According to Merriam Webster to objectify means to treat someone as an object rather than a person.
We hear that women are objectified by men all the time, reducing her to a soulless piece of meat. She exists for his pleasure only to indulge his fantasies. And some men do that, but so do women.
Women objectify men and they objectify other women, granted they may be doing it for different reasons but they still do it. For many women men are reduced to dollar signs in conversation, oh he would be a great provider, so wasn’t that man just objectified? Seeing him as a cash register rather than a human being. How many times have we heard, oh he’s just a janitor, or she is just a waitress, that’s objectifying too.
When a man or a woman sees someone they find attractive something goes off and it doesn’t have to be sexual. When you notice a person for their physical attributes or for the way they dress you don’t know anything about them, but something strikes you and it probably makes you feel good. And if you were to complement that person by making a comment (a civil one) it makes them feel good too.
Shouting sexual innuendos at an attractive woman walking down the street goes way beyond objectifying, it’s rude and vulgar and chances are that person has a great deal of insecurity that he is trying to mask. Relational interplay is important in our over digitized world and we will never be able to rid the world of vulgar, rude people - one needs to look no further than social media but all of us has the ability to make the exchanges positive rather than negative. And of course there is always that old saying we can fall back on; if you can’t say something nice keep it to yourself.