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Immodesty Daze: The Thinking Housewife thinks “immodest dress” is a form of violence towards men

From Liberty University’s dress code for women (and, evidently, mannikins). Click on the picture for more details.

We’ve heard before from numerous MRAs and MGTOWers and other backwards dudes that women who dress like “sluts” deserve to be raped. You may remember my post about the patriarchy-loving MGTOWer who calls himself Drealm, who thinks that immodest dress is an assault on men, because it excites them without giving them the opportunity to, well, rape the women who so cruelly give them boners. In Drealm’s mind, almost any form of clothing on a woman that in any way shows her shape is suspect – as does uncovered female hair.

Obviously, I think all of us will agree that certain kinds of clothes are inappropriate in certain settings – no one of any gender should be teaching kindergarteners wearing nothing but a thong – but invariably those who complain the most about women wearing “immodest clothing” have a much broader notion of “immodesty,” which includes things that most of us just consider “clothing” – shorts, short skirts, any top that shows even the tiniest amount of cleavage. (Click on the picture above to see more about Liberty University’s dress code for women.)

Unfortunately, this kind of thinking is not confined to religious fundamentalists and weird dudes lurking in the dark corners of internet. Recently, Laura Wood, the self-identified Thinking Housewife behind the blog of the same name, has declared that “immodest dress is a form of aggression.” The heart of her post is a reposted comment from a reader posting under the name of Arete, arguing that immodest dress is a form of violence towards men similar to and in some ways even worse than actual violence from men towards women.

Immodest dress is analogous to male violence. Men who flaunt their muscles and crush beer can’s with their fists (not that I have seen much of that lately) are telling the weaker world around them, “I could crush you. Maybe I will, maybe I won’t.We’ll see. Depends how much you annoy me.” Women are stronger than men in this one way – the sight of their women’s bodies is overpowering to men. Immodest women are saying to men, “You could have sex with me, if I let you. Maybe I will, maybe I won’t. It depends how much you annoy me.”

Both behaviors are flaunting the power that one has over another weaker being and both behaviors used to be considered uncouth.

But as the myth goes: only men have ever been violent towards women not the other way around (women have no power over men whatsoever – don’t you know!) and so now that we have entered the great age of woman – when she will get her revenge for all the injustices against her by men through the ages – both real and imagined — she has decided to take her “pound of flesh.” But instead of a swift cut right above the heart like Shylock she wants to get men where it really hurts– tease and taunt with the sight of her own body, forever reminding men of their weakness before female power.

So apparently a woman giving a man a boner by wearing an outfit less modest than a nun’s is worse than a dude literally punching a woman.

Laura’s comments make clear she agrees with this basic assessment, though (in a moment of generosity towards her own gender) she acknowledges that some women may not be conscious of the enormous power they wield over men every time they put on a tank top.

In the comments, Fitgerald expresses his enthusiasm for Arete’s thesis:

This is sooooo true… as a male I can ABSOLUTELY attest to this. …

As a celibate male I must actively work at constraining sexual response to females flaunting their wares.. “You could have sex with me, if I let you. Maybe I will, maybe I won’t.”.. yeah right. If I was an alpha male – strong, thin, tall, tanned.. definitely — I’ll also have to be honest and say it does piss me off, but suppressing ordinary human responses is part and parcel of not only being a civilized human being, but a Christian which constrains me further. …

Women are the sexual power brokers. They can and do decide with whom they pair and mate with. Men are essentially powerless save those few well endowed “alphas” (rich, physical specimens, powerful) who are like kryptonite to many women. Any male that is half-aware knows the look: “Yes.. look at me.. I’m sexually desirable. See my power. Feel my power..” Oh, then the look away: “But you aren’t worthy of me.” Happens EVERY day.

Yep, another misogynist furious that women get to choose who they have sex with. Dude, SO DO GUYS. If two people are having sex, both of them have to agree to it. Otherwise it is rape. Everyone is their own “sexual gatekeeper.”

