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catcalling coronavirus harassment masks

Women are keeping their masks on to ward off the “male gaze,” and anti-maskers are losing their shit

Now that the CDC has, perhaps prematurely, given the go-ahead for vaccinated people to dispense with face masks outdoors, you might think the anti-maskers would calm down a little. But the fact that some people are continuing to wear masks despite the new CDC guidance has kept many of the anti-Maskers boiling over with anger.

Here’s a columnist for the Daily Wire losing it on twitter over those who continue wearing mass now that it’s (allegedly) medically unnecessary:

I think he might want to try decaffinated coffee for a while.

Meanwhile, over on the American Thinker blog, Andrea Widburg is railing at Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for saying that she would continue wearing the mask in indoor public spaces:

I know I ought to pity her — she’s obviously suffering from some form of PTSD or self-inflicted Stockholm Syndrome — but I’d be lying if I said I did.  AOC is part of a cadre of leftists who used masks and lockdowns to destroy 2020’s election integrity and install a pretender in the White House (and who knows how many in Congress).  I’d like to imagine her living for a long time in her mental hell, one that’s a direct byproduct of her irrational Church of Science.

It’s almost enough to convince me to order Widburg one of these.

But if you really want to send the ant-Maskers into orbit, tell them you’re going to keep wearing the masks for ulterior purposes that have nothing to do with COVID. Like the women in this Guardian article who say they’ve grown attached to their masks because when they’re masked up men leave them alone,

“Maybe it’s because I’m a New Yorker or maybe it’s because I always feel like I have to present my best self to the world, but it has been such a relief to feel anonymous,” one woman told the Guardian. “It’s like having a force field around me that says ‘don’t see me’.”

“I don’t want to feel the pressure of smiling at people to make sure everyone knows I’m ‘friendly’ and ‘likable’,” another perma-masker told the Guardian. “It’s almost like taking away the male gaze. There’s freedom in taking that power back.”

This nearly broke Veronica Hays of Newsbusters, who responded with a multi-paragraph rant, “How pathetic,” she said of the Guardian interviewee who thinks the masks are an antidote to the male gaze.

This poor woman would prefer to live in a sterile, faceless world so as to avoid some potential discomfort (or making an effort). That is not freedom. This woman’s dependency on the mask displays weakness, insecurity, and is a willful self-subjugation. Additionally, it attaches blame to men for simply existing in the public arena as it assumes every look holds malicious intent. 

Why not a hijab? Why not go all out and wear a full burqa? Or get thee to a nunnery. Covering up for modesty’s sake is a worthwhile endeavor, but concealing one’s visage out of spite against men?

The mask as a feminist power symbol is both cringey and counter-intuitive. Women should be celebrating their beauty and femininity rather than feel compelled to cover up out of misplaced fear/hatred for men.

Masks are at once dehumanizing and coddling. Persistent mask-wearing even without the presence of health risk is indulging fragile, poorly-adjusted individuals to remain so. The dependency of those who are not eagerly awaiting the unmasking of America is irrational. Personal insecurities are preventing people from surrendering the mask as well as addressing and overcoming internal issues which create this reliance. Mask-wearing is fostering a sense of general distrust between and among individuals, and in this case, is being used by feminists as another way to demonize men. 

Don’t hold back. Tell us how you really feel.

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Anonymous
Anonymous
1 month ago

“It’s almost like taking away the male gaze. There’s freedom in taking that power back.”

Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the male gaze typically directed toward other body parts that aren’t generally covered by a mask?

JOSHUA A HAYES
JOSHUA A HAYES
1 month ago

This is… weird.

Insisting that people allow themselves to be objectified? These same people are probably unhappy that women are allowed to wear clothes at all, one assumes.

Mrs. Obed Marsh
Mrs. Obed Marsh
1 month ago

Covering up for modesty’s sake is a worthwhile endeavor,”

Why is that, Vicky?

