wouldn't like it if they put Superman in a thong!!"
Big whoop. Hey, if it'd get people to relax about Wonder Woman's sacred buttcheeks for a while, I'd happily endorse Clark Kent running around in nothing but a cape and string-pouch.
I've seen cartoons in response to certain blogstorms. There's an image of Spiderman in a thong, mimicking the Mary-Jane statue. I think it was Lea Hernandez who altered a Flash cover to make an assault on him by a tentacled monster look more amorous than stressful, in response to the Heroes for Hire cover. And when I saw those images, I also saw comments along the lines of "That'll show those fanboys! Now they'll know what it's like!"
Only... I haven't seen any indication that the fanboys did anything but say something like "eh, man-ass" and hit the BACK button on their browsers. (Certainly, dear reader, if you're aware of fanboys losing their minds over these things, do share links.) Any response there was, was far less visible by comparison, not nearly as energetic.
I don't think fanboys will ever "know what it's like", because I believe that for most they perceive this sort of thing in a fundamentally different way. Even the flap over Alex Ross painting "packages" on superheroes seemed less about "oh gosh that reduces my gender to nothing but a sexual organ" than a quasi-homophobic (well, in some cases blatantly homophobic) "ew, I don't wanna hafta look at some other guy's junk!"
Personally, I didn't even care about that. So the idea that somehow, somewhere, women might be looking at pictures of men and thinking of them as nothing more than hot throbbing chunks of man-meat distresses me not in the least. I certainly don't see it as a personal affront to me, or even to the male gender.
So remember that, please, if you feel you want to try to one-up me with "well, if it happened to you", because depending on what exactly you mean, there's a chance that I just do not care at all.