There’s a new “movement” sweeping the globe.
Is it human rights protestors for Darfur? No. Is it US citizens from middle- and lower-income classes protesting the ever-growing economic disparity? No. Are we demanding the end of our wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and elsewhere? No. Is it people fighting for their right to affordable healthcare? No. Is it working class folks trying to protect their collective bargaining rights? No. Is it college students protesting outrageous tuition costs and predatory lending practices? No.
There are a number of women worldwide who are organizing events called SlutWalks to fight for their rights to dress, well, like sluts (their parents must be so proud). SlutWalks began in Canada and are now spreading, much like a virus, to the UK and the US.
Why are some women doing this?
Constable Michael Sanguinetti of the Toronto Police Service remarked to a class of Osgoode Hall Law students that women can avoid sexual assault by not dressing like sluts. His comments were posted by some students on Facebook and blogs and finally made their way to newspapers. Constable Sanguinetti has since apologized for his remarks after being labeled a “misogynist” and being subjected to public ridicule and censure.
However, his verbal contretemps didn’t end with his public apology. Many Toronto women, outraged by—I don’t know what exactly—decided they weren’t going to take it lying down anymore and the first SlutWalk was organized to show—some really unfortunate personal wardrobe choices, as far as I can tell.
Sanguinetti’s comments, while simplistic, really aren’t that offensive. Indignant women have pulled the taffy and interpreted his comments to mean that women who dress provocatively and are sexually assaulted are “asking for it.” I don’t see it that way. My take is that women need to start being accountable for their own personal safety, heaven forbid.
Meaning that if a woman walks down the street dressed like this:
She shouldn’t be surprised/shocked/offended/outraged if she gets this:
SlutWalks seem to be just a bunch of histrionic, attention-seeking women trying to make a mountain out of a molehill. Frankly, I’m sick and tired of some women crying “MISOGYNY!” every time a man (or another woman) either tells them something they don’t want to hear or tries to hold them accountable. Grow up, ladies.
I’m sick of women who go out, get wasted, have consensual sex with some guy and call it rape. Unless the man was pouring Cosmos down her gullet, she chose to impair her judgement and the responsibility lies with her. I’m sick of women who pretend that dressing like a prostitute is female empowerment. Women who expose themselves do so to feel powerful, not empowered. Empowered women use their brains, not their boobs. Empowered women also don’t need to make themselves the center of attention.
These women feel powerful from the attention they receive from men and other women for dressing that way. Again, male attention makes these women feel powerful and desirable. They are not making a civil rights statement by baring their midriff, flashing a thong and exposing their bra straps. They’re saying, “Look at meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!”
And , “Hey! Look at meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!” is what these SlutWalks really seem to be about. When I was in my 20s and wore a low cut top or a short skirt, I didn’t do so because I wanted to say, “I am woman, hear me roar.” At the time, I wanted to be noticed by men because I was single and wanted to find a boyfriend, so I dressed in a way I thought would attract men to me. Why can’t some women be honest about this?
Yes, women and men should be able to attire themselves however they see fit, but they also need to take responsibility for their choices. We’re judged by how we present ourselves. You can stomp your feet, pout and shout, “Not fair!” all you like, but it’s just the way it is.
I don’t take women who dress like streetwalkers seriously. My first thought is: Desperate for attention. I don’t take men seriously who wear below the knee shorts with their butts sticking out of the top seriously. My first though is: Immature. You can’t legislate first impressions.
For instance, this:
Does not say, “Rocket scientists.” Maybe they are rocket scientists, but that’s not what they’re putting out there.
SlutWalks seem to be the feminists’ version of Girls Gone Wild, minus the plastic bead necklaces and body shots. These demonstrations seem like childish, attention-seeking behavior and nothing more. One wonders how many real female sexual assault victims participate in these events.
Ultimately, who cares if reactionary, emotional reasoners want to make a spectacle of themselves? The best thing you can do to an attention-seeker is to ignore them.
However, the SlutWalk attention-seekers are costing you, me and other tax payers money. Cities have to provide police to protect SlutWalks and spend money to clean up the debris left behind afterward. Road crews have to barricade roads and open them back up and for what? A histrionic witch hunt and so that these women can have something to blog about and post on their Facebook walls. Enough already.
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Hi Dr T,
I’ve been recently exploring the other end of the spectrum in clothing choices i.e. modest and simple dressing including the choice of head covering for political rather than religious reasons, and have been absolutely amazed at the backlash from many women.
WTF? I thought that the feminist movement was about individuality. Turns out I am not enough of a “sheep-le”
I’m curious what your political reasons are?
I ask because I’ve also been thinking a lot about modesty, specifically because I’m tired of having my femininity be on ‘display’ to other men besides my husband. I chose to share it with him, not the world.
And many times this unwanted attention comes with not so subtle status jockeying and belittling aimed at my husband.
Its quite a complex thing. Part of it is as an act of political sympathy because of the backlash against women wearing the hijab. Yes, there are some women who are oppressed who wear the hijab, but there are also women who do this as part of their religious observance. I’ve worked with a lot of muslim women, and I have had this conversation a number of times. Banning it is not going to improve the social integration of those being abused, and is not fair on those who believe that they are called to make this observance as part of their faith.
Part of it is because I am quite majorly opposed to the social constructs that say that as a woman of 40 years old, I am still supposed to look like a teenager in terms of my clothing, makeup, skin etc. Wearing a headscarf along with making some very specific decisions over the last few years about the clothes I wear, means I now have a very distinctive style which is feminine but not a follower of fashion (and all the nasty stuff that the fashion industry perpetuates). I read “Fat as a feminist issue” in the late 1990s and feel that we need to discuss more about the comercial abuse of the body.
On a non-political level, I come from a faith community which encourages people to maintain a testimony of simplicity – and I found wearing a headscarf made dealing with my very unrully hair a doddle.
Also, I come from the southern hemisphere and grew up being very sun aware – so the use of a headscarf seems to me to be a functional alternative to sun hats. I’ve also found my skin is happier being covered rather than having lots of sunscreen slapped on, on a daily basis.