Robin offers a mild dissent, noting that some of the “immodest” dressers may be victims of sexual abuse. But they still deserve “righteous judgement,” at least when this judgement is ostensibly tempered by “love.”

I was once one of these women: a female friend was loving enough to take me bra shopping as a thirty-three year old adult and teach me about covering my body so as not to invite further abuse. Other people waited patiently and said nothing; this was a disservice to me as I could have transformed more quickly if people would have had the confidence to open their mouths and teach me the truth. Others condemned me without knowing my story, and I withdrew in offense.

While it is true that immodest dress is a form of aggression in feminist women, I want to bring to light that sexual abuse of young girls has become so prevalent that many women we see walking around today dressed as prostitutes may still be ensnared and imprisoned by their victim mentality brought about through no fault of their own due to horrendous acts of abuse against their bodies as children. I believe it is important that these women do not experience condemnation, but rather righteous judgment in love so as to bring about repentance from this behavior so that they may be healed and be examples to others.

Laura feels the need to reiterate that some women and girls really have no excuse for being slutty sluts:

I know teenage girls who are sweet and innocent, and have never been abused, who dress like tarts. It’s everywhere. They see it and they imitate it.

I’m interested how Laura knows that these girls haven’t been abused. Does she know the intimate details of all of these girls’ lives? Or does she just have powerful Abuse-dar?

Mary, meanwhile, argues that the real villains here aren’t women – but evil feministy feminists.

I have too many female friends who have had their hopes dashed/hearts broken/been humiliated at the hands of average-looking, low status guys to buy that women have all the power. These average young women were doing what they thought they were supposed to do, what they were told everyone was doing – having premarital sex, that is. They were told by feminists that it was as fun for them as it was for the men if only they would get into the spirit of it, that it would lead to ultimate happiness, that it would benefit them. Many girls of average attractiveness are giving themselves away, sometimes over and over again, to unworthy men and to their own heartbreak, while the strains of “Your Body is a Wonderland” play in the background. I don’t call that sexual power. That men are more vulnerable to visual cues doesn’t make all men innocent, just as some women’s extreme immodesty doesn’t make all women sexual power brokers. …

That’s what’s so diabolical about today’s extreme immodesty: many of these women are just trying to be relevant.

Apparently the readers of The Thinking Housewife, like many MRAs and other manosphere dudes, seem to have forgotten almost entirely the old stereotype of the hairy-legged, man-hating feminist; these days, they seem to assume that any woman who wears skirts above the knee and doesn’t hate sex is a feminist.

Setting aside the ridiculousness of the “sexy clothes are an assault on men” argument generally, I can’t help but wonder how many men out there – beyond Drealm and Franklin and assorted religious fundamentalists  – actually, honestly feel “assaulted” when they see a woman they find attractive wearing something that shows off her figure. Somehow I suspect that most straight guys who are interested in sex  – including most of those railing endlessly about evil sluts online — actually find this sort of thing … pleasant. Most of those guys complaining about immodest dress would, I think, feel rather disappointed if women actually decided to cover up – and not just because it would rob them of yet another excuse to demonize the ladies.

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Tulgey Logger
Tulgey Logger
9 years ago

Things I, a man, think when I see immodestly dressed women (and men) in public:

* meow
* general cat noises
* [censored]
* don’t stare openly because you’re not a douche

Things I don’t think:

* S/he might or might not have sex with me!
* Oh god,
* the horror,
* the horror!

Jayem Griffin
9 years ago

I present for your entertainment, the slightly-more-Christian-oriented-but-still-related Modesty Survey Results! Teen boys give their laughably ridiculous opinions on what women should and shouldn’t wear: http://www.therebelution.com/modestysurvey/browse

Hope you all have fun with that- it’s usually good for a laugh.

Cliff Pervocracy
9 years ago

What about women who dress modestly? Aren’t they also telling men “you probably won’t get to have sex with me”?

Fucking “female equivalent.” The female equivalent of punching is punching. If you want to talk about female violence against men–which apparently some strawfeminist in her head claims never happens–at least give us the dignity of talking about actual violence.

