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I'm a girl watcher...
February 10, 2007 10:54 PM   Subscribe

Modest, yet fashionable. It may be February, but you'd best get an early start finding the perfect modest swimwear. Onesies are probably best left the domain of christian harlots. A two-piece is right out. How about a four-piece? The fine folks at Haşema and Ahiida can hook you up with the hottest styles this season. After a refreshing swim, why not go for a jog?
posted by phrontist (98 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Argh, that should be Haşema. Post oinspired by this.

I have to say I think this is a pretty brilliant idea, and a lot of those are really well designed. This could have been implemented in a really boring way.
posted by phrontist at 10:57 PM on February 10, 2007


previously: The other Burquini thread
posted by isopraxis at 11:03 PM on February 10, 2007


and also previously.
posted by nickyskye at 11:05 PM on February 10, 2007


nickyskye - your 'previously' link has a much better title than mine. At least - unlike modest swimming clothes - better fitting.
posted by isopraxis at 11:11 PM on February 10, 2007


Wearing the veil, or any derivation thereof, is an immediate symbol and acceptance if not propagation of the subjugation of women.

Its political affect is the total control of a struggling underclass by a ruling class that entraps their peoples with myths, stealing their money, trading with the West (see: Saudi Arabia, Pakistan.) Religion keeps the billionaires in power, and people just like us keep killing us for them, and we keep killing them for our billionaires. Then the billionaires meet, and laugh, and think about how great religion is - the widest net, easy to cast, difficult to shake off.

Fuck religion, Islam, et al. And break out the bikinis.
posted by four panels at 11:25 PM on February 10, 2007


I like these suits; I like bikinis.
One's mysterious; the other's teeny.
posted by The White Hat at 11:44 PM on February 10, 2007 [2 favorites]


four panels : "Wearing the veil, or any derivation thereof, is an immediate symbol and acceptance if not propagation of the subjugation of women."

Yeah, but if you're already being subjugated, no reason not to do it with style. I'd rather be a subjugated woman at the pool than a subjugated woman at home but wanting to be in the pool.
posted by Bugbread at 12:06 AM on February 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


And break out the bikinis.
posted by four panels at 11:25 PM PST on February 10 [+]
[!]


Why stop there? We've got perfectly good skin there, as long as we're tearing down religious- and culturally-imposed restrictions on modesty.
posted by luftmensch at 12:16 AM on February 11, 2007


mmm...pure gold for those of us with hejab fetishes! This kind of swimwear should be compulsory for all women.
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:17 AM on February 11, 2007


luftmensch : "We've got perfectly good skin there, as long as we're tearing down religious- and culturally-imposed restrictions on modesty."

I think his beef is with the gender inequality part of the modesty. So the optimal situation would be that women would just wear bikini bottoms, and all us men would wear Speedos.
posted by Bugbread at 12:19 AM on February 11, 2007


On the fundamentalist Christian side, may I present the astonishingly-URLed Lydia of Purple.

(Warning-- embedded ocean sounds)
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 12:31 AM on February 11, 2007


lol xtians Muslims
posted by freshwater_pr0n at 12:43 AM on February 11, 2007


palmcorder, you're right, that URL is amazing. I've never seen one so long that wasn't for a joke site.
posted by Bugbread at 1:01 AM on February 11, 2007


Go for it Four Panels.
posted by A189Nut at 2:09 AM on February 11, 2007


Four panels: It seems to me that your belief that billionaries are cynically conspiring and manipulating us for their own purposes is as much of a comforting crutch for your worldview, helping to diminish our collective responsibility, as religion is for others.
posted by Luddite at 2:50 AM on February 11, 2007


Right on, Four Panels. I'm going to wear a Speedo so I can stick it to The Man.
posted by hal9k at 3:39 AM on February 11, 2007


That slimming model really should catch on here in 'Merka.
posted by DenOfSizer at 3:54 AM on February 11, 2007


Wearing the veil, or any derivation thereof, is an immediate symbol and acceptance if not propagation of the subjugation of women.

Yeah, and slapping on a teeny bikini and getting out in public in front of people who would label a post "I'm a girl watcher..." isn't objectifying in anyway, and should only ever be understood as a sign of "freedom". And I'm quite certain that the people who make money off of tiny bathing suits for women aren't out for profit, and are only interested in women's rights and free expression.

And you know, "free" women really love it when you look at their boobs instead of their faces when you talk to them. It reminds them of how free and well-respected they are in this culture.
posted by Hildegarde at 5:56 AM on February 11, 2007 [5 favorites]


I just want to see some uncovered hair. Is that too much to ask?
posted by sebastienbailard at 6:13 AM on February 11, 2007


I'm not sure muslim women all are that interested in organizing their clothing so that it lets you see what you want. So yes, I think it *is* too much to ask. Get over it.
posted by Hildegarde at 6:22 AM on February 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


I like grandfather clocks.
posted by Meatbomb at 6:34 AM on February 11, 2007


I think his beef is with the gender inequality part of the modesty. So the optimal situation would be that women would just wear bikini bottoms, and all us men would wear Speedos.