Alan Robertshaw
1 month ago

get thee to a nunnery

That phrase in Hamlet is often interpreted as meaning a brothel; so ironically Ms Hays is using an example that’s the exact antithesis to the point she wished to make

Last edited 1 month ago by Alan Robertshaw
epronovost
epronovost
1 month ago

Unpopular opinion, but I tend to agree that if you need a mask in public to feel better else you feel objectified or “forced to look sociable”, you might actually have a serious problem of social anxiety and the mask should be seen as a crutch to help one’s operate while you are working on a better, healthier solution. We live in a society and society depends on people being sociable toward one another. I don’t covering oneself up as being sociable toward one another. That’s just me though.

Another Laura
Another Laura
1 month ago

Unlurking long enough to say that as someone living in a defiantly unvaccinated red state area, I was already planning to keep wearing a mask when I’m out in public. The fact that it induces this sort of response in right-wing whack jobs is just a bonus that gives me warm fuzzies.

Ninja Socialist
Ninja Socialist
1 month ago

Many women I know (myself include) wear baggy clothes because it is easier than putting up with being cat-called and hit on or worse. No one is doing it out of spite for men as that would seem to imply they have some right to look at us which we are hatefully withholding from them or something ridiculous like that. We just want to not ne annoyed.

Alan Robertshaw
1 month ago

@ epronvost

society depends on people being sociable toward one another.

I’m not so sure.

It’s like a society needs doctors and teachers; but it doesn’t need everyone to be a doctor or a teacher.

There’s enough capacity in a large enough population that not everyone needs to socialise for it to function; and in any event, people can contribute to society in all sorts of ways.

A lot of people who have made great contributions to society have been full on misanthropes. Happily never interacting with people save to publish their works.

I mean, the ‘locked away in their ivory tower’ thing is a notable cliche after all.

Dalillama
1 month ago

@epronovost
Have you considered the possibility that that’s an asshole take based in ignorance of others’ experiences? Or, for that matter of the normal operations of civilization?

On the first part, how often do strangers loudly demand that you smile? How often do people start yelling at you because you looked at them funny(yes, that’s happened to me a lot)? How much would you imagine you’d want to reduce those interactions if they kept happening to you? That’s not even getting into actual social anxiety disorders, for which wearing a mask can be very therapeutic; would you say the same thing to someone who wears thick glasses that mess with eye contact?

For the second part, civilization (that is to say the practice of building and living in cities) fundamentally requires a great deal of non-socialisation. Actually interacting with every single person you pass is a recipe for rapid madness even in an extroverted personality; it’s simply not in us to deal with so many people as people all the time. That’s one reason so many interactions are utterly scripted, even if not formally. The cases where one sits down near a stranger and it turns into a lovely conversation or even long-term interaction of some kind are notable specifically for their rarity. Normally everyone in a city goes through life with blinders on, because it’s the only way to go on functioning when you’re surrounded by so many more people than your brain can properly process.

squeakymousefarts
squeakymousefarts
1 month ago

if you need a mask in public to feel better else you feel objectified or “forced to look sociable”, you might actually have a serious problem of social anxiety

Ooooorrr, I genuinely get hit on (and yelled at when I decline, or if I’m busy or literally anything that isn’t blushing delight) and bothered and harassed constantly and I don’t want to deal with it? Like why do I need to learn to love this shit instead of just being left alone?

Super don’t appreciate your assumption that wanting to avoid harassment is a mental illness; probably you should do some reflection to figure out why you think I owe anyone my time and attention.

Elaine The Witch
Elaine The Witch
1 month ago

My second job is as a cashier/ waitress and I like wearing my mask at that because men don’t take pictures of me anymore. some creeps use to do that before the mask thing came up.

Mrs. Obed Marsh
Mrs. Obed Marsh
1 month ago

@eprovonost:

So taking steps to avoid being objectified, or to avoid performing friendliness to random strangers who approach you, is a sign of mental illness?

Listen to more women.

Jon
Jon
1 month ago

@Mr.Obed because despite her sneers she actually does believe the only way women could respectable if they cover up.
The issue is how they’re covering up.
Specificlly how it conforms to cultural expectations.
To the western chauvinist women showing of thighs, breasts and stomach are the parts of the body that will turn men into raping, monsters and show a profound lack of respect of themselves.
But currently showing their mouths isn’t taboo to their cultural biases on modesty so covering that up is bad and oppressive and an insult against men.

Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy

Aside from being hilarious, those excepts David’s posted are just so revealing, aren’t they? Multiple layers of assumptions unravelling!
On a related note, I find it interesting that these are often the same people who mock the term “social construct” (because they either don’t understand it, or pretend they don’t). But their responses here show so clearly how powerful social constructs are e.g. their ideas about “proper” attire and behaviour in public spaces.
I hope that makes some sense, I’m very tired 🙂

Mog
Mog
30 days ago

@anonymous. The important part is the face. Creeps on the street might comment about other body parts, but what they really want to see is their target’s reaction to being sexually harassed. Women generally try hard not to react, but usually there’s an involuntary trace of shame, fear or anger. It’s much harder for harassers to see that when their targets wear a mask.

@evonprost. What exactly do you think women owe to random strangers as part of sociability that a mask conceals?
I would think a decent society owed people the right to walk without being sexually harassed no matter what they are wearing.

Last edited 30 days ago by Mog
happy cat
happy cat
30 days ago

Honestly? I may be the exception to the rule but I have a facial twitch: when I feel very nervous, I look like I’m laughing for no reason. I just cannot control it and some people believe I’m making fun of them (I’m not). I sort of like wearing a mask because at least people cannot see my facial twitch. When the pandemia will be over, I guess I’ll go back to pretend to read in the subway and people will just assume I’m reading a funny book. To the people who blame me for wearing a mask, just try to live a month with my facial twitch. I bet they won’t enjoy it.

Banananananana dakry: still fat and deranged
Banananananana dakry: still fat and deranged
30 days ago

I work retail, or at least do when there’s not, you know, a pandemic trying to kill me. I suffer from anxiety to begin with. Trying to look Happy and Pleasant and Helpful for farking hours is its own burden and stress. That’s even before you get the jackass men telling you to ‘smile’. Doubly maddening because you can’t tell them to choke on a bag of dicks like you’d want to on the clock lest you lose your job– which is probably why some of them do it in the first place.
Wearing a mask would give a certain level of comfort and shielding in those cases.

rikalous
rikalous
30 days ago

Maybe I just want to wear a mask because they’re terribly comfortable and really pull together my Dread Pirate look.

Why not a hijab? Why not go all out and wear a full burqa?

Why not indeed, you absolute walnut of a person. Why not just let people dress how they like instead of pulling this Islamophobic fashion police routine.

Claire
Claire
30 days ago

What bothers me, is that most MRA/Incels seem to idolize Asian women as the perfect woman, hey masks have been an everyday part of life for a long time. And women there absolutely cite the same reasons for wearing masks. Other than hygiene, wanting to remain anonymous, and go without makeup are often given as reasons.

Steph
Steph
30 days ago

@ epronovost

There is no issue with not wanting to be sociable nor not wanting to interact with people though.

And if people achieve that through wearing masks (I achieve it through wearing headphones) then so be it.

LollyPop
LollyPop
30 days ago

There’s actually a lot of very rational reasons for wanting to continue wearing masks. I probably won’t once the risk to others has gone (like, 85% vaccination rates or something) because I find them uncomfortable – which was NEVER a good excuse not to wear one in a pandemic, of course, unless you have additional medical needs – but for the first time in my adult life I’ve not had a cold or bug for a over a year.

And despite what Matt Walsh thinks in many major cities the air actually is pretty toxic, seeing as we let car companies pump it full of lead and heavy metals. If you bike everyday somewhere like London keeping up the mask wearing is probably advisable.

Ohlmann
Ohlmann
30 days ago

I do dislike seeing everyone with a mask, but practicality still win out for me. Especially sinc face masks are never exterior sign of ideology I disagree with.

I also note that for theses clowns, there’s a maximal amount of sexy, but also a minimum. I suspect the minimum is higher than the maximum, so that they can alway complain.

Battering Lamb
Battering Lamb
30 days ago

I kinda like wearing a mask because it conceals any beard shade I may have.

