Yoga Pants Nation

Yoga pants aren’t just for the yoga studio anymore. And if the trend doesn’t die soon, Nathan Graziano may be doomed.

I’m obsessed with yoga pants. There, I said it. I can’t stop thinking about those damn yoga pants.

While I realize there is nothing shocking or revelatory about a heterosexual male saying that he has become captivated by a female fashion-trend that has obliterated the need for imagination, I like to think my obsession transcends the salacious. I like to envision myself as someone thoughtful and modern and progressive. But when it comes to yoga pants, I’m not.

Yoga pants have brought out my worst chauvinistic characteristics—the characteristics I’d like deny exist inside me. But when it comes to yoga pants, I can’t.

I understand that revealing clothing is nothing novel. For decades now, health clubs or fitness centers—we’ll use the word “gyms” for semantic purposes—have cultivated atmospheres not entirely dissimilar to soft-core pornography.

At any gym, on any given day, one can find both men and women, either scantily clad or in skintight workout clothes, who are in great physical condition, sweating and grunting and breathing heavy, pumping and pushing and thrusting. In microcosm, people at the gym are behaving according to their ascribed gender roles: the women trying to stay trim and sexy and fit and the men running and lifting to stay strong and hard and virile.

For my part, I am guilty as charged.

As a jogger, the New England winter—and my aversion to running on ice—recently drove me to join a gym for the sole use of a treadmill. But try as I may, earplugs inserted and Iron Maiden cranking and dimming my hearing, I have to employ a Buddhist-like asceticism to keep to from glancing at the attractive women and their yoga pants.

In fairness to myself, one cannot dismiss the biological components—the animalistic lure and the firing of pheromones—for both sexes of all sexual orientations, when an attractive person who is provocatively dressed passes the line of vision. It is reflexive, involuntary.

Let me start by saying that women have every right to wear whatever they want, where they want, without having to be leered at and objectified. Intellectually and philosophically, I know this. And the ex-Catholic in me tries his best to recognize the lechery and look away as the minutes and miles tick off on the treadmill’s dashboard in front of me.

Sometimes I succeed. Often I don’t.

My obsession, however, has been exacerbated by the ubiquity of women yoga pants outside of the gym. From supermarkets to bars and restaurants to semi-formal affairs, I can’t seem to escape women in yoga pants.

If the fashion doesn’t die soon, I consider myself doomed.

♦◊♦

I will be the first to admit that I have the fashion sense of an ashtray. I still haven’t moved past the ripped jeans, band t-shirts and flannel styles of the grunge-era. So if it is genuinely stylish for women to wear yoga pants everywhere at all times, I most-definitely missed this.

And when I ask women about yoga pants—hoping they’ll tell me the trend will pass—most women tell me that it isn’t that yoga pants are fashionable, per se, but they are comfortable to wear. As a claustrophobic guy, I couldn’t imagine being comfortable in anything that tight, but I’m going to suspend my disbelief and assume they are, indeed, comfortable.

But baggy sweatpants are also comfortable, so I can only assume there’s more to it. There is an implicit game here—the age-old tease where women flaunt and men look. Again, we’re simplifying ourselves according to a Y-chromosome.

Of course, fashion trends where women leave little to the imagination are not unprecedented. For example, I like to think the emergence of the bikini or the mini-skirt—hell, even the corset— in popular culture caused similar responses from men. And I know I’m not alone here. Websites and blogs, such as Girls in Yoga Pants, affirm for me the one thing I’ve always known about my gender: men are pigs.

But women are also complicit here. Again, I’m not asserting that the egregious rape-mentality of dangerous men—the ones who believe if a woman dresses provocatively, she is “asking for it”—has any validity. It unequivocally does not. However, I have a hard time believing that—outside of the gym or the yoga classes—women wear yoga pants solely for comfort.

Perhaps, the larger issue concerns, collectively, is our own frailties and vanities.

Whether we admit it or not, we all want to be noticed and desired and admired, men as well as women. And perhaps, in a culture blanketed with social media, the looming threat of loneliness has made us so insecure that we can’t leave anything up to chance or depend on another person’s imagination to do its work.

However, if I’m to believe Heidi Klum, one day in fashion you’re in, and the next you’re out. Yoga pants will likely pass, only to be replaced with another, perhaps, more revealing trend.

♦◊♦

And there I am, running like a gerbil on the treadmill. At 37 years old, I’m trying to ward off any impending middle-aged flab, trying to remain strong and youthful.

About ten yards in front of me, an attractive blonde with a high ponytail is doing step-aerobics in black yoga pants.

I stare and fear she knows, so I glance down at the dashboard on the treadmill. It reads, 29 minutes, 3.1 miles. Yet, somehow, I’m still going nowhere.

 

For responses to this article, please read:

Yoga Pants and Unexamined Assumptions by Noah Brand

Father and Son Have “The Talk” – The Yoga Pants Talk by Cornelius Walker

 

 

Read more Advice & Confessions.

Image credit: lululemon athletica/Flickr

About Nathan Graziano

Nathan Graziano lives in Manchester, New Hampshire. He is the author of three collections of poetry---Not So Profound (Green Bean Press, 2003), Teaching Metaphors (Sunnyoutside Press, 2007) and After the Honeymoon (Sunnyoutside Press, 2009)—a collection of short stories, Frostbite (GBP, 2002), and several chapbooks of fiction and poetry. A chapbook of short prose pieces titled Hangover Breakfasts was recently published by Bottle of Smoke Press this fall. For more information, visit his website at NathanGraziano,com.

Comments

  1. Joanna Schroeder says:

    As my husband says when I’m wearing them, “I’m not saying not to wear them, I just want to be clear that you understand that everyone can see your vagina.”

    Yes, we understand that. And no, it’s not the vagina you’re seeing.

    • Heh. You know I’m a stickler for anatomically correct vocabulary, so I totally agree it’s not vagina you’re revealing, but when pants like that go from form-fitting to cameltoe, it’s definitely a noticeable difference in…let’s say “vulvar detail” that if the woman is attractive, many men would *reflexively* find a turn-on. Cameltoe is to pants (or bikinis or whatever) as nip slips are to tops. I think it’s one of those things that is usually unintentional and quickly corrected if a woman becomes aware of that added level of exposure – just like with nip slips – but those accidental glimpses are hard to ignore while they last. Not hard to avoid acting on, but hard to look once and not keep letting the eyes slip back.

  2. I can sort of relate to your dilemma. I do pole fitness and while the recreational pole dancing community is dominantly female, there are a handful of super-talented male dancers (and not all of them gay). Pole dance/fitness requires a necessary availability of bare skin for traction, so most dancers wear as little as they are personally comfortable with to dance in. For women, that’s typically a sports bra and booty shorts (you thought yoga pants were bad??) and for men, it’s essentially Speedos and boxer-brief-cut shorts. And I fully admit that when I watch a male dancer, at some point in his routine my attention will be solely on his crotch. Partially because I wonder how he does all the same moves I do without injuring his bits, but mostly because IT’S RIGHT THERE. The bulge. It’s mesmerizing; I can’t look away.

    As of now, I haven’t practiced with or watched any men in person, just in videos, so I have the luxury of letting my gaze drift and linger. But I know there will come a day when I’m at a convention or competition or something and will be face to face with a very fit, barely clothed male dancer and… well, I’d be an idiot to claim that I’d never sneak a peek. So in that light, I can’t fault guys at all for being entranced by our Lycra-clad asses.

  3. One of the better memes I’ve seen recently has a face-palm illustration with the line “None of my yoga pants have ever been in yoga class.” They are, instead, the uniform of modern motherhood, I fear. Yes, they are more comfortable than tight jeans and hide unshaven legs better than a skirt. They stretch when we sit and they’re black, so slimming, right? Yes, they are less comfortable than the loose drawstring pajama bottoms we wear around the house. They are a step above the “I give up” shapeless Seinfeld sweatpants, but just barely and only because by wearing them we can pretend we’re on our way to or from an actual yoga class or similar fitness endeavor. Ultimately, though, I think they are a compromise. And honestly – I’m glad to discover somebody finds them attractive.

  4. I like how the ass and thighs are so tighly hugged by the yoga pants. If a woman has a big ass it looks irresistible. I particularly like it when a woman wearing yoga pants sits cross legged.

    I’m sure every heterosexual guy notices and appreciates this.

  5. I am amazed that it really is so hard to imagine that women don’t dress for you and could possibly be telling the truth that they wear yoga pants because they are comfortable. Many women really do put on clothes they like that are comfortable to wear with no thought whatsoever about whether they are adequately decorating the world for men. Not everyone wants “to be noticed and desired,” like you. Really, many women are so fed up with it that we’d rather blend in and be ignored most days. Unless you’re clairvoyant (doubtful), you just can’t make such sweeping generalizations about women’s intentions, especially generalizations that reinforce negative gender roles and stereotypes. I’m disappointed to see this piece published under The Good Men Project.

    • Moniqua

      Yes, we would like men to be as indifferent to our bodies as we are to theirs.

      • Consider me indifferent, although it took me about five years of practice and a diminishing libido to get there. In fact I have a commitment to pay anyone $1000 if they can prove I even looked at a women. So far no takers. I might as well up it to $10,000.

    • Do we look like ants from way up on your high horse?? I wear running shorts that are so short you know what religion I am. When it gets hot, I sometimes run shirtless. Tiny running shorts are more comfortable than longer ones and being shirtless is more comfortable than a shirt. However, I know that being nearly naked is going to draw eyes (whether good or bad). It is idiotic at worst and hopelessly optimistic at best, to think otherwise.

      I agree that some people want to be ignored. They should dress to be ignored, then. Until the entire world changes for the better, we’re stuck with this system.

    • I thought the article was clearly tongue-in-cheek and not actually accusing women of anything in a nasty way. I don’t know why you, and another commenter on the Facebook post (maybe the same person?) felt so attacked by this.
      The Good Men Project is about an honest look into the male experience; this article belongs here more than others I’ve seen published.

      When I’m putting on my yoga pants, I am thinking first and foremost about the comfort and range of motion allowed by the stretchy elastic material. When I am wearing them and see myself in the mirror or a reflective window, well, that’s a high-five moment right there. Comfort may be my primary reason for wearing them, but I don’t exactly mind that they also flatter my body, nor do I expect that I’m the only one who will notice that.

    • I would live in leggings if I could. They’re so damn comfortable. In high school, I wore my dance pants (the precursor to yoga pants) as regular pants for the same reason. They have the added benefit of an elastic waist band, which is great for little Crohnies like me with fluctuating weights. The only pants that fit me that are 6+ months old are my leggings. All my others are too big.

      Assuming that women only wear yoga pants to tease men is incredibly offensive.

  6. It is awful, I know, but nothing says, to me, “pissed off at the housekeeper” like yoga pants & a jumbo Starbucks on the street…
    It’s even worse outside the Montessori school on Gold St…

  7. My yoga pants make my ass look great. I wear them because I look good in them. That makes me feel good. And getting noticed by men makes me feel good…sexy. Feminine. Powerful. Appreciated for being a woman. For too long I hid myself. Now I own my curves.

  8. I agree with Christian. I am a young, athletic woman and could wear these “yoga pants” pretty well I’m assuming…if i wanted the whole world to look at my ass. And since i DON’T want anyone but my boyfriend to even have an idea of what i look like without clothes on, i dress MODESTLY. I laugh in the face of any woman who says that they wear revealing or tight fitting clothes for comfort. Ha! Then again…there’s that whole “atypical” thing…

  9. Sweats used to be one of the few cotton options for for working out, but they are not ideal. As the body sweats, clothing can wick absorb and assist in the evaporation of sweat, assuming it touches your skin. baggy clothing doesn’t accomplish this as well as tight clothing. Sweat pants are suppose to make you sweat more, by trapping heat in a thick layer cotton, that surrounds the body loosely to let body heat circulate. Sweats are what you wear when it’s cold, so that you can exercise outside.

    You’re right, these pants do seem to be making you less thoughtful. Lets pretend for a moment that women aren’t just walking butts in pants, and assume that maybe we have a purpose besides being attractive

    I see since you mention at the end that you work out in order to stay youthful and strong. And that women are ” the women trying to stay trim and sexy and fit” so it’s reasonable to believe you think everyone is at the gym for the same reasons, or ones similar. That Is it possible that they are there for their physical well being? Exercise is helpful to prevent just about every physical ailment the human body can have. With such a huge number of reasons to work out, isn’t it possible that we are just doing it for our health?

    Clothing that is “Sporty” (or as you call it, relieving) allows for ease of movement, and alleviates the discomfort of sweat as well as the heat generated by the body (or the sun, or whatever)

    I don’t discredit you for looking at attractive women, that’s fine. As long as you stay within the boundaries of politeness. If someone notices you staring, it is only normal them to feel discomfort, and your appreciation may not be well taken. At that point, you are in a situation where the polite thing would be to apologize, even if the person doesn’t verbalize there discomfort. An example would be a simple, I’m sorry for staring. You could include a respectful compliment, as your justification. I will define respectful compliment as the way you would tell your boss that they are wearing a nice, well cut suit. Not, “Damn baby, you were just looking so Deeeeeeelicious, I couldn’t take my eyes off of you.” That only causes more discomfort. Last, communicate that you did not intend to make them feel uncomfortable. Why am I giving you instruction on how to apologize for staring? The reason is this; although you have the full right to look at whoever you want, you do not have the right to make them feel uncomfortable, especially at a gym, where people are paying money for a comfortable environment in which to exercise

    . We are not there to be your personal entertainment. We are not there for you at all. Hell, we (hopefully) don’t even notice you. “….sweating and grunting and breathing heavy, pumping and pushing and thrusting…” are not sexual acts when working out, they are parts of working out!! We don’t sweat for you! We do not breath for you.

    What’s happening here, is natural, you just arn’t handling to very well. You work out, you experience increased testosterone, your sexual nature is reved up and nature is running its course, but do not use that, as an excuse to degrade woman, implying that everything we do, is simply an evolutionary tug at the crotch. You can argue, “But wait, I said I tried not to objectify them by looking at them!” No but everything else you’re said implies that women would still be dressed in 1800 garb, if it wern’t for there desire to look sexy for men.

    Not for there own comfort, only to be sexy.

    You’re hormones are getting the best of you

    Stop writing when you’re horny, you’re not in a totally rational sense of mind, and you’re making yourself look like an ass.

    You know

    • Sweats used to be one of the few cotton options for for working out, but they are not ideal. As the body sweats, clothing can wick absorb and assist in the evaporation of sweat, assuming it touches your skin. baggy clothing doesn’t accomplish this as well as tight clothing. Sweat pants are suppose to make you sweat more, by trapping heat in a thick layer cotton, that surrounds the body loosely to let body heat circulate. Sweats are what you wear when it’s cold, so that you can exercise outside.

      interesting to know, in the late 80s. i remember watching mr motivator (a famous tv gym instructor) here in the uk, he wore skintight lycra.
      perhaps men should return (in the west, historically and in the last 200yrs, it was men who first did the ‘clothed nude’ look) to wearing skimpy and skintight clothing ;).

