How women dress (modesty.)

I couldn’t get into this in my previous post, but I briefly mentioned a discussion in my English Class about how women dress.

Deep breath.

I’ve grown up going to youth group, so I must have heard this discussion at least a dozen times, usually once or twice every six months is when it comes up.

Every time, there were some girls who got really bent out of shape about it. Even offended. And the same thing happened in class. A few women, particularly the oldest one in our class, were in favor of having certain standards, shall we say; and one girl was getting a bee in her bonnet about being held to different standards than men.

If I want to not wear a shirt, or not wear a bra under my shirt, why shouldn’t I be able to; was her argument, a man doesn’t have to do that.

Um…how can I put this? A man doesn’t have a…reason to wear those things for decency’s sake.

To me the issue is really quite simple. Modesty depends on what you’ve got to work with. And wearing revealing clothes also depends on that, often enough.

I don’t wish to make men or women reading this uncomfortable, if you’re sensitive, and I am one of those folks; but I have to be honest too about this issue.

The real problem women seem to have, at least I’ve never yet heard a man complain that it’s not fair that we ask him to dress respectably, is that they have to deal with men gazing at them lustfully, and men do not have this problem.

Well, I don’t know about that. But I think it goes deeper, women also resent the idea that men can tell them to do anything, including how to dress; and then they get iffy even if other women are telling them.

After all shouldn’t girls be able to express themselves however they want?

If I was to be glib, I would say I’d rather not express myself then have me ogle me. And I’ve yet to catch one doing it, thank you very much.

But it’s not that simple is it?

And girls who resent this, do have a point. It’s not fair that women have to worry about it so much. It’s not fair that we have to worry about being raped, or have creepy remarks being made about us, and all sorts of stuff. Statistically, I think women are the victims of more violent cries then men are, though it depends on where you live.

It’s not right that we have to think about all this. My whole bus stop incident was one that I was prepared for, I’d thought about how I would handle it when something like that happened to me. But just the fact hat I knew it would happen and had to be prepared, is pretty sad.

Please men, please be shaking your heads and saying “Wow, that is terrible.”

I hope to God I never get assaulted, but 1 in 3 women are, or is that just the successfully assaulted ones? The attempted assaults could raise the number higher.

And if I’m in a dangerous spot, I hope that I have a good man around to protect me. Because the fact is, few women get assaulted when they have a man around them. In fact, kidnappers and assaulters will purposely target girls who they can tell don’t have a good Dad. Even losers in schools who pick up chicks and use them though they don’t assault them will go for the fatherless.

And I notice it’s the fatherless women who tend to have the most issue with how they dress.

We can talk about rights all day long. We can wish men didn’t lust. We can wish, quite frankly, that women didn’t lust. Don’t tell me any girl over 18 who likes men at all has never ogled one herself. Double standard much?

But the reality is, people lust. People are messed up.

And as I said, I believe there are really good men out there. And good women. I’m truly sorry if it’s never been your experience to meet one. But it’s not too late.

The point is, as I said in my class, do you play with matches in front of an arsonist? Do you drink in front of an alcoholic? Do you do drugs in front of a junkie?

Some people do, they are called being part of the problem. And people who don’t do, but don’t try to help their loved ones who are doing it are called enablers.

Not all men are enslaved to lust, not everyone does drugs. But if you know that someone has a weakness for something and you utterly disregard that by what you talk about, do, or dress like around them, you share the responsibility.

Sorry if I’m insulting your freedom, but explain to me where you get off?

“But Natasha, it’s my body, I can do what I want.”

Honestly, I’ve heard youth leaders try to be delicate and gentle about it, and it goes right over the girls heads. They turn up their teenage noses and stick out their chins and say “I have the right to dress however I want.”

Well, you have the right to jump off a bridge too, but don’t blame us for you broken bones.

But let me back off from laying down the law. I’m risking losing you guys by being too passionate.

I have felt like it was unfair too. I went through that phase.

It’s not all the girls fault. Whether we can blame men for checking us out if we dress that way, I can’t say, but we can blame them for acting on it.