Those Liberty University diagrams are baffling. Did they actually have guys say “1-inch straps give me a boner… 3-inch straps, it’s all good, I’m flaccid”?

The whole super-codified male status thing is just what and argh. I don’t even know. Who thinks in those terms? It’s so objectifying. Fucking misandrists.

thebewilderness
thebewilderness
9 years ago

It is a bit creepy that they seem to be talking about random strangers on the street. They seem to have a very evangelical talibanicle view of men as undisciplined maniacs barely held in check by the efforts of women to present themselves as modest.
I suppose once suicide by captives was asserted to be an asymmetrical act of war the potential application is unlimited.

jumbofish
9 years ago

Oh conservapops how you disappoint me.

Discordia
Discordia
9 years ago

You know what I wish? That these men who actuallly feel that looking at an attractive women is freaking assault, would just move somewhere far, far away from humaninty…seriously, if you feel assualted because you are attracted to someone who isn’t having sex with you…there is something deeply wrong with you not the woman who is just minding her own business.

also isn’t it misandry to act like men can’t control themselves and throw tantrums like 3 year olds when they don’t get their way.

Cliff Pervocracy
9 years ago

Women are the sexual power brokers. They can and do decide with whom they pair and mate with.

Gosh, really? I choose Hugh Jackman.

Kendra, the bionic mommy
Kendra, the bionic mommy
9 years ago

Those Liberty University diagrams are baffling. Did they actually have guys say “1-inch straps give me a boner… 3-inch straps, it’s all good, I’m flaccid”?

I’ve told the story before, but it’s relevant here so I’ll tell it again. When I was eight at a church camp, a youth minister made me cover up my sundress because it was sleeveless. He told me that a girl’s shoulders could cause men to “stumble”. I had to cover up with a sweater even though it was a hot summer day. My mom had bought the dress and she thought it was age appropriate.

Watch out now, butthurt dudes, because I’m going to break out the c-word. It’s creepy when grown men tell little girls their clothing makes them “stumble”. It’s also creepy when they teach little kids the motto “modest is hottest!”

Tulgey Logger
Tulgey Logger
9 years ago

It’s also creepy when they teach little kids the motto “modest is hottest!”

Quite literally, it seems.

Discordia
Discordia
9 years ago

Women are the sexual power brokers. They can and do decide with whom they pair and mate with.

Gosh, really? I choose Hugh Jackman

After finding out about this bit about being a sexual power broker, I tried sending love letters to Jensen Ackles from Supernatural, for some reason I now have a restraining order:( Why did you tell me I am a sexual power broker MRA!

/needs to stop trying to be funny

Dracula
Dracula
9 years ago

It’s also creepy when they teach little kids the motto “modest is hottest!”

Not only creepy, but it doesn’t make any damn sense. If it’s “hottest”, you’d think they’d want to discourage it.

Discordia
Discordia
9 years ago

errrr sorry that was a response to Cliff…I forgot how todo italic breaks

Dracula and Kendra…yes that is incredibly creepy and gross:( The Catholic Church I went to when I was a kid thankfully wasn’t bad however it was in Vegas where the temp could get up to 115…if they would have tried getting women to wear sweaters in the summer, there would have been a revolt=P

burgundy
burgundy
9 years ago

Also, stores should be forbidden to display high-priced items in their windows. Because they show me things that I want but can’t afford, and that is assaulting me! Their causing me to desire really pretty dresses out of my price range is at least as bad as my shoplifting their stuff!

And people should not look friendly or happy in public, if they are not willing to immediately be friends with me. If I see two people laughing together and having a good time, they are basically saying, “we might be friends with you, or we might not. It depends on how annoying you are.” And so they are flaunting their power over me, and that is a form of assault.

If the rest of the world would just understand that all the people and things in it only derive value from how they relate to me, and that any insistence on autonomy or indifference to my needs is assaultive, then everything would just be so much better.

gelar
gelar
9 years ago

Is there a word specifically describing ‘weird things people invent about complete strangers minding their own business’?

