Been out. It's not pretty out there. My feminist views are challenged tonight.

(346 Posts)
dummad Sun 27-Jan-13 01:22:29

Hello, just a quickie coz I'm a bit drunk.

I've been out tonight in a bar in town - a trendy bar. Getting to the point, I'm disappointed ladies. I'm disappointed in what I've seen. Why do young women stand around dressed up like a dog's dinners looking bored out of their minds out of choice? I'm trying very hard not to think it, but I'm on the slippery slope of thinking women don't help themselves be taken seriously when they portray themselves the way they do. I know it's about choice and whatnot, but why CHOOSE to look like little fuck toys if you don't have to? Sorry. I just find it difficult to fly the feminist flag after what I've seen tonight. It's like young women don't give a flying toss about being empowered. They all look the same - tarty, vacuous and vacant. ALL of them. Hundreds of them. There wasn't one young lady in the place tonight without a horrendously short skirt on and killer heals. One group got out of the taxi and had garters tattood around her upper thigh. The men in the queue outside hardly batted an eyelid but one was there making sort of animal gestures to them like he was in a zoo. Maybe that's the sort of reaction these girls wanted.

In the bar guys couldn't even be bothered to approach the women by the looks of it. For two hours we were in there and I didn't see any notable, interaction between the sexes. Of course you'll never get a guy complaining about the way the girls look - they just lap it all up from a distance - it's all just laid out for them and saves the entry fee into the local lap dancing club I guess. They don't give a shit. Sluttier the better in their view. Why the hell don't women today backlash against it? I'd understand if it were a few of them like that but it was all of them. I'm sure they're intelligent, well bought up girls as well. So can't blame it on ignorance/ upbringing or whatever. They are a fucking disgrace.

You know what - I want you to put me right. I want you to tell me I'm wrong and there is hope and that women are aspiring for empowerment and campaign that they are respected as equals. It's up to them isn't it? They are the next generation after all. Don't they honestly care about their place in society? Don't they want to improve things like misrepresentation in the media and violence against women and lower wages etc? Don't they want to be taken seriously? Is this what has happened when women are contented? Is this what we choose to be by default? If so, it's no wonder men look down on us.

Tryharder Sun 27-Jan-13 02:14:16

I agree with you. Generally the men look like shit as well, scruffy, unshaven, unkempt with the women all dressed up vying for attention.

I remember going out in the 80s and there being a sort of competitive dress-down feel amongst the women. We all wore trainers and jeans and hoodies, barely any make up. Anyone with too much make up on was seen as having tried too hard.

LineRunner Sun 27-Jan-13 02:19:29

I'd need to know your sample size here.

Lighthousekeeping Sun 27-Jan-13 02:21:07

I don't know what twentysomething women think about either its like feminism went over their heads. At my work place they are obbsessed with that book 50 shades and they cannot get their heads around why I don't get it.

Can I ask which part if the country you are in OPbecause sometimes the dress code depends were you are I'm clutching at straws here

Booyhoo Sun 27-Jan-13 02:24:44

i dont know about you but i dont go out to 'pull' men so anything i wear or dont wear is not chosen for that purpose. any tattoos i have are not for the benefit of men i pass on a night out. any interaction or lack of that you may see between me and a man on a night out is not intended to start any sort of relationship or even ONS. what makes you think all those people (men and women!) were out to attract the opposite sex? what's wrong with just being out? confused

Lighthousekeeping Sun 27-Jan-13 02:32:01

Probably the kind of bar you went to tonight is not the sort of places you would've gone out to with your mates years ago when you wore hoodies and little make up. They have always been there though!! I do think it depends where you went to as to how the women dressed up. For them maybe it's seen as "making an effort" and not to pull men in particular?

Booyhoo Sun 27-Jan-13 02:37:31

i agree lighthouse.

in my town there are loads of bars all with different types of patrons (is that the word?) there are 2 bars about 3 doors away from each other. one of them is well known for being full of lots of younger customers, girls all in skirts and heels, boys with groomed hair and all the trendy shirts and shoes. the other one is pretty much anything goes. you can wear heels with a hoody, leather and chains, full make-up, no make-up, gothic make-up. (i like it in there! grin)

Hmm. I spent my early 20s dressing like that and reading feminist discourse options at uni. For me, then, there wasn't a contradiction. Now I feel differently, but my 20-something self would probably be horrified at how my life choices have since accommodated a man's.

Mind you, it's a bloody long time since I went to s bar like that, so things may have changed somewhat!

Lighthousekeeping Sun 27-Jan-13 02:39:40

I want to go there! grin

Booyhoo Sun 27-Jan-13 02:44:54

it is a good bar, because of the weed it's so relaxed. never any fights. grin

WidowWadman Sun 27-Jan-13 08:14:19

Why shouldn't men and women wear whatever the fuck they like to wear. How is dressing in hoodies with no make up as to not look like a 'fuck toy' any less conforming to stereotypes and expectations than wearing short skirts and killer heels?

