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Indecent clothing... what is, what makes? (+ consequences)

Discussion in 'Alley of Dangerous Angles' started by chevalier, Jan 16, 2006.

  1. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    Surprising as it may sound, I used to be pretty liberal in my opinions on clothing. I used to see decency standards as something restrictive, prudish, backwards and silly. Later on, I started thinking that maybe clothes were more or less neutral on their own, but behaviour did matter.

    Right now, I'm not really a decency zealot, although I remember a brief moment like that. I just believe that some kinds of clothes can't be so bad if so many people wear them and maybe it's just my preference and it doesn't work like that for them. Then again, the fact that many people do something doesn't make it right. Most of us have some borders they don't cross and perhaps some expectations of other people.

    I've learnt too much about history and other cultures to think in absolutes here. Let's say we're talking about the standard modern Euroatlantic civilisation: Europe, the Americas, the Australian continent, modern/Westernised environments in Asian and African countries. If you want to discuss something more specific, you're more than welcome (actually do post, don't skip :p ), but please name the time and place (e.g. traditional Japanese culture two generations ago, modern ghetto kiddies, an exotic country where you have worked etc).

    Lets start with some ermm... "relative absolutes". I believe that:

    • Whatever shows any skin on the butt or the pubic area is automatically indecent for either gender
    • Too tight trousers and especially thighs or boxers (clinging to jewels if I have to be direct) are indecent for men
    • Whatever shows bare nipples looking from any direction or angle is automatically indecent for women and there's no excuse (acting or partying or comfort doesn't cut it)
    The only exception I can think about is when people are around family. But family doesn't include house guests or the postman or the plumber. Well, maybe some very good friends of the other gender, like people one has known for 20 years, but the "friends of our friends are our friends" rule doesn't apply. Of course, we aren't talking about things like going to the doctor or running from a burning house. And we aren't talking about accidental exposure unless someone's really asking for it. E.g. when something breaks or tears or falls but it shouldn't normally it's an accident. But bending over the bar in a halter dress without a bra underneath, or loosely tying an unwieldy towel around one's jewels is not an accident, it's asking for disaster and very unwise.

    The rest is pretty much situational and depends on the people who are watching and maybe the situation. I don't have a problem with sunbathing or minimal clothing in the heat or exhausting physical work or exercise, so, given that I don't really believe in special situations (I don't believe calling it a nice label magically removes the problem), I tend to be pretty calm when people don't show anything that reasonable underwear would cover. So long as I don't see bare sweating chests in municipal busses, I guess it's okay...

    To be honest, I don't really know what to think about cleavages. In most cases, they show much less than a swimsuit does and who has a problem with swimsuits on the beach? And it not being a beach doesn't automatically make it indecent (it's not like it magically becomes evil when you leave the beach :rolleyes: ). Plus, the female body is supposed to be sort of a work of art and not really need covers to improve the impression. Besides, women are sometimes nice to look at. But I don't like the whole idea of getting attention by giving up clothes too much and I'm not a fan of sending accessibility vibes to the general public. ;) Anyway, so long as people realise what they are wearing and what they want to achieve with it, I don't care so much. I have a problem when I see someone who wears something he/she isn't comfortable with (and I sense such feelings). I ask the question (in my mind only :p ), "So why the hell are you wearing that?" In short, if people honestly don't see anything wrong with it (and by this I don't mean "it's not my problem", or "who cares, I look hot in it", but "It looks decent to me" :p ), it's not a big problem for me, either. Where I have a problem is when people wear clothes they aren't OK with, so they know they are doing something wrong but they still do it.

    The last paragraph probably explains why I don't have a problem with strapless backless shoulderless ballroom dresses but I do with what most teenagers wear nowadays. I just don't sense the "I know I shouldn't be wearing this" vibe or the "I feel so naked in what I'm wearing now" vibe. Or the "I must watch my clothes closely" vibe. My no-nonsense self asks, "If you have such a problem wearing it, then why bother? Get something you feel comfortable in."