      …i also in the early 90s, ‘the sun’ newspaper had a story about a gym telling a well endowed man to stop wearing lycra, as the women in his gym class (i think it was aerobics) were complaining.
      whats good for the goose…

  10. Tom Matlack says:

    yeah honestly I have to admit this whole deal is more than a little alarming to me…when most of the girls in my daughter’s high school show up in very revealing skin tight yoga pants it seems to me like something has gone a bit off. i had dinner once with the financer being lululemon and she (yes it was a SHE) said she knew it was going to be big but she never would have guessed how big. For her it was about the culture of the store and the amount of product she could inventory per square foot of retail space (expensive yoga gear is very compact indeed).

    I guess I like that women feel comfortable in their own yoga skin and also that fitness is something that we all generally are more aware of. But I do ask myself repeatedly how it became okay to wear close to nothing to dinner or class or a movie? I am not a prude by any means. But what ever happen to a nice pair of jeans and a white t-shirt?

    • Do you know how hard it is to find a pair of jeans that fit well? I have to try on dozens of pairs to find one I don’t hate. I tried on two pairs of corduroy leggings to find a pair that fit well, and two pairs of sweater leggings to find a pair that fit well. They’re extremely warm and extremely comfortable and actually fit my body. Oh, and they only cost about $20 each. I love jeans, don’t get me wrong, but I rarely have the $200 to spend on a pair that fits me properly.

    • Joanna Schroeder says:

      Tom, we have to remember that this conversation is nothing new. My mom’s mom was completely freaked out about her hip-hugger jeans that now any nun would wear. My mom was freaked out by our tight jeans in the late 80’s and especially over crop tops and off-the-shoulder shirts.

      Then people freaked out over the low-cut jeans of the early 00s (Frankie Bs) that now are just no big deal.

      It all, eventually, becomes no big deal. It makes parents uncomfortable, but the reality is that a woman is not more likely to be raped if she’s wearing “sexy” clothes (whether that means a dress with no hose – an early 90s controversy – or yoga pants), and that women’s bodies are not going to hurt us.

      Your formality argument is a whole different one. My mom used to freak if we wore jeans out to dinner and my dad had to wear a collard shirt and pressed pants to class as a rule. All because parents were worried about the formality of the younger generation’s attire.

  11. The part about women being complicit and the age old tease of women flaunting and men looking…that’s you. How my pants fit my ass and how that impacts you is in no way an invitation. Just because this site talks about good men and because you are being honest about your own proclivity for checking out women’s asses, doesn’t mean this doesn’t smack of one more guy thinking he is entitled to leer at women because we are wearing something that can’t be interpreted as anything but a cry for attention.

    It’s crap. If you can’t handle it, throw on a sweatshirt and do your running outside.

    • As long as you are not offended or youre oblivious, a guy can check out your ass and think naughty thoughts.

      • You bet he can, but that’s a lot different than coming here and saying that what I wear is chosen thinking about how it will titillate him. Yoga pants are but one example, if a tshirt is at all fitted am I also only wearing it for attention?

        • um…yes? is there any other point to a t-shirt that is “all fitted”? i mean, people know what they look like without clothes on and if they’re wearing clothes that leave little to the imagination the only logical explanation as to why they are is so other people can see their body too……..

          • I think very few people understand how unflattering clothing affects the female mind.

            Here’s the very simple version:

            Clothing that makes us look attractive= happy
            Clothing that makes us look un-attractive= sad

            Wearing poor fitting clothing, for the most part, makes women unhappy.

            I’m a woman, and I could be wrong, but i would need another woman to prove that.
            And this is a overly simplified explanation, because some women enjoy loose fitting clothing that does not accentuate the body. Sometimes we just want to to be comfortable.

            I know it’s probably very hard for you to fully understand this, because women have a closer correlation between what there clothing looks like and how we feel about ourselves. That is why we dress the way we do. It makes us feel good about ourselves. It makes us confident, because we know that we are putting our best foot forward, and that our attractiveness will not be judged by our garments.

            Think about yourself, and your general life, most of the things you do, are for your own happiness. That’s all it is. We’re not waging a war, we’re not dishing ourselves out on a platter. We, and all human beings, just want to be happy. It’s that simple.

            • “Clothing that makes us look attractive= happy”

              Attractive to whom? If it is men then females are cognisent of what they are trying to achieve in the “get men to be attracted to me? stakes.

              Yet female after female says that what they wear has nothing to do with men. Like wearing a skin tight dress with her boobs squishing out and being so short she can only stand bolt upright without flashing her newest sexiest knickers.Clearly the dress and shoes are anything but comfortable since she is constantly adjusting it so as not to flash her knickers or have her boobs fall out. On the other hand, nuns do not wear anything sexy because they don’t want to be sexually attractive to men.

              Would a female pull on a pair of panty hose and go outside? They do with this type of hose. There is even a big push on feminist site mamamia.com to encourage females to wear pants.

              However, in the female world, the more men a female can attract the higher her status amongst other females. So females wear clothing which they know will exploit men’s sexuality so that they get an ego boost from it.

            • Here’s an excise we’ll use to answer the question Attractive to whom?

              To start off, when do you personally feel unattractive?

              If a female is attractive in a forest, is she still attractive? Or does she only become attractive, once a man is there to admire her?

              I when I have on a nice outfit, I look at myself in every reflective surface there is. Puddles, store windows, cars: I want to enjoy what a smashing fashionista I am. I sew my own clothes, because my ample lost-of-parts don’t all ways fit into off the rack clothing. If I see something I like that does not fit me comfortably, but I want to wear it, I figure out a way to do so, by altering it, or paring it with something that compliments it. I don’t like my arms, so if I see a cute strapless top, I’ll try to find a nice jacket or something that flatters them better (that’s what takes us women so long to shop, and to dress, we have to manipulate each piece of clothing because we have more items that need to be adjusted for individually, boobs, hips, butts w/e)

              it looks like the woman you saw, did not do this successfully,

              So I’m wearing my favorite outfit, for me it’s a pink mini skirt that I made myself with matching leg warmers that connect by matching garter straps, and a matching tshirt. (tight? yes) It fits, it flatters, it’s beautiful, it’s one of a kind, I can dance the night away in it, and often do. And I look great. I take a million pictures because it looks so great, so I can show people how great it was later. I knew it would be great, that’s why I own it. It’s got pink leopard! And ruffles! The leg warmers flair out at the bottom, but the part that flairs is leopard too! God that outfit is awesome.

              Point is, women love clothing. Not just sexy clothing, but good clothing in general. And we don’t need you to tell us. I never created that outfit so that men would look at at me, but they will, because it’s a mini skirt, and men like miniskirts, and that’s ok, I don’t have a problem with it. We women would not possibly devote so much time an effort to clothing if it was only for the enjoyment of others.

              Read some of the comments, women love themselves. We know how to make ourselves happy without men being involved. If you show up, that’s nice, but I’m just fine with my gaggle of girl friends going on about my sweet outfit. And I don’t even need that. I was happy before I even put the clothes on.

            • P.J

              Its all in the subconscious. Women’s clothing wouldnt have evolved the way it is if men didnt respond to the visual stimuli of women’s bodies.

              Also when a woman wears clothes that can be deemed sexy/revealing/provocative, she may only have certain type of men in mind whose attention she wants to attract or wouldnt mind. They wonder why ALL men are giving her attention.

            • Personally, as a woman who feel completely in control of her sexuality and fashion sense, and doesn’t let men define it, maybe I’m biased? I’m used to the idea that women own there own bodies, and should and will do whatever they desire to make themselves happy. I didn’t know that type of behavior was normal, as it doesn’t reflect the ideas of myself, or the women I know. Maybe the women you know are different.

            • So the way women dress has nothing to do with other people, except that the way a woman dresses affects her mood, based on how attractive she looks to other people?

            • Assuming you aren’t my boyfriend, with the same name, on the couch across from me, typing this on his crummy smartphone, Yes.

              If you are, can you pick up bread on your way home from work? And chips.

            • Logic fail.

            • Would actually maybe make sense if it was based on your own sense of aesthetics (ie, you’re attracted to the clothing).

              But based on others? Then you can’t deny you’re doing it for other people. Given it’s the whole point.

              I personally am dressing for myself. As such, I tend to not dress sexy. Wether it’s fashionable or not doesn’t affect MY PERSONAL aesthetics. Wether it’s a name-brand or not is the same. I tend to dress in a “cute” style. Can be sexy to some, but it’s far from the level of yoga pants or mini-skirts. I prefer quality, but will buy 10$ stuff if it’s the right thing.

              And I can find fitted jeans for 10-20$ easily. Not sure where this person saying she needs to spend 200$ for jeans is from. Even rich brand names don’t charge this much.

            • Joanna Schroeder says:

              This is an age-old conversation.

              We all want to look attractive most of the time, unless we are truly deviating from societal norms.

              Do you wash your clothes more than once or twice a year?
              Do you wear deodorant?
              Do you iron your dress shirts, or have them pressed before a formal event?
              Do you wear dress shirts to a formal event (ie wedding, funeral)
              Do you change from your gardening/work clothes before a dinner date?
              Do you buy new clothes when you realize your clothing is out of style?
              Do you ever put on a shirt that is a certain color that you know people think looks good on you?
              Do you change your clothing if you spill food on them?
              Do you match your socks and shoes?

              See, if you’re going to say that all clothes need to be just for utility (not attracting others) then the only reason you’d dress is to stay warm.

              The fact is, EVERYONE I’ve ever met wants to look good. Their idea of what looks good varies. My stepmother likes to look “put together” with a nice jacket and will-fitted pants and pretty shoes. My husband likes to look “cool” with straight legged, raw denim jeans and a plaid shirt and v-neck sweater. I generally like to look “flawlessly casual” which means layered tanks, long sweaters, skinny jeans and worn-in biker boots.

              Most people don’t examine it that closely but almost everyone wants to look good. For a lot of women, yoga pants are a way to be really comfortable, while still looking cute.

              And it’s not ANYONE else’s business why she’s wearing them. If you think she looks sexy, then look for a second, and then get back to your business. Take a mental picture and think about her later.

              She is wearing what is comfortable and cute to her, and it has nothing to do with YOU specifically, but it does have to do with feeling a little bit cute to the world, as a whole. She owes you nothing. It’s not about YOU.

            • ” If you think she looks sexy, then look for a second, and then get back to your business.”

              Agreed. My problem is when a simple look gets a guy labeled as a lecherous creep, or the logical inconsistency of “I dress so I’ll look good to other people but it has nothing to do with other people.”

  12. Kathryn DeHoyos says:

    I LOVE YOGA PANTS! I don’t care what anyone says or thinks, they are the most comfortable pants I have in my wardrobe! I would wear them all day every single day if it was appropriate. I hate denim, I do not enjoy dress slacks, other than a super comfy maxi-skirt they are the best thing in the whole wide world! Better than any maternity pants ever!

  13. They’re as comfortable as sweatpants, but look nicer. That’s it. Really.

  14. Sounds like the blonde is good motivation to run. I think you should just go on looking, realize if you get caught she’ll probably glare, and just relax and enjoy the view.

  15. Alyssa Royse says:

    Well, I wear yoga pants pretty much all the time. Usually because I am on my way to or from the gym (where I am a heavy lifter, not exactly trying to stay trim, but definitely getting way strong.) I generally throw them on in the morning (often the pair that I took off last night and is still lying on the floor next to my bed, let’s pretend it’s in the name of efficiency) and leave them on until I have a compelling reason to put on something else. I wear them because they are insanely comfortable, and I can put sandals and a nicer shirt with them and it is pretty presentable. Every now and then I even shower, on the fancy days.

    I do not put them on to attract anyone. Seriously. I put them on because doing deadlifts, rope climbs and toe-to-bars in things that are baggy totally sucks. That said, I know perfectly well that my ass looks awesome in them. I know perfectly well that people can see my body in them. (And the skin-tight long sports bras that I wear as shirts, and also walk around in.) And that’s fine with me. I agree that if I’m willing to walk around in this, I have to allow people to look and think whatever they want.

    THINK being the operative word. No one gets to touch, or assume it’s an invitation to talk to me, or…. If you like the way I look, then yay, I’m glad I could bring you joy. If you don’t, oh well. It really doesn’t matter to me. Because I don’t do it for you or anyone else.

    For what it’s worth, I have the same problem. When I see hot bodies, I get all distracted in sexual fantasy land, in my head. That’s my problem. I sure don’t think that anyone was trying to cause that, or even if they were that I would do anything about it. Lots of things inspire impulses in me, I don’t take it personally. Ice cream doesn’t exist because it’s trying to play a game with me and manipulate me. The sunshine doesn’t exist because it’s trying to toy with me and tempt me away. The rain doesn’t exist because it’s trying to make me sad. Don’t take it personally. (And I don’t think you do.)

    I will be wearing yoga pants long after this trend dies. Why? Because they are so so so so so comfortable. And because I like it when I look down and see the shape of my quads outlined. I love my muscles.

    • I disagree.

      This image proves you’re wrongness.

      http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3324/3456441648_96c59f6bd8.jpg

      All the other stuff is right though

    • Excellent post, Alyssa. Though I would like to comment on one point:

      “Ice cream doesn’t exist because it’s trying to play a game with me and manipulate me.”

      I think you would think differently if someone went about driving an ice cream truck, decorated with pictures of delicious looking ice cream and playing music, and then glared at you for looking at the pictures, or treated you rudely when you approached them. If someone did that and then called you a hungry dog who was only trying to “use them for ice cream”.. well, you’d probably wonder why they’d be going out of their way to attract ice cream eaters if the idea of selling ice cream is so repulsive to them. (Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you do this, I’m just trying to explain how a guy feels when he’s creep shamed for showing attraction to a woman’s body).

      It’s totally fair to expect kind and respectful treatment from people. But, on the issue of “men thinking it’s an invitation to talk to you”.. well, we’re told that we’re supposed to approach women (to not approach an attractive woman is an act of cowardice), and the only thing we can make an initial assessment for attraction is on physical looks. Given that system, I think it makes sense that more men will approach you if you look good. I think the solution is to dismantle the system rather than demand that men not approach women they find attractive, when we’re told that’s what we’re supposed to do.

      • Alyssa Royse says:

        I understand and even agree with what you said. Let me attempt to infuse nuance in there, which may backfire terribly, so be warned….

        My wearing yoga pants and happening to fit the bill of what some guy happens to find attractive is not the same thing as in invitation, or as an ice cream truck driving by. First off, not all guys are attracted to skinny, muscley white chicks in yoga pants. It is impossible to dress ‘attractively’ in any universal way because there is no such things as universally attractive. So I think it’s safe to assume that in the case of yoga pants, or comfy jeans or…. that a woman is dressing for herself. even if she’s not, it’s still safe to assume that. Doesn’t mean you have to not notice, just that it does not give you the right to approach her for no other reason.

        We spend a lot of time fending off people. Or, at least many of us do, and it’s not only annoying but really uncomfortable and eventually starts to limit how free we feel to move around in the world. I’m not angry about it, and I sure as hell don’t think that’s the intent of people, but when you’re dealing with it all the damned time, it’s really a pain in the ass.

        Now, are some women, some times totally doing this for attention? Sure, of course. (And if men were to do the same thing, they’d get called ‘creeps.’ I’m with ya on the double standard and confusing message, no doubt.) But my existing is not the same thing as cruising you with an ice cream truck begging for attention. If I keep looking at you, making eye contact, using the machine next to you, stuff like that, then yes, I’m an ice cream truck. Other than that, I’m just ice cream.