Jon
Jon
30 days ago

@rik
Well it’s fine to shame woman out of wearing certain types of clothing she dislikes because female empowerment is when you dress the way she and bigots like.

Last edited 30 days ago by Jon
Jon
Jon
30 days ago

@Ohlmann

Someone on YouTube made this description; women need be sexy enough to show you care enough of about being physically pleasing to the eyes of men.
“Modest” enough to show they’re not interested in sex for themselves. A women’s body need be a prize for the “nice guys”.

Ohlmann
Ohlmann
30 days ago

@rik : while that clown purposefully conflate them, remember that there is actually several family of veils who don’t have much in common.

And also remember that both white supremacists and far right islamists want people to confuse all veils in a blur and confuse them together, because they want a muslim group vs a white group. Except that some veils are traditional garbs, some are here because they make the wearer feel better, and some are litteral far right statement on par with the KKK white hood.

Big Titty Demon
Big Titty Demon
30 days ago

You are treating air like it is toxic and other humans like they are nothing but vessels of disease.

I’m sure the air is very offended. And I wouldn’t say humans are nothing but vessels of disease, but, you know, they are vessels of disease. That’s how diseases work.

It feeds paranoia and fear. […] It is disgraceful, arrogant, and offensive.

Listen to yourself, my man, and have a think. A good, long think about if your feeding paranoia and fear is disgraceful, arrogant, or offensive in any way. Possibly. Even the slightest bit.

Big Titty Demon
Big Titty Demon
30 days ago

@evanoprost

I don’t covering oneself up as being sociable toward one another. That’s just me though.

How much should I display to you to be sociable? You know, I’m just curious here. Is a niquaab sociable? If not, why not; and as a followup do we think that entire societies of Muslims are not being sociable to each other?

Does the covering not being sociable extend to my body garments? How much skin should I show to be sociable? Are we talking Gor-levels or can I at least wear as much as cutoff shorts and and a tank? Please let me know, I dread to think there are people out there thinking my jeans and mask are unsociable. How much clothing should I divest myself of?

Lumipuna
Lumipuna
30 days ago

Covering up for modesty’s sake is a worthwhile endeavor, but concealing one’s visage out of spite against men?

Ah, fine distinctions. Let us consider those.

Someone on YouTube made this description; women need be sexy enough to show you care enough of about being physically pleasing to the eyes of men.

“Modest” enough to show they’re not interested in sex for themselves. A women’s body need be a prize for the “nice guys”.

My limited exposure to religious conservatives (mainly of the US Christian variety) suggests that the concept of “modesty” is (at least purportedly) about avoiding tempting men sexually. This would be generally achieved by being relatively covered up by the current mainstream cultural standards.

OTOH, if you cover up too much or in wrong way, you may come across as a holier-than-thou type (socially suspect!) or just weird looking (inherently bad!) or perhaps a radical Muslim (enemy tribe!!!). That’s the difference between modesty vs. covering up with suspicious, nefarious motivations.

I don’t think the mask issue (or niqab issue, for that matter) is about women being generally too unappealing to men. It’s more about breaking established norms on public appearance – a grave matter for the conservative mind. Women in particular are also expected to be warm and approachable in public, which the mask easily hinders (up to and including hiding their reactions to catcallers), while masked men easily come across as threatening.

Then there’s the issue of tribal affiliation display, which seems to be getting entirely out of hand w/r to masking in the US. Aside from the islamophobia angle, liberals who favor masking are easily interpreted by anti-mask conservatives as being spiteful or hostile toward someone (Donald Trump, conservatives, men, other people at large). It’s a easy way to rationalize why you feel the need to see normal smiling faces on strangers.

Knitting Cat Lady
Knitting Cat Lady
30 days ago

I’m looking forward to not having to wear FFP2 masks everywhere. They always seem to move up into my eyes, which hurts.

But cloth masks? Hell yeah!

Alan Robertshaw
30 days ago

@ dali

Normally everyone in a city goes through life with blinders on

I really notice that.

There seems to be an inverse relationship between population density and level of interaction.

