“Dressing Like Prostitutes”? Authentic Sexuality?

Why do moms let their daughters “dress like prostitutes?” asked Jennifer Moses in a Wall Street Journal piece that got people talking.

Moses thinks it’s because the moms had a sexually free past, which they now regret. “Not one woman I’ve ever asked about the subject,” she declared, “has said that she wishes she’d ‘experimented’ more.”

So wouldn’t you want your daughters to NOT look like prostitutes, then?

Yes, but mom’s don’t want to be hypocrites, she says, so they don’t know how to advise their daughters.

Joyce McFadden, writing in the Huffington Post, sees things differently. “I think the real problem is that dressing provocatively is one of the only outlets we allow our daughters to express their sexuality,” she said.

McFadden prefers a healthier approach, recommending moms help their daughters to own an authentic sexuality.

Sounds good. But what would that be?

As I see it, authentic sexuality contains many parts.

Authentic sexuality is not shameful

Bombarded with words like slut, skank and whore, it’s easy for sexually interested young women to feel polluted. I’m not aware of even one positive word that specifically communicates women enjoying sexuality. Compounding the problem, when parents avoid discussing the matter with their daughters the silence shows embarrassment. Meanwhile, church elders warn of the untamed libido, but the message can come across as “sex is sinful.” Opposing images of “Madonna and Whore” emphasize the point. Even when sex is forced upon women against their will, they can end up feel shamed, themselves.

Instead, women and girls need to know that sex it is completely natural. Understanding and exploring their bodies and what pleases them is, too.


Authentic sexuality is not a crutch for powerlessness or low self-esteem

More than one commenter on McFadden’s piece felt girls dressed provocativ­ely to gain power over boys, or to simply feel empowered, generally. I’m all for female empowerment. But how much strength is there, really, in drawing the male gaze? Or in gaining a favor here or there? Is this power substantive? Some women may skillfully use their sexuality to manipulate, but manipulation is a weak form of power. It’s what people do when they feel they have no other choice.

Another commenter sees the matter differently: “I’ve worked as a school counselor and there is a difference between girls wearing clothing they are comfortabl­e with and girls who wear clothing to manipulate and have power over boys, which is a self-estee­m issue.”

Really about self-esteem? Maybe that’s right because I don’t see a lot of real power in sexy dressing.

Nothing wrong with feeling good when people find you attractive. But hopefully it’s not a primary source of self-worth. That sort of beauty is all about the surface, and it is fleeting.

Instead, real contributions create real power and substantive esteem.

What else?

Authentic sexuality also involves cutting through the lure of the market, peer pressure, and the flood of images that scream “sexy is” to discover one’s own sexuality and authentic pleasure.

But I’ll save that discussion for next week.

Georgia Platts

Popular Posts on BroadBlogs
Cartoonish vs Authentic Sexuality
Sources of Power in Relationships
Should You Ask Why Your Lover Loves You?

About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on April 25, 2011, in feminism, gender, objectification, psychology, sex and sexuality, sexism, women and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 34 Comments.

  1. You all are overthinking this. Young girls want to look sexy. Fashion sense is learned, not genetic. It is not taught in schools and rarely taught by parents, many of whom never learned it either. So young girls with no fashion sense who want to look sexy go about it all wrong and end up dressing trashy-sexy instead of classy-sexy. They just need to watch a few select episodes of What Not to Wear and everything will be fine. Trouble is, adults see what they are wearing and think it is some sort of moral panic when most of these girls have no intention of being promiscuous or even necessarily having sex. They just want to feel beautiful. It’s a fashion problem, not a sex problem per se.

    • Did you read the whole post?

      You seem to be responding to the women I was responding to — instead of responding to my thoughts.

      And my thoughts are these:

      Authentic sexuality is not shameful; Authentic sexuality is not a crutch for powerlessness or low self-esteem

      You don’t think so?