Excuse me while I clear the tears of laughter from my eyes as I conjure an image of myself in a Speedo.
posted by SteveInMaine at 7:08 AM on February 11, 2007


we cannot simultaneously fawn on islam the way liberals want us to, and also advance women's rights. some commenters would deny the perfectly natural sexual attraction between men and women and the concomitant interest in looking at a fine, fit example of a human body of the opposite gender (and for many of you, human bodies of the same gender), equating taking this look with some kind of objectification or even assault.

not falling for this here. i too am a girl watcher, for which i make no apologies. i have noticed the irony that many of the loudest, most frequent complainers are also among the least watchable in the class of women. in the spirit of reciprocity, i extend a warm welcome to women who favor slightly rotund guys to watch me in turn, every chance they get.
posted by bruce at 7:50 AM on February 11, 2007


Well, it would be nice not to have to worry about wayward public hairs for a change.
posted by JanetLand at 7:52 AM on February 11, 2007


Ah, bruce, of course, the "feminists are like that 'cause they're ugly" angle. My God, you're recycling the sort of nonsense used against proponents of women's suffrage at the dawn of the C20th. Still, it's nice to see that somebody is keeping the end up for idiocy and meaningless blather.

You insistence on the mythology of the 'liberal party line' is also an inane distraction. People who consider themselves to be liberal hold a wide range of opinions and attitudes, just as those who consider themselves socialist, conservative or anything else do.

Your oversimplication of the central issue is ridiculous. The desire to look at other human bodies may well be whatever you mean by 'natural', but it does not follow that objectification, discrimination and, indeed, actual physical assault never occur because of this desire. To draw a comparison: The fact that hunger is natural does not necessarily make murderous cannibalism either nonexistent or acceptable.
posted by howfar at 8:04 AM on February 11, 2007


After reading all of the comments in the thread, I think I'll just weigh in by saying that so long as a person is truly happy with the choices he or she has made in life, what right do any of us have to project our own personal moral standards onto him or her?

I fully support the right of any person to assert him or herself if he or she feels oppressed by custom, religion, etc. But in cases where the persons involved are quite happy with their lot in life - look at it the other way around, would you? I personally would never ask my own spouse or child to wear the full-body cover-ups. It would seem to me that not offering Muslim women clothing that is suitable for an active lifestyle and yet fits within the moral guidelines she has accepted is just as wrong as asking a liberal American woman to start covering herself from eyebrows to ankles when in public.

On a more cynical note, I noticed in the FPP that Nike is making some clothing like this but is not planning on marketing it worldwide. Gee, I wonder why - does it go against their longstanding tradition of supporting womens rights?
posted by caution live frogs at 8:08 AM on February 11, 2007


An alternate burkini.
posted by madamjujujive at 8:16 AM on February 11, 2007


gee howfar, you drank all the kool-aid of feminist orthodoxy.
"the desire to look at other human bodies may well be whatever you mean by 'natural'..."
wtf did you think i meant? are you still in doubt?

your comparison is poorly drawn. nobody has proposed to censure me because i skipped a meal, but here is that old canard that the desire to view a comely woman leads to the act of raping her, because men are just animals who can't control their behavior. please speak solely for yourself on this point, or for the men in your own family if you are a woman.
posted by bruce at 8:21 AM on February 11, 2007


bruce: you don't have a right to look at women's bodies if they don't want you looking at them. I realize this is a hard concept for you to understand, but how's about you give it a try.
posted by Hildegarde at 8:30 AM on February 11, 2007


And you know, "free" women really love it when you look at their boobs instead of their faces when you talk to them. It reminds them of how free and well-respected they are in this culture.

I see your point, Hildegarde, but at the same time, we're all sexual beings, so denying that we're visually stimulated can't be all tha healthy either.

On the one hand we have all these teeny-weeny bikinis and waxing and grooming and whatnot screaming "look at me! look at me!' and from the other direction we have people saying 'if you look at me, you're a perverted misogynist!' which is what you could call mixed signals. Not picking a fight, just making an observation.

FWIW, I usually forgo swimwear altogether at the beach, which when the sun combines with my pale irish complexion causes me to burst into flame and people can't help but look
posted by jonmc at 8:35 AM on February 11, 2007


hildegard, anywhere i am lawfully standing, i have the right to look around me at anything that pleases my eye. i know what a bitter revelation this must be for you, but i'll try to help you get over it if you want.
posted by bruce at 8:36 AM on February 11, 2007


bruce: you don't have a right to look at women's bodies if they don't want you looking at them.

well, wearing a revealing swimsuit on a public beach is a fairly clear sign that someone dosen't mind you getting an eyeful. Not to say that leering or harassment is OK, but to display acres of flesh in public and then accuse people of being pervs for looking at it, is a bit disingenuous.
posted by jonmc at 8:39 AM on February 11, 2007


And if a woman opts not to put on the skimpy outfits, you complain.
posted by Hildegarde at 8:42 AM on February 11, 2007


I don't. some guys do.

