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A Letter to Women

Published: September 1, 2011, 2:29 am ET
Contributor

Dear women,

You may respond by saying that men cannot speak on women’s clothing, but I assure you that it has become as much an issue for me as it is for you. I’m asking that you wear more clothes. It is becoming increasingly difficult for me to look at you as a woman. I want to tell you that the less you wear, the more of an object you become, and the more conservatively you dress, the more of a woman you are. You may reply: “What, then, are you asking for? Do you want me to veil myself as the ancients did? Can I not be presentable? Do you want me to just stay inside?”

There are still men who cherish a chaste woman before a “presentable” woman, a virgin before a diva and a commitment before instant gratification. A woman used to be honored for her virginity; now she hates herself for it. A woman’s chastity used to be her attractiveness, her security, her character and her virginity, her beauty. You ask why men are no longer chivalrous. When was the last time your actions demanded chivalry? You ask why you are treated like an object. Why wouldn’t you be objectified?

It is increasingly difficult for me to look at you without disrespecting you with my eyes. What else do you want me to think of when you wear skin-tight clothing? You have stripped yourself of everything that made you beautiful. You have offered yourself to many men and wonder why I do not treat you like the only woman in the world. You chose the “bad boy” and wonder why you never have any “luck” with real men. You make men into animals and ask why they cannot tame their appetite. You feel empowered when you live with no strings attached and ask why you are so lonely.

I want to look at you and not at your body. I want to talk to you without having to play a flirting game. I want to make marriage the ends of our relationship and not a future contingency. I want to desire you for your virtue, not your body. I want to love your character, not your mask. There are still some real men. You do not see them because your actions do not demand them.

Can you sacrifice fashion in order for me to treat you like a real woman?

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1339140179 Ashley Joyce Andem

    To the Aspiring Jonathan Swift (aka Brendan Rhatican, you scoundrel you!):

    I would like to give you an award for the most outstanding Collegian satire that the University has ever seen. No, really. In the almost four years of my being here – short of the famous commentary of Mycal Kelly – I have yet to see another article so pleasantly blistering with sarcasm.

    Because there’s no way you were serious. And there is no way I could possibly take you seriously. You should consider not wearing v-neck shirts.

  • Keegan Allen

    Wow this isn’t ripped straight out of Criminal Minds or anything. Hey UR, this is the kind of warning sign you read about in the papers where everybody says “Oh my gosh there was no warning that this guy was a total sociopath.”  Well, here it is.  You’ve published it, are you going to do anything about it?

    • Anonymous

      Shame on you for accusing Brendan of something so vile. He is an ROTC cadet who will fight and die for this country. What have you ever done for this country? And what will you ever do that matches the spirit of sacrifice inherent to his impending martyrdom?

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1339140179 Ashley Joyce Andem

        MAN is there an abundance of comedians on this campus! But, you know, in case you’re serious:

        By your logic, Mr. Rhatican is martyring himself for the United States, which many will proudly declare protects “free speech” (please note the quotation marks). Which means – again, by your logic – he is dying to tell me how to live, and also dying to let me tell him why his views can’t, don’t and won’t translate to the real world. Right?…Right?

        I am so glad that you and I are on the same page. Unless you’re trolling, in which case I just won’t take you seriously. I strongly suggest that you, too, stop wearing v-neck shirts in public.

        • Katie

          so? I don’t care that this is a year late. I’ve dedicated twelve years of my life to study pediatric neurosurgery. I spend my whole life dedicated to saving children dying of brain cancer with no time to eat, sleep, or play. I’m also a woman. Using ROTC as an excuse to be able to act like a rapist with no one allowed to have another opinion is a little messed up. Because, let’s get real – it’s not like he’s actually been overseas yet. I have lost my best friend to the war in Iraq and he wasn’t a psychopath and didn’t spend his time viewing women as nothing more than a food-cooking blow up doll. I’m sure if he went overseas fighting next to women not dressed in dresses and petticoats he would develop another opinion. Real women who fight in wars. Who actually save people. It’s not just men overseas, honey, and it’s not just war heroes who save lives. Welcome to the ACTUAL real world. As someone who lost her best friend, TRUST ME. I have every ounce of respect for real war heroes. This was probably just another guy who couldn’t get a job for obvious reasons picking the army because he never actually thought he’d get called overseas. Write another comment when he’s actually fought.

      • Samantha Lint

        His position as an ROTC does not absolve him of his incredibly misogynist discrimination. That is irrelevant.

        • Anonymous

          How is it irrelevant? Brendan is a man of good moral standing. One can be objective about appraising goodness in humans, and Brendan will be at the top of any totem pole society ever erects.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7U6I4FTZ3JQ2CGBNREAB43RBQQ Jane

            Being in the ROTC doesn’t automatically make one worthy of respect. I dated a man who was ROTC – he kept trying to force me for sex and repeatedly lied to me. When I broke off the relationship, he stalked me for a month. 

            I judge a person by their actions and their writing, not by whatever organization they put on their resume. 

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=770886762 Christine Parker

            Jane,

            I’m so sorry you had to go through that. Thank you for sharing your story with everyone! I hope it will shed some light on the situation for people.

          • http://www.facebook.com/leah.randall Leah Randall

            Apparently being a man of “good moral standing” means telling women what they should do with their bodies and basically telling them that if they don’t cover up, they are worthless and deserve to be raped because their chastity is their most important quality. Not their intelligence or their accomplishments or anything else – just whether or not they’ve conformed to what men have told them to do. Awesome.

      • http://www.facebook.com/joegkunkel Joe Kunkel

        Hey xieJunta my name Is joe Kunkel. I am a VCU student studying print journalism and a former US navy Intelligence Specialist. I enlisted to pay for college, because I’m one of those poor people you read about. I have served under plenty of officers fresh out of ROTC and let me tell you there is no shortage of misogynistic sociopaths among the officer ranks. What Brendan wrote was not only ignorant it reeked of a kind of misguided fundamentalism reminiscent of the sort that fueled the rage of a budding taliban. Honestly, it makes Brendan look like he has never even pondered the greater affects of the subordination of woman or the existence of the classic double standard, and its impact on fashion. You know the other day I was going for a jog, I was very hot so I decided to take my shirt off, I ran all through bell Isle with my shirt off while wearing very short running short, I was practically naked, I never once felt like any woman was “disrespecting me with her eyes”,think about it brendan, is that fair? If you cant control your thoughts when you see a beautiful woman you need to grow the f**k up, it’s called self control. If you are too shallow to be able to look beyond a woman’s physical appearance or fashion sense, to discover who she really is you will never truly fall in love with one, talk about loneliness. 

  • Jake Morrison

    Dear Collegian, you appear to have accidentally published an editorial from the September 1895 edition of the paper.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jake.morrison1 Jake Morrison

    Although it is really important that we keep the comments here focused on the problems with the article and not attack the person who wrote it. The problems with the article are obvious, but that doesn’t mean the author deserves to be called a “sociopath” just for having an outdated worldview. Focus on the content.

  • Lizzy Teague

     

    Dear Brendan,

     

    You may respond by saying that men can speak on women’s
    clothing, but I assure you that it has not become nearly as much an issue for
    you as it has for us. For example, are you frightened that you will be raped
    and lose the case against your rapist because your clothing was proven too
    skimpy for you not to have “had it coming”? I’m asking that you use more
    resources than your own self-absorbed “expertise” when making such public and
    outlandish statements as this one. It is becoming increasingly difficult for me
    to look at you as decent human being. I want to tell you that the more you
    publicize this archaic point of view, the more of an imbecile you prove
    yourself to be. You may reply: “What, then, are you asking for? Do you not
    enjoy listening to me spout off my completely uneducated, ill-informed point of
    view? Can I not speak my mind, no matter how triggering and shaming it may be
    to women who have been assaulted and/or raped? Do you want me to truly consider
    all the implications of that  which
    I am offering as truth before I go off on a misognynistic rampage of women’s
    rights?”

     

    Though there are still men who cherish a chaste woman before
    a “presentable” woman, you have no right to choose which of those incredibly
    stereotyped and generalized roles a woman chooses for herself. All woman are
    not honored for their virginity and not all women hate themselves for it- you
    are speaking of something you know nothing about. A woman’s chastity was never
    her attractiveness; it was her SELLING POINT, emphasis on SELLING. I ask you, why
    do you think we care at all about the death of chivalry when as a concept, it
    is still alive and kicking in all of the unfortunate ways it always was? Chivalry
    is nothing but a clawing for power: “I will put you on a pedestal, but once
    you’re up there, you must do as I say and wear what I say and have sex with me
    whenever I want it! “ When was the last time someone treated you like an object
    based on your clothing? What outfit could you even imagine being used as an
    excuse to come into your space, rape you, and violate your most basic human
    rights?

     

    Your lack of self of control does not negate my right to
    wear whatever I like, in whatever fashion I would like to wear it. Your
    complete lack of regard for women’s rights does not mean that they do not
    exist. Your lack of acknowledgment that women are people, just like you, that
    deserve to be treated with respect no matter what they look like or wear, just
    as men deserve to be treated with respect no matter what they look like or
    wear, is a shameful reflection on you as a person and the society who created
    you.

     

    Could you sacrifice your idiotic notions of chivalry in
    order to treat all people, including women, the way you would like to be
    treated?

    • Spyda

      oh please, men cannot talk about women clothes when women do it all the time. cant have it both ways. smh

  • Fiona Carmody

    There are no words.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=770886762 Christine Parker

      Fiona, come back! We obviously still need you and your rationality here. :(

  • Zhivko
    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1339140179 Ashley Joyce Andem

      I was waiting for you to post something. :)

  • Anonymous

    I, for one, support this man. Given the amount of porn I watch, I am no longer sufficiently turned on by naked or semi-naked women. Instead, I rely on visuals of women who wear skintight clothes a la yoga pants to get my rocks off. If you will look online, this fetish is widespread. 

    I wish the women of Richmond pranced around in leotards. That is my fetish, so can we not tolerate Brendan advocating for his?

    Brendan wants chaste women the same way I do carefree sluts. Who are you to admonish him for his tastes in sex? 

    Most of you commentators come to Richmond from suburban havens, meaning you have briefly traveled from one bubble to another. Despite that fact, make an effort to relieve yourselves of bigotry, such that you can learn to accept those who deviate. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=501661043 Carmen Wicker

      This isn’t the personals section. Try harmony central or adult friend finder…

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=770886762 Christine Parker

      Xie,

      I obvi don’t know you personally (or do I?), so I can’t tell if you’re trolling, sarcastic, or whatevs. But you may want to consider the effect of your rhetoric. It may not produce what you’re intending. (Or if you have no intentions, maybe start thinking about that?)

      Just a thought. :)

  • Cara Fassino

    Are you seriously implying chastity is what makes a virtuous character? If you are, you’re doing a terrible job at masking your inability to control your own desires. Are you going to write a separate article when you discover that girls in bulky sweatshirts also like sex, and should therefore lose your respect as well?

  • Melanie Watkins

    After this article, I don’t think you have to worry anymore about women playing any “flirting game” with you. It’s a shame because you seem like such a keeper. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=770886762 Christine Parker

    Oh hey, Christine! Hope you enjoyed your summer at home in California. Welcome back to UR, the land of conservative slut-shaming. Good luck surviving the next 8 months!

    http://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/2010/04/04/what-is-slut-shaming

  • Anonymous

    And those who repudiate bigotry are disgusted by you. I am a liberal, left-wing extremist by American standards, but limousine liberals like you are just as bigoted as the most batshit conservatives. You are like the pathetic yuppies and hipsters who are afraid to upset their social fabrics, since absolute tolerance and acceptance belies their sheepish prerogatives. It is extremely likely that you accept homosexuals precisely because everyone else in your clique does.

    Brendan is in the ROTC, and he will fight and die for this country. What have you ever done? What will you ever do that matches the ultimate sacrifice of martyrdom? Save your condemnation of his character for the WGSS courses.  

    Brendan has a kink: he is attracted to the ideal of a good, white, supple, Christian, chaste woman. I am attracted to athletic women who are sexually promiscuous and wear skintight pants and blouses. That is my kink. Homosexuals are attracted to members of their own biological genders. And, that is their kink. Those who partake in BDSM sessions have their kinks. Swingers have theirs. You probably have one as well, but because you share that kink with the rest of the sheep, you do not think twice about its peculiarity. 

    Why are you so intolerant of alternative lifestyle choices? Human sexuality and human morality is a spectrum, so learn to think outside the boundaries of your suburban upbringing. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=770886762 Christine Parker

      Dude. There are so many issues with every single comment you post. I don’t even know where to begin…

      • Anonymous

        Here is a three-step solution for you, and perhaps some other commentators from this board, afflicted with mild retardation:

        1. Read my post aloud. It helps with comprehension.
        2. Write a cogent argument after you look up “cogent.”
        3. Reflect for at least a half hour.

         

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Emily-Willstatter/1453125815 Emily Willstatter

      WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO SHUT THE FUCK UP

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Emily-Willstatter/1453125815 Emily Willstatter

      WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO SHUT THE FUCK UP

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=501661043 Carmen Wicker

      Where did Brendan say he liked white women? you need to check your shit. because in the comment you made below you also used mild retardation as an insult? I can see that you are far more tolerant than the rest of the people on this thread via making assumptions that chaste and conservatively dressed also means White, and that disagreement with your opinions is equivalent to retardation.
      Plus I don’t think it’s Brendan’s personal preference that people here have a problem with. It’s the fact that he felt the need to address the entire community of women as a whole to tell them that they should mold themselves to his standards.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=501661043 Carmen Wicker

      Where did Brendan say he liked white women? you need to check your shit. because in the comment you made below you also used mild retardation as an insult? I can see that you are far more tolerant than the rest of the people on this thread via making assumptions that chaste and conservatively dressed also means White, and that disagreement with your opinions is equivalent to retardation.
      Plus I don’t think it’s Brendan’s personal preference that people here have a problem with. It’s the fact that he felt the need to address the entire community of women as a whole to tell them that they should mold themselves to his standards.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1234710145 Jessie Pascarelli

    HEY GUYS LET’S HOLD A FORUM WE CAN TALK ABOUT IT IN A FRANK AND OPEN WAY AND THEN EVERYTHING WILL CHANGE FOR THE BETTER!!!!!!