  2. Demi Battaglia

    In today’s society some mothers are more willing to let their daughters dress how they want to dress and give them options. Kids are growing up so much quicker these days and experiencing things at such a young age that is almost impossible to think that they wont start dressing more “sexy”. They are given more freedom to do what they want, and it some cases its okay but in others it back fires. For example my mom has basically let my little sister do what ever she wants and its the same for the way she dresses. Shes only 15 and she wears things like shes in her 20’s. I try to guide her in the right direction as much as possible but in the end she has to figure things out for herself just like other kids these days.

  3. This was interesting to me. I don’t understand why it is so hard for moms to be open with their children. I try to have a super open relationship with my daughter. There are certain things she is not allowed to wear and as long as she is in my house will probably never be allowed to wear. I allow her to express herself sexually in her room in private. I don’t want her to feel ashamed about what feels goo to her, but at the same time, I will not allow her to wear a 2 piece. There is no reason for it. I don’t want male gazes going toward my daughter. I want her to know you can be classy and sexy at the same time!!

  4. I think it’s interesting to think about what men are supposed to do to show attractiveness. Can men dress sexy? Or is male sexiness something that gets built up more by demonstrating financial stability and status, in which case is sexiness more connected to body language and intent? Women can dress in many ways. It seems a bit complex because I think that if a woman was comfortable with her body and how people look at her, she might dress in really skimpy clothes because it feels better. I’d personally walk around with minimal clothing if it was socially acceptable and not necessarily a sexual signal.

    • I’m planning to write something on related research this later. Briefly, we all see the world through men’s eyes so that sexy-dressing men can come across as looking gay (the way men would see sexy men).

  5. Sexuality has to do with the individual in my opinion. Everybody has their own theory to what is wrong and what is not.In my case my mother has never let me out the hosue looking like a “slut” or “prostitute”. But i have always had freedom to the way that i want to dress. Now i personally wouldn’t want to walk outside of the house with a tube top and daisy dukes because i don’t feel comfortable. Their is always going to be socities version of what is right or wrong and i feel that sexualtiy has to do with the person not the clothing on their body. You can’t always judge a book by it’s cover.Their may be a girl dressed very conservatively but she may sleep around with alot of guys where you have the girl thats wearing the short shots and a tank top is being called a “prostitute becuase of what she is wearing.I don’t feel that is right or true and their is no conservative way of dressingf because that varies among individuals.

  6. This is true. Reading this piece it brought me back to my eight grade right before graduating and going to high school. i was thirteen at the time and had a huge crush on this guy names John. I would wear small tank tops to try and impress him and before i left the house i would wear a big jacket so that my mom or dad didn’t see my clothes. once i got to school we were doing something and i guess everyone could see my bra and was laughing at me. I was so embarrassed! When my teacher told my mom, my mom didn’t get upset with me she just explained how to dress pretty without revealing my body. I still keep her words in my head when i get dressed up to go out on a date. 🙂

  7. ” Nothing wrong with feeling good when people find you attractive.” So it’s okay to wear a short, skin tight dress that is very low cut at a young age just because you want people to find you attractive? I personally think it’s disgusting when girls have to dress slutty. It doesn’t matter if it’s “hot” outside, you don’t need to dress like you’re trying to find someone to hook up with. I think you should be able to wear a T-shirt and jeans and not a lot of make up and feel attractive and confident. You shouldn’t have to dress slutty and revealing and make heads turn in order to feel attractive and important. If people find you attractive when you aren’t dressed revealing then sure, that feels great. But if you think you need to wear short shorts and a crop top, you need some help gaining self confidence. What bothers me most is that girls can get almost any guy they want by dressing a certain way. I think things need to start changing in society.