        Taking it out of the gym, to a bar – some place where even I would not wear yoga pants – and it gets blurrier, right? What if I’m wearing something that you think it hot? Does that make me an ice cream truck? No. Still just ice cream. If I’m making eye contact with you, sit down at the bar stool next to you, accidentally brush up against you… maybe then I’m a truck. Strike up a conversation. But even if I talk back, I’m still not asking you to eat me. Unless I do, by using actual words.

        It’s a fine line and a confusing dance. I prefer words, but sometimes I think I’m alone in that. I generally assume positive intent. But not everyone does. I don’t think that anger and defensiveness on either side serves either side. But you might also try to remember that many of us spend a lot of time trying to deflect the advances of men, and it’s draining. And we are taught that men can – and they often do – hurt us, so we are protecting our physical safety as well. Looking is fine, reaching out often isn’t. admire the flowers, don’t go picking them all. (It’s late, I’m mixing my metaphors….. )

        • (It’s late, I’m mixing my metaphors….. )
          Well you know what they say, you can lead a horse to water but if it walks into a bar, why the long face?

          Wait… nevermind..

          Really though, I agree. I just wish there was more of a vibe of “He didn’t approach her because she didn’t seem like she wanted to be approached and he respected that” rather than “He didn’t approach her because he’s a spineless coward”.

          • Also, you do have to consider that, for many women, simply dressing in a way they think will make them more attractive is how they expect to let others know they want attention/approach.

            Again, I think the solution is to move away from the “passive woman, aggressive man” model and allow for women to show more outward signs of interest (hell, even approach) without it being out of place. Would certainly make for a less confusing dance.

            • Alyssa Royse says:

              I agree with both of you, which is why I wish people would just use words rather than guessing based on clothing. Though even when I do get all gussied up, I’m still not looking for a man to hit on me, and still don’t want it. I don’t get mad, I very directly tell them that if they’re looking for a potential hook up they’re barking up the wrong tree and shouldn’t waste their time.

              And yes, if women were “allowed” to own their sexuality, then using words would be a lot more likely to happen. I’m working on it!

              That said, yoga pants are usually either a sign of comfort or exercise. I really don’t think women go out on the prowl in gym clothes much. (I used to wear a gigantic fake engagement and wedding ring to the gym just to stop men from hitting on me. Now, for the first time ever, i actually wear real ones for the same reason, though since I like neither gold nor diamonds, people don’t recognize them and they don’t work as well. )

            • I think this branch of the discussion has been excellent. There’s no shame in looking and appreciating, but that can be done without treating every person you find attractive as an invitation to approach (or touch, for god’s sake) or ogle to the point of discomfort. That’s what I was trying to get at a while back in my piece on “eye candy” that ran at GMP. I think some got it, others didn’t.

              Alyssa, it also occurred to me while reading your comments about how tedious it gets to fend off people, that being attractive is sort of like being famous. It can be fun and have it’s perks for sure, but it can also attract so much unwanted attention as to be smothering.

            • And something that has only briefly been mentioned is those of us who don’t have to “fend off people” on a regular basis. Either because of our age, or weight, or build, or skin, or whatever, we are not regularly seen as objects of desire. And maybe, just maybe, for those with our lot, a little glance brought on by yoga pants is a much welcome thing. Especially when we pulled them off the dirty laundry pile before grabbing our toddler and didn’t even have time to shower. Again. Just sayin.

          • I just wish there was more of a vibe of “He didn’t approach her because she didn’t seem like she wanted to be approached and he respected that” rather than “He didn’t approach her because he’s a spineless coward”.

            I agree that’s an important piece. I think there are important corollaries to how rejection is handled, so for women, they can reject without being treated like “rude bitches”, and men can reject without having their manhood questioned or mocked for saying No. I don’t know how to accomplish that on a wide scale, but it would sure be an improvement.

            • Different men respond to rejection differently. My stock answer is, “No, thank you.” delivered with polite smile. I hope that this acknowledges that I am not interested, but appreciate the complimentary nature of being approach.

              I have gotten every response under the sun to these three words, from the equally civil, “Alright, enjoy your day.” To loud and excessive profanity.

            • I’m really sorry you’ve had to deal with some assholes who couldn’t handle rejection. A big part of the problem, I think, stems from the fact that society teaches us that, as men, a big part of our value is our ability to attract women. So, when a woman turns us down, she isn’t just saying “I don’t feel compatibility with you,” but we’ve been conditioned to hear “You aren’t good enough for me!”

              When we move from the “If you’re good enough you can get any woman” trope to “Attraction is about compatibility”, I think we’ll all be better off.

            • Amen.

  16. “But baggy sweatpants are also comfortable, so I can only assume there’s more to it. There is an implicit game here—the age-old tease where women flaunt and men look.”

    No. Please venture to the south where men on campuses wear tight fitting clothes, go shirtless and bodies are more freely seen. Men and women both seem to manage just fine in countries where skin is revealed and sensuality is welcomed. There is nothing about me wearing yoga pants (or anyone) that is about teasing men. That’s like saying if an ankle is revealed from a Victorian garb, the woman is a hussy. Good lord.

    If I enjoy how I look in yoga pants and you also enjoy it, there is no problem. But I am not wearing yoga pants to oppress your sexuality or tempt you into sin. You, the general you, are not much on my mind. When I dress to seduce, I do not tend to choose yoga pants. I wear yoga pants because they increase my feelings of flexibility and health and dance and that makes me happy. If that happiness translates into your admiration, ok. But it’s not my goal.

    Sweatpants are not comfortable in yoga class.

    • Joanna Schroeder says:

      Julie, exactly. You’ve nailed it EXACTLY.

      Yoga – the ones I wear, Lululemon’s Wunder Under – pants are designed to wick sweat, stay dry, not move when you move, not rub between your thighs like sweats. When I wear running tights, it’s the same thing. They’re spandex-y, tight, and they’re high-performance material.

      Nobody I know exercises in sweatpants. Think about Rocky! Who wears that now!? The reason he wore it then was because that’s all there was! That and running shorts and soccer shorts. Now we have amazing tech fabrics.

      And yoga pants look better based upon current fashion trends where leggings and skinny jeans dominate.

      • I think the thing that gets me is that I would choose all my clothes with the male desire in mind. Maybe some clothes but not others. Maybe some clothes I have make me feel vital and sexy and alive even though I know my partner doesn’t find them sexy. I wear them for me and my interior experience not for him and his. Maybe sometimes I wear clothes he finds sexy for his interior experience. Maybe sometimes those yoga pants are clean and I need to get to the store. Maybe sometimes I have a really cool sexy pair of yoga pants and I joined a new gym and am single (I’m not, but I can understand why someone would). I understand that because they reveal form, that can be arousing to someone, but to tie in some level of complicity to all women wearing a type of pant all the time.

        If clothing is communication, of course you can wear any type of clothes and work to embue them with communication, but that doesn’t mean it’s always there or that people are wearing something to frustrate you personally.

        • I think the main point is that you can’t judge a woman’s intention by the yoga pants she’s wearing. Maybe she’s just an exhausted mom taking advantage of the free hour of childcare at the gym. Nor can you judge a man’s intention by the sideways glance he’s giving. Maybe he’s just a nice catholic boy trying his best to avoid his own demons.

  17. This post doesn’t seem to be seriously asserting that women are responsible for Nathan’s feelings about women in yoga pants.

    if anything it seems like Nathan is feeling some shame over finding them attractive.

    If you’re just looking (but not staring) and not reducing women to how they look in yoga pants I say more power to you Nathan.

    • Joanna Schroeder says:

      Yeah, I agree Danny.

      There was really just one troubling line or two where he said that women are playing some sort of game with men… As if we’re trying to “tease” men with our bodies. That’s very troubling.

      • Hilarious to me. I don’t suspect the author would see my size 8 middled aged body in yoga pants and decide that…My guess is it’s ladies he already would find really appealing, only now their forms are more revealed.

        • How sure of that are you?

          Im asking because I’ve crossed paths with quite a few guys aren’t just looking at the so called young hotties.

          I know you’ve said you don’t dress the way you do to appeal to men. I think it might be worth saying that different men find different things appealing.

          • I am happy if my rear view in yoga pants makes someone’s day. I have no problem with that.

            • Whether you’re happy or not notwithstanding, I was just wondering why you were suspicious of whether Nather wouldn’t think you were trying to tease men with your body.

            • Not sure I understand you. When I wear yoga pants, regardless of who likes the view, I am not doing it to tease men with my body. Nathan indicated that women may be wearing pants in an age old game of “tease the man.” and I disagreed that that was a primary motivation for women in general.
              If I missed your point would you clarify?

            • My guess is Danny, that the women who are frustrating Nathan are women he finds very attractive. That it isn’t the pants he’s upset about, but that he’s seeing “goods” he can’t get to from particular women are hot to him. And if I was in the gym, he might see me in yoga pants and not be bothered by it, so because many attractive women wear pants that reveal things he likes, he’s deciding those women are wearing those pants to provoke. I think a lot of women don’t have any idea they are provoking strangers lust.

            • Or it might not be about seeing what wants but can’t have but about the very idea that a woman would wear certain clothes to tease men.

              The reason I say this is because when it comes to commenting on women that supposedly wear certain clothes to tease men its not alway so much about “i want it but can’t have it” but “how dare she parade her body around like that”.

              The former does happen but so does the latter, which doesn’t depend on whether or not the person saying it finds the person they are talking attractive. It’s the mere “fact” that a woman would tease any man in such a way.

            • I guess it just seems irrational to me. How dare you come out in public. How dare you vote as a person of color. How dare you as a gay couple hold hands. YOU ARE AFFECTING ME SO STOP IT. That seems odd. People have the right to just…be, right?

              Like, if I were in those pants and following him around and humping on him and flashing at him…yeah taht would be rude and mean and crude and odd and off balance and not ok, but just being in the gym not noticing him notice me isn’t me, that’s him.

              And by “him” and “irrational” I don’t mean Nathan, I’m speaking generally.

            • Now I want to know how Nathan is doing. Quite a thread! I don’t think Nathan needs to feel shame over liking women’s bodies in yoga pants. I just don’t think that most women are thinking of yoga pants like he does. I’m tempted to put a picture of me in my yoga pants up.


            • I guess it just seems irrational to me. How dare you come out in public. How dare you vote as a person of color. How dare you as a gay couple hold hands. YOU ARE AFFECTING ME SO STOP IT. That seems odd. People have the right to just…be, right?

              Despite being odd that is just how it goes.

              Irrational indeed but if there is any hope to getting rid of such mentalities they have to be properly understood. Why do people think gay couples shouldn’t hold hands in public? Why do people think only certain people should vote? The questions go on.

              Else you just end up with people telling others why they think a certain way which of course is a sure fire recipe for mixed signals, incorrect understandings, poorly guided solutions, and a break down of communication.


              Like, if I were in those pants and following him around and humping on him and flashing at him…yeah taht would be rude and mean and crude and odd and off balance and not ok, but just being in the gym not noticing him notice me isn’t me, that’s him.

              True. But if we then jump to telling him why he does it then wouldn’t that complicate things when trying to figure out how to address them?

            • Lol, yeah, not everyone wearing these pants is magically transformed into a statuesque goddess with hair down to her bum, and not a single split end. I if he were, I’d have a closet full.

            • Joanna said she found it troubling that men think women wear certain clothes to tease men. You then said you found it funny and that you doubt Nathan would think that you wear yoga pants on your size 8 middle aged body to tease men.

              What is it about your size middle aged body that leads you to think that Nathan wouldn’t think you would wear yoga pants to tease men?

            • Well, I don’t know actually Danny. I was making my own assumption about Nathan which yes, might be wrong. If I was in the gym and he was tempted by my tuckus, it wouldn’t be because I was trying to go out of my way to tempt men, just be at the gym.

      • But despite that there seems to be no shortage of people telling him he was seriously saying women do wear those clothes on purpose.

  18. If I’m reading this article correctly, I think Nathan’s point can be summed up in just a few sentences.

    “Jeez, women look fantastic in yoga pants, Lycra is just so flattering! Sometimes I have trouble not getting distracted by attractive women in the gym. I wonder if that makes me a Bad Guy? My years of Catholic upbringing tells me I should be ashamed to look. Should I feel ashamed for looking at them?”

    That’s what I heard. Sounds like one man’s struggle to distinguish between appreciation and objectification, if that can be done.

    Nathan: I hear you brother, yoga pants are a damn fine invention. Just make sure you aren’t making anyone uncomfortable and you’ll be all good. Sneaking a glance here and there at the gym isn’t the end of the world.

  19. I think women here are reluctant to answer the fundamental question whether they’d want to have it just like men or not.

    Since this staring, checking out, leering, creepiness, lustiness, predominantly affects women, I’d like to ask women if they would want men to be as indifferent to women’s bodies as they are to men’s.

    Would they prefer to live in a world where little or no sexual value is placed on women’s bodies? Where women’s bodies are de-sexualized just as men’s? Where men are as INDIFFERENT to the sight of women’s bodies as vice versa?

    Do women want to live in a world where the sight of their flesh is just as unwanted and uninvited as that of men?

    Because in that world, the problems that women so often complain about would no longer exist.

    • Joanna Schroeder says:

      Men’s bodies are not desexualized. Tim, you live in a world of binaries. Women’s bodies are COMMODIFIED based upon sexuality. Men’s are not men’s are commodified based upon utility.

      But that doesn’t mean that mean aren’t sexualized in any way, or women aren’t valued for utility as well. It’s not all or nothing.

      But guess what? Many, many, many women would LOVE to walk around and not feel like a sex object who is in danger of a stranger groping, assaulting, verbally harassing or raping her. That would be a GREAT day for many of us.

      You need to grow some empathy.

      • I agree… women do need to grow some empathy. They apparently have no appreciation for what “invisible men” go through on a daily basis, being ignored or even actively avoided throughout their entire lives. Repeatedly informed (through actions, never words, because they’re not worth the effort) that they simply don’t matter, that their problems and feelings are irrelevant, and that nothing they say will ever make a difference.

        Men know that announcing “I’m upset” will never have the same effect it does when a woman says it; they know the response they’ll get is “So f–in’ what? Shut up and sit down, nobody cares.” Women complain about being the focus of so much attention, and men laugh bitterly because nobody ever pays the slightest to attention to them, under any circumstances–other than to remind them of how awful and bad they are, of course. (Thank you, feminism!)

        It’s a good thing we have forums like this where men’s concerns aren’t so readily dismissed and belittled, isn’t it?

        • I truly would like to sit down and have coffee with you.

        • Bay Area Guy says:

          At least for me, I consider attractive women complaining about unwanted attention the equivalent of celebrities complaining about the constant media attention.

          Sure, it may have some headaches, but the average celebrity wouldn’t trade places with the average Joe.

  20. When I go running i wear a pair of tight fitting long underwear to keep me warm. But then I put on a pair of shorts over them so people don’t stare at my ass. I don’t dress provocatively because I don’t want to deal with unwanted attention. When I see a guy who I want to talk to I walk up to him and start talking to him. The best part is: I know he’s listening because there’s no way he can be staring at my tits (not that all men do this, i’m just saying…). We have a real conversation. It’s great. You all should stop trying to impress everyone so damn much with your bodies and try using your brain to attract a man…

    • I did use my brain to attract a man. My boyfriend has told me my intelligent conversation is what led to him asking me out on a second date.

      It doesn’t change the fact that I have large breasts that will never go away. It doesn’t matter what I wear, my breasts are noticeable, and men hit on me, or sexually harass me, because I have big boobs.