Dracula
Dracula
9 years ago

Is there a word specifically describing ‘weird things people invent about complete strangers minding their own business’?

Projection covers it, I think.

creativewritingstudent
creativewritingstudent
9 years ago

Are we allowed to ban things that might make us aroused now? Because I propose we ban almost everything. Or we could just ban me, save some time… 😛

It is not up to anyone else to manage your arousal. Just deal with it discreetly or ignore it or think unsexy thoughts until it goes away. Important lesson certain people (MRAs, modesty advocates) should learn.

Manjaw the Mighty
Manjaw the Mighty
9 years ago

The female equivalent of punching is punching.

Agreed. If I want to suggest my physical prowess, I flaunt my muscles and crush a beer keg or two against my forehead. There’s nothing “violent” about clothing choices. Unless, I supposed, one goes out wearing a suit made of knives, or a shirt that says “I will punch you.”

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
9 years ago

Oh ffffffs…

Is it even worth pointing out that people are aroused by different things? And that if you judge an outfit to be inappropriate if someone gets a bone from it, then everything will be inappropriate?

Is it even worth pointing out that a woman could be butt-naked on a bus waving her boobs at me and it still wouldn’t be as threatening as some dude on a bus punching me in the face?

Is it even worth pointing out that FOR FUCKS SAKE YOU DON’T BLAME WOMEN FOR FUFILLING YOUR PERSONAL STANDARDS FOR ATTRACTIVENESS?

Is it even worth point out that its stupid to think that all random (heterosexual) women out on the street are actively eying every single man they see thinking “Oh, I might have sex with that one, if he pleases me”?

You know what? If you get the feeling that every single woman you see in every situation is actively flaunting herself at you, the problem is probably not every single woman. The problem is

As a celibate male I must actively work at constraining sexual response to females flaunting their wares..

You.

Argenti Aertheri
Argenti Aertheri
9 years ago

“Unless, I supposed, one goes out wearing a suit made of knives

If you view the entire list from Liberty, jeans are always immodest, as are sweatshirts with words (I wonder if that includes university sweatshirts? or if they just don’t sell those?) — that does appear to go for all students, but can anyone actually picture a jeans and sweatshirt free campus?!

Dani Alexis
Dani Alexis
9 years ago

I feel like that center mannequin in all the Liberty University photos should get a pass on her “modesty” no matter what she’s dressed in. Her body language clearly screams “I don’t want to be seen in public. Please stop photographing me and leave me the hell alone.”

abeille
9 years ago

Personally, the outfit I find most sexy on a man is a suit. A black jacket, black pants, and dark shirt.
Or if he takes off his jacket and partially rolls up his sleeves, so they’re just below the elbow? Mmmmm.

Definitely should be banned from Liberty.

debbaasseerr
9 years ago

Oh, the poor bebonered male. Every day, moving through the grey prison of city streets, eyes always searching, straining, striving – some oasis of peace from the ravages of the existence of women’s bodies.

He feels like a starving dog being led through a meat factory, and takes great pride in not stealing any of the meat he sees along the way. But men aren’t dogs, and women aren’t fuck meat.

MRA’s and their presumed male-supremacy evaporates in the time it takes one of them to see someone they think is pretty. Having committed the great offense inciting desire, the refusal to permit the immediate quenching of that thirst (re-establishing who is in charge) is resentment-funneled through the many, many, many ways bitter dudes have to re-remind themselves that sure, women are good for sex — but sex only.

So you get modesty as a male-made answer to all these sadly unejaculated erections. And what is modesty? Like “appropriate”, but with a hand wrapped around a boner-veto at all times.

If any of these sexually incontinent men really wanted modesty, THEY should put the damn blinders on themselves. You don’t have to look, assholes!

darksidecat
9 years ago

…while the strains of “Your Body is a Wonderland” play in the background…

Pretty sure no feminist experience involves that, except maybe feminist music critique

Also, I’m pretty easy and haven’t had sex for awhile, but if someone put that shit on and tried to have sex with me I would say no and head the fuck home.

creativewritingstudent
creativewritingstudent
9 years ago

Unless, I supposed, one goes out wearing a suit made of knives, or a shirt that says “I will punch you.”