My SO has been very supportive of my explorations of this – he can understand that I must make choices based on my experiences. He also likes brushing my hair so can’t wait to see me again (we are doing a LDR) and do the unwrapping before brushing my hair 😛
Ron On Drums says
Excellent article. I live just 20mi from New Orleans. So you can imagine what it gets like here during Mardi Gras. What makes me nuts about this is they show no regard if there are kids around & flash their boobs for 20cent plastic beads. Now I guess if they want to flash in private or only in the company of adults that’s their business. But who in the hell gave them the right to do it around minors? Further more if anybody says anything to them the usual response is a drunken tirade about how it is their body & their choice. Well that 12 year old didn’t have a choice. Even in the company of adults it shows NO CLASS WHATSOEVER!! For that reason alone I would never go to Mardi Gras any more. Well that & the sight of a bunch of adults getting hammered & the smell of puke in the air just holds no appeal for me. Geee I guess I am a prude?….lol
“Well that 12 year old didn’t have a choice.”
But it’s just woman’s bodies! The sight of women’s naked adult bodies doesn’t have the ability to cause eyeballs to burst into flames and sear flesh from bone like the sight of men’s naked bodies!
Everybody likes boobies shoved in their faces! Nobody was ever sexually abused by a woman and thus finds it triggering!
And if they were, who gives a shit. My boobs give me attention and that makes me feel good! (At least until they don’t.)
I have to agree with Typhonblue.
Nudity is only tittilating when it is taboo. Otherwise it tends to be desensitizing, unless of course you are already attracted to said naked person. Oh, and if you check you will find that nudists/naturalists actually have a significantly lower rate of child sexual abuse than the general population.
As an aside, have you looked at 95% of the women that attend these stupid slutwalks? Seriously, who wants to see them naked? I’d pay them to cover up just so I can keep my lunch down.
Excellent use of sarcasm Typhonblue, I hope it is not wasted here.
B Experienced says
I agree that these woman have a part in protecting themselves. If you walk around sending overt sexual messages through dress, body language or speech, than you have to know that there is a dark side and payoff to that as well. Consider it a form of advertisement. These woman have a grandiose need to be seen by all men and/or woman as supreme sexual beings and use this one dimensional approach to get through life. They want their cake and eat it too. I don’t believe that they are responsible for the actual rape itself. However, they are responsible for not protecting themselves from any form of sexual attack where their overt behavior was a contributing factor. You don’t taunt a hungry or deranged dog with a steak. This goes for men as well. I have no doubt that a masochistic Cluster B knows that a rape may happen on some level and wants it to because of their self defeating life style and pathological need to be a victim. I think the black and white concept of having no responsibility in the rape and overlooking the pathologies of the person raped in our society protects and enables their pathology as well. It protects exhibitionists too.
I think we should get back to the basics of common sense and sexual dignity. I don’t see them concerned either if I don’t want to see their naked body parts; which I really don’t. Their so called protest is just another form of Pornography and a change to show off their bodies. All one sided and Me, Me, Me yet again.
Put your clothes back on, find a good shrink and get a life!
A very close friend is a rocket scientist (a real one). She doesn’t dress like that… 😀
You know if that woman who is wearing the corset was a man, she’d be arrested for public exposure and put on a sex offenders list.
It strikes me that there must be a similar mentality between her and a flasher. They both want attention except in her case it’s acceptable for her to want that sort of attention and go to extremes to get it. Because she’s a woman.
Hey, she even has the trench coat.
Gosh, you mean there’s a double standard? 😉
Dr Tara Palmatier says
Say it isn’t so!
GI Dad says
And a quote, ” I am always looking for fun events where I can show up nude” <— Histrionic much?
I am reminded of this report on the general subject from the Onion News Network.
Be careful with this blog. If you work for the government that second picture can get you in very serious trouble. It might get you in serious trouble in the private sector if someone with delicate sensibilities sees it and complains about it.
I opened it at work and it stunned me. As a public sector employee, I don’t feel it’s safe for me to recommend the site to my co-workers now and I’m considering sending emails to the ones I already have telling them to avoid the site for the time being. My only defense would be I recommended the site before the picture appoeared.
Wow, that was quick. Please ignore my previous posts.
Dr Tara Palmatier says
Is the photo alright now with the black censored bars? Or should I remove it altogether?
Given the extreme PC climate of many government agencies and private sector employers, it’s still pretty dicey.
Closure at last says
Yep! And Oh Canada! What a warped view they indeed have in Toronto. Either only groups of angry dowdy man-bashing women or vulgar ‘slutty’ aggressive ones get taken seriously. Seriously.
And guess who got punished? A woman engineer and her entire SAE team. A whipper-smart, sweet woman mechanical engineer in Waterloo engineering in one of the harshest punishments ever meted out last month. For wearing a normal bikini for a photo (for the application of a calender whose profits were to go to a breast cancer charity) standing next to a racecar she had helped build herself! Really. Suddenly self-righteous liberal arts women and actual ‘sluts’ went against her and the Egypt-born dean suspended her as the leader of the chassis-building team and banned the ENTIRE team from entering the formula SAE contest. The dean did show sexism. But Not one, that’s right not ONE so-called ‘feminist’ whether the angry ones or the samples above came to her rescue. Nor the breast cancer charity.
This is what I’ve long said – these ‘feminists’ and ‘floozies’ look out only for their own types. Finally I had it and wrote something myself to defend the girl last week. The news had gone viral but it was only some male engineers and motor car blogs that finally came to her defense and it was unbelievable how hardly any women (except a few other women engineers or architects) spoke up for her. Rather the jealous types went even more crazy – as though a woman engineer has no right to look feminine in a normal bikini. While vulgar displays by the non-tech-brained women as in a Slut Walk is some great ’empowerment’.
I mentioned the Slut Walk there too, to demonstrate how only women in huge crazy groups get taken seriously while introverted, actually smart and beautiful women get punished in witch hunts should they dare show some healthy curves. Because in our weird PC-correct world, women who have both smarts and natural looks and are NOT slutty but show even some femininity in looks – especially if they are engineers – get harshly punished thanks to the REAL sluts. It’s so unbelievably warped. And you’re right Mellaril – it’s DR. T or the woman engineer in the Waterloo engineering who will face all sorts of the ‘morality-brigade’ for daring to place a photo, while the actual attention-seekers go free with both their vulgarity and their angry rants.
