Geoff_B wrote:But on the other hand I can't fully get away from the "girls ask for it" mentality based on the way they dress as demonstrated in Lord Hosk's post. I know there's a difference between girls asking for it and men giving it and yes responsibility does lie with the men in that case, but, to be blunt, if a girl chooses to wear that sort of clothing, whatever the reason, shouldn't they expect some form of unwanted attention? I'm more talking about male gaze (I think that's the term I'm looking for) rather than any of the other more serious things.
There are a million reasons a woman might dress in a sexy way.
Don't assume a strange woman doing it for your
Also remember the "male gaze" is a social phenomenon that reflects the male-centric nature of our society - it is not a justification
for being creepy.
Geoff_B wrote:I'm just trying to say that maybe the responsibility lies on both sides rather than (what seems to me) constantly demonising men for, as I've seen it described on one TV show, "appreciating nature".
That's the line of thinking that puts women in Burquas.
"it's women's responsibility not to wear clothes that arouse my interest, because I can't be assed to keep my own hormones in check"
You can wear basically whatever the hell you want (at least, within the confines of our gender norms, but that's another discussion) without having people regard you as a piece of meat first and a person second. Why do you think they shouldn't be allowed to do the same?
Avistew wrote:And I don't get how the same people who seem to think in the Menswear thread that clothing is how you present yourself to the world, it tell them what kind of person you are, it defines how you're going to be treated, etc, suddenly think the opposite when women are concerned.
responding to this could be a whole discussion in and of itself.
Men are not objectified in the same way women are. Period. Factual statement.
When a man dresses in such a way as to highlight certain features, or present a certain message about himself, that message is internalized by those who see it as "this is a person who is also X"
When women dress in a way that highlights certain features, or sends a specific message to the world, that message is usually internalized by others as "dat ass" or "Boobs!" or" slut" or "prude".
When we see a man dress up, we don't immediately assume it's to attract sexual attention from everyone around him.
I am not arguing that the way women dress isn't engaged in with the purpose of creating an image, or sending a message.
What I'm arguing is that the people observing this need to divorce themselves from the idea that the messages sent by that clothing are FOR them, and that they are necessarily seeking sexual atteention. Because women SHOULD be able to dress in whatever way they like, while creating an image that is seen by others as "this is a person who is also X"
Personal agency. It's what's for dinner.
Avistew wrote:My main problem is that some people just use it as an excuse. You'll be minding your own business, not paying attention to them, not even noticing they're there, and they'll start going "what are you looking at?" and insulting you like you're some kind of pervert. I'm female and I've had women do it to me, so I can't imagine how often it must happen to guys.
Never. I have never once, ever, by anyone, ever, in the history of my life, been confronted by a woman I wasn't even loooking at. I've never been confronted by a woman I was
looking at. I've never seen or heard someone I know, or someone I don't confronted for ogling a woman they weren't actually ogling.
I've heard third-hand stories of it on the internet though.
Avistew wrote:I just want a line, somewhere. We can't have it be okay for guys to be rude or aggressive or assault women. But we can't have it be okay for women to scold off people for no reason, either.
The line is : “men, don’t be creepy.” Misunderstandings are going to happen occasionally. The line is that which simply allows the most people to go about their day unbothered.
Geoff_B wrote:So I what I'm trying to say is, occasionally you see a girl whose shorts are just that bit too short or top is just that bit too low or showing more midriff than is really necessary and I ask myself "why would you wear something like that?"
So why would you wear something like that?
Why does it matter to you? They aren’t wearing it for
Avistew wrote:1) I always see it framed as men hurting women, but every time someone has harassed me about what I wore, every time someone has told me I really need to shave my legs, or wear makeup, or wear dresses, every time someone has asked me to change my appearance that person has been female.
People keep phrasing it as men oppressing women, but throughout my life I only have felt oppressed, pressured, told I should feel terrible about myself, etc, by other women. Every single time. And I hate that the blame is put on men, like they say we need to wear this or act like that, when every single man in my life has always been "why should I care?" but females, even strangers, have acted like they get a right to decide what I do with my body.