    I was going to college in Los Angeles, and every day, most of my classmates would wake up hours before the 8 AM class to perfect their hair, makeup and revealing outfit. After a night of studying, I walked back to my room wearing a baggy sweatshirt, skinny jeans, and Uggs, wearing hardly any makeup and was called “disgusting” and “ugly” by a girl who was wearing a lot of makeup and a low cut top. Since then, I try to look good every day, even if it means missing out on sleep, because I feel like I’ll look like a slob compared to the rest of school, where they think image matters so much. I took a semester off and came back up to Northern California, and it’s so obvious to see the change. 95% of the people at the school wear sweatshirts or Tshirts to school. If someone wears a ton of make up they really stand out. I like that. It shouldn’t feel like a fashion/modeling contest when you’re going to school. School should be about learning, not trying to attract guys or girls.

    I think girls need to work on gaining self confidence based on their brains, not their apperance. I’ve been able to feel confident when not dressed up, although it took a while, and I think that’s an important thing to be able to do. In my opinion, I think girls get too caught up on what guys think of them, or what other girls think of them, and that makes them feel the need to look good 24/7. With strength and confidence comes less of a need to look slutty, and I hope that one day places like my college in LA will realize that.

    • I think young women should be able to wear whatever they like. But hopefully to express an authentic part of themselves and not out of inauthentic motivations. “Just because you want people to find you attractive” is not authentic, as I was trying to express.

      But I also think that “attractive” is much broader than “short, skin tight dress that is very low cut.” In fact, I personally don’t find what you just described attractive (though I’m sure many people do). A woman can be very attractive in jeans and t-shirt, as you note.

  8. Anthalanette Andrews

    I must agree with some of the points made in the article such as authentic sexuality is not shameful, and authentic sexuality is not a crutch for powerlessness or low self-esteem. I have two adult daughters and have always attempted to raise them by the standards that I was raised by as far as being a young lady and becoming a woman. I was taught as a young girl that you can dress sexy, but appropriate and still maintain the fashion trends of the time. I feel that today a lot of young women are still trying to find or identify themselves as well as remain sexy enough to attract an interesting person of the opposite sex. I also believe that today fashion is different than it was say 10 years ago. Some women try to keep up with fashion that is not necessarily a dress code that they would look sexy and/or good in. I can identify with some of the fashion trends that are worn today as some styles go out and then come back around. For example, I remember when I used to wear flare leg jeans or bell bottoms as they were called. Some styles come back with a different name such as capri or knicker bocker. Now with the topic at hand I believe when you see young women dressed like a prostitute there is a motive behind it. What it is I am not sure of but I have gotten several responses such as he likes to see me dressed like this or I’m not dressed like a prostitute you’re just not up on fashion. I was always taught that you want to keep a man guessing what’s underneath your dress. If you’re showing it so freely it must not be any good. This may be wrong or it may be right, but I can see based on those principles I have always been complimented about how sexy I am.

  9. Santosh Kalidindi

    I believe that many parents (mostly moms however from my experience) allow their daughters to dress the way they want to in order to get closer to their distanced teen or are simply too scared to face their daughter in fear of rejection. The teen daughter on the other hands gets her idea of provocative dress styles ultimately from the media. I think that unfortunately the media conditions girls into thinking that they are only as valuable as they way men react to the way they look. Girls are instantly hooked because the media portrays the idea of being sexy as powerful and alluring. However, in practicality, dressing provocatively at such a young age leads them to face negative judgments that often serve to only lower their self esteem. However, I think that the girls whose parenting figures discourage this form of thinking are the ones who either avoid or grow out of dressing in a sexual way.

  10. I’d like to start off by sating that I wholehearterdly agreed with Kit10phish in her 10/25 response about advertising having created the niche and need for these sexually charged outfits in underage sizes, in which she states: ”…create an environment where girls are made to feel that they NEED to where said clothes…”. I believe that parents are ultimately responsible for what they allow their children to own and how they allow them to wear them in the first place, although certainly other organizations and indeed corporations would ideally react to social and moral responsibilities as well.

    But more to the point, I don’t believe that most of these young girls are dressing in generally sexually provocative ways out of a need to express themselves sexually, as a means to gain self esteem, nor as a method of gaining power. I think that more often they do it in a confused state of being. What I mean by that is that (at least American) children today are brought up in a media dominated society that reinforces a female’s place as a sexual object in excess, as no young generation has seen on this scale before! There are subtle and overt keys in much more severe and quantitative ways than just Barbie, shown on any toy aisle in any Target store, in music videos, teen film and television stars, social networking sites and so on.