I'm just chafing a little bit at the 'likes to look at attractive women'='perverted male oppressor.' It seems a like an overly broad generalization.
posted by jonmc at 8:45 AM on February 11, 2007


jonmc: nowhere did I call anyone a perverted male oppressor. I'm just saying bruce and whatshisname has no right to demand muslim women to uncover their hair because it would be pleasing, or to assume that muslim women are wearing the hijab because they are inherently oppressed by their faith.

To the "I will look at whatever is in public" fellows: it's okay to look over and down at the urinals too, right? Perhaps okay for the guy next to you to lick his lips and stare while you finish off and zip up? Not uncomfortable at all, right? I mean, you pulled it out in public, he has a right to look, doesn't he?
posted by Hildegarde at 8:49 AM on February 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


"Natural" is a term open to a number of uses and interpretations. "Occurring in nature"; "part of human nature"; "justified by natural law"; "unavoidable and uncontrollable aspect of behaviour". You could mean
any of these, or a combination. For instance, the last definition might lead one believe that you believe that "men are just animals who can't control their behaviour". You presumably wouldn't want that.

Bruce, I'm in serious doubt about the existence of this 'feminist orthodoxy' you're so worried about. Again, you seem to be suggesting that those who disagree with you are hooked on a party line that they've failed to consider. They're 'liberals' or 'feminists' and not free-thinkers like yourself. It's the 'old canard' that all those who see a value in feminist analysis are man-hating lesbians or self-hating liberal wusses. I believe that sexism, patriarchy and oppression really do exist, but it only seems fair to scratch a little deeper before you label me a cultist.

I believe this is why you've made an assumption about my position that is simply incorrect. That fact that I suggest a possible connection between sexual desire, sexual objectification and other negative outcomes does not mean that I support the oppression of anyone in the name of Islam or of any other religion.

My point was that your comments about the naturalness of attraction do not address any of very real issues of sexual oppression and sexual violence, either inside or outside Islamic culture. Your comments didn't seem to bear relevance to the topic in hand, and sounded like a stale stand-up routine. Sniggering comments that women might want to perv on a fat lad don't really seem pertinent to very much.

So there.
posted by howfar at 8:51 AM on February 11, 2007


I'm just saying bruce and whatshisname has no right to demand muslim women to uncover their hair because it would be pleasing, or to assume that muslim women are wearing the hijab because they are inherently oppressed by their faith.

We're in agreement here, then.


To the "I will look at whatever is in public" fellows: it's okay to look over and down at the urinals too, right? Perhaps okay for the guy next to you to lick his lips and stare while you finish off and zip up? Not uncomfortable at all, right? I mean, you pulled it out in public, he has a right to look, doesn't he?


Well, I think you'll acknowledge that there's a difference between a restroom and a public beach, namely expectation of privacy. In the bathroom, the trousers come down for utilitarian reasons. If I walk down the beach with my johnson flapping in the breeze, I've essentially put it on display, so I can't really complain if someone takes a gander.
posted by jonmc at 8:55 AM on February 11, 2007


no hildegarde, i never complain. sometimes i will extrapolate the invisible from the visible, and conclude either that 1) i wish i could see more, or 2) i'm grateful that i can't.

there's just a little prudish element in your position. my ability to cheerfully and openly acknowledge this core facet of my human nature means that i will never be put to an awkward defense of it. the shapely bosom, the well-turned thigh, the perfect callipygian fundament are all altogether fine things. if you are normal hildegarde, you were a sexual being before you became a political being. hildegarde, the only reason you're here talking to me is because this one time, your daddy jumped your mommy to conceive you, jumped her he did, and doubtless enjoyed it! i'm not prepared to condemn them for this just on the basis of your comments.
posted by bruce at 9:01 AM on February 11, 2007


Your ad hominem is laughable. I'm not your strawman.
posted by Hildegarde at 9:03 AM on February 11, 2007


the shapely bosom, the well-turned thigh, the perfect callipygian fundament

stop it, you're getting me all excited.

the only reason you're here talking to me is because this one time, your daddy jumped your mommy


dude, you have some disagreement with Hildgerade's assertions. That's fine, so do I, we're all adults here. No reason to get nasty, though.
posted by jonmc at 9:03 AM on February 11, 2007


hildegard, anywhere i am lawfully standing, i have the right to look around me at anything that pleases my eye.