Thank God it's not every female, far from it, but I find it hard to take part in discussions about how men are jerks and objectifying women when my experience of being disrespected and objectified is by other women, and I really feel that a lot of the time, females are the ones oppressing or pressuring each other or themselves. I can't tell you how many times I've had female friends complain about something they did to themselves (wearing makeup, shaving, wearing uncomfortable shoes) only to have them flabbergasted when I asked "then why do you do it, if you don't like it?" and have them answer "well, you know, I HAVE to". Just like they tell ME I "have" to. But I don't, and they don't.
Welcome to the intersection between personal experience and patriarchy. Doing some reading on internalized misogyny might be interesting for you, but it might be jumping ahead a bit if you’re not familiar with the basics of feminism and patriarchy theory.
Avistew wrote:2) Slightly related to the first point, I feel like framing this in matter of men vs women, with females constantly being victims with no choice is hurtful. You tell someone enough times that they're weak, that they're a victim, that they have no choice, and they're going to believe it. But we do have a choice, we do have control over our lives, we have control over our appearance, and we have control over our actions. Sure, we don't control everything all the time, but saying we have no responsibility whatsoever is taking away our choice and our control. If you are able to make your own decisions, then you also have to be responsible for them. You can't have one without the other.
If the discussion is about how women can overcome social injustice, (which it, ostensibly, is) Then it seems strange to develop a victimhood complex over it – particularly since the overwhelming majority of this fight (on an academic and social scale0 is being fought by women and for women. I’m (sort of strangely) speaking in the voice of feminism on this forum, because it’s a discipline that I find interesting, and I’m familiar with it (and seemingly no one else is) but this isn’t about men, (or even people, really) telling women they’re victims (and actually the use of the word “victim” has fallen out of favour in feminist circles anyhow, which is why I’ve been trying, more or less, to steer clear of using it except where appropriate). It’s about finding ways to modify the language and dynamic of social discourse in a way that regards women as people equal to men. We aren’t post sexism yet, and you don’t make *ism go away by refusing to talk about it, no matter how convincing that video by Morgan Freeman may sound.
Avistew wrote:3) The double standard. I mean, if you think about it, the male equivalent of a female with a mini-skirt is a male with the tiny shorts that show half his buttocks. If a male can't wear that without people looking at him and wondering what the hell he's wearing, if it's not appropriate to wear it in school or at work, then there is no reason it should be any different for females and mini-skirts. Are you telling me that if a guy was walking around wearing basically nothing, you wouldn't even look at him and wonder why he's wearing that outfit?
Those scenarios aren’t really equivalent because of the extent to which gender norms pervade our culture. Men are held to masculinity in an extremely rigid way, probably more so than women. Such an instance would be one of shock at the flagrant violation of social expectation, not of the objectification and sexualization of the man.
Brief aside: apparently Jester picked up the torch a bit while I was a sleep.
Second aside: this conversation seems to have gotten bogged down in a conflation of “clothes” versus “appearance”
Evaluating “clothes” is not a problem. I can like your shirt. I can think you’re wearing a neat hat. I can think you’re wearing ugly shoes. I can not understand why you’d want to broadcast your deep, abiding love of UFC. These don’t deny you agency.
Evaluating your appearance, though, can be much more problematic. It’s not my place to accuse you of showing too much leg, or telling you to “put your tits away because they’re flopping all over the place” Giving you the ol’ Kanye “dat ass” lip bite as you walk by in yoga pants is a really shitty thing to do. In these cases, I’m making it my business to assess your physical attributes in a way that only considers my own desire for sexual interaction. I’m not engaging in any consideration of what you may have intended by dressing the way you did, or your desire to be evaluated by me for that purpose.
That does deny you agency.
