Thong alert: some images may be NSFW
Trigger Warning: Image of Amanda Marcotte
This is Jessica Rey. Among other things, she is a swimsuit designer and her website features the catchphrase “Who Says It Has To Be Itty Bitty?”. Her swimsuits look like this:
They’re so cute! They’re also mostly sold out.
I imagine there are many reasons some women prefer one-piece swimsuits over the itsy bitsy teeny weeny bikini kind, but Jessica has a pretty specific reason for offering women her stylish and more modest designs. Jessica, you see, appears to believe that women who dislike being treated like gobs of walking meat should perhaps consider not presenting themselves as gobs of, well, walking meat.
Oh, Jessica, you silly little goose! I mean really now. Come on. That’s too ridiculous! What a riot! Who believes that? Who actually thinks there is some sort of relationship between what you wear and how you are perceived?
Not Amanda Marcotte. Oh, I know. She doesn’t like thongs and yoga pants, but that was AGES ago! Thongs are out, bikinis are in! It’s fashion, people. These things tend to change, and opinions change with them.
Both Jessica and Katelyn Beaty think that if women want to be taken seriously they should consider dressing to reflect that desire.
Here, there is freedom for individual women to practice modesty not primarily to preserve men’s sexual purity, but to preserve their own dignity. To show in outward form the inward truth that they matter to society for their minds, their leadership, their passions, and their talents—talents that have nothing to do with how many heads they can turn. Modesty can become a form of female power.
Rather than debate the efficacy of modesty, which I really don’t care about, let’s talk about how these standards apply to ALL THE HUMANS. Oh, I can hear you sighing already. We have to talk about ALL the humans? Even the boy ones? Again?
The mere fact that women’s modesty is constantly being debated is evidence enough that women aren’t yet equal. If we want women “to be taken seriously,” we should, umm, take them seriously, and stop linking dignity to fabric.
Well, props to Amanda for getting at least one thing right. When it comes to dressing with dignity, women are definitely NOT equal to men. They are way, way beneath them, and ladies like Amanda would like to keep them there.
Of course, that’s just a generalization. Men can fail at the whole dignity thing, too, and when they do, feminists will be first in line to mock them.
Pop Quiz for Men: have you ever taken surreptitious shots of women’s assets when you are out and about in public spaces?
You fucking creep. You’ve probably never been laid. You live in your mother’s basement, don’t you? You’re a disgusting pervert and you should be arrested for violating…. …. Well, I don’t know what, but SOMETHING! And one guy actually was.
Thanks to a tip from a group of anonymous Redditors who are sick of seeing the CreepShots community gleefully post teen upskirt photo after teen upskirt photo while telling the “internet morality police” to “fuck off” and stop ruining their fun.
Pop Quiz For Jezebel: Have you ever published shots of men’s assets, taken without their knowledge or consent, either to drool over them or mock them?
Ha ha ha! You rock, Jezebel! That is so funny and edgy and cool and look at those two penises! I love your double standards! They’re so …. hypocritical?
So let’s talk about appropriate attire, double standards and the art of being taken seriously. I’ll preface everything I am saying with the caveat that I DON’T REALLY CARE WHAT YOU WEAR, but I do expect you to own your choices. You don’t get to dress in a deliberately provocative manner and then scream when you provoke a reaction. Whatever that reaction happens to be.
You want to wear this?
Go right ahead. At your all white sorority, it’s probably a screaming riot. Go out in public, and expect to get your ass whooped, and justifiably so. Boo hoo. Consequences.
There is a very simple reason women are disproportionately treated as sex objects while men are not: women are far more likely to ACT AND DRESS LIKE SEX OBJECTS. When you dress in a manner that puts your sexuality front and center, expect to be treated as if your sexuality is your defining feature. YOU ARE THE ONE DEFINING IT.
Sorry, lots of all ALLCAPS screaming today, but whether or not a woman is perceived as being sexual first and foremost depends on what she is wearing and how she presents herself AND THE SAME FUCKING STANDARDS APPLY TO MEN.
Oh hello, doctor!
Chef Wowza! How ya doing?
Ooh, officer. Is that a gun in your holster or are you just happy to see me?
You can frame my walls, baby.
Oh, dude. No. Just put it away.
Men can show up at work in any of these outfits. They are incredibly unlikely to do so, and if they do, you can be pretty sure they will be fired on the spot. In the dubious event they are actually permitted to do their jobs, who thinks they will be treated with gravity, dignity and respect?
Women who go to work wearing this:
Will get all the same respect as a man wearing this:
This mechanic can work on my car:
So can this one:
Both of them will remain in my mind as meat because their chosen attire has requested that I see them as human meat for my viewing pleasure.
This mechanic doesn’t want to viewed as a walking sex toy.
Neither does this one:
Only one of the four mechanics above is likely to scream and thrash and cry that she is being objectified and denied her humanity and sexualized.
It mystifies me. It really does. What is the point of wearing clothing and accessories deliberately designed to enhance your sexuality and then screaming that the only thing anyone ever values you for is your sexuality?
The honest truth is that UNLESS you consciously and knowingly put forth your sexuality as the aspect of yourself you most want people to see and value, they won’t! Men, for example, notice a woman’s EYES AND SMILE long before they notice her rack. Unless she’s shoved her puppies into a push-up bra and left her shirt half undone.
Women, too, will notice a man’s EYES AND SMILES before they check out his height and they will almost never notice his package because men TEND NOT TO DISPLAY THEIR DICKS overtly.
You can be sure if crotch cleavage ever becomes popular, women’s eyes will be traveling to the crotch area pretty rapidly.
Crotch cleavage will NOT becoming a trend anytime soon. Know why? Because it’s ridiculous. Absurd. Stupid. It invites people to dismiss the man displaying his MagicJohnson as an idiot. Someone not really worthy of respect or admiration. Really? Your dick? That’s what you have to offer? That’s how you want to be defined?
How is it that men seem to get this, while women do not. If you dress to emphasize your sexuality you are implying that your sexuality is what you have to offer. Not your skills, or talents or passions or even your conscientiousness. Put your tits front and center, and you will be valued for your tits AT YOUR OWN REQUEST.
If you want to wear a bikini at the beach, go right ahead. Wear it anywhere you like. But understand that walking around virtually naked is not going to lend any help if your goal is to be taken seriously. As if you have something to contribute other than your ass. Assuming of course, you DO have something other than that to offer.
Men at the beach wearing this can expect a certain reaction.
It’s unlikely to involve respect. Is there a man alive who doesn’t understand that? Show up at the office pool party wearing this:
And you have just blown your career straight to hell. Unless you’re an underwear model. Or a porn star. And ladies, show up at the office pool party in a string bikini, and expect the exact same response.
The alternative is NOT a burkha. Bullshit. Jessica Rey has provided lots of alternatives. The world is full of alternatives. All it takes is for women to understand that what you wear CAN and WILL have an effect on those around you. Not all those effects will be positive.
Sexuality at work is a powerful thing. No doubt about it. But ladies, if you are going to wield that sword for your benefit, understand the blade cuts both ways.
Now go put some fucking clothes on.
Lots of love,