Feminists Withdrawing from Civilization

Living peaceably together requires some social compromises.

CNN reports that a mother of four sons wrote to The Observer, a student newspaper serving the University of Notre Dame, Saint Mary's, and Holy Cross colleges:

"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?"

"You couldn't help but see those blackly naked rear ends. I didn't want to see them - but they were unavoidable. How much more difficult for young guys to ignore them?"

She was concerned that the entertainment and fashion industries urge women to dress in marketing mode.  This emphasis on physical appearance makes it hard for mothers to teach their sons that women should be respected as worthwhile persons instead of being thought of as purely sexual objects to be enjoyed and discarded as soon as the novelty wears off.  She wanted the girls surrounding college men to create an environment which would make it easier for men to respect them as potential wives instead of just ogling them as eye candy.  A man might look at an exhibitionist, but marry one?

Once upon a time, this would have been a blatantly obvious, uncontroversial point, well founded in thousands of years of experience coping with the basics of human nature.  In our modern feminist times, her well-meant letter was instead taken as an accusation that women's clothes are to blame for men's sexually aggressive behavior.

This inspired students at Notre Dame to create a Facebook event called Leggings Pride Day and to urge students to protest by wearing leggings in class - in other words, doubling down on the behavior this mother requested that they cease or at least moderate.

The protest was started by Anne Jarrett, who sad, "We're protesting our right to not be responsible for men and to not be constantly policed by morals or femininity," [emphasis added]

CNN reported her reaction to the widespread support her protest received:

"I've been surprised by the amount of support that this has gotten from male and masculine-presenting students," Jarrett said. "My guy friends have sent pictures to me in leggings. People in classes have said, 'Look at all of the guys in my class wearing leggings today.'"  [emphasis added]

Without realizing it, the reporters at CNN, Ms. Jarrett, and her fellow classwomen are demonstrating profound ignorance of two concepts which are the true underpinnings of any form of cooperative civilization.

How Men and Women Relate

It's no surprise that Ms. Jarrett has overlooked an important element of the male psyche - she isn't male.  Men and women are very different in their wants and needs, words and deeds, but the PC forces seek to destroy anyone who points this out.

An earlier article explored the vast chasm of misunderstanding between men and women about men's sexual drives, which Ms. Jarrett clearly shares.  It quoted a bewildered young lady whose friend tried to explain how he ranked women who were walking past in terms of their sexual desirability:

"How do you get any work done?" she marvels. "With all this imaginary sex going on in your brain, how do you even drive without smashing into trees?"

Women don't understand that men's eyes and brains have special structures which detect and evaluate a woman's shape, just as a mother's ears work with special circuits in the brain which detect her baby crying.  Neither of these reproductively-essential processes require any thought; the alarm circuits are active all the time in the background and the rest of the brain operates without interference.  When something interesting like a visually-enabled woman or a crying baby enters the scene, however, these circuits automatically raise alarms that get the attention of the rest of the brain.

It used to be fairly well understood that the male of the species inherently likes to look at the female of the species in as much detail as possible with the objective of getting up close and personal as rapidly as possible.  Apparently we've forgotten this, since Ms. Jarrett was so pleasantly surprised at the warm reaction of her male classmates to her exhibitionistic plans.

Of course Ms. Jarrett's male classmates are not merely OK with her wearing leggings, they're totally in favor - she'll be worth looking at during boring moments in class, more so than she otherwise would be!

To be fair, the men aren't thinking it through all the way: as we've reported many times, men can be drawn so powerfully to women that they do silly things.  College-age males are hardly famous for exercising good judgment when it comes to interacting with women in their midst, especially attractively-packaged women.  That's why sensible young ladies attempt to provide the maturity and self-discipline that so many of their male peers have not yet developed - or did, once upon a time.

Balancing Freedom and Responsibility

The choices of Ms. Jarrett and her colleagues don't just affect their male peers, or even merely illustrate the eternal War Between the Sexes.  In a fundamental way, they strike at the very definition of civilization itself.

If you choose to be a hermit and go live off in a cave by yourself, it doesn't matter what you do or how you choose to live: it doesn't affect anybody else, and you can't hurt anyone but yourself.

If human beings insist on living together, though, even if it's just you and me on an otherwise empty island, I must moderate my behavior for your sake and you must moderate yours for my sake, to avoid building anger to the point of killing each other.

We see this throughout life, even at Ms. Jarrett's institution: college roommates have to moderate the volume of their music and other activities to let each other study, to name but one example.  A roommate who insists on blasting music all day and all night will soon find himself the victim of action by his bleary-eyed and angry roommates, even though we would normally suppose that each person has the right to choose what music they prefer, how much, and when.

We can understand why Ms. Jarrett would claim a right not to be responsible for men or for what they do in response to her choice of garment.  It is never OK for men to rape, abuse, or harass women or, as Mr. Biden is finding out, to touch them without permission.  The "Slut Walks" of a few years ago made the same point - even if a woman is stark naked, it does not make her fair game for rapists either morally or legally.

