I'm an old prude, I guess - Page 6 - Mothering Forums

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Old 06-17-2008, 10:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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seriously, I don't go around telling someone "what you're wearing is slutty/inappropriate" but I can see a 7th grader in a tube top and short shorts that say "sexy" across the butt and think, "huh. that's a little sad." just like when I hear about that same age group 2 towns over giving oral sex in school buses and feel the same way because plainly, that just didn't happen on a regular basis a few years ago, and it honestly bothers me when it's written off as "oh, the younger generation is always scandalizing the older people" because I'm just not that much older, first off, and secondly there is a line that's crossed that goes beyond personal expression and harmless rebellion and becomes psychologically harmful and self-abusive and I don't think a lot of kids today have the support and education they need to be making some of the choices they are. so it goes beyond clothing for me, because I have an understanding of what's behind it, in that actual sex is happening at a much younger age than it was a decade ago. earlier puberty, less parental involvement, and a media that sends incredibly damaging messages especially to girls have all contributed, and I don't think sweeping it under the rug as their own choice to make about what to wear or how to behave because it's not their choice if they have no positive, FEMINIST empowering support from those who do not use their sex for approval.
This. Much better said than I could have.

FTR, I'm not name-calling. Slut, whore and the like are not words I use - they denegrate women.

I guess I question the issue of feminist choice here. Are the girls choosing to dress as scantily as possible purely for their own, independent reasons or to make a statement of personal autonomy....or because they're seeking male approval (as shaped by the current media - who's the sexiest, who's the thinnest.) I love the Pink song, "Stupid Girls" where she says: "What happened to the dreams of a girl president /She's dancing in the video next to 50 Cent"

Of course, girls can chose what to wear. I'm not trying to dictate or change them, but more analyzing (in a dismaying, not denegrating tone) why this is such a current cultural trend.

And I have to clarify, again. This is not about wearing a spaghetti strap top, visible bra straps - or any other single piece of clothing. It's the entire outfits that seek to maximize skin exposure - shortest shorts to barely cleavage covering tanks - the full effect to look like a bathing suit - essentially. I saw this on streams of girls coming out of the high school, so it does seem to be a trend.

Mama to DS (8) and DD (7) Aristotle was not Belgian. The central message of Buddhism is not "Every man for himself." And the London Underground is not a political movement.

 

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Old 06-17-2008, 10:32 AM
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Girls can be smart and want to be president AND wear skimpy clothes...
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Old 06-17-2008, 10:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Girls can be smart and want to be president AND wear skimpy clothes...
Of course.

But I do think skimpy clothes are inappropriate for school. I guess I look at school as the "work place" of teenagers. I'm a believer in dressing appropriately for the situation. Evening gowns and swimwear aren't suitable attire for the office, business casual (or formal, depending on your place of work) is, IMHO.

This is probably one of those agree to disagree type of issues, I'm guessing.

Mama to DS (8) and DD (7) Aristotle was not Belgian. The central message of Buddhism is not "Every man for himself." And the London Underground is not a political movement.

 

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Old 06-17-2008, 11:07 AM
 
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you are screaming look at me.
So what? What's wrong with wanting to be looked at, anyway? Teenage girls sometimes like to show off their bodies. I did when I was a teenager. Heck, it was the last time I HAD a decent enough body to show off Besides, you may be wrong. The weather IS hot and whether you want to admit it or not, some of us dress for the heat by wearing shorts, spaghetti straps, etc. They make not look good on all of us, but we still wear them.

I have dreadlocks and I'm white--does that mean I'm screaming "look at me"? Some people think it does, but that's not why I have them.
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Old 06-18-2008, 02:33 PM
 
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I know what you mean, I can't wrap my head around the idea of someone seeing spagetti straps on an 8 year old and thinking "She's trying to look sexy". It seems to say more about the mindset of the beholder than of the child.
I agree completely - I hear people making comments about little girls having shorts that are too short or that they shouldn't be playing in a dress because people can see their underwear. So what? They're little kids! They should be comfortable and I think it's perverted to worry about kids showing skin. Not that they should be wearing adult styled "sexy" clothing - but a tank and shorts is far from that.

And I think this whole issue is like that - I don't understand how people can make sweeping moral judgements on the basis of clothing. : Projecting your own values onto other peoples' choices... I just don't get it. I consider "modesty" to be an expression of shame and repression. I think that our bodies are all beautiful and that there is no reason to hide them.

It sucks to think that other people are out there looking at me and thinking how horrible it is that my shoulders are exposed and that I must be looking for the wrong kind of male attention. I guess I should just be happy that kind of thinking hasn't really entered my consciousness. Except here

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Old 06-18-2008, 02:44 PM
 
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So? I'm supposed to care what someone calls me, because she thinks I'm promiscuous based on my clothes? You know...we had girls in school who showed no skin except their hands and faces and were having sex with a different guy every weekend - and girls who wore tight and see-through, and were virgins. It's clothing.

I just can't see getting bent over being called a slut. It happened many time (once when I was riding my bike home from my paper route in the pouring rain, wearing jeans and a heavy sweater - go figure), and it just wasn't that big a deal.
Well sheesh, forgive me for caring and having my feeling hurt and crushed over what other people called me and thought of me. You have thicker, tougher skin and I don’t. Good.
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Old 06-18-2008, 03:18 PM
 
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Funny thing about that, usually the people calling someone else that were doing the same things or worse, so it's kind of meaningless.