I have understood that the main aim for many floozies is to suppress the actual kind, brainy and naturally beautiful women (that men would actually like to date) so that only the floozies can be out there with their hooks. The sad case of the Canadian woman engineer truly demonstrated that. And I’d had it – and went completely non-PC on my post – to call a spade a spade and say why ‘feminists’ never go to aid any woman here who did face an authentic case of sexism (she was that rare breed of a pretty tech-brained, whipper-smart, non-slutty girl) but trip over themselves to promote slut-walks and man-bash seminars..
Thanks doc, for writing this post. It’s the balanced ones who always get silenced while each extremity (uptight fundamentalists or vulgar hedonists) seems to rant in some orgy of self-righteousness or self-promotion.
B Experienced says
I live in Canada and it is a different culture here. I am an American,and I know both cultures very well. Canada is still very family oriented and likes to keep it that way. There is a a lot to be said about that too. All the men I know wouldn’t want their wife or girlfriend posing in a bikini whether they are built, bright or not. They would want their partner to keep sexual displays for them. The women I know aren’t jealous as you seem to think of the ones who pose naked either and a lot of them are built very well.It is seen as a sexual news flash which it is given the context she was posing in. If she were on a beach, it would be considered appropriate if it wasn’t a slutty bathing suit here. Why did the woman have to wear her bikini? Because it is a chance to show herself off. All the companies and professionals I worked for in both the States and Canada would never have gone for anybody posing in a bikini. It blurs boundaries and they didn’t want to promote any kind of sexual overtness whether at work or in your personal life. Let’s face it the woman was flaunting her sexuality whether it was slutty or not. I was always opposed for women to pose either nude or in a bathing suit promoting sex. Personally, I find it very creepy that weirdos and strangers are masturbating to their pictures. The woman posing has a part in it if one of them should start stalking her or she is sexually attacked. If she is treated as a sexual object because of it, then that is part of her payoff as well.
Let’s face it, the men doing the masturbating and oogling aren’t interested in her brains and are using her body in an lustful way that is exploiting and demeaning. The same goes to woman who do the same with men’s pictures. The people I know who raised boys here don’t believe that pornography or sexual advertising is okay and they they find such acts as I described above very disrespectful to woman.
I know of many Canadians who don’t like the interference of American culture as well. Speaking as an American, I can honestly say I don’t blame them because from the perspective of living in Canada, we can see how dysfunctional and damaging American Culture can be and really is a lot of the time.
Closure at last says
I am both a Canadian and an American with mostly European and partly Asian mixed descent. I have lived in both the US and Canada and a few other countries. I 100% agree with Dr. T’s take on the Slut Walk. The walk is vulgar as hell – and the women most certainly did it for attention.
My points regarding the incident with the woman engineer was this:
(1) A huge march went out to support these crazy ‘slut walkers’. The cop was somewhat right in his advice on preventive measure. Will these crazy women be held accountable for their parade? No. And of course, one doesn’t feel jealuos of these sad samples, just pity and irritation. I have been attacked twice on the streets, and far from flaunting it, dealt with it quietly and don’t even like speaking of the incidents, let alone join slut walks. I feel sorry for real victims, but in this case, most of the paraders ARE attention-seekers.
(2) The case of the woman engineer whose team got suspended (if you read the story on the link and other publications – even Wikipedia under ‘Adel Sedra’ – the Egyptian-Canadian dean.): The woman engineer in the bikini did not do it to advertise her goods to her classmates. She needed pics for a contest application and it was a professional photo-shoot next to a car she had helped build with her bare hands. The photographer placed one of the photos on his personal blog portfolio. Somehow a Chinese-Canadian senior staff member – a woman – saw it. Brought it to the dean’s attention and wanted the girl punished too. And that was it for the dean to make an avalanche, stop academic priorities and suspend 30 young 19-year old students as a punishment?! Acts of REAL vandalism, crime have occured on campus, and nothing has been done, and suddenly this becomes a HUGE crime!
(3) You are quite right that many men search naked pics to get off and not to admire some woman’s ‘strength and wholesomeness.’ Now – see the difference between the ‘Slutwalkers’ and the woman engineer. She did not place her photo on her own. She had taken it privately for a contest application. The photographer made a mistake to place it. The girl apologized, took responsibility and stepped down as the leader of the chassis-building team on the dean’s insistence which is very harsh. She refused to be interviewed, preferred to remain nameless, even though the story spread all over, and I contacted the photographer who is a friend and he said that she is quite upset at him for even having placed the photo on his portfolio because that’s what started the furore. If you see the bikini on that link of mine – it is a simple one. The girl is a straight-A student in real life. It is a fact that young female engineers often have to suppress their femininity. I remember longing to wear spring skirts and frocks and holding back in college beacuse to succeed and be taken ‘seriously’ only the ‘tomboy’ persona is accepted. The girl struggled with the thought whether she could be an engineer and also have her feminine side in private. An honest situation. She by no means can be compared to the full-frontal-titty-wobbling participants of the Slut Walk.
(4) In our weird PC world, a feminine-looking woman architect cannot pose in front of a building she has slogged hours to build, but some silly model who has had nothing to do with it can. Same goes for cars. Silicon-boobed women giggle and pose before cars they know nothing of, but even a woman engineer for her personal portfolio at the age of 20, stands in front of a car she has built – she is penalized. Tech-brained women are forced to remain silent, invisible as though their duty is to silently serve while only the liberal arts types can be out there, or those in the entertainment business. The tech-brained women (whose brains are wired like mathematical and anlaytical men’s in reality) are the smallest minority and their femininity is never spoken of.
(5)As a woman in architecture and engineering – trust me – we know that unless we wear shapeless turtlenecks and pants at work (which we do) and subdue all our femininity we will not get taken seriously by the men. To maintain feminine identity AND be successful in male-dominated fields takes an incredible amount of strength. Women engineers are expected to maintain that stereotype of the ‘butch’ kinds and those who break it then face the other stereotype that ‘pretty girls are stupid or manipulative.’ Who has created these sterotypes based somewhat on reality? Our ‘lovely’ Cluster B women. (Remember Dr. T’s wonderful post on ‘crazy-proofing’.) Trust me. I know. Having spent 10+ years on the field. I suggest you read the link to get th full assessment.
