I wear elastic stockings, 'old ladies' shoes and can only walk with my various walking aids, which litter the place and constantly annoy my still-tidy mind? So the answer is 'dont be daft'.
But Deborah Ross in today's Times talks of such things - the kind of things my friends and I so often talk about. So often we see girls walk past, women on TV, in clothes which most folk of my generation think are. The blouses with one button too many left undone, or the neck of a dress so low that it shows the 'split' between the breasts almost to the nipples. So can you blame a man for reacting to such things?
I think things have moved too fast for my generation to keep up. Friend S and I, talking the other day about being up ladders when at work and men purposely coming by to walk under the ladder in an effort to 'see our knickers' or maybe even to hope we weren't wearing any.
What did we do about it? Well we changed to wearing trousers if we had to keep using ladders. We didn't shout from the roof tops that men were abusing us any more than they complained that we were being provocative.
I have just Googled one or two things which I consider to be landmarks. When I was at school (1937 to 1948) all our teachers were single women - if you married you had to leave. We had one teacher - Mrs Lucas- who had been widowed early in the war and who taught at my Grammar School (we all adored her mainly because she was so glamorous and dressed so beautifully compared with the rest who were middle-aged spinsters,) and of course our compulsory uniform had a skirt below the knee (and did we dare to roll it up at the waist two or three times - you bet we didn't). cream viyella blouse, navy blue tie and socks to the knee. In other words we were well covered and I don't think it entered our heads to make any adjustments -ie to be provocative. One girl did get pregnant and had to leave immediately. The whole school was assembled and subjected to a talk by a doctor (lady of course) on the perils we faced from the opposite sex. For goodness sake biros weren't invented until 1958; we were still using pen and ink or if we were well enough off a fountain pen (high on our Christmas present list!)
But the greatest leap forward to the stage we have reached now is surely the so-called Smart Phone - invented in 1994 and sold by tens of thousands That a man sitting opposite a woman on a train can send her a photograph of his p**** while sitting there is as far as I am concerned ridiculous or at least it would be were it not a horrendous invasion of her privacy and to many women frightening.
How do we stop it? I don't think we can. I think the cat is well and truly 'out of the bag', the stable door is shut but the horse is long gone.
You don't stop it, you just go for the ride as little or as much as you want to. From my personal experience I find it is best to keep up as getting left behind is worse.
I think that Rachel has got it dead right, trying to hang on to old fashioned ideals/morals can often be more stressful than simply going with the flow.
In my first workplace we had a spiral staircase at the base of which, every morning, two men would stand and chat until a girl in a very short skirt ran upstairs! Easier to handle than our headmistress who stood at the bottom of the stairs checking that we were all wearing regulation green knickers! But we all coped with it, and without fuss. Rightly or wrongly, it happened, as did wolf-whistles and the like. Human nature doesn't change, it just takes advantage of new technology!
There is no stopping the train! All aboard... When I see something outrageous, I sometimes laugh and remark: "What's she/he selling?" I once worked for a consulting firm and all men and women were required to meet a strict dress code. Women: modest, tailored navy or black suit, white long sleeve silk blouse and leather modest heel. Men: navy or black solid color or pin stripe suit, button down white shirt with a conservative tie and leather shoes. As consultants we were making presentations to company owners/boards on how to make their business more profitable. The dress code was very much part of the company image. I loved my suits. I met my handsome British husband at this company. Don't get me wrong, as a group, we knew how to party but never during business hours.
Sometimes I see young women dressed in a way that makes me shudder and think to myself "What is she thinking???" but that is just because I think they look ridiculous. They probably think just the same of me.
We were not permitted to wear slacks to school…that came soon after we graduated in 1965. Skirts below our knees. Skirts and sweaters…dresses…knee socks or nylons with loafers or slip on shoes…when we look at our yearbooks, we almost look the same with our hair. A fun time. I don’t really pay attention to how others dress as I taught from 1994 to 2017 (subbing last few years) and nothing surprised me. I have read so many books about teachers back in the day being single. I never got why they could not teach if married. Love your blog. You come up with the most intriguing topics. I have been working on discerning where my U K a bloggers live. Diary of a retired teacher. Cottage at end of the lane, her in and him out2 and you. Just fun.
Biros are ball point pens, I assume...and I was in highschool when 1958 came around. So that really hit me on the head, all my term papers and such had been written in pencil. A fountain pen was for special things, like writing letters perhaps. I don't really remember. Good to know about!
I agree totally Rachel.
I'm in the "shaking my head and wondering what they were thinking" when I see how some people (men and women, young and old) dress when going to the grocery or do other shopping. People at the library seem to be dressed much more reasonably.
As Brenda wrote, you do come up with wonderfully varied topics for your posts, Weave!
I'm making a scrappy Rail Fence baby quilt for a friend's first grandbaby and it's too much fun to work with these happy fabrics.
I agree with you 100% Pat... I do have a question though.. What was the premise behind only having single women as teachers?? Hugs! debs
At Grammar school in Devon, my pretty gym teacher married the music master - she left and he stayed on in his job! All the others, including headmistresses (there were 2 during my time there) were single women - several much older and never married. We wore uniforms, skirts had to reach the floor when we knelt down.........and such ugly navy blue thick cotton knickers underneath, haha!
