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Sydney

I had a couple of thoughts, and it occurs to me that none are really related..... but here goes anyway!

I have found it weird when women who dressed sexy complained about the male attention they received because of their appearance. I love getting compliments on how I look. On the extreme, I also have a fair number of female friends who claim to enjoy it when men whistle at them.

I have always found it weird when men complained about the distraction that "sexy" women impose on their lives. My personal (though not generalizable) experience has been that men who call women sluts are usually just mad because they don't have a chance with them.

All of this makes me wonder whether these restrictions on female dress were really actually initially imposed by women, who didn't want some harlot who looked better (or just different) to steal their men.

Worth pondering....


Tango Man

Sydney,

I have found it weird when women who dressed sexy complained about the male attention they received because of their appearance. I love getting compliments on how I look. On the extreme, I also have a fair number of female friends who claim to enjoy it when men whistle at them.

Did you ever consider that your appreciation of compliments is really a testament to how thoroughly you've been brainwashed by "THE PATRIARCHY?" Consider:
:

Pro-feminist men must recognize that men constantly use compliments to gain access to women, and that that is a fundamentally destructive dynamic. How many bad pick-up lines start with overzealous praise of a woman's appearance? Men use these lines because as hackneyed as they are, they know sometimes they work. By the time they reach college, most men recognize that a great many women are deeply and profoundly hungry for praise, and by offering that praise, guys will be able to gain an opening. When men praise the beauty of women they barely know, they are employing an old patriarchal strategy that preys upon a serious vulnerability.

Keeping in mind that we're analyzing this phenomona through a filter of advanced feminist theory, so perhaps we're all not aware of the fact that telling a woman that she's hot is a tool of the patriarchy.

The Happy Feminist

Right on, Tango Man! (I am choosing to take you literally even though I know you actually meant your post to be a criticism of the idea you quoted.)

I am not a big fan of people complimenting my appearance outside the context of a romantic relationship or very close personal friendship. I am sure that some women enjoy this but I always find myself thinking, "Who do you think you are, stranger on the street or vaguely casual acquaintance, to openly assess and comment on my appearance? It's a bit presumptuous don't you think?"

These kinds of "compliments" are patriarchal in that they (a) place disproportionate value on the woman's looks and (b) presume that any random guy has the right to openly assess a woman's looks. And, I don't care if there are some women who like it, whistling at a woman on the street is wrong because it is disruptive and intrusive. It implies that I am there to be looked at rather than there for some object of my own.

By the way, the ideas I am expressing in this comment are not only feminist but also deeply traditionalist as well.

TangoMan

Happy,

I'm glad that I was able to lob the softball so that you could hit it out of the park.

Let me ask you this - if you put some effort into a task, or take pride in something, and I notice your effort or pride and I complement you on what is important to you, am I reinforcing my values system or yours? Let's say you pride yourself on your intellectual acumen as a lawyer and I complement you on a well argued case or a well written brief - should you take offense because your intellect or your performance as a lawyer is none of my damn business?

The Happy Feminsit

Alright, the top four comments are from the prior thread originally and have been moved to this thread. I will now try to add the appropriate link TangoMan had in his originally comment. Meanwhile, proceed to discuss. I'll try to answer TangoMan's questions in a few minutes.

will

Didnt we already have a very long discussion about this topic?

I guess I should stop complimenting opposing counsel on her fabulous cleavage.

I kind of like not having any real idea what HappyF looks like. My image of her is totally based on her personality. (yes, hairy, grumpy, mean-spirited, always frowning, with amazingly large biceps and a six pack).

The Happy Feminist

Yes! I think there was a long thread at Hugo's (that you and I participated in) that was far more illuminating than what I've been able to jot down today.

Richard

>>>I am not a big fan of people complimenting my appearance outside the context of a romantic relationship or very close personal friendship. … It's a bit presumptuous don't you think?"

Really? If I see someone wearing something that I think looks particularly good, I might say it. (I’ll say it to men too, like, “Nice tie” or “Cool shirt”.) However, I do distinguish between comments on clothing or accessories, and comments on bodies. I would never, for instance, say “nice legs/butt/eyes, etc” to a woman that does seem to cross a line to me. But, hey, if she’s *wearing* something that’s attractive and the situation is casual, why not?


will

Richard:

Shame on you. You know that "nice tie" means "I want to jump you and do naughty things with you."

Tamakazura

One thing I notice a lot in my office - mostly between women - is the comments along the line of "oh, you look nice!" These are usually more related to the clothing one is wearing than to the actual physical appearance of the person being complimented, but I'm not sure where this fits into the picture.


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