If I do it, I'm a slut, but if you do it, it's ok. Riiiiiight.

I really couldn't care less about who's slutty. Just keep your underwear inside.
Y'know back in high school, I wore mostly big baggy t-shirts over loose jeans. And I wouldn't have even thought to call the girls who wore skimpier clothes "sluts"--I was pretty innocent. I do remember thinking "how can she wear that?? Isn't she FREEZING?" a few times.
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Old 06-18-2008, 03:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by BlueStateMama View Post
Of course.

But I do think skimpy clothes are inappropriate for school. I guess I look at school as the "work place" of teenagers. I'm a believer in dressing appropriately for the situation. Evening gowns and swimwear aren't suitable attire for the office, business casual (or formal, depending on your place of work) is, IMHO.

This is probably one of those agree to disagree type of issues, I'm guessing.
It's not just teenagers. I'm 39, and I see that a lot of folks not that much younger than me - 10-15 years maybe - seem to have lost the sense of what is appropriate clothing for a certain place. Very tight and lowcut jeans/leggings and a tight top that shows a lot of skin would be just fine for evenings/weekends, but it's not appropriate for an office job, regardless of how casual the office is.

I've had lots of friends get married in recent years and nearly every single invitation included a note reminding people about modest dress because it was a church wedding - no cleavage, no bare shoulders/backs/midriffs, no very short dresses. I realize that you might want to look sexy for the party afterwards, but shawls and wraps are easily available to cover up for an hour in the church.

I could go on and on. People will wear what they want, but they have to re-learn what's appropriate for different situations.

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Old 06-18-2008, 03:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Laggie View Post
I consider "modesty" to be an expression of shame and repression. I think that our bodies are all beautiful and that there is no reason to hide them.

So, if you're in a situation where being covered up is appropriate - such at a wedding in a conservative place of worship and where many others will be dressed "modestly" - would you just wear whatever you wanted even if it did show a lot of skin, or would you wear something that showed little skin out of respect for the occasion and others?

Not meaning to get snarky, but when I've heard your line of reasoning before, people used it to mean, "I'll wear whatever the %&%&% I want, whenever I want and the &^&& with others."

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Old 06-18-2008, 04:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by choli View Post
I know what you mean, I can't wrap my head around the idea of someone seeing spagetti straps on an 8 year old and thinking "She's trying to look sexy". It seems to say more about the mindset of the beholder than of the child.
My dsd has RAD, and one of the things they do is act out sexually. She can and does try to act sexy, it was one of the first red flags that told me something was seriously wrong. When I hear her talk about little boys like the women on night-time soaps, as if they were involved in heavy sexual drama, and I have to stop her from coming out of her room in an undershirt she wore when she was 4 because she thinks it will get our friend's 13 year old son's attention, then yes, I would say she is trying to act sexy. From the time I came into her life, I felt like there was an unusual need for male attention. In her case, the first time someone gave her a top with spaghetti straps, she went and put on these ridiculous high heeled shoes one of her aunts bought her that she couldn't walk in and we had banned for any purpose other than 'dress up.' She most definitely was trying to look sexy. She has stolen my makeup to take to school. She has obsessed about getting male attention since I met her, and before that. It's frightening, and I worry that she's easy prey for child molesters because she's overly friendly to strangers, which is another RAD trait.

The oversexualization of children is bad enough for the average child, but for one who has psychological problems, its a recipe for disaster. We're starting to realize she will need a sitter at an age when her friends are able to be left home alone.

I agree it's dumb to ban spaghetti straps if they aren't going to ban falling down pants and any other display of underwear though, because that's the only reason I can see for it, as you're correct that shoulders aren't exactly shocking.


For parents like me, when we see a child in adult clothing, without knowing anything about them, we cringe a little and hope they're 'normal.' We don't necessarily have dirty minds. We're flat-out terrified, and we don't understand why other parents think it's funny, because if you lived our lives, you really wouldn't.

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Old 06-19-2008, 02:40 PM
 
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So, if you're in a situation where being covered up is appropriate - such at a wedding in a conservative place of worship and where many others will be dressed "modestly" - would you just wear whatever you wanted even if it did show a lot of skin, or would you wear something that showed little skin out of respect for the occasion and others?

Not meaning to get snarky, but when I've heard your line of reasoning before, people used it to mean, "I'll wear whatever the %&%&% I want, whenever I want and the &^&& with others."
Well, that's a good point... but no, I don't think that I would feel comfortable in a church if I had a lot of skin exposed. However, I don't feel comfortable in conservative churches in the first place, I don't agree with most of the values they preach. I did attend a Catholic wedding last year and there were plenty of exposed shoulders - the bride wore a strapless dress and so did the bridesmaids. Maybe because I'm on the West Coast, it would be hard to find anyone who is so conservative that they would be offended by low cut clothing.

I do think that there is a big difference between being offended by what somebody is wearing in church vs. what they are wearing on the street. I also think that a true Christian would be able to look past the clothing and see the person on the inside.

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