Along with Great Power….

I was, strangely enough- listening to a local radio station on my way into work this morning. Normally I keep the music and talk off and wake up/organize my thoughts on the 20 minute drive but today was an exception.    DJ Leslie http://lazer993.com/Leslie-in-the-Morning—Home/4374042  at LAZER 99.3 was doing her  “Chicks on Chicks” segment. (it’s not what you think – guys call in or text her to get her perspective on a girl issue and she talks about it on air) . This morning she was talking about whether or not women who dress, shall we say “trampishly”  should expect to get groped or grabbed in a nightclub or bar setting.   There was quite a bit of back and forth about this as you could well imagine.  One of the male DJ’s emphatically stated that it should be “expected”.  Feminists were up in arms.   “Dogs and Cats. . . living together… Mass Hysteria…”  Ok I’m back from my Ghostbusters / Bill Murray moment.

Anyway, call me old-fashioned  (go ahead, I’ll wait) ……………………………..BUT  I actually kind of agree with the male DJ on this one.  At the very least one should be prepared for the grope if one chooses to dress like a hooch….   Now I’m definitely NOT saying its OK to put your hands on anyone without their permission.  But – and here’s the question I want to throw out here – Isn’t permission kinda sorta IMPLIED simply BECAUSE the choice has been made  to wear the skanky outfit to begin with??  Its all about the advertising. Men are visual creatures ( “I see something I like, I go for it”.  ~ Maverick, ‘Top Gun’)  So,  if you’re parading around in a dress you have to use double sided tape with to avoid a thoracic wardrobe malfunction – then chances are excellent that some drunk idiot is gonna try and get a little “somethin somethin”. And yes, I totally think that if you’re wearing that hooker wannabe outfit then you’re broadcasting your availability. Just like those birds of paradise do in New Guinea. Leslie was pretty  much saying the same thing.  Add drunk and hormonal to the mix and that’s a potential recipe for big time trouble.

Again, nobody has the right to touch anyone else without permission.  No one has the right to violate someone else.  But people do have the responsibility to themselves firstly though, to make sure that the door’s not left open to do that. If you really don’t want that kind of attention, then make sure you don’t attract it.  So I tell my girls to THINK about the messages they send with what they wear and how they talk.  People form their impressions of others based on appearance – if its quacking like a duck and has feathers, it’s a duck, yanno?  You can’t just say  ‘I’ll do what I want/look how I want” and think that there’s an invisible bubble going to protect you from the big bad wolves of the world.   Never was, never will be – ain’t gonna happen.

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13 thoughts on “Along with Great Power….

  1. Pingback: Apathy? or Laziness? Comment to Vote. « My Magnificent Mess

  2. After our prior discussion above, I came across a blog with a past post about an anti-rape condom. While rape, whether by an unknown intruder, date or in a drunken stupor, is horrible, it happens. This devise, inserted by the woman prior to going out, can be removed if SHE choses to have consensual sex. If the man forcer her he is literally bit where it hurts (according to the post, this devise protects the woman from pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and can only be removed from HIS penis by a doctor, which is pretty good evidence in court). While this device cannot protect the woman from the emotional trauma of rape, she can at least know that the man will likely think twice before stepping over the boundary with someone else, or he will have a criminal record as a sexual preditor. As I have never heard of this device before, I do not know whether it is for sale in the USA (it was developed in South Africa).

    http://ayannanahmias.com/2010/06/20/anti-rape-device/

    Oscar

  3. You and I are both old-fashioned, then. One of the most disturbing trends I’ve seen in recent years is little girls dressing in, shall we say, nightclub-appropriate attire. Okay, I’m 40. I know what sort of attention those clothes going to attract (which, at this stage of my life, may include vomiting from onlookers), but a 6 year old doesn’t — and neither does a 14 year old. That’s why God gave us moms — to holler, “Oh, no, you are NOT walking out that door dressed like THAT!”

    Someone in her twenties, though, certainly DOES understand that accentuating her T&A is not likely to result in a Q&A regarding the difference between existentialism and objectivism. Jezebel actually ran an interesting piece on that not long ago, criticizing female sports reporters for (ahem) dressing in a manner appropriate to a different profession.

    Sorry, I know I’m rambling here, but the long and the short of it is that I agree with you. Whatever asset you flaunt is going to be the one that attracts attention and causes everyone around you to develop his or her first impression of you. Me, I wear eyeliner.