    To recall my previous thought, especially in connection with the vibes, behaviour plays a very important role and it often decides decency in practical circumstances. But I guess I just focus on the vibes, myself.

    Now is your time to elaborate. Feel free to disagree, I won't hurt you. :evil: :bigeyes:

    Well, I don't have enough time to finish the thought about relative factors, so I'll update my post when I'm back online. ;)

    Edit: As I promised, the relative factors. ;)

    Perhaps how well one knows the other people who are there. It's not a problem if family and even friends in some cases get to see some skin or underwear, but I have a problem with the "we're all friends" mentality and people showing too much to strangers.

    The situation... perhaps. I mentioned doctors and running from danger. But sometimes I guess some excuses work. The needs of profession (and I'm not talking about strippers) or climate or the work being done at the moment, or the content of the wardrobe or the accessibility of clothing. Everything plays a role, but it's all more about being appropriate than about being decent, I think. After all, I don't believe that the climate or job is an excuse to show butt or something.

    The culture. Well, it's not good to offend people of other cultures when one's surrounded by them or a guest in their country. But it's also hard to demand people to cover what their own culture doesn't require them to cover. It's a matter of sensitivity. It's hard to be indecent by just not covering what some other culture covers. I don't think it's indecent for Europeans to dress her normal way in a Muslim country or for tribals to be almost naked in a Western country... Decency requires moderation in teasing other people but that's it.

    So, all in all, I think absolutes don't work but relative factors are way overrated. It's probably all about certain principles. After all, indecent is what (willingly or negligently) leads other people to certain bad thoughts. Perhaps moderation is key here... maybe being moderate in teasing other people, not doing it lightly, not offending their tastes and not wearing stuff one isn't OK with? Guess that would be it.

    [ January 25, 2006, 15:03: Message edited by: chevalier ]
     
  2. Saber

    Saber A revolution without dancing is not worth having! Veteran

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    You forgot short skirts, chev.

    But I agree with pretty much everything you said. Dress to the situation (if you know ahead of time). As in, don't wear a bikini to work in business office, and don't go to school wearing a skirt that is shorter than your undergarments.

    I think people make way too big of a deal about clothes, especially on females. As long as their private areas are covered, and they aren't dressed to intentionally distract (in school and work, at least), it shouldn't matter. Although, if we were a society where no one cared about nudity, then, of course, no body would care.

    I saw (on the news, once) that people were trying to outlaw baggy pants. What? Why would you care? Yes, they can be disrespectful if you work at a prestigious law firm, but they were talking about kids in school. Who cares? If the pants aren't precisely on the waist, is it a sin?

    /mini-rant

    But Chev, you are correct: Dress to the situation.

    Oh, I forgot behavior...
     
  3. Carcaroth

    Carcaroth I call on the priests, saints and dancin' girls ★ SPS Account Holder

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    Broadly speaking I'd agree with your three main points, but I have to say that it really isn't a topic that I think about except when you bring it up on these boards.

    Chev, I think we should censor you for corrupting the minds of all the innocents (Like my good self) on the boards and bringing their minds down into the gutter.
    :p :p ;)
     
  4. Barmy Army

    Barmy Army Simple mind, simple pleasures... Adored Veteran

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    Give over. Anything that shows more sexy female flesh is ok for me :lol: . Hell, they can go naked for me, I;m that giving :D .
    Anything that shows male flesh should be outlawed and punished by death.
    Think that covers it.
     
  5. Disciple of The Watch

    Disciple of The Watch Preparing The Coming of The New Order Veteran

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    Not surprisingly, I agree with Master Chev.

    This is, nontheless, a reflect of today's society, and a complement to the "fast food relationships", or the "when a better specimen comes along, upgrade" syndrom. I personally find it pathetic... but to everyone it's opinions.
     
