Traditionally and sensibly, women used to keep their vulva and vagina covered and hidden. There IS a mystery about that part of a woman’s body. But it is also vulnerable. Dressing modestly and keeping their legs together has therefore been traditionally seen as decent, feminine behaviour.

Feminists have attempted to reverse this natural inclination by claiming some illusory “power” for their genitals and breasts, and showing them off at every opportunity (pussy hats, Femen). But it makes no sense to lead with one’s most vulnerable point.

Womanspreading is not empowering. Undressing is not empowering. A freed nipple is not empowering. At best it looks absurd. At worst it just draws the “male gaze” even more powerfully.

24 responses to this post.

  1. I guess if they’re wearing pants who cares. And the other stuff, like pussy hats, is just theatre by professional activists used to draw attention to issues that, while real, are not nearly as dire (anymore) as such activists think.


    • Posted by Julian O'Dea on December 6, 2017 at 3:51 am

      Except that women’s pants, especially when they are tight in the crotch, as they often are, tend to draw attention to the genital area.


      • Spreading, whether by a man or woman, whether pants are tight or not, tend to draw attention to the genital area.

        In general it’s necessary for the continuation of the species that men and women’s eyes are drawn to the genital area of the opposite sex, whether spreading or not.

  2. I guess my point, as a criticism but not attempted invalidation of your point, is: “womanspreading” (or “splaining”), acting sexually outrageously without fear of consequence, or merely showing their nipples might sometimes be deliberately, publicly critical of the fact that historically and still but less so these days men had and have much greater license in such regards; or it might simply be women exercising their newfound (greater but still restricted ti various degrees in various contexts) freedoms, with absolutely no regard for men’s perspectives either from the point-of-view of protest or sexual attraction/repulsion.

    Assuming men have historically treated women poorly, the all encompassing manner of it would be our interpretation of their every action or inaction through our own attitude (or lack thereof) toward them and their action/inaction. When really, in my opinion, anyone should be able to do whatever they want where it doesn’t practicably have a negative effect on others (and choosing to be offended or morally outraged doesn’t count).


  3. Women who dress immodestly do so with a purpose. They are putting their goods on display and hope to attract a buyer that can pay the asking price. That’s why wearing a whore’s uniform get people thinking you’re a whore, ladies.

    This woman-spreading fad is just a shit-test. Men to know to laugh at it at most, but a slight grimace of disgust is probably the go-to response.


    • It’s obnoxious at best. Arrogant at worst. Neither of which have their own gender.


      • I’d say obnoxious instead of arrogant.
        I tend to associate arrogant with men and haughty with women. But neither gender is or could ever be perfect.

      • A more complicated form of arrogance, is haughty by the looks of it. Yep. Sounds like a chick thing.

      • Posted by Julian O'Dea on December 7, 2017 at 3:24 am

        Yes. Haughty. And some men find that attractive in a woman. The old femme fatale thing.

        I don’t think pussy hats and Femen are haughty exactly – more like they are using their bodies for shock value. But I don’t think they are achieving the effect they imagine. Men are intrigued by women’s genitals and so on, but not generally threatened.

      • I find it attractive until I discover it’s backed up by poor logic or outright hysteria.

        I don’t think they’re trying to threaten us, but if they are then yes they’re not achieving their goal. It’s not that men are emotionless and numb, but we’re not nearly as emotional as women are, and as they sometimes seem to expect us to be.

      • A haughty woman wouldn’t be caught dead wearing a pussy hat or associating with Femen. She knows those people are TRASH! Haughtiness is about maintaining the highest standards and protecting one’s name and status, but doing it in the cruelest way possible to make sure others know they are beneath you. You can see this exemplified in a lot of the movies of the 30’s and 40’s where the wealthy woman (often the mother of the protagonist) must be won over be the idea of her child marrying beneath them. You Can’t Take It With You has this character down to a T.

      • Posted by Julian O'Dea on December 7, 2017 at 3:47 am

        In reply to Word Journeyer above:

        One feels like saying, yes, it’s a twat or a pair of boobs. We know. But they are not rocket propelled grenades.

        As you say, and I nearly said, it seems to be an area where men and women just don’t understand each other. They expect men to be shocked and in awe, but mostly the natural male reaction is amusement or pleasant surprise.

  4. I don’t think I’ve done this before (apologies if I have and promises I won’t again) but I would appreciate and consider seriously your take on my latest post regarding religion, if you don’t mind and find the time. Please.


    • Posted by Julian O'Dea on December 6, 2017 at 10:45 pm

      I shall.


    • Posted by Julian O'Dea on December 7, 2017 at 12:23 am

      I shall reply here. I read your post on religion. It raises some interesting points, most of which I have heard over the years. It is not as if religious people don’t hear these criticisms. Very few of us live in a vacuum.

      I would also say at the outset that some people are natural atheists (you maybe) and other people are naturally religious (me I suppose).

      People like myself believe that God has spoken to His people and revealed Himself in history. That is the meaning of the “incarnation” in Catholic theology.

      Being an atheist solves some problems, but it does not solve the problem of the origin of the universe. There are various suggested solutions (many-world theories, for example) but the problem is there. I also feel that the philosophical problem of the nature of qualia (emotions and pain and colour and other human and animal experiences) is hard to explain in a materialistic sense. I have never seen a satisfactory answer to this problem, and even many atheists or agnostics admit there is a mystery there (e.g. the late Martin Gardner). I have written about the qualia problem at this blog and elsewhere and can provide you with more details.