A suit of knives, whilst an ill-advised clothing choice, isn’t inherantly threatening or violent. Unless you jangled your sleeves at someone. I think some of the threat would be taken away by bemusement that someone is actually wearing that thing… You’d also wind up being arrested for carrying knives in public, and you might wind up with burns from hot metal in the summer. And you might stab yourself whilst moing.

For threatening purposes, you’re probably better off carrying one or two knives in sheathes on your belt.

(I’m blaming my being a writing student on this. I also have plans for dealing with dragon, zombie, and werewolf attacks attacks on various towns in Wessex if anyone needs them. Amongst other things. I see a scenario, I have to work it out.)

Major Kong
Major Kong
9 years ago

The “modest dress” guidelines probably sounded better in the original Arabic.

Shadow
Shadow
9 years ago

@ Major Kong

The “modest dress” guidelines probably sounded better in the original Arabic.

I don’t see what in Christianity’s long ass history has lead you to believe that their views on modesty come from the Muslim world.

cloudiah
9 years ago

This story reminded me of a very funny prank effort by The Society for Indecency to Naked Animals to put clothes on all those immodestly clad or naked (!) animals.

Remember, everyone, “A nude horse is a rude horse.”

Major Kong
Major Kong
9 years ago

“I don’t see what in Christianity’s long ass history has lead you to believe that their views on modesty come from the Muslim world.”

You’re correct, of course. I just like pointing out when they sound like the (gasp!) Muslims that they hate/fear so much.

Halite
9 years ago

@ Discordia

I think someone at The CW needs to be reminded about just exactly *who* the sexual power brokers are around these parts. My letters to Misha Collins had a similiar result. 🙁

Shadow
Shadow
9 years ago

You’re correct, of course. I just like pointing out when they sound like the (gasp!) Muslims that they hate/fear so much.

Fair enough, and i apologize. I thought it was just another “I expected this to happen in THOSE countries, not here”

Crumbelievable
Crumbelievable
9 years ago

I’ll also have to be honest and say it does piss me off, but suppressing ordinary human responses is part and parcel of not only being a civilized human being, but a Christian which constrains me further

Jesus would be proud.

PosterformerlyknownasElizabeth

I was just on that website that Jayem Griffin linked to and this was one of the results to the statement of “Guys notice whether a girl dresses modestly or not.”:

Yes, we notice — it is like the clean/dirty house thing. We all know that a house is dirty, or that a girl is dressing immodestly — but we may not notice that your house is clean, or that you dress modestly, but we all notice how much more pleasant it is to be around — whether the house or the modest young lady, both are most pleasant when clean and pure.

Which as far as I can tell is that being modestly dressed means that this dude will not notice you but will feel ‘happier’ somehow mysteriously.

blech.

GingerSnaps
GingerSnaps
9 years ago

This is a load of bullshit.

People really buy into this nonsense?

hellkell
hellkell
9 years ago

They were told by feminists that it was as fun for them as it was for the men if only they would get into the spirit of it, that it would lead to ultimate happiness, that it would benefit them

Wrong. That’s the patriarchy co-opting the sexual revolution.

Even sex-positive feminists don’t say this shit.

debbaasseerr
9 years ago

“….both are most pleasant when clean and pure (just remember your two choices, virgin and whore).”

random6x7
random6x7
9 years ago

One of my bosses once told me that she got more catcalls wearing one of these sexy numbers:
http://i.pgcdn.com/pi/76/41/49/764149799_260.jpg
than she did wearing jeans and a t-shirt. So, quilted coveralls are immodest?

Nanasha
Nanasha
9 years ago

I think that the problem with this entire assertion is that most of these yahoos can’t seem to decide if feminist women are evil ugly hairy hambeasts or are evil sexy temptresses of temptiness.

