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Old 03-09-2018, 08:51 PM
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Roderick Femm Roderick Femm is offline
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Women's clothing and where one's eyes fall

I really try to respect everyone's right to be free from harassment, even passive harassment (if I can phrase it that way). On the other hand, I have always been bothered by women whose work attire shows, for example, a lot of cleavage. This doesn't seem to me to be appropriate to the workplace. It doesn't mean I think I have the right to stare, but I don't understand the motivation for women to dress like that in a place where, I have to presume, they are not interested in getting hit on or flirted with.

Today I had to spend an hour in a conference room with 2 other men, and a young woman who was dressed in this way. She was a petite woman and she was wearing a necklace of a size, shape and color to draw attention to her cleavage. However, she didn't only have cleavage, her top was sort of stiff and it would move around in ways that made it visually clear that she was not wearing a bra. She seemed oblivious to the fact of this exposure of her secondary sex characteristics.

As it happens, I'm gay, and I don't have any sexual interest in women's breasts. But it was very hard to keep my eyes on her face, and most of the time I spent looking elsewhere. I was terrified that she would notice where my eyes would stray to, and call me on it.

Am I completely wrong and sexist that this bothered me almost to the point of being offended? I wouldn't have thought twice about it if we had been in a cocktail bar. I don't think she deserved to have her breasts stared at or for anything unpleasant to happen to her, but I honestly don't know what to think. Did she cross a line, or have I?
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Old 03-09-2018, 09:17 PM
Thudlow Boink Thudlow Boink is offline
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I honestly don't know what to think.
I don't either. I can think of several possibilities, including (1) that she is an exhibitionist and likes being looked at, (2) that it was a sort of power play designed to make you uncomfortable and keep you off-balance, or (3) she really was that oblivious. As well as possibly several others. I don't feel competent to judge how probable these various possibilities are, though.

In any case, my own opinion is that it's none of my business how a woman chooses to dress, and it shouldn't affect how I behave towards/around her.
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Old 03-09-2018, 09:48 PM
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Probably just likes the top and necklace. I've worked in offices with only women and there have been some who wear low-cut tops even though there are no men around. If I look in the mirror and think I look good, I just think that I look good today. I don't think about how men are going to perceive me or my intentions.
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Old 03-10-2018, 02:10 AM
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I'm intrigued as to how she managed to get 'a lot of cleavage' without wearing a bra. I can't do that.
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Old 03-10-2018, 02:21 AM
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Depending on who you ask, "cleavage" is the space that's obviously between the breasts: by that definition, anybody who's got breasts has cleavage. M-W has that definition: "the depression between a woman's breasts especially when made visible by a low-cut neckline".

Note that it refers to "the depression", not "the slit". Your definition is limited to that space being a slit.

Last edited by Nava; 03-10-2018 at 02:23 AM.
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Old 03-10-2018, 02:43 AM
Filbert Filbert is offline
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If it was low enough for me to exposing 'a lot of cleavage' without a bra, that would be a very very low-cut top, and there'd be a high risk of accidental nipples. Which I agree, is generally work inappropriate.

The OP, however, mentions more about her necklace 'drawing attention' to her breastal region, rather than her top being very very low-cut, as well as 'stiff fabric'. I'm having a lot of trouble visualising an outfit that can be made work inappropriate by a necklace. Short of, y'know, an obscene pendant. I also don't quite get why a stiff fabric would be less appropriate than a flowing one, which would normally draw more attention to movement of body parts.
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Old 03-10-2018, 09:00 AM
AHunter3 AHunter3 is offline
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I think the uncomfort zone is dependent on a contrast between how an individual person is dressed and the level of coverup that is typical in that same environment.

I've been on a clothes-optional commune and you get used to it (naked people) surprisingly quick. I've not been in an environment where women tend to wear low-cut blouses or other decorous or provocatively revealing garments, but my guess is that you'd get used to that pretty quickly too. But a juxtaposition of someone dressed one way in an environment where the dress code (informal or formal) calls for something else can make it attention-getting.
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Old 03-10-2018, 10:02 AM
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It's not as simple as she does or does not want her breasts to be noticed. She could also want them noticed by somebody, but not you and/or not me.

