There’s No Way Around No

Tim Finnegan writes:

I think the question of what women ought not to wear will get answered when we answer the question of where women ought not to go. I think if we find a location/activity that is exclusive to men, then the clothing which is designed for that location/activity will be what women ought not to wear. It would be best if there were multiple such activities/locations (as there used to be).

Nope. Didn’t work. Doesn’t work. Won’t work. If it worked, women wouldn’t wear men’s clothes now. Anyways, such exclusive activities are always “solved” by inventing or repurposing men’s clothes as women’s.

There’s no way around learning to say No to women, and holding to it; even on totally subjective merits. Especially then.

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15 thoughts on “There’s No Way Around No

  1. I think you’re seeing two things as mutually exclusive that aren’t, unless I’m misunderstanding someone.

    That just helps us answer the question, at least in broad strokes, of “What should the limit be?”

    It has nothing to do with actually telling women no once a limit has been set.

  2. Your posts have gotten me wondering what the first male clothing item was that became acceptable for women to wear in the US. My guess is overalls, accompanied by the rationalization of practicality while helping around the farm–but really, a attempt to steal the relatively high respect that was once shown (and is often still shown in some quarters) to the hardworking American farmer. (Farmer, like priest, is an inherently male term.)

  3. @MtC

    It’s possible. This is the crux for me:

    I think if we find a location/activity that is exclusive to men

    We have already decided that there are no locations or activities exclusive to men: Battlefield, arctics, locker rooms…space. There’s nothing and nowhere to find.

  4. Cane:

    I don’t really understand your objection. I wasn’t saying that having a culture which says certain activities are exclusive to men guarantees that women won’t end up dressing like men. In fact, a culture which says there is nothing exclusive to men can’t even say that a woman is dressing like a man, because to say such implies that there are activities or clothing which ought to be exclusive to men.

    I was simply stating that the easiest way to find the type of clothing which should be exclusive to men is to find the activities and locations which should be exclusive to men. If we know what those are, we have at least a partial answer to the question “what clothing ought not a woman to wear?”

    It doesn’t give a full or perfectly black and white answer, but it’s a starting point.

  5. Cane,

    As we talked about before, this is an area where I’ve gone from “conservative” to all-out reactionary.

    I used to think that it was fine for women to serve in the military as long as they only served in non-combat roles. How wrong I was! The inevitable result of allowing women to serve as nurses in WWII is that now we have women serving as infantry officers in the Ranger Regiment.

    All of us men need to learn to say “no” to women. And it starts with our wives and daughters.

  6. @TimF

    I was simply stating that the easiest way to find the type of clothing which should be exclusive to men is to find the activities and locations which should be exclusive to men.

    Perhaps we are talking past one another, but from my perspective there are many more co-ed activities and locations where we should see discrete male and female clothing. For example: I talked about going to a baseball game and who wears what in a previous post. I can see no reason to ban women from baseball games, but they should still dress like women while there.

  7. Pingback: How to Handle Women’s Tests | The Autistic Gamer

  8. “I can say no to her if I find a rationale she can’t argue with. Then she’ll have to choose to do as I ask!”

    There’s no such rationale, and if there were, they always have tears to fall back on. This is classic “beta” thinking: Trying to find some logical or rhetorical form that will persuade her that it’s right for her to concede an argument she’d prefer to win, when she can win simply by declining to surrender. It’s an appeal to principle. It works on you every time she tries it; surely she’s sportsmanlike enough to let it work on her once in a while, right?

    But she isn’t, and you should have noticed that by now. She’s playing by different rules. There’s no designated hitter rule in Parcheesi. When she appeals to your principles, she’s just pushing a button that gets her the desired result. She doesn’t know why you’re always dumb enough to make concessions she’ll never reciprocate, but why look a gift horse in the mouth?

    “But women *should* play by male rules and think like men!”

    Actually, no. Nor should they wear male clothing. They’re not men. They’re no more suited to fighting fires than you are to motherhood, for example.

    They. Are. Not. Men.

    “B… B… but SECOND wave feminism is the REAL feminism!”

    WTF?!?!

    The solution in a relationship is to establish by behavioral cues, early on, a standard that you don’t care about her feelings unless she cares about yours (and if she does, you do). She doesn’t understand or care about logic. She cares about the good regard of people she loves *and respects* (and if you think she “should” respect you for being a doormat, see “they are not men” above). If she’s not batshit crazy, that works pretty well.

    The solution for a nation of 300+ million people, ruled by Harveywood, is much less obvious. And that’s the solution we need.

    But we do know that the problem isn’t the lack of a logical proof. The problem is that they know there’s no cost to them if they do as they please.

  9. That’s true, and I had thought of that. I do think at some point we will just have to divide the line by what looks masculine and what looks feminine; I just think the separation by activity is more low hanging fruit, and it also helps give a sense of what types of clothes look masculine and what types look feminine.

    Of course it’s all just speculation, but from the standpoint of a culture which literally doesn’t know how to define masculine clothing, I think it’s a good place to start.

  10. I didn’t notice a pingback here…I thought that you might like to know that I referenced your post on my blog.

    [CC: All pingbacks have to be approved, and I don’t live on here.]

  11. @Wilbur

    Welcome.

    When she appeals to your principles, she’s just pushing a button that gets her the desired result. She doesn’t know why you’re always dumb enough to make concessions she’ll never reciprocate, but why look a gift horse in the mouth?

    Haha! So true! Excellent comment all around.

  12. @Wilbur

    Yep…good stuff! Such a very current and everyday struggle for me. While the daughter of Eve is capable of logic and reason, especially in the service of her own illogical and unreasonable ends, she is nonetheless not a man that she will be ruled by logic and reason or rule herself by them. The daughter of Eve was made to be ruled by a man, and this is the crux of the matter. She both desires this and resents it, and will deny it even whilst knowing deep down that it’s true.

  13. Cane, could you go into further detail about why you think Tim’s rule of thumb is invalid? Is it because it cannot be effectively enforced by the majority of men?

    [CC: I just found this in the Spam.]

  14. @Sigma Frame

    I’m not sure I know to what specifically you refer to when you write, “rule of thumb”.

    The difference between Tim’s approach (as I quoted it in the OP) and mine is that (as I understand it) Tim wants to predicate men’s rulings about women’s clothes on some other supposedly objective jobs or spaces which should underlie the clothing; some kind of natural law argument. But the natural law argument won’t work for two reasons:

    1) Women don’t care about natural law, objective, subjectives, or any of that stuff. They care about what they desire.

    2) Men don’t hold to the natural law when it is opposed by the desires of women those men care about because it hurts those men’s feelings.

    We can’t do anything about the first one, but the second one is addressed by men choosing to be morally courageous. Moving the goal to objectively non-female spaces doesn’t solve our problem because our problem is moral cowardice; not proper and convincing arguments of the natural law. Those are things only men care about…and only some of those.

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