I’d like to end this with another college story.

The other week I went to an event but couldn’t find the building for a good 45 minutes. (New student troubles.) I asked a few different people for help and they couldn’t tell me. But one young man decided to help me find it. He walked me form one end of central campus to the other. At first I was concerned since it was a total stranger, and not that many people were about. But he never was anything but courteous and respectful. a true gentlemen. He stayed with me until we finally found it, then left me outside the room.

I haven’t seen him since, And I doubt I will since we have different class schedules, but he made my evening a lot pleasanter even if I was stressed out. And later I realized he probably escorted me because there was an assault on or by our campus not that long ago. And I was alone.

I think I would have been fine, but that doesn’t change that I appreciated the consideration.

Which is why I say for one fellow who might have been wanting to use me, I’ve had a dozen who wanted to help me.

I think how men view women is shaped a lot by how women view themselves. If you dress like a sex symbol, don’t BS me that you view yourself any differently. If you dress like a princess, you think of yourself as a princess.

You cannot give off mixed signals and expect to be treated with consideration. Most men will not try anything on a girl they can plainly see wouldn’t go for it. Those who will are the reason we need good men around us.

And that is that.

That’s all I’ve got to say about it, until next time–Natasha.

Attempted Pick up at the Bus Stop.

College and life have a way of intertwining.

I had the most bizarre thing happen to me yesterday, as you know i take the bus to school most days, and so far nothing really strange has happened to me. But yesterday it was finally my turn to get the weirdo-trying- to-pick-up-a-chick experience.

I don’t do face reveals for safety reasons on this blog, so you’ll have to take my word for it that I’m a pretty attractive young woman, but I do not look like the type of person who’s an easy pick up. In fact up till now, I’ve never been asked out or really flirted with (as far as i could tell at the time anyway.)

And I can’t be particularly flattered by this fellow, since he tried the same line on me that I heard him use on a more abrupt girl in the other seat.

I’ve been around homeless people enough times to spot the type. Maybe you know it, they seem lucid and aware of their surroundings, but they aren’t quite all there. I’m sure it’s because a lot of them are on drugs, but there’s still a difference between them and other addicts. Maybe it’s the loss of regular human contact.

This fellow was just a little out of it, so I decided rather then immediately tell him to buzz off, I would do it easily. Anyway it was a public place and there wasn’t much he could do.

After a lot of flattery, and some strangely deep life advice, he came to the point rather subtly by saying he’d like to visit me.

That was when I tactfully told him that I don’t get picked up by guys I just met.–Not adding “Besides, you’re homeless, probably a smoker (I could smell cigarettes), and a little loopy.”

I guess he’s not in it for the long haul because he rather disappointedly got up and bid farewell pretty abruptly. SO much for liking girls for their mind.

I could have freaked out over this, but I figured I was pretty safe since he didn’t get on the bus with me, so I just thought it was funny. Every woman goes through this at one point, at least if you use public transportation and are fairly easy to look at. (Even if you aren’t I’m not sure it makes a difference with some predators.)

But what made the whole thing wierder was I heard someone at my school talking about what sounded like a similar incident, and I wondered if she was at the bus stop too.

Then to top it off, in my English/ junior critical thinking class we got on the subject of men and women, and how women dress, and how women don’t feel safe on campus. And also how men have tried to keep women down for centuries.

And I rolled my eyes.

I get that sexism is and was a huge problem even in America, but from where I stand, it is just stupid for an American, or even Western European woman to complain about it.

Maybe we have a few difficulties (a fact I would put up for debate still) but we have nothing to complain about. We have no reason to rail against men in general just because some of them are jerks.

I get that women have been burned a lot, unfortunately, I also think that woman burn each other plenty of the time. And behind every overbearing man there was a woman who at some point refused to stand up to him, don’t tell me any man is born a bully and a sexist anymore than any girl is, they have to learn it. And Women, mothers especially, have some responsibility for that.

Some of the men I know who seem to have a prejudice against females had unstable mothers, sisters, girlfriends, wives, or other women who scarred them.