To the "I will look at whatever is in public" fellows: it's okay to look over and down at the urinals too, right? Perhaps okay for the guy next to you to lick his lips and stare while you finish off and zip up? Not uncomfortable at all, right? I mean, you pulled it out in public, he has a right to look, doesn't he?

hildegarde, the only reason you're here talking to me is because this one time, your daddy jumped your mommy to conceive you, jumped her he did, and doubtless enjoyed it! i'm not prepared to condemn them for this just on the basis of your comments.

(More upthread that I'm too lazy to find)


*runs in huffing and puffing*

Am I too late for the strawman contest? Let's see...

If I walk down the beach with my johnson flapping in the breeze, I've essentially put it on display, so I can't really complain if someone takes a gander.

JONMC I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU'RE ADVOCATING PUBLIC NUDITY!
posted by Kwine at 9:13 AM on February 11, 2007


we cannot simultaneously fawn on islam the way liberals want us to

hmmm, I don't recall the "fawning" talking point memo from Streisand/Gore headquarters. Does anyone have a copy?
posted by tula at 9:39 AM on February 11, 2007


"...[T]o assume that muslim women are wearing the hijab because they are inherently oppressed by their faith."

A lot of them wear it so they don't get beaten and raped as punishment for their immodesty, then thrown in jail for being a harlot who got herself raped.

Will somebody please produce the Kornic verses commanding women go swimming fully dressed? And if the body must be covered, why not let women wear something more aquadynamic like a wetsuit?

And by the way, anybody who wants to quietly watch me pee is welcome. Just please don't point and giggle.
posted by davy at 9:55 AM on February 11, 2007


And you know, "free" women really love it when you look at their boobs instead of their faces when you talk to them. It reminds them of how free and well-respected they are in this culture.

For all the arguing in this thread, I'm glad this point has gotten cleared up.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:02 AM on February 11, 2007


Hrm, here's an interesting experiment. Let's assume that people do not have the right to look at others, except what they are given by the individual person at whom they look. Excellent. I don't want women looking at anything but my feet. Of course, what that means in a practical sense is that women will be unable to look me in the eye and would have to approach me in a submissive fashion, eyes downturned. Somehow, I doubt feminists would find that acceptable. Remember, it's your rule.

Now, mind you, I am a huge privacy advocate. I'm against cameras in the streets, watching us. I do spend time wondering about how much privacy we will have left when TeraHertz imaging machines can more or less see right through the shoddy walls of our cheap homes. Do I have a right to photons bouncing off of my body? Through my personal property? These are the things I contemplate.

However, the idea that women in two piece bikinis can get on a trampoline, bounce around, and chant, "You can't look at me!" like five year old is a form of attempted domination in its special way. I'm not the lookie-loo type. I'm almost breast-blind. But, no, you don't get to tell me what I can see in public. Take your stylish yet affordable boots off of my neck.
posted by adipocere at 10:13 AM on February 11, 2007


Fuck religion, Islam, et al. And break out the bikinis.
posted by four panels


I seriously doubt you are even remotely bold enough to go around saying that in person. One only need look at the red carpet photo ops before popular awards ceremonies and note the disparity of dress between men and women to recognize that women are also subjugated in the so called "free" world.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:14 AM on February 11, 2007


All I know is those would suck to swim in. Too much material. The rest of it? Eh.
posted by dame at 10:20 AM on February 11, 2007


gol-lee, burhanistan claims that angelina jolie and the others in designer couture gowns are being subjugated, the horror, by the guys in tuxes. angelina, if you're out there reading this and feel too subjugated, come live with me; i'll let you vote, drive, fish, drink and swear just like i do!
posted by bruce at 10:24 AM on February 11, 2007


There's a difference between someone casually glancing in your direction and someone staring intently at your breasts while conversing with you. I'm not saying you should not be able to see women; I'm saying you don't have a right to GAWK AT THEIR BODIES. Ask any woman you know if they can tell the difference between someone seeing them in the hallway and someone GAWKING at them in the street. It's not subtle.
posted by Hildegarde at 10:29 AM on February 11, 2007


And break out the bikinis.

I'm gonna need some tissue paper to fill these cups.
posted by jonmc at 10:30 AM on February 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


Bizarro.
posted by porpoise at 10:31 AM on February 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


I don't think that wetsuits are allowed, as they are skin-tight, and expose the female form which is forbidden, so that would be why they're baggy.
I was thinking that these would be great for someone who, as an example, was badly burned and still wanted to go swimming. Or perhaps someone suffering from a form of Xeroderma pigmentosa, "(...)an inherited inability of the skin to repair DNA damage from ultraviolet light." Not everything is as terrible as it seems.
posted by Zack_Replica at 10:31 AM on February 11, 2007


The difference, Burhanistan, is that "in the so called 'free' world" women don't need to fear being publicly beaten and dragged off to be raped for the horrible sin of NOT showing us their "goodies".