There is, more importantly, a huge overlay of social things, such as getting trained to equate her own value with her attractiveness, and getting trained to please, and learning to use her breasts as weapons, and having past experiences she might resent, and on and on. I think this is somewhat analogous to the use of slurs that some people consider hateful or hurtful and others use as a way of reclaiming. I get that dressing so that more or less of the breast is visible can have a distracting effect. I also, though, feel very cautious about how I (a middle aged man) treat the issue.

It's hardly as if I have much of a right to expect the situation to be trivially easy for me to make sense of and navigate.
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Old 03-10-2018, 10:09 AM
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Pretty sure this is how women ended up under veils.

“Her hair and beauty are distracting me!”

The same argument that saw girls separated from boys in schools. “The boys can’t focus because there are girls here!”

Grow up already. Look around, are other men unable to focus? Or going merrily about their day?

Why should half the world care what a few eternal adolescents find distracting?

Can’t handle it? How about you cover your eyes, or look away.
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Old 03-10-2018, 10:13 AM
Sattua Sattua is offline
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Since you said she was young, I'd say it has something to do with her not having been taught to distinguish between "looking good" and "looking sexy." I know that as a young woman, all the advice men gave me about how to look better--and hoo boy, were they liberal with the advice--was intended to bring out cleavage, ass, etc. If a woman doesn't have a highly aware mother or belong to a church that specifically harps on dress codes, then she's probably unaware that there's a difference.
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Old 03-10-2018, 10:17 AM
tvaetbjorn tvaetbjorn is offline
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Originally Posted by Roderick Femm View Post
I really try to respect everyone's right to be free from harassment, even passive harassment (if I can phrase it that way). On the other hand, I have always been bothered by women whose work attire shows, for example, a lot of cleavage. This doesn't seem to me to be appropriate to the workplace. It doesn't mean I think I have the right to stare, but I don't understand the motivation for women to dress like that in a place where, I have to presume, they are not interested in getting hit on or flirted with.

Today I had to spend an hour in a conference room with 2 other men, and a young woman who was dressed in this way. She was a petite woman and she was wearing a necklace of a size, shape and color to draw attention to her cleavage. However, she didn't only have cleavage, her top was sort of stiff and it would move around in ways that made it visually clear that she was not wearing a bra. She seemed oblivious to the fact of this exposure of her secondary sex characteristics.

As it happens, I'm gay, and I don't have any sexual interest in women's breasts. But it was very hard to keep my eyes on her face, and most of the time I spent looking elsewhere. I was terrified that she would notice where my eyes would stray to, and call me on it.

Am I completely wrong and sexist that this bothered me almost to the point of being offended? I wouldn't have thought twice about it if we had been in a cocktail bar. I don't think she deserved to have her breasts stared at or for anything unpleasant to happen to her, but I honestly don't know what to think. Did she cross a line, or have I?
I think women unconsciously dress sexually sometimes. Maybe most of the time. Some women need the constant validation but some women think it's a basic standard to show a little cleavage, not realizing what they're doing to the men around them. It's been ingrained in us that we're sexual beings and our value is in our beauty and sex appeal.

However, I'd stare just as much as a guy. Necklaces do naturally draw the eye to a woman's chest. There're too many factors here for me to be completely convinced she's as innocent in her attire as the average woman, but I could be wrong.

1) Heavy cleavage
2) No bra
3) Eye-attracting necklace

She'd possibly feign indignancy if she were to be hit on or catch a lingering stare, but as a woman, I'd think she was full of shit. We know exactly how much attention we get and how to calibrate it. She's on a warpath wearing clothing that way. You'd best give her a wide berth.
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Old 03-10-2018, 10:19 AM
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Can’t handle it? How about you cover your eyes, or look away.
I can handle it.
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Old 03-10-2018, 10:28 AM
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It's not as simple as she does or does not want her breasts to be noticed. She could also want them noticed by somebody, but not you and/or not me.
She wants Zach to notice her figure and breasts, but not you, you old perv. Eww.
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Old 03-10-2018, 10:29 AM
Orwell Orwell is offline
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Pretty sure this is how women ended up under veils.