Rape is always wrong regardless of the clothing worn or not worn.  Nevertheless, society has developed various conventions over the years which responsible people tend to follow.  To preserve public order in larger groups, we have many laws that reflect differences between men and women.  These may not seem to follow the logical principles of complete equality and gender fluidity that our modern left demands, but they are based on a great deal of practical experience over the millennia.

Unfortunately, Ms. Jarrett is far from alone in her desire to tear down the safeguards of civilization which separate us from barbarians and beasts.  The New York Times reported a New Hampshire supreme court decision upholding a law which effectively barred women from going topless in public while men were free to do so.

Associate Justice Anna Barbara Hantz Marconi wrote that courts "generally upheld laws that prohibit women but not men from exposing their breasts against equal protection challenges."

We're surprised that this court found such an obvious disparity on the way men and women are treated to still be legal, regardless of how widespread its practice has been throughout history.  The "Free the Nipple" campaign has made great inroads over the years:

A federal judge ruled in October 2017 that a public indecency law in Missouri didn't violate the state constitution by allowing men, but not women, to show their nipples. In 2013, a public nudity ban in San Francisco was also upheld by a federal court. But in February 2017, a federal judge blocked the city of Fort Collins, Colorado, from enforcing a law against women going topless, arguing it was based on gender discrimination.

Ms. Jarrett has the right to wear leggings in class and, in some states and cities, the right to go topless.  She also has both the moral and legal right to not get raped, and nobody is attempting to deny that to her.

Given the fundamental nature of her testosterone-rich male classmates, though, is it a good idea for her to choose to freely exercise the first right regardless of location or situation?  Does her apparent legal right to dress as provocatively as she desires impinge on their right to have a distraction-free class environment, or even their right not to be unreasonably stimulated?

Attractive Nuisance

As society became wealthy enough that swimming pools became common, legislative bodies developed laws about "attractive nuisance."  My swimming pool could attract your child who isn't old enough to know not to trespass on my property.  If you child was hurt at my pool and I hadn't put an adequate fence around it, I was at fault even though your child was committing illegal trespass in being on my property without permission.

Protecting children against attractive nuisances is consistent with the idea that our laws and customs must recognize differences between various classes of people, regardless of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.  Are horny college men and attractive coeds a special class or classes in need of protection from their own immaturity?

A MeToo protagonist who ended up in a dating situation she did not appreciate wailed, "He should have known by my body language that I didn't want to have sex."  Women have been complaining for generations that men don't understand what they say using actual words, and now she's complaining that he didn't understand her body language?

There are other alternatives available: he might have picked up on her body language if she'd slapped him across the face.  This was the traditional approach to repelling unwanted invasions of a woman's personal space, but that, too, seems to have gone out of style.  We note that, so far as we know, nobody's tried it on "Creepy Joe" Biden; they prefer instead to complain via the media months and years after the "unwanted" event.

Would a shapely coed dressed in snug leggings be considered an attractive nuisance, particularly if men were trying to study?  In effect, that's what the letter-writing mother is arguing; the girls, of course, are flatly rejecting the very idea of being limited either by morals or by femininity.

Contributory Negligence

... a doctrine of common law that if a person was injured in part due to his/her own negligence (his/her negligence "contributed" to the accident), the injured party would not be entitled to collect any damages (money) from another party who supposedly caused the accident.

... in the past few decades, most states have adopted a comparative negligence test in which the relative percentages of negligence by each person are used to determine damage recovery (how much money would be paid to the injured person).

Feminists were scandalized when a scantily-clad woman passed out drunk on the ground outdoors, a passing college athlete started having sex with her, and received six months probation instead of a long prison term.  The outrage was sufficient to recall the judge from office, making him the first sitting California judge to be recalled in more than 80 years.  The feminist argument was that men should not rape, period, and that sex with an unconscious woman is always rape because she can't give consent.

We agree totally, and we'll say it again: men should not rape, period!  But we wonder if, just possibly, the idea of contributory negligence should also apply?

Feminists have been arguing that merely suggesting that women be careful not to get drunk at parties is "rape apology" or "excusing rape."  It's not: it's simple common sense.

Other Approaches

All societies face the problem of males becoming strongly interested in women who do not reciprocate.  The mother who wrote The Guardian offered one approach - she urged the women to dress in a less provocative manner.

Far from being extreme, her suggestion occupies the middle ground between the actual two extremes - burkhas and nudity.

Islam teaches that men are so uncontrollably attracted to women that women are required to cover themselves:

It is obligatory for a woman to cover her body and hair from the sight of a non-mahram men (i.e., those with whom she is legally allowed to marry).

It is forbidden for a woman to perfume herself and go outside her home, i.e. it is forbidden that her perfume is noticed by non-mahram men while passing among them or mixing with them.

That's the logic behind Muslim women being commanded to wear the all-encompassing burkha - being able to see the form of a woman is just too much for men to handle, so they shouldn't be expected to.  When Muslim men are exposed for the first time to women in Western dress, it's only natural that they would be compelled to immediately rape them - or so teach the imams, anyway.