  • http://twitter.com/ChrisEyler Chris Eyler

    Brendan,

    As a recent graduate of the University of Richmond, a
    self-proclaimed feminist, and a man (I would gather this might surprise you), I
    must say I find your article repugnant and incredibly disturbing. I AM saying “men cannot speak on women’s
    clothing” with authority, just as I am saying your opinion on what makes a
    “real woman” is irrelevant and pitiful. If a woman becomes more of an object to
    you the less she wears, that IS a
    problem, but it is a problem with YOU,
    not with her. The tragedy is that, YOUR
    problem becomes HER problem when you
    treat her as if she were an object. The fact of the matter is, attitudes like
    yours contribute to a culture where “20–25% of women will be raped or
    experience attempted rape during their college career” (http://www.aauw.org/act/laf/library/assault_stats.cfm).
    I find that statistic staggeringly terrifying, and, if you have half a heart, you should too.

    So, should we just blame these female rape victims for
    being dressed too provocatively, as your article seems to imply? Are the male
    rapists the real victims here? Are we men completely powerless when confronted
    by female bedevilment in the form of a short skirt? NO, because most men CAN control
    themselves in such a situation, and without ANY
    difficulty. Why should women have to cater to YOUR WEAKNESSES?

    Consider this: if I can walk around during the summer
    with my shirt off, without fear of molestation, why can’t a woman wear a
    tank-top and short skirt to a party if she wants to? Come to think of it, if a
    woman can wear a bikini to a swimming pool without fear of being set upon by
    ravenous hordes of men, why can’t she wear an even less revealing outfit to
    said party without the same fears? Can you look at a woman in a bathing suit
    while at a pool without getting the urge to assault her? If you can—and I’m
    pretty confident this is correct—then you should be able to apply that same mindset
    to a party environment. If not, you need to see someone, because you have a
    serious, serious problem and need help before you harm one of your fellow
    students, and I’m NOT joking about
    that. So what do you think, are you tough enough to own up to the fact that controlling
    your sexual urges is your responsibility, or are you going to continue to make
    excuses and blame others for your own weaknesses?

    In closing, if this issue bothers you so much, why not
    take a class on woman and/or gender, sociology, or anthropology; anything that
    takes a serious, scholarly look at the different social norms for gender and
    the ways that they are structured in a given society. Or, you could read
    Michael Kimmel’s Guyland or Jackson
    Katz’s The Macho Paradox; both of
    which offer a man’s perspective on that touchy subject of masculinity and its
    relationship to women. In fact, I challenge you to read both of them AND take a class on gender. Sure, it’s a
    tall order, but I think it would do you, and most of our fellow men, some good.
    You’ve had the privilege of receiving an education at one of the most expensive
    and prestigious universities in the United States, why not take advantage of
    that opportunity and seek knowledge that could let you do some real good in the
    world?

    Regards,
    Chris Eyler
    Richmond ’11

    And if your article wasn’t intended to be taken
    seriously, pat yourself on the back; you just managed to write something in the
    vein of Mr. Swift’s infamous proposal to cannibalize Irish children for the
    good of the world. Gold star for you!

  • http://twitter.com/CapitalistChaos Dan Letovsky

    this is like fat people blaming McDonalds for their own poor choices… 

    then they demand laws banning fast food, which prevents choices for  the rest of us responsible folks

    • Anonymous

      Your analogy is a bigger joke than Richmond’s WGSS courses.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=501661043 Carmen Wicker

        I’m sorry, have you taken all of Richmond’s WGSS courses? 

        • Anonymous

          I have not. Why should I? I am a better feminist than you pretenders can ever claim to be.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=501661043 Carmen Wicker

            Well if you haven’t taken the WGSS courses you have almost no grounds to form an opinion on them. And as far as being a feminist goes… didn’t know it was a competition? and the number of anti-feminist things you have said on this thread completely negate your claim. who the hell even are you? if you’re so out and proud about your opinions why are you the only person on here that doesn’t ID him/her/their self? Even the dude who wrote the letter put his name out there…

    • Vickey Allen

      Dan, did you just compare rape to McDonalds? (How you doing, btw?)

      • Vickey Allen

        I’m a total dumbass. Took me this long to realize that you meant that the author was the fat guy eating McDonald’s. Sorry man.

  • Sky Swartout

    I just want to say how happy and surprised I am by the comments on this thread. Not one person is even getting a teeny bit close to supporting this troglodyte, and the chorus of sarcastic comments and no-bullshit criticism has restored my faith in the UR student body.

    I didn’t know you all had it in you. Keep it coming!

    • Anonymous

      I support Brendan. We don’t need your feel-goody smugness in this forum. Read my comments from the previous page.

      • Sky Swartout

        For real dawg? I thought you were being sarcastic with the rest of us! You were really good at it, you should try it sometime. Seriously man, You’re not worth arguing with. I am smug and do feel good, but only because the UR community has responded so well here. Also, because this may be a good teaching opportunity for Mr. Rhatican, who might have learned about these things gradually in his time at UR, but will now learn them the hard way all at once: these views are not tolerated here.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NNO73TOOAPROO5HZ3NLPGCD6ZE Timothy

          You’ve added little to the discussion.  Perhaps you’d like to send Brendan to your Chairman Mao thought-police camp — “teach” him a real good lesson.  Seig Heil, “Sky.”  Any other thoughts or ideas you don’t tolerate?  

      • Sky Swartout

        Also, if you want to troll this comment thread man, at least don’t use a lame anon. name. Give us your real name so we know who you are! You have miiiiiine!

        • Anonymous

          I am Asian. Does racism and prejudice also flow through your veins? Xie is a “lame” name because it is not white enough for you?

          Grow up, read some books, go outside.

          • Jeffrey Hunt

            Or maybe Schuyler said that because there is no one at our school named Xie Junta.

          • Sky Swartout

            Thank you, Jeff.

          • Sky Swartout

            Thank you, Jeff.

  • Brendan Rhatican

    I apologize for any offense. However, I have never seen so many ad hominem, red herring, and straw men fallacies in one place before. Do we disagree, and think that women wear appropriate clothing? Fine, call me archaic. Do we disagree that women play a roll in their objectification? Fine. Do we disagree that they are, in fact, objectified? So be it. If you think that women can play a part in their own objectification and that wearing more modest clothing would help fix it, then would you really be a chauvinist bigot who should be locked up?
    Because it was a 200-400 word opinion piece, I could only focus on certain things. My thesis: help me treat you the way I wish to (but fail at times) by dressing more modestly. Call me archaic or call me a caveman; if you think that everything concerning men relating to women (and vice versa) is as it should be, I ask you to research the divorce rate, be present in a locker room, read the police report on monday, or just witness the passers-by on a Friday night. Something has gone wrong. Who is at fault? The both of us.
    You can tell me that women wearing more modest clothing will not help the problem; you cannot tell me that there is no problem.  

    • Dana Mclachlin

      Women are objectified because of a system of patriarchal control that tells women their only worth is in their appearance and ability to please men. There are plenty of gender related problems in the world: the wage gap, rape, lack of political representation and power; none of these problems have anything to do with how a woman dresses. Also, the statement “help me treat you the way I wish to by dressing modestly” is so paternalistic and filled with rape apologism that I honestly don’t know where to start critiquing.

      My suggestion: take a WGSS class. Seriously. Or just consider the possiblity that maybe, just maybe, the way women dress have absolutely nothing to do with you and that every person is “real” no matter how much skin they may be showing. (Even us sluts who like our short skirts.)

      • Anonymous

        Not all women who wear short skirts are sluts. You are just as hateful as these other commentators. To be a slut, even a Christian slut, you need to actually have sex with more men than you can remember. As for the sexual acts themselves, well, let’s just say that you have to become a slut first. Stop calling Brendan names and stop categorizing sluts and barely-clothed non-sluts as immoral. 

        • Dana McLachlin

          Um…..I was kidding. I don’t think ANYONE is a slut because I think people should be allowed to have as much or as little sex as they want.  ”Slut” is a social construct used to make women feel bad about sexual pleasure.  The only reason I said that was to get across the point about how ridiculous it is to make judgements about someones moral worth based on the length of their clothing and/or what consensual sexual activities they choose to do.  

    • Samantha Quig

      Brendan,

      I think that the issue here is that you justify your own objectification of women by blaming it on them.  Your objectification of women is not our problem, it is your own.  If you can’t look at girls without “disrespecting them with your eyes,” that is very disturbing.  Here’s a simple solution: DON’T DO IT! If you want to, as you say, desire someone for their virtue and not their body, then find someone who meets your standards instead of criticizing women who don’t meet them.

      And, just as you ask your readers to consider the divorce rate, etc. in terms of “men relating to women,” I ask you to study the history of victim blaming in sexual assault and rape cases. Please understand that what you are suggesting here is not dissimilar to that, and that is extremely problematic. 

      Perhaps you could stand to learn that just because a female student chooses to wear yoga pants to class or the gym or even a tight shirt or pair of jeans, by no means is she asking for your approval. Nor does this mean that she is not, as you insinuate, a virgin; not beautiful; or that she lacks character.

      And, just so you know, women are well aware that there are still chivalrous men out there. But I think that with this article, you have destroyed any chance of women on the Richmond campus being able to see past your sexist attitude. 

      You are right: I can’t tell you that there is no problem. What I can tell you is that the problem here is you.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1244041862 Emily Amaro

      Let me make this perfectly clear to you: the clothes that women choose to wear have absolutely NOTHING to do with rape or the objectification of women. Nor does make up or the amount of consensual sex a woman participates in have anything to do with her being the victim of assault. Rape and objectification are caused solely by misogyny – the hatred, dehumanization and torture of women on a daily basis. It is not the woman’s fault in any way, shape or form if she is raped. It is SOLELY based on the rapist – solely based on his disgusting opinion of them.

       The first time I was groped in public by a strange man was when I was 12 years old. Hadn’t even hit puberty yet. Was it the clothes I was wearing? Was I asking for it? Wholly and unequivocally, the answer is no. We live in a time where finally, a good percentage of the world allows women to wear and do what they want – simple rights that have been denied to us for centuries. We have the choice to stay virgins as long as we want. We have the choice to have sex with whom and when we want. We can wear bikinis or burqas or anything we so desire. That’s the beauty of it – we are free. The constant discrimination and appalling violence perpetrated against us has nothing to do with our freedom and it is not our fault for exercising that freedom how we choose. Rape, misogyny and sexism have ALWAYS been around. The freedom to do as we please is new. So logically, how can you say that it is all our faults when rapists, sexists and misogynists are the problem, and always have been? Whether I’m wearing sweatpants or a short skirt has absolutely nothing to with any assault committed against me – none. Divorce rates have nothing to do with this at all. Your response lacks common understanding about how the world works, and how much struggle still exists in the faces of women and those who love them. ”Can you sacrifice fashion in order for ME to treat YOU like a real woman?” I’ve never heard such an arrogant statement in my life. Essentially it means: You must act accordingly to my standards, despite your absolutely rightful desires and choices you make with your freedom, because otherwise I don’t have the decency to treat you like a human being. If you can’t see how disgusting your statement is then you have incredibly serious issues in the way that you relate to females. And guess what? We’re really not different at all. Besides different genitalia we’re the same – so why do you treat us differently? Why must we do anything to please anyone, especially you? This is important because this is the root of the problem. This is the reason we suffer – right here on in a college opinion article. Think of all the women in your life that you love – shouldn’t she have the same freedoms as you? Shouldn’t she be free of judgement for what makes her happy? 

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NNO73TOOAPROO5HZ3NLPGCD6ZE Timothy

        Dear Emily….an interesting diatribe….only a brief comment on your concerns about sexual assault.  Studies show that 65-78% of all women who are victims of sexual assault had been drinking (the majority intoxicated) — and 75-80% of all men charged had been drinking (and likely intoxicated).  Maybe they were drunk mysogynists — or maybe they were just two drunks using bad judgment that led to more bad judgment.  Call me silly, but it sure looks like drinking on campus is the root cause of our sexual assault problem.  Perhaps a fight to stop alcohol consumption on campus would be best — if it didn’t interfere with everyone’s right to have drunk sex when they wanted.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1244041862 Emily Amaro

          Intoxication is NOT AN EXCUSE FOR RAPE. It doesn’t matter what the girl was wearing, or what or how much she was drinking, or how she was acting – if a girl says no or isn’t awake or cognizant enough to say yes, it’s rape. This idea that it was a ‘mistake’ that the girl just suddenly now regrets is a red herring. The fact that you referred to my statements as a ‘diatribe’ let’s me know exactly where you are coming from; a person who has never suffered from sexual assault. Someone who has never seen a friend suffer from severe sexual assault. To you it’s an another world, one you are not apart of, and the idea that someone could be so ‘bitter’ about it as you claim lets me know that you consider this issue to be isolated, not widespread, and easily solvable by discouraging drinking. 

          But here’s a more relevant statistic for you; about 44% of assaults are committed against victims under the age of 18. (I would recommend educating yourself here, for starters: http://www.rainn.org/statistics) An estimated 60% of assaults are not reported to authorities in the U.S. for reasons expressed here on this page: When a woman accuses someone of assault she is put under a microscope, and every bit of her behavior and expression – from her clothes to her make up to whether she likes to party to whether she likes to have sex – are scrutinized as if they have anything to do with someones vulnerability against a rapist. They don’t. You could be a total bitch, someone who’s really mean and shallow and dresses rather skin-baringly, but doesn’t mean they deserve to be raped or ‘had it coming.’ If a man is worried they might take advantage of someone while intoxicated – that they’ll commit a FELONY while drunk or otherwise – then they shouldn’t drink. The idea that the woman drinking might allow someone to take advantage being used as a reason to put her at fault is called victim blaming. It happens way more often than you think, and it would be wise to get educated on the matter. 