    One general message that is received in mass quantity is that you aren’t anything to start with unless you are these things: flirtatious, sexual, and desirable to men. I don’t recall even having the beginning inkling of an understanding of what real sexual male desirability meant until I was in my early 20s. I know that even at that time, experimenting with provocative ways of presenting myself (much more muted than what seems to be preteen mainstream today!) I felt a bit unsure and insecure until I learned more about myself. I don’t know that a general preteen or a teenage girl in our society is really emotionally or mentally able to learn how to express themselves sexually to those extremes. It seems that it would be more natural for them to be exploring their sexual identities from a more personal direction (masturbation, learning who and what attributes they are physically attracted to, and learning about their own developing bodies.) I don’t see overt sexual dressing as any valid means of that expression. I think that is a false idea implanted in our society’s children’s minds by media and advertising – perhaps nothing new in it’s core – but certainly in it’s depth and breadth of distribution and saturation!

  11. This article you write is very interesting and is in my mind constantly because I have three girls. Although I can manage their outfits now they still have their own sense of style and drives me crazy. One piece of advice I got when my kids starting dressing themselves was to not fight with them on what they were, because their peers would quickly help them out. It worked for the most part.
    When I was a teenager I would put different shirts in my back pack and change at school. I’m already patting my kids backpacks down for toys or other things that shouldn’t be taking to school. When they are in high school, I can only imagine doing the same for inappropriate clothing or gadgets in their bags. It is important to talk to your kids about what is inappropriate from words, behavior or dress. Luckily, my kids tell on each other and hopefully they will do this when they are out and about in their teens. I believe it is also important to know their friends well and be able to make sure their friends know your intentions as well.

  12. These days that parents tend to be unresponsive towards the way their daughters dress, this article is a spot-on that it forthrightly addresses the issue. Parents can teach their daughters that such a false image of sexuality has spread by a tactic of companies’ marketing to sell its products, mass media which seeks attentions from the audience with a shocking sexual material, and peer pressure which forces them to dress the same to stay in the group. If one could accept the nature of their authentic sexualities, they can be free from all those unnecessary obsessions, which are promoting their feelings of powerlessness and low self-esteem. It is important for parents not to stop educating their children how to deal with their natural sexualities.

  13. In response to why moms allow their daughter to dress sexy, I cant say that all mothers do, at least ones that care about how their daughters present themselves. I grew up with my mom making sure I didnt walk out of the house wearing anything revealing and anything scandalous. Although that concept backlashed when I snuck clothes and make up in my back pack and just change at school, and most girls I was friends with in middle school did the same, but the rebellion aspect played more of a role than anything because I learned fast that the way in which you present yourself to the public is how you will be judged, and sure its not fair but thats the truth, no one wants to believe that your being judged in who you are as a person by the clothes you wear, but thats why interview attire is a guideline so the employers have little to use against you in the hiring process.

  14. Elizabeth Wright

    Lately, I have been wondering about the difference between authentic/healthy sexuality and sexuality that stems from insecurity. In society, there seems to be a very fine line between the two. What makes one outfit “sexy” and another one “slutty”? Maybe the answer lies in the mindset of the dresser. Personally, I’m constantly questioning myself when I get dressed; am I choosing this outfit for attention or simply because I genuinely like it? I try to embrace my sexuality and my femininity and dress/act in a way that’s natural for me. I don’t like playing games or feeling like I have to put on a show for others. I’m sure many young women think about the choices they’re making on a daily basis and whether or not the decisions they make are beneficial. However, those who are raised in an appearance focused society (such as America) may very well assume that women are supposed to care about how they look. Women are supposed to be sexy and are supposed to be unsure of themselves. After all, women are taught (at a very young age) that they are weak and emotional beings. Perhaps one small step towards liberation is dressing and acting for oneself rather than for others.

