Now, for those of you who’ve been keeping up with Da Undercard for some time now, I’m sure you’re aware that I like to keep an open line of communication with you guys because lets face it, you all are as much Da Undercard as I. That being said, occasionally I have some interesting encounters or come across some hot topics that subject to debate. So this morning, as I was going about my admin duties between this site, and the accounts associated with it, I saw an interesting post on my Facebook timeline; the picture you see above was taken from said post. Now while I no longer have the post open to give specific details as to what was said, the title was one that stood out: “why do women wear revealing clothes and then get mad at men who look?” Quite the hot button is it not? My kinda topic!
Now, this one caught my attention because I often wonder the same thing myself. I mean granted, as an artist, I’m all for self expression, and I also believe that you should feel sexy, or at the very least in the clothes that you wear, because other than functionality and consideration for others, what’s the point? So to that extent, I can see why women do it, I mean otherwise there’d be no market for such attire right? But with that being said, I don’t see how its possible to wear…provocative attire and not expect to attract the attention of others, both positive AND negative. I mean, if the purpose of such clothing is to draw peoples attention (because lets be honest, it is), how can you be upset about it doing exactly what it was intended to do?
Now, jeering and snide remarks is one thing, and I would be the first to agree that it is both unnecessary and unwelcome, but to take offense to looks? I dunno. Think of it this way, when you go to a restaurant and look at the menu, as you read you see things you like, and things you don’t, but naturally you’ll come back to what looks good (or sounds good rather) right? You’ll look it up and down deciding what about it makes it better than the other good looking dish you saw, or the one before that. A better example is going to a fast food restaurant. You walk into…say McDonald’s. You go there with your mind set on getting a Big Mac meal, but as you’re standing in line, your eyes happen across that new sandwich that you saw in the commercial and think to yourself “damn, that sandwich looks pretty good”. Do you order that sandwich? Maybe, maybe not. Perhaps you really had your heart set on that Big Mac, but when your eyes came across that new sandwich, you couldn’t help but look, compare, and look again; which is exactly why clothing companies make such provocative attire, which is exactly why I don’t get why some women take offense to that.
One of the arguments I saw was that whether you’re covered or not, men will still look (which I absolutely agree with). The rest of the argument was a bunch of senseless ramblings and circle talk that I didn’t much pay attention to, but that part stood out. Men will look, just as women will look at men if they see something they like. I believe the difference is, as men we wear specific attire with the specific intent on drawing in the attention of women, the same reason why ripped men don’t wear shirts when they run through Central Park in the summer, but do they get offended when women look? Not at all, for the was the intent to begin with.
Another argument I saw was that there were some Daddy or ex issues. Perhaps, but I believe that if it was indeed something along those lines, the woman or women in question would be more inclined to dress more conservatively as to minimize the attention they draw. An argument I saw that always seems to be found in such topics are that said women are “attention seeking whores”. I gotta say, I’m inclined to disagree. If said women were indeed as they claim, what reason would they have to be offended? Unless they’re hypocrites, which isn’t impossible, but given the topic, highly unlikely.
What do I believe you ask? I feel that the problem is a lot simpler than all those arguments I previously mentioned. I think the issue lies in the inherent difference between what each gender considers to be “looking” vs “staring”; if you’ve ever been shopping with a man, you’d probably understand where I’m coming from. I believe that for both genders, looking at people of the opposite (and sometimes the same) sex is a form of “shopping”. Think of it as window shopping for a potential mate. As humans, we all have several basic programs pre installed in us; the need to find food/water (hunter/gatherer), the need to find shelter, and the need to procreate our species, which is something you can find in any Psychology/Sociology book. So, seeing how what we view as “attractive” is one of our higher functions in service to our more basic ones, by default, we tend to be attracted to people who exhibit the qualities that we individually seek; therefore, when we walk down the street and look at people, we window shop so to speak.
Now back to what I said before about men shopping, when we shop, we’re only looking for aesthetics. That’s why when we go clothes shopping with women, we often find ourselves bored. To men, clothes (particularly women’s) have no real interest to us because we aren’t the ones wearing them. However you couple a visually pleasing woman, with clothes that accentuate her beauty, and what do you get? The textbook cartoon jaw drop. Its in this same vein that men wear certain outfits, because we feel that by doing so, it’ll enhance out attractiveness, not just by what it is we’re wearing, but it’s ascribed value based on how much it costs. This is why women can wear an outfit that costs $50, and gain the same amount of attention as men who spend $500+ on a single outfit. Which would explain why Mr. 500+ draws the attention of women based on what he’s wearing (we know this) and Ms. $50 can draw the equal attention of men because of how her outfit accentuates her figure (women know this). So…what is the problem?
As men we can’t help but look, its in our nature. We either look and decide whether we should take the chance and engage in conversation, or simply follow it with our eyes and watch it pass us by. You can’t hold that against us, but I feel that a solution to the problem would be to clearly define what constitutes as a look vs a stare. You know, like how long is a look a look before it goes into stareville. What’s your take on this? I’d love to know 😀