“Her hair and beauty are distracting me!”

The same argument that saw girls separated from boys in schools. “The boys can’t focus because there are girls here!”

Grow up already. Look around, are other men unable to focus? Or going merrily about their day?

Why should half the world care what a few eternal adolescents find distracting?

Can’t handle it? How about you cover your eyes, or look away.
It's such a small step from office-appropriate attire to a burka, after all.
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Old 03-10-2018, 11:00 AM
lorene lorene is offline
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She'd possibly feign indignancy if she were to be hit on or catch a lingering stare, but as a woman, I'd think she was full of shit. We know exactly how much attention we get and how to calibrate it. She's on a warpath wearing clothing that way. You'd best give her a wide berth.
Do you also think that women who wear miniskirts to a bar are asking to be raped? Do you think girls shouldn't be allowed to wear tank tops to school, lest they distract the boys?

I'm sensing a fair degree of victim blaming from you. I am a woman, too, and no, I don't know exactly how to calibrate the attention I get from men. An outfit that goes unnoticed by one guy could earn me leers from.another. That's on the leering guy, not on me.
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Old 03-10-2018, 12:04 PM
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Look at it the other way around: what would you have felt and done had she turned up in a burqa? What would you have felt and done if she had been a he and had been dressed equivalently (say done the medallion man thing)?

Are you her work superior? Then you should be familiar with your company dress code, have called her on it, and have asked another woman to attend the meeting in her place. If she was touting for business (get your minds out of the gutter!) then you can add her unprofessional behaviour to the list of rejection reasons. After all, if she's unprofessional, then so likely is her employer.

BTW with regard to keeping your eyes off her breasts, the human eye is attuned to movement.
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Old 03-10-2018, 12:05 PM
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I think women unconsciously dress sexually sometimes. Maybe most of the time. Some women need the constant validation but some women think it's a basic standard to show a little cleavage, not realizing what they're doing to the men around them.
And very often, what looks like "a little cleavage" in front of a mirror to a 4'something woman is a canyon to a 5'lots guy seeing it pretty much from above.
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Old 03-10-2018, 01:38 PM
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There's also something to said about fashion. Unless a woman is willing to make her own clothes and be willing and able to alter patterns or make her own, she is, by necessity a slave to fashion. It is difficult to buy clothes that don't in some way conform to today's trends, and people, especially women, can brutal about people who do not conform.
If you are petite, it can be very difficult to find a top that does not show cleavage, because of your body shape. I suspect many women don't know how to address the problem, don't feel the need to, or don't want to.
The fashion of t-shirt dresses is another example. I was standing behind a Kinder teacher who was wearing one. She bent over, and I could tell exactly what kind of underwear she had on. I've seen girls wearing very short skirts sitting with their knees apart so if you were standing at the right place, you could see straight up the skirt. No one is teaching girls how to sit like a lady or the advisability of foundational undergarments.

Last edited by CelticKnot; 03-10-2018 at 01:39 PM.
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Old 03-10-2018, 02:00 PM
elbows elbows is offline
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It's such a small step from office-appropriate attire to a burka, after all.

But it is the same principal, make the woman change HER behaviour because it’s distracting the immature men.

‘The Office’, doesn’t seem to have a problem with this attire, that’s on her manager to speak to. It’s one immature man who feels this is distracting. He needs to grow up, in my opinion.

Last edited by elbows; 03-10-2018 at 02:01 PM.
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Old 03-10-2018, 02:15 PM
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But it is the same principal, make the woman change HER behaviour because it’s distracting the immature men.