  15. Silvana Ciorbea

    I first wanted to comment on the fact that not all mother’s encourage or simply accept “slutty” attire in their children. I know my mom always had to comment on my clothes when I was a teenager by saying, ” isn’t that too short” or “your butt is kinda hanging out isn’t it”. She didn’t let me get away with all the clothes I wanted to wear and some parents are like that. However I do understand that some mother’s aren’t this way and just let their daughters get away with wearing slutty clothes because they don’t know how to talk to their kids about it. I honestly feel in this day and age where Oprah and Dr. Phil rule daytime t.v. and are constantly giving parents advice on how to talk to their children on sensitive matters, there is really no excuse to just avoid this subject with your kids. Also, it should be common sense for a parent, you should put any of your own fears or uncomfortabilities aside for the sake of your child and their future and just talk to them about sexuality and sex and all those uncomfortable subjects. Just be honest and say if you did some questionable things in your past and what affect that had on your life. If they see that you are comfortable talking about things like this, then so will they and they will in turn be honest with you and start to seek you out when they need advice. Kids need proper role models, don’t just ignore the subject and hope it will go away or that your kids will eventually learn on their own because they might learn the wrong things that way and it can hurt them later.
    Also, sexy doesn’t mean slutty, people have just put the two together for some reason and kids are too young to know the difference. Also when you’re 14 and unsure about yourself and insecure, you think that getting boys’ attention is what is going to make you feel better and therefore you start dressing slutty to catch their eye. Many girls do this, I know I have, but when you get older (some of us learn this, some of us still need to learn it) you learn sexiness comes from within and has nothing to do with what you wear. It’s more HOW you wear it and the confidence that radiates through you when you walk, talk, whatever. There are women out there that can make a trash bag look sexy because of who they are and how they conduct themselves when their around other people, not because of how much skin they show. You can even ask men, most men find a girl sexy when she’s decently dressed with a smile on her face compared to decked out in leather or lace with their boobs out. The girls in porno magazines aren’t portraying anything real and men know that, those women are just portraying a fantasy. Even those women don’t dress that way in real life, they just do it at photoshoots because it’s their job and they’re making money. Simply put, sexiness doesn’t equal sluttiness and people need to remember that and not be afraid to teach their kids it.

  16. Actually I have thought about this kind of questions for a while. I’m the person who doesn’t like dress sexy dressing to draw other’s attention. However, many girls today dress provocativ­ely. I think there are two main reasons that are gaining the attention of other boys and competing with other girls. But generally they just want to attract other boys. Dressing sexily in order to draw people’s attention makes one like an object. Beautiful dressing is good but not sexy dressing. I think it is more important for a woman to build up her temperament other than just focus on the dressing. Also, there seems to be a gender stereotype that it is not good if women enjoy sexuality. I think it is just a natural thing for both men and women.

  17. Sarai Villarreal

    I feel young girls think dressing sexy means being sexy. Why? Well, mainly because of ignorance and because of a lack of education on a subject like sexuality. Parents shy away from talking to their daughters about their image through the clothes they wear, or about what authentic sexuality is because either they’re too embarrassed to or because they don’t think it’s a relevant issue. Therefore, young girls imitate what they think is “sexy” from what they see in music videos, movies, TV, or peers. I agree that dressing sexy is not authentic sexuality. Who are you dressing for? If girls were dressing sexy or provocatively because they liked the clothes and felt comfortable, okay, but if it’s to get a reaction and attract males then that leaves the woman powerless. She hands over the power to men to dictate what she wears, does, etc.. Especially at a young age a girl in her ignorance and innocence can be manipulated easily just because she is drawn to all the attention given to her. Dressing sexy many times just makes men view women as objects. Later having greater consequences, in extreme situations of domestic violence, rape, etc. I can personally say when I was about 15 I had an obsession with wanting bigger boobs. I thought I would look better, but really because more guys would like me. It was a lack of self esteem in me, and being confused on what sexy was. Now at 20 years old, I’m comfortable with my small breasts and would never want to change myself just to appeal to a man.

