Saturday, January 13, 2018

Can a man......?

This question appeared at Quora this week.

I guess it's the currently charged atmosphere of
#Me too and suchlike that has set a few male nerves jangling, perhaps a tad overmuch. Once upon a time such a question wouldn't have seemed at all relevant.

There are some good answers. I especially enjoyed reading the one from Andrew Cullum - a little story of his encounter with the boots of the woman standing behind him in line at a 7/11.

I didn't contribute to the thread myself, but the question did set me thinking back through my long lifetime, my interactions with humans of the male variety, searching for examples of commentary from them on my wearing apparel.

You know... my opinion of men on this front is that, in general, they simply do not notice a woman's clothes, unless one wears something deliciously revealing, wildly eccentric or when there's a huge stain on the back where you'd managed to (for instance) sit down in some cheese sauce. The only instances I recall of my clothing being under scrutiny, complimented or commented on have been in conversation with gay guy colleagues, who have always had the knack of doing so delightfully and gracefully. My husband will, occasionally, notice the pattern on a shirt I'm wearing and say he likes the pattern (he's arty farty by nature), but I usually have to ask him directly whether I "look alright". Earlier male significant others in my life have had much the same attitude - even my first husband, an Italian with fairly snazzy fashion consciousness himself, didn't seem to give a hoot what I was wearing.

Maybe it's me! Maybe (I snigger) they loved me for my mind.

All the above being so, I suppose that I'd be flabbergasted more than anything else, if a male commented, unbidden, on an article of my clothing. I would certainly not think he was being sexist - nor would I have thought so when I was much, much younger - but then, I come from a different era.


R J Adams said...

A different era indeed! I think the hashtag '#MeToo' needs changing to '#DoNotTouch'. It's interesting that the vast majority of this #MeToo stuff is emanating from the USA. There's been a half-hearted attempt to emulate in Europe but it's not really amounted to much. Of course, there's far fewer loud-mouthed female 'celebs' on this continent.

Twilight said...

RJ Adams ~ The "celebs" were in full cry at at the "Golden Globes", and will be doing an encore at the Oscars, I think we can depend on that. The fact that what they are protesting has been going on right under their noses for decades, while they stood by and lapped up the gravy.....well! There are photos around of several of the most outspoken stars, with Weinstein, from some years ago, in very chummy poses!

Still, if the outcome changes what's considered acceptable, it will be no bad thing, in spite of current feelings of irritation by thee and me.

Wisewebwoman said...

Wow. Wasn't going to comment but you are forgetting the power dynamic in all these brutal encounters. Women have to house and feed themselves and their chikdren. I've been a victim so I join the #metoo movement and say: finally, fucking finally.


Twilight said...

Wisewebwoman ~ I appreciate how strongly you feel, WWW. I do. And I do realise the power dynamic that has been present. Some of those celebrity figures, though, have had sufficient power and influence for many, many years to not have had to worry about feeding themselves and family. Why did they not speak up, act, unionise or try to do some damn thing years ago?
I'm feeling very anti-celeb at present. :(