          While a very small percentage MIGHT be what you are describing, it has little to do with sexual assault on a whole, and to add that to a statement about the reality of violence against women with the word ‘diatribe’ is just disgusting. It’s the same type of language used to blame the victims for an assault someone ELSE perpetrated. Rape is an issue. Women are not the cause of that issue. Rapists are. And the vast majority of them are are committed against women. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1244041862 Emily Amaro

    So much misogynistic, woman-hating, and slut-shaming in one article. Really, it’s quite the feat to put that much ignorance and stupidity into a few paragraphs. I mean, you must have tried really hard to stay this woefully unaware all the way until college! The statement I take most offense to is “you have stripped yourself of everything that made you beautiful’ as if a choice in clothing is what makes a woman beautiful – shallow much?
    Furthermore, a woman can have as much or as little sex as she desires and it does not make her a slut – she simply enjoys sex. If she likes to be with many people then THAT’S YOUR PROBLEM, NOT HERS. If that’s not what you like, then she’s just not the girl for you – it does not make her worthless or ugly or a slut. It means she’s an attractive girl who ISN’T YOURS TO HAVE. Boohoo. Clearly this is really hard for you seeing as that all these girls dressing how they want is getting in your way of finding that ‘conservative, virgin mary,’ but again, this is not anyone else’s problem but your own. The fact that you have the gall to write this article asking THE ENTIRETY of woman EVERYWHERE to change their own personal desires of sexuality, fashion and lifestyle to accommodate YOUR  issues with women being free to do whatever they want to do is just proof of what a selfish prick you are, misogynist or not. It’s sexist people exactly like yourself who contribute to our suffering, because you still believe we exist to service your needs and your desires. Get some tact or else, good luck finding anyone who would be willing to be with you. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1046850057 Maria DiGiovanni

    Mr. Rhatican, 
    You call out women for purposefully objectifying themselves, saying that they are identifying themselves too much with their sexuality, yet you look back fondly at a time when a woman’s virginity determined beauty and character.  How is this different?  How is being seen as only a virgin, having that determine if you are “good”, not objectification?  If a person is judged solely on what they have or have not done with their genitals, it is harmful.

    The fact that you openly stated that you think women who dress in a way you disapprove of don’t deserve to be treated well shines a bad light on your own character.  Men and women alike may dress how they please, but they still deserve to be treated with the same respect one would give any human being.

    In this article, you attempted to paint yourself as a nice guy, mourning the loss of some form of chaste beauty.  But this is not yours to mourn.  If you don’t want a relationship with a woman in a miniskirt because of her clothes, I’m sure she doesn’t want one with you either. 

    In closing, I urge you to read about victim blaming in rape cases and rape culture.  Many of the sentiments expressed here contribute to the mentality that what a woman wears strips her of her person-hood and if she is attacked, she somehow contributed to it.  I speak specifically about this line: “You make men into animals and ask why they cannot tame their appetite.”

    Maria

  • http://morereasonsyoushouldntfuckkids.tumblr.com Chungyen Chang

    Utah State University Sexual Assault and Anti Violence Information

    Myth: Rape victims provoke the attach by wearing provocative clothing

    - A Federal Commission on Crime of Violence Study found that only
    4.4% of all reported rapes involved provocative behavior on the part
    of the victim. In murder cases 22% involved such behavior (as simple
    as a glance).

    - Most convicted rapists do not remember what their victims were wearing.

    - Victims range in age from days old to those in their nineties,
    hardly provocative dressers.

    Utah State University
    http://www.usu.edu/saavi/pdf/myths_facts.pdf

    ===========================================

    ?Like domestic violence, rape is a crime of power and control. Myths
    that rape only happens to young, beautiful women wearing provocative
    clothing perpetuate the idea that rape is a crime of passion, when in
    fact all women are vulnerable to rape, regardless of age, race, class,
    education or physical appearance. Research also shows that 60-75% of
    rapes are premeditated and motivated by aggression and hatred, not
    sex.?

    Arizona?s State Plan on Domestic and Sexual Violence
    http://www.governor.state.az.us/cyf/womens/state%20book/Unit%203%20-%20Defining%20the%20Problem.pdf

    ===========================================

    Amnesty International in a national survey

    34% believe women who flirt can be blamed if they are raped and 26%
    say if a woman is in sexy clothing she is partly to blame

    ?WOMEN who flirt, get drunk or wear sexy clothes are asking to be
    raped, according to a shocking new survey.?

    ?More than a third of people – mainly males – believe girls trying to
    chat up men are partially or totally responsible for being attacked.?

    ?A quarter reckon a woman wearing a provocative outfit is at least
    partly to blame – especially if she has been drinking.?

    ?One in 12 thinks she is a natural target if she has had a number of
    sexual partners.?

    ?And a third believe she is responsible to some degree if she has
    clearly failed to say No?

    ?The disturbing attitudes towards rape and rape victims were uncovered
    by Amnesty International in a national survey to promote its Stop
    Violence Against Women campaign.?

    (?)

    Spokeswoman Kate Allen said: “The poll shows a shocking proportion of
    the public blame women for being raped. The Government must launch a
    new drive to counteract this sexist culture.”

    ?Ms Allen added: “The poll highlights public ignorance of the problem
    as well as the dreadfully low conviction rates.?

    ?Joanna Perry, policy manager at Victim Support, said: “It is alarming
    to read that so many people seem to believe that a woman is
    responsible for inviting a rape or sexual assault because of what she
    was wearing, what she drank or how she behaved.?

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/tm_objectid=16393921&method=full&siteid=94762&headline=asking-for-it-name_page.html

    ===========================================

    Myths and Facts about Sexual Assault

    ?You may have heard mistaken ideas about the crimes of rape and sexual
    assault. Here are some of the myths followed by the real facts as
    reported by the U.S. Department of Justice.

    Myth: Victims provoke sexual assaults when they dress provocatively or
    act in a promiscuous manner.

    Fact: Rape and sexual assault are crimes of violence and control that
    stem from a person’s determination to exercise power over another.
    Neither provocative dress nor promiscuous behavior are invitations for
    unwanted sexual activity. Forcing someone to engage in non-consensual
    sexual activity is sexual assault, regardless of the way that person
    dresses or acts.?

    Sonoma State University: Women’s Resource Center
    http://www.sonoma.edu/campuslife/sv/myth.htm

    ===========================================

    ?Most sexual assault victims are wearing regular clothes like blue
    jeans or pajamas when they are assaulted, not provocative clothing.?

    Prevention Pathways
    http://pathwayscourses.samhsa.gov/vawp/vawp_supps_pg11.htm

    ===========================================

    Dress of Victim as an Attributed Cause of Date Rape

    ?Research provides evidence that how a woman dresses may be
    interpreted as a cue to her character, vulnerability, willingness to
    have sex, and provocation of a male’s behavior and, consequently,
    affects the likelihood of sexual assault, including date rape. For
    example, 449 university students were surveyed about sex, dating, and
    date rape; 57% agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, “You can
    pretty well tell a girl’s character by how she dresses,” implying
    dress is related to likelihood of occurrence of date rape (Dull &
    Giacopassi, 1987).?

    ?Information applicable to exploration of victim’s dress as an
    attributed cause of date rape is provided by two studies that
    investigated stranger rape. Kanekar and Kolsawalla (1980) found that
    greater fault was attributed to a victim dressed provocatively than to
    a victim dressed unprovocatively. Feild (1978) found that convicted
    rapists endorsed the view that victims precipitate (i.e., cause) rape
    through their appearance or behavior.?

    An Examination of Date Rape, Victim Dress, and Perceiver Variables
    Within the Context of Attribution Theory
    Sex Roles: A Journal of Research, August, 1999 by Jane E. Workman,
    Elizabeth W. Freeburg
    http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2294/is_3_41/ai_57786728

    ===========================================

    The effect of participant sex, victim dress, and traditional attitudes
    on causal judgments for marital rape victims

    Abstract

    “This study investigated the effects of participant sex, victim dress,
    and attitudes influencing the tendency to blame a marital rape victim.
    College undergraduates completed the Attitudes toward Marriage Scale,
    an intervening cognitive task, and a read fictitious scenario of a
    marital rape incident where the victim was dressed somberly or
    seductively. Participants then completed a brief questionnaire. As
    predicted, males rated the victim more deserving of the attack than
    females. As predicted, the suggestively dressed victim was rated more
    responsible and deserving than the somberly dressed victim. As
    predicted, participants holding more traditional attitudes toward
    marriage were more likely to assign more victim responsibility and
    deservingness than participants with more egalitarian attitudes. These
    findings are discussed within an attitudinal framework.”
    http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=16885786

    ===========================================

    MYTH: Provocative dress can cause a rape.

    FACT: Victims are chosen because of their vulnerability, not because
    they are sexually provocative.

    Wichita State University
    http://webs.wichita.edu/?u=police&p=/sexual_assault/

    ===========================================

    The Re-victimization of the Victim: Record Access in Sexual Assault Trials

    Abstract:

    ?In this research report, the author provides a literature review of
    various perspectives on rape and sexual assault in contemporary
    society. By employing data obtained from interviewing four
    Saskatchewan service providers whose client records were subpoenaed to
    court, the author examines the relatively recent trend toward record
    access in sexual assault cases.?

    ?Notions such as women ask to be raped because they wear provocative
    clothing or go on a date with a man not only serve to justify male
    violence against women but also limit women?s personal freedoms and
    rights to self-expression. As Johnson writes, for women “to break
    certain rules is to invite or deserve rape ”

    Sexual Assault Services of Saskatchewan
    http://www.sasktelwebsite.net/sass/revictimization_paper.html

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1339140179 Ashley Joyce Andem

      Thank you. Thank you so much for posting this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=6715274 Milo Ampersand

    Since when is a woman responsible for a man’s self-control?

  • http://twitter.com/tagiaimo Tori Giaimo

    The fact that you generalize so widely in your opinion is the thing that bothers me the most. I will agree with you that there are some women in this world who dress in short skirts or lowcut tops to gain the approval of others; however, I would argue that the majority of women are like myself, who dress the way they do because they feel good in the clothes, because the clothes are comfortable, or because they just want to look or feel sexy. Some girls are incredibly insecure, and just want to feel beautiful for a night or two on the weekend by letting loose and dressing up. All of the women I speak of dress the way they do not for the sake of others, but for THEMSELVES. You would take away a woman’s right to feel good about her body just to make it easier for you not to objectify women?

    Further, are men not objectified or stared at when they run shirtless around the lake, or show up to class in an UnderArmour outfit? Of course they are, to an extent; there are some very attractive men on this campus, and occasionally women like eye candy too. But it does not make them any less of a person in the eyes of the woman who is staring. This is the great disparity between you and the women you pretend to be an expert about. We, while recognizing sexual attraction towards others, are not so lacking in self control that we can’t help but undress men with our eyes when we see them walking around in a tightfitting tshirt or jeans that make their ass look particularly good. We recognize that there is a personality beyond what the clothes say, so we strike up a conversation if we are truly interested. If not, we go about our day, and probably forget we even stared for a second in the first place. Perhaps it is time you start to do the same.I challenge you to walk up to a girl that you think is wearing an inappropriate outfit and strike up a conversation with her about something intelligent. Ask her about a book she’s reading, or the homework she’s doing for class. She may end up being the smartest, kindest woman you’ve ever met, but currently you condemn her and write her off as a slut for what she’s wearing. She may even be “chaste,” and a virgin, which you so clearly value over all else, but you will never know without talking to her, and getting to know her as a human, rather than an object. You may not like her after all, but at least at that point the disapproval will be linked to her personality, and not the arbitrary fact that her shirt shows a bit more cleavage than you would like (or really, as you have made so blatantly obvious, the amount of cleavage that you like a bit too much). Haven’t you ever been taught not to judge a book by it’s cover? It is time you put that lesson to good use.

  • Julia Picciotto

    Yo, I’m in the classics dept. and I for one, as a lady, am glad I wasn’t born way back the the pedestal days. Women weren’t respected; they were actually owned as property and viewed as less than human. A woman was yoked to her husband like an animal to its master, and she was tamed and suppressed in the household. But I guess that’s the kind of gentlemanly chivalry you were thinking of…either praising a woman for being the “pure,” passive, subordinate or shaming her for deviating in any way from that ideal. Hence, she is a “slut”. You, sir, are frighteningly archaic in your views, and I’d sort that out immediately.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ella-Naomi/520702730 Ella Naomi

    Dear mr. RHATICAN,As others below me I was also offended by this letter because I feel the assumptions you made in it were incorrect. i agree that you have the right to express a preference for girls that are virgins as apart of your belief system. however, to judge such a large group for what you see as “improper” clothing truely does your opinion a disservice.  who are you to judge what is correct or incorrect? And then to FURTHERMORE suggest that wearing certain clothing makes you not only less than a woman but a woman deserving sexual advances.  it really saddens me that this is what you think of women. luckily, i only have one judge to answer to..you might want to explore a little bit more about how he says we should relate to others.SINCERELY and with best wishes,a concerned christian

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NNO73TOOAPROO5HZ3NLPGCD6ZE Timothy

      Dear Ella…I think it is Brendan’s concern for women that drove him to take a stand.  No where does he imply that wearing certain clothing warrants sexual advances.  Admittedly, his reference to “animals” is a little melodramatic.  But do you suggest that there is no limit to what would be improper clothing?  Modesty is indeed a virtue…I believe that you and I, and our Judge would agree.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ella-Naomi/520702730 Ella Naomi

        It is is the way that he worded it, and yes by saying “You make men into animals and ask why they cannot tame their appetite.” he puts the blame on women, in a society that already says if the girl was dressing or looking or talking a certain way she “deserved” to be raped. I understand where he is coming from, some women do get out of control with the lack of clothing. But to then say that males take no part in the objectification of women. THAT is the problem that I have.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NNO73TOOAPROO5HZ3NLPGCD6ZE Timothy

    Interesting discussion. I give Brendan credit for raising a concern shared by most of us over the age of 30 (working and raising children): Is modesty still a virtue? Are there no reasonable boundaries on campus, or even reasonable consensus on what constitutes appropriate dress? To me, it is simply a question of degree or line drawing, but a case in which there should be some limits in order to protect ourselves. Admittedly, Brendan said a few things from which we could impute all sorts of ill motive. But that would be a mistake. Many have already posted thoughtful responses and concerns, and only a few are stuck on their tired rhetoric and can’t refrain from glib and petty name-calling. Brendan poses a few good questions about the liberal dress “code” on campus. It’s a fact. By all objective standards, the dress of students on campus today is far more immodest than it was even ten years ago. And with limited space, he tried to link his general concerns about modesty to his concern about “no strings” sex on campus, and the relation between the two — and its implications for women.

