"The women of Bikini Kill let guitarist Billy Karren be in their feminist punk band, but only if he's willing to just "do some shit." Being a feminist dude is like that. We may ask you to "do some shit" for the band, but you don't get to be Kathleen Hannah."--@heatherurehere

Monday, July 17, 2006

These Creeps think about sex more than I do, and I'm a 16 year old boy. (part one)


I'm sick to death of hearing calls for greater modesty among women. First there's the obvious argument--the injustice of it all, the artifical definitions of mdoesty, the unwillingness to consider practicality, the use of "modesty" as a tool of oppression.

On top of that, I find it personally insulting that anyone would try to blame women for my (hypothetical) trespasses. You know why? because I intend them to be hypothetical. blaming women for inciting lust implies that men will be lustful, and that it's completely out of men's control.

But neither of those points, important as they are, as commonly heard in the feminist blogosphere, is what I'm writing about today. Because reading another impassioned speech on the topic of feminine modesty, whether by Bishop Yanta, a troll over Hugo's, or an (Am)Taliban official never fails to raised another question in my mind, one far mroe disturbing:

What the fuck is wrong with these people? It absolutely defies my ability to comprehend. Every time someone writes a cautionary tale about the all-consuming lust inspired by the mere sight of a belly shirt, some leg, a bit of cleavage, or, you know, an ankle, I find myself trying desperately to understand what is going through his head.

I always fail. Now, I may have lived a somewhat sheltered life--as a middle-class suburban homeschooled teen, I imagine the mode fo dress I'm accustomed to seeing is rather reserved. But I'm no stranger to the female form. I watch movies, filled though they are with supermodel/actresses. I play video games and own D&D books, filled though both with grotesque distortions of the female form and utterly pandemic immodesty. My female friends may be homeschooled, but they aren't nuns. At parties especially, thighs, bellies and breasts are usually in evidence, if not abundance.

So it's with some confidence that I'm able to proclaim that I don't know what the hell the Fashion Priests are complaining about.

I've never lost my respect for a girl (or woman) because of her dress. I've never been tempted to impropriety by someone's dress. Surprisingly enough, I do my best to judge people by something toher than their clothing. If anything, I especially respect those willing to defy the Powers That Be and dress the way they want to, since it implies to me they might be independant in other ways. In any case,, treating less-dressed people decently isn't even some great act fo self-control, it's jsut a non-issue.

I've never been distracted by a person's apparel. I mean, how hard is it really not to look? maybe the mod(esty) squad are just too easily distractable, but when I'm working, I'm generally concentrating on my work, not my neighbor's clothes. And because ym gaze frequently wanders--away from the person i'm talking to--I know full well it's quite possible to have a conversation without looking, if it's that cold-shower-inducing.

But I think It's safe to say more than that: I have never--not once in the sixteen years of my life-- had lustful thoughts as a result of someone's (lack of) clothing. I honestly find it a rather alien mindset: A girl's clothing barely registers with me, unless I'm already attracted to her. And the single biggest factor in how attracted I am to a girl is how well I know her. (I'd like to think it's because I find people's inners selves attractice. a less flattering hypothesis would be that I only get to know a girl if I find her attractive)

Like many of the issues about which Conservatives get worked up, I just don't get it. Are America's champions of sexual purity the most easily aroused among us? Girls in our group started showing thier bellies --the boys' academic performance did not suffer. Girls have shown up at dances in miniskirts--no sexual orgies ensued. I've seen pictures of naked ladies-- They were aesthetically intriguing, no more.

To every woman who belives male self-control is destroyed by skimpy clothes-- to every man who claims to slightest bit of skin sends him into an all-encompassing lust-- and most of all, to every priest whose attention is spent as much on the church's less clothed girls as on his sermons-- I ask: what the fuck is wrong with you?
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