‘The Office’, doesn’t seem to have a problem with this attire, that’s on her manager to speak to. It’s one immature man who feels this is distracting. He needs to grow up, in my opinion.
Without seeing a picture or concrete example, I'd say we are both speculating. It could go either way. The fact that a gay man was distracted leads me to believe that her dress was out of the ordinary for the setting. But the OP wouldn't be the first gay man to show an interest in fashion and cleavage/breasts, I'll admit.
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Old 03-10-2018, 02:18 PM
Larry Borgia Larry Borgia is online now
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JERRY: What were you doing?

GEORGE: Well, it's not my fault. You poked me!

JERRY: You're supposed to just take a peek after a poke. You were like you just put a quarter into one of those big metal things on top of the Empire State Building.

GEORGE: It's cleavage. I couldn't look away. What am I, waiting to win an Oscar here? This is all I have in my life.

JERRY: Looking at cleavage is like looking at the sun, you don't stare at it. It's too risky. You get a sense of it and then you look away.
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Old 03-10-2018, 02:18 PM
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‘The Office’, doesn’t seem to have a problem with this attire, that’s on her manager to speak to. It’s one immature man who feels this is distracting. He needs to grow up
That's what SHE said!
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Old 03-10-2018, 03:38 PM
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Look at it the other way around: what would you have felt and done had she turned up in a burqa? What would you have felt and done if she had been a he and had been dressed equivalently (say done the medallion man thing)?
I'm glad you brought this up. I tried to think of a male equivalent and couldn't exactly. What are a man's secondary sexual characteristics that might be displayed inappropriately? Is it a great physique and too-tight clothes? Maybe. I would probably think too-tight clothes were not appropriate office attire but I don't know if I would find them distracting. How would I feel if I saw a woman in a burqa? Nothing in particular. I'd hope I could see her face just because we were talking and that's what I'm used to.

I don't argue with anyone who says this is all on me and I need to just get over it. I just wanted to see what the community thinks about this issue these days.

I also don't argue, at least not very strongly, with the slippery-slope argument, from office-appropriate to a burqa. A number of years ago where I worked there was a cute young salesperson who habitually dressed pretty provocatively. The bosses told her to tone it down, not because it was distracting to the rest of the staff, but because it was sending the wrong message to the customers. I wonder how that would be handled today.
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Old 03-10-2018, 04:55 PM
F. U. Shakespeare F. U. Shakespeare is offline
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There's also a generational element. Standards for what's considered provocative change over time. In Renaissance-era Europe, cleavage wasn't considered as provocative as showing bare legs. Shakespeare would have thought that a 2018 professionally-dressed female executive was a prostitute.

As a man nearing 60, I have to admit that what's acceptable today is somewhat different than when I was younger. E.g., cleavage seems to be more accepted today. I have encountered some attention-grabbing outfits on younger colleagues.

But it's up to us oldsters to accept this, and treat colleagues professionally. The world doesn't deal with you; you deal with the world.

PS: I recently had an eye exam from an attractive young opthamologist who was displaying some cleavage. She had me dilate my eyes to examine my retina in that machine where the doctor and patient sit face to face, while she directed me to 'look up', 'look right', etc.

When it was time to 'look down', I reflected on how much effort I'd been putting into not looking down. And hoped that looking down wouldn't temporarily render it difficult to stand up.

Last edited by F. U. Shakespeare; 03-10-2018 at 04:57 PM.
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Old 03-10-2018, 07:42 PM
Darren Garrison Darren Garrison is offline
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Shakespeare would have thought that a 2018 professionally-dressed female executive was a prostitute.
Does that explain your username?
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Old 03-10-2018, 11:27 PM
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I'm glad you brought this up. I tried to think of a male equivalent and couldn't exactly. What are a man's secondary sexual characteristics that might be displayed inappropriately?
My Scottish client had "casual Fridays". Most of the people in IT used that to bring out the souvenir or nerdy tees; the guys from Accenture didn't wear ties.