    • Regarding Sarai’s comments in her posting, I completely agree with her that young girls in general do not feel comfortable discussing their own sexuality with their parents. Because sexuality and sensuality is not as open a subject as it should be, most young girls with questions do indeed look to the media images of what is considered “Sexy” to begin to see what they might look like in the eyes of others if they try out provocative clothing. Once they experience such levels of attention, yes, it’s true, it might be filling an emotional need for validation or providing a false sense of empowerment over males, which can lead to many issues. For this reason, I hope more parents at home will choose to open the door to more conversations with both their daughters and sons about how looks should not dictate personality nor behavior.

  18. As a parent of a son who is 13, I have found myself being grateful that he’s a “boy” and not a “girl” on more than one occasion due mostly to this exact topic of discussion when I see some of the outfits that girls his age are wearing! It’s gotten to the point where when he and I are out and about, he will actually point out girls that are dressed in overtly provocative outfits and make comments to me such as, “Where is she going that she thinks she needs to look like that?”.

    I think it’s actually quite easy for parents to debate the “Pros and Cons” of allowing their daughters to choose how to dress: reveal too much skin and perhaps you’ll be drawing the unwanted attention of too many male eyes and comments, versus wearing something fashionable, yet leaving more to the imagination to show that you’re stylish, but not openly over-exposed.

    Parents need to pick and choose their battles wisely. Some positive comments that can point out parental concern about what messages may be sent by wearing overly revealing clothes that aren’t likely to start an argument could be: “Karen, I know you look great, but if you wear that tank top with that short skirt, people might get the wrong impression of you.” “Lisa, your curves are really filling out that tight dress like a rock star, do you think taking a jacket with you to wear over that mini-dress might end up being a good idea today in case your looks are too distracting?” “Sandra, just because Kim seems to be really popular and dresses that way doesn’t mean that you should feel pressured into buying clothes you’re not going to feel comfortable in just to fit in with her crowd. You’re actually so much prettier than Kim, that you look better than her in just jeans and a sweater!”.

    I think that young girls in today’s world need to receive tremendous amounts of daily parental doses of love, support, encouragement, understanding, validation, and patience to gain self-esteem for who they are as people and to learn self-worth from what they do and from what they learn. Between teenage peer pressure, the general media onslaught of what to wear and how to look, conforming to various expectations while trying to assert independence, and going to school while having active social lives during a time of tumultuous hormonal changes, parents need to realize that clothing choices that teenage girls make are temporary reflections of their current interests, not a banner of declaration announcing their availability to males. If her behavior patterns indicate that she is entering a phase of sexual exploration, then talking about STD’s, pregnancy, contraception, and scheduling doctor exams are much more relevant and important to her safety and health.

  19. This was a very interesting article to read, especially the thought that girls dress ‘slutty’ or ‘sexy’ to gain power over men. That may be true in some cases, but not all. It seems that girls are trying to fit in more or look better than everyone, trying to gain approval or attention from others so they dress this way. A lot of girls have low self-esteem which can be temporarily satisfied by desirable gazes and attention from men, but not about having power over them all the time. Also, looking and feeling better than other girls could boost their self-esteem which would involve looks and dress. The media today does influence younger girls to dress this way and it seems out of control sometimes. Mothers can try to get their girls to dress differently, normally, but may choose not to because they don’t know how.

    • Brianna, I agree with your opinions. I also think impressing men is just a small reason girls may dress that way. Why are all the readers of this blog just presuming all girls all the time are dressing (whether slutty or tastefully) with the opposite sex in mind? Also, I think you’re right about female competition (not necessarily for the male gaze) and of course, the biggie–media influence. These clothes are coveted and worn by a lot of girls because they are “cool,” seen everywhere in media and life, and widely available.

