To clarify my Questioning Objectification post, I'd like to emphasize that I think it is very bad for sexuality to be imposed upon women in an inappropriate context. My point is that it is far easier to tackle inappropriate sexual treatment if you're holding in your other hand a clear model of what constitutes appropriate sexual expression.
Men can understand the difference between appropriate and inappropriate behavior. Just because it's okay for a given man to fondle his wife or girlfriend in the privacy of their bedroom, he will not immediately assume that means it's okay for him to fondle strangers on the bus. The fact that it's okay to stare at an image on a screen won't make a man automatically assume that it's okay to stare at a colleague's chest at work or to make unwanted comments about the bodies of platonic friends.
Much of our culture gives young guys the following message: "The morality police don't want you looking at sexy women at all," with the accompanying flip-side message "but, hey, it's a guy thing..."
Feminists who view sexuality in terms of objectification are promoting exactly the same message. Behaviors that should be denounced as harassment are held up as some sort of proof that sexuality is fundamentally about men using women, as if harassment were an inseparable component of male sexuality.
But when a woman chooses to step up on stage and deliberately promotes her sex-appeal as part of her act, there's a big difference between seeking out such fare as part of one's leisure entertainment versus imposing sexual attention on women who don't want it. Feminists should be the vanguard of emphasizing this distinction.
Now the attentive feminist will be pointing out that the consent of the performer alone is not always a sufficient measure of whether a sexualized image is appropriate. For example, in the media it's often a problem that a man in a non-sexual role is expected to look stately and wise, whereas a woman in the same role is required to look young and beautiful. This disparity shows up in newscasters as well as in the portrayal of parents in sitcoms (as I discussed here). Such cases can be analyzed and treated more effectively based on a rational theory of expecting the media to present a balanced and realistic portrayal of women as whole people -- a portrayal that includes sexuality as well as including females who are interesting and esteemed for qualities other than beauty. We'll never get anywhere on such problems if we base our feminist analysis on the irrational and utterly worthless theory that displays of sexuality degrade women and place them in an inferior position.