Thursday, March 28, 2019

Fashion, meet reality. It's not nice.

I note that a debate has been sparked over the appropriateness of women's leggings in certain settings.

In her lengthy rant, “The Leggings Problem,” White rues the day they “obtruded painfully on my landscape” during a Mass service last fall. She details being overcome with shame over what she viewed as the flaunted female form.

“In front of us was a group of young women, all wearing very snug-fitting leggings and all wearing short-waisted tops,” White whined. “Some of them truly looked as though the leggings had been painted on them … Leggings are so naked, so form fitting, so exposing. Could you think of the mothers of sons the next time you go shopping and consider choosing jeans instead?”

It took less than 24 hours before Irish 4 Reproductive Health, a campus nonprofit group, organized a clap back to the mad mama’s manifesto. The group declared March 26 “Leggings Pride Day,” and encouraged people of all genders to post pics of themselves wearing their skin-tight garments on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

“While well-intentioned, White’s viewpoint perpetuates a narrative central to rape culture in implying that womxn [sic] and girls are responsible for the actions and reactions of others,” organizers posted on Facebook. “She argues that ‘girls’ at Notre Dame ought to change the way they dress to avoid attention from ‘unsavory guys who are looking at [people who wear leggings] creepily’ and in order to protect ‘nice guys who are doing everything to avoid looking’ at people wearing leggings.”

“We wanted … to remind people that leggings are absolutely OK, and you’re allowed to dress your body in whatever way you see fit,” Anne Jarrett, who helped organize the protest, told TODAY Style.

There's more at the link.

I have a message for those feminists (and others) who protest the "narrative central to rape culture ... that womxn [sic] and girls are responsible for the actions and reactions of others".  You're theoretically correct, but in the real world, the one we live in, you couldn't possibly be more off beam.

You see, ladies, I've worked as a prison chaplain, both part-time and full-time.  I've worked with literally hundreds of rapists and violent men, over more than two decades, in at least eight prisons.  I've listened to their conversations, both with me and with their fellow convicts.  I know how they think - and they think of you as so much meat on the hoof.  They don't give a damn about your individuality, your femininity, your right to self-expression, or your right to "dress your body in any way you see fit".  They see your clothes as advertising the kind of person you are - and they'll have no hesitation whatsoever in taking advantage of that.  Are you showing nipples beneath a skimpy top, or displaying "camel toe"?  As far as they're concerned, you've just made yourself a target.

In prison, one routinely hears comments like these from convicted rapists:
  • "The bitch was askin' for it!  You could see her **** right through her clothes!"
  • "Damn, she was jigglin' an' wobblin' as she ran.  She weren't wearin' anythin' under her top.  Sure knew what she wanted, right away!"
  • "She's a damn ho.  Ho's need to be shown who's boss."
  • "You let bitches flaunt what they got to everyone, pretty soon you got nothin' for yourself."
  • "It's a man's world.  It ain't theirs."

You think I'm exaggerating?  I'm not.  Those comments are paraphrases of what I heard, day in, day out, over literally years.  There were others, a lot less printable, that I haven't bothered to paraphrase.  Suffice it to say that, whether women like it or not, and no matter how wrong or politically incorrect it may be, there is a class of sexual predator that will judge them on the basis of what they're wearing - and will act or react accordingly.

It's also important to note the context about which the writer of the letter complained:  namely, a university campus.  It's a relatively high-risk area for rape compared to a typical suburban street.  The US Bureau of Justice Statistics' 1991 report "Female Victims of Violent Crime" (link is to an Adobe Acrobat document in .PDF format) analyzed the statistics of rape and came to various conclusions.  Among them were:
  • Women age 16 to 24 were 3 times more likely to be raped than other women. This age pattern was similar for black and white women.
  • Women who lived in places like dormitories, halfway houses, and boarding houses and those in apartment houses with four or more units were more likely to be raped than were other women.
Both factors are present in abundance on university campuses - precisely where leggings and similarly revealing clothing are also abundant.

Studies have also shown that "drinking, drug use, and frequenting public places late at night increase the chances of victimization, because these “high-risk” activities tend to create opportunities for criminals".  Where is one most likely to find such activities?  On and near university and college campuses, that's where.  Young female students, intent on having a good time, living in a "wear-what-you-want, do-as-you-please" feminist campus culture, often make easy targets, because so many of them are oblivious to reality.  That's made worse by their choice of clothing, among other factors.

Ladies, you're free to insist on your rights and privileges all you want.  I'll fully support your right to do so.  However, there are men out there - more than a few of them - who regard revealing women's clothing as an open invitation to make use of what its wearers are advertising.  They don't give a damn about your individuality or your femininity or your freedom of choice.  As far as they're concerned, you're a "ho" or a "bitch", and you exist to satisfy their needs.  That's all.

Please think of that next time you're tempted to dress in such a way, and consider whether your choices may not be putting you at greater risk of harm.  Please think doubly hard about your children, and the choices you allow - and encourage - them to make, and the education you provide them about the pitfalls of life.  If all they're ever taught is "My body, my choice", some of them are in for a very rude and painful awakening indeed.  That may not be "fair" or "right" or "just", but it sure as hell is reality.



McChuck said...

If they're putting it on display, it's because they want you to look. They are actively advertising their sexuality.

Predators stalk dorms for the same reason they rob banks - that's where the money is. And of course young women are the most likely to be raped - they're the most attractive.

1 Timothy 2:
8 I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.

9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;

10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.

11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.

12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

Aesop said...