  6. Harbourboy

    Harbourboy Take thy form from off my door! Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Of course, Saber is right on this one. Usually, the right dress that is that which is acceptable to the majority of the people you will be with (rather than what you feel is acceptable). In this case, acceptability should be in the eyes of the beholder. So, if you're going to visit Chevalier's house, dress modestly. If you're going visit Barmy Army's house, leave most of your clothes at home (if you're a lady).
     
  7. Nakia

    Nakia The night is mine Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    :) Men, if you visit my house wear a shirt and long pants unless you have legs like Tom Selleck. Ties are voluntary.
     
  8. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    @Saber: I said whatever showed the butt or the front side was bad, so I guess most short skirts that are bad qualify there. Some short skirts show underwear or cling too much, so that's bad as well. But much depends on the style and the behaviour. The skirts flight attendants or postwomen or policewomen or military women wear are quite short but they're respectable. But yeah, when the skirt is just as long as the underwear... it's tacky and not really decent. Still, the big plus is that privates are covered, so worse things happen. ;)
     
  9. Arendil Gems: 6/31
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    Hrumpf...is it just me, or AoDA is recently flooded by more-or-less sexually oriented topics...hmm...and most of them started by chev...strange...but having said that I agree with above three points everybody agrees with ;) ...
     
  10. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    I generally start quite a lot of topics in the Alley, so... ;) And the fact two of them have some form of "sex" in name doesn't mean I'm a perv. :p ;)
     
  11. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Why is this worthy of discussion?
     
  12. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    Because it's omnipresent, for instance? The fact that such things are not discussed, not considered, leads to such trends being followed sheepishly. If no one says anything, everyone will think everyone less likes that. Besides, it's full of denial and hypocrisy, which are my favourite pet peeves.
     
  13. T2Bruno

    T2Bruno The only source of knowledge is experience Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I don't really care how people dress (or don't dress). I don't even agree with the 'relative absolutes.' I'm not bothered by a revealing outfit. That said, there are certain laws in place -- either enforce the laws or eliminate them. Although a few rules should apply:

    - don't sit nude on a picnic bench (for that matter nudity and eating establishments should be mutually exclusive).
    - no nudity, g-strings, speedo's or spandex for anyone above 20% bodyfat.
    - if you're going to reveal yourself, you can't be rude to someone staring or laughing (pointing and laughing is a different issue).
    - no public intercourse.
    - personal protective equipment is still required in the workplace. This includes pants when working around rotating machinery.

    Appropriateness is relative. Dress codes will exist -- in my company violating dress codes can result 'in disciplinary action.' That's fine with me. Once you know the rules, follow them.
     
  14. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Well, arent you only trying to implement another set of denials and hypocrasy Chev? I mean, what is up with your obsession with sex in all manner of forms? Be it in clothing, relations, prisons, anything you are absolutely obsessed with sex. Which to be honest is kinda common in young males, you just express the obsession differently from most others. :p
     
  15. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    [​IMG] joacqin, make use of the PM button or e-mail for remarks like that in the future. And unless you're going to start coming up with great topics for discussions in either AoDA or AoLS (hasn't happened yet to date), you might as well stop whining about what the threads here are like. You (and everyone else) have all the power in the world to contribute all kinds of different topics. If you want to blame anyone for lack of meaningful discussions, start with yourself.

    [ January 17, 2006, 00:28: Message edited by: Taluntain ]
     
  16. Gnarfflinger

    Gnarfflinger Wiseguy in Training

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    The standard I've been told is that from the knees to the shopulders should be covered. For adult members of my church it's usually easy--cover the garments.

    This means that pants and dresses (for the women only) should cover the knees, and the shirt should cover the garment top, usually a low cut, really short sleeved t-shirt. Most commercially available t-shirts of appropriate size would suffice.

    The other standard is that clothing ought to be in decent repair (no big hole in the crotch), and no crude designs (shirts with swear words or nudity on them, overt drug or satanic images or references).

    I hope this helps...
     