And this guy wore an old white tee that had grown so thin you could have counted his very-black on very-white-skin chest hairs. As he was very tall and lean we called him "the long pig", with our apologies to those lovely animals who turn garbage into ham.
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Last edited by Nava; 03-10-2018 at 11:31 PM.
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Old 03-10-2018, 11:44 PM
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Roderick, were her actions that of someone trying to get attention? Or was she just doing her job? There is a lot of difference here. A lot of people seem very confused by what to wear in "business casual" situations. I see a lot of inappropriate clothing, often because the wearer doesn't realize how inappropriate they are. I'm working on a company's HR policies right now and one of the ones being revamped is the dress code. It's a tough one, as we have areas of the business the public never sees and those who must meet with clients every day. We have the sexy dressers (one wears skintight pleather), the dowdy dressers (no your sweatpants are not appropriate, and neither are leggings if your top doesn't cover your butt), we have the guys who wear ancient, faded shirts that look like they are ready the rag bag. Most of these people are unaware that their attire is inappropriate.
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Old 03-11-2018, 03:22 AM
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actually I had a strange experience at an optometrist's office when I was 16 ...... she was giving me an eye exam because I had problem moving my eyes up and down occasionally and she didn't want to do a procedure ...

and I tried following the light she had in her hand but couldn't do it so she says its a muscle cramp and I need to try moving it up and down and as incentive she leaned close loosened her top leaned in front of me and said nonchalantly if you look down you can tell me what colors you see and before I knew it my eyes were moving down ......

the colors were her jeweled piercings ........ she stood up and said I just needed some drops to keep them for cramping up I made an awkward joke and she laughed said there's a reason some female eye doctors wear loose tops ...especially if they work for a state agency that way they can see if your faking for things like workman's comp or not ......
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Old 03-11-2018, 05:59 AM
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As it happens, I'm gay, and I don't have any sexual interest in women's breasts.
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But it was very hard to keep my eyes on her face, and most of the time I spent looking elsewhere. I was terrified that she would notice where my eyes would stray to, and call me on it.
I wonder if the two parts are related?

I thought of this, because the gay manager at an office where I worked (easily the best small-office manager I have ever worked with), got very embarrassed when interviewing a young woman for an office job. He could see the edge of the tattoo, and he was just trying to work out what it said or pictured, when he noticed that the young woman was noticing him looking...I can still remember how red he looked

I'm straight, and I'm used to not-looking-at-womens-breasts. The way women dress is policed by other women. Nothing to do with me really.
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Old 03-11-2018, 10:44 AM
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Do you also think that women who wear miniskirts to a bar are asking to be raped?
I just checked; yours is the only instance of the word "rape" up to this point in the thread, so I'm going to venture a "no."

Isn't there a dichotomy between wearing a revealing top and (apparently) no bra and "My eyes are up here, perv!"?
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Old 03-11-2018, 11:21 AM
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What women wear in public has always been a source of conflict, misunderstanding, and much much worse. Women are indeed still continually blamed for being raped because they wore clothing that some man understood to be an invitation to sexual violence.

Typical male sexual arousal is, as I understand, far more visual and far more specific (or you could say, fetishistic) than typical female sexual arousal.

That means that when women dress for places where there will be men, they will be dressing in a foreign language. After puberty, girls have to laboriously learn how men react to the way they dress. It is a difficult language to learn for many complicated reasons. It's almost impossible to dress so that you get the reactions you want and none you don't want.

Men never, ever, get judged for their clothing the way women do. Not by men or by women. Nor do they get the continual stream of conflicting imperatives that women do:

Be work-appropriate but not mannish.
Be attractive but don't be sexy.
Be sexy but don't look like a whore.

What would YOU wear?

The OP example was of someone who didn't quite hit the right note that day. Maybe all her button-to-the-chin blouses were at the dry cleaners. Maybe she was trying to send a sexual message to a particular person who wasn't you. Maybe she was coming from a slightly different office culture . . . some women just feel best in clothes like that.
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Old 03-11-2018, 11:43 AM
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The necklace is the key here; it drew attention to her breasts, indicating she wants men to stare there. As has already been mentioned by others, this is a dual strategy: get men to view her favorably by playing to their instincts; and make men who stare uncomfortable to retain a measure of psychological leverage (i.e., control) over them. It strikes me as manipulative yet common, and no doubt some men will fall over themselves falling for it.
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Old 03-11-2018, 12:06 PM
F. U. Shakespeare F. U. Shakespeare is offline
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Men never, ever, get judged for their clothing the way women do. Not by men or by women.
About ten years ago, I taught a class at work, after which I received a complaint from a (male) student that my jeans were too tight. He was probably right. I had recently moved from a research and engineering environment (where nobody cared about appearance) into a more formal office.