However I found this denial of paradoxes is a very Amercian/English-Canadian thing. (The madonna-whore dichotomy.) I lived in Montreal for years, and there – attitudes are different and better. It is a French or European thing – where a woman IS allowed to possess and maintain both her femininity and smarts. Not so for the poor woman engineer in Ontario – hence I showed the contrast that in Toronto on one hand there is this extremity – over-the-top liberalness of tax payers money wasted to organize a Slut walk with these ridiculous vulgar samples, and on the other extremity – in the same province a woman engineer and her ENTIRE team of 30 fellow-students got suspended by their Egyptian-Canadian dean for having a personal photo-shoot in a bikini that she was not trying to flaunt to others but was to send the photo to other women who were doing a calender for a breast-cancer charity.
(6)Why is it that middle-aged Dove women posing in ads (which is fine) in bikinis – often overweight and unattractive – is suddenly seen as some great ‘self-esteem’ movement, but a 20 – year old woman engineer has to bury all her traces of womanhood and always roam around in shapeless hoodies which we do? Why do the sex-in-the-city women who are stupid ‘role-models’, laughed and giggled off and even defended by feminists like Jezbel, and men can’t do anything against them due to their large numbers of followers? And YET – the one they could punish was not the REAL floozies, but a whipper-smart woman engineer. Once again, if you read the whole story – you will see what really occurred. The truth is most geek-girls are NOT sluts. My article was directed to that minority of geek-girls, who have a pretty hard balancing act to perform.
(7) Also – I think Canadians (I am one too) have a big ‘blame America’ attitude. The truth is even without American influence – you will find that (except Quebec) most men in Canada are quite dominated by either women narcissists or women histrionics and borderlines. For 10 years I have heard the tales of woe of many a male engineer and architect – and the Anglo-Canadian men have the same British self-deprecating sweet quasi-wussiness that cause them to put up with overbearing spouses. So blaming ‘America’ becomes a convenient excuse, but in truth when they face abuse by women, they seem to act more like the quiet British man. Only Albertans try to be like Texans – but that’s another story.
(8) When I said that either “It’s the balanced ones who always get silenced while each extremity (uptight fundamentalists or vulgar hedonists) seem to rant in some orgy of self-righteousness or self-promotion.” – I mean that Dr. T, who is innocent, in our PC world, could have got into trouble for a pic she posted of a vulgar flaunter in a corset. See the irony – she is only placing a pic. The real woman should get a rap but no one will do anything because she is part of a loudly ranting ‘hedonist or Slut’ group. But Dr. T will be an easy target because she is balanced and a minority ( a strong rational woman who is surrounded more by men due to her branch of work.)
Similarly – the woman engineer and her team was punished and suspended for wearing a normal bikini (I repeat, for a private photo session) and she became the easy target of an authoritarian dean. Male engineers have posters of themselves in speedos next to cars they build and no one raises an eyebrow. No one came to fend for that girl because she was a minority – the tech-brained geek-girl who happened to be attractive. Suddenly liberal-arts women who supported the Slut Walk felt it was ok to take shots at a woman engineer who posed before a car she had designed herself. If this is not illogical, what is?
When the more intellectual and reasonable MEN from her department came to defend her – immediately their defense was dismissed off as though they were defending her not for Objectivity or rational ethics or a case of real sexism by the dean but ‘because she looked cute in a bikini’. To say there is no underlying jealousy in that stance of her woman detractors is avoiding a reality. A lone woman who is smart, attractive, non-slutty and has many male friends because she works in a male environment (while having close female friends too) will often be misunderstood by women who either belong to Oprah-clubs OR angry-feminists OR Slut-walkers. The funny thing is most female engineers see our male co-workers like buddies or brothers. (Female engineers, like male ones, often fall for abusive types outside their field.) A HR woman once told me in Florida that she “is so jealous of you girls because you work around men all the time.” I found it strange – because i said we don’t feel ‘romantic’ towards our male colleagues – most of us feel like men ourselves inside in women’s bodies. Then I understood that women who do crave male attention, think all women want that. They prefer the female engineers to look masculine and non-threatening, and get truly weird if they look feminine. We just have to laugh it off. I suggest you to read the link and then understand the whole situation.
(9) Sorry for this long reply but I wish to clear the air. I think you have some amazing insights about Cluster Bs in most of your comments, but in this case, i was not supporting the ‘slut walk’. Far from it. I agree totally with Dr. T’s take. I wanted to highlight the other contrast that geek-girls face. Also, often we are the ones working in male fields who end up paying the price of the misconceptions created by the real crazy wives. Geek-girls are really women whose brains are wired more like analytical men’s. (on Briggs-Meyers, most test out as INTJs, INTPs or ISTJs.) Our society is very accepting of gay men, but it is less open to the unique predicament of geek-girls or accept that they can have analytical engineering brains and still look and dress femininely. I think the punishment on the woman engineer was very harsh. Because the frustration that couldn’t be taken out on women who are REAL vulgar floozies, got taken out on her. And of course, no ‘feminist’ spoke up for her. Though at the drop of any hat they will yell ‘misogyny!’over a cop or a movie review. Just like no woman feminist (except the Camile Paglia readers, and who I like a lot too) will come sending flowers to Dr. Tara for being both smart and balanced. The campaign and witch-hunt against her by those cyber-bullies was proof. In our PC-world- to have smarts, softness, kindness, femininity AND to have a buddy-like understanding of men is a minority and the few women who do possess that are ganged up on more by other women rather than rewarded for their courage. And it require tremendous strength to keep going.
I think you misunderstood my take. Of course none of us are jealous of the vulgar ‘Slut Walkers’. In no way do I defend them. My defense was only of a very different case with a woman-engineer, who did face jealousy, as no woman came to defend an actual and valid case of authoritarian sexism. And when men did defend her, that too was misunderstood by other women.
Closure at last says
p.s. – seems the Dean got the ‘controversy’from the Wiki entry removed recently – it was there for weeks. From what I heard from a few male students, he seems like he suffers from a lot of narcissism. And now the poor students have been even more skewered. He is the one who made a mountain of a molehill but apparently has now gone ballistic because his ‘image’ got affected. The photographer tried very hard to stop the viral’ness’ and requested publications to not copy the pic which he had immediately removed, but it went completely out of hand. From what i hear now, they just want it all behind them and the girl has practically gone into hiding and wearing metaphorical burkhas.