And by the way, I too scorn religion, Islam, et al. I hereby wipe my virtual butt on every the "Holy Scriptures" of every "faith". (If you put that on a T-shirt — size Large — I promise to wear it in public: we have oodles of of Baptist churches around here, and there's a mosque right around the corner.) One good thing about the "free" world is that I'm still legally allowed to say things like "Muhammad was a baby raper!" without being beaten by the cops and dragged into court for blasphemy, though Freedom of Speech is rapidly becoming an anachronistic technicality, and though in Pakistan I'd likely be lynched by Islam's brainless minions before the cops could get around to arresting me.

Please Hildegarde, swear to me on your feminist honor that no women ever GAWK AT MEN's BODIES in public. It's not that ALL men are Gayly showing off for each other, really.

In closing, I think Angelina Jolie would look smashing in a men's tuxedo, though I would not force her to try to swim in one.
posted by davy at 10:33 AM on February 11, 2007


I understand why they are like that. But it's next to impossible to swim for real with that much fabric. And I think that is where it becomes a shame: when women are handicapped because of ideas of modesty. (Also, I worked at summer camp that had night camp for xeroderma kids and a burn camp. The kids at burn camp just worse normal suits, I believe. The other kids swam at night.)
posted by dame at 10:35 AM on February 11, 2007


Ask any woman you know if they can tell the difference between someone seeing them in the hallway and someone GAWKING at them in the street. It's not subtle.

Hildegarde, up until two weeks ago I worked in the West Village, a heavily gay area of New York City. Sometimes after work I'd roam around the neighborhood. The way I usually dress is shoulder-length hair, tight jeans, leather motorcycle jacket, bike chain bracelet, rings in my ears, cultivated goatee. I dress that way because I like to, but I'm also aware that that look sends out cultural signals to some people, so occasionaly I'd get some lingering looks, winks, even the occasioanl catcall. Even though, I'm straight, it was a kick in the pants at first. After awhile I didn't even notice it, but I realize that if I wanna dress that way, it's something I gotta accept. If they followed me around or grabbed at me that'd be another story. YMMV.
posted by jonmc at 10:36 AM on February 11, 2007


hildegard, "gawk" is just a slightly pejorative synonym for "look", and i most assuredly have the right to look around me at what's in public. you don't get to define the degree of looking that transgresses your imaginary right not to be looked at. if you don't like this, stay off the streets, in your home with most of the rest of the muslim women, because society isn't going to let you have it both ways.
posted by bruce at 10:37 AM on February 11, 2007


Ah , the ole' freedom = ability to show skin. There is certainly some truth to that. But equally you are not going to jump from full on head to toe covering including veils to nude beaches in one fell swoop. I see this as an intermediate step. A step to choices mind you. Some women would feel perfectly, and more comfortable in suits like these that don't put it all out there for show. And they should have the ability to make that choice. Demolishing the inequality of women does not equal bikinis for all. Hell, true equality would probably mean less chosen bikinis and more chosen practical swimwear.
posted by edgeways at 10:39 AM on February 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


there is a difference between "look" and "stare". Gawk is staring, most people, no matter their situation, don't like to be stared at.
posted by edgeways at 10:41 AM on February 11, 2007


Y'all can gawk at me all you want, but point and giggling is rude.
posted by davy at 10:45 AM on February 11, 2007


Eh, at least they're letting them swim. If modesty's their religious belief, more power to them.

Personally, I wouldn't mind a little more modesty in women's swimwear, just because it looks better in most cases. I'm a size 6 and I pretty much look like a cow in any contemporary swimsuit. However I'm pretty sure I'd look friggin' hot in one of those old '50s or '60s style suits. I wish somebody would bring those back.
posted by Jess the Mess at 10:48 AM on February 11, 2007


Here ya go, Jess the Mess.
posted by JanetLand at 10:57 AM on February 11, 2007


I think you're all missing the point.

Consdering the recent historical standard of modesty, etc. required for women who have to wear the burqua, the fact that these are even sold now can be considered a step in the right direction. The right direction = away from the women beating brigades and towards personal freedom to wear whatever the hell you want without long term, physical effects.

As for the bikini staring debate, all I can say is that our freedoms stop at our respective skins. You can wear whatever you want and I can stare at whatever I want and we can both yell at each other as much as we want, within reason. And then fashion magazines can tell us both that what we're wearing is dreadfully out of style, and that banana hammocks are what's really in right now.

now stop staring at my e-crotch.
posted by concreteforest at 11:04 AM on February 11, 2007


Eh, at least they're letting them swim.

Not really. They are letting them bob around.