    I won’t take the time to dispel the proposition posed by some (here) that a culture of “free sex“ is harmless, let alone beneficial in any way to a person’s physical, emotional, or spiritual well-being. I’ve never seen one iota of research or even a shred of anecdotal evidence to support that claim. The theory seems to linger on mostly among students with a high libido and a misplaced reliance on penicillin. So I’d rather just focus on the issues raised by Brendan and others about the pros and cons of modest dress.

    In the workplace, it’s pretty clear — we dress within the accepted norms. Clothing that is not within the norms is simply inappropriate, and will often be perceived as immodest (ex., low hanging blouses, short skirts, skin tight pants, facial piercing, chest-bearing open shirts, gaudy jewelry). Written rules are rare; it’s more of a case of the wearer simply having violated the collective norm, and therefore having demonstrated a lack of good judgment. Appropriateness is often hard to define, but employees intuitively know when the line has been crossed in the direction of immodesty.

    Should we feel stymied or frustrated by the social norms at work, or by rules of civility, etiquette, language (no profanity), and dress? Or do we accept them as reasonable limits designed to both protect and help us? On campus, do we have any limits or norms when it comes to dress? If our actions reflect our beliefs, do the clothes we select to wear reflect our beliefs? What is our intent when we dress in the morning? Are we just trying to fit in? I see a few comments about wanting to dress comfortably — I can respect that. But does that mean we are not simultaneously trying to make a statement? Do we care if we select clothes that make us look unattractive? Of course we care! So do we want to be attractive, sexually attractive?  I suppose that if you’re like me, you’ll at least say, “Well, it can’t hurt.”

    So what are the new norms on campus? I think we would be naive to think that our collective choices, our norms, are not shaped by the multi-billion dollar fashion and advertising industry. As a product of slightly older generation, I can see the changes in cultural norms, and changes in what is now acceptable or appropriate to wear. How did that happen? I’ll let you decide whether the changes are for the better or worse, but we must admit that they have been changed, and that by all objective measures they are more revealing. And Brendan appears to share the concerns of many in this country that we’ve reached a point where we’ve crossed the line.

    Isn’t it fair to say that at some point that the level of dress (or undress) can become a distraction to the opposite sex? Whether the intent is a conscious attempt to curry or stimulate attraction or not, the effect is the same. To say, no, there is no distraction — or yes, but “it’s your problem, get over it” — are pretty vapid responses. Again, it’s really a question of degree, and an understanding that there is a line that should not be crossed. For example, I’ll assume that we all agree that going to class in a thong bikini or speedo shorts for men would be inappropriate (and immodest). And if someone did wear it, we would all be concerned about their judgment and wonder mightily about their intent. Why would someone wear something so distracting? Sure, I could have an intelligent discussion in class with a half-naked woman, but it would be disruptive, and I would resent her for imposing her immodest values on me. Take the same woman or man and put them in any other social setting. The context is not quite as stark, but it is still pretty jarring. And while we’ve already established that there is nothing wrong with dressing to be attractive, we must admit that there comes a point where it is inappropriate, immodest, and a distraction from a more simple and sex-free relationship.  And I believe that this is where Brendan, I, and many others resent the foisting of the moral values ordained by Glamour, Cosmopolitan, People, and Penthouse on our fellow students and peers, and on the many women who we respect and care for.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1339140179 Ashley Joyce Andem

      If you aren’t capable of reining in the mind that your god gave you, then you aren’t capable of doing your job. Do not place your ability to get easily distracted by the “opposite” sex on them for living their lives. Your concern trolling – “we would all be concerned about their judgement” – is just as vapid as the responses you anticipate. No, Timothy, we are not all concerned about the judgment of others – because a good number of us are not judging them. And to attempt to “foist” your opinion onto the populace – remember, YOUR son addressed ALL women – is just as misguided and uncouth as those magazines you claim are the destruction of morals in the United States. You argue for simplicity, yet do not acknowledge that the “simplicity” of back-in-the-day romantic relationships simply meant male dominance and female submission. It’s 2011, Timothy. We’re making our own decisions now, and whether you accept them is no longer of consequence. This entire letter is a dying gasp of an age past, but it will never hold water like our numbers. Ever.

      It occurs to me that, as Brendan’s father, you are invested in protecting your son. You are also the one who taught him these views, and it is clear from your response. And while I appreciate your attempt at nuance – kudos for properly concealing the depth of your religious conviction in the matter – while writing such a lengthy response, I will ask you to open your mind to the possibility that your views are not the only “correct” path. In this vein, your son’s letter and your responses on this board are extremely inappropriate. Prescriptivism is much more unattractive than a low-cut top.

      Unless you have a more substantial argument that shatters our statistics and multitude of studies. But I highly doubt that you are arguing for the logic.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=501661043 Carmen Wicker

      Just in response to your last paragraph… No one said wearing less clothing wasn’t distracting for some people. And I don’t think the people Brendan is referring to are women who choose to wear bikinis to class. Hypothetical arguments like that aren’t very good at representing the actual situation. The point is, when a woman (or anyone for that matter) is out in public they can wear whatever they want. They can wear a bikini or a short skirt or speedo or whatever. (speaking of which ever think about how it might be distracting for some that men often can just take off their shirts in public places?) It might be annoying, distracting, offensive, etc. to some people. But it’s not those peoples place to tell that woman what to do. It is fair to say that the level of dress can become a distraction. But in no way is Brendan’s level of self control every woman’s problem. Becoming distracted by looks is not a reason to treat a woman with any less respect than anyone else. Not to mention people can be distractingly sexy without being immodest, and those people are often disrespected regardless of what they wear.  

    • John Frank

      Timothy,

      I know this is not really a point that you used in your
      argument, but frankly I think your paragraph about “free sex” was rude and
      inappropriate (-by suggesting that your opponents’ positions comes from a high
      libido and reliance on penicillin) and deserves correction.  When you discuss “free sex” and the
      reasons it should not be supported, I believe that you are distorting the goals
      of previous posters.  Other people
      spoke about removing shame and double standards from our discussions around sex
      and sexuality and you seemed to equate that to wanting a culture “free sex”
      that ultimately has negative consequences.  Wanting premarital sex, wanting equal say for all genders in
      the decision making process before sex, and not wanting to be judged for having
      sex is not the same as advocating for careless sex without thinking of any of
      the consequences of sex.  
      People can want to have sex and be safe doing it.  A person can also enjoy having sex and
      be moral and virtuous.  This person
      might not have the same moral code or set of virtues as you, but to assume that
      your moral framework should be imposed on others is problematic.   Also, see my other post below about the issues I have with the original article and why I don’t feel that this debate is just about modesty and dress codes.John FrankRichmond ’09

    • Anonymous

      Thump that bible! Your take on morality is just as idiotic as these pseudo-feminists’. You have either misunderstood what Brendan was advocating for or you are a religious nutter. Sex is bad? Have you ever had an orgasm? Have you ever given someone else an orgasm? 

      As for dress becoming a distraction: Who cares how I affect you with my anatomy? Go nurse that erection at your mom’s basement. If that is vapid, sad day for you. Your rightful place is in Saudi Arabia. 

  • Hayes Gouger

    Every woman is a real woman if you treat her like one.

  • John Frank

    I agree that whether or not certain clothes should be worn
    in certain settings is a debatable topic. 
    There are practical reasons for dressing “appropriately” in the
    workplace.  Even in the classroom,
    certain outfits can be distracting.  
    Personally, I don’t agree with dress codes, but, again, I don’t think it
    is problematic to debate the merits of a dress code in a respectful manner.

     

    However, it is one thing to suggest that a revealing outfit
    is distracting and another thing entirely to suggest that the girls on campus
    are immodest, not chaste, not virtuous, etc. because of the clothes they
    wear.  One of the issues that I,
    and others, have with the original article is that the author equates fashion
    choices with character traits. 

     

    Furthermore, the original author’s rhetoric promotes a
    worldview that I believe is harmful to promote.  It is dangerous to think that women should perform a certain
    way to be more appealing to a man and that women’s choices should be judged on
    how they affect a man.  People, both
    men and women, should have the freedom to dress how they’d like and not be
    shamed into thinking that wearing revealing clothing means that they are loose
    or immoral.

     

    The problematic nature of the original author’s post becomes
    clear in his follow-up comment in which he clarifies his thesis (My thesis: help
    me treat you the way I wish to (but fail at times) by dressing more modestly).  The divorce rate, locker-room talk, and
    incidents in the police report are blamed, in part, on immodest clothing.  The point has been made a number of
    times that this is basically victim blaming.  The original author goes on to ask that wouldn’t these
    problems be reduced with more clothing. 
    My answer to that is no. 
    The issue here is not how much clothing is worn by women.  It is how they are treated in our
    society.  Although this is
    changing, women still do not hold the power that men do.  This article is one example of how men attempt
    to control women and maintain their patriarchal hold on our culture’s norms and
    values.  By dressing “modestly”
    women would only be feeding that power dynamic.  They should have the right to dress how they want and be
    respected regardless of whether or not they conform to your notion of a chaste
    woman.  The solution to the
    problems outlined above is to respect and value women enough to see their
    person-hood in spite of your disapproval of their choices and beliefs. 

     

    I want to state that I don’t feel that the original author
    was fully aware of the implications of his post.  It wouldn’t surprise me to find that he believes in his post
    and has a strong commitment to “protecting” women.  I do not want to challenge your personal convictions or
    beliefs, however, by making them public, I feel responsible for clarifying
    their potential harm and support those people who have been hurt be such
    beliefs.

     

    -John Frank

    Richmond ‘09

     

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1582620152 Celeste Reppond

    Brendan,

    Thank you so much for posting this. I doubt you will read this comment since every one proceeding it is incredibly derogatory and has completely misinterpreted what you’ve wrote, or the Collegian might not even post it because it seems like the only comments making it are bad ones. Whatever the case may be, know that I am proud of you for taking a stand. 
    As a woman, I choose not to dress provocatively SO that I won’t be visually raped by every man I encounter. Women- do you not realize that men are COMPLETELY different creatures than we are? Take a look at the multi-billion dollar porn industry- men are made more visual than we are, and if you ask any of them, they are hardwired to think about sex SO much more than we do. Correct me if I’m wrong, men. 

    Think about it this way- how much more attention do you get from guys when you dress in mini- American Apparel dresses versus putting on a pair of jeans and a t shirt? It changes, no? I know it does for me, and if I dress skanky, then it’s almost guaranteed I will be objectified and checked out by at least a couple guys, if not more. The only exception to the modesty rule is in dhall walking past the football team…then it doesn’t matter how much you cover up because they check EVERYONE out. (ps football players/male athletes in general reading this- take note and stop doing that because it’s noticed and really tasteless.) 

    This is an issue of respect- women, respect men and dress in a way that they don’t have to force themselves keep eye contact with you when talking to avoid looking at everything else you put out on display. Men, encourage women to respect themselves by not giving them attention when they dress slutty! 

    One of the most honorable things a couple guy friends asked me was to wear longer shirts over my yoga pants because it was not helping them to genuinely be friends with me. Genuine friendship between the sexes is so totally linked to respect. Just think, when you get married, however many years that is down the road, do you think it’ll be ok to have flirty “friendships” with a bunch of guys who like it when you dress skimpy? I highly doubt it. 

    To clarify Brendan’s point further, this is not an article promoting the abuse of women- there is no excuse for sexual assault based on the way a woman dresses, and I can see from all the comments that is what is being interpreted. However, women, think a little bit! If you dress provocatively, get wasted at an apartment party or the lodges, you are playing with fire! The image you are portraying, be it true or not, is that you are out there looking for a meaningless hookup. I’ve been to the lodges- am I wrong about this? Brendan didn’t write this article because he is “lonely,” a “misogynist,” or anything. I know him, and he genuinely cares about women and being a REAL friend to them. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1339140179 Ashley Joyce Andem

      I’m not even going to bother to address the slut-shaming and bashing of women that you’ve so carelessly flung into this thread. If you wish to maintain a devastatingly myopic view of your own, gender, fine. I will address the rest:

      “As a woman, I choose not to dress provocatively SO that I won’t be visually raped by every man I encounter. ”

      It is ignorant of you to use the term “visual rape.” Unless you know what the hell it feels like to be raped PERIOD, be quiet. I am so tired of people using that term haphazardly.

      “Women- do you not realize that men are COMPLETELY different creatures than we are? ”

      It seems like you are the one who needs to take your own advice to “think a little bit.” You have fallen for many of the cultural myths dispersed throughout our childhoods – because if you don’t think we learn that early, think again. The only reason people believe that is because it is perpetuated in the media, in literature, in daily conversations with rape apologists…you get my drift. Part of why those men who choose to be socially destructive get away with it is because some foolishly believe that men and women are “different creatures.” I’m not even a man and I was offended by that. “Creatures?” Really? How dehumanizing. I don’t think Dean Boehman and the other Richmond College men would agree with such a statement.

      A man is fully capable of respecting me – if he does not, it is because he CHOOSES not to. His reasons are irrelevant, and so are yours. Men are not as helpless and completely victim to biology as you portray them – you have done them, collectively, a great disservice by painting them in such a light.

      Where are copies of the Richmond Promise when you need it?

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1582620152 Celeste Reppond

        Ashley,

        I truly respect how articulate you are. You have expressed your concerns validly and I understand where you’re coming from. I apologize for throwing the “rape” terminology around. It was not intended to minimize the scale of what rape is, and I’m sorry it came off that way. There have been many, many women in my life who have been affected by rape and sexual assault, so I am not approaching this topic “ignorant(ly).”  I meant “visual rape” more in the sense of “visually imagining getting it on with a lady.”