      You should stop making assumptions about everyone. You’re just a little bit full of yourself.

      • Ha! I’m full of myself? You’re funny. If you actually knew me you would feel pretty silly right about now! I’m not sure why you think I’m directly attacking you…I simply said that people should try to use a part of their body that doesn’t change (much) with age to attract a mate instead of a part that will change drastically. Sure, not all women who dress provocatively do so to get attention from men…but it is stupid assume that they don’t expect to attract some sort of attention. THEY KNOW. But if they’re NOT trying to attract attention from men with the clothes they are wearing, what exactly is the purpose of a low cut shirt that shows cleavage or tight-fitting clothes etc? For comfort? Maybe I’m alone in thinking that comfort does NOT involve constantly adjusting a shirt to avoid falling out of it or having to diffuse a wedgie every 5 steps. If you DON’T want the attention, you prevent it. If you DO want the attention you carry on as you were. It’s simple logic.

  21. You want to sneak a look at a woman’s butt? Go ahead. Chances are she’s doing the same to you. Just don’t assume we’re wearing yoga pants in order to torment you/turn you on. Don’t blame us because you feel guilty for having thoughts you deem inappropriate.
    I wear yoga pants every day. I also teach Pilates. They are my work clothes. Should I change in the locker room before going out in public? Should I not teach certain moves because my clients might find such movements provocative?
    Shall we go back to covering up piano legs because men might see them and have dirty thoughts about women’s gams?
    I realize it’s difficult for some (of both genders) to wrap their heads around the fact that not everything we do is done with the idea of putting ourselves on display (or not), but it is the truth.
    If I were a man, I’d be hugely insulted by the idea that I’m some kind of horny toad who can’t control myself.

  22. Why do some men and women feel the need to slut-shame women because men get aroused? I don’t get it. Men get aroused REGARDLESS of what women are wearing—so it really makes no difference. For some guys a t-shirt and jeans is sexy. Can I not wear that either? Am i not suppose to wear anything that actually FITS my curves? Can we stop now? PLEASE?

    Why is it that when men feel uncertain or insecure about their actions or feelings sexually women have to get blamed for it? Nathan sweetheart, it’s OKAY to notice an attractive person—-as long as you are not being rude and STARING at them as if theY have five heads.

    No need to blame yoga pants. OR blame women. Or say that women should expect rude behavior because of yoga pants. Or try to act as if it’s not slut shaming by saying ‘women can wear what they want BUT…’

    Or write and overly LOOONG article about it. Just be polite.

    • Yes!

    • I agree with many of the criticisms of the piece. Wear what you want to wear & no one should stare.

      However, I would take issue with the above poster’s assertion that men get aroused regardless of what women are wearing. Yoga pants are my Achilles’ heel too. I find a woman in YPs sexier than a woman in lingerie, or even (seriously) naked. And yet, if they’ve decided to go with a denim skirt or shorts, I can avert my eyes with ease.

      Not implying any logical conclusions or moral judgments here. Just saying.

    • Yeah. What EA says.

      And Andy, YOU find them sexier than lingerie. Should we all dress YOU? Some guys prefer denim shorts. Then what? Are we all trying to taunt THEM if we where them? Seriously, yoga pants are ridiculously comfortable, and men have been saying stuff like this for hundreds upon hundreds of years, so excuse me as I roll my eyes.

    • I agree so much, EA. Yoga pants are comfy and I wear them on days when I’m feeling lazy and can’t be bothered to do much with myself. I had no idea I was such a hazard to men of the world. Too bad for them. I’m so tired of feeling like, as a woman, I constantly have to police what I wear because men apparently can’t control their lustful thoughts. It’s fucking ridiculous. Why don’t I just throw away all my clothes and start wearing a burka around? It seems like it’s getting to that point sometimes.

  23. Ok, the ice cream truck analogy is just yuck and offensive. Maybe female and male street sex workers could be equated to ice cream trucks, as they are trying to sell how they look for a specific purpose, but they aren’t likely to glare at customers if they stop to buy. Also, they deserve respect, too. But a woman at the gym or the grocery store in yoga pants is not selling anything, they just want to be comfortable, or look good for themselves for a personal confidence boost, or both. Maybe sometimes clothes are chosen to attract others one is interested in, but not always, and it’s not a crime either way. For me, a male, I’m the same way but for slightly different reasons.

    I wear a t-shirt, harem pants and flip flops to therapy quite often when it’s warm (I have a Bowflex at home due to agoraphobia, social anxiety, PTSD….) I go commando in any pants ever because underwear bugs the heck out of me; it constricts, binds and hurts. Partly due to my abusive childhood and also due to adult personal comfort, I am used to being naked in my own home. It’s really not to entice my boyfriend or girlfriend (yes I’m bisexual and poly) it’s for comfort. I put on clothes to go outside, or if my kids are around, of course. Clothes often make me feel trapped, and I used to be beaten if I wore any at home without permission as a child, so yeah, I have some serious crap I need therapy for.

    Therapy involves “outside” though. I really don’t care if somebody’s offended (or if they stare) due to my harem pants. I wear them for comfort. No I don’t wear tight things like yoga pants, running shorts, or speedos, because: commando. Yikes. Harem pants hide a lot and are comfortable as a cloud.

    Other times I wear what I call “armor” (jeans, boots, Deicide t-shirt, leather duster) specifically to keep people at bay. Same reason for my tattoos and piercings. I’m usually uncomfortable in jeans though. Leather pants (yes tight) are actually comfortable (to me), but they are rarely a choice for therapy, unless I want to look like King Diamond and frighten all the people who aren’t into Heavy Metal. Admittedly, this is at times my goal, because I am more afraid of them than they are of me.

    If I dress for intentional sex appeal, I go for tailored designer suits. I have issues with “sex appeal” anyhow, with a face full of scars, but I do work out at home to maintain my dancer’s health (yes pole dancing, but also ballroom and Latin) and I guess for some people muscles and crotch are alluring even if the face could stop an ice cream truck. In any event, somebody else’s rare attraction to me isn’t my “fault”, nor does it mean I want their attention.

    Yeah sometimes my harem pants are a bit much, but I don’t often dress for others (except to ward them off). If somebody finds my harem pants fetching, fine; I still don’t want anybody to approach me for any reason. I have a desperate need to be comfortable in therapy, and that is way more important to me than what anybody thinks of my clothes, for any reason.

    By the way, folks, the generalizations are crap. “Men are pigs”? Please speak for yourself, not for me. I don’t leer at other people, men, women, or anybody along the glorious spectrum. I may see somebody attractive and appreciate it quietly in my mind. I may want to politely compliment them if I feel comfortable doing so and feel it may be welcome (but that is very rare and usually requires knowing them at least a little bit). But I don’t leer or stare, and I don’t try to chat them up with hopes attached. I just want to get therapy over with and get back to the safety of home.

    In short, not all men are pigs, and all people can wear what they want for the reasons they want, or need to. They shouldn’t have to worry that others will be jerks about it or make them uncomfortable, or blame them.

    Joanna, Julie, P.J., KKZ & Alyssa: I agree with you. Alyssa, you said: “If I were a man, I’d be hugely insulted by the idea that I’m some kind of horny toad who can’t control myself.” You’re right. As a man, that attitude does offend me, no matter what gender is saying it.

    • wrr
      i have a style harem pants too, i also wear women’s clothing in public, so thumbs up from me man, for wearing harem pants in public

  24. “There is an implicit game here—the age-old tease where women flaunt and men look.”
    No. There isn’t. There is a game that you have imagined and decided is real because it takes the responsibility for your own actions off your shoulders.

    “However, I have a hard time believing that—outside of the gym or the yoga classes—women wear yoga pants solely for comfort.”
    This is why you have decided to imagine a “game” that doesn’t exist in actual reality. Simply because you would rather believe that all women are secretly and constantly desirous of male sexual attention does not make it true. I’m not clear on whether you are actually so lacking in imagination that the idea of “pants being comfortable” is beyond you, or whether you are just projecting an insecurity that causes you to seek out affirmation from others onto the women around you so that you have an excuse to “look”.
    This quote has me leaning towards the latter, “Whether we admit it or not, we all want to be noticed and desired and admired, men as well as women.” Maybe just speak for yourself, and not for all women.

  25. Erika McDonald says:

    Nathan should stop worrying. I don’t think there is anything wrong with him being turned on by women in yoga pants. I wear them because they are comfortable. I doubt my 41-year-old figure would cause such a reaction, but I don’t care if men look at me, even in a somewhat obvious way.

  26. Nothing worse than an insanely long post to confess that YOU have an issue with women wearing yoga pants. Nothing to read here, move along. Geez.

  27. You know what happens to me when I see a woman wearing yoga pants? Sometimes absolutely nothing. Sometimes I think the yoga pants are a neat colour/style/whatever. And then sometimes my unconscious brain goes, “hey that woman in yoga pants is hot,” and my conscious mind agrees and says, “oh yeah look at that, we’re looking at an attractive woman’s bum in yoga pants.” And after that moments-long internal dialogue, I look away and go about my day. The end.

    When I’m at the beach and there are people all around wearing bikinis and swimming trunks, same thing. Sometimes I’ll notice that a particular bikini is a cool pattern. Sometimes I won’t notice anything at all. And sometimes my animal brain goes, “she’s attractive in that bathing suit.” And then my conscious mind will often agree and then turn my attention elsewhere…because staring at a woman is rude. Plus, looking at a sexy anonymous woman just isn’t all that interesting to me. (Keep in mind I’m a lesbian).

    Yeah, some women are attractive to you and some of these attractive women are wearing clothing that you find even more attractive. Get over it.

    • wellokaythen says:

      Yes. Sensible, commonsensical, rational, balanced, human approach. Don’t drench yourself in guilt for feeling attraction to some people in some situations more than others, and don’t dump your issues on other people for wearing something you like. Enjoy, keep perspective, and move on.

  28. When I see attractive women in yoga pants, all I think is “ugh I’m a chubby old hag, I think I will crawl back into my cave now and sob quietly.”. Thanks yoga girls, for making my day! :-)

    • Dont worry, men are a lot more forgiving to women on their looks than the other way round.
      Chubby women can look appealing too in yoga pants.

      There is not one perfect body type of women that men admire. Women can be short, chubby, tall, thin, curvy, petite etc and still have sex appeal to their bodies.

  29. Christina D. says:

    For the love of all that is sensible and logical, PLEASE read the response from The Frisky if you agree with this man. Maybe hearing from an actual woman would help you understand that it’s not out fault you can’t stop sexualizing everything we do …

    http://goo.gl/vTahI

  30. Fred Peters says:

    Why is this even an issue? It’s not about the pants. If a woman is attractive to a woman, he’s going to look and vice versa. It’s human nature. However, be respectful. It’s only becomes an issue when someone crosses the line. Liking a fashion trend should not be a crime.

  31. Fred Peters says:

    Correction “man attracted to a woman” sorry about that

  32. Revo Luzione says:

    To: Nathan
    Re: Yoga Pants Obsession Guilt

    Steps to Removing This Obstacle

    Strategy: Immersion Therapy

    1. Go to a yoga class at a hip gym in peak hours. Situate yourself at the back of the class. Follow along with the class, but remember your real purpose: Releasing the guilt.
    2. Notice, but don’t leer, all of the various shapes and sizes of gluteal clefts, shapely thighs and pudendal mounds encased in LuluLemon and Prana all around you.
    3.Notice any feelings of arousal that arise from the looking exercise.
    4. Appreciate the arousal, for you are a man, and your man parts are working, and it is good.
    5. Notice any feelings of guilt that arise from the looking and the arousal. Do not identify with these feelings of guilt. Do not judge them, do not become attached or form further opinions about them. Simply breathe through those feelings, allowing them to dissolve, until all that remains are feelings of appreciation, for yourself and for women and the female form.
    6. Go back to step 2 until you feel free to compliment, without expectation, the next woman you see whom you appreciate.

    • Tom Matlack says:

      Revo that is laugh out loud funny man. Well said.

      Here’s the thing for me. I have practiced yoga for over ten years now off and on. When I go to yoga I am there really to let go of my mind. Distractions of any kind are not what I am looking for, they are what I want to release. For years I set up my mat at the front of the room for the very reason that I didn’t want to be distracted by women, men, or roving dogs in the class. Over time I moved back and realized the idea that to practice yoga is to be on my own mat in my own breath. The very idea of yoga and leering at some woman next to me are about as opposite as any two things could be. That is not to say that I haven’t at times had to struggle with all kinds of distractions. I have. But the goal is to breath and to experience my own body on my own mat.

      • Revo Luzione says:

        Yoga is great. Eating is great. Laugher is a gift. Sex is amazing. Snowboarding is like flying on a fluffy cloud. Surfing is salty communion with the omniverse. Even changing a light bulb can be transcendental, with enough focus and appreciation. (how many humans who have ever lived, in the several million year history of humans, have ever even seen a light bulb, much less swapped a broken one?)

        Their common thread, an ineluctable and total commitment to being in one’s body, here and now. Our eternal nowness need not be on a yoga mat. It’s everywhere. If we can only hold onto that, and not lose consciousness to non-now externalities like shame, guilt, worry, then we are free to experience the moment with not only maximum clarity, but also maximum joy and succor.

  33. “And there I am, running like a gerbil on the treadmill. At 37 years old, I’m trying to ward off any impending middle-aged flab, trying to remain strong and youthful.
    About ten yards in front of me, an attractive blonde with a high ponytail is doing step-aerobics in black yoga pants.”

    How old was the blonde? Probably younger than the author. A lot of men don’t seem to even really like women their own age.

    I never realized yoga pants where so sexual to men. I wear them because they are easy and comfortable. During the day I can wear them with boots and then when I am ready to go to the gym I just take my boots off, put on sneakers and change my top. They also hold in that part of my tummy that I don’t like very much without a button from my jeans digging into my skin.

    Although I suspect it’s not really the yoga pants that is the issue. It’s simply all the attractive women the author wants but can’t have that happen to be in Yoga pants. We get it. Women are sexy to men. Of course, I am sure that the women the author notices fit stereotypical ideals of beauty.

    I’m not really sure what to make of this piece. While not offensive, it doesn’t seem like we’ve come very far between men and women.

    • “Although I suspect it’s not really the yoga pants that is the issue. It’s simply all the attractive women the author wants but can’t have that happen to be in Yoga pants.”

      No I can definitely say that for some of us guys its absolutely the yoga pants. For me personally, I’d rather see a woman in yoga pants (certain athletic shorts are nice too) than a mini skirt or even lingerie, and I see theres at least one other guy in this comment’s section who feels the same way. Now, not every guy may be into them as much as we are, but I can definitely say that a lot of the guys I know specifically like to see women in them, and the comments section here seems to reflect that as well.

    • Also just want to be clear in saying that I feel women should wear what they want and I understand why people are offended that the author is assuming that all the women that wear yoga pants do so to tease men.

      Though I do think its somewhat ironic that you are assuming that Nathan isn’t being honest when he says its specifically the yoga pants that he likes, just like Nathan is assuming women aren’t being honest when they say why they wear them.

    • Of course, I am sure that the women the author notices fit stereotypical ideals of beauty.