Those are awsome, JanetLand. But Jess, I'm a 12 and I look got, so I bet you look okay anyway.
posted by dame at 11:14 AM on February 11, 2007


Jaysus, I had kinda hoped that I'd never have to sit, wincing, through comments here on Mefi that women who don't like being objectified are "prudes". I grew up with this shit in the 70s-- that was the level of public argument around what was called "Women's Liberation" at the time. The sniggering, the mockery, the "They're just mad because they're ugly and can't get laid", all that garbage. What a mess this thread is, right down to the "It's our god-given natural right to stare" biological determinism that ignores the cultural meaning of, well, anything, or how social power works in the public realm, not to mention the personal attacks on the women who try to raise points of argument in order to undermine and destroy the very real and serious bases of those arguments. Male specular privilege in all its arrogance strutted out as a way of disdaining to even pay attention to such arguments. All that's missing is somebody saying Gee you're cute when you're mad.
posted by jokeefe at 11:14 AM on February 11, 2007 [4 favorites]


Oh my shame. I look hot.
posted by dame at 11:16 AM on February 11, 2007


Or, as a prof of mine said once, Choose: compulsory covering or compulsory (near) nakedness. Is one better than the other?
posted by jokeefe at 11:17 AM on February 11, 2007


But wearing the Esther Williams swimwear would still get you beaten and abused as a harlot within the Islamic umma, y'know.
posted by davy at 11:24 AM on February 11, 2007


Who's advocating compulsory anything? All I'm saying is that society is sending men massively mixed signals, too.
posted by jonmc at 11:25 AM on February 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


for instance, on the subway a few months ago I saw a well endowed young lady wearing a skintight camo t-shirt with the words "Weapons Of Mass Seduction" emblazoned across the chest. But I guess if my gaze lingers for a moment or two, I must be some kind of oppressive priviliged male pervert.

Is it any damn wonder everybody's confused?
posted by jonmc at 11:30 AM on February 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


What separates the culture who forces women to cover their bodies entirely from the culture that forces women (and men) to cover just their genitalia? What exactly is offensive about nudity (of either sex)?
posted by tehloki at 11:34 AM on February 11, 2007


jokeefe, gee you're cute when you're mad. i regret to inform you that biological determinism trumps the cultural meaning of, well, anything. you can get pregnant and i can't. you invest nine months forming that baby, at the end of which you used to face a frequently fatal pass, prior to the advent of modern obstetrics. you have much greater knowledge relevant to who the father is. when you realize that all the social power in the world can't change the difference between men and women, when you learn to accept that which you cannot change, then you'll be freer to focus on the important things that you can change. i acknowledge your right to wear whatever swimsuit you want. i would never try to oppress or subjugate you. jokeefe, please abandon the darkness of futile gender envy and attacks and come toward the light of maximum personal liberty and empowerment.
posted by bruce at 11:46 AM on February 11, 2007


Look, jokeefe, I know you totally hate this thing and it is rude and makes you really uncomfortable. But nature MADE me! I have no control! So stop arguing with nature, baby machine.
posted by dame at 12:09 PM on February 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


At the risk of being attacked, I think less (skin) is more (beautiful), I have always found women's eyes to be their most alluring feature anyway, seriously. These women look beautiful and if they are happy then fine. I think it is kind of cool when a woman keeps her kit tucked away. Why should we ridicule or place our values on others. Oh, and Jess that 50’s style is totally hot. Nude beaches are fine too if you are in say Denmark, where the attitude is different. But I have probably just confused everyone so I will Troll off and STFU.
posted by MapGuy at 12:19 PM on February 11, 2007


I'm not really interested in guys opinions about clothes, one way or the other. Have you seen how most men dress? Yeah, I want to hear about sartorial cultural issues from a gender that spends 90% of its life in a pair of jeans and a godamn t-shirt. [NOT A FASHIONIST]
posted by supercrayon at 12:22 PM on February 11, 2007


JanetLand, that polka dot one is perfect. I'm bookmarking that page for when it comes swimsuit-buying time.
posted by Jess the Mess at 12:53 PM on February 11, 2007


Yeah, I want to hear about sartorial cultural issues from a gender that spends 90% of its life in a pair of jeans and a godamn t-shirt.

..and looking great in them.
posted by jonmc at 1:49 PM on February 11, 2007


Will somebody please produce the Kornic verses commanding women go swimming fully dressed?

I couldn't find those verses myself, but maybe you might have better luck.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:27 PM on February 11, 2007


jonmc - "for instance, on the subway a few months ago I saw a well endowed young lady wearing a skintight camo t-shirt..."
Yah, you know what pisses me off? I'm on the bus, reading, and I look up to figure out where I am, and there's this pair of track pants in front of me, and there's something written on the butt, like a school name or something. So I read it, because that's what I do when I'm faced with a word. I look up to see what idiot's got "Spartans" screened across their butt, and she's what? 14? 15? Great, I'm staring at a 14 year old's ass. Confusion isn't the start of it.
posted by Zack_Replica at 2:37 PM on February 11, 2007


the "It's our god-given natural right to stare" biological determinism that ignores the cultural meaning of, well, anything

In contrast to the crude & decadent western approach, al-hamdu l'illah, the Almighty created such wonderful cultural meanings as pristine beauty & tantalisingly hidden sexuality draped in perfect fey modesty, that allow us to more fully appreciate the glorious wonders of His divine creation, mash'allah!
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:41 PM on February 11, 2007


Well said, akhi.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:27 PM on February 11, 2007


Shokran jazeelan.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:08 PM on February 11, 2007


MetaFilter: the perfect callipygian fundament
posted by Mitheral at 4:30 PM on February 11, 2007


Burhanistan writes "ne only need look at the red carpet photo ops before popular awards ceremonies and note the disparity of dress between men and women to recognize that women are also subjugated in the so called 'free' world."