        In regards to the differences between men and women, I have a hard time understanding your perspective. Here are some of the first links that seemed somewhat legitimate to a google search of “men and women different science.”
        http://www.livescience.com/4085-emotional-wiring-men-women.html

        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1326282

        http://www.forbes.com/2009/02/25/evolutionary-biology-feminism-opinions-book-review_harvey_mansfield.html
        quote from this article: ”It doesn’t take a degree in biology to notice that men and women are utterly different.” 
        http://www.sciencedaily.com/videos/2008/0403-men_are_from_mars.htm
        http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=girl-brain-boy-brain

        With all due respect, you need more evidence than ad hominem attacks backed up by media, literature, and conversation. Further, I agree that men are not privy to their biology. However, that wasn’t my point- it was respect and what actually goes on within the sexual hardwiring of their brain. 

        Finally, in regards to my use of the word “creature,” all I will say is that it seems like you are trying to pick a fight over insignificant words. I won’t bring the RC Dean’s office into this, but I’m sure they would see the context of the paragraph, the expression, and how the colloquial term used and not take offense to it. 

        • John Frank

          I agree that some unfair things were said about Brendan and it seems that his original intent, to him, was a noble one.  However, his message is problematic and harmful. 

          And by the way, suggesting that someone wear less revealing clothes is not always harmful.  It’s when that demand is made to an entire campus community and when the request is made because a man is having trouble respecting women because of what they wear.  (“Your attire isn’t professional” – okay;  ”I like women who dress like this and am disappointed that you no longer value chastity or your virginity – which is indicated by your attire” – not okay)

          Celeste,
          I think whether or not men thinking about having sex and how often that occurs is not really relevant to the debate.  Guys (and some girls too) may be more likely to check out people who dress in revealing clothes.  It may even be the case that a person may have more difficulty “undressing someone else with his/her eyes” if the other person wore a lot of clothes.  If you don’t want that to happen, maybe wear more clothes.However, revealing clothes on someone shouldn’t lead the person watching him/her to make an assumption about the wearer’s willingness to engage in sex (which I DON’T think Brendan meant) or the viewers ability to respect the wearer (which it sounds like Brendan was implying).  I should hope that people can look past a person’s clothes (or lack of clothes) and treat him/her appropriately and respectfully regardless of his/her attire.
          I think the point that people are trying to make is that appropriate dress should not be a contingency for respect.  Also, it also worrying that virtues such as this dated notion of chastity are being imposed (which may not have been Brendan’s intent – but then why include the topic it in your open letter to the community).  

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1582620152 Celeste Reppond

            John, 

            I have trouble understanding your point of view, and that of men who want women to dress inappropriately. It seems as if that is promulgating the objectification of women, not eliminating it! If you were truly against the objectification of women, wouldn’t you want them to dress modestly (this doesn’t mean unfashionably!) so the first thing you would notice about her would be her personality instead of the size of her boobs? 
            Furthermore, I have a difficulty understanding those who want women to be sleeping around and think it’s perfectly ok for them to do. It is heart-breaking when I see it- women who see themselves so devalued that it doesn’t matter to them anymore how many guys they are with. That is not something to celebrate! Oftentimes, the cover of “women love sex and want to do it all the time too” is to cover and justify the brokenness underneath of feeling used over and over again. It’s an acceptance thing.

            I have to disagree on the unimportance of how much guys think about sex and how much clothing a girl wears. If a guy truly wants to have a sex-free relationship with a girl and love her really like a sister, from talking to my brothers, guy friends and dad, it makes it much easier when they are wearing more clothes. This seems pretty straight forward to me. 

            And yes, you are right in that revealing clothes do not mean a person wants to have sex. Many girls wear tight stuff so they can get attention and feel some kind of love from SOMEBODY, even if it’s not authentic. I know when I dressed that way, that was my intention. I like your comment about “hop(ing) that people can look past a person’s clothes…and treat him/her appropriately and respectfully…” This is so true, and something I try to do as well. However, I would be surprised if you took that a step further to say that what a person wears doesn’t matter at all, because it really does. Clothing choice is an important judgment call. 

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1244041862 Emily Amaro

            What is your standard of modest? A person of Muslim faith may say a burqa, hijab, or other type of traditional covering. A mormon may say wearing temple garments. You may say covering up your chest enough not to see cleavage and not wearing skirts that are *this* short. See where the pattern is? It’s a matter of personal choice, religious or otherwise. The same goes for what someone believes is the right or wrong amount of sex a person should have. In reality it’s not about a number or a frequency – it’s a personal choice of the consenting adults. 

            Honestly, to me, as long as it’s consensual I really don’t care. On most occasions I dress on the modest side, am bisexual, and generally I prefer to have one partner at a time in a relationship. My dad is Christian baptist, and while he may not agree with me being bisexual or how I dress sometimes (I do own one short tight skirt, but I like it and I feel good in it so I don’t care what anyone else thinks!) my father still loves me and accepts me as his daughter, but more importantly, respects me equally as a human being and allows me to make my own choices without judging me. 

            You are right: clothes are often a way of seeing how a person chooses to carry themselves, but I would STRONGLY warn against making unsubstantiated judgements on appearances. (If you met me in my ONE short skirt would you assume I was a ‘slut’ lacking self-esteem who slept around? Even when I wear sweatpants or shorts on a regular basis and can count my past partners on one hand because I was in a relationship with them?) 

            And this may be anecdotal but I think it’s relevant: In all honesty, I have REALLY big boobs. Like, BIG. They appear especially large because I’m small and very short. I get commented on them daily, more often than not in a harassing matter, and I don’t like that. But it’s my natural body, and I’m proud of it no matter what. What I DON’T like is the amount of creepy attention I get in school/work/commute etc. just because of that and nothing else. Even when I’m wearing a giant, puffy winter coat creeps STILL stare at my chest, even though they can only assume the size! Even when they can’t see them they harass me and stare at them! Am I putting myself up for objectification? No. Just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so is the power to objectify. A woman may have low self-esteem, but those judging her by her looks are the objectifiers, not her.

            All in all I think you are a well articulated, smart person, but your logic is flawed on this one. Try to understand that the beauty of life is the freedom of choice when the opportunity of choice is granted by life. I do not choose to be objectified, regardless of what I wear or whom or how many people I sleep with. It is other people who choose to objectify me and that is the issue with this article. Brendan’s article essentially insinuates that women should forgo our personal choices and freedom to make them to meet the standards of HIS personal preferences – not the world’s (because the world does not collectively have an opinion anyway) but his own. People have the freedom to do what they want, as long as it does not harm others. A woman can dress as she pleases, for whatever reason, and doesn’t need yours or anyone else’s approval. To write this offensive letter to all women telling them that they should, once again, after millennia of oppression that still lingers intensely, bend to the will of a man. It is wrong, and the author should apologize and the Collegian shouldn’t let something like this ever happen again, lest they want more bad publicity as promoters of sexism.

          • John Frank

            Celeste,

            I think you are missing my point.  

            First, I never advocated for women wearing less clothing.  I simply stated they should have the choice to wear what they please and not be judged based on that choice.  As a gay man, I don’t really care about how much of a woman is shown.  You may say that I have an advantage, but I really don’t objectify women (or men) who are scantily dressed… their clothing doesn’t matter in this process.  

            Also, the reasons people “sleep around” are varied.  Some of those reasons may be heartbreaking.  But I wouldn’t make the assumption that “sleeping around” is always harmful.  You can value yourself and have self-respect and enjoy sex… with multiple partners.  This may be debatable to you, but I don’t think the argument hinges on this point.  

            I am not going to comment too much on the need for modest clothing for a sex-free relationship.  But whether or not a guy thinks about sex with a girl to the point where it interferes with their ability to have a sex-free relationship has less to do with what the girl is wearing at a given moment and more to do with whether or not he is attracted to her.  I doubt that seeing a girl in revealing clothing would generate feelings or thoughts that weren’t there before.   

            And finally, the point that allowing women to wear revealing clothing contributes to their objectification is exactly what people have been rallying against.  It is not up to the women whether or not they are objectified.  It is up to those objectifying them.  

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1339140179 Ashley Joyce Andem

          You had posted nothing worth rebuttals containing proper research – and that isn’t an ad hominem, but a critical observation of how you decided to post. That I came off hostile is cursory. But since you have been so kind as to provide links that support your sociological worldview, I will give you an in-depth response before writing an article:

          As a prerequisite, I recommend reviewing the concept of hegemonic masculinity, available here: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27640853

          Here is a link to how the Google search engine functions beyond simple user interface: http://www.googleguide.com/google_works.html

          I will say that it is tempting to utilize and trust whatever Google first spits out as legitimate. But seeing as a search of my own name will produce results ranked primarily by page hits (which can be manipulated), those articles you have posted may not be the most accurate or even legitimate – they were, as it seems the most popular. Popularity cannot be compared to accuracy – you are a scholar, yes? Let’s go over their scholastic value to this debate, together:

          Your first article contained a low sample size, and failed to list subject culture or nation-state of origin. I will safely assume you had not done any deeper research other than reading the abstract per the link you have provided. That being established, the article can be thrown out for the reasons listed.

          Your second article: Peter A. Lawrence is best known for his work in non-human biology, not human psychology, sociology or anthropology. It is his wife who has more favorable background in clinical psychology, but specifically autism. Cross-field expertise is possible, but I notice that Lawrence failed to go into why there are differences in gender performance. I suppose that is due to his lack of experience in the field.

          Moving onto your third article: I am unfortunately too familiar with the conservative philosopher Harvey Mansfield, who has made his rounds on journals and newspapers geared towards issues of economy. Posting rebuttals to his work would be more laborious than this reply is worth. But I will say that I am a sucker for the Huffington Post, and will wield it to explain the “value” of Evolutionary Psychology in general: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-sloan-wilson/evolutionary-psychology-a_b_220545.html

          The Science Daily article: 16 is a rather small sample size, don’t you think? Where is the title of the study, and who are the researchers? The rest of the article details some of the equipment used, but not the findings!

          Your final article makes a critical observation:

          “But just because a difference is biological doesn’t mean it is
          “hard-wired.” Individuals’ gender traits—their preference for masculine
          or feminine clothes, careers, hobbies and interpersonal styles—are
          inevitably shaped more by rearing and experience than is their
          biological sex. Likewise, their brains, which are ultimately producing
          all this masculine or feminine behavior, must be molded—at least to some
          degree—by the sum of their experiences as a boy or girl.”

          Which brings me to the crux of my argument: differences between men and women – specifically their behavior – are socially cultivated and reinforced. I will provide a plethora of research in my article.

          Thank for playing.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1582620152 Celeste Reppond

          Ashley,

          I am a little disappointed that you deleted your response to my post. I just spent 40 minutes trying to figure out your “hegemonic masculinity” on JSTOR, and now I have nothing to respond to! 

          In response to that post, I was not aware you wanted to discuss this issue on a scholarly level, but would love to if you so choose. I didn’t do in depth research on the articles above, (as I said they are from Google, and this is a comment chain on an opinion paper in a college newspaper) but would be perfectly willing to do so if you are. I found a couple interesting articles (JSTOR style!) on the interplay between nature and nurture in gender roles, which is seems this debate is boiling down to, and am very interested to see your article defending a nurture only point of view. 

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1339140179 Ashley Joyce Andem

            Actually, I didn’t delete it. I posted an update but, since it has to go through moderators, I’m assuming the edit has been denied.

            What I posted is barely what I would consider scholarly; I just threw you a few hardballs, and pointed out why your argument didn’t make sense. If you’re going to go out of your way to post links – regardless of the medium – then, please, at least come correct and not cop out with “it’s a college newspaper.” You *should* have done your research – this may be a thread, but I
            assumed in good faith that you weren’t just picking links to weakly
            support your argument. This back-and-forth has now become a distraction.

            But you have a few years to learn differently, and that’s what our Debate Team is for!

      • Spyda

        i feel bad for any man in your life with your twisted views. smh hypocrite

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=770886762 Christine Parker

      YOU/PATRIARCHY: “Women- do you not realize that men are COMPLETELY different creatures than we are?”

      TRUTH: “That idea is known as ‘essentialism’:
      the belief that there are uniquely feminine and uniquely masculine
      essences which exist independently of cultural conditioning… This
      is… absolutely unprovable… It is an opinion, not a fact. Look at
      the amount of gender conditioning we receive from infancy: different
      colors for girls and boys (in some cultures), commercials proclaiming
      boys like toy guns and trucks while girls like dollies that pee… If
      it’s so natural, why all the conditioning?”

      (P.S. Newsflash: women watch porn too. :) )

      For more info:

      http://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/2007/05/10/faq-but-men-and-women-are-born-different-isnt-that-obvious/

      YOU/RAPE CULTURE: “If you dress provocatively, get wasted at an apartment party or the lodges, you are playing with fire! The image you are portraying, be it true or not, is that you are out there looking for a meaningless hookup.”

      TRUTH: “What’s wrong with suggesting
      that women take precautions to prevent being raped? Short answer: Because it puts the onus
      on women not to get themselves raped, rather than on men not to do
      the raping; in short, it blames the victim. JoAnne Schmitz points out another
      problem with the ‘precautions’: …why do the warnings not help? Is the
      warning not strong enough? I don’t think so… the obvious answer:
      Rape keeps happening because rapists keep doing what they’re
      doing… The warnings women get are misleading. They leave out the
      acts of the rapist himself. They focus on the situation. They also
      may focus on the ‘kind of man’ the potential rapist is. If he’s a
      friend of a friend, or your uncle, he’s ‘safe.’ It’s the stranger
      who’s the threat. And we know that’s not true.”

      For more info:

      http://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/2007/03/15/faq-what%E2%80%99s-wrong-with-suggesting-that-women-take-precautions-to-prevent-being-raped

  • Bethany Marcelle

      

    Women deserve to be
    empowered and respected. If Hillary Clinton showed up at the White House in a
    mini-skirt, translucent shirt and hot pink bra no one would listen to her. No
    one would take her seriously. People wouldn’t respect her. Why? Did her value
    as a woman change? Did the content of her message change? Did her intelligence
    or legitimacy as a person somehow change? No, of course not, but the way people
    dress effects how they are perceived. No one is arguing that a woman’s clothing
    = her value or that men have the right to disrespect women who dress slutty.
    However, the way ppl dress is important. 