It's just a different uniform.

AshokanFarewell Sun 27-Jan-13 09:11:07

I know the thread has moved on a bit but as a young woman I thought I would address some of the points in your first post.

This is one of the reasons I don't really enjoy going out to bars and clubs. I would usually wear a long top and leggings or a just above the knee dress with a jacket (or cardigan!) but I feel very overdressed. I usually wear flat shoes too as I think I'd injure myself walking in the kind of shoes most of the young women wear, plus my feet would hurt so much at the end of the night. There is an expectation that all young women will dress that way though and as much flesh should be on show as possible. Personally I wouldn't feel very attractive like that, I'd rather leave something to the imagination! (not such a poplar view with my partner!).

I've found that a lot of my peers just do not care about feminism. I've personally been on the receiving end of quite nasty jibes about body hair hmm simply for making a vaguely feminist suggestion. I suppose in some ways our lives are already a lot easier and we do have more equality than our mothers and grandmothers did so there is less incentive perhaps. I also think that there is an attitude of "what more do you want?!" from those sections of society that resist equality, and I think the message to young women is that they already have equality and there's no need to campaign for more.

Most disturbingly I found an awful lot of victim-blaming and double standards among women my age at university. Women who were raped or attacked were "probably asking for it" or "making it up". Someone in our halls made an allegation of rape, I don't know who she was but the security service emailed to ask anyone with information to come forward. A friend of a friend knew the accused male. Out of a group of eight people, only me and one guy did not take the attitude that she was probably lying. All the others said she had probably made it up because she regretted having sex with him! That really shocked me. There was a similar attitude to other rape incidents.

I had another friend who hit it off with a young man in a club and went back to her flat with him. They chatted a bit and then she felt a bit unwell and he left and went home. She didn't see him again. However a rather nasty gossip from our block was chatting to my flatmate and thought this friend had led the guy on by inviting him back to her flat and not having sex with him, even if she felt unwell, and that she should at least have given him a blowjob! I was so taken aback I didn't really know what to say and ended up blustering about how she felt unwell but now I wish I'd said something much stronger.

I believe we all have the right to choose what we want to wear but unfortunately our choices aren't made in isolation, we are influenced by so many things and there is a lot of peer pressure. It may be a choice between wearing something I feel comfortable in but being mocked by my peers, or wearing something I feel uncomfortable in and attracts unwanted attention but that allows me to fit in with the group.

dummad Sun 27-Jan-13 09:51:10

Just checking I can post from my phone.

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Sun 27-Jan-13 10:11:58

Dummad, did you mean to sound so woman-hating?

Ashokan, I'm really sorry that your friends are saying the things they are sad

dummad Sun 27-Jan-13 10:18:17

Don't get me wrong here. I am not suggesting any woman should dress in a certain way. And I made no reference to hoodies/no make up in my post. I support choice but what I wonder at is that now there are choices for women, women choose to objectify themselves.

I think dressing up to go out is a good thing to do. Everyone should want to look their best if they want to. But there is a big difference between, say, a LBD and the basque/hotpants combos last night I saw. (I'm in the south east BTW).

One poster says if they want to dress like that and not speak to men then that's their right. Of course it is, but then why on earth go out dressed in such a sexually provocative way if it ISN'T to get the attention of men? That doesn't make sense to me.

It makes me sad to think young women today don't tend to care about deeper societal issues regarding feminism and improving their place in the world, as suggested in this thread.

If we all pulled together we could take things to the next step, equal pay, making misogyny a hate crime like racism, improving our representation in the media etc. But it looks as if we're in the midst of a set back because we don't care enough.

I just want to say that I am not telling anyone what to wear or behave. Merely pointing out for the feminist argument that because of the choices being made it's not men standing in the way of our progress, it's women.

And I don't buy into the argument that it's the media that makes them do it. That's lame. We should be able to stand up to it and do what we want to do. No magazine told me what to look like when I was 17. I did my own thing. The only conclusion I can think of is that given the choice this IS what women want to do. That now some battles have been won portraying themselves as vulnerable sex objects that have nothing more to contribute. It doesn't say much about our gender does it?

dummad Sun 27-Jan-13 10:22:10

Doctrine, you know what? I'm not sure because I'm not sure what 'woman' stands for to be honest. I thought I loved our gender but I'm feeling totally disappointed by it right now. I don't HATE anything though. It's just my frustration coming through at the naivity and lack of awareness/concern from what seems to be a growing minority of us.

WidowWadman Sun 27-Jan-13 10:24:09

"One poster says if they want to dress like that and not speak to men then that's their right. Of course it is, but then why on earth go out dressed in such a sexually provocative way if it ISN'T to get the attention of men? That doesn't make sense to me. "

Maybe they just like the look. At least that's what was my reason when I used to go out dressing very provocatively. And if anybody chose to use my attire as a reason to treat me without respect, may it be verbally or by groping, they'd got an earful straightaway.

