There’s been quite a lot written and spoken lately about domestic violence and male disrespect for women – especially ‘strong’ women in positions of ‘power’. Always the man is to blame and the female an innocent victim. However, it seems to me that in daily life men receive just as much disrespect and abuse – albeit mainly verbal – from women. Even the most ‘lady-like’ female has no qualms about suggesting males are less than ‘men’ when they behave differently to what women perceive to be ‘normal’ male behaviour, or wear clothes women think are unmanly.
It was women who demanded men not wear speedos when playing beach volleyball because they ‘didn’t want to see men’s bits jiggling around’. [Their own exposed breasts and buttocks that jiggle alarmingly are, of course beguilingly attractive.] Women have convinced everyone that male clothing must never suggest the presence of genitals, because a bulge in trousers or swimming togs is a sign of male sexual aggression. This has resulted in an almost universal adoption of lethal ‘board shorts’ for swimming. Lethal because they fill with water and drag men and boys into difficulties in the water – sometimes causing drowning. If equality of sexes is the aim, then equality of dress is an essential part of this. Vocal discrimination against men because of what they wear, or how much flesh they expose is counter productive, because it puts men on the back foot, and that makes them aggressive.
Women complain that men make sexist remarks when they walk along a street, or attend public functions. If a man walked along the street or went to a public function wearing brief shorts that expose his buttock cleavage, minimalist sandals, conspicuous jewellery and a brief tank top to expose his navel, he would be jeered off the street or refused admission. If a concert pianist were to perform wearing a glittering tank top, with bare arms, trousers split to the thigh, necklaces and jewellery, hair expensively coiffured… he would be shouted off stage. If a man wore eye shadow, lipstick, blusher… dowsed himself in perfume – what do you think the women would say?
If women don’t want to receive sexual comments about themselves and their clothes, then they should not wear garments that draw attention to their sexual attributes. Do school children really want to have a vast cleavage hover over them as the teacher checks their work? Does anyone really benefit from seeing the butterfly tattooed on a fat bum bulging above skin tight mini-skirt? Why would it not be sexist to tell a man he’s indecent if he dressed like them and wore his hair long and elaborately styled, when we allow women to wear male style trouser suits without comment, and behave like men if they feel like it?
If there is a psychologically repressed sex in Australia, it is the males by a long shot, and the inevitable result is the misogyny we see in public life, spouse abuse, and the high divorce rate.