     

    All this guy is trying
    to say is that he wants to respect women. He wants women to respect themselves
    enough to say “hey, I don’t have to dress like a skank in order to feel
    like I’m sexy or beautiful. I don’t have to throw myself around in order to
    feel desired.” I can’t tell you how many girlfriends I have who hate that
    guys treat them like objects, who hate that guys don’t take them seriously and
    who want a boyfriend who is loving *and* respectful yet they dress in a way
    that says “I’m easy and I’m not worth a lot”. Should guys treat
    them like that? No. Does it make it their fault if guys treat them like that?
    No. But does it make it easier for guys to pick up that “I’m easy and not
    worth a lot message.” absolutely yes. 

     

    Chicas, think about
    the men in your life who (under healthy circumstances) shouldn’t look at u
    sexually…your brothers and fathers. Why do you think that dads want their
    daughters to dress modestly? Why do you think brothers don’t like their sisters
    to wear certain things? Because they are guys and they know how certain
    clothing makes men perceive women and they want their daughters and sisters not
    to be perceived like that. 

     

    Everyone is criticizing
    the guy who wrote this when honestly, girls, how many guys do you know who actually
    if given the choice would actually rather respect u or objectify u? I really
    respect this article and I’m glad that there are guys who would rather treat me
    and other women like people not objects. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1339140179 Ashley Joyce Andem

      “All this guy is trying to say is that he wants to respect women.”

      Sounds like a personal problem, not an article in the Collegian. We have CAPS for that. Want to respect women? DO IT, don’t come up with an excuse not to. It’s really that simple.

      I would also like to add that the feminine-identified individuals who have commented on this article are all WOMEN, not girls. Your word choices are critical clues into your worldview – choose them carefully.

      • Bethany Marcelle

        I agree with you. It
        shouldn’t have to be an article. Women should respect themselves and men should
        respect them too. But sadly we live in a culture and frankly a world where
        women are not respected. Where they are treated like objects and told that
        dressing like an object is a positive choice. This article is not offering excuses for
        not respecting women, but rather explaining how mutual respect can bring about
        a more healthy and positive environment for both men and women. 

         

        I’m sorry that the word
        “girls” offended you. I personally do not find it offensive to be
        called a “girl” if it’s in a casual context with people my own age,
        but I’m sorry if you were upset by the term. 

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1339140179 Ashley Joyce Andem

          Oh, dear. Highlighting something in your statement does not indicate that I am “upset” with its usage – simply that it is inaccurate. And, given the overwhelming response (both online and off) to this article, I will say that Brendan’s tone is more of condescension than concern. Intent does not abscond him from being inappropriate, but that will be addressed in my article.  

          • Bethany Marcelle

            I respect your desire to
            empower women, but I think we disagree on what does and doesn’t empower women.
            I hear you when you say that you felt his tone was condescending, but
            interpretation of tone is on a person-to-person basis. I’m sorry that you felt
            condescended to. When I read it I felt that the tone was deeply concerned.  As
            far as the term “girls” you are entitled to see it as a negative word
            in this context. Although I would like to point out that women on both sides of
            this issue have been using the term “girl” throughout this
            discussion. I appreciate your passion about this topic and look forward to
            reading your article. 

          • Michael Kimmel

            Have you actually met with Brendan and asked of his tone, or of his intent? I speak with him on a daily basis and have often talked of the article with him and of the negative responses it has been receiving; often, this includes the common belief of the individuals that disagree so strongly with the article that “Brendan [has a] tone…of condescension.” I can tell you that I know that he had absolutely neither the intent nor the wish for his tone to come across as condescending. In my opinion however, it is more often the result of reading the  comments and forgetting the wording of the actual article itself,  as well as assumptions of the ideas presented in the article that bring about many of the ideas that he is being condescending, misogynistic, or many of the other things that are being assumed about the idea being presented here (notice I didn’t say Brendan’s Idea – there are more individuals here than just he who believes such an idea is fundamentally and morally necessary to be introduced. In addition, the idea is different from Brendan himself, and despite how often it is being done on this board, the two should not be assumed to be one.) 

            I know very well that Brendan is an extremely respectful individual of both men and women, and thus I don’t believe he is looking for his own personal way to find respect for women. Furthering defense of Brendan and the idea itself, I believe that the truly desired affect is that MEN realize and control both their actions and their thoughts when they look at a woman, regardless of her dress. I know he means no attack on women or their style of dress, and not once says that anyone deserves any form of sexual assualt or sexual harassment. Rather, I believe it is not a far stretch to say that the source of his desire to bring attention to the idea that many individuals on campus share derives from the attention that is given by men to women who do dress more “openly”, or whatever you may wish to term it as (there are several different methods used throughout the comments). 

            Perhaps the most important point of this article is not that women should dress more conservatively, but that men should be able to respect women. While addressed at women and topically focusing primarily on their styles of dress, the desired end result is that men respect women for who they are as a individual (i.e., their personalities), rather than for their bodies or style of dress. While he does not say this himself (and thus I will lay claim to this perspective myself, and not attribute it to him), I believe that on the highest level, the article and the cause behind it is a “call-to-arms” sort of mantra that is asking for men to realize that respect should be given to all women, regardless of their body or dress, as opposed to the instant objectification and judgement that is far too typical. To recognize that women are more than just an object, a human body, a collection of clothes. Rather, that they are a person with their own thoughts, beliefs, secrets, and other individual traits that make them as important as everyone else is, and that they should be treated as such, with no expectation of anything in return (as that is what true respect is.) 

            Again, while Brendan does not specifically say this, it is my opinion that the article is based in a foundation that is asking for men to reconsider the way they see women and their most immediate reaction to that view. That that foundation is based upon the idea that no matter the differences between any two people, male or female, conservatively dressed or more liberally dressed (meaning “more openly dressed”… NOT an attack on liberals), attractive or not, deserve at first impression the same respect, equal to the amount that is hoped for by others when you introduce yourself. That, in addition to asking people to respect one another no matter the circumstance, the other idea here is that it is not by all means necessary for those that DO dress provocatively for the desire to feel empowered to dress in such a way for that reason; instead, he says wisely that there are people that WILL RESPECT them even if and when they don’t dress in such a manner. So rather than belittling Brendan for the public introduction to the idea, how about we look a little bit closer at it than just the surface view that is most commonly misinterpreted to begin with. 

  • Laura Szakmary

    Yes because everytime I see a shirtless man the first thing that comes to my mind is “What a slut he’s totally not a virgin” and then i think ” look at those bronze rippling muscles how am I going to keep myself from jumping him.”  A girl in a jcrew sweater is just as likely to be sexually active as one in a mini skirt.

    The thing is Brendan that in this current day and age where girls use tampons and ride horses there is no way to actually tell if a girl is a virgin. Unless of course you think you can trust the girl you are going to marry not to lie to you……..which I don’t think you are capeable of doing.

  • Haley Jones

    Brendan,

    I understand the reasoning behind your argument and respect it. Knowing you as a person, I do not believe that you meant to be offensive, hurtful, or controlling towards women. But the manner in which you presented your point of view can very easily be taken that way. Knowing your good intentions, I am not angry, although I was offended.

    I’m a big believer in the mantra “dress for the job you wish to have.” But I also believe that different social situations can call for different attire. For example, there’s a certain level of skin exposure that is more appropriate for a night out than for the classroom or work. I do not wish to put words in your mouth, but my understanding of your argument is that you question a woman’s respect for herself when she does not allow her wardrobe to leave anything to the imagination. I agree that this can be inappropriate in professional situations, but ultimately it is every person’s free choice to dress in the manner they see fit. It does not affect me, and that person is happy.

    The vast majority of the time women do not dress skimpily to be provocative. This may seem contradictory, but I assure you it is not. Most of the time, women wear short shorts and low cut shirts simply because that is the style that is predominately pushed by retailers. It is incredibly difficult to find women’s shorts with a longer than 3 inch inseam unless they are capris. Also, many less revealing shirts available to women either have no shape at all, which can be extremely unflattering, or else do not have enough room in the chest for more curvy women to wear with comfort. These are things that I know my male friends fortunately never have to even consider while shopping, but can lead to mistaken assumptions when they see a woman in short shorts or a V-neck blouse.

    The other reason women dress in a way that may be revealing is that it makes us feel good about ourselves. It has nothing to do with men, or even other women, judging the way we look. It is simply our way of expressing our own comfort with our bodies. There was a time when I was very ashamed of my appearance, and I will not place the blame on society, men, or anyone else. Now that I am at peace with myself I am much more likely to wear tighter clothing, because I no longer fear what people will think of me. And that’s my point, women usually care much more about how they look than what men think of how they look.

    Finally, I’ll address my offense. All women, no matter what they wear, deserve respect. No woman asks to be objectified, nor does she deserve to be. No woman, no matter what she wears, can control a man’s desire, nor is she responsible for it. As a woman who has personally been affected by sexual assault and unwanted advances while completely sober and wearing extremely modest clothing, I know that this can happen to anyone. By the logic of this article, if women who dress so immodestly are signaling that they want to have sex and be objectified, wouldn’t that mean that these women would never be assaulted because the actions are consensual? And because rape and sexual assaults against women are a reality, wouldn’t that therefore mean that men are specifically targeting modestly dressed women? I urge men to consider that next time they look at a woman a make assumptions about her character based on her attire.

    Brendan, thank you for standing up for what you believe in. I will continue to do the same.

  • Jamaica Akande

    In my personal opinion, this article is trifling. However, I just want to make the point that it is imperative that we treat women as human beings. Since the beginning of recorded time, women have been deprived of their own humanity. I am afraid that the objectification of women survives on your very ideology Mr. Rhatican. It is crucial that you begin to think of women as human beings just as you do your male counterparts.  Good luck. I hope you find the light. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/leah.randall Leah Randall

    There are no words for how misogynistic, rape apologist, and generally flawed this is. What I put on my body has nothing to do with how you look at me. If you are unable to control yourself around women, you need to be locked up. A woman’s virginity was her security because it was a COMMODITY. The times are gone when a woman’s father can wave her chastity around in order to get a better deal when he marries her off. I think it’s high time you realize that you possess no power over me or any other woman. You need to be worried about what you put on YOUR body and frankly, if you cannot control yourself around women (regardless of what they’re wearing), you need to be seeking help because your problems go far and beyond an issue of wardrobe. 

    • Spyda

      where did he say anything about rape or hatred for women. let me get this straight, he talk about just put on more clothing and thats bad wow. whats next, dont wear skirts to a job interview,

  • Melanie Watkins

    Ok…. This Brendan clearly has problems with his sexuality and is insecure about his masculinity. No man who was completely secure with his heterosexuality and truly loves women would feel the need to publish in a school newspaper, “I AM WANT WOMEN TO STOP BEING SO SEXUAL BECAUSE I AM REALLY REALLY HETEROSEXUAL… i swear… ask my ROTC bros.”
     Although I am incredibly disappointed by this article, I am so proud of how overwhelmingly negative the response has been by both women and men!! Although sadly, most of the men speaking out are alumni (womp womp)… but it means there is hope! Make the most powerful stance by NOT associating with men who treat/ think about women this way. Although respectful, sexy, intelligent MEN at Richmond are rare, I swear they are there!  You ladies have the power to make THAT the ideal… not the woman-hating misogynistic frat bro. 

  • Melanie Watkins

    Ok…. This Brendan clearly has problems with his sexuality and is insecure about his masculinity. No man who was completely secure with his heterosexuality and truly loves women would feel the need to publish in a school newspaper, “I AM WANT WOMEN TO STOP BEING SO SEXUAL BECAUSE I AM REALLY REALLY HETEROSEXUAL… i swear… ask my ROTC bros.”
     Although I am incredibly disappointed by this article, I am so proud of how overwhelmingly negative the response has been by both women and men!! Although sadly, most of the men speaking out are alumni (womp womp)… but it means there is hope! Make the most powerful stance by NOT associating with men who treat/ think about women this way. Although respectful, sexy, intelligent MEN at Richmond are rare, I swear they are there!  You ladies have the power to make THAT the ideal… not the woman-hating misogynistic frat bro. 

  • Melanie Watkins

    Also, I have to OUT Xiejunta. 
     Xiejunta is OBVIOUSLY being satirical and making fun of people who actually think the way he pretends to. Just read this… there is no way he is actually trying to advocate for this position… ”I, for one, support this man. Given the amount of porn I watch, I am no longer sufficiently turned on by naked or semi-naked women. Instead, I rely on visuals of women who wear skintight clothes a la yoga pants to get my rocks off….I wish the women of Richmond pranced around in leotards.” He is clearly kidding, and probably one of the most feminist men at University of Richmond. I’m sure xiejunta will respond to this adamantly saying I am wrong and that he DOES want women who prance around in leotards or whatever…. but come on, let’s be real. XieJunta is no one’s name and if he actually felt that way, he would proudly display his name for everyone to see (as this Brendan does). He comments on all the articles and always says the most controversial, ridiculous things. 

  • Melanie Watkins

    Also, I have to OUT Xiejunta. 
     Xiejunta is OBVIOUSLY being satirical and making fun of people who actually think the way he pretends to. Just read this… there is no way he is actually trying to advocate for this position… ”I, for one, support this man. Given the amount of porn I watch, I am no longer sufficiently turned on by naked or semi-naked women. Instead, I rely on visuals of women who wear skintight clothes a la yoga pants to get my rocks off….I wish the women of Richmond pranced around in leotards.” He is clearly kidding, and probably one of the most feminist men at University of Richmond. I’m sure xiejunta will respond to this adamantly saying I am wrong and that he DOES want women who prance around in leotards or whatever…. but come on, let’s be real. XieJunta is no one’s name and if he actually felt that way, he would proudly display his name for everyone to see (as this Brendan does). He comments on all the articles and always says the most controversial, ridiculous things. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=770886762 Christine Parker

      Regardless, I think Xie should be aware of the effects of eir rhetoric. If eir intent is simply to get people talking, then ey is succeeding. But if eir goal is in line with a particular movement (ex: the feminist movement), I don’t necessarily believe ey is doing more good than harm.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=770886762 Christine Parker

      Regardless, I think Xie should be aware of the effects of eir rhetoric. If eir intent is simply to get people talking, then ey is succeeding. But if eir goal is in line with a particular movement (ex: the feminist movement), I don’t necessarily believe ey is doing more good than harm.