So when I lived in London I would walk everywhere with headphones in pretty much oblivious to everyone else. When I moved to the sticks I found that I didn’t like wearing headphones any more, but in say Truro city centre I won’t interact other than the usual pleasantries when you’re holding doors open for each other, that sort of thing. When I head out into the lanes close to the city, where there’s still quite a few walkers, we’ll nod as we pass. When you get onto the more remote lanes you might exchange a few words “Glorious day!” etc. But if you’re up on the moor tops and you encounter someone you’ll have a full on conversation.

No doubt there’s some eco-psych explanation for that. Maybe that Dunbar’s Number thing?

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
30 days ago

It’s really only a matter of time before a Republican run state passes a law against wearing a mask. It’s be done under the guise of masks making it hard to identify criminal suspects or something, but the real object is control.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
30 days ago

Unpopular opinion, but I tend to agree that if you need a mask in public to feel better else you feel objectified or “forced to look sociable”, you might actually have a serious problem of social anxiety and the mask should be seen as a crutch to help one’s operate while you are working on a better, healthier solution. We live in a society and society depends on people being sociable toward one another. I don’t covering oneself up as being sociable toward one another. That’s just me though.

It’s not pathological to be anxious about harassment from though. It’s rational because harassment is so common. Women are already alter their behavior to avoid it. Keeping a mask on, whether you physically need it or not, is just one more thing women may to do evade harassers. If men would stop harassing women, we wouldn’t feel the need to take steps to avoid harassment.

Bookworm in hijab
Bookworm in hijab
30 days ago

We live in a society and society depends on people being sociable toward one another. I don’t covering oneself up as being sociable toward one another. That’s just me though.

This is the rationale behind some nasty laws dictating how women can dress in Quebec and France, btw. Like, almost word for word.

Cyborgette
Cyborgette
30 days ago

Uh yeah I’m keeping my mask thanks. I enjoy not getting colds all the time for once, and also I’m soon going to be (more?) immunocompromised thanks to meds for autoimmune stuff, so like… no, the mask does not come off. I deserve to stay healthy more than you deserve to see my face.

Also? The pandemic is not over, not even close. And the lack of containment in much of the world (including the US honestly, we still only have like a 50% vaccination rate) means we’re going to be seeing more strains that can bypass the vax. Even if those are unlikely to kill vaxxed folks, I don’t want to get sick and I don’t want to transmit them – especially when they could still kill unvaxxed folks. Civic responsibility, y’all.

Re the social angle, other women here have said it better than I could. Though I can’t say I’ve gotten less street harassment during the pandemic TBH. Less scary street harassment since I pass more easily as cis with a mask, but probably more overall. (Maybe also since I gained a bunch of weight from quarantine, mobility issues, etc. and creepy douchebag guys somehow think that fat implies consent.)

Threp (formerly Shadowplay)
Threp (formerly Shadowplay)
30 days ago

No doubt there’s some eco-psych explanation for that.

Tension between two needs. We’re pack animals who both hate to be completely alone as it’s dangerous, but also like and require their personal space as we’re a bunch of aquisitive monkeys. Which urge predominates at any particular time depends on how many people surround you.

There. I can invent evo-psych with the best of them. 😛

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
30 days ago

This almost reads like an Onion headline. “Right Wing Pundit Who Feeds Fear And Paranoia About Masks Angry About Masks Feeding Fear And Paranoia.”

Mask-wearing is fostering a sense of general distrust between and among individuals,

Women Who Lives In Entire Right Wing Media Ecosystem Dedicated to Fostering Divisiveness And Distrust Among Individuals Thinks Divisiveness And Distrust Are Bad Things

This poor woman would prefer to live in a sterile, faceless world so as to avoid some potential discomfort (or making an effort). That is not freedom.

Well, neither is being unable to walk down the street without getting harassed and catcalled. Pick your poison.

 Additionally, it attaches blame to men for simply existing in the public arena 

Those poor men, simply existing while they innocently follow women down the street, command them to smile, and yell insults at them. Won’t someone please think of them.