A non-biased observer might conclude it's the men being oppressed, after all women can wear whatever they want where-as men practically look like carbon copies of each other.

The difference, Burhanistan, is that 'in the so called "free" world' women don't need to fear being publicly beaten and dragged off to be raped for the horrible sin of NOT showing us their 'goodies'. "

I don't know how much of a free vs oppressed world comparison this is, lot of muslim women in Canada either avoid swimming or wear something like this.

dame writes "But it's next to impossible to swim for real with that much fabric."

I've swam quite a bit in jeans and a shirt, I'd imagine it'd be quite a bit easier in a light weight synthetic.
posted by Mitheral at 4:49 PM on February 11, 2007


Of course, there remains the vexed question of "what do women wear under burqinis?"
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:51 PM on February 11, 2007


I'm not sure muslim women all are that interested in organizing their clothing so that it lets you see what you want. So yes, I think it *is* too much to ask. Get over it.

I read a piece a little while ago that shared a Muslim's woman's thoughts about wearing a burqa and not (I forget where she was, but it was optional). What I found disturbing was her own reaction to being "naked" in public -- she said she could feel the eyes of men upon her and her reaction really was what a lot of us would consider hysterical -- she wanted to run and hide.

For those joking about "the freedom to stare" consider that to a certain extent oppression is in the mind of the beholder. For this woman at least, wearing the burqa meant protection -- from the eyes of others -- and she found it almost intolerable without. Is this a healthy viewpoint to promote? You're not going to stop people from looking at you, and indeed, that is part of freedom. Maybe agoraphobics feel most comfortable in a closet; I don't think it's empowering to build them one.
posted by dreamsign at 8:00 PM on February 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


Ah, monoculturalism rears its head once more. "They're different! They must be oppressed! Let's assimilate them!"

There's one of three possibilities here:
  1. Women are dressing this way because it is their own wish to do so.
  2. Women are dressing this way because of convention within their culture, without overt pressure.
  3. Women are dressing this way because they are forced to do so.
If the numbers in i/ or ii/ are significant, then there's nothing wrong. It's not causing physical harm. We may not like the results, but there you go.

Think of any exterior scene in a Western European city from 1890 - 1910: this one, for example. Every single male, boy to adult, is wearing a hat. To not wear a hat in that gathering would mark you as an athelete or a performer, and to be treated differently. Are they wearing hats because of convention, or because they are forced to? If we had the power to do so, would it be better to engage them in dialog, or to simply deny them hats?

I have no doubt that some women wear certain clothes because that was they way they were raised, and have never questioned it - just as they believe certain things, and follow a certain diet, without ever seriously considering why. And other women do question why, and are forced to follow convention regardless.

From my perspective, it is better to engage the entire culture in dialog than to forcefully remove a particular mode of dress.

And you know what? Visually, I really like the fact that on any given day I can see saris, khimars, lava-lavas and kimonos. The diversity is refreshing.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 8:32 PM on February 11, 2007


Just wondering if people here were aware that Iranian women, for example, often wear quite revealing clothing beneath their burqas (miniskirts, low-cut tops etc), and the second they are behind closed doors, off come the burqas & you might be anywhere in the world. Except, of course, that the women are a hell of a lot more attractive.

I am not sure exactly what this adds to the debate, other than that people shouldn't think that Islamic women are 'forced' to wear the hejab *all* the time. Actually, it is more of a public requirement, and there is a strongish distinction between the public & the private.

Similarly, most western women who are comfortable wearing underwear around the house shy away from wearing garments that are even a tenth as revealing in public, with a sole exception made for the beach or the pool - something I have always found slightly paradoxical.
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:33 PM on February 11, 2007


If women want to wear burqas I'm fine with that. I also think women should be free to not wear one in public without being called a harlot and subjected to "punishment", just as I think women should be free to traipse around in public nude without being attacked or raped.

As for women being stared at, I've always stared at least as much at women's faces; maybe Society should require them to go out in public in Halloween masks for their own protection. Some (if not most) women might feel more "protected" from my gaze by going naked except for a face mask.
posted by davy at 1:41 AM on February 12, 2007


davy: If women want to wear burqas I'm fine with that. I also think women should be free to not wear one in public without being called a harlot and subjected to "punishment", just as I think women should be free to traipse around in public nude without being attacked or raped.

