Home > Uncategorized > In defense of dowdy

In defense of dowdy

I’ve been thinking recently about the definition of “civilization.” What makes a society civilized? I have some guesses, here are a few guesses, kind of in order of obviousness:

  • A place where grown men don’t get harassed when they walk around minding their own business. I’m looking at you, broken windows policies.
  • A place where young girls don’t get sexually harassed when they walk around minding their own business. I’m looking at you, India rape culture.
  • A place where young girls and grown women aren’t constantly bombarded by messages that they are expected to conform to a male fantasy definition of beauty. I’m looking at you, almost everywhere. But specifically Brazil.

Here’s what I’d like to see: a series of articles in places like NY Magazine, that directly contrast to articles about how French women use makeup – but spend only 15 minutes on it per day – and still look amazingly sexy, or don’t diet and still look amazingly sexy, and so on.

I’d like instead an article specifically written for the woman who wants to know where they can walk around minding their own business and being utterly indifferent to their appearance, and they won’t be bothered. Let’s defend our right to be dowdy as shit.

Special kudos to places where young women can walk around dressed in anything they want and still be left alone.

So tell me, do you know of any places like that?

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Josh
    May 1, 2015 at 9:36 am

    I completely agree with your goal.

    It is a sign of how far we have to go when your model of not dressing up is “only 15 minutes to put on make-up” and that is viewed as “very rebellious”.

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  2. May 1, 2015 at 9:38 am

    Such a place would indeed be Marvellous

    The grave’s a fine and private place,
    But none, I think, do there embrace.

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  3. May 1, 2015 at 9:41 am

    I agree completely here. Men can do this in may “civilizations”: we just walk around looking however we want as long as the requisite bits are covered up.

    On one hand, the idea of women being able to act /exactly/ like men is almost too basic to discuss. But when that idea is closely examined, it’s one the most radical concepts in history.

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  4. May 1, 2015 at 10:24 am

    perhaps, Mars… (but for how much longer?)

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  5. May 1, 2015 at 10:41 am

    Having just spent several weeks camping in the southwest I can report that no one cares about appearances in the wilderness…

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  6. missshellbelle
    May 1, 2015 at 11:56 am

    Brava! LOVE the title.

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  7. kcm
    May 1, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    Well, I’d say New Hampshire (and most of northern New England) for the dowdy bit. (Don’t get me wrong – looking to move back there as soon as possible! Besides, election season is interesting, except for the phone calls.)

    But I’m not certain about the grown men not being harassed part, I don’t have information on that and can imagine it being a problem in some towns.

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  8. Upset at your racism
    May 1, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    >>A place where young girls don’t get sexually harassed when they walk around minding their own business. I’m looking at you, India rape culture.

    Right. We are a country of poor and sometimes uncultured people, where some people “rape”, but we too do manage to do some hoi polloi data science with what we have, like you. We do some algebraic geometry also, if that is the better standard. At much lower pay and incentives than you would ever expect.

    Our universities do not have “elite” frats and nightly alcohol/drug frat parties, where of course, there are no sexual harassment or rapes.

    What is the U. S. Army doing in occupied territories? There is no rape at all? Bah, the Army barely acknowledges the rapes of its own female members, and doesn’t even care about the occupied women. What were you doing in Vietnam? Where, “young women without makeup walked around minding their own business and being utterly indifferent to their appearance”, until, people like you, decided to give the uncivilized/unwashed natives a clean napalm fire bath?

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  9. Elizabeth Little
    May 2, 2015 at 3:46 am

    ah – no. I am an American woman of 50 and only know one woman who has not been sexually assaulted in her life. I suspect she is not clear on the definition.

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  10. May 3, 2015 at 12:26 am

    Strangely enough, I think Singapore is a pretty good place for not being harassed for minding your own business and not being bombarded with fantasy notions of beauty.

    That’s as long as you have a fairly conservative notion of your own business and are okay with everyone who is in the slightest bit socially provocative or creative being chased away.

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  11. Alexandra
    May 4, 2015 at 1:53 am

    As for me, I like solving for actuarial present values with my lips smothered all over with Chanel seduisante. No offense to girls who don’t bother, but gee it feels so “badass” (is that what Americans often say, badass, lolz) wearing heels and your lipstick on writing a treatise.

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  12. ryc
    May 4, 2015 at 8:22 am

    Ditto above comments that rape culture is definitely not endemic to India. Also, not sure why appeal to walk around sans sexual harassment is limited to young girls. Honestly, having read your blog for a while, surprised at these oversights.

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    • May 4, 2015 at 8:23 am

      Really, is that how you guys read that? I am asking if there is *any* place without these problems. I am not at all pretending that only India has a rape culture, that is ludicrous on its face.

      I’m sorry I wrote it so badly.

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