  17. Felinoid

    Felinoid Who did the what now? ★ SPS Account Holder

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    Well, I for one wear slightly tight pants, but that's only because they still fit (bought when I was younger) and I'm too cheap to buy new ones otherwise. :p As for others, I have a hard time thinking any less of a particular person because they're wearing something especially flattering. If they do it frequently, it's usually a symptom of something more severe that I probably would already have noticed by then.

    Personally, I just don't get it. Trying to "slut yourself up" (not what I mean, but the only thing I could think of right now that's close) to attract people is just going to attract the wrong kind of people. I have no desire for random meaningless sex (one-night stands and the like), and I don't understand people who do. But it's still their choice and we have NO right to judge them for it without knowing them. Know that any question you may ask about their wardrobe will have a perfectly logical answer (for them) and leave it at that.

    I pretty much agree on the three "major indecency indicators" that chev listed, except the second one. No man in his right mind would wear something that constricts...that area unless he were masochistic or something like that. It's not so much indecent as :nuts: .
     
  18. Sydax Gems: 19/31
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    I don't believe in telling people what they should dress; I dress casual, no fancy clothes, just plain normal; my girfriend likes to dress with expensive clothes but she works in a Burberry brand so I think that she's used to that kind of clothes.
    What I can't understand / and / or aprove is parents letting their very young girls (13 or so) go out at 12 in the night to clubs dressed with very short miniskirts and semi-transparent shirts where you can see their breasts; is like calling perverts, because is known and is happening all the time (even more lately) that these girls are being perturbed (sp?) and even raped on the streets or even schools. Talking about schools, I see everyday how girls go to school like they are going to a fashion parade. I think that you go to school to learn, not to show off; but of course, teenagers want to fix in groups, because if you don't do that, you are discriminated.
     
  19. Susipaisti

    Susipaisti Maybe if I just sleep... Veteran

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    I don't care much about what people wear. There's a whole lot of clothing styles I don't understand and wouldn't do myself, and some that I strongly dislike, but it's really none of my business to try telling someone what is or isn't decent for them to wear. It doesn't go beyond "well I don't like looking at that." Go around naked if you like, I'll live. Even if you weigh 500 pounds and have disfigurements or whatever. I don't believe in setting standards like that.

    This subject if anything is not about absolutes but opinions. Ideas you've grown into. Among some African tribes exposed female nipples are a standard. I'm not used to it, so I might stare a bit, but I won't judge and say it's indecent. Even a male member hanging out won't bother me *that* much (that too is common in some places), it's not like I have to stare at it. For some fundamentalist muslims, a woman showing her face is indecent.

    In an ideal world women could go around wearing nothing and not worry about getting assaulted. It's not like guys have to fear the same. Sadly it's not an ideal world. If I had daughters, I'd try to get them to abide some general public idea of decency, but the motivation would be their safety. And I wouldn't go over the top with it.

    I wouldn't be comfortable with a girlfriend publicly wearing almost nothing. I suppose it's a dignity thing. But it's about public perceptions, not my in-built sense of decency. If my hypothetical girlfriend wears almost nothing, I'm not uncomfortable because "now she's a slut." I'm uncomfortable because "now people think she's a slut." I don't know if that makes sense to you or not.

    If a person is comfortable wearing what they wear (mentally speaking) and knows what they are doing (what the law says and so on), I don't see a problem in them making the choice for themselves. The only thing that I *can* justifiably frown upon is some of the motivations. Wearing skimpy outfits because all of your friends do, instead of really wanting to do it yourself, for instance. Being a manipulative type who's into the "use just once and destroy" -mentality regarding sex and other people as well. But then it's the people, not the clothes or lack of clothes.
     
  20. Arendil Gems: 6/31
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    @Felinoid - If you want to have children in the future, I think you should consider buying new, less tight pants...and this is NOT a joke, whatever you may think, I'm serious. I can't give you a proper explanation - if you want it, ask your doctor or biologist. Probability is low, but...
     
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