  20. I have to agree some moms let her kids whatever they want. I have a neighbor and she has 3 girls which is a disaster but their mom lets them cut off there jeans to make them shorts but the girls cut then short on purpose. I’m not bashing her parenting but it’s a little too much for a 13, 11, and 9 year old. I take the girls on a walk and I make them change in to longer shorts because I don’t want people looking at them because you never know who is driving by on the streets. I talk to the girls because kids these days know too much for their age and I don’t want any one disrespecting them and calling them names.

  21. I think this is a very interesting article because I have often wondered why some parents allow their daughters to dress provocatively. I think that there is not really any power in dressing that way and it may make some girls feel good to have male attention but I do not necessarily think that it is the real attention they are looking for. What I mean by that is that I feel like obviously a male is going to be attracted to a girl that is dressed that way but with only one thing in mind. I really hope I am not making it seem that I am making certain assumptions about all male because I do not mean to. I think the point made about self-esteem issues is extremely valid because if a girl is blessed with a nice body maybe she feels she needs to have that attention in order to feel good about herself but I do not see how that could make her feel powerful over a male because it just seems the opposite to me. It is almost as if by dressing provocatively, a girl is trying to give a male what she knows they want to see and there really is no power in that.

  22. I liked reading the comments from others who expressed that women like to gain power over boys, “or to simply feel empowered, generally”. While I do agree with those statements I feel that there is also a silence of women who are competitive with other women to attract male attention. This can also be the cause of why women dress provocatively. Yes, they are getting male attention, but at the same time they are attracting other women to become jealous of them, which gives some sort of confidence. I personally do not agree with dressing a certain way to get frowned upon attention, however that is what is current and will continue to be the trend for catching someone’s attention.

  23. As a young male, I feel that women dress “provocatively” for several reasons: Some women love to dress sexy to grasp the attention of the male species; second, other women dress sexy to show off their amazing bodies which GOD has given them; and third, other women dress sexy because they have low self-esteem and feel dressing provocatively is the only way of getting attention. There’s not much most parents can do to control there child’s dressing selections. All we can do is inform them that dressing a certain way can give people the wrong impression or attract unwanted attention. I believe men call women who dress provocatively: whores, sluts and etc because these are the women who are easy to sleep with or sleep around. So these women are basically being labeled by the way they dress. Not to mention that a lot of the fashion comes from the media so these young women see the sexy women’s outfits on televisions, in magazines and idolize these women. Like they say “sex sells” and young women will continue to explore there sexuality and that’s just the way it is.

    • Interesting to hear a young man’s perspective. Curious what you think: when girls go out and enjoy sex in a non-monogamous way, they are called sluts. But when men do the same think they are called something positive like “players.” What do you you think of that?

  24. I love the way this post is written – clearly puts into words how I’ve always felt about “sex as empowerment.”

    Definitely have to share this post!

  25. I believe that women and girls use these types of clothes to get attention and feel better about themselves. With looking a certain way females try to catch the attention of the male species. When you ask a real man though most are attracted to the s”slutty” look but its something they wouldnt be serious about just some sort of pleasure. A real women can be sexy in anything and I don’t think showing all of your body is sexy it shows that your mind is limited and you don’t know any other way to be sexy. If we were able to show young girls that there was another way to get noticed there would be less provactive clothing around.

    • This is not about girls driving production of those clothes. I really don’t think young girls think to themselves, “I will wear the tackiest, skimpiest outfit to garner male attention, now if only I could find some in a store. . .” It’s the other way around. The function of advertising is to create a need–maybe where there actually isn’t one. Why do you think girls are dressing for male attention rather than for their own enjoyment, comfort, and functionality in the first place? Under our duel systems of capitalism and patriarchy people create those clothes then use ads and subtle messages to create an environment where girls are made to feel that they NEED to where said clothes. And walla-there they are in stores for them to BUY (key word) and wear! The problem isn’t in the hands of uncreative gals with “limited minds” it’s in our cash-driven society.

Thoughts? (Comments will appear after moderation)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: