Anti-Slut-Shaming Feminism

Apr 14 2014 Published by under AntiFeminist Asshole

I know I have a few card carrying feminist types in my audience so I have a question for them.

The anti-slut-shaming issue is, to my understanding, a defense of women wearing whatever the hell they want without fear of randoms treating them in any particular way for those choices.

To the extent we are talking about public behavior and events.....I get that.

Ix-nay on the blaming of rape victims on the basis of their clothing choices. Yep.

No discrimination in the workplace for such matters that are irrelevant to job performance. Sure.

"Dude, you need to control yourself". Totally down with that.

.....

"If you react to the sartorial style of a woman with sexual interest, my friend, that is ALL about you and your perving. The person in question is not dressing that way to have any effect on random dudes. They are not doing this in the slightest, tiniest way to have an effect on anyone other then their own personal pleasure and entertainment."

Here is what is unclear to me, my feminist readers.

Do you REALLY believe this?

Or is this the kind of situation where you take an absurdly absolutist position so as to avoid the slightest toe-step down the slippery slope of victim blaming in the aforementioned public, vocational and/or criminal situations?

36 responses so far

  • notaperv says:

    It's patently obvious that many feminists do not believe that.

    Why in the name of all that is holy would wearing clothes affect one's personal pleasure and entertainment? Why? Because of the effect they create. Just listen to your favorite group of feminists talking about each others' clothes. Clothes are highly social. They are meant to be seen. They're a key part of one's identity because of how they are seen.

    Which isn't to say that a sexual effect is desired -- and it definitely isn't to say that a sexual effect is desired from You. Butcha know, in my world feminism is about enhancing communication: de-risking it, escaping centuries of expected roles, aspiring to more enlightened choice about how to relate. So when 'feminists' try to privatize public communication channels by denying that communication is part of the point, that feels counterproductive to me.

    It's one thing to ask to be interpreted in a context outside the traditional patriarchal one. It's another to ask not to be interpreted. It's still another to disingenuously invalidate any interpretation you don't like by privatizing what you yourself made public. I and many others do NOT want that default expectation and we will fight your attempt to stop us from communicating through clothes or any other form we choose.

  • Former Technician says:

    Background, I am a 45 year old woman. I attended a Women's College in the 80's and saw all of the spectrum of feminism.

    I must admit to agreeing with your assessment, but adding something extra. Those who wear Black Milk style dresses which leave little to the imagination are obviously dressing to be seen. However, dressing to be seen does not give anyone the permission for more.

    I like knee length skirts. This doesn't mean much these days, but my bare calves and ankles would have meant I was "asking for it" in times past.

    I attend sci fi/fan and anime conventions. I have both seen and been the recipient of unwanted comments and approaches. I don't wear skin tight clothes and prefer to dress for comfort. This doesn't seem to matter to some unevolved types. The fact that I have boobs apparently gives them permission in their fantasy worlds.

    If I, a dumpy middle aged teacher type, can be the recipient of unwanted attention, can you imagine what young women are experiencing? Clothing or even being in a particular place IS NOT PERMISSION. Many tend to go to that less defensible position that you mention, because the more defensible ones are ignored.

  • Ryan says:

    My understanding of the idea behind anti-slut-shaming is that any real or perceived deviations from conservative social norms of clothing/sexuality/promiscuity are not grounds to harass/bully/disparage/discriminate/rape etc., nor do they act as an open invitation to flirt/express sexual interest in otherwise inappropriate situations (i.e. to a random stranger, in a professional context etc., to a married women, etc.).

    It's not that the sexy dress isn't supposed to be sexy, it just means that someone appearing sexy doesn't give you a sudden right to be an asshole (either to them in that specific context, or later), nor does it mean they're dressing sexily for you.

  • math says:

    Being a young female mathematician, I purposefully dress in a way that cannot be considered to have style or attractiveness, but is totally neutral and to the extent possible, genderless. And I still get whistled at in the street. I would actually like to get to try to look as pretty as I could, and wear interesting and possibly stylish clothing. But between my career and the general raunchiness of society on the one hand, and my desire to be professionally respected and _not_ be sexually regarded by anyone except my husband, I go for the jeans and pullovers. Every day. It's boring for me and it bugs me that it's my job to try not to be attractive, rather than other people's job to just let me inhabit the world freely.

  • drugmonkey says:

    nor do they act as an open invitation to flirt/express sexual interest
    ...
    nor does it mean they're dressing sexily for you.

    This circles the key question. What IS it for? WHO is it for?

    The party line response is "I do it for me" in some way or another. Whether it be for aesthetic reasons, tactile reasons, self-empowerment reasons or whatever, the majority of expressed reason has to do with only the person wearing the clothes.

    I find that not to be at all credible. And given that I find it an absurd stance, I am wondering if it is put on as an absolutist pose to further a sociopolitical agenda (like being hard line pro-abortion is adopted to oppose the slippery slope we've been experiencing*) or whether people actually believe it.

    *that would be my camp

  • drugmonkey says:

    I would actually like to get to try to look as pretty as I could, and wear interesting and possibly stylish clothing.

    Why? This is what I'm trying to understand here. What is the motivation? What is the target of communication? What is your preferred outcome from those you interact with?

    Assuming the leerers and catcallers are out of the picture. Do you want to be....ignored? Is this sartorial preference solely 100% about you responding to yourself? or, as denoted by your use of the term "attractive" do you have some recognition that it is about having an impact on other people?

  • Anon Female Scientist says:

    Re: the question "who is it for." Well, many of us (women and men) dress in certain ways because we are exhibitionists. It is a fundamental animal instinct to display appearance (look at peacocks, etc.), sometimes to attract others to us (or not, in other cases). Dress is a way of making a statement about oneself without having to say it outright, in most cases.

    However, as has been repeated here: just because someone may enjoy dressing in a particular way does not give another person any right to act on any urges he/she may feel (including harassment, groping, or even malicious gossip).

  • Anon Female Scientist says:

    Oh, come on, DM. It's fun playing dress up.

    As a younger lady, I often enjoyed trying to dress like the models that I saw pictured in various magazines, not because I wanted to attract some dude(s) to me, but because I had some sort of romantic idea about what that way of dressing implied, as depicted in the photos. For instance, some forlorn young thing wandering the desert dunes in a sundress, writing poetic stanzas in her mind as she contemplated the bigger questions in life... or something like that. Dress helps one to "go there" - wherever one's imagination takes one. It doesn't have to be about the audience, although the audience's reaction can sometimes help to reinforce the fantasy.

  • Anon Female Scientist says:

    I mean, not that I represent the average woman here, the fantasies that often dictated my manner of dress when I was a teen involved mourning over the death of a childhood sweetheart, even though no such thing ever happened. I embraced the whole Goth thing almost exclusively for that reason alone. I was wearing black because I was in mourning for someone that had never existed, except as a figment of my imagination.

  • dsks says:

    "I purposefully dress in a way that cannot be considered to have style or attractiveness, but is totally neutral and to the extent possible"

    Crikey, that's sad. Look, you explain yourself why this is a rather pointless form of puritanism to foist upon yourself; no matter how you dress - from stark naked to full burka avec welding mask - there is always going to be some small niche of pervs getting their jollies out of it. The course of action is to support a social and legal framework that keeps the dirty bastards in check, rather than entirely surrendering one's sense of aesthetics to them.

    "They are not doing this in the slightest, tiniest way to have an effect on anyone other then their own personal pleasure and entertainment"

    I agree that such an absolutist statement is neither true nor necessary. On the other hand, like not a small number of British transplants here, I have been known to wear my polo shirts and lab coats with the collars popped because, I confess, it still feels cool (I blame the influence of 90's rugby etiquette and football's Eric Cantona), even though my American friends/family/colleagues/random people on the street spare no invective in informing me otherwise. So I'm definitely evidence that it's possible to dress a certain way for purely selfish reasons that stand in stark defiance of contemporary fashion, good taste, conventional wisdom, or an unconscious desire to spread ones genes.

  • Jo says:

    DM: Do you shave? Are you doing it for the ladies? Or are you doing it for yourself? When you get a nice suit or shirt and it fits really good, is that for you, or the ladies? I like to dress nice and sometimes I like to dress sexy. Maybe the definition of "sexy" is conditioned on what men find attractive, but the reason I dress that way is not to be attractive for men. Its to be attractive for me.

    ALSO popped collars were never cool, not even in Britain.

  • drugmonkey says:

    just because someone may enjoy dressing in a particular way does not give another person any right to act on any urges

    absolutely agree.

    although the audience's reaction can sometimes help to reinforce the fantasy.

    yeah, this is what I thought.

    stark defiance of contemporary fashion, good taste, conventional wisdom, or an unconscious desire to spread ones genes.

    ever heard of imprinting? of critical periods of brain development?

    DM: Do you

    I'm pretty much an anti fashionista BUT the point for today is that if I dress a certain way that is associated with attractiveness, I am doing so in conscious knowledge that it has an impact on other people. Other people are the target of a communication being issued by me. and when I get comment [insert standard recognition of male privilege that makes this generally a non-thing] about my appearance I understand that this is predictable from my own actions.

    Maybe the definition of "sexy" is conditioned on what men find attractive, but the reason I dress that way is not to be attractive for men. Its to be attractive for me.

    I find this perfectly captures the issue which I am trying to explore today. I find the cognitive dissonance required to genuinely believe these statements in combination to be unimaginable.

  • gingerest says:

    I uncomfortably consider myself a radical feminist. (Uncomfortable because the name's been hijacked by transphobes, and because it's a pretty confining label.)

    Dressing to project a specific image is 100% all about socialization. "But I like how high heels make my legs look!" Yes, you do, because socialization. "I wear them for me!" Really? So you wear them around the house, when you're alone? No. You wear them when other people will see them, when it matters that you feel like your legs look "that way" to other people. Whether "that way" is about appearing sexy, professional, slender, or whatever is moot - you're doing it for social reasons. "Looking good" is a social pastime. It's often about gender roles (conforming to or rejecting them), but it really doesn't have to be about sexual signaling, even if some of the chosen drag is generally viewed as a sexual signifier. I think that's what's being reclaimed - why should high heels be literally fuck-me pumps? They're just uncomfortable, tall shoes with a big dollop of gender role.

  • Jacquelyn says:

    The reasons I wear what I wear are all about me and my business. Sometimes, I'm dressing for myself (no, really!). Sometimes, I'm dressing for my lady friends (no, really!). Sometimes, I'm dressing for one particular dude friend (no, really!). Sometimes, I'm dressing for everyone. And sometimes, that can change really quickly, without warning.

    The bottom line is the default assumption shouldn't be any one of those things. Feel your pervy thoughts, but don't assume that my body is available to you, regardless of what I wear. Ultimately, it shouldn't matter why I dress the way I dress. You shouldn't ask the question in the first place, because you're asking me to justify something to you that's not really any of your business.

  • Anon Female Scientist says:

    @ DSKS: I suppose that the comments that you got for your polo shirts with the collars turned up are kind of like catcalls women get when we wear "sexy" dresses. Did anyone try to beat you up when you wore that attire?

  • I don't see why you give absolutely *any fucks* at all about this as an issue. How does the reason a woman might choose her clothes matter in the slightest? None of us have ever questioned the motivation for your normocore fashion choices, dude..

  • becca says:

    Think of how much you dress to communicate "f*ck me". Then multiply by 3, because women are more valued for their f*ckability. Then divide by 100, because that is the relative cost of harassment.

  • dsks says:

    "Did anyone try to beat you up when you wore that attire?"

    God no, we're talking hipsters here. Not the type for fisticuffs. OTOH, those folk can sure throw some withering shade on a dude, for sure. Although those among my friends usually gave me a pass for being foreign and unquestionably ironic.

  • geranium says:

    The question you posed is "Why do [women] dress the way they do?" and obviously the answer is both individual to the woman and layered with sociological expectations and can certainly include looking sexy for men. Clearly, as someone said above, the way a woman dresses gives absolutely no permission to treat her disrespectfully, which we all agree on.

    I think your quote relates to slut shaming in that a pernicious form of disrespect includes talking about her motivations for dressing that way ("She's just trying to sleep her way to the top" or "She'll f*ck anyone"). Which is wrong because you don't know her motivations. And the staggering sociological burden on women to be simultaneously f*ckable yet not a whore means we all have to be a lot more aware of this shit.

    I'm a card-carrying feminist type and for the record, I find the quote you put up there to be ridiculous.

    I don't see why you give absolutely *any fucks* at all about this as an issue.

    Uh really? When I read that quote I was like, that is a super irritating and immature point of view. Then I read that DM might think that this is a typical "feminist" argument and I was like whoa, I have something to say about that. So now there is a conversation about the different burdens placed on men and women. How is this not something to give a fuck about.

  • jojo says:

    Gender roles / gendered socialzation, etc.

    The "reason" women dress any given way is because doing so makes them feel good.

    WHY does it make them feel good is your question I guess?

    Conformation to social expectations/gender roles makes one feel good because it has been rewarded, consistently, throughout development. Positive reinforcement for wearing feminine clothing (being called pretty, adorable, etc lots of hugs and kisses from relatives and friends) leads to feelings of well being that persist throughout life.

    The problem is that after puberty, for some women, some of the attention suddenly turns creepy, negative, and aggressive, and shame gets added to the mix when it comes to being percieved as feminine. So you have all these happy feelings about being feminine that are like second nature (though in fact they are from nurture) and then all these shameful feelings are layered on top.

    It actually FEELS revolutionary to say "fuck those guys who made me feel shame, I am gonna reclaim my femininity". The annoying thing of course is that what's happening is one is actually conforming to gender roles in that act of revolution.

    Sex positive/anti-slut shaming feminists (the ones you're talking about) generally want to support women's choice to make that decision (to choose "freely") to be feminine, regardless of the fact that douches have made being feminine uncomfortable for many women.

    OTOH, more radfemmy types tend to focus on the unfortunate fact that there really isn't a free choice here - women are stuck between choosing to let patriarchy force you into wearing unflattering clothes like the sad story above to avoid the NEGATIVE attention, OR, reinforcing the gender roles that were the problem in the first place.

    Anyway for a lot of women it's much more fukkin complicated than the robot like calculus you are capable of using in your own choices.

  • anonymous postdoc says:

    We all enjoy the feeling of being worthwhile, competent, valued and valuable human beings. The issue is that for most women, "meeting general standards of attractiveness for men" is a major metric by which we have been taught to value ourselves. The fact that this is fucked up is irrelevant. We are all constantly attempting to meet standards of worth set down by other human beings, and this is one of the standards that bears a unique weight on women.

    The correct comparison for you, DM, is not your appearance. It is your publication count. Or your H index or your I-10 index or whatever. As scientists we have internalized standards that our worth is reflected in the number and quality of our publications (but number over quality). You therefore undoubtedly feel an urge to increase your publication count, because you know that it is valued by society, and that therefore meeting this arbitrary standard helps you and your self esteem.

    Meeting the arbitrary standards of a plurality of other humans is rewarding because the ability to do this is how all social primates survive, and thrive. It is internally rewarding (i.e. intrinsically motivating), at least in humans - because if I feel like I look good, then no one can say shit to me about not meeting that standard, even if I am not meeting their personal tastes - at that point, I will be rubber (and they may be glue).

    Now, it may be the case that a given woman has made a sartorial decision that I feel pushes the boundaries of workplace appropriate attire. The thing is, I may have worn something that she regards with the same skepticism. You can't actually win if you are actually judging yourself by the real-time evaluations of every person you meet - because there is no consensus. Therefore you must judge yourself by the internalized weighted average of things that you value.

    The same goes for publication, by the way; CPP may judge you for publishing in shitte-asse journals, someone else may judge you for publishing too much, or too little, especially in a particular journal type, or with no open access or only open access...you are just trying to be valued as a human being, and you negotiate this inability to please everyone versus internalized need to meet group standards by pursuing X publication strategy and/or wearing skirts that are X inches long and heels that are X inches high. If you didn't have this internalized need, you would just send everything to Brain Research and be done with it.

    Everyone else has already made the excellent points about how dressing a given way gives a particular man permission to do precisely shit. But as to why a woman is dressing a certain way? She is just trying to negotiate an impasse the best way she knows how.

    (PS, anyone over 5'7" should shut the fuck up about the height of heels a woman chooses to wear. It is impossible to network when the conversation is literally going over your head. I'm tall, but I feel for my short friends.)

  • Anon Female Scientist says:

    @DSKS: Those hipsters can get pretty aggressive with their withering looks, so I'd watch your back when you wear those polos with the upturned collars. Although... I do expect the polo with the upturned collar to soon become another piece of ironic statement clothing for that crowd, if it hasn't already. Same with Sperry's. In fact, I can actually foresee ironic attire that includes frat-style clothing choices in the hipster future. I guess it all depends on what's available at the local Goodwill.

  • anonymous says:

    Anonymous postdoc sums it pretty well.

    And math, I sooo feel you. When I was young, I was very creative with fashion - it was very much an art form for me. Trying to put together outfits that were unique and still aesthetically pleasing was something I enjoyed immensely. As I have gotten older and progressed through the world of science, I have majorly toned it down - I don't dress in a gender neutral way, but I intentionally dress in a way that I don't think is particularly attention-getting. I am terrified that being perceived as being interested in fashion will extra-reinforce many of the gender stereotypes about my intellect and seriousness as a scientist.

    I don't think it's right to say that a woman is never dressing for anyone other than herself, as the piece DM quoted says. I have definitely attempted to dress to impress in various situations - wanting to look supremely professional for an interview, or wanting a particular person to think I was attractive, or to try to signal to a particular group that I was "one of them." And yeah, sometimes I just want the general public to perceive me as attractive, 'cause for my whole life I have been taught that attractiveness = value, so it feels pretty good to feel attractive.

    But here is where I think the piece quoted in the OP is coming from. Yes, sometimes women (people of all genders, really) dress a certain way so that the General Public will think they look nice. The problem is not people noticing that you look nice and enjoying that. The problem is the behaviors that sometimes follow when someone ASSUMES that a Random Stranger looking nice is looking nice For Them. So while I don't think the piece quoted is correct, necessarily, I do think people need to stop assuming that if they perceive someone as attractive, that person must be trying to be attractive FOR THEM.

    Also, it's worth noting that the standards for what's considered sexy vs. stylish yet professional is a constantly moving target, so it's entirely possible that what you perceive as "trying to look sexy" is actually someone trying to look professional, or succeeding in looking professional for a particular social group.

  • kt says:

    To go back to the quote:

    "If you react to the sartorial style of a woman with sexual interest, my friend, that is ALL about you and your perving. The person in question is not dressing that way to have any effect on random dudes. They are not doing this in the slightest, tiniest way to have an effect on anyone other then their own personal pleasure and entertainment."

    Personal feminist opinion of a woman who went to Caltech, etc., so has experienced some of the most concentrated confused-sexual-blossoming-majority-male weirdness available on a general basis in the US:

    If you react to my sartorial style with sexual interest AND MAKE IT MY PROBLEM, my friend, that is ALL about you and your perving. Be polite. Look if you want, don't touch, don't comment much and if you do keep it appropriately distant. If you want to date me, ask me out once and if I say no, move on without taking offense. Don't invade my personal space or feel that you have a right to anything -- conversation, attention, niceness, company, physical attention -- beyond normal interaction.

    Maybe I'm wearing a small tank top because I want to feel the male gaze for a little bit. Maybe I'm wearing that tank top because it's 110 degrees. Maybe I didn't realize how it fit and now it's too late to change it because I need to get to physics lab. I am practical, clueless, desirous of attention, and desirous of non-attention to the same extent that a guy is.

    Math person above, I'm in math too. Go to a conference in southern Europe. The flowing dresses of senior female participants will rock your world and maybe help show a wider diversity of female mathematical lives.

  • Laura says:

    There is a very uncomfortable possible reading of this post (and similar questioning of women's motives for putting effort into their appearances): "Don't you *like it* when people notice your dress? You're doing it because you *like it*. So when I notice you, when that guy notices you, you secretly *like it,* but you're not allowed to say that you like it, because of feminism."

    Sometimes I have a date, I put on something that I know my date will think is sexy, and I happily accept his compliments on my sex appeal. Sometimes I am going out with my girlfriends for a night at the bar, and I put on something fashionable that I know they will compliment, and maybe I try to look extra pretty so that I can flirt with strangers. And sometimes I go to the lab, where I will see my friends, and I put on a t-shirt with a science joke on it because I know they will laugh. But, the real thing is, there is no way for anyone to know my motivation for putting on a particular outfit unless I tell them, and therefore, to make any assumptions about my motivation (like, assuming I wore that t-shirt to the lab because it's tight-fitting and I wanted to get sexual attention) can lead to very serious mistakes.

  • Anonymous says:

    Jesus, people! The only time I'm ever gonna believe someone that says that they're only dressing for themselves is if they wear the exact same thing at home when no one is around. And even then, the comments about socialization apply.... Fashion is a tool, and if you never learned to wield it to your advantage -- and *anyone* can do this, regardless of size, shape, gender -- don't expect me to believe that you just don't care or are somehow above it.

    In general, I find that people who take absolutist positions on topics tend to do more harm than good. I am a feminist, and I do my best to reclaim that movement from the loons who try to hijack it.

  • bad Jim says:

    Look at bikinis. It's what females wear at the beach, no matter how young or old, thin or fat. You can no more impute a sexual intent to a young woman wearing a bikini than you can to a young child. Pre-teen girls sometimes dress in a way which adults interpret as provocative, but it generally turns out that they're emulating a popular icon.

    Men, and many women, sometimes mistake their response to someone's appearance for that person's motivation, but costume isn't only a means of communication.

    A tall, attractive woman is a good friend of mine and I've worked with her in a couple of companies, in both of which the owners and managers dressed very informally, t-shirts and shorts or jeans being the norm, despite which she always dressed nicely, even somewhat sexily, and even wore heels. I teased her that she was making us look bad, but she enjoyed presenting a professional appearance, even though she mostly worked in the engineering group with the rest of us slobs and seldom interacted with the public.

    I've travelled abroad with her. She turns heads no matter what she wears. I can only conclude that she was dressing for herself, though I have a nagging suspicion that being a professional was an excuse to buy the clothes she wanted to wear.

  • Anonymous says:

    "Look at bikinis. It's what females wear at the beach, no matter how young or old, thin or fat."

    If you think that age or weight don't factor *heavily* into *most* women's decision on whether to wear a bikini to the beach or not ... you are truly clueless.

  • bad Jim says:

    I live in Laguna Beach. On a sunny weekend the beach crowd is amazingly diverse. I don't have any special insight into the thought processes of those who do or don't choose to participate in the spectacle, but the range of ages and sizes wearing two-piece bathing suits strongly suggests that such attire is considered conventional rather than provocative, which is the point I was trying to make.

  • jw says:

    I strongly agree with what "math" said early on. I am, for lack of a better term, bodaceous. because of this, i actively dress to be UNattractive and frumpy (which hinders me in a different way, but is preferable to being perceived as hyper-sexual or as trying to look 'sexy'). from the age of 17 when i started undergrad and my first lab job in an academic department of surgery, I have suffered consequences for my physical appearance that have nothing to do with how i have dressed or behaved and everything to do with men creeping on me. at my first job,my manager and supervisor, both 15-20 yrs older at the time, would hit on me, put my bike in their car/truck at the end of a 3-1130 pm shift, 'for my safety getting home', constantly hang around when i was working alone in the lab or office. i got the street harassment too but in work settings it was much much worse. it gets really old, fast. dealing with it has actively delayed my career and actively steered me away from engineering and biomed fields. i am a 45 year old post-doc now, having left college, made 3 career changes, and resisted going to grad school when first offered, in part because of this dynamic (but many other aspects too--fnances, etc.).

  • jw says:

    i would also like to suggest that the dichotomy of wanting to look good/not wanting to be hit upon relates to this http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/news/headlines/researchers-few-bad-hair-days-can-change-your-life

    that women are judged so much more on appearance, by both genders, that we are then stuck walking a tighrope of wanting to look good/professional/polished and not slutty. really only a few people can pull this off naturally, the rest of us always feel we come up short.

  • Geologist says:

    Perhaps I am missing some nuances in your use of "sartorial", English is not my first language, but I would certainly argue that there are many reasons to dress sharp and stylish which are not related to trying to attract random dudes. While I wouldn't say that trying to be sexually attractive is never a factor, minor or major, I do believe that there are many other reasons to dress up, and that many men seem to overestimate how important they are to women's fashion decisions.