Anyway, I thought incels were thrilled about mask wearing because nobody can see that their maxillary cosine is .02 off of Chad’s?

Last edited 30 days ago by Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Moggie
Moggie
30 days ago

A lot of people who claim to love freedom are losing their shit over other people choosing to do something harmless, and I’m kind of enjoying watching them try to defend this in transparently nonsensical ways. I wish I could call it a “mask-off moment”, for obvious reasons, but the truth is that I suspect it surprises nobody.

Masse_Mysteria
Masse_Mysteria
30 days ago

Wearing a mask when it is not medically necessary is grotesque and unhuman, an attack on society itself.

I wonder what other things that are “not medically necessary” are grotesque and unhuman. Can we wear clothes even if it’s warm enough that we can do without? Am I allowed to drink a cup of tea when I’m not thirsty? How about staying in bed after you’ve woken up and are fairly certain you won’t fall asleep again? I’m not sure I understand the rules of this world where things being optional is bad.

This poor woman would prefer to live in a sterile, faceless world so as to avoid some potential discomfort (or making an effort). That is not freedom.

I’m pretty sure everyone does stuff to avoid potential discomfort. It’s called discomfort because it’s not enjoyable. You’re allowed to try and avoid it.

@Steph

There is no issue with not wanting to be sociable nor not wanting to interact with people though.

I’d say it’s probably better to avoid those things when you don’t want them. Probably save everyone a lot of awkwardness etc.

Last edited 30 days ago by Masse_Mysteria
Viscaria
Viscaria
30 days ago

 know I ought to pity her — she’s obviously suffering from some form of PTSD or self-inflicted Stockholm Syndrome —

1) Stockholm Syndrome is not a thing. 2) If Stockholm Syndrome were a thing, what would the self-inflicted version be? AOC has taken herself hostage, and in the process she fell in love with herself, and as a result, she is continuing to wear masks in certain circumstances?

Chris Oakley
Chris Oakley
30 days ago

Off topic, but I was wondering if anyone here has been keeping track of the news from Gaza. I’m legit scared there’s a risk the already nightmarish situation there could get even worse– and by “get even worse”, I mean “escalate into World War III”.

Lumipuna
Lumipuna
30 days ago

If Stockholm Syndrome were a thing, what would the self-inflicted version be? AOC has taken herself hostage, and in the process she fell in love with herself, and as a result, she is continuing to wear masks in certain circumstances?

Obviously, she’s been taken hostage by a sentient mask, like the main character in that one Jim Carrey movie.

Surplus to Requirements
Surplus to Requirements
30 days ago

Or maybe this one:

comment image

Skiriki
Skiriki
30 days ago

I’m so gonna keep wearing the mask, no flu and only minimal amount of colds has been so great.

Bookworm in hijab
Bookworm in hijab
30 days ago

Cyborgette, I totally agree with you about the not-catching-colds thing. I hope you can stay safe and healthy with your new meds!

Personally, I’d like to see a cultural shift towards masks becoming more acceptable even after the pandemic, in the way that they seem to be in Japan and other parts of Asia. If I can keep from infecting other people with my germs, even if they’re only common-cold germs, how is that “antisocial”? Seems very pro-social to me.

Ann Hatzakis
Ann Hatzakis
30 days ago

https://wehuntedthemammoth.com/2021/05/17/women-are-keeping-their-masks-on-to-ward-off-the-male-gaze-and-anti-maskers-are-losing-their-shit/#comment-3662683

Women are CONSTANTLY being told that we have to have a pleasant/happy expression on our faces. It has been a REAL RELIEF TO NOT HAVE TO DO THIS for the comfort of men lest we be told we have “resting bitch face” when we’re just not to exist in community spaces.

Lumipuna
Lumipuna
30 days ago

People can have a variety of reasons for wearing some kind of mask in public. Before the pandemic, I sometimes experimented with an FFP1 or FFP2 dust mask outdoors on particularly dry, windy and dusty spring days because my airways are sensitive. However, it felt too awkward to do in places where many strangers (and some familiar people) might see me.