Women who think that campus dress codes are too restrictive might be interested in The Canvas Prison which explains how and why burkhas are imposed in Muslim nations.

Naturists take the opposite approach.

Naturism, or nudism, is a cultural and political movement practicing, advocating, and defending personal and social nudity, most but not all of which takes place on private property. The term may also refer to a lifestyle based on personal, family, or social nudism. Naturism may take a number of forms. It may be practiced individually, within a family, socially, or in public. Additionally, there is also militant naturism, including campaigning, and extreme naturism is sometimes considered a separate category.  [emphasis in the original]

The theory seems to be that if young men see female flesh in overwhelming abundance, they'll get tired of it and be less interested in attractive women they see in different contexts.  Given the large fraction of Internet traffic which is dedicated to high-resolution porn, we tend to doubt this - but in fairness, it hasn't been tried to any great extent in a modern Western culture.

The closest we've come is, indeed, places like libertine college campuses.  From the prevalence of complaints about the "hookup culture" and difficulty of creating real relationships, however, license doesn't seem to provide convincing evidence that nudity is a workable solution to men being drawn to women.

In America, Ms. Jarrett has the right to wear whatever leggings she wants.  Men shouldn't heckle her verbally, of course, but what if she walks into class in a spectacular set of sprayed-on leggings and all the men stare intently at her?  Has she the right to be offended at being looked at?

She made a positive free choice to dress in such a way that six thousand years of recorded human history as well as bona-fide scientific research teaches will inevitably result in attracting male attention.  In such a case, when she is, again, freely choosing to display herself in public, do men have a right to look at her regardless of her views on being viewed fervently?

And if all of us are concerned only with exercising each and every one of our technical rights to the fullest possible extent regardless of collateral consequences, do we even have a civilization at all?

Lee Tydings is a guest writer for Scragged.com.  Read other Scragged.com articles by Lee Tydings or other articles on Society.
Reader Comments

I apologise for asking a non-P.C. question, but may we know whether Lee identifies as [with or without inverted commas] male or female? It makes a difference to someone I want to forward this excellent article to.

April 8, 2019 3:01 AM

@Careful Reader - Feel free to exercise your choice of pronoun. I understand that Facebook offers more than 60.

April 8, 2019 6:44 PM

All very well, but when societies and great civilisations collapse, nothing can preserve the women, because they cannot fight. If their menfolk give up then they must entrust themselves to the invader. And generally do, because thay are extremely practical creatures, and the wiser of their their sex KNOW it. The rest are just rape victims without a court. Women do not make history, they ARE history, in the sense that they alone can produce fighting sons. If they are not mastered by men they become even more stupid than the men who do not master them. A man who cannot master a woman is a worthless thing, and a woman who wishes to master a man is a montrousity.

April 9, 2019 4:40 PM

@Mark - Ouch. That's a bit harsh, don't you think?

@Careful Reader - When it comes to the PC pronoun game, the only way to win is not to play. So we'll leave Lee Tydings where s/he is - ambiguous. ;-)

April 10, 2019 6:18 PM

You're missing the big picture concerning the motive of young women. They are putting on fertility displays to attract high value men. The problem they have is low value men are also picking up on their fertility displays. This is what feminists are responding to.

Feminism is simply the pollicization of female nature. The problem they are trying to solve is low value men responding when the women are attempting to attract high value men. The response of low value men is not only a nuisance, it could potentially reduce a woman's sexual market value. All of this really is happening.

Women as a demographic tend to be malcontents with a much shorter time horizon than men. You can see this in the very high spending rates of women and the very low savings rates. Women drive something like 80% of all consumer spending. The reason this is important to understand is because women don't seem to realize how short their fertility window is. A 34 year old first time pregnancy is considered geriatric.

Large numbers of women are playing with the hook-up culture and posting pictures for likes without realizing that as soon as their fertility window closes, they become invisible to both men and women. Older women used to advise young women to find a potential mate sooner rather than later. That advise has been labeled "patriarchal control" rather than "matriarchal wisdom" by feminists. And this is what the legging thing is all about.

April 14, 2019 10:20 AM

I was perusing past articles and came upon this one.Two points I would like to make.
It wasn't mentioned, but what about the pornifacation of the young men? What if they're looking at porn and tell me how do you think they see these young women? Is it " man she's pretty" or "I would like to bed that one". Porn is evil and a wicked curse in our country.
The other point is that it isn't much better in our churches. Years ago our pastor called on a teen( whose dad was on staff at the time) go help him demonstrate something by jumping. She had to hold her mini skirt close to her to try to do it, and couldn't jump far at all. A s she isn't the only one,and some are women in their 20's -40's. Skin Tight clothes that leave nothing to the imagination.
The porn angle comes into at here also, as the church watches porn like the rest of the world. I still haven't found the verse in the Holy Scriptures that say GOD doesn't care what you wear.

October 28, 2019 8:26 PM
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