      Which is bad how? If it turns out his favorite “type” to see in yoga pants are 200+ pounders over the age of 40, would that make him nobler or a man of greater integrity than if it’s more of a visual treat to see toned 20-somethings? If the point is about how we treat people, and how even people who don’t fit those stereotypical ideals are whole people who can be attractive in other ways, then I’d agree, but I don’t think that being turned out by what lots of people are turned on by is a character flaw.

    • Revo Luzione says:

      “How old was the blonde? Probably younger than the author. A lot of men don’t seem to even really like women their own age.”

      How tall was the blonde? Probably shorter than the author. A lot of women don’t seem to even really like men their own height.

  34. Thinking about this thread earlier, and others on the “men and women and clothing” topic.

    To be honest, yes, I think many women dress in ways specifically designed to turn men on. However, I don’t think the point of them dressing that way is to turn men on. I think it’s because being sexually attractive has social value. I certainly don’t imagine a woman putting on a pair of yoga pants and thinking “These make my ass look great, a bunch of guys are going to want to have sex with me!” I do imagine a woman thinking “These make my ass look great, I feel confident.”

    I just don’t think its possible to separate the social value from the fact that men get aroused. If men didn’t get aroused, they wouldn’t start treating a woman better for dressing sexy, and women wouldn’t treat them better for looking like a sexy woman. There would be no social value, and hence no feeling of confidence. So, as far as I can tell, turning men on isn’t the goal, but the goal is something accomplished through turning men on.

    Which got me thinking – if a woman feels powerful and confident when she dresses in a way that makes her look sexy, isn’t she playing into the “women are valued for their looks” idea? Isn’t it just a way of saying “How sexy I am determines my worth, and since I look very sexy right now I feel like I have a great deal of worth and therefore feel confident”? And if it is, what culpability does she have for carrying on such a harmful narrative?

    • Alyssa Royse says:

      Not that you’re wrong about any of that, BUT, you (and lots of other people) seem determined to avoid the idea that we wear yoga pants because they are both comfortable and functional. I live in them. Seriously, 7 days a week. Because they’re really comfortable, allow me to workout – whether I’m doing CrossFit or Pilates – and I can put on a nicer shirt and a decent pair of sandals and look totally presentable. Kinda perfect. I have not once thought to myself, “I bet other people will think I’m hot” in these. The most I do is a Camel Toe check, and I am pretty sure I’m not alone in any of this. At all.

      It is entirely possible that women do things because they want to, for their own reasons, and honestly don’t give a damn how anyone else reacts to it. Let’s at least allow for the fact possibility that women do things for their own comfort and convenience, not to to turn on, manipulate, attract, crush or otherwise cause anything to happen in the brains or bulges of men.

      And MediaHound, you kill me. And I suspect you’re right. Yay, the noble man who can objectify women’s bodies for his own sexual pleasure in a way that bucks media trends. Nothing specious about that kind of equality. 😉

      • I don’t doubt that personal comfort and function are the main reasons many, if not most, women wear yoga pants. I’m not determined to avoid the idea – I just refuse the idea that something with so much obvious social value is done with absolutely no regard to that social value. I’m flatly skeptical that young toned women “just happen” to enjoy wearing the clothes that “just happen” to make them look good which “just happens” to result in everyone around them treating them just a little bit better on a day to day basis.

        • “I’m flatly skeptical that young toned women “just happen” to enjoy wearing the clothes that “just happen” to make them look good which “just happens” to result in everyone around them treating them just a little bit better on a day to day basis.”

          Drew – see here’s my issue with your comment: each “just happens” reduces the sample size significantly… young toned women —> flattering clothing —> treated better
          We’re down to a pretty small portion of the population to the point where generalized conclusions based on that exact scenario might be highly suspect.

    • Your logic is flawed. Men don’t inherently treat women better for “dressing sexy”. Attractive people are treated better, sure, but dressing “sexy” actually only has “benefits” in certain situations. And honestly– HONESTLY– I wear yoga pants because they are damn comfortable and great for DOING YOGA and Pilates and yes, even grocery shopping! I see yoga pants in my drawer and I think, “Pants.” I don’t think, “Oh, if I wear these, men will be aroused. And maybe then I will get “preferential treatment” (like, uh… someone will let me go first in line at the grocery store? Riiiight…). Do be honest, I’ve never even actually thought of them as sexy before. Is it really that unbelievable to think that yes, I feel confident because I look good and feel comfortable with out thinking that I am intentionally playing into a harmful narrative?

      But beyond that, the culpability in any given situation lies with the people who have the power. In our culture, men hold the power: women hold less than 3% of clout positions in all media-related fields, which I think is pretty clearly reflected in commercials, movies, songs, tv shows, magazines, billboards, etc. So women don’t creative this narrative. What should they do? Intentionally dress “un-sexy”? What would that do? If this harmful narrative bothers you, stop viewing women as objects. Stop assuming everything they do is somehow for the benefit of men or to manipulate men to get some sort of benefit. Correct harmful sexist assumptions, vote in some capable women leaders, support the women in your life. Support media that shows women in diverse, complex roles, and that doesn’t objectify them. Quit looking for ways to put the blame on women regardless of the situation. We aren’t villans in yoga pants.

      • “But beyond that, the culpability in any given situation lies with the people who have the power. In our culture, men hold the power: women hold less than 3% of clout positions in all media-related fields, which I think is pretty clearly reflected in commercials, movies, songs, tv shows, magazines, billboards, etc.”

        I seriously doubt your 3% proposition here. And also, media pander to what their public wants. Don’t like the magazine, the video, the movie, the song? Then you don’t buy it, they get less profit, and change their ways, because they want you to spend on them. See how they can’t truly impose their view?

        Most women’s magazines are headed by women, they decide what goes in the magazine, what articles, and when, how, etc. Maybe a man owns the parent company of the magazine, but he probably has no word on what goes in the magazine, because he lacks any experience about it. He can’t dictate his way, he knows his high ups and shareholders would lose money over it (because it wouldn’t sell), and blame him.

        “So women don’t creative this narrative. What should they do? Intentionally dress “un-sexy”? What would that do?”

        If you don’t like the narrative. Ignore the narrative. It’s really that simple. And women have that power more than men. Since its choices women do that make the narrative even exist.

        It’s easy to choose clothing not based on what magazines or fashion shows tell me is “in”. I just use my internal sense of aesthetics, and pick clothing based on its looks, not its effect on people. Heck, I might intentionally not pick certain clothing I like because it has a negative effect on people (you try wearing lolita fashion dresses – very cute stuff…if you like being stared at).

        ” Support media that shows women in diverse, complex roles, and that doesn’t objectify them”

        Since women are the ones deciding to dress or not in certain ways, it’s their role to not pander to the media, and thus the media will change to reflect that, or become obsolete and useless (and not making money).

        • “It’s easy to choose clothing not based on what magazines or fashion shows tell me is “in”. I just use my internal sense of aesthetics, and pick clothing based on its looks, not its effect on people. Heck, I might intentionally not pick certain clothing I like because it has a negative effect on people (you try wearing lolita fashion dresses – very cute stuff…if you like being stared at).”

          Good point. If women are dressing the way they do 100 percent because it just happens to be what they like, how do fashion trends occur? Millions of women, by crazy random totally chance happenstance start to have an entirely independent proclivity for the same type of clothing?

          I think its funny that I’m told I treat women like objects when I say I think women dress a certain way because dressing that way provides them with social value… considering the fact that I’m saying they dress that way based on their own agency which is something an object could not do.

          • It’s no different with men ether. men dress in suits to look more professional, which gives an air of success and wealth. This helps with many social interactions, from business to relationship. Am I being hateful or controlling of men acknowledging this point? Am I treating men as objects for pointing this out? Of course not. It’s a foolish argument to dismiss the impact our appearances have in social scenarios, or to pretend that influence plays no part in how we dress, men and women alike. If sexual appeal wasn’t a factor, women’s suits would not have taken on the cuts they have.

      • “If this harmful narrative bothers you, stop viewing women as objects.”

        And this here, the part where you accuse me of viewing women as objects, is why I’m not going to reply to you anymore. You are not worth my time to engage with.

    • Drew – you raise an interesting question about the link between dress and social value, but inserting sexual attractiveness and confidence between those two is problematic. I had a professional mentor who was the highest ranking woman in a Fortune 100 company. She said over the course of her career she had learned that being (thin and) sexually attractive actually undermined her ability to be taken seriously (as did being overweight). She extracted the highest value from her professional encounters when her body was relatively invisible and unnoticed. (Perhaps just like the men she was dealing with.)
      My point is, there most probably is a strong link between dress and social value but the dynamics of that link are highly variable and depend heavily on circumstance and the individual woman (I would love to be a single-digit size and might feel more attractive and confident if I were, but other commenters have mentioned that same size makes them unattractive.) People (women and men) use their bodies and the clothes they put on their body for all sorts of purposes, sometimes it is to increase their social value, other times it might be the utility of staying warm or comfortable.

  35. … How is this even a conversation still?! They are pants. PANTS! Not even short, skin revealing pants. Can’t be tighter than most skinny jeans. So women can’t wear pants that are tight or things that make your butt look good by happensstance because some guys can’t handle it? What turns me on most is a guy in jeans and button downs, or a nice v-neck. Should they stop?? I just can’t control my emotions and I might become harmfully obsessed with them because of my lady-hormones… Puhlease. Honestly, men who are complaining, GET OVER IT!

    • I’ve seen very few people imply that women shouldn’t wear what they want. Almost everyone here, including the author agrees that women should wear whatever they please. One of the main points of the article is the temptation and later guilt men feel when they want to check out women wearing something they find really appealing, but that women are just wearing for comfort or other practical purposes. You say, “Not even short, skin revealing pants.” as if thats what men “should” find more appealing, but a lot of us think yoga pants look particularly attractive, sorry but we do. Thankfully most of the women here have said they don’t mind a quick glance as long as you don’t stare and many have admitted to doing the same.

      The big controversy is over his statement that most women wear yoga pants to be attractive to men, which is being largely criticized.

      • Well the point is that’s what YOU find attractive, but most of my life, I’ve heard people speaking out about girls who “show too much skin”. So it’s just getting ridiculous… what am I “allowed” to wear?! Girls who wear baggy sweats are “frumpy”. Girls who wear tight pants are “asking for it”. People assume that women should dress depending on what guys do or don’t find attractive, or that it’s a women’s responsibility to control a man’s impulses. This leads to a rape apology culture… that somehow, men simply can’t overcome their biology, or than women are somehow “asking for it” and should expect it.

        But women are also complicit here. Again, I’m not asserting that the egregious rape-mentality of dangerous men—the ones who believe if a woman dresses provocatively, she is “asking for it”—has any validity.” … Actually yes, yes you are. “However, I have a hard time believing that—outside of the gym or the yoga classes—women wear yoga pants solely for comfort.” (Clearly, female brains don’t work the same as male brains, because I, for one, do). This article is hugely problematic, and I can’t believe it was allowed to be published by a website that’s trying to form “good men”.

        • But again almost no one here is saying your “not allowed” to wear anything. As you say, no matter what you wear theres probably some group of guys out there that have a thing for that, and based on your tone it almost sounds like this fact bothers you and I’m not sure why. The fact that a man expresses his guilt and conflict over what women are wearing doesn’t automatically mean hes trying to shame them or tell them what they should wear.

          Like I said before the main controversy over this article seems to be over Nathan’s assumption that all women wear yoga pants specifically with men in mind, and I agree that this is not something he should have said. However I don’t think it was fair of you to make the leap you do in your second paragraph. The article expresses the sentiment that all those women are teasing men, which again I agere is wrong, but that doesn’t automatically mean hes falling in line with rape-mentality. Its a huge leap to go from “Women are teasing men,” to “that woman was asking for it so I raped her”, and I don’t think it was fair of you to make that leap for the author. The fact that you think someone is teasing or toying with you doesn’t mean you think they are “asking for it” or that you think rape is ok.

  36. Ok, so here’s what we do. We replace all the references in this article to yoga pants with “pizza”, and sweatpants with lasagne, and women, with “you” (as in the author), and the author with “me’ (the person commenting).

    What do we end up with apart from some odd mad libs. We end up with a situation where I start out with a bit of false self deprecating humour about me having this crazy obsession with pizza, but very quickly we degrade into how everywhere I go you just happen to be there, eating pizza. But I’m obsessed. I want me some o’ that good greasy food of the gods. But I can’t. I have to try real hard not to rip that artery clogging food crack out of your hands and devour it whole.

    Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it’d be your fault if I just pounced on you and devoured your pizza.

    But… I kinda am. Just a little bit. Because, I mean, you could be eating lasagne. I don’t like lasagne as much, it’s not nearly as sexually attractive. Wait. Tasty. Yeah, we’re talking about food here. You probably like lasagne, I’m totally right in assuming that I know your tastes. And for that reason, I’m totally right in gradually sloping towards saying that you wake up in the morning, and decided to eat pizza, because you know I like pizza. That’s just the kind of tastebud tease you are. You just like to dangle that slice of saturated fat, gluten and misc organ meats in front of my face because you know, you just know that I want it. You love seeing me fight the urge to rip that melted rotten breastmilk slathered bad boy right out of your hands. Because that’s how you roll.

    It’s totally impossible that you just like pizza, for your own reasons, and you have a right to enjoy it, without having your motives questions, and most importantly, it is entirely impossible that your pizza, is your pizza, and not something that I have a right to police, control, or lay judgment on.

    Because, you know, if I laid judgment on your pizza, that kinda displays an attitude where I kinda think I have a right to tell you what to eat and where to eat it. And I’m not talking about you waving that pizza in my face, I’m talking about you just sitting on the park bench I happen to walk past, or after the gym. Thing is, if I have a pizza problem, that’s on me, I should stay away from pizza places. If you come into my house and eat pizza and rub it on my face while I’m asleep – that’s different. Why should what you choose to eat, which doesn’t hurt me, or even actually cause you to interact with me, give me right to write this article that basically reduces you to a grease mongering pizzacrack dealer?

    Or hey, how about this. Straight gentlemen wear nice jeans sometimes right? Well, those jeans give certain other gentlemen boners. Clearly, you wear them for those gentlemen, because you know they like it, and because you like to tease. I mean, why else? You could wear sweatpants. They’re comfy after all.

    • “Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it’d be your fault if I just pounced on you and devoured your pizza.

      But… I kinda am.”

      Yup, we’re all just rape apologists. What an incredibly fair assessment.

      • You took that out of context. You forgot the rest of the sentence, which included “just a little bit”. And there is a major element of slut shaming and “well, you COULD dress more modestly”, with associated implications of blame, going on in there.

        The author complains about the temptation being dangled in front of him, and places the blame for that on women because they obviously dress like that to tempt him. That, like it or not, is in the same vein as rape culture. It’s not nearly as pronounced, but it is an attitude that needs to change, both for the sake of women and men. Clearly there is an unhealthy attitude of guilt around sexuality, when really that guilt should be around reducing individuals to nothing more than a vehicle for one’s desires.

        I’m not going to say men in general have this issue, but what I’m seeing here is an individual who believes appreciating sexy posteriors is bad, and because he feels guilty about that, he’s trying to blame it on the women with the sexy posteriors, assuming that they’re wearing tight pants just to tempt him. He’s mistaking sexuality for objectification, feeling guilty about what he likes, which isn’t wrong, while perpetuating something that actually is harmful – slut shaming.

        • The author is speaking about the temptation to LOOK, not to take by force. Your adding the element of taking by force converts it from something which should be harmless, but for some reason, the author clearly feels noticable guilt and shame over, into the realm of assault. So no, I don;t think Drew was out of line for what was said. you’re the one that changed the context from looking to taking by force.