      • Anonymous

        How on earth do you repeatedly mistype “his” as “eir” and “he” as “ey?” “R” and “S” are not close neighbors on any keyboard ever made. The same holds for “Y” and “E” and “E” and “H.” Yet, you were able to spell out “harm” with an “h.” Given the sub-par interface of WordPress mobile, It would not make sense that you are using a portable device, but perhaps you are. Perhaps you are special. 

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=770886762 Christine Parker

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spivak_pronoun

          (P.S. I am super special. :) )

          • Rory Quinlan

            Those words seem very useful, I am glad to have learned them.

            However, using them without any explanation when you know 90% of the readers won’t understand makes me despise you. It kind of accentuates your “if you don’t agree with every minute detail of my ideology you are an idiot or a villian” attitude.

            By the way, this article is 200% ghostwritten by Ted Bundy.

            To be honest I would guess this is just a good guy that shouldn’t have made his thoughts on sexuality public because they haven’t come to maturity.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=770886762 Christine Parker

            Dearest Rory,

            I apologize for your lack of knowledge in the area of gender-neutral pronouns. (Which, bee-tee-dubs, has nothing to do with sexuality.) I also apologize for writing charitably under the assumption that readers will understand my employment of such terms. From now on, I will try harder to dumb down my comments so that a fifth grader can comprehend them.
            ;)

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=770886762 Christine Parker

            Dearest Rory,

            I apologize for your lack of knowledge in the area of gender-neutral pronouns. (Which, bee-tee-dubs, has nothing to do with sexuality.) I also apologize for writing charitably under the assumption that readers will understand my employment of such terms. From now on, I will try harder to dumb down my comments so that a fifth grader can comprehend them.
            ;)

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=770886762 Christine Parker

            Dearest Rory,

            I apologize for your lack of knowledge in the area of gender-neutral pronouns. (Which, bee-tee-dubs, has nothing to do with sexuality.) I also apologize for writing charitably under the assumption that readers will understand my employment of such terms. From now on, I will try harder to dumb down my comments so that a fifth grader can comprehend them.
            ;)

          • Rory Quinlan

            You’re mean. And I’m probably smarter than you. And I never said anything about gender-neutral pronouns having anything to do with sexuality. You understand these are not mainstream words or even generally accepted, right?

          • Sonia Beth

            I completely agree with you.  Those words aren’t mainstream, and to use them without any explanation seems arrogant and condescending. 

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=770886762 Christine Parker

            Rory & Sonia,

            What is “mainstream”? Is it universal? If something is mainstream in one culture, is it mainstream in another? If not, is “mainstream” a good thing in the first place? Why is it preferable? Who determines what is and is not “mainstream”? And is that determination hierarchical, exclusionary, and (culturally) hegemonic?

            (Hint: the answer to the last question is yes. ;) )

          • Rory Quinlan

            Okay Christine, I’m going to start speaking in Arabic in my collegian comments because no one can know whether it is mainstream or if that’s even preferable.

            What stupid logic.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=501661043 Carmen Wicker

          You’re kind of mean. And blatantly rude for no reason, or no positive end point. It’s one thing to contribute to a discussion with an opinion that people don’t agree with. It’s another thing to try (and fail at) satire and sarcasm while flinging insults at those who don’t agree with YOU. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=770886762 Christine Parker

      Regardless, I think Xie should be aware of the effects of eir rhetoric. If eir intent is simply to get people talking, then ey is succeeding. But if eir goal is in line with a particular movement (ex: the feminist movement), I don’t necessarily believe ey is doing more good than harm.

    • Anonymous

      Out me? Dear Gautama, I am who my name is! Have you never encountered non-Anglo names? Also, I am a woman! I am bisexual, and I love it when other women adorn their bodies with skintight clothing! I graduated UR when most of you were underclassmen.

      As for more substantive issues:
      Is “controversial” inherently unacceptable? More importantly, is it inherently incorrect? You call into question Brendan’s sexuality. Yes, he reverts to his overcompensating id; yes, he is defensive; yes, he is altogether insecure about assaying the value of women, and perhaps the value that overtly hot women place on him. He is perhaps projecting, but why castigate him for doing so?

      He is not asking you, Melanie, to not wear sexy clothing. He is advocating for what he finds sexy, so you and your gang are wrong to equate him with the Ayatollah.

      • http://www.facebook.com/jake.morrison1 Jake Morrison

        xieJunta’s posts are the best.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=501661043 Carmen Wicker

          ….”She doesn’t even go here!”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=720182594 Rhian Jones

    Thank you Brendan. I thank you so much, because prior to reading this article I felt lost.
    As a woman I felt like I hadn’t found my way in life, I did not know what my calling was. I was walking blind.
    Now I know.
    Now I realise that, as a woman, my sole purpose in life is to be respected by men.
    My chastity and body is where my entire whole self worth lies.
    I now will go on to ensure both these things are heavily protected. For my sake as well as yours. :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=770886762 Christine Parker

      Xie - Take note: an effective use of sarcasm! ;)

      Rhian – You’re awesome. :)

    • Spyda

      wow nowhere in his article he said women are slaves. maybe a brain scan is needed for you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=25521626 Grace Howard

    Remember the good ol’ days when women were sexual property?

    Just cuz you cant handle this doesnt mean I’ve gotta cover it up! Get over your own sexual ego, dude! Put down the viagra! This kind of talk is some creepy rape apologist stuff!

    • Spyda

      says the woman who came on here just to talk shit about a dude and his experience. oh boy :O

  • Nabila Rahman
  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=15805730 James Farr

    For all of the vague references to “id compensation,” “projection,” and other such pop-psychological terms, one would think someone would direct us to a single peer-reviewed study that empirically tests the theory that sexualized dress yields an objectified view of women. Ironically, according to the APA (http://www.apa.org/pi/women/programs/girls/report.aspx) college aged women who have grown up with a sexualized view of women are more likely to self-objectify, have poor self body images, and/or develop psychological problems in life. 

    Interestingly (though I think the methods are a bit suspect), one study shows that women who wore less (a bikini in this study) while working on math/logic puzzles did significantly poorer than women wearing sweaters, and (one presumes) upon post-experimental interview it was determined that the sexualized or bare women were distracted by concerns for their own body-image, thus underperformed in those particular fields.  Just thought I’d inject some facts into the discussion.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=15805730 James Farr

      Oops, the link was messed up for some reason: http://www.apa.org/pi/women/programs/girls/report.aspx

      Bringing these studies to light should in no way be construed as my support for the editorial, but merely imply that a “kernel of truth” may rest somewhere within the author’s concern.

    • John Frank

      I need to stop procrastinating and get back to work, but this article has really generated an interesting discussion and I can’t help but contribute some more.

      James, 

      There are several arguments being made by multiple people and evidence could probably be found to support most people’s points.  Regarding your data, the sexualization of young females does seem to be harmful.  But I would be reluctant to make the leap from wearing revealing clothes to the negative effects described in the article.  Sexualization appears to occur when revealing clothes are combined with a sexist society.  Furthermore, self-objectification is similarly not a result of only wearing revealing clothing.  The context (a society in which women are regularly objectified) is crucial.  

      To provide you with some reading material and some evidence to back up claims I made earlier regarding the danger of the original article, I will provide you with some articles I found after a quick scan of psychinfo.   The point to be made in these studies is that conservative ideologies and beliefs (represented in the request for UR women to be chaste) are correlated with sexism, sexual harassment, belief in rape myths, and gender inequality.  RWA – right-wing authoritarianism is the active variable that I picked up on in most studies and which I use as a proxy for Brendan’s message.  Whether or not I am justified in doing so, well, that’s up to you.

      Also, quick note… research, no matter how large the sample and how sound the methodology, is not fact… it provides statistical probability.  I would not devalue the information provided by previous posters.  I think the emotional impact of these beliefs is clearly illustrated in some of the other replies.  That being said, if this is more persuasive for you, so be it.

      Christopher, A. N., & Mull, M. S. (2006) Conservative ideology and ambivalent sexism.  Psychology of Women Quarterly, 30, 223-230.

      Lee, T. L., Fiske, S. T., Glick, P., & Chen, Z.  Ambivalent sexism in close relationships: (Hostile) Power and (Benevolent) romance shape relationships ideals.  Sex Roles, 62, 583-601.

      Christopher, A. N., & Wojda, M. R. (2008). Social dominance orientation, right-wing authoritarianism, sexism, and prejudice toward women in the workforce. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 32, 65-73.

      Cokley, K. O., Tran, K., Hall-Clark, B., Chapman, C., Bessa, L., Finley, A., & Martinez, M. Predicting student attitudes about racial diversity and gender equality. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 3, 187-199.

      Hockett, J. M., Saucier, D. A., Hoffman, B. H., Smith, S. J., & Craig, A. W. (2009).  Oppression through acceptance?: Predicting rape myth acceptance and attitudes toward rape victims.  Violence Against Women, 15, 877-897.

      Begany, J. J., & Milburn, M. A. (2002).  Psychological predictors of sexual harassment: Authoritarianism, hostile sexism, and rape myths.  Psychology of Men & Masculinity, 3, 119-126.

      Really, I need to get back to my work,
      John Frank
      Richmond ’09

  • Elizabeth Dorton

    1. It is not the fault of females that you or any other man ends up with countless erections just by stepping out of your room.

    2. You’re arrogant in the assumption that women dress provocatively just for you, (and other men). I have confidence in myself. I also have great tits. If I’m wearing a low-cut shirt, it’s more for me than anyone else.

    I like myself and I know I will not and should not have to change myself to find a man who will like me just as much. I also know I do not need a man who would suggest such a thing.

    And THAT is Feminism.

    • Spyda

      and its not guys fault that women crave attention so much that they dress almost close to slutty for attention

      :)

  • Mierka Ross ’10

    Dear Brendan,
    You know what. You’re right. In fact, we should go beyond that. Why have the University of Richmond be a co-ed college, when we might just as well put a gate on the paths across the lake again? Surely the temptation is too strong for a young righteous man such as yourself to even participate in classes without reeling from the sexual tension of maybe catching a glimpse of a woman’s ankle. It is downright improper. Shame be unto the heathens at Hampshire College for even having co-ed bathrooms for surely they must all be captured in a whirlpool of lust and illicit behavior. Why stop there? Let’s have all women on campus ask what your specifications are for dress so you can dictate their modesty. Perhaps you can allow the ones you deem less attractive to wear slightly more revealing clothing because, hey it balances out, right? We all know there is nothing to be learned in this society from having self control.

    Best,
    Mierka Ross
    Westhampton ’10

    P.S. I apologize for wearing shorts today in Maryland. I know the gleam of my bare leg must be too seductive across state lines. I’ll tone it down a bit.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sarahrfox Sarah Fox

    TRIGGER WARNING:  This comment discusses sexual assault and blame language.

    That^ is a trigger warning and this opinion piece needs a trigger warning in the headline, because of the women who will read it, and who will blame and shame themselves again, because the language used in this piece is the SAME EXACT language that allows men, other women, police officers, the court, etc to tell women that they were not sexually assaulted, or even if they were, it was their fault because of how they were dressed or their sexuality. This is the exact same blaming language that has allowed thousands of perpetrators of sexual assault to get away with crimes against women and their bodies.If you are looking at women and objectifying them, then it is not their fault. It may not be entirely your fault either, but then you need to write a letter to media sources and consumer-driven companies that produce the images of women that encourage you to objectify them.  Write a letter to a music video production company and ask them not to objectify women in their music videos because it is teaching you to disrespect women.  Write a letter to Hardee’s and tell them to stop selling misogyny.  Do not write a letter to women on your campus and blame them.  Do not tell me that you are not chivalrous because I am not chaste. Because we aren’t really asking for chivalry, we just don’t want to be sexually harassed and assaulted because you think you have a right to our bodies.

    WHATEVER WE WEAR, WHEREVER WE GO, YES MEANS YES, NO MEANS NO.

    University of Richmond students, I highly recommend that you organize either a Slutwalk or a Take Back the Night event.  

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=770886762 Christine Parker

      I’ve been hearing that a SlutWalk for the city of Richmond is in the works! And UR’s Take Back the Night is scheduled for April 2nd! Let’s focus our energy into making these events as successful as possible!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1119055682 Camden Cantwell

    Well Rhatican, I don’t think you wrote this the best way, don’t agree with quite everything in it, and really think the language would be better suited to a letter specifically addressed to those that also came from the conservative Christian subculture that I assume both of us came from. It sounds like you’re a bit more conservative than I as regards these issues, but you know, I understand your frustration and agree with much of the sentiment that I assume was driving your composition of this. 

    I think this discussion is likely not going to go anywhere because you’re up against a majority of people that have polar opposite views on sex from you, but who can fault you for making your viewpoint heard?  I heard you didn’t want to attach your name to this at first, but I respect you for standing behind what you believe.Ya got guts, man. 

    P.S. Props to The Collegian for printing something that goes against the grain as far as the campus population goes.

  • Federika Molinari

    Honestly, everyone is taking this article way too seriously. I, as a woman, understand Brendan’s point of view. HE IS NOT SAYING THAT WOMEN SHOULD COMPLETELY COVER THEMSELVES OR WEAR VEILS. All he is saying is that it is hard for him to not see a girl sexually if she’s barely wearing any clothes, it’s what HE FEELS. You might not support it, but you must also understand his point of view. He wants women who won’t show all their body parts, that’s fine, and maybe he shouldn’t have announced it in that way in The Collegian, but that’s HIS point of view, that’s how he likes women, just like some men like women who barely have any clothes on.

    • Spyda

      AGREED

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1265296465 Caitlyn Bray

    This is disgusting.