I believe that instead of either the contrasts of ‘armed combat’ (extreme religious fundamentalism) or ‘wanton wombat'(Slut Walks) there exists a middle ground which maintains both femininity and dignity – something you saw in old time actresses – Katherine Hepburn, Audrey Hepburn, Sophia Loren. I hope that the dress choices and the media furore of the royal wedding will teach young girls to dress with dignity and class the way Kate does/did, but I think for Cluster Bs – they’ll not even take that lesson but instead demand more ‘princess’ entitlement without the qualifications or the dignity.
Dr Tara Palmatier says
Sorry about that, guys. Should have remember the reaction to the Janet Jackson/wardrobe malfunction incident. For the record, I didn’t post it to be salacious. I was trying to make a point. Nevertheless, many folks read this at work and I should have paid attention to the moment of hesitation I had before posting it. For those of you who’d like to see the image, I kept the link for image 2.
Again, my sincere apologies to those who were offended/if it placed you in an awkward position.
I’m wondering how I would have explained that to my GF… 😉
Dr Tara Palmatier says
I’ve reposted the original photo, because I think it shows just how desperate for attention some of these women are. However, I used black censored bars to hide the nips and other bits. Btw, the woman in the corset who likes to show up to events naked isn’t a 20-y.o. According to her blog, she’s 41.
Ah, lighten up folks. I find the whole thing hilarious. 😀
On another note, I do agree with Mellaril. I opened the website at work as well.
Dr Tara Palmatier says
Sorry, dietrich. I’ve already replaced the photo.
Great article, Dr T.
I’ve been reading up on Histrionics lately. Do they have the same HCP,aggressive, abusive behaviors as BPDs or NPDs in relationships? They seem to have interpersonal problems and “drama queen” syndromes. An article chronicling the slight differences between the three might make interesting reading.
Dr Tara Palmatier says
Yes, histrionics are also one of the usual suspects amongst high-conflict people. In one of William Eddy’s books there’s a chapter titled, “Don’t Get Hooked on Histrionics” or something to that effect.
You’re right. That’s a great idea for an article.
if i hadn’t read this article on your site i would have for sure that it was a hoax.
first off, i gotta make a joke. in the article it says that “they’re not gonna take it lying down”. hmmmm… insert whatever you want for that response (oh yeah, definitely pun intended). they mention slut and taking it lying down. if they’re gonna put it over the plate we just gotta swing at it…
here’s the thing… if people live up to whatever stereotype there is, they have no right to ever be offended when someone places that label upon them. some chick wants to dress like a slut, fine. HOWEVER, there’s a lot of negative connotations that come with that label. people can’t just make a choice of that nature and only expect – or demand – the positive aspect of said choice.
for example, i was in the DMV getting my license renewed. in walks this young man looking like the mime from Hell. we’re talking stark white make-up, blue lips, purple hair, etc. now nobody ever said even and unkind word to this man, and yet pretty much all of us looked at him like he’d lost his mind. the DMV would not issue him a diver’s license because your photo has to look like you!!! as the kid was walking out he had the audacity to be offended because of all of this. but he doesn’t bother to take into consideration that the statement he makes to society is likely to have backlash FROM society. he thumbs his stark-white nose and the rest of the world in rebellion, yet when the rest of us look at him like he’s a weirdo, he cries that people are making fun of him!!! are you serious?
same thing here. bunch of over-active, hystrionic baffoons out to make a name for themselves at tax-payer expense. “hey i’m a slut!!!”. as if that’s something to be proud of. and when the rest of us treat them like a slut – in social terms – then they’ll cry that life is unfair and its wrong to judge people. yet they want the positive of their time in the spotlight, but can’t take the negatives that go with it.
can’t have it both ways. again… pun intended…
Dr Tara Palmatier says
Actually, the “not take it lying down” turn of phrase is mind and the pun was intentional.
You raise some good points. People can dress however they like. However, every choice has a consequence. If you don’t like the consequences, make different choices.
GI Dad says
The mere suggestion to these women to not show so much T&A is an insult to them because…well, look at it this way (assuming they are Histrionic attention-seekers):
1. Their personalities are flawed and they know it. They are emotionally immature.
2. They crave and NEED the attention they receive for dressing this way. Guys buy them drinks (substance abusers?) and pay attention to them. These women see this as genuine affection.
3. The T&A they show off are not just their best assets (no pun intended)… they are their ONLY assets.
Suggesting that they show a little modesty is likely seen as a request akin to putting on a muu-muu and wearing no makeup before ordering their 3rd appletini. “But…no one will NOTICE me, or LIKE me”…because they are incapable of any real conversation. Vacuous and emotionally immature attention seekers…yep, Histrionic all right.
This reminds me of a recent news story about a so-called predatory real estate agent who “preyed on drunk women alone at bars, offered them rides home, then sexually assaulted them.”
When I first heard that it was a real estate agent, I envisioned someone ‘showing’ women the same abandoned house out in the middle of nowhere up for sale late at night or something.
When I heard the true story, however, i thought, “Those women are idiots!” Drunk or not, only a flippin’ moron would accept a ride home with a stranger from a bar! So much for “You’ve come a long way, Baby!” DUH!!!!
This is clearly an overreaction on the protesters’ part. An offensive comment at a meeting a law enforcement officer could have been dealt with internally and quietly, with a better choice of words coming out.
But to react as though it was the imposition of full-body hajibs is indicative of the immaturity and intellectual deficiency of so-called ‘progressives’.
And on that note, these are the same people, likely, who are in full support of abortion on demand, yet get so easily offended at the notion that they should dress modestly while out in public late at night.
This event was a departure from typical feminist protests but included the typical obfuscation of the issues.
They have an unrealistic goal that teaching men not to rape will somehow change a small minority of sociopaths. It’s like claiming that I should be able to keep my doors unlocked because people should be taught not to steal.
Similar to the “take back the night” rallies, they are protesting their rights to go anywhere, do anything, dress anyway and be safe. It’s an ideological protest, but not very realistic. Even men aren’t safe everywhere.
They used their sexuality to gain media attention for their cause, which is perplexing since feminists have typically been against such sexualized portayals of women. I can only see that this will promote unsafe behaviors and a lack of personal responsibility.
yep… gotta appreciate the irony of all that…
its kinda like when a woman gets a breast enhancement procedure and says it boosts her confidence and self-esteem. if that is so, then fine. but then if a guy stares at her boobs, he’s a jerk.
i’m not the morality police. usually i’m a live and let live kinda guy. however, when people are using tax-payer money for some stupid march that gets them attention, but is probably irresponsible to the safety of women, and done so with such a “look at me” vibe, with no substance… i gotta shake my head.