        • “You took that out of context. You forgot the rest of the sentence, which included “just a little bit”.”

          Yes, entirely out of context. We’re “just a little bit” rape apologists.

          I get it. It’s difficult to respond to the actual point being made (that being sexually attractive is one of many factors that determine the way women dress), so you’ll just go ahead and build up the slippery slope strawman of “If you think she’s wearing those pants to look sexy, you must think it would be okay for you to rape her! She’s just asking for it, isn’t she?”

          That’s right up there with “if you think it’s okay to get an abortion, you must think it’s okay to murder anybody you want at any time for any reason!” Not buying it.

          • Like it or not, the attitude of blaming women for male lust is in the same vein as rape culture. It blames women for men’s lust and behaviour. There are other factors, yes, and I dealt with those too. But you chose to pick on one particular thing, ignoring the whole issue. You could perhaps try to consider how you would feel in the situation I outlined – the whole situation. If it wouldn’t be good and happy, then perhaps you should consider the parallels to it in the article.

            Rape culture isn’t just about blaming women for rape, it’s about blaming women for things they can’t control, like how men react to clothing. And it’s worth noting that in cultures where women’s clothing choices are most strongly controlled, rape is horrendously common. That tells us that the attitude of blaming women’s clothing choices, or hair colour, or how they smell, or where they workout, for the behaviour of men, whether it be leering, objectifying or actual assault, is harmful. It’s part of a greater attitude that degrades women to little more than walking bags of flesh. It’s wrong, and hopefully one day it will stop.

            You’ll also note, that the article used words like ‘age old tease’ and ‘implicit’, and talks a lot about guilt and piggishness (I personally don’t like that term, pigs are smart and clean and loving), and then puts the blame for that on women. What the author may want to consider is that arousal is not intrinsically shameful, and nor is noticing. Leering, open staring, and harassment are not cool.

            Maybe then he wouldn’t feel the need to blame women for his own issues.

            • ” That tells us that the attitude of blaming women’s clothing choices, or hair colour, or how they smell, or where they workout, for the behaviour of men, whether it be leering, objectifying or actual assault, is harmful.”

              And who in holy hell did here, on this thread, say that leering, objectifying, or assaulting a woman is okay, under any circumstance?

            • Ya know, I really love the whole “well you think it’s okay for a man to look because a woman is dressed sexy, you must think it would be okay for a man to rape her because she’s dressed sexy. Its the same concept!”

              Just like “If you get an abortion, you’re ending an innocent human life. So you must think any kind of murder is okay. It’s the same concept!”

              Or “You support taxation for fire, police, and EMS services for everyone? You must be a socialist who thinks everyone should share everything equally! Rob from the rich and give to the poor who have done nothing to earn it, right?”

              Or “You say it’s your body and you can eat what you want? You must think you can eat someone else’s food or eat a human baby if you want, because you can eat ANYTHING you want, right?”

              Or “You think spanking is okay? You must think it would be okay for a parent to starve and mercilessly beat a child, since it’s entirely up to them how to raise it! Right?!”

              …see, there are plenty of other bulls**t ways we can play the “Well if you think X, and we expand on the concept of X to a ridiculous extent, we can infer that you must believe Ridiculous Conclusion Y!”

              The “slippery slope fallacy” is a well known fallacy for a very good reason, Rave.

    • That’s either pizzandrist or lasagynist, or maybe both, but I’m too hungry now to tell. That’s your fault.

  37. Yoga pants are extremely comfortable AND make my butt look good. It’s great we can have dual purpose clothing.

    Like it or not, the Yoga bum is a fashion accessory and is marketed as such.

    http://www.womenshealthmag.com/yoga/butt-muscles

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/lululemon-goes-to-court-to-remove-calvin-kleins-pants/article4482297/

    “Lululemon’s skyrocketing popularity has been built on stylish athletic apparel – especially its bum-accenting yoga pants. Its success has fuelled competition, however, and this week the Vancouver-based retailer filed suit against rival Calvin Klein Inc., launching a war over a waistband.”

  38. Alyssa Royse says:

    Under this all, I feel profoundly sad that we still live in a culture in which people of either gender have to take their sexual arousal with a heavy dose of shame. And take other people’s feelings personally. I get turned on and aroused by countless things each day. I consider myself lucky.

    • Under this all, I feel profoundly sad that we still live in a culture in which people of either gender have to take their sexual arousal with a heavy dose of shame.

      Me, too. I suspect, though it hasn’t been framed as such in this discussion, that there’s a religious component to this. Not in an intentional way, but if you’re trained to believe that lust is a sin (and a deadly one at that), and even lust “in your heart” makes you guilty (so you don’t even have to act on it for it to be evil), that’s going to mess with your ability to enjoy or accept lust. I shed the religion and faith that taught me that a long time ago, but I still haven’t completely shed the feelings of guilt and shame about how much I want sex or enjoy looking at attractive women.

      I was Catholic, and if you ask priests or devout Catholics about whether they think or teach that sex and sexual thoughts are shameful, I guarantee the answer will be no, that sex is a beautiful gift from God and absolutely should be enjoyed and treasured, it’s just that God wants it to be unitive and procreative. Any other kind of sex is a departure from that and therefore sinful, but godly sex is a beautiful wonderful thing. That sounds really sex-positive, right? It makes all sorts of sexual thoughts and activities shameful to someone who goes along with that, though, like masturbation, oral sex, birth control, and homosexuality, to name but a few.

      I get that same vibe from much (but not all) of the feminist blogosphere and discussions like these, that swear feminism is sex-positive, and replace “unitive and procreative” with “enthusiastic consent”, and “sin” with “rape culture”, but the logic of it leads just as inevitably to shame and guilt, and more Don’ts than Do’s. Like Catholicism, a thought or reflexive desire is frequently treated as no different from having acted on on it. Unlike Catholicism, the lust-negativity isn’t as unisex, so it manages to get celebrated or justified for women, but men ought to be ashamed.

      There are exceptions, as I consider you to be, Alyssa, or also Julie G. to name a couple, but such exceptions are shunned so consistently by self-declared “real feminists”, that I don’t find the exceptions characteristic of feminist thinking any more than my prototype for a Catholic is a liberal priest or nun who would get the smackdown from Church higher-ups if they’re caught doing things like advocating for birth control or women priests.

      • I agree with you Marcus. The tone of the piece and much of the conversation has a very puritanical edge to it.

      • wellokaythen says:

        I’ve noticed that, too. The social crime of “objectifying her in your mind” sounds awfully similar to the sin of “lusting after her in your heart.” Sounds like we’ve just swapped out one invasive, repressive clergy for another.

  39. My yoga pants are also my maternity pants….I don’t think I look attractive at all in them with my sweaty t-shirt and my hair in a messy topknot (but hey, the fact that I made it to 6AM yoga class is a miracle in itself)….

    While I go to yoga class just to do yoga, I cannot deny that the yoga instructor is really hot (think Johnny Depp crossed with Donny Osmond), but I’m a married woman so yoga and no talking is all that goes on in class….[BTW, he does not wear yoga pants…just sweats, I think]….there is some hint of sensuality or sexual sparks…or maybe there isn’t….when I am doing “downward dog” and he corrects my position by putting his hand on my lower spine or touches the sides of my hips to remind me to lift a little higher….read into this (or don’t read into this what you will)…I guess it depends what kind of Desperate Housewife you are….

  40. I have a question for Nathan, if he has followed the discussion his piece prompted and hasn’t been scared shitless about ever saying another word about it. Nathan, have your thoughts about women intentionally flaunting or teasing men with yoga pants changed at all as a result of this discussion? I’m not asking if you’ve been convinced yoga pants aren’t sexy, because that part hasn’t caused all that much of a stir, but the part about the “age-old tease” and flaunting has.

    I ask for two reasons. One, I’m really curious to know. Two, because I recall a GMP article from a while back where a woman wrote something that she believed to be true about men and cuddling (it’s only a prelude to sex, etc.) and after quite a bit of pushback, sincerely changed her mind. Maybe my memory has sanitized the way that discussion went down, but my recollection is that the pushback was more “you’re wrong and here’s why” than “you’re an obvious male-bashing example of why feminists hate men”, so she came around and everyone including her was happy about that.

    I wonder if that’s even possible for Nathan, who made himself vulnerable by sharing some uncomfortable feelings of lust and where he placed the blame for them, and hasn’t just been “set straight” but has been characterized as an obvious example of Rape Culture and entitlement. I don’t see where Nathan has been left much room to grow or be believed if he said he had, and *this* is why there aren’t more men who feel allowed to express feelings. If you think a man’s worried about looking “girly” for crying, that’s nothing compared to looking “rapey” if he’s honest about what turns him on. I find the reactions of women (feminists in particular) to men making themselves vulnerable way, way more of a deterrent to “expressing feelings” than any fears of what other guys or my father will think.

    Tom Matlack ruffled quite a few feathers a while back in a piece about what happens when men are honest about male lust (or a title to that effect) and a huge shitstorm ensued about the phrase “ruined tits” a friend of his had used. That and shitstorms like this one prove Tom’s point, which was that men are conditioned not to talk about lust or sex openly and honestly – especially to women – because doing so is more likely to cause shitstorms than to foster mutual understanding and respect. That’s different from saying men are never wrong, but if there is no safe haven to express a “wrong” thought without being cast as an objectifying, rape culturing, entitled misogynist, then men will mostly continue keeping those thoughts to themselves.

    • I think you’ve hit on a very important aspect: Fear. Men’s fear that they will be figuratively shit on if they’re honest, and women’s fear of being literally attacked. Both are genuine, and both are legitimate. I, too, am curious about Nathan’s opinion. Really, genuinely, respectfully curios.

      • Both are genuine, and both are legitimate.
        Yes.

        All too often these “discussions” end up devolving into one side pitted against the other in mortal combat to decide which one is more legitimate and genuine than the other.

    • I think you’ll find that a lot of themwomen reacting with exasperation and frustration to this article are doing so because they’ve (we’ve) heard it all about a million times. There really isn’t anything that thoughtful or brave about what Nathan said here. He’s just regurgitating the same crap that women get fed all the time about how our clothes and bodies are always somehow a problem for men and their lustful urges. This is nothing new and we are tired of it. No one is blaming Nathan or any man for being attracted to women or even being attracted to women who wear a certain type of clothes, but it’s the assumption that women are wearing these clothes in order to titillate men or tease men that’s the problem, because 99% of the time that’s not even true. We do not exist for your pleasure.

      • *I think you’ll find that a lot of the women, not themwomen

        Whoops

      • Yeah, for me and many of the commenters, its most certainly not about whether men look or not, its about being blamed for causing men discomfort on purpose and it sounds really Victoria and familiar. We don’t exist for people’s pleasure and the tone of the piece is, “all these women doing this thing to me.” And yeah, that kind of gets old.

        The “ruined tits” thing was heartbreaking to many women who read and commented, myself included. Mostly due to the callous nature of the remark and context, as if women can’t themselves see the difference in their “young” or “old” bodies (not like we are blind to the changes that hit us) or as if women can’t also look at their partner and see changes too.

        It was more like…”So they really do feel that way. I guess I have no real hope.” that’s how the ruined tits thing made me feel, personally. Like, why work at staying pretty and youngish, when my aging body is honestly a disappointment. In fact, I thought why shouldn’t women then just say to their men the same things if that’s how its gonna go.

        Men are free to say whatever they want about women (and many many do). Women are free to react positively or negatively to those statements. People who hold similar values about sex and aging and yoga pants are free to find each other and enjoy life.

      • You’re supporting my point, Sara. There’s a lot of lip service about men being more in touch with and expressive of their feelings, but reactions like this condition men to realize that their feelings – especially about sex – will be perceived as “the same crap” by women, who find it tedious, an imposition, and threatening, not something thoughtful or brave. So for the most part, we keep that shit to ourselves or save a version of it for guy-talk, which we’ll also catch shit for.

        Nathan was wrong about women intending to tease men with yoga pants, but he was also expressing a feeling that seemed to spring from the part of his piece a lot fewer people thought was problematic, which was his shame and guilt over even feeling lust in the first place. I think in an authentic “men can express their feelings” kind of environment, he would have been disagreed with, and with a bit of empathy, perhaps shown a different way to process that lust and think about when it’s okay or too much, and who’s responsible for all that. That has happened a little (more so in the later parts of the discussion), but especially in the early going, there was a ton of just calling him out as yet another misogynist, and follow-up articles published elsewhere have once again criticized GMP for publishing misogynist crap, etc., etc. Contrast that with the cuddling article I mentioned previously, where a woman author who didn’t believe men (even her husband) could want cuddling for non-sexual reasons, was brought around by the comments, and even came back later to comment how much closer she was feeling to her husband now that she was accepting and reciprocating his cuddling needs. She wasn’t branded a man-hater for saying men only use cuddling as a pretense for sex, and the piece didn’t have a ripple effect of articles criticizing GMP for publishing this man-hating crap. Maybe I’m just suffering from confirmation bias with these two examples, but it seems to me that even here on a site that aims to be about men accepting and expressing a wider range of feelings, we see women allowed to express all of them, and men better watch out if they express the wrong ones, and it’s more women than men telling them they’re doing this vulnerability thing all wrong.

        • I guess I’d love to see that article where he breaks down his understanding of guilt and shame and religion. I can totally see your point Marcus. The thing that got picked up on wasn’t his feelings, but a part of his belief system and that caused reactivity. I figure it’s cause the piece was written to be kind of tongue in cheek and humorous (saying things like “I”m doomed” which seems like hyperbole to me) rather than serious and focused on feelings. And frankly, as a comedian I should always be willing to look for the pain under the humor cause god knows I’ve got plenty of it myself. But hey, sometimes when I read humor pieces I figure it’s about humor and hyperbole and not about feelings.

          It’s clear there is a lot of consternation going on. One can only wonder what Nathan is feeling, and I will happily offer an olive branch and move the conversation more towards dealing with our cultural shame around sex, repression around bodies, and frustration with how people communicate about flirting and so forth.

          I don’t want Nathan to feel like a bad person because women’s bodies turn him on. I actually hate hate hate religion for that very thing, more than anything else. I hate that religion has supported that trope that women are temptresses and so forth and I hope he can find his way to enjoying the pants without pressure.

          New meme! Enjoy the pants!

          • Julia, you’ve hit the nail on the head, especially re: women and religion. I think a lot of these articles get written because people can’t distinguish between attraction vs. lust. Religion basically tells men that they are slaves to their lusts and women are the sole cause of that, which is why women’s bodies and clothes are policed so much. It’s damaging for both sexes.

            Marcus, I see your point, but I also understand why women react the way that they do about these things. I think women sometimes have a gut reaction to get defensive when men talk about our bodies and clothing choices because so much of it IS misogynistic. That’s not to say that men can’t be honest about their feelings but please understand that women are very sensitive to these things because it is US that you guys are talking about. It’s our lives. It’s our bodies. Our clothes. Our choices. When we hear men say things like “I think women in yoga pants are sexy so therefore women are automatically wearing yoga pants to turn me on” it just sound like the same sexist crap we hear all the time. There’s really no way around it. The fact that Nathan is attracted to women in yoga pants isn’t a problem in and of itself, it’s just the way that he is talking about it. As if the only reason a woman would ever wear those pants is to turn him on. We both know that’s bullshit. And naturally, women are reacting to that bullshit. Just because he’s being honest about his feelings does not mean that we are obligated to praise his honesty, especially when it affects our lives, as well.