      I notice you base many of your objections to religion on the sociological grounds that it is intended to control others. But I think this ignores the level of suffering that many believers (including male clerics with their often limited lives) have endured. If it is a scam, it is not a very successful one.

      You also refer specifically to controlling women. I would reply that I don’t see the problem. Morality also controls men. And have women in recent times shown themselves to be good users of their increasing freedoms? I would argue, quite possibly not. Are they happier now? The evidence suggests not.

      A female blogger wrote some time back: “women are not children; but nor are they men.” I think this is true. Surely it is time for men to look at women unsentimentally and ask themselves if women are better off going their own way, or (as I would argue) under a mild and generally protective patriarchy.

      I might as well address one of the points you made in another comment here. I reject the premise that men have always “treated women poorly”. I won’t quote Camille Paglia on this topic yet again, but men have generally provided for and protected women over the generations. Is it really reasonable to see aspects of society such as women being excused military conscription as bad from the perspective of their sex?


      • Thanks for that. A good response as expected.

        My simple solution to the origin of the universe is that there is no origin of the universe. That the universe or universes have always existed and will always exist – albeit in changing forms, not unlike the manner in which humans themselves are just matter that used to manifest itself differently. But I could be way off.

        I would argue a lot of believers have suffered directly because of religion and its purpose to (often not benevolently) control them. Ironically, as they see their belief as an ease of their suffering (in this life or the likely imagined next).

        I’m not surprised you don’t see the problem. And there isn’t automatically always a problem. But there often patently obviously is (barbaric, grossly prejudiced punishments reserved for women, marriage to girls). Whether they are good users of their increasing freedoms is a matter of perspective. Of course sometimes no but also sometimes yes. Men are also not exempt from guilt in using freedom poorly, such as to limit others’ freedoms (which in the case of such women as Margaret Thatcher or to a lesser more recent extent Hillary Clinton women are again not immune to).

        Men, women and children are all different and bring different things to society. Children obviously taking more than they bring, the younger they are. I would tend to agree that some women need to be controlled, in some cases by men. But of course I would argue the same for men, sometimes by women.

        Yes it is. Equal opportunity (actual in effect equality, which is admirable but perfectly impossible aside) needs to be universally applied.

        You might be surprised by the results if everyone regardless of sex is given equal opportunity to prove themselves, whether in the military or any other facet of the functioning of society – to which I wish war was as unnecessary and relegated to a less civilised history as I do any form of irrational faith.

        Thanks again.

      • Posted by Julian O'Dea on December 7, 2017 at 12:53 am

        Women will always stand in need of protection because of their physical (and in some senses mental) weakness and because of their fragility during childbearing. Protection implies some degree of subjection. I suspect most women intuit this and that is the social contract they enter into.

        One of the female anti-feminist thinkers has stated that any time when women were punished harshly, men were punished more harshly still. I would say that is probably correct, from what I know of social history. Women complain that they were once spanked like children – well, it was probably better than being flogged like men. (Midshipmen in the Royal Navy could be caned until the 1950s.)

        (It is possible to argue that men also need protection, which is true. But men are rather stronger and less at risk from particular outrages such as rape. The best immediate protection for a woman is a trustworthy man living with her, such as a husband. There are police, but they can’t be there in five minutes.)

      • Posted by Julian O'Dea on December 7, 2017 at 12:56 am

        I would add that women are now able to enjoy moral freedoms that they did not before because, at least in the West, men enable them. Men are controlled by internalised morality; women to some degree by the same morality passed on to them via patriarchal religion. As a number of women bloggers have noted, women tend to be amoral otherwise, perhaps because they have to be to get by, especially to protect their children. But women’s morality writ large is not, in my opinion, a recipe for success, either economically or morally.

        I have a strong suspicion that the Catholic Church is very wise in not permitting women to have authority in the Church.

      • Suffice to say (and resisting the urge to explain the patent logical fallacy in Catholic wisdom) I reject the assertion that religion of any kind invented morality.

        Civilisation invented morality as we know it today, extrapolated technologically. And back in more primitive times, more primitive morality would have existed. Of course that argument would never convince any theist, as any theist would point out (their belief) that God created morals, because he/she/it/whatever created humans.

        Which leads me to the logical conclusion that’s impossible to successfully inject reality into a belief (unless by coincidence said belief happens to perfectly align with reality). Not that it isn’t enjoyable trying.

      • Posted by Julian O'Dea on December 9, 2017 at 5:21 am

        I think many social historians would agree that Christianity codified a morality which gave greater moral status to individual human beings.
        And importantly gave an internal motive for good behaviour.

        As a matter of personal reality, if I treat another person badly, I feel I should confess this as a sin on pain of eventual punishment by God. That is more motivating than a morality simply based on abstract moral principles or a morality like ancient Roman morality which most valued the state and personal pride and stoicism.

      • Posted by Julian O'Dea on December 9, 2017 at 5:26 am

        Catholic wisdom is the wisdom of the ages. For whatever reason, the Catholic Church has never ordained women to the priesthood. The Church has lasted for 2,000 years.

      • There’s little relevant I could add at this point that wouldn’t involve repeating myself.

        I will say it’s annoying that WordPress’s comment notifications are a little hit and miss. Maybe it has something to do with being on someone else’s page.

  5. It (slightly) frustrates me that I get (few) views but almost never comments.


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