I think you’re overreading the situation. While there may be some histrionic women involved, I think it’s more a backlash against liberal instutitions that bought hook line and sinker into feminist nonsense. These are the same institutions that have declared war on men, but also on women being able to make their own choices and stand up for themselves. Campus “sex” codes are but one example of both.
I suspect many of the women don’t actually get off on dressing like sluts, but are resorting to shock as a form of protest.
BTW, I think histronic personality disorder is given a short shrift. For the longest time I figured my wife was mild BPD, but she lacked a few signs that are generally consistant. Then I started studying HPD and talking with other men about it and came to the conclusion that it fits my wife much better. One thing several observers pointed out is that HPDs are extremely hard to split from since many don’t tend to engage in the obvious rage/violent behaviors. Unforunately, there isn’t a lot of information on HPD nor with dealing with non-high conflict spouses who suffer these disorders or at least show a lot of symptoms.
The sad thing is they undermine any serious or valid point they can make. I think the speaker was kind of an idiot to imply that it’s slutty clothing which can get one raped or harassed. There are men who will harass any female regardless of how she’s dressed.
In college a group of friends and I had been cleaning our apartment as we moved in. We were grungy looking and wearing loosely fitting sweats. We still had guys yelling at us from their cars. I’ve been cat called/yelled out in business wear, while gardening in my yard wearing loosely fitting khaki pants.
So I think a bigger issue is why do some guys feel so free to harass any woman regardless of how she’s dressed?
Marshall Stack says
“So I think a bigger issue is why do some guys feel so free to harass any woman regardless of how she’s dressed?”
Because some of us are just dumb, I suppose. I think a lot of it has to do with how you’re brought up. Some of us were taught to be gentlemen, some of us were taught otherwise.
It’s only harrassment if she’s not interested:
“Sexual Harassment and You”
Denis, that’s an ignorant comment. I’m sympathetic to men’s issues and I do think it’s possible for men to encounter discrimination. Many do in the divorce and child custody process. I support changing laws, etc. to make things more equitable for men being discriminated.
But how dare you dismiss what a lot of women encounter. Have you ever had a car full of guys slow down and start yelling at you about how they’d like you to give them oral sex or how they’d like to have sex with you? This has happened to me a number of times, regardless of how I was dressed. The first time when I was 11 years old. I was wearing jeans (not tight) and an oversized tshirt. It’s very frightening because you hope they’ll just keep going, but you don’t know for sure, so you have to start assessing your environment, can you run for help quickly, etc. How would you like to be out by your garden in the front of your home, minding your own business and wearing loose fitting, non-revealing clothing and have a group of guys young enough to be your sons slowing down their call to yell out this kind of garbage?
How would you like to have to take an extra bus connection late at night even though the distance is easily walkable because it’s a little desolate and horny yahoo morons like to stop and screech along the way?
oops, meant to say to make things more equitable for men who are being discriminated against in the current situation.
It’s not ignorant at all, if a man makes a pass at a woman and the woman considers the man to be rude or disgusting then that can considered harrassment. However, the same actions by an attractive man are perceived differently. Women can be quite rude.
I’ve heard a lot of ignorant and disturbing comments in public that I don’t like. That’s life, grow up and act like an adult.
And I also feel very sympathetic to men’s issues. I also believe men encounter discrimination. I also support changing laws and making things more equitable, not just assuming the the women ought to have custody or alimony or the house, etc.
I’ll have to agree with exscapegoat, though, about the fact that as a female you get subjected to unpleasant attention even when you’re dressed in clothing that’s not revealing at all. The first time that happened to me I was 12 years old and with my sister who was 11 and we were simply walking the two blocks home from the store when a guy stopped and said several incredibly rude and alarming things, especially considering how young we were. I was really scared. I do my best not to dress provocatively, not to be places at night or that are remote where I am alone. I’ve done my best to remove myself from situations that would invite unwanted behavior, don’t go to bars, don’t do those kinds of things that put some women at greater risk. Yet still, I’ve gotten rude remarks when out for a walk in my own neighborhood, waiting for a bus on my way home from work, walking past a construction site because it’s the only way to get from point A to point B. I am always thinking through about where I am and how I’m dressed and how I speak to people so that I my intentions are not misunderstood. Hasn’t kept some men from making rude remarks. And being nice looking or not matters not in the slightest to me, rudeness is rudeness, regardless of how nice looking the guy is.
You know what happens when a strange adult man talks to a minor? A police alert gets issued for a potential child abductor.
Let’s talk about grown up stuff. I’ve also heard plenty of rude and obnoxious women in public. Slut/douche bag culture isn’t going away, it’s spreading like wildfire. Douche bags are they way they are because it works with the sluts (just ask Max Tucker). Get used to it, it’s offensive but it’s not illegal.
If you are actually supportive of issues of real discrimination, why are you complaining about something relatively innocuous as public rudeness. Oh my, princess is offended!
I would respectfully request that you not refer to me as “princess” as that is not my name nor my title. I would also suggest that there are an awful lot of children who are sexually abused, boys and girls, with men and women as the perpetrators, and those adults never get any kind of alert issued nor are any charges ever brought against them at all.
This isn’t about being offended over rudeness. This is about being afraid to do things it seems like it ought to be possible to do without being intimidated, harassed and in some instances harmed. What I was objecting to is more than simple rudeness. When a child is 12 years old and an adult male has stopped said child and makes threatening remarks, it is threatening. That’s true whether you are a boy or girl. I can’t speak to what young boys may experience because I am not male. But I can say something about what it’s like to be female.
I would not disagree with you that there are women who behave badly, are rude, take advantage, manipulate, and even commit acts of violence toward men. The fact that that is so does not minimize nor take away the fact that there are women who do nothing to attract similar behavior.
Dr Tara Palmatier says
The reality is that the world can be a scary and unsafe place. It’s not right. It’s not fair. 12-year olds of both genders should be free and safe from harassment and assault. Unfortunately, this isn’t reality.