I'll grant you it happens much less often than with women, but don't say never.
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Old 03-11-2018, 12:12 PM
lorene lorene is offline
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The necklace is the key here; it drew attention to her breasts, indicating she wants men to stare there.
Yes, because we never wear jewelry for ourselves. There aren't enough eye rolls in the world.
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Old 03-11-2018, 12:36 PM
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Roderick, were her actions that of someone trying to get attention?
No. Her demeanor was business-like.

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The necklace is the key here; it drew attention to her breasts, indicating she wants men to stare there. As has already been mentioned by others, this is a dual strategy: get men to view her favorably by playing to their instincts; and make men who stare uncomfortable to retain a measure of psychological leverage (i.e., control) over them. It strikes me as manipulative yet common, and no doubt some men will fall over themselves falling for it.
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Yes, because we never wear jewelry for ourselves. There aren't enough eye rolls in the world.
This illustrates the gap between actions and intentions. I have no way of knowing what her intentions were. I can only describe what I saw. So Dropo could be correct, but I would be loath to assume so.
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Old 03-11-2018, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Roderick Femm View Post
No. Her demeanor was business-like ... [snip]
The young lady was a great co-worker, did great work but she'd wear next to nothin' in the office ... the men-folk got together about the club-wear being distracting and decided to contact the "What Not to Wear" folks ... they jumped all over this and did a whole episode with her ... really funny ...

"Is that why all the guys talk to me over the partition?"

She just didn't know ... maybe that's the case here ... the woman is just used to the plunging neckline ... pretend to ignore it, let her do her job, and enjoy ...

Last edited by watchwolf49; 03-11-2018 at 02:01 PM.
  #37  
Old 03-11-2018, 02:34 PM
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The necklace is the key here; it drew attention to her breasts, indicating she wants men to stare there. As has already been mentioned by others, this is a dual strategy: get men to view her favorably by playing to their instincts; and make men who stare uncomfortable to retain a measure of psychological leverage (i.e., control) over them. It strikes me as manipulative yet common, and no doubt some men will fall over themselves falling for it.
Curse those devious harlots with their having breasts for psychological leverage i.e. control!
  #38  
Old 03-11-2018, 04:28 PM
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Or the necklace was a gift and the chain on the necklace is a little too long, but because its a gift from someone she cares about, she wears it anyway. (The number of gift necklaces I have that hit in the wrong place is significantly greater than zero)

I also agree that a short woman - or a woman sitting down while people stand over her - shows a lot more cleavage than when she looks at herself in the mirror straight on. It took a long time to learn that I look in the mirror, and then I look straight down. If looking straight down its inappropriate, it isn't work appropriate. But it will look perfectly appropriate from straight on.
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  #39  
Old 03-11-2018, 06:06 PM
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Her body. She chooses how she wants to dress.
Your body. You choose where you want to point your eyeball(s).
  #40  
Old 03-11-2018, 06:50 PM
carnut carnut is offline
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Originally Posted by Dropo View Post
The necklace is the key here; it drew attention to her breasts, indicating she wants men to stare there.
Hardly. I wear necklaces despite my big boobs. I wear them because they dress up what is really a long sleeve t-shirt, making it more acceptably-dressy for my business-casual job. I have never intentionally worn a necklace to draw attention to the boods.

But I admit that it does help distract from the oversize hips.
  #41  
Old 03-11-2018, 11:56 PM
AHunter3 AHunter3 is offline
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I don't think it is inherently any more incumbent upon women to consider how the way they choose to dress may affect the libidos of people who are attracted to women than upon men to consider how the way they dress may affect the libidos of folks who go for men.