Fashion doesn't have to be trendy and tacky - young girls these days don't seem to understand that because they buy so many cheap clothes, wear them briefly (and some really are too brief!!!) and throw them out for the landfill which is very sad. IMO true fashion means elegance, classic, quality clothing and owning fewer pieces. That said, I admit I have far too much in my own wardrobe and have vowed to do something about that - but it won't be ending up in any landfill if I can help it!
Great post again Pat - you always make my day!!!
Good morning, dear Weaver of Grass!
I 'found' you years ago on Pamela Terry's wonderful blog, From the House of Edward. I'm sure you remember it. I still love going back and reading her blog posts from a simpler time... I am now going to send this as a "test" reply before saying more. Be back soon!
A fan in Colorado
Slightly off topic but related - we live near one of the original 24hour Tesco Extra stores, and there were many complaints about customer dress in the late night/very early mornings. Apparently there were a significant number of customers shopping with just a coat thrown over their pyjamas!
Some of today's so-called fashions are just ridiculous, whether High Street or Haute Couture. Young women copy current film stars in their style of dress, and too many of those don't know what decorum means. I suppose my grandmother felt the same about youngsters in my day, as we feel about them now.
I wonder how clothing evolved to cover everyone up.
I think exposing one's flesh for a topic of conversation is a waste of time and conversation. I doubt they work out well.
I knew a woman who was completely unflappable. No matter what. She was on a tour of NYC with very small group of ladies when a man sprang out and flashed them. The lady, a tall sturdy soul stepped forward, looked straight at it and said, "So?"
The man hesitated, closed his coat and departed.
In my "humble" opinion, not only are many of women's fashions provocative, but they look positively ghastly on the quite seriously overweight young women who flaunt "their bits" in them. And, also in my opinion, a sexual turn off, unless one is a pimply, tetosterone filled teenager! Really 'sexy' leaves much more to the imagination, and is therefore mostly covered. And, as for the males with trousers almost falling off, and most of the butt on display .. they're amusing, aren't them. I watched a High school boy walk across the pedestrian crossing showing most of his (rather nondescript) underpants, and LOOSE them mid stride.! Right down to his ankles!! I was driving, and had to pull myself together before I caused a pile up!
I will always remember a funny little incident in a rural inn in Southern Germany whwere the waitresses all wore dirndls with white blouses. There was a young woman with a very low cut blouse and you can imagine what happened when she leaned across the table to put the plates down. I admit I stared too, as everybody else did. When she served an eldery gentlemen, she finally had enough and said "What are you gawking at?" and he replied in best Swabian dialect "I am afraid something could fall into my soup!"
I am quite sure she bought a high-necked blouse as soon as possible.
HIlde in Germany
When I walk around town almost everyone I see has their nose glued to a phone, with earplugs to complete the scene. They all live in some sterile bubble where the real world is excluded. They live their lives through their phones; it's even where they meet their future spouses.
As is so often the case on your blog, Pat, the comments are as interesting as the post itself. I agree with what many have written.
As for a man being able to send a picture of his penis to a woman on the train, well, he would have to have her phone number first... so sending such a picture is only possible if the two of them know each other at least superficially. I have many male friends but have never had a "dick pic" from any of them - not even from the men I was romantically involved with in the past!
Love Hilde's story, I can imagine it so well (speaking Swabian dialect myself).
Yes, I was going to say that a man in a train would have to have the girl's phone number to send a pic! Interesting post and comments.
I think it is fine for women to be deliberately provocative and men to appreciate it - that's the way it has always been. What is not fine is for a very small proportion of men to act on their impulses and blame the women for turning what should be fun into something deadly serious. I used to enjoy flirtation more than anything else when I was young. I still would, given the chance.
Good point Tom and absolutely right I think.
Love your comment Hilde! Yours too Virginia 1
Debby - reminds me when I was out with a group of Girl Guides (would be about thirteen) a similar thing happened to us (there were about ten of us and our captain)upon seeing his penis we all gave a shriek of terror and ran, knocking him over in our rush to get away! Don't think any of us had ever seen one befor.
Jacque***I had forgotten House of Edward - lovely to get a remiunder - wasn't it a wonderful blog? Do call again.
Mary- I had completely forgotten the navy blue knickers!!
Thank you all for responding to my post - another one where I wish we were all in my sitting roomm with a drink so that we could have a lively discussion.
I think it is possible to “air drop” an image or text to adjacent phones that have that capability, without knowing an actual phone number. Ah, technology. Olivia
I think the idea was that married women stayed at home doing the housekeeping cooking etc and eventually bringing up the children and her husband financially supported them all. My grandmother, a teacher trained in Sheffield in the early 1900s had to stop working when she married in 1913. Goodness knows what she did with her time as my father wasn't born until 1920. She did the most beautiful embroidery so I suppose that she had plenty of time to perfect that. Helen in France - an ex teacher who was able to teach after she was married.
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