Everyone needs to be responsible for their own safety and take precautions and teach their children to take precautions.
Rude comments by immature humans has nothing to do with sexually abused boys and girls. The vast majority of adult men know very well not to be talking to any female minors that they don’t know. I’m not dismissing that rude comments by strangers are irritating and annoying, but it is hardly an important issue for adults and especially criminal law. Sluts and douche bags seem to be popular for the gen Y, they belong together.
My opinions are more in line with the equity feminists like Christina Hoff Sommers, Wendy McElroy and Camille Paglia, than the victim feminists (princess)
In terms of criminal law, no, rude comments won’t be an important issue. There is a connection, though, between comments made to people and sexual abuse of children (boys and girls). At age 12, as mentioned, my sister and I were simply walking home from the store, as we had hundreds of times. The man who made the rude comments was stating in explicit terms his desire to solicit sex (do either of you girls f**k, etc) and exposing himself. This is pretty threatening behavior when you are young. I did all I knew to do, which was to walk immediately to a house and ask for help. What such incidents do is make one uneasy about the intentions of someone who begins making similar comments, unsolicited. I’ve so far been unable to read the mind of another person and so, when confronted with such remarks, I’ve no reason to think that a person will stop only there. It is threatening. I do my best to stay out of situations that are likely to make me vulnerable to such things. I make sure to dress in a way that is not provocative. How is it possible to make sure that one is not being provocative, though, when one can’t read the mind of another.
Dr. Palmatier is correct, one needs to take responsibility for one’s self. One needs to teach one’s children how to protect themselves. One also needs to accept that how one dresses may have very little to do with attracting unpleasant attention. All of this is true for boys and girls. My suspicion is that it is in some ways worse for boys when things like this happen because it simply isn’t discussed as much. If a boy gets unwanted attention, has crude things said to him, has a woman exposing herself to him, the cultural thought seems to be that the boy is lucky, especially if she seduces him. There have been several instances in the news in the last few years of teenage boys who’ve been seduced by grown women. The double-standard there is that men and women tend to think the boy is lucky, not that the boy has been abused. But these things happen to boys and girls. And these things are apt to start with innocuous conversations that escalate to rude comments, so it is possible that it can be difficult to know if someone being rude is going to escalate or if one will be safe in just walking away.
And yes, Dr. Palmatier, it is reality, that the world is not always a safe place. It is reality that all the precautions in the world, in terms of dress, of choosing where you go and who you spend time with, does not guarantee protection.
Denis, thanks for the information about feminists. I’ve never read feminist theory by any feminist. I don’t consider myself to be a feminist.
Dr Tara Palmatier says
I don’t think Denis was dismissing what many women consider unwanted attention. I was harassed just last Saturday night in my local market wearing a turtleneck and a knee-length skirt by some youngish knucklehead in a baseball cap who was probably drunk and/or high. I wasn’t asking for it and I don’t think it was sexual in nature. Immature idiots are immature idiots and they’re everywhere.
On the other hand, many women who dress provocatively are inviting attention and, in fact, get off on it. Women who seek lascivious looks and comments aren’t being harassed. They’re looking for attention and they get it.
Last year, 2 men we’re mugged near my DVD rental shop. No one organized a Take Back the Night Rally for them. They lived in the neighborhood and should have been safe. It was only 11 ‘o’clock at night. Sadly, it happens. Btw, I’ve seen women sexually harass men. Cougars who salivate over men in their 20s. Some people are just boundary-less ignoramuses.
It sucks that you have to take an extra bus connection to get home because otherwise you’d have to go through an unsafe area. Unfortunately, that’s just a fact of life. There are unsafe areas for both men and women and, as responsible adults, both men and women need to take precautions. I think we’re all on the same side here.
In Toronto, women can request a special bus stop at night. A lot of men were complaining because they didn’t want to get mugged either. It’s a valid complaint considering that men are the victims in the majority of violent crimes and forcible rape only accounts for ~7% of all violent crimes.
Women are mugged too. And working in NYC I’ve seen/been approached by aggressive panhandlers who deliberately get close to women, block our paths and yell at us for not giving them money when they’re not doing it to men. They think they’re going to scare us into giving them money. And when a guy passes by, they won’t do it to him. I’m not saying men don’t get aggressively panhandled, because some aggressive panhandlers are equal opportunity, but some deliberately target women because they think we’ll scare easier. I do give to organizations which provide food, etc. for the homeless, I choose not to give on the street.
How many men are followed by women in a car yelling things like “eat my ____” or “I want to f**K” you” or “I want to f*** that ass”? How many times do the cars slow down right at the curb by the men walking and minding their own business? How many men are sexually assaulted by strangers?
Also, making comments in a bar or other public place from a distance is a bit different than actually trying to follow someone in a car or physically trying to block their paths. I’ve experienced both of those. That is threatening and intimidating because you wonder if it’s going to escalate.
I don’t dress in revealing clothes, I watch what hours I’m out, where I go and if I’m out late at night, I’ll spend for a cab vs. taking public transit. And I still have to put up with this bullshit. When I’m doing everything I can to be safe and I still have to put up with this and so do many of the other women I know, that’s when it becomes a problem. WE ARE TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR OUR SAFETY.
During one commute, a man came up and grabbed a woman from behind. I thought she knew him until she started screaming. He let go of her but then stood right by her saying what are you going to do about it. I called 911 for her and found a police officer in the crowd and helped ID the guy. They didn’t arrest him and they didn’t even hold him temporarily in the terminal’s police station. What are women supposed to do, buy a freakin’ Brinks truck with a periscope and call it “the most certainly not asking for it mobile” to go about our daily lives?
I think we both agree the “slut walks” are counterproductive. They made sure the issue won’t be taken seriously.
One interesting point you may want to make for a future entry is PDs and street harassment. The PDs in my family actually seem to enjoy the attention. I don’t know how typical that is of the PDed. After one guy blocked my and my mother’s path and described what he wanted to do to me sexually, he looked at my mom and said, “and your friend too” After we got out of the situation, she was smiling this goofy smile and said, “he thought I was your friend, he thought I was your age.” How FUBAR. I was in my 20s and coming from a temp job in the financial district so I was pretty conservatively dressed. It was around 6pm or so in the summer, so it was still light out in a busy area. Mom was dressed for work too.
