A co-worker and I were examining a picture of some extreme and very expensive high heeled shoes that were quite obviously extremely dangerous to wear as well as insanely uncomfortable. I commented on how bizarre they were and my younger friend said that they were supposed to make you look sexy.

"Look sexy," I said, "Don't you mean they're supposed to make you look fuckable??

First she looked at me with a slightly stunned expression, which I initially thought was from me using a crass word not normally used in our office, which was out of character for me.

Then I saw the light go on. It hadn't occurred to her before that the extreme quest for the elusive quality of "looking sexy" is actually very demeaning and crass. We are so accustomed to society pressuring women to look sexy that we never think of what it means about our value to our society as human beings. We talked for a while about how easy it is to buy into that set of values.

Looking sexy is just the other side of the burka. Both are traps, and women on both sides of this issue are not free. It's not a matter of morality, it's a matter of being truly free.

Maybe this isn't about athiesm, but it's important.

Views: 5

Tags: feminism, sexuality, values

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Comment by Bitsy Haywood on October 6, 2009 at 9:31pm
Here's some interesting information about what Europe's like as the population of young muslim males come of age in a country where women run around unsupervised. Nice.
http://www.iris.org.il/blog/archives/757-Pan-European-Arab-Muslim-Gang-Rape-Epidemic.html
Comment by Aaron S. (USA) on October 2, 2009 at 8:29pm
Well, what I meant wasn't that women could find men to be physically attractive, what I meant was that there are virtually no choices for men to dress in a way that's specifically sexy. That is, if you're a woman, there are push-up bras, low-cut blouses, form-fitting clothing, high skirts, and on and on. For men, however, there aren't any, say, pants that you can wear specifically designed to show off your penis, and it would probably be considered obscene if a man were to wear his pants so low that they only barely covered his genitals, whereas there are plenty of choices for women to show their chest all the way down to their nipples. If you were to pick an average men's t-shirt, and compare it to an average women's, you'd find that generally the women's is much more form-fitting than the men's. For women, it can be a chore to find something that's not sexualized, but for men the opposite is true.
Comment by Dani on October 2, 2009 at 3:38pm
@Aaron S: yep I agree with John D men can be/dress sexy too, but whats sexy to me may not be sexy to another woman...it's all so relative!
Comment by Aaron S. (USA) on October 2, 2009 at 1:47pm
Now, the downside is that women as not allowed to be open and free with their sexuality. They are forced by tradition and law to suffer for their desires which is 100% wrong. Men have been allowed to pursue sex and women are always wrongly judged for doing the same.

Well, not exactly - women are able to express their sexuality, but they're required to do it through their dress rather than their actions. I mean, if you want to dress sexy as a man, it's not even possible. Sexy clothes for men just don't exist - and I don't know what would happen to you if you tried to do it in public, anyway.

It's a quibble that most people won't consider substantial (except, perhaps, the less naturally aggressive males in the crowd that wouldn't mind being asked out once in a while), but it's still there.
Comment by Dani on October 2, 2009 at 1:41pm
It is very unfortunate that our society places unfair/unbalanced expectations and standards on women when it comes to appearances....But what I find even more disturbing is our own self sabotage and loathing (which can also be linked to societal norms)!

I think it's incredibly important for women to recognize their individual worth (INside Then Outward) and work with it! Yes most women with a heartbeat want to feel desirable the problem is that we ourselves buy into the lies that the people we see on tv or magazines exemplify the "beauty" we should have to receive that feeling of desirability....but is desirability synonymous with sexy, I'd say NO. Some of us desire others beyond their outer shells!
Comment by Scarletizm on October 1, 2009 at 11:11pm
Very good points indeed. What is very strange is that almost all women want to be considered sexy. And as far as your friend #1 above she has to believe she's sexy herself. It's all about the way someone views themselves. There is someone out there that considers her sexy. There is always someone else who has a different definition of sexy because there is no definitive definition of sexy, it varies from person to person.
Comment by Not important on October 1, 2009 at 11:06pm
It's a very interesting thing to go through as a girl. Sometimes I want to look sexy/fuckable & tell myself I should before I get old enough not to be able to pull it off. Then sometimes I'm disgusted by the thought of it and want to look completely drab and un-noticeable just to rebel. It is a weird issue that I go through quite frequently, depending on the mood I'm in while trying to decide what to wear.
Comment by Bitsy Haywood on October 1, 2009 at 7:06pm
I know a young woman who is literally brilliant, with a doctorate in a difficult science that most people are totally impressed by, which she paid for herself with jobs and scholarships, not money from her dad and mom. She is sad because she is not beautiful or sexy. Even with all of her incredible accomplishments she is disappointed in herself when she looks in the mirror or goes clothes shopping. In her own eyes she falls short as a human being because she is not sexy-looking.
I know another woman, considerably less intelligent but much more beautiful and sexy that is a talented artist. She is never able to show her work without her own looks being an issue that outweighs her accomplishments.
A man is ultimately measured by his accomplishments. A woman is ultimately measured by her looks. Men are not brought up to aspire to being better-looking, they are taught to accept their looks and focus on developing their talents because while women may notice a man's looks, she values his talents more. Women are taught to focus on being better-looking and hide their talents because men don't like competition from women. Women are taught that the man she is trying to attract will value her more for looks than talents.

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