    While I most days prefer a comfortable jeans and jumper outfit I sometimes do prefer more stylish clothes. I might for example dress up a bit when giving a talk, not because I expect anyone to notice, and if someone does it's most likely a woman, but because it gives my confidence a small boost and thus helps my presentation. When going out I probably am interested in getting a few looks and compliments but I can achieve that comfortably by wearing jeans and a flattering top. If I instead choose my less convenient but more stylish dress, it is not because I want more compliments (and if I get them thay are most likely from other women) but because it has a really cool cut, the skirt swings nicely when I dance and it makes me feel beautiful without the need for any male gazes to confirm it. And yes, I sometimes do wear these clothes alone at home, or when together with only women. I even sometimes give my gaming avatars some pretty dresses and I only play single player games.

    Of course, while men might be less important than they think, patriarchy probably isn't. If society didn't teach women that a lot of their worth is dependent on their beauty, I probably wouldn't have found it so pleasing to sometimes feel beatutiful even when alone in my apartment. If society teaches us that we really only have the right to feel happy and confident when we are attractive, is it so strange that we sometimes try to be attractive without trying to attract anyone? Of course, sometimes attractive clothes are meant to attract but assuming them to always be really is problematic.

  • mytchondria says:

    Wait...they give cards to feminsts? I wanna be a card carrying feminist. Dammit...I'm never witht the cool kids.
    Dress however the fuckke you want. If you want to walk around half fuckken nekkid, you're going to freeze your arse off and look stupid IMO. I don't care if you're 'hot' or a 100 year old furry beast. Be expected to be treated stoopidly. Don't expect to be raped. Ever. And yes, I totally applaud the chicks who walk around arse nekkid saying 'fuckk you fuckkers....don't touch me'. Not because they love being nekkid, but because they are making a point. And a damn good point.
    IRL, you hang your dong out of a g-string in an environment where folks are chilling in cargo pants and cute boots, and you're presenting that fuckker for public commentary. Touching is off limits, but snide comments are not. Depending on how wasted I am I will either snicker to your face or behind your back.
    Dress like a fuckken grown up if you want to be treated like one. Walk around nekkid if you want a cold or me being completely grossed out and not wanting to sit where you just did. Because arse cooties are real. I saw Knocked Up. I know.

  • L says:

    I'm a nineteen years old girl and I like to dress nicely. I only ever wear skirts or dresses (mostly knee lenght or a tiny bit shorter) because I find pants uncomfortable. Sometimes I wear shorts in the summer when it's hot. I love vintage clothes and admire women's styles from the 30's to 60's.
    I'm more modest in my dressing than most of my friends who wear short party dresses and six inch heels when they go out, not that there's anything wrong with that. I wear makeup and red lipstick. I don't do it to get catcalled or harassed in the street and still I've heard arguments that I'm "asking for it" because I wear red lipstick! In the winter (which lasts almost the whole year long in Finland) I wear an ancle lenght black coat and a vintage hat. And I do it to look nice! To look beautiful! And yes, of course I find it nice that other people find me pretty or beautiful. If other people stop me in the street and say, for example "I'm sorry I just wanted to say that I love your outfit", or even if a guy stops me and says that I'm beautiful, then I'm glad and flattered. I'm really shy and tend to be awkward when this happens but when they are nice and respectful I really like that. It brightens my day. It's not my goal but it doesn't bother me and yes, you could say that's why I dress up if you HAVE

  • L says:

    to find a reason. To get a simple smile or a compliment for a friend. I tell them they look good all the time. I like to look nice and presentable.

    I do NOT dress to get catcalled, harassed, have random offers of sex proposed to me or any of the sort. I can assure you not many people do. Yes I do dress for others in a sense that I like to look nice and put together. It's okay to tell someone they look good and go on with your day. It's not okay to harrass and abuse them because of this.
    This is just my opinion

    I hope this explains something 🙂

  • anonymous postdoc says:

    BOOM:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/04/women-wear-too-much-makeup-because-they-mistakenly-think-men-want-them-to/361264/

    "In other words, the models were primping for nonexistent ideals, not for actual humans."

    Thanks for making my point for me, The Atlantic!

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