PS as for after hours request a stop, the MTA for NYC Transit is non-gender specific, from its website:
“Request a Stop
Bus customers who travel between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. can Request-a-Stop. Ask the bus operator to let you off anywhere along the route, even if it isn’t a designated stop. The bus operator will comply as long as he or she thinks it’s a safe location. This bus will still make all regularly scheduled stops.”
The only time I ever experienced any gender difference was when a rapist was targeting women at bus stops in my area. It was before 10pm and the driver asked me if I wanted to request a stop in light of what was going on. He as willing to let me off at a non-designated spot if I felt safer. The stop I use is well lit and near stores, so I figured it was the safest option and declined his offer.
I think we agree on a lot of things. There are a lot of assholes in the world. When a stranger says something you don’t like in public, you have a choice to respond and walk away, it’s not a crime. When you’re trapped with an asshole, and assaulted that’s a different story. I’m not optimistic of any change in culture, Sluts beget douchebags, but there are even more assholes in the world who interfere with people’s lives.
Too much? I’ll tone it down, but the words are very descriptive and I’m also sympathetic to the world that my daughters will inherit.
Mr. E says
Dave Chappelle had a bit about this kind of thing. Obviously, it’s not safe for work unless you’ve got headphones on. http://youtu.be/8K1KHqi9bXc
I think the Constable stepped in it and should have made his point in a different way. Saying “don’t dress like sluts” really does sound like “she asked for it.”
I also have a hard time believing these are serious protests – seems more like street theater pranks. “Wouldn’t it be funny if we protested for slut rights?” It’s like the no pants subway ride. If they were serious, I think they obscured their message through the delivery.
But the need for clear communication of ideas regularly takes a back seat to fighting dumb with dumb.
My guess is the movement would have started in Seattle. After all, they have the South Lake Union Trolley. There unofficial motto is “Ride the S.L.U.T.” Maybe they can ride for free on parade day.
I lived in the Puget Sound area for over 20 years and things like this were a constant source of amusement….
Hi Dr Tara J. Palmatier,
I love your stuff.
Hi Dr Tara,
What he said was wrong IMO. It blames the woman for the sexual assult instead of the criminal. Rape is not due to a woman’s dress. That statement also puts woman in danger by reinforcing the idea that they are safe if they dress conservatively.
We ALL should have common sense with safety – but even if we do not – it’s still wrong to blame the victim.
I agree with your point that a woman should not lie or accuse a man of rape if she had consensual sex with him. False accusations is a different issue than what the march was about.
BTW I dress very conservatively and I dont think women should ever be referred to in a demeaning way in public with words like slut. I would have responded in a different way – but I think the girl’s are right in being angered over his comment.
Saw this link…
Disconnect from reality in my opinion.
Having investigated my share of sex assaults and reading a good number of reports from other similar crimes, almost half of the reported rapes are misreported, many are entirely fictitious.(This is in the realm of those of legal age to consent. No children or other oddball stuff)
Mode of dress has little or nothing to do with rape. Rape is a crime of opportunity. The offender looks for the opportunity to do the crime. Putting oneself in a position or mental state that reduces situational awareness is the biggest contributing factor to sex assault. Simply put…If you go out and get stupid sloppy drunk bad things will happen (eventually), up to and including getting raped.
This is funny. Dave Chapelle is even funnier on you tube talking about women dressing like sluts. He asks why they dress like sluts and then say “just because I dress like a slut doesn’t make me a slut!” He then goes on to wonder if it would be OK for him to dress like a police officer and when someone runs up to him needing help or protection to say “just because I dress like a police officer doesn’t make me a police officer”. He is a really funny guy and he seems to understand women like this very well.
If I had to guess their point, I’d say they are reacting to the idea that a woman dressing like a slut is somehow a direct cause of rape. They are basically turning an off-the-cuff comment in questionable taste into a gigantic strawman.
There is a world of difference between saying that something is 100% your fault and suggesting there are things you could do to prevent it. If you never wash your hands after going to the bathroom, you put yourself at risk for getting sick. It’s not a guarantee you’ll get sick and if you do there are other factors beyond your control so even if you increase a risk factor, no one would say that getting sick is 100% your fault.
Similarly, you could practice near perfect hygiene and still get sick. Doesn’t mean you shouldn’t wash your hands.
Same thing with sexual assault. You could walk around all but naked and blind drunk every day and it’s not a guarantee you’ll be sexually assaulted and even if you are, there are other factors involved beyond your control so no one would say it’s all your fault. Or you could dress sensibly, watch your intoxication levels while you are out and behave in a generally responsible manner and still get sexually assaulted. Doesn’t mean you shouldn’t lower your own risk factors by behaving sensibly.
I think that’s what the man was trying to point out. It’s a valid point and honestly as a woman I find it more comforting than not that there are things I can do to lower my risk of assault.
December 6 1989 will forever be etched in my brain as it was the date of the Montreal Massacre at Ecole Polytechnique, an engineering university. Marc Lepine entered the university, separated the men from the women and eventually shot and killed 14 women and then himself. He felt alientated by society, angry that women had taken his place at this school, yadda yadda.
Of course all Canadians, and beyond, were horrified.Some feminist groups hijacked this horrendous event by suggesting that this incident symbolized the violence and opression against women (or “wimmin” they would write to omit “men” from the word).
They organised a “TAKE BACK THE NIGHT” walk. They specifically excluded men from these marches, despite many men being keen to take part.
My opinion? All Marc Lepine did was symbolize that Marc Lepine was a NUT.
This made me so angry! Sure, Lepine specifically targeted women during his rampage, but the 14 who died were not the only victims. Perhaps this is sexist, but I think that most men are instinctively protective of women and to witness this powerlessly is beyond imagination. At least one male student committed suicide due to his guilt, his parents followed up by doing the same as they couldn’t cope with their loss.
What Constable Sanguinetti said was outrageous and stupid. What he said symbolized nothing more than the outrageous stupidity of Constable Sanguinetti.
If his comments were indicative of the attitude of the Toronto Police Service then that needs to be addressed. But I’m not certain what these “slutwalks” are trying to accomplish except that they look like a great fun girlie night out! But fighting for the “right” to dress like a slut? Sorry, but I’m confused.
I think men should organize male-only marches for the right to wear stained track suits to the office. NO MORE NECKTIE OPPRESSION!