I'm pretty sure there's no disagreement there. The whole disagreement is that people are taking the following two apparently opposing positions:

A: I'm fine with women wearing burqas.
B: I'm not fine with women wearing burqas.

Where what they're really saying are the noncontradictory following:

A: I'm fine with women wearing burqas voluntarily.
B: I'm not fine with women wearing burqas involuntarily.
posted by Bugbread at 4:12 AM on February 12, 2007


Burqas? Please, why must they be black? Being covered out of requirement sucks. Custom, preference, okay. But black, in hot climates is just plain stupid, far as I can tell. The men wear white, so much more practical in the heat.

As for gawking at boobies: Ladies, please. I'm QUEER! And even I can be distracted by a lovely pair. Sometimes, it's embarassing. There is an obsession in American culture with the bosum.

All this 'objectifying' talk, how is it not playing thought police? It is a matter of thought, after all. Maybe if you actually had something to say worth listening to, someone might notice something other than your T&A. It's been known to happen. But in absence of something more to appreicate, the human male is quite happy with an eye-full. But if all you have to say is a bunch of bitching about being looked/stared at, objectification is all you're going to get, and it's your doing, not his.
posted by Goofyy at 6:11 AM on February 12, 2007


jokeefe, gee you're cute when you're mad. i regret to inform you that biological determinism trumps the cultural meaning of, well, anything. you can get pregnant and i can't.

Awesome, the personal attack in response to a general comment.

Part of the problem with this thread is the mixing of two different cultural situations: compulsory wearing of full covering in Islamic states, and the dynamics of Western dress for women. It'sa bit difficult to equate one with the other with any nuance.

All this 'objectifying' talk, how is it not playing thought police? It is a matter of thought, after all.

Wrong. It's a matter of much more than thought. It's a systemic process of evaluation and ranking, with implications far beyond the mere "eyefull". That said, that's not [i]all[/i] that it is. I'm not calling for blinkers on heterosexual men, and believe me I appreciate feminine beauty as much as any of you straight guys here (trust me on this). But denying that there are cultural meanings attached to our actions misses the point. Those things are real, and deserve consideration (or at least acknowledgement).
posted by jokeefe at 12:02 PM on February 12, 2007


Dang. Stupid message board fake hmtl that I'm in the habit of using. Ah well, never mind.
posted by jokeefe at 12:03 PM on February 12, 2007


html even. Gah. More coffee.
posted by jokeefe at 12:03 PM on February 12, 2007


Maybe if you actually had something to say worth listening to, someone might notice something other than your T&A. It's been known to happen.

For your sake, I hope you have enormous pectoral muscles & buns of steel.

compulsory wearing of full covering in Islamic states

*Some* Islamic states. Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore & Turkey are quite liberal. Egypt & Morocco likewise (to a lesser extent, in urban areas), and in Mali they wear what pretty much every sub-Saharan African woman wears: supercolourful dresses with matching turbanny headscarves. The hardcore ones where it is compulsory seem to be only Iran, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, probably most of the smaller Gulf states, and Pakistan (with the exception of the urban elite).

Also worth noting that hejab does not necessarily entail the burqa. It's actually quite rare in Iran, for example, with women usually going for a fancy silk headscarf & loose-fitting overcoat. Accessories like shoes & handbags are immaculate & highly fashionable.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:13 PM on February 12, 2007


I don't see why modesty is so threatening. Some people genuinely don't want to be oggled.
posted by cell divide at 2:22 PM on February 12, 2007


Just to clear things up, I was referencing the song:

I'm a girl watcher, I'm a girl watcher...
Watchin' girls go by, hey, my my


Sorry to ignite a gender-politics firestorm.
posted by phrontist at 4:59 PM on February 12, 2007


UbuRoivas writes "most western women who are comfortable wearing underwear around the house shy away from wearing garments that are even a tenth as revealing in public, with a sole exception made for the beach or the pool - something I have always found slightly paradoxical."

Having recently returned to swimming in public pools I've been surprised by what many of the young women are wearing: Knee length board shorts and tiny little bikini tops (at most a few square inches per side). A very perplexing mix of cover up and display.
posted by Mitheral at 7:54 PM on February 12, 2007


Ah, Mitheral, it might have been in the draft of that comment, but not in my final version - the idea that the burqini may be a welcome thin edge of the wedge, paving the way for western women to cover up more, becoz, frankly, I find it hard to understand how people can really be all that comfortable walking around in public in what is, effectively, their underwear. It must be very offputting for many, and many starve or exercise themselves half to death just so they can feel comfortable on the beach. Others boycott swimming altogether.

The board-short-with-bikini-top look that you mention has been going on here for years now, especially amongst teenage girls. Although partly fashion, I would put it down more to body image problems - ie the desire to disguise what are thought to be oversised asses & thighs, whilst at the same time accentuating the breasts as much as possible. If it is such a ruse, it looks pretty transparent to me.
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:37 PM on February 12, 2007


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