    • My father was the one yelling “Oh you are NOT going out dressed like a streetwalker!” (streetwalker…. I laugh) Of course, I just threw the outfit in my purse and changed into it later but I was also 14/15. And again, I’m not condoning any type of assault. This culture hypersexualizes females at a very, very early age. Jon Benet Ramsey case in point. Perhaps if she hadn’t been allowed to dress up like someone well over twice her actual age and be paraded around like a trophy she might still be alive. Bad judgement call on part of the parents and I think its at least partially the reason she is no longer alive. Consequences…..
      I was also thinking about competition. Women compete for men -subtly and not so subtly and that starts early too. Girls my daughter knew in high school don’t even care if they are friends with the girlfriend of the boy they “want”. They’d go for him anyway – nothings off limits. So its not surprising to see it carry over into more adult social settings. Girls have been indoctrinated to make themselves more noticeable than the next girl – maybe?? Anything to get one up on the competition? That would make sense, I guess. I’m at a point in my life where If I were to dress provocatively there would be a mass exodus to the vomitorium too. Eyeliner, a nice lipstick and some great mascara – thats about it for me. Although I have been daring and worn ripped jeans occasionally.
      And here’s a kicker: Definition of Provocative: to stir up, arouse, or call forth (feelings, desires, or activity), to incite or stimulate (a person, animal, etc.) to action.

  4. Let me take this to the farm… We have breading goats. Right now we have BuckO for… well, stud purposes. He is in the field with Isabelle, who has not been bread before. However, within a day of BuckO being in the same field, she was flagging (wagging her tail) in what male goats consider an invitation. Well, she was not thrilled at what he attempted to do next. Meanwhile, Granny (Isabella’s mother goat) is in the next field. She was hawing and making eyes and flagging, for she knew what was going on. We ended up having to secure a tarp over the fence to keep Granny away from BuckO, and vice-a-versa. Somehow, this sounds like I’m describing the plot to the movie “The Graduate”, but that would date me…

  5. Coming as someone who is currently in a robe and fuzzy socks on her own back porch, I say emphatically:

    YES, some people are just too lazy to get dressed. Happily, my own mama taught me to stay at home if I couldn’t put on “real clothes” to go out into the world in, and so my pj’s stay in my own private domain. 😉

    • I wish your mama and my mama had had more children! Some of the things I’ve seen at the mall I wish I could unsee! I am going straight home this afternoon and putting on my jammies. I will then pour a glass of wine – and toast the two of us!

  6. Oh, Momma. You know I love you and your Magnificent Mess (which is, truly, magnificent), and it gives me a bright spot in my day whenever I see a new post or comment from you pop up.

    Today, dearest Momma E, we must disagree.

    You make an excellent point about people (girls, boys, women, men, everybody) taking responsibility for the messages they are sending out into the world and the universe. Where I think we diverge is that I think there’s a big difference between taking responsibility for the message you send, and taking responsibility for what someone else perceives.

    People do send messages out through the clothes they wear. They’re very personalized expressions of who that person is or wants to be, or was or wanted to be when they got dressed. However, I think it’s a pretty far leap to assume that we understand what somebody else meant, exactly, when they put up that fashion statement. For example, if I wear a short skirt out to a club, it could have a number of different messages behind it.
    “I feel really hot today, and I want other people to see how confident I am in my body.”
    “I’m going to a club where this kind of outfit is normal, and I want to fit in.”
    “I’m too damn hot to put on something long. I will be dancing anyway, and I don’t want to sweat more than I have to. It’s a club, not a gym!”
    “I want to attract attention from people I might find attractive.”

    All of those are messages I could be trying to send – and there are dozens more that other people could be perceiving me as sending. Nowhere in there is there consent to be touched, to be groped, to be treated as a sexual object. Nowhere in there is there any kind of message that says “My clothes give you the right to see me as a thing, not a person.”

    Am I going to be aware that some people will perceive me that way? Yes. Is it my responsibility to stop them? No. It’s their responsibility to figure out whether what they’re hearing is what I’m saying – by, you know, talking to me about it.

    I think what bothers me the most about this post is the undercurrent in it – underneath the words, to me it sounds like the old defense attorney’s saw about a rape survivor. “She was asking for it – look at how she was dressed.”

    Like I said, Momma, I love you and your Magnificent Mess. None of this changes that. I’m just hoping to offer a different perspective on the balance of power and responsibility. Thank you, as always, for the excellent food for thought. And please forgive me for sort of jamming a novella into your comments section. 🙂

    • Love this! Thank you! By no means was I giving in to the “she was asking for it” thing. Its not OK. I’m just saying people need to think, be prepared, and to be careful, be aware of what messages they might be sending – always. Balance those rights with responsibility. Don’t dangle the bloody tuna bait in front of the hungry great whites – because eventually one of them will bite. There’s always an idiot out there who WILL cross the line. And ,as an aside I have to say I laugh at what constitutes “appropriate” dress in public these days _ I see way too many pj’s and Uggs at the mall. Are people just too lazy to actually get dressed?? (whole ‘nother story for a whole ‘nother post ) I think people should use their common sense when it comes to dressing for a night out. I’ve just seen some serious doozies out there. No forgiveness needed I am so happy to hear from you!!! Love you too! ❤ 😀

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