    • Spyda

      what do you find disgusting, women bashing a man they never left or the fact he is speaking out against something that annoys him.

    • Spyda

      what is your definition of disgusting?

  • Michael Kimmel

    Have many of you who post comments here and deface Brendan actually met with him and asked of his tone, of his intent, of his beliefs or reasoning for the article?  I speak with him on a daily basis and have often talked of the article with him and of the negative responses it has been receiving; often, this conversation includes the common belief of the individuals that disagree so strongly with the article that Brendan in some way or another is a misogynist, sexist, mentally ill, or lay claim that he has some issue in his own self-identification. In my opinion however, it is more often the result of reading the  comments and forgetting the wording of the actual article itself,  as well as assumptions of the ideas presented in the article that bring about many of the ideas that he is being condescending, misogynistic, or many of the other things that are being assumed about the idea being presented here (notice I didn’t say Brendan’s Idea – there are more individuals here than just he who believes such an idea is fundamentally and morally necessary to be introduced. In addition, the idea is different from Brendan himself, and despite how often it is being done in these comments, the two should not be assumed to be one.) 

    I know very well that Brendan is an extremely respectful individual of both men and women, and thus I don’t believe he is looking for his own personal way to find respect for women. Furthering defense of Brendan and the idea itself, I believe that the truly desired affect is that MEN realize and control both their actions and their thoughts when they look at a woman, regardless of her dress. I know he means no attack on women or their style of dress, and not once says that anyone deserves any form of sexual assualt or sexual harassment. Rather, I believe it is not a far stretch to say that the source of his desire to bring attention to the idea that many individuals on campus share derives from the attention that is given by men to women who do dress more “openly”, or whatever you may wish to term it as (there are several different methods used throughout the comments). 

    Perhaps the most important point of this article is not that women should dress more conservatively, but that men should be able to respect women. While addressed at women and topically focusing primarily on their styles of dress, the desired end result is that men respect women for who they are as a individual (i.e., their personalities), rather than for their bodies or style of dress. While he does not say this himself (and thus I will lay claim to this perspective myself, and not attribute it to him), I believe that on the highest level, the article and the cause behind it is a “call-to-arms” sort of mantra that is asking for men to realize that respect should be given to all women, regardless of their body or dress, as opposed to the instant objectification and judgement that is far too typical. To recognize that women are more than just an object, a human body, a collection of clothes. Rather, that they are a person with their own thoughts, beliefs, secrets, and other individual traits that make them as important as everyone else is, and that they should be treated as such, with no expectation of anything in return (as that is what true respect is.) 

    Again, while Brendan does not specifically say this, it is my opinion that the article is based in a foundation that is asking for men to reconsider the way they see women and their most immediate reaction to that view. That that foundation is based upon the idea that no matter the differences between any two people, male or female, conservatively dressed or more liberally dressed (meaning “more openly dressed”… NOT an attack on liberals), attractive or not, deserve at first impression the same respect, equal to the amount that is hoped for by others when you introduce yourself. That, in addition to asking people to respect one another no matter the circumstance, the other idea here is that it is not by all means necessary for those that DO dress provocatively for the desire to feel empowered to dress in such a way for that reason; instead, he says wisely that there are people that WILL RESPECT them even if and when they don’t dress in such a manner. So rather than belittling Brendan for the public introduction to the idea, how about we look a little bit closer at it than just the surface view that is most commonly misinterpreted to begin with. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1339140179 Ashley Joyce Andem

      You should come to the forum tonight at 7 P.M. in Whitehurst. I strongly recommend it.

      I will point out, however, that the Collegian is not an English class: the reader should not have to go and do investigative research and interviewing to discern an author’s “tone.” As many of the people who have reacted will demonstrate, that tone was loud and clear. Intent is irrelevant – it does not excuse a man from demanding all women bend to his myopic views of them. At your behest, let’s go deeper than my statement: beneath the “surface view” of Brendan’s article is the reinforcement of a patriarchal system; one that calls for women to seek validation in the approval of men; and that men dominate the social sphere and the social contract. I will be more than happy to explain each of those terms to you. The problem is not with Brendan himself – we are all victims to sociopolitical conditioning unless cognizant thereof, as it stands – but the core of what formed the impetus to write such an article.

      • Michael Kimmel

        Certainly, the reader should not have to go and investigate to find the authors tone. But then, the reader cannot want to assume the tone of a passage as the way they want to see it. If they want to speak on the tone (which you have chosen to do), in one of your previous comments, you must actually know factually of his point. Thus, it’s wrong for you to speak authoritatively on a subject you don’t actually know anything of definitively – instead, what you do is use your assumptions based off of your misinterpretation of the point of this article.

        Furthermore, I do not see any reinforcement through the idea that I believe this article stands for of patriarchal systems. The only possible strengthening of patriarchal systems presented in this article is that present from the women that the surface of this article primarily intends to address – those that
        believe their only source of empowerment comes from having control over men, through their bodies (notice he never says that all women who dress a certain way are guilty of this)

  • http://www.facebook.com/WWKFD Kristen Frazier

    So this made it around the world and straight to my Facebook in Sydney, Australia.  Greeting and salutations far away people, I am excited to hear of this mystical land that you call Richmond – it appears your land and people have been stuck in a time warp in 1837.  I will send you news of the outside world – one where we have crazy things like iPhones, and Netflix and women voting.  The package will arrive by Pony Express in a fortnight. 

  • http://twitter.com/teamtightpants Margaret Stough

    Changing my clothes will NOT change your actions. Correlation does not equal causation. We are two individuals incapable of controlling each other’s actions. I think it’s time for you to learn to master some self control.

    • Spyda

      and you need to learn how to learn that everyone do not have your life.

      :)

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3CDF65XSPJ3ZDQ342NK7UQYVZU Hunter

    Brendan brings up a valid point.  I don’t know why people are failing to accept it as plausible.  But here’s another thing to remember: the respect shown based on image goes the other way too.  I don’t wear the clothes I can afford to just to fit in with the rest of the rainbow of pastels and khakis that pervade the men here.  But because I don’t, I also don’t get assumed to actually go here.  I’ve seen a girl before off campus and said hi and that I’d seen her around alot and she’ll look me down and then ask, “You go to U of R too?” doubtfully.  Immediately, I think, “No, I just walk around on campus with a backpack and am in the library four hours a day because I have that much time to trespass..”  I don’t whip out my ID and go, “Ba’am!” or also tell her that I’m on the Crew team, or even that I’m paying full tuition.. because I shouldn’y have to prove myself to some sundress.  So, I just smile and say yes.  But the reason why I wasn’t respected by her as her equal is because I DIDN’T LOOK LIKE HER. 

    So, I’m bringing up another point in all this: ladies fail to realize that they also do not repsect people who dress in less, although my less happens not to be scanty, but a t-shirt and gym shorts- less as in less in price..  So for all these hot-headed women to start berating Brendan as some ignorant guy, you better remember damned well that you do it too!  (And this is coming from an older, more mature guy of 27 years of age and 4 1/2 years in the Marine Corps so think twice before you tell me I’m ignorant too.) 

    • Spyda

      AGREED

  • http://twitter.com/Kyashu21 Angela

    Dear Brendan Rhatican,

    Who do you think you are? Why do you feel the need to dictate what is and what is not a woman? Why do you separate women into a false dichotomy of the Madonna and the whore? Believe it or not Mr. Rhatican, a woman is a woman regardless of her virginal status or the clothes she wears. A woman is a woman regardless of whether or not your sexist eyes objectify her.

    Do not say that a woman deserves to be disrespected because of what she wears. She may wear the things she wears for attention, though it’s probably not for you. She may wear these things for herself and anyone who believes otherwise is egotistical.

    Please take your archaic, virgin-worshiping, slut-shaming, sexist attitude and dispose of it. It is not needed or welcome. If you believe for a woman to respect herself she should wear clothing that You define appropriate and engage in sexual activity that You approve of, then you are an arrogant moron. 

    I hope that you take a look at your life and your choices and start questioning whether or not women don’t like you because you are an old-fashioned jerk who tries to involve himself into things that are not his business. 

    I hope that you can learn from your mistakes in the future. Because this is going to haunt you.

    • Spyda

      lol suuure this article he wrote is gonna haunt him just like how you insult strangers you do not know. smh

  • Krista Faucette

    Once more, we have a Nice Guy on the rampage with an argument that is peppered with misogyny, objectification, and victim blaming.  Because no, I am not going to sacrifice fashion just so some sexist idiot can treat me with respect. I have every right to wear what I want and still be respected. What I wear does not make me who I am, and I am shocked and horrified that someone would be so stuck in an ancient state of mind to think that my virginity and my chastity are the only things that give me worth. Shame on you, sir. 

    • Spyda

      and we have a bigot woman insulting someone she never met because he felt like expressing his thoughts. shame on you madam and i hope you do understand you’re not god, you cant control what others think, say, or go through.

  • Mel Shuaipi

    I’d just heard about this letter and I’m having a pretty bland afternoon today so I decided to entretain myself.
    everyone’s entitled to their opinion and I think it’s great that Brendan has one. but when it comes to the point where you are intentionally hurting or disrespecting other people…people who you don’t even know, it’s unacceptable, inappropriate, and uncalled for.
    Society has oversexualized women’s bodies and what they represent and it’s a shame that women are judges so heavily based on appearance. It’s fine if Brendan chooses to be close minded and inconsiderate and accept mainstream societal views but the people defending him in these comments shouldn’t be surprised by what others are saying against him. He had the courage to write such a direct and rude piece and he should be able to handle the response

    • Spyda

      never mention anyone, he just women; a gender. not all women, but the ones he is talking to.

  • Spyda

    I love how this guy posted his opinion about how certain women need to dress properly to have a decent conversation without having any sexual tension. The same women on here speaking hateful comments are the same ones sleeping at night thinking they did the right thing when really it only shows that you are bitter, conceited, blinded by your own interest, and bigots. You are the same women who probably bitch and complain on your facebook with man related statuses because you want to be in control of everything and sadly you’re not :)

    Brendan did not mention anyone names but yet the women on here are calling him insulting names.

    Brendan was taking about his personal feelings and beliefs and like usual, you women on here bash him for his own experience. really?? You are sooo mad because so guy you never met is speaking is own on something he see in his life yet you left yourself open up to critics and strangers to see what you have to say causing them, hopefully, never to meet you.

    I have gone through the experiences as him and let me tell you BIGOT women on here, my beloved female friends on my facebook 90% agree with me. I see nothing wrong with asking for women to cover up just alittle in the workplace or when you are out in public. There’s nothing better for you women to be disrespected because some jerk/perv looked at you sexually because of the way you dress WHEN you do the same thing whether looking at a famous male model or actor you do it too so do not get on here and insult someone on their own experience when you do not even know him and for the women with all the answers, answer this why so mad at someone else opinion??

  • http://www.facebook.com/david.peterson.144 David Peterson

    Man I don’t know who you are but THANK YOU!!!! I think the more important points here are the mentality more than the clothes but one follows the other in kind. “You have offered yourself to many men and wonder why I do not treat you like the only woman in the world.” “When was the last time your actions demanded chivalry?” That is awesome!!! and thought provoking in turns. But I think you should turn around and also write an article about men who push girls to be more promiscuous. I think it’s common that girls give in to be desired and wanted (who doesn’t want to be desired and wanted?). Would girls still act this way (or dress this way) if the felt that it was not required or necessary to be loved? Girls need to be confident in themselves not to change themselves or their standards for a guy (if a guy is pushes you to change you have to ask if he really cares about you.). And guys should be shown the true value of a girl which is not her body but her heart and mind. I think a guy should delight in a girls beauty. A woman can be gorgeous, and should be proud. Her beauty is her gem, but a gem shared with everyone becomes cheapened and tawdry. Instead a guy should be drawn to her, her dreams, her hopes, and all the things that make her….her.

  • Amanda

    As a woman, I agree with Brendan. The female form is the most aesthetically pleasing form in nature yet our society has distorted it and made it so “easy” to view that the dignity of the form is now lost. The way we dress does send a message about what we think of ourselves and what we want others to think of us whether that is fair or not, that is human. Every person ripping on Brendan has done this very thing. If a guy dresses in a wife-beater t shirt and cut offs, we think one way about him. We certainly wouldn’t consider him for a CEO position or invite him to a formal occasion dressed like that. What you wear SAYS what you think of YOURSELF and it clues people into what they should think about you. A beautiful woman does not need to dress provocatively to be admired but if she does dress provocatively, it says she’s insecure and needs to make sure you know she’s beautiful. It is a subconscious signal of insecurity. This is what she thinks of herself and she is telling you to think the same thing. Brendan is not being antiquated in the least in his remarks. In fact, his observations and opinions are radically true and refreshing. He is not placing the blame on women, he’s merely honestly telling us, from a man’s perspective, that dressing like a bimbo is not the way to show respect for yourself. He is right. Those women equating this to “blaming the victim” are falling for the role of professional victim-hood or being intellectually dishonest. How tired are we all of hearing that card being played? Conflating how his comments affect you to being a rape victim is irresponsible and old. The men demonizing Brendan are the ones who don’t want the status quo to change. Gee, how surprising. What man would want his daughter to dress with her “assets” on display for every loser to view? If he does, that is sad not to mention creepy. Yet these same “men” champion women dressing like street walkers and claim it does not affect their opinion of these females, claiming Brendan is the weirdo. Come on, ladies, really? If you believe that at this stage of the game you’re in for a shocker when you hit your 30′s.

    Bravo, Brendan. Keep speaking the truth. The culture zombies will hate you but in this day and age, that’s a win.

  • Sierra

    Yeah, okay, hi. Excuse me!

    1. The ideas of “purity” and “virginity” are complete bullshit. Sex doesn’t make you dirty unless you do it in the mud.
    2. A woman’s worth is NOT tied to the number of penises she’s had inside of her or the amont of skin/figure she shows
    3. How about you think about her as a person with thoughts and opinions before sexualizing her?

    Lastly, I want to ask, if a woman is made dirty because she lets a man touch or see her, then who is actually the dirty one? Just sayin’.