Ah yes, the idiots who say “Then why did you wear that?” Those people are firm believers that women don’t have autonomy. Also they are firm cowards.
You see there are three reasons to comment on women, and not men.
1- Women aren’t people, they’re property
2- Men (real men, not homosexual men, not transmen, not not not any of those fake things that aren’t real men) are people.
3- And also, men are violent, and might hurt the commenter.
The justifications they use!
– Why did you wear that?
Because it’s cold out and this is a coat. (No, really, I’ve cursed back, or stopped and told them to drop dead, and it’s been winter and I was dressed for the weather.)
– Women dress to attract
This one gets me. In one sense, it’s true. Much of the clothing women wear is ostensibly “attractive”. In every other sense it’s completely false. Women wear clothes for reasons: work clothes; clothes it’s ok if something spills on; clothes suitable for exercise; clothes that are clean; clothes that are suitable for the weather (warm or cool); clothes that look pretty; clothes that their friends will like; clothes that their parents will hate
I can’t think of all the reasons that women wear clothes. Women wear clothes because humans in their societies wear clothes.
Prostitutes’ clothing might indicate availability — that is, street walkers in the US often wear clothes showing a lot of leg and torso. But fashion or weather dictate the same.
And with the possible exception of streetwalkers (I’ll get back to that in a minute), women don’t dress to attract strangers. Even when women look attractive — and want to attract — we want to attract the people to whom we are attracted. Not random men. We didn’t dress for random men. We dressed for ourselves and people (specific people) we know or want to know.
As for streetwalkers, they aren’t dressing to attract either. They’re in work clothes that act as sign of their job. They aren’t interested in that random man. They want to make money.
This was inspired by some ass who wrote in entitled idiocy that of course women should expect attention from men because we dress for it. No. We don’t.
[On a tangent here: people don’t think about other people all that much. I didn’t dress with a random stranger in mind. I dressed so that I won’t offend the people I know. Maybe I’ll please the people I don’t know, but really, I don’t spend any of my valuable time hoping for the approval of strangers. Or caring what they think.
And because of that I know that other people aren’t really thinking about the dumb thing I did whenever. I am not in their thoughts at all.]
I will now discuss a specific cat call.
Yes. I have two of them. Some people have zero or one. Some other people have three or more. What’s the point in yelling out that I have legs?
That my dears, was rhetorical. They yell out “Legs!” or “Nice [body part]!” to prove to us that we have no rights, no autonomy. A woman out in public is a public amenity.
Men have the right to use public amenities. That’s us.
Someone, possibly in the Schrödinger’s Rapist thread, spoke of the desire to tell someone they have fabulous shoes. (This is an example of a non-sexual comment.) Then she realized that all that would happen is some stranger would now know that another stranger thinks her shoes are great. How is this worth interrupting someone?
Spoiler alert: It isn’t.
The reason I mention “Legs!” is that it’s a particularly silly thing to yell out. They don’t yell “Arms!” because arms aren’t especially sexual in this culture. Nor “Face!” because faces are public in the US. Legs are a special case. They are sexualized, just think of the expressions “leg man” and “breast man” and “ass man” — all describing body parts that are commonly subjects of a partialism. (Not that the men with the fetish would describe themselves that way. Hah!) At the same time, legs are exposed. They are innocent body parts. You walk or swim with them. So commenting on them isn’t like commenting on sexy bits (or so people might tell themselves).
This is all nonsense of course. Men comment on women because they can.
We live in a culture in which many men aspire to be Real Men (TM). Real Men (TM) are straight. They aren’t women. They aren’t gender queer. They aren’t transmen. They are privileged.
I am not a man.