            • Is there a reason why my comment in this thread is not being approved? All my other comments went through.

            • Certain words trigger a mod approval flag. Once a mod gets to it, if there is nothing wrong with it, it will be posted.

            • Ah, I see. Thank you.

            • The problem Sara is that there seems to be a double standard going on that if women are open and honest about men and they get defensive then the judgment is that “his fee fees are are hurt and he is getting defensive” while on the other hand when men are open and honest about women and they get defense then the judgement is that “something set those women off so of course it’s understandable that they went off”.

              Just because he’s being honest about his feelings does not mean that we are obligated to praise his honesty, especially when it affects our lives, as well.
              So the course of action in addressing the pattern of thinking that led to those feelings (because as has been said the problem isn’t that he finds the attractive but that he thinks women wear them to attract men right?) is just rail at him about how misogynistic he is?

            • Plenty of women have addressed the problem with Nathan’s article without railing at him for being misogynistic, Danny. But those women who have called out the misogyny in his article? Still not wrong. Because that bit of his article is misogynistic, even if other parts of it aren’t.

            • But the majority of the responses have been “how dare he think that way”, Sara.

              But those women who have called out the misogyny in his article? Still not wrong.
              I don’t recall saying they were wrong for calling it out Sara.

            • If they weren’t wrong for calling it out, then what is the problem? It IS wrong to think that way. It is definitely wrong to assume that women that you don’t even know are doing something with your penis in mind. That is wrong. So yes, how dare Nathan (or any guy) think that? Y’all need to stop thinking like that. Because it’s wrong and false. Period.

            • The problem is that becomes the entire situation. As in it’s one thing to point out hat it was wrong but it is quite another to try to it out that the only thing that happened was that wrong thing.

              In fact your “Period” is doing just that, as Marcus pointed out above.

              All that calling out wasn’t for the sake of understanding. It was for the sake of trying brow beat the mentality (again I’m not saying it was wrong to call it out, I was saying it was wrong to make that the entire conversation).

              Julie said above, “I guess I’d love to see that article where he breaks down his understanding of guilt and shame and religion.”

              That conversation could have happened in the comments as well. But for the most part it didn’t.

            • Danny – I haven’t seen that at all. Most of the responses I’ve seen have been “I wear yoga pants for my own reasons.”, and some others pointing out the issue with the attitude. I’ve seen a few stupid ones, but not many.

            • Who said anything about having an attitude?

            • “So the course of action in addressing the pattern of thinking that led to those feelings (because as has been said the problem isn’t that he finds the attractive but that he thinks women wear them to attract men right?) is just rail at him about how misogynistic he is?”

              Actually, the problem is that he has been made to feel so ashamed of finding women attractive that he needs to make excuses for said behavior. He so wants to be the enlightened man, but he falters, and he can’t help that, so, in order for him to maintain his enlightened man label, blame needs to be placed outside of his own agency.

              Calling him a misogynist for doing this only compounds the problem. It says he should be ashamed, and he needs to accept responsibility for that shame and guilt, instead of trying to pass it off on women. The idea that he shouldn’t need to feel that shame in the first place, and thus, there is absolutely no reason to try to blame others for said shame, well, that seems to be an unpopular viewpoint, as the few attempts to point it out have largely been ignored by all but a few (those who’ve said it, and Jullie, for the msot part)

          • Why the assertion that it is religion at fault for his shame and guilt? The reasoning for his guilt, what he “knows” is wrong and how he “should” be behaving sounds an awful lot like the standard identify politics of gender, not religion. Read the first half again and note just how much of what he says are how women (and “enlightened” men) are constantly telling men they should behave.

          • “I don’t want Nathan to feel like a bad person because women’s bodies turn him on. I actually hate hate hate religion for that very thing, more than anything else. ”

            The problem is women shame men for women turning them on. There was no religion in that gym, his fear is that women would judge him as a creep for leering at a women in skin tight clothing. Meanwhile the men at the gym wear loose fitting clothing so it’s only logical for men to conclude that women’s intent is sex appeal. If it is not their conscious intent it may be unconscious or it may be what made the fashion trend popular in the first place. There is no doubt that making women look sexy is what gave birth to the spandex outfit.

            • It should also be noted, yoga pants are not limited to the gym. They have become a trend in basic everyday fashion, and THAT can’t be said to be due to how they support muscles while working out. For people to try and claim women don’t dress to appeal to men is foolish (perhaps not the case in the gym, but definitely in general. Spanx and push up bra’s are evidence of that, as they aren’t worn to be seen, and their ultimate goal is to shore up parts that appeal to men, breasts and waistlines. And my understanding is that underwires aren’t comfortable, so that rules out that reason)

            • your understanding of underwire bras is incredibly faulty. maybe they’re uncomfortable for women of certain sizes, but I wear them to sit alone in my apartment and surf the internet because they are the only thing that IS comfortable.

              I don’t think anyone is claiming that no women ever try to dress to appeal to men, just that the mere fact that some man somewhere thinks one specific woman looks attractive in what she’s wearing should not be taken as proof that she is trying to “entice” him. plenty of women think men in suits are hot, but I tend to assume that the men I see wearing suits are just trying to dress appropriately for whatever they’re doing – or maybe trying to look nice for some specific other person who isn’t me.

            • “I don’t think anyone is claiming that no women ever try to dress to appeal to men,”

              Actually, Sarah has made that exact claim.

              “just that the mere fact that some man somewhere thinks one specific woman looks attractive in what she’s wearing should not be taken as proof that she is trying to “entice” him. ”

              As the author noted that he think comfort is not SOLELY the reason yoga pants have become so popular, arguing such a claim is pointless. It;s a strawman.

              “plenty of women think men in suits are hot, but I tend to assume that the men I see wearing suits are just trying to dress appropriately for whatever they’re doing ”

              Even when they wear them out to the club, or to some other non-sports social event? If yoga pants are worn for comfort, why then would men not also dress for comfort and shed the suit outside the workplace? Some do, but the suit remains the peak of socialwear for men. Now, don’t equate this as claiming yoga pants are the peak of socialwear for women, I’m just pointing out that men, too, dress to appeal. They wear suits for their appeal to women, not solely for their professional aspects. Admitting the same applies to women, with a focus on a different appeal (sexual rather than success), is all the author is trying to get out of women. And for that, he was called a misogynist and shamed (which was, ultimately, the reason he needed the acknowledgement in the first place, to help alleviate his shame).

            • Yes, maybe men wear suits to a club because they want to look nice. How many women wear yoga pants to a club, or to a brunch, or to other “social events” where a bit of dressing up is required? How many men wear suits when going grocery shopping, or picking up the kids, or going to the gym? This is when many of us wear our beloved yoga pants. And yes, they are VERY comfortable.
              I DO NOT WEAR YOGA PANTS TO TURN MEN ON.
              I don’t know how many ways that can be said. In fact, up until 2 days ago, I honestly would have laughed at the notion that yoga pants are a turn-on. If men like seeing us wearing them, no problem. If large numbers of men honestly believe we wear them with any thought of turning men into slavering horndogs (which is pretty insulting to men), then there is a serious problem.

            • Alyssa:
              “I DO NOT WEAR YOGA PANTS TO TURN MEN ON”

              Yes, I believe you have stated that several times. Are you all women? Do you speak for all women? Do the dozen women that have given their opinions on these topics, speak for all women? Is the micro-culture you inhabit, the model for all micro-cultures everywhere? Is it beyond the range of possibility that in some micro-cultures, they are worn for that purpose, with the advantage of plausible deniability?

              I am quite sure that much of the time, for some women, yoga pants have nothing to do with inciting sexual attraction. Some other women, some of the time have exactly that intent.

            • I never claimed to speak for all women. And, yes, I and others have said it many times because it doesn’t seem to be getting through to some folks.
              The author used broad terms, saying, in effect, the women he sees at the gym, women he doesn’t know, who don’t know him, are specifically trying to torment him.
              I can only speak for myself and for the women I know and have known in my 43 years. The majority of us do not get dressed with the intent to turn men on. Are there women who do? Yes. But they don’t speak for me, anymore than I speak for them. The assumption many of the commenters here are making is that ALL women in yoga pants know the effect they are having and revel in it and that is patently false.
              I don’t think there is any shame in being attracted to or turned on by someone. But to ASSUME they are TRYING to make you (the general “you,” not you specifically) feel that way, just to torture you, is, IMO, short-sighted at best. My comment was directed at those posters here who believe just that.

            • Alyssa @ 9:20

              It really simply is not worth engaging over this. Once generalizations are converted to universals, and people start speaking for all people in all circumstances, and then consigning people to rape culture and creepy oppressors, there is no discussion left to have.

              I absolutely believe you when you say you do not intend this, nor do the women you know intend this. I also know that my sister does intend to attract, and is blunt about it. I know for a fact that my daughter does this as well, and so do her friends, because they laughed about the effect they had on their boyfriends, and their cousins, and their boyfriends friends. I’m not certain why this is being so adamantly denied – some do, some don;t.

              Experiences and micro cultures DO vary yunno.

            • Yup. They do. Greatly. And we’re all products of those experiences and micro cultures. Which is why generalizations are so polarizing.

            • Alyssa @ 12:08

              Then we have agreement, I suspect.
              To my view, the OP was giving his personal experience, in whatever micro-culture he inhabits.
              To my view, much of the hostile response has been universalizing – women don;t intend to attract, tempt or tease by wearing yoga pants. Therefore he is a creep, and a proto-rape culture promoter.
              His presumption may very well be reasonable, IN HIS SETTING. It may well not be.
              To reject out of hand his assessment, and his experience, is unreasonable. Did anyone ask him specifically what accompanying body language, what cultural setting he inhabits? For all we know, the gyms he has encountered HAVE been used for pickups. Where I am, women largely go to a women only gym called Curves, and the men got to a boxing gym – mostly women don;t go to the boxing gym because, frankly it absolutely stinks. The co-ed gym IS known as a pickup site in this area.

              Everyone perfectly understands that you and others here DO NOT intend to be provocative in choosing to wear yoga pants. However, other women, in other places, DO.

            • You’re judging women based on their choice of underwear now? Something you won’t even see unless you’re intimate with them or peeping in the women’s locker room. Wow.

            • Please, point out where a judgement was made against women. I was merely pointing out that women DO in fact wear clothing for their appeal to men, which was a claim certain people have outright denied happens.

              But if you’d rather play victim than have an honest discussion, say as much and I’ll ignore you too.

        • I read the rebuttal article by Amelia McDonell-Parry over on thefrisky.com. She blasts Nathan for not taking women at their word when they say they wear yoga pants for comfort and that what men like doesn’t even enter into it. Ironically, one of her other articles is titled: “I Really Don’t Care To Know What Men Think About Makeup Because They’re Not Being Truthful Anyway”. Here she claims that all men who say they prefer women without makeup are actually lying. She knows this because every man shes met in real life who said this often didn’t realize that their wives were wearing makeup when they actually were. She even picks out the founder of this very site, who made such a claim and concludes:

          “While I’m sure Matlack thinks his wife is lovely first thing in the morning, before she’s put on her makeup, I would be shocked if he sincerely prefers it over the perfectly polished, “tasteful” and natural-looking makeup she regularly wears when they’re in public.”

          In effect what shes doing isn’t much different than what Nathan did, she can’t possibly believe that any man truly prefers his wife without makeup just like Nathan can’t believe women wear yoga pants without men in mind. Hypocrisy at its finest.

          • Well, no, that’s clearly different. She’s saying that most men who claim to prefer makeup-free women are being perfectly sincere, but are simply mistaken, because they mistake subtle makeup for no makeup at all (an entirely understandable mistake if you don’t use makeup yourself). Nathan is saying that women who claim to wear yoga pants for the sake of comfort are not mistaken but lying (either to him or to themselves). That’s a pretty huge difference.

            • I don’t see a difference. Look at what she says in the last paragraph:

              “The thing is, I don’t actually care if I ever do. I actually believe women should do whatever the fuck they want to with makeup — wear it, don’t wear it, regardless of what men think or think they think or pretend to think about it. So can we stop asking them now?”

              She implies that some men are knowingly pretending or are fooling themselves. Nathan says something similar, that we all want to be noticed whether we admit it or not. Like her, Nathan is also implying that some of those women simply aren’t admitting the truth or haven’t admitted it to themselves.

            • It should also be noted that the specific example she used, Matlack actually said he knew when his wife wasn’t wearing make up and that when she did it was tastefully done. Heres a guy who clearly knows the difference and is saying he prefers no make up and shes not giving him the benefit of the doubt.

            • Of course it’s different. It’s always different when you want to justify hypocrisy. The fact is, she refuses to take men at their word, then moans when she feels men aren’t taking women at their word. try pointing out that the specific details are different all you want, the core problem, that of taking people at their word, remains the same… well, it should remain the same, but for some reason, it doesn’t, depending on who she feels word needs to be taken at face value.

            • But according to Jack she didn’t say that those men were mistaken, she said they were not telling the truth. A mistake would be, “I don’t think she has makeup on. But wait, oh she actually does.” A lie (which is what her accusation is) would be more like, “I don’t care whether or not she has makeup on (but I actually do).”

              Not being able to tell if she has on makeup is not lying.

              And like Mark said it’s hypocritical. She doesn’t like it when women are not taken at their word about why they wear yoga pants but then turns around and declares that men can’t be taken at their word when they say they don’t care about their partner wearing makeup..

              So here’s the lesson. Men need to be quiet and take women at their word when about why they wear yoga pants because a man has no business telling a woman what her reasoning is and men also need to be quiet about saying they don’t care about whether or not women wear makeup because men have no business telling a woman what his reasoning is?

              At best you might be able to say that because a guy may not notice whether or not she has on makeup he might care once he recognizes that is wearing it and didn’t know. But even then who is to say that once he recognizes the difference he will suddenly start caring?

        • Brilliantly put.

        • There’s a lot of lip service about men being more in touch with and expressive of their feelings, but reactions like this condition men to realize that their feelings – especially about sex – will be perceived as “the same crap” by women, who find it tedious, an imposition, and threatening, not something thoughtful or brave. So for the most part, we keep that shit to ourselves or save a version of it for guy-talk, which we’ll also catch shit for.
          Damn straight. We are told to be more open and honest but as soon as we are we’re told its crap or teased or insulted (and attacked at times) about what we are feeling. Based on this I wonder if women want men to be open for the sake of men opening themselves up or do they just want to be nosy and judgmental about what men are feeling but don’t share.

          That has happened a little (more so in the later parts of the discussion), but especially in the early going, there was a ton of just calling him out as yet another misogynist, and follow-up articles published elsewhere have once again criticized GMP for publishing misogynist crap, etc., etc.
          Pretty much. I brought up the shame aspect and sure enough hardly anyone took a bite. And I find those followup pieces almost ironic because again. We are in an age where supposedly everyone (feminists especially) wants men to be more open about how they feel in hopes of helping them. But exactly how much help does it do to just rail off about how what he feels is misogyny this, or how “women are oppressing his eyes with their pants” (and I put that in quote marks because I saw almost this exact phrase on Twitter in reference to this post), or how it’s crap?