It's not the women who dress 'provocatively' for want of a better word that are in the wrong, it's those who think that they do it for anyone else but themselves.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Sun 27-Jan-13 10:25:36

How do you know that they don't care about feminism and equal rights and careers? Did you talk to them? Dressing up to go to a bar doesn't nullify your intelligence and achievements and if you don't mind me saying so your post has some real double standards in it.

Some young women do care deeply about feminism - in fact I think today's wave of young feminists are far more engaged than my generation were.

AshokanFarewell Sun 27-Jan-13 10:27:18

Doctrine they're not really friends, just people I lived with in halls. We had little in common! It makes me feel really sad that they think that way and I think if, heaven forbid, any of them were ever sexually assaulted they would be put off reporting it, or would believe it was their fault.

I know I only met a small ish group but unfortunately I think they were fairly representative of a lot of people my age. Of course there are plenty of young women, and men, that don't think this way, but those that do are definitely not a tiny minority.

I do understand where the OP is coming from. It makes me sad to see my very intelligent university friends define themselves by how attractive they are and how much male attention they get, and pretend to be stupid because apparently men like that.

BertieBotts Sun 27-Jan-13 10:33:31

"why on earth go out dressed in such a sexually provocative way if it ISN'T to get the attention of men?"

Because it's the fashion. Because everyone else dresses like that and you'd look out of place if you didn't. Because your friends all dress like that and when getting ready they tell you you look gorgeous in this or that and it makes you feel confident.

If you transported a Victorian lady into a normal shopping centre today (or, okay, on a hotter day than today!) she would probably be horrified by women wandering around in leggings, skirts which come just below the knee, tops which don't button right up to the neck, all normal clothes which we in the 21st century wouldn't consider provocative at all. I know this is an extreme example and I'm not calling you Victorian! But just because you see that way of dress as being aimed at attracting men it doesn't mean they are wearing it for that purpose IYSWIM?

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Sun 27-Jan-13 10:39:24

Ok dummad, it's hard not to read it that way when you call a large group of women "tarty, vacuous and vacant" and "a fucking disgrace"

I've gone out dressed to get the attention of men, or of a specific man i fancied, doesn't make me a "fuck toy" or mean I deserve no respect.

LouMae Sun 27-Jan-13 10:44:05

Have you been locked away in a cave for years? I remember exactly the same from back in the 90s when I was a youngster. It's been this way for years.

Lessthanaballpark Sun 27-Jan-13 11:03:27

"Because it's the fashion. Because everyone else dresses like that and you'd look out of place if you didn't. Because your friends all dress like that and when getting ready they tell you you look gorgeous in this or that and it makes you feel confident."

I agree with this. People often assume that there is some agenda behind what people but a lot of the time I think it's just custom. From wearing veils to mini-skirts, I think that people just over time conform to what people around them wear and they get reinforcement from their group.

The problem only starts when that custom limits the woman's freedom in some way, is uncomfortable or when women feel pressured (media, peer, or otherwise) into wearing something they don't want.

MiniTheMinx Sun 27-Jan-13 12:07:22

<<In the bar guys couldn't even be bothered to approach the women by the looks of it. For two hours we were in there and I didn't see any notable, interaction between the sexes>>

I think the separation along gender lines happens so young that it is deeply ingrained. The situation for young people now is far worse than even a few years ago. Of course there is little interaction past men looking, both sexes are being trained and moulded to fit into these roles, where women's bodies are something to look at. What need do these men have to talk to these women? because they are being socialised to think women have nothing going on between their ears and even if they did, it isn't worth knowing.

I think the situation is likely to lead (in the long run) to more sexual violence against women because men have no interest in acknowledging the humanity of women, we are becoming objectified, reduced to something to look at, something to have sex with and something to provide entertainment.

MamaMary Sun 27-Jan-13 12:25:39

Agree with Minitheminx.

Young women through point and social media are being conditioned to dress and behave like sexual objects, there for men's viewing and pleasure. I'm not surprised a young woman who invited a man to her flat was expected, by others, to give him sexy or a blow job as a matter of course (despite feeling ill). As a female, isn't that her purpose?

When I was a student we mixed with men on a night out, this separation thing sounds strange to me.

I agree that sexual violence against women is only going to get worse, especially if women are dressing like prostitutes and getting drunk. I don't care if it's the 'fashion' (that in itself is worrying as the fashion industry is very influential and powerful). Women should not dress like sexy toys simply because they should have more respect for themselves. That they lack this self-respect is sad, in my view.

Men not only expect women to dress like sexy objects but then despise them for it and use it as another way to put women down by calling them tarts and sluts. There was a feature in the Daily Mail about a young teen who dressed in hot pants etc for her birthday, despite her family's please not to, and was bullied on Facebook for looking like a slut. The question being why did she feel she had to dress like that? There are powerful influence site at work.

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