(Or folks who don't identify as either, for that matter).

Having said that, in the world as we know it, women are more accustomed to being put on display and evaluated for their fuckability desirabiliity. This results in the perhaps-unfair assessment that if she's female and doing things that elicit sexual responses in the viewers, she damn well knows what she's doing. I have problems with that formulation, too, but what the hell, let's go with it for the sake of argument.

Where does the problem lie?:

• She's ruining things for women who just want to show up and work. Because her behavior is underlining the notion that that's all we exist for, to be assessed for our fuckability desirability.

• She's validating the complaint of some men that women want to have it both ways: that women should not be perceived and treated as sex objects, but sometimes women want to be perceived and treated as sex objects. See above statement about ruining things for other women, but also that men could feel infringed by this.

• She's coasting on her sexuality as a stand-in for competency at her job. If enough of the folks who are attracted to women and who call the shots find her compellingly cute she can get away with sub-mediocre performance at the tasks for which she was hired.



I have seen a handful of threads about the incest taboo and how guys with totally hot sisters learn easily enough (if it even required learning) to regard their hot sister as a person who happens to be hot to other people but unto whom sexual feelings just don't happen.

That sort of underlines the fact that people can be conditioned or can condition themselves or can otherwise do things in their head to think of a person in such a way that their sexual appeal is somehow irrelevant.

You should not shit where you eat pursue sexual-romantic relationships among your coworkers anyhow. Do the incest-taboo thing. And get over it.
  #42  
Old 03-12-2018, 01:08 AM
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I don't think it is inherently any more incumbent upon women to consider how the way they choose to dress may affect the libidos of people who are attracted to women than upon men to consider how the way they dress may affect the libidos of folks who go for men.
I've been trying to think of a situation that might be analogous for men, if not a direct opposite. If a man wore biker gear, a Harley Davidson t-shirt, or something with the name of a rapper known for particularly violent lyrics, would that be okay? How about if two male co-workers were talking over lunch about visiting a strip club? Neither of those things directly impact their female co-workers, but probably wouldn't make a favorable impression. Is it up to the guys to change their behavior, or for the women to ignore the distraction it creates?
  #43  
Old 03-12-2018, 08:32 AM
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Doesn't anyone else have the ability to look without being obvious? She puts the goods on display, I admire them (discreetly), everyone is happy and no one gets hurt.

I have sat thru any number of meetings that would have been brightened up by a little cleavage. It's better than having to listen for the fourth time why offshore isn't getting the QA testing done, and how we need to leverage our core competencies and plan for the unexpected and how re-doing the spreadsheets in a different format will allow us to better track how much we are missing deadlines by.

I'm not talking about staring, and I am not going to make any assumptions about how she can do her job. I just need the specs document. A little jiggle is appreciated, but optional.

Regards,
Shodan
  #44  
Old 03-12-2018, 12:55 PM
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I've been trying to think of a situation that might be analogous for men, if not a direct opposite.
How about the medallion man I mentioned upthread? Shirt unbuttoned very low, big medallion or pendant hanging from the neck, hairy chest somewhat visible.
  #45  
Old 03-12-2018, 01:48 PM
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She'd possibly feign indignancy if she were to be hit on or catch a lingering stare, but as a woman, I'd think she was full of shit. We know exactly how much attention we get and how to calibrate it. She's on a warpath wearing clothing that way. You'd best give her a wide berth.
This member of "we" sure as hell doesn't know or calibrate.

Most of the time, I'm much more like
Quote:
Probably just likes the top and necklace. I've worked in offices with only women and there have been some who wear low-cut tops even though there are no men around. If I look in the mirror and think I look good, I just think that I look good today. I don't think about how men are going to perceive me or my intentions.
And, extra points on the mirror thing. Or just not thinking certain things. I wore certain sweater to my parents' house on Christmas that's fine sitting up, but gaps when bending over too far (because it's not snug against the skin)....and I knew I'd be the one passing out presents, I just didn't think about it when dressing that morning. Wasn't trying to provoke sexual interest from my relatives.