This spring, we have a record birch pollen load here in Finland. It’s been noted in the media that social normalization of face masks has been good for the pollen allergic people, who often benefit from wearing a mask outdoors during pollen season. Elsewhere, some study found that exposure to tree pollen can make people more susceptible to covid-19 regardless of allergy or lack thereof. Personally, I can more or less manage my pollen allergy with meds, but now I often try to wear some kind mask outdoors to reduce my pollen exposure.

Masking in Finland was adopted gradually, mainly during late 2020, and it’s not going anywhere yet. That said, people here don’t much wear masks outdoors, and certainly not in the parks where I usually take my walks. We have mostly relied on distancing and limited contacts, although now we’re (perhaps prematurely) easing on those as high risk people are at least halfway vaccinated. I rather suspect we’ll need to continue widespread masking together with vaccinations into foreseeable future, if we want to live otherwise normally and also keep the new “fast” virus variants mostly suppressed.

Jon
Jon
30 days ago

“My limited exposure to religious conservatives (mainly of the US Christian variety) suggests that the concept of “modesty” is (at least purportedly) about avoiding tempting men sexually. This would be generally achieved by being relatively covered up by the current mainstream cultural standards.”

I think that’s a reason they’d initially give. But when pressed often times it’s just purportedly. They still want women to guzzy themselves and make themselves visually appealing to men. Just through a “modest” lense of sexualization to get men.
Particularly the “nice” sort of men who’d judge a woman favorably on her modest dress.

“OTOH, if you cover up too much or in wrong way, you may come across as a holier-than-thou type (socially suspect!)”

Yeah the lemon club had a scene dissecting this mentality. If you don’t keep your legs closed you’re a slut if not you’re a prude.

“perhaps a radical Muslim (enemy tribe!!!). That’s the difference between modesty vs. covering up with suspicious, nefarious motivations.”

That also gets a nice guy response with the presupposition that women wearing clothes from other cultures must be forced into it without significant degree of want.

“I don’t think the mask issue (or niqab issue, for that matter) is about women being generally too unappealing to men. It’s more about breaking established norms on public appearance – a grave matter for the conservative mind. Women in particular are also expected to be warm and approachable in public, which the mask easily hinders (up to and including hiding their reactions to catcallers),”

See I think those two things go hand-hand with each other. Women breaking established norms of public appearance can be looked as showing this idea that women aren’t obligated to dress in a way that would be most pleasing to the men in their culture in a certain aspect.

I can agree it’s also on how it could be interpreted as a sight of party allegiance/political allegiance and hostility by conservatives.
But in terms of the specific indignation of women covering up to avoid the male gaze I do think it comes from conservatives thinking women need try to visually please the men that are dominant in their culture when in their presence.

Last edited 30 days ago by Jon
Jon
Jon
30 days ago

I wore a mask outside yesterday because I wanted to warm up my face when I went out.

Lumipuna
Lumipuna
30 days ago

(continued)

The conventional wisdom at least until recently seems to have been that cold and flu are spread mostly by touch. I’ve had less than one cold per year since I improved my handwashing routine several years ago, although I also don’t mingle with other people very much. Oddly enough, I did catch one cold this winter (tested negative for covid) despite me and everyone around me taking precautions to stop viruses.

I used to think the Japanese (?) habit of wearing masks in crowded places was largely hygiene theatre. My thought went something like, “It probably does reduce cold and flu somewhat, but they could achieve that better by actually allowing the sick salarymen to take a break from work. Also, there seems to be a huge social stigma against coughing or sneezing in public for any reason, if you aren’t wearing a mask, which can be problematic.” (Did I mention I have pollen allergy, plus some other chronic respiratory issues?)

Now, we know that covid-19 at least is very much spread by floating aerosols, as well as larger droplets. That’s why in public indoor spaces we need masking, ventilation and crowd density control. I suppose these also help against cold and flu, but those could be more easily controlled by hand/surface hygiene and local distancing. We use a combination of several control methods against covid, and that combination also happens to work rather well against flu, and probably against cold. I think people shouldn’t overestimate how much of their lack of cold/flu (or indeed, lack of covid) in this past year can be credited to masks alone.