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Your Wife

Damnit! Would something deep and philosophical PLEASE happen?


Yeah, this isn't like Dangerous Minds or Stand and Deliver AT ALL.

David Harmon

"Should we tell girls that they can't wear what they want? Is it morally objectionable for a girl to proud of the fact that she can get boys to turn their heads? "

I've been thinking about that issue for a while, because I'm one of those guys who likes to consider myself sex-positive, but at the same time, I can't escape the sense that there's *something* screwy there.

What I eventually came up with, is that wearing provocative clothing in "the public sphere" (i.e., not someplace where "flaunting it" is the point of being there), is linked to the general issue of "obscenity". Even for sex-positive types, having this sort of thing "in your face" can get pretty annoying, and the reason it's annoying, is because it's *distracting*. Because of the instinctive responses involved, it grabs your attention away from whatever you "ought" to be looking at.

That is, "excessive" display of sexuality is a social issue, because it's a matter of "grabbing" people's attention in a fashion that's socially agressive. The closest example I can find (outside both sex and personal appearance), is when somebody paints their house, say, bright pink and lime green, in an area where most of the houses are just brick and siding.

Or to put it another way, "flaunting it" out of proper context, is *tacky*. Not evil, or even really nasty, just a little unmannerly. Of course, there are other sorts of personal display that are also considered "tacky" -- but as far as I've seen, those all share that same basic element: They grab more of people's attention than is really appropriate to the situation.

Of course, it's proverbial that "us grownups" consider "those kids" to be rude and tasteless. Even so, I think it's not too unreasonable to give them a bit of grief about it here and there. Whether they listen is another question entirely....

David Harmon

Oh yeah, it's worth noting that the word "tacky" also refers to something that's a little sticky, like half-dry paint. I suspect that's exactly the metaphor that yields its social usage.

Paul Carpenter

I'm one of "those kids" but I would still argue that there is a way in which people should conduct themselves in society which does involve not dressing too provactatively, although it's not the biggest issue at hand in todays youth, really.

Anyways, hows about some maths?

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