"You can ignore reality, but you cannot ignore the consequences of ignoring reality." - Ayn Rand

And when you're pinned to the ground beneath some waste of skin and oxygen, in the process of being raped, remembering the missives about "Rape Culture" from your Victim Studies professor will be cold comfort.

Women (they're clearly not "ladies") should also stop perpetuating the feminut "Stupid Culture", put some clothes on, and pull their noses out of their Twitter twaddle and their heads out of their back end, and pay attention to what's going on around them. Carrying a weapon and learning how to use it isn't a bad second chapter.

Or, continue to walk around near-naked, dumb, and happy, and get an education in reality that will start in the bushes, and end in the exam room of the ER getting a rape kit processed while talking to detectives. Or, simply dead afterwards.

It's a free country like that.

urbane legend said...

"drinking, drug use, and frequenting public places late at night increase the chances of victimization,

But that's where the funs is, that's where the " in group " is. Those of you attending a university, didn't you go there to get a degree, preferably one that will make you useful to society? Maybe you should reconsider your goals and values.

And I am sorry, but I am a man and can't help it. Men are visual. Nearly naked women, provocatively dressed women get our attention. We don't become analysts and thinkers until we see something. BTW, this happens with cars and boats and guitars and everything we take an interest in. We see it first, then get interested.

Most of us control ourselves. But, as our host noted, many won't.

B said...

So would it be OK for "ladies" to go to church bottomless? Topless? I mean, what is the difference?
How about if they were wearing only body paint? Would that be "absolutely OK"?

At some point, clothing is for more than protection from the elements.

Unknown said...

Thank you for this article Peter.

It reminded me of this sad story:

Nohbody said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nohbody said...

As an aside, I can't help but notice that those who object to women being "responsible for the actions and reactions of others", like in the quoted NY Post article, are often themselves quite happy to hold all men responsible for the actions and reactions of jerks (not my first word choice, but the "polite company" one) like the kind mentioned being in prison

C. S. P. Schofield said...

Ladies, you certainly should dress how you please. But among your fellow humans are a number of feral hairless apes, and like all animals they respond to what behavioral scientists call 'mating displays'. It is your absolute right to refuse a suitor. But, please, obtain and practice with the means to put an emphatic lead exclamation-point at the end of a "No!".

Buy a gun. Learn how to use it. Practice. And keep in mind at all time; Ira Einhorn was a Liberal Poster Boy...and murdered his girlfriend and kept her dead body in a trunk in his apartment. Just because a male has impeccable Progressive/Left credentials does not mean he isn't feral.

Peter B said...

Try googling "clothing as communication." 533,000,000 hits.

This popped up in a related search:

"Numerous studies have shown that men overestimate the sexual intent of women based on their clothing style; however, this hypothesis has not been assessed empirically in a natural setting. This small field study measured the time it took for men to approach two female confederates sitting in a tavern, one wearing suggestive clothes and one wearing more conservative clothes. The behavior of 108 men was observed over 54 periods on 16 different nights in two different taverns. The time it took for the men to approach after initial eye contact was significantly shorter in the suggestive clothing condition. The men were also asked by male confederates to rate the likelihood of having a date with the women, and having sex on the first date. The men rated their chances to have a date and to have sex significantly higher in the suggestive clothing condition. Results are discussed with respect to men's possible misinterpretation that women's clothing indicates sexual interest, and the risks associated with the misinterpretation."

Good communications practice requires congruence between message sent and message received; that requires that the sender have accurate knowledge, either implicit or explicit, of the real world audience.

Women's clothing sends messages to other women – and to men. What happens when a woman has been taught from childhood that certain clothing does not send that message but some male members of the public disagree – and belong to subcultures that express disagreement violently and enforce dominance hierarchies violently?

Tom Grey said...

Do NOT blame the victim!
I agree. And yet,
when I hear that a car was left unlocked, with the keys in it,
and a rotten thief steals it.
1) I blame the criminal thief.
2) I think the owner of the car was stupid.
NOT blameless.

How one dresses is part of the way one communicates with the world. Sexy clothes means: "I'm sexy (maybe too sexy for my own good) ..."

Getting good attention means also getting bad attention. That's often not smart.

Sue in Oregon said...

I read the article that “Unknown” provided a link for those that were interested. I read it and all I have to say is “What in the heck did she think was going to happen?”. Two naked bodies, steamy hot water, the smallness of the space, probably someone said something about washing each other’s back, the slippery sudsy feel of a wet and naked body......... None of this is said in the article, but if I - another female - can paint this picture in my mind.......what in the world do you think a male could imagine????? Especially if he is ‘in the moment’! Even if you consider yourself to be right in your choice please remember that there will always be unintended consequences. Some more consequential than others. Women need a “reason” to have sex; a male only needs a “place”.

Sam L. said...

IIRC, it was two days ago that Instapundit had a post about "camel toe" undies and a link to Amazon. Coulda been 3 days.

Will said...

I'm curious as to how those convicted rapists were viewed by their fellow prison inmates. I have heard about the dislike of child predators in those settings, and I'm wondering, is there is any carryover in their perspectives?

Peter said...

@Will: Most of the more violent inmates I knew referred to women in derogatory fashion, even if they weren't rapists. They may not have approved of rape in their own consciences, but they certainly didn't display that reaction towards the rapists. Rape is, after all, a dominance thing more than a sexual thing, and most violent criminals are after domination in one form or another.

Child abuse was, of course, another matter. We often had to incarcerate such convicts with false paperwork, so that the true nature of their crime wasn't immediately obvious to other prisoners - because if it had been, they might not have survived their first few days on the yard.

Dad29 said...

"Irish 4 Reprod....." happens to be a pro-abortion bunch, which will tell you all you need to know about them.