          Contrast that with the cuddling article I mentioned previously, where a woman author who didn’t believe men (even her husband) could want cuddling for non-sexual reasons, was brought around by the comments, and even came back later to comment how much closer she was feeling to her husband now that she was accepting and reciprocating his cuddling needs. She wasn’t branded a man-hater for saying men only use cuddling as a pretense for sex, and the piece didn’t have a ripple effect of articles criticizing GMP for publishing this man-hating crap.
          Sure as hell didn’t.

          Maybe I’m just suffering from confirmation bias with these two examples, but it seems to me that even here on a site that aims to be about men accepting and expressing a wider range of feelings, we see women allowed to express all of them, and men better watch out if they express the wrong ones, and it’s more women than men telling them they’re doing this vulnerability thing all wrong.
          Okay read into this what you want but this right here is one specific reason that some MRAs (and probably more men) don’t participate here. Yes most people just tell themselves that its because “MRAs are nasty!” but that’s not the entire answer. It’s a baited trap. “Come over here guys! We have a platform where you can sit and have some eye and mind opening conversation and make some progress on helping yourselves and others. (But what they don’t realize is there are plenty of people watching this place like a hawk and every time they do something they don’t like we’ll jump them for it. ::queme super villain laugh track::).

          • It’s a baited trap.
            Actually let me rephrase that.

            People see that this place can at times read more like a baited trap than an invitation for conversation.

          • Regarding your last paragraph. While I agree with you, I do want to defend the GMP management a bit here, and lay the blame on MRA writer’s themselves. Much of the baited trap part comes from the other writers and from commenters. And while, in the begining, I will say there was some bias in what got posted (such as the “what is the MRA” farce of a week), things have shifted to a more neutral standpoint, from the management side of things. The number of feminist writers is still significant, as is the number of feminist commenters, but this would be the place for MRA writers to get the debate and challenge feminist views on masculinity and men, if they would only stand up and do so. I wish I could write anything more than direct responses, but it’s not in the cards (I’ve tried writing about a vacation, where one of the authors here offered to help me refine it. I couldn’t even get enough down to paper worth sending his way.)

            So to summarize, I agree it’s a baited trap, but it is so because f the writers and the commenters, not the management. And it should be a trap worth springing, as it is precisely what many MRA’s claim they want, a chance to openly debate and challenge those double standards and views. It’s just daunting walking into such overwhelming opposition

            • Mark;
              Does management not decide with which sites to cross-promote (Everyday Feminism, XOJane), in whose hands to place authority to shape discussion, which pieces by which writers to accept, what level of editing to apply to submitted pieces, and what market to target (by identifying the click count of a category of articles.

              Does it not make decisions on what corporate culture to establish by its staff appointments, its regular open staff meetings? Does it have no policy on commenting?

              Surely such things amount to editorial stance.

              Given the articles that draw the most comments, not just from the 3 or 4 who are most prolific, but also from the pool of the infrequent commentors, clearly there is a perception of the community that participates here? Do you think this community is fertile ground for so-called MRA writers?

              In fact, is there any evidence at all that such content would be accorded equitable treatment? If not, why are you blaming such writers for not submitting? Not sure I understand what you wish to have happen.

            • If you can show me they are rejecting MRA pieces in favor of feminist ones, then I will accept the management is fully to blame. But if the management is getting 100 pieces by feminists for ever piece they get from MRA’s, it’s hardly fair to blame them for not posting more MRA pieces. It’s the same problem we have with feminists demanding top jobs for women… not enough women are stepping forward looking for the jobs. Several governments have women only short lists for their ridings and they STILL can’t get equal representation, because there just aren’t enough qualified candidates coming forward, and it’s unreasonable to blame men for this, just as it’s unreasonable to blame the GMP management for not getting enough MRA pieces… unless they are openly rejecting them, in which case I’ll admit I’m wrong. But GWW, Paul Elam, Typhon Blue have all had pieces posted here, and that stopped for some reason. But given Tom’s own pieces that have openly opposed feminists, I can’t believe it’s because they got blocked in favor of feminist writing. Again, if I’m wrong, I’ll admit it, but I’ve seen nothing to suggest I am.

            • ” Do you think this community is fertile ground for so-called MRA writers?”

              I think it wasn’t some time ago, and that gave feminists a strong foothold here. And so I agree it would be difficult to change that now, but I don’t think management is opposed to that change. In fact, I suspect they would welcome a more balanced selection of articles. I just think too many MRA’s have written this place off because of it’s beginnings and because they don’t censor feminist writings any more then I suspect they would MRA writings.

              As to why I blame writers for not submitting, see the short list part of my above comment.

            • Look, have it as you wish. I don;t much care whether MRA writers are represented here. I don;t think writers change anyone’s opinion here, or by and large anywhere else either. To me, this is a progressive site that is strongly prof-feminist, and so is its commentariat, its management, its staff, and its content. Wasn;t that the objective?

              With the possible exception of Matlack, who actually had a central premise that was effective. Stories of that kind are the exception, rather than the rule as matters stand, in my view.

            • Odd request. You wish me to prove that articles have been submitted to this site by so-called MRAs and have been rejected. How do you suggest I do this?
              Do the commentors here have access to internal information on the submission process? Do you?

              I take assurance that the site was founded by a feminist, is managed by a professional woman, has a senior editor whose originating blog was perceived to be anti-MRA, and has prolific contributors who are clearly positioned as pro-feminist.
              You appear to wish to absolve management of any responsibility for the community culture that has been created here, and I just don;t quite understand why? Is this something we are supposed to hide?

              Would you wonder if there were a paucity of libertarian articles on a progressive socialist site? Do you think libertarians are likely to persuade staunchly socialist leaning people of the merit of their views? Why on earth would one expect MRAs to contribute here.
              Incidentally, I don;t know who these people are that you reference – GWW, and Elam…. I did searches for their material, and all I found was an article written in 2011 by Elam titled “Paul Elam: On Misandry: What’s Wrong With Men?”, and the link was dead. I found Typhon Blue posts, 2 in all, both pre-dating the appointment of a new editor in chief, with whom Blue has a banning history, if I recall.

              Here’s a question I have, generally. How many MRA writers are there, anyone know?

            • …but this would be the place for MRA writers to get the debate and challenge feminist views on masculinity and men…
              I’m not so sure about that. Somehow, I’m still working out the details, MRAs have managed to turn this into a hell hole that promotes the rape of women even though they clearly have very little presence here.

              I wish I could write anything more than direct responses, but it’s not in the cards…
              Same here. I’m short on time. But in the time that I have written material I’ve noticed that as soon as most people see MRA they get ready for a fight. And if they see MRA when it’s not actually there they will just declare it is anyway and then get ready for a fight.

              So to summarize, I agree it’s a baited trap, but it is so because f the writers and the commenters, not the management.
              Really? A while back Filipovic called GMP an MRA hell hole and called for other outlets to cut off ties with GMP until they managed to get rid of all MRA presence. Management was pretty quiet on that one and as far as I know they never actually responded. I’ve managed to stick around but I’m truly wondering is it because the management will not give in to the demands of critics that clearly don’t understand GMP (because anyone with half a working brain can plainly see this place is nowhere near dominated by MRA presence) or what.

              as it is precisely what many MRA’s claim they want, a chance to openly debate and challenge those double standards and views. It’s just daunting walking into such overwhelming opposition
              And I’m up for the challenge. The hard part is going to be dealing with people that would rather cry “Misogyny!” at the mere sight of an MRA rather than actually talking things out. For some reason that stuff gets a free pass (but of course once an MRA takes that to heart and stoops to that level THEN suddenly everyone turns 180 and wants civil conversation).

            • “I’m not so sure about that. …”

              Well, my meaning was that this “could” have been neutral group, where both sides could have their say. How ether side chose to use it is outside managements control.

              “Really?…”

              I must be misunderstanding you, because it seem to me what you are describing is precisely what you are questioning. Sounds to me you are describing a situation in which some non-management person made a demand for GMP to take sides, and GMP management flatly ignored those demands… in which case, I don’t see how it’s managements fault over that of the contributors.

              “The hard part is going to be dealing with people that would rather cry “Misogyny!” at the mere sight of an MRA rather than actually talking things out. ”

              Yeah. That’s always the hard part. But I suspect having a place where both sides can have their full say is better than ether an MRA site that will only attract trolls willing to brave the depravity and evils of the MRM, or else a feminist echo chamber where silencing dissent is the primary response to opposition.

      • “This is nothing new and we are tired of it. No one is blaming Nathan or any man for being attracted to women or even being attracted to women who wear a certain type of clothes, but it’s the assumption that women are wearing these clothes in order to titillate men or tease men that’s the problem, because 99% of the time that’s not even true. ”

        I think that is complete B.S. You don’t have to be a genius to recognize the enormous difference in the fashion choices of men and women. Whether or not women at that moment are making a conscious effort to titillate the day they put it on is not the point. It’s whether or not women are choosing clothing based on it’s potential to titillate when they purchase the items. If they go to the store and try on the outfit by looking at their butt in the mirror then it does not matter if they don’t check out the rump every other morning when they put it on. These are the sexy pants the purchased to “look hot” so even when they don’t care about looking hot that will be the effect.

        Women’s fashion choices consist of a wide variety of tight fitting, body revealing, sexually titillating outfits. Men’s fashion choices are mostly loose fitting clothing. There is clearly something going on here. Men should call women on it and women need to stop lying.

        This is all about sex, from the fashion trends, to women’s personal choices, to men’s response to seeing women in it.

        • No where will you find anyone claiming that men cannot look at women. Of course men will look at attractive women and vise versa. We are attracted to each other (assuming we’re all heterosexual). But women do not get up in the morning and think “Gosh I wonder what all the men in the world will think of me in this outfit” It might just happen that what we wear on a certain day does attract male attention and that’s totally fine. But that’s still not always necessarily what we are going for. Women do not revolve all their choices around men, I’m sorry. And men need to get used to that. If you see an attractive woman and you look at her for a few seconds, I mean, cool, whatever. But try to remember that she is still a person, not a piece of meat for you to devour. Look, but please be respectful. Is that too hard?

          • “No where will you find anyone claiming that men cannot look at women.”

            Funny, because I see it right there in the article. I see the author crowing about the guilt he feels for looking at women in yoga pants. And I see those in the comments section telling him he’s wrong to be putting the blame for that guilt on women, that he should accept responsability for that guilt himself. In other words, the guilt he feels for looking is rightly justified… AKA he’s supposed to feel guilty for looking at women, he just isn’t allowed to blame women for it. This whole “it’s ok to look at each other” defense has only come up since it’s been pointed out the guilt he’s feeling is what’s wrong.

            “But women do not get up in the morning and think “Gosh I wonder what all the men in the world will think of me in this outfit””

            As another commenter pointed out (think it was Ed, if mistaken, my apologies), it may not be thought first thing in the morning, but it very likely is thought when the item in question is purchased. And to deny this is, at least sometimes the case, is to be incredibly dishonest.

            “Women do not revolve all their choices around men, I’m sorry”

            Who said anything about “ALL” their choices? But some choices in some area’s are clearly done for the purpose of attracting men. And if you don’t agree, please explain the benefits of a push-up bra, as I’m interested to hear the mental gymnastics needed to justify the discomfort of an underwire, if not to give the appearance of larger breasts in order to appeal to men

            • PS. It often amuses me how often women will deny their own agency in order to hold men responsible for something that offends them.

            • Mark, the issue that women have with this piece is the part where Nathan says that just because he finds women in yoga pants attractive then that means that they are obviously only wearing them for that reason. Woman after woman after woman has stated that they wear yoga pants for COMFORT and not to appeal to men. But that doesn’t mean that it’s bad for men to find women in yoga pants attractive. Just please do not assume that we are wearing them to turn you on. This is not rocket science, good grief.

              And when it comes down to it, women have many motivations for wearing the clothes that they wear. Women are not a monolith. SOME women may choose certain articles of clothing to attract men, but that doesn’t mean that every woman every where is making choices based on what men think. Some of us do not care. I don’t wear push-up bras, and neither do any of the women I know. We dress for ourselves, not YOU.

            • ” the issue that women have with this piece is the part where Nathan says that just because he finds women in yoga pants attractive then that means that they are obviously only wearing them for that reason. ”

              You’ll have to point that specific part of the article out for me, because I clearly see him state “However, I have a hard time believing that—outside of the gym or the yoga classes—women wear yoga pants SOLELY for comfort.”. Note the “SOLELY for comfort “part, indicating your “ONLY” to appeal to men sexually assertion is a strawman, which makes all your blame and shame nothing more than an attack. Many of the commenters also ignored the “outside a gym environment” part in order to attack him, pointing out the advantages such pants offer while IN the gym.

              “Woman after woman after woman has stated that they wear yoga pants for COMFORT and not to appeal to men”

              And the author acknowledges that comfort is indeed a reason. But he asserts it’s not the only reason, and given the existance of other comfortable clothing, and how much less appealing those are to men, and the corresponding lack of becoming fashionable, he has a point. Why aren’t track pants as fashionable, they to are comfortable, moreso according to some of my female friends. To try and deny the sexual appeal of tight fitting clothing is to be incredibly disingenuous. And to insist on such in order to justify blaming men, well, that’s downright offensive.

              “Just please do not assume that we are wearing them to turn you on. This is not rocket science, good grief.”

              Can we make such an assumption about push-up bra’s, or are you going to pretend those aren’t worn to appeal to men ether?

              “And when it comes down to it, women have many motivations for wearing the clothes that they wear.”

              Correct. And the only person denying that is you, or more specifically, the strawman your fighting against. What is being argued is that sex appeal IS one of those reasons, and again, it’s you who’s denying that.

              “Women are not a monolith. ”

              Nor are men, but we do get treated as such when the man bashing begins. But stating that it is not unreasonable to sugest yoga pants are worn outside the gym, party for their appeal to many men, does not present women as a monolith, it is simply a generalization (and those always acknowledge exceptions exist). I realy don’t understand why some people have such a hate on for generalizations (until it suits them to use them). Are you incapable of seeing a generalization and not assuming it’s about you specifically? Are you not cappable of seeing a generalization and thinking, “hmm, may be true in general, maybe I’m one of the exceptions to this generalization?”

              “Some of us do not care.”

              Guess not.

            • But women are saying that comfort it IS the sole reason for wearing yoga pants. Women are not lying to you. We do wear yoga pants outside of the gym for comfort. Yes, that is the only reason. Most of us have never considered yoga pants to be sexy because we don’t feel sexy when we wear them. Usually they are worn on casual days when we’re running errands or being lazy. And plenty of women do wear other “comfy” clothes. I see women out in sweat and track pants all the time. Yoga pants are just one option of many. And no, it still has nothing to do with your libido.

            • “But women are saying that comfort it IS the sole reason for wearing yoga pants. Women are not lying to you. We do wear yoga pants outside of the gym for comfort. Yes, that is the only reason.”

              What happened to “women are not a monolith”? Or does that only apply against criticism?

              I have been told by several women they think their ass looks great in yoga pants, and while that may not be the sole reason they wear them, it certainly does play a part. So your attempt to claim women wear them SOLELY for the comfort is a farce.

              “Usually they are worn on casual days when we’re running errands or being lazy”

              Another falsehood. I see yoga pant’s routinely on business days, both in the office, and especially around the university next to my office building. And not a trivial number of them.

              “And plenty of women do wear other “comfy” clothes. I see women out in sweat and track pants all the