So if men don’t want to fuck you, it’s your fault as a woman and they can beat you up or even rape you because you enraged them so at being so unattractive. If men want to rape you, it’s your fault as a woman and therefore you obviously deserved the rape.

Is there any way where the blame of bad behavior isn’t squarely the responsibility of the person engaging in the raping/beating/attacking?

*headdesk*

ozymandias42
9 years ago

You know, I bind my breasts and almost always wear high-cut tops and long pants. I should get some kind of award for the efforts I have gone to to not assault people with my body.

LBT
LBT
9 years ago

See, I KNOW this is bollocks.

Because somehow, in the deep South, where you can get your ass gay-bashed, gay men somehow manage to avoid staring at other men or groping or cat-calling them. BECAUSE IT COULD GET THEM KILLED.

Also fuck the visual shit. Or am I just a magic unicorn who isn’t turned on much by visuals?

LBT
LBT
9 years ago

Also, since I’m from the South…

Dudes, do you have any idea how HOT it gets down there? Stripping down to shorts and tank-tops isn’t carnal torment: IT’S NOT GETTING HEAT STROKE. It’s not about you! Seriously.

(And I say this because after having top surgery, I relish my privilege of running around shirtless outside in the heat. IT MAKES SUCH A BIG DIFFERENCE.)

Nanasha
Nanasha
9 years ago

Which reminds me of a comic by Usamaru, who puts the whole “modesty” thing pretty damn aptly:

http://x.datchan.org/sanctuary/g/src/12538166828.jpg

Seriously- take responsibility for your own desire and behaviors.

Does anyone else find the “I can’t control myself” meme to be INCREDIBLY INSULTING to men?s

Amused
9 years ago

Things I learned today:

Men who watch porn do so because they like being “assaulted”.

Amused
9 years ago

Re that hilarious Liberty University dress code: Although it’s not explicitly stated, the mannequin illustrations indicate that poor fit and big size are also requirements for “modest dress”. On all the mannequins that are deemed “acceptable”, the outfits are too big and sit clumsily. On one illustration, a mannequin is wearing a jacket that’s at least 3 sizes too big, to the point of appearing comical and making the mannequin look like a box with legs.

ozymandias42
9 years ago

LBT: I know, right? Throughout the summer I have this continual war between my gender dysphoria (which DOES NOT LIKE shorts) and my desire not to overheat. I solve this mostly by living in civilized air conditioning. 🙂

Rachel Maud
9 years ago

Seriously, if all women can sleep with anyone they want, WHY oh why isn’t Johnny Depp at my house right now? I fail at being a feminist 🙁

WordSpinner
WordSpinner
9 years ago

For those of you who haven’t see this, I think you might be interested in this blog post:
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2012/02/who-are-the-real-babies-house-proofing-and-modesty.html

The author, Libby Ann, grew up in a Quiverful household, so very religious, very isolated, and with lots of siblings, and here she notes the contrast between child-rearing techniques (no need to baby-proof your house; babies should be able to control their urges even in the face of temptation) and modesty doctrines (women and girls need to cover up since men shouldn’t have to be tempted).

Seraph
Seraph
9 years ago

Jesus would be proud.

Funny thing about that. With all the time he spent hanging around prostitutes, adulteresses and sluts, he never did get around to telling them to change how they dress so they didn’t lead the men astray.

On the other hand, he did have some rather…severe orders for those who couldn’t control themselves.

Shaenon
9 years ago

Useful life lesson: people who get angry about having boners should be avoided at all costs.

magpie
9 years ago

OK, so as an unattractive, hairy-legged woman with a face like a frying pan, if I wear an officially immodest outfit, am I being aggressive, or not?

valerienorth
valerienorth
9 years ago

Burgundy- You said it! The next time my neighbors have a BBQ, I’m going straight over there and knocking them out and stealing their food. It’s THEIR fault, they made their food smell good. They could have cooked it inside, but NOOOO, they decided to do it outside and now it’s fair game.
And don’t young dudes usually wake up with morning wood? Are they going to start banning sheets and mattresses because they are being “assaulted” by them?

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