I don’t say that any rapist or abuser gets a pass just because he had a bad mother, but I do say he could have been taught differently at some point, though often fathers are more to blame then mothers for that.

Blaming men alone for how women have been treated is kind of stupid, every time there is an oppressor, it is because the oppressed let it happen. Yes, there can be force involved, but force can never contain intellect or heart forever, unless they allow it to.

Which is great, because it means women have some say in how they are treated. Imagine that!

Using my bus stop experience, I could either say that men are predators, and if I were a man it would never have happened.

Well maybe it wouldn’t have happened with that guy in particular, but nowadays men aren’t really any safer then women when it comes to these sorts of things. I can blame men for this, maybe with some justification, they are a big part of the problem.

Or I can be real.

For this one guy who was a weirdo, I’ve had many men treat me with respect, even if without interest. I have had the pleasure of knowing some guys actually like talking to me for my personality, and not my appearance, and I also know that they still appreciate my appearance. Which is fine by me. Am I going to pretend I don’t like a nice looking man? No. That would be stupid.

I don’t need a man to give me permission to play on their field, because I never think about it. If I want to do something, and it’s fitting, and I’m able, then I’m going to do it, I don’t care what they think. And they don’t seem interested in judging me for it. I’ve fought boys before in good fun, I never heard that “but you’re a girl line.” And if I did, I’d probably crush them.

As I say to my sister, I can like sparkles and swords at the same time, I’ll put sparkles on my sword if I want. (not really, it would be impractical, but if I wanted to I would) I’ll wear a tiara with my armor, and I’ll watch superhero movies and chick flicks if I want to.

Not because I have something to prove; but because that’s me. I like being a girl, I don’t think it limits what I have to like or dislike. From make-up to machetes, I can have an interest.

I like boys too, not just from a romantic perspective, but as people. I get something from their company I never get from girls, I never will.

Excuse me if I’m not afraid of men. I’m not naive, I know some of them are bad. So what? Some women are bad too, and I’ve probably had more negative experiences with them then with men.

This is the kind of thinking that scares my dad, because he worries about me. But it’s a waste of time. you cannot guarantee someone a life free from uncomfortable or even dangerous situations, all you can do is prepare them for it.

And I feel fairly well prepared.

Until nest time–Natasha.

Justice League!

I finally saw it. Back when I wrote my Expectations (For the New Justice League) post, this is what I said about it:

So what I think the new film needs is not to progress further into the dark, gritty and melodramatic world that the genre has become, but to regress into more human terms.

I have nothing against climatic events and galaxy sized stakes, but it should never be about that. Making the problem with the world the main focus of any movie risks making it too vague. What the film needs to be about is what problems humans deal with on a human level. With something like the Justice League, there’s a wide range of subjects that could be covered, that’s why it worked so well as a show. Narrowing down each member’s own personal struggles in the span of one film is a difficult and almost impossible task

But my concern is that none of them will be followed through in a satisfying way.

I am happy to say that the film makers obviously read my post, because this movie was not the disaster I was afraid it was going to be.

Best of all, they took my suggestion about Diana laying it on Batman.

But this movie had some problems that I want to briefly address.

I do not think the villain should ever be the most important part of a movie, but I do think making them on the level of a video game is a little too far in the other direction. Steppenwolf has to be the most ridiculous villain I’ve seen since…Well he reminded me most of Ego from the Guardians of the Galaxy vol#2.  Complete with the weird egg-shaped plasma globes. And the bizarre god-complex.

However the reason this whack job does not ruin the movie is because he’s not really the point, and he was obviously just a precursor to Darkseid, who’s name is dropped pretty early on; and who will make a more potent of a villain. He serves as a Ronin to DCU’s Thanos, in other words.

So, he’s goofy, but whatever. The real thing we’re here for is the League.

I like Diana naturally, but I never have liked this new Batman, mostly I just can’t buy him as anything but a weird old guy who’s mentally unstable but trying to save the world.

Ben Afleck, probably through no fault of his own, is the weakest link in this new League. Arguably Batman always was the weak link in the League because he wouldn’t commit to it fully since he loved his independence too much. So the issue in this movie is predictably that Batman does not know how to play with the other kids, and though he’s not particularly pushy, he feels unnatural with them. And once the crisis is over I have to wonder if that’s gonna blow up big time.

But again, that doesn’t ruin the film. Batman is antisocial anyway, and to it’s credit the movie is upfront about it. In fact a big theme of this movie is that no one is all put together, but that you work with the good in people and that’s how they get better.

I think the writers are starting to see how they ruined the franchise in the first place by making it depressing and hopeless, and now they are slowly climbing out of it. This movie was not as positive as Wonder Woman, but it was better than Dawn of Justice.

And that’s where I get to the good things about it.

The biggest surprise for me was that I bought the League as a team in their very first fight scene. I expected to feel like they were out of it until the climax, and then hopefully believe it, but I almost immediately felt like they had team chemistry. What tied it together for me was them saving each other. Flash helping Diana when she lost her sword, and Batman helping Flash get away after he was hurt. Flash’es more human weaknesses were a great balance to everyone else, who are often just too powerful to evoke sympathy.

Even though they spend a good deal oft his movie arguing or giving forced exposition, it wasn’t without real moments. Diana’s conversation with Cyborg was cliche, but I believed it anyway. Diana and Bruce’s fight and subsequent make up felt pretty real. And her calling him out was just my personal victory.

And I liked Aquaman more than I thought I would. He wasn’t the selfish jerk he’d been set up to be by this new and darker version. He ended up being kind of a softie, and that rope of truth gag was pretty funny.

Flash as always was one of my favorite parts, he’s a little more ADD then the show Flash, but that makes perfect sense with his powers, and it works fine with the others to balance him out. He still had the humanity and heart factor going for him. And Batman’s advice to save one person was actually solid advice. When you fight crime or rescue people as a career, it has to be about saving one person at a time sometimes. I welcomed the reminder that even one person is important. Which is something superheroes movies have not been emphasizing enough in my opinion.

Cyborg…I could take or leave his backstory. It’s sad, but hard to relate to. As a character, I was glad that he did not waste half the movie refusing to help out of self doubt, but was willing to try anyway after what Diana said to him. Proving he was better than the dark and brooding fellow he’d become.

In conclusion, DC movies are inferior to Marvel in production, they just are. The CGI is worse and the dialogue suffers from pretentiousness a lot of the time. But, dialogue and special effects are not all that make a movie work.

The dialogues is improving by the way, only some of the lines made me want to roll my eyes, as opposed to Dawn of Justice. And special effects are what they are.

What DC has that I’ve yet to see in Marvel, expect for Guardians, Ant Man, and Ragnarok, is heart. The stories are not written as seamlessly as Marvel, but there’s real feeling behind them. There’s more raw and real emotion behind these imperfect characters then I’ve ever felt watching Captain America, or Iron Man, or anyone but the ones I mentioned.

I wince at some of the production errors in judgment, but I forgive them for it because their movies have made me think. The problems they bring up are not always well executed, but they are real. And the characters are getting more self aware of it too.’

A Justice League movie that finally deals with Batman’s issues, while shipping him with Wonder Woman is not all bad, folks.

I understand why many people were disappointed in this movie. It was not the epic showdown we thought, but in retrospect, I always said that was just too much to expect. My wish was that they would make the characters more human, and not dark. And that’s what they did. Even Superman has gone back to being more like his old self. It’s true that was the worst part of this movie, but whatever, it was a mess no matter what way you slice it and at least he didn’t join forces with the bad guy. What a cliche that would have been…Bucky Barnes!

Anyway, DC fans get it. MCU people probably never will understand what makes these movies deeper to us despite their flaws.

But let’s be real, Justice League’s whole point is that we all have hang ups. It knew it wasn’t gong to be a prefect movie, but if we work with what was good about it, I’m confident the franchise will continue to improve.

That’s all for now, until next time–Natasha.