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November 03, 2006

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maryohayes

Tzippy, enjoyed your essay/discussion. Yes, sexy is far more than showing flesh. This reminded me of a club I went to in the Dominican Republic about 20 years ago. It was quite a hoot: the show started late (11 PM, I think), people sat around tables and drank Rum and cokes, there were couples and whole families there for the show (not little kids though). The show lasted for hours and consisted of singers and dancers, with some burlesque and female impersonators thrown in. My overriding impression of this club was that the more talented the performer, the more clothing she wore. The strippers had on stripper clothing, but the trained dancers wore elaborate costumes. The same with the singers, the really amazing singers wore elegant gowns, the amateur singers were half-dressed. I was struck at the time by the obvious relationship between clothing and talent. If you didn't have talent, you showed off your skin. If you had talent, you didn't need to expose yourself.

Cygnus

Pssst, Tzippy! Don't let this guy see your post!

Seriously, as a man, I have always been more intrigued by what was left to the imagination. Nudity in and of itself never did anything for me.

tzippy

Mary - very true. Only I'd go one step further in saying that those that have and are using their talents are also exposing themselves, only they are exposing their real selves, their innermost assets. And the near naked ones, well, I guess we can only assume that to be their 'talent'!

I think clothes can be likened to doors in a way: Imagine a house without doors - you certainly wouldn't assume there to be anything valuable inside if it were always left open and free-for-all...!

Cygnus - thanks for the 'warning'... Just read that piece/speech, wow. It is FRIGHTENING that someone could actually believe that just because something was (right/wrongfully) left out in the open, it gives the right to anyone to take it for themselves! But, I noticed that his analogies all involved animals... Animals, perhaps, it could be agreed have less intelligence and morals than human beings were bestowed. My point? I can understand the animal losing his control/morals because of the open meat, not a thinking, mature (moreover religious!) human being... Please don't blame me for his speech though, even though we both come from Australia :-)

Thanks for reading!

Cygnus

It gets worse, Tzippy. Check out these comments from the Kiwis, especially:

Another Auckland man, 23-year-old website developer Eyad Arwani, wrote on a local Muslim discussion website: "Just as there is [sic] thieves among men, there are those who cannot control their sexual desires, and if a woman attracts attention of such men and is violated, then she can only blame herself."

There's a difference between a woman getting unintended attention from being immodest, as most of you ladies decry; and this Middle Ages mentality that Women Have It Coming Because If It Wasn't For Them, We Neanderthals Would Be Able To Control Ourselves.

If there's a woman dressed inappropriately and I feast my eyes on her, say, when I'm with my wife, whose problem is it? I think of the following story:

A thousand years ago, two young Chinese monks were walking through a village. It had just rained, and a beautiful young woman wanted to cross the muddy street. One of the monks picked her up and carried her across the street.

The monks walked along in silence for about an hour. Then the other monk said, "Why did you carry that woman? You know we are not allowed to have such dealings with women!"

The first monk replied, "I put her down an hour ago."

Josh Rehman

This is an important issue for me, as I seek to reconcile my own ideas on modesty, sexuality, and relationships. It seems clear that there is some visceral, chemical, animal attraction that occurs independent of any other kinds of interactions that arise between people. This is quite powerful, especially to men, since a larger portion of their brain is dedicated to thinking about sex, at least according to the book "The Female Brain".

What's happening in this society (BTW I got to this site because I was reading about feminism and "feminist chauvinist pigs" on wikipedia) seems to be a general relaxation of control over expressions of sexuality. This is not necessarily sexy, though this is a matter of taste.

The argument against uncontrolled sexuality (and it's lack of sexiness to me) can best be understood as a reflection of the drug-like effect that sex has on people. Our sex-as-a-drug culture shows us that, by and large, it's the men who are the addicts, the women are the dealers, and both are demeaned in the relationship. So there *is* empowerment when women are overtly sexual, but it's the power of the crack dealer over the crack addict, which is a power that demeans both, and is incredibly unsexy.

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