Tl;dr: this is not a conversation about CLOTHES. It is not even a discussion about how we evaluate clothes. It is about the sexualization of physical appearance, and objectification of the physical form.
Avistew wrote:Jester, just because the women who try to pressure others were pressured as well doesn't mean I'm going to stop being annoyed with them for doing it. They can't complain that society is that way and yet contribute to it. They have to stop it. They're part of society. If they stop doing it, society stops doing it.
Except that most aren’t even aware they’re doing it?Read Me.
When “women” blame “men”, especially those who arent’ familiar with patriarchy, they misattribute blame. “Patriarchy” (more accurately kyriarchy, but that’s jumping WAY ahead) is the problem.
Two relevant quotes I’d like to highlight:
Patriarchy is a social system which includes men and women (as well as people who don't easily define as either). The philosopher Bourdieu argues that power can be direct- such as when you force someone to do something through coercion, or physical violence- or indirect, exercised through culture, social values and institutions, and language. The exercise of power becomes a social system when power moves from being direct to indirect. Patriarchy is not exercised directly by men over women, but indirectly through our involvement in social structures- the way we talk to each other, what we mean when we think 'woman' or 'man' in our heads, our legal system and governance, social customs, traditions and formal institutions like education and religion.
Both men and women live within this system and it is the act of living in it that both creates patriarchy and reinforces it. Men gain from patriarchy, but not exclusively. Some men gain more than others; some women also gain. Furthermore, by the time power is a social system, everybody who is operating within it is participating in its continuation- even if you don't want to be. In this way, women are as responsible for the perpetuation of patriarchy as men. And, while men gain more from patriarchy, and so may be more reluctant to give it up, they are just as much 'victims' of patriarchy as women. They can no more choose to remove themselves from a patriarchal world than women.
TorachiKatashi wrote:Can we get a definition as to what exactly qualifies as "sexual assault" in regards to that statistic? Because I mean, from reading this conversation so far, it seems that trying to look over a woman's shoulder to read the bus schedule she's standing in front of counts as sexual assault.
That's extremely disingenuous. Drop the defensiveness please.
Sexual assault is sexual assault - non-consensual engagement in a physical sexual act.
TorachiKatashi wrote:Well, no, apparently there is no difference. Apparently, I'm supposed to pivot and start walking backwards as soon as I see a woman walking down the same side of the street as me just to make sure that she doesn't, heaven forbid, think I might actually be looking at her.
Maybe go back and reread the discussion, and actually internalize the messages this time.
“I, as a man, can’t take the lived experiences of women seriously because they’re all so hysterically over-reacting to a culture of behavior I will never understand, and to which I will never be subjected.”
TorachiKatashi wrote:What my eyes do cannot hurt you, I'm not a comic book character. I understand not wanting to be touched or approached, but when women are posting blogs about how dirty and awful and violated they feel because some guy might have been looking at them or might have spoken to them in the two seconds they walked past him in the street (neither of which they can definitively prove was true, I personally stare off into space and talk to myself all the time,) that seems like a victimless crime to me, which is a shame, because it takes validity away from women who are legitimately harassed because everyone is sick of hearing from "the girl who cried wolf" and don't take the serious incidents, serious.
TorachiKatashi wrote:There's a pretty big difference between someone looking at you, and someone harassing you, following you and approaching you repeatedly. Someone looking at you as you run passed is about as harassing as a tourist asking you for directions.
No one cares if you have a look. They DO care if you leer. They DO care if you harass. They do care if your gaze invades their space in such a way as to cause them to feel shameful or marginalized. Which a look CAN and very often DOES do.
TorachiKatashi wrote:As a side note, I think the whole idea of "men who are harassed should shut up because it's not the same," is absolutely ridiculous. We already live in a society where a male rape victim is immediately shamed into keeping quiet, do we really need to be telling them that "women are raped more often, so shut up?" Since when does something happening to the majority make it not important when it happens to the minority?
Well, since no one said anything like that, I guess we don’t have a problem.