Last edited by Tzigone; 03-12-2018 at 01:49 PM.
  #46  
Old 03-12-2018, 02:04 PM
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How about the medallion man I mentioned upthread? Shirt unbuttoned very low, big medallion or pendant hanging from the neck, hairy chest somewhat visible.
I don't know - let me go poll some women in 1979 and get back to you.
  #47  
Old 03-12-2018, 03:14 PM
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See, part of the problem is that I don't think there's such a thing as "dressing sexy" for men. I mean, there's dressing in clean, well fitting clothes that aren't rumpled or torn. There's dressing in a sharp suit and tie. But there's no such thing as dressing in a skimpy outfit that translates to "dressing sexy".
  #48  
Old 03-12-2018, 04:50 PM
Maggie the Ocelot Maggie the Ocelot is offline
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Originally Posted by Dropo View Post
The necklace is the key here; it drew attention to her breasts, indicating she wants men to stare there. As has already been mentioned by others, this is a dual strategy: get men to view her favorably by playing to their instincts; and make men who stare uncomfortable to retain a measure of psychological leverage (i.e., control) over them. It strikes me as manipulative yet common, and no doubt some men will fall over themselves falling for it.
Um, no? I wear a necklace almost every day, and it has never even occurred to me that it might draw the eye to my boobs. I wear it to decorate the otherwise-blank area between where my face ends and my dress begins. The necklace is shorter if the dress neckline is higher, longer if the neckline is lower, but that's because of the aesthetics of decorating that blank place and nothing to do with wanting eyes on my boobs!
  #49  
Old 03-12-2018, 05:25 PM
Dropo Dropo is offline
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Originally Posted by Maggie the Ocelot View Post
Um, no? I wear a necklace almost every day, and it has never even occurred to me that it might draw the eye to my boobs. I wear it to decorate the otherwise-blank area between where my face ends and my dress begins. The necklace is shorter if the dress neckline is higher, longer if the neckline is lower, but that's because of the aesthetics of decorating that blank place and nothing to do with wanting eyes on my boobs!

Your post (and others) lacks context and perspective. Specifically, we are here dealing with not just a necklace, but a conspiracy of fashion decisions. Along with the necklace ("...of a size, shape and color to draw attention to her cleavage" according to the OP), the woman was also bra-less and her top was presumably low enough to reveal what cleavage she had. That's three fashion choices all designed to draw attention to her breasts. Two is a coincidence, three is a pattern (consciously or otherwise).

And then there is the setting in which this occurred. It was not a date or a social occasion of any kind, nor a casual outfit to do errands in. It was a business meeting. This raises at least a couple questions:

Was the woman dressed noticeably differently than on days when she had no similar meeting scheduled?

Of the others in the meeting, were any of them in positions whereby they might conceivably promote this woman?

I do not presume to know the answers to these questions, but they could conceivably have a significant impact on how all of us view this issue.
  #50  
Old 03-12-2018, 05:52 PM
Robot Arm Robot Arm is offline
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See, part of the problem is that I don't think there's such a thing as "dressing sexy" for men. I mean, there's dressing in clean, well fitting clothes that aren't rumpled or torn. There's dressing in a sharp suit and tie. But there's no such thing as dressing in a skimpy outfit that translates to "dressing sexy".
That's what I was trying to get at in my previous post; whether a man might dress in a way that's seen as aggressive or potentially violent. Is that just a passive fashion statement, or is the association unacceptable?

I did an internship many years ago at a small manufacturing company. I remember a couple calendars (from a tool company) with women in swimsuits posted around the shop floor. That seems to be the sort of thing that doesn't happen anymore. If what a woman wears is a personal statement, why isn't a calendar the same thing? Obviously, they're not exactly the same thing, but both are a personal, aesthetic choice that doesn't affect anyone else except through the message that it sends. At what point does the message become impossible to ignore?
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