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Old 09-01-2019, 11:01 AM
thorny locust's Avatar
thorny locust is offline
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 1,287
Originally Posted by Crafter_Man View Post
Perhaps it's my imagination, but I swear women's facial expressions have changed over the past 40 years. Women used to smile more. Now the "stone/cold/serious" face seems to be the norm.
Originally Posted by nelliebly View Post
About the smiling thing: I smile at almost everyone I pass on the street. I notice people who seem to be over 40 smile back much more often than younger folks, who rarely make eye contact. It was just about 40 years ago that the whole stranger-danger, kids-on-milk-cartons hysteria started. I think we scared the smiles out of 'em.
I think there's at least two things that may be involved.

One is that women used to be taught that we must smile, it was rude to refuse to do so. Smiles have a lot of different meanings in humans, and this one really seems to me to be/have been the "submissive smile", which means 'I'm being nice, I'm not challenging you, please don't hurt me.' (Humans are weird: there's also a smile which means 'I'm in charge/I'm dominant here/I'll attack you if I feel like it.') -- at any rate, women are I think a lot less likely to believe that we owe the general public a smile, and/or mustn't show a 'serious' face to the world.

The other may have to do with location, and in particular with population levels. In at least some small towns it's still common (for people of any gender) to smile or nod or wave at pretty much everyone on the street. When there are a whole lot of people on the street, this doesn't work, and people are a lot more likely to wear a carefully neutral expression and avoid eye contact.

Originally Posted by madsircool View Post
Community showering
Originally Posted by Musicat View Post
.Really? Where in LA or the USA was that a thing?
Originally Posted by Colibri View Post
In a thread on the subject, I've mentioned that when I was in college at Cornell in the early 1970s men's swimming classes were held in the nude (only the instructor wore a suit), and suits were optional during men's hours at the pool at the gym. From the thread, this was not unusual at the time or in earlier decades.
Nudity in a single-sex context used to be pretty commonly accepted.

The grade school I went to, in the 1950's and very early 1960's, had no doors on the toilet stalls. (They were also entirely unprepared for puberty in even twelve-year-olds; it was assumed that none of us was menstruating yet. That age has definitely shifted.) An all-girls summer camp I went to had a naked moonlight swim every summer, pre-pubertal and pubertal children separately. Nudity was optional but common IME in adult women's locker rooms. At the University of Rochester, in the early 1970's, the women complained that men had a time set aside for male-only use of the swimming pool during which the men could swim naked; the university's response was to set an equal time period for women to do likewise, and quite a few of us did.

During the tail end of my time in college, and for some years thereafter, I knew a lot of people in various states in the USA who went casually naked in mixed-gender groups whenever swimming anywhere you wouldn't get arrested for it, and sometimes in communal showers such as at campgrounds etc. It seemed, for a while, to be getting a lot more common; and then, for whatever reason, just started heading in the other direction -- in at least one case the same group of people started covering up around each other, when they hadn't before. I never did figure out why. It was the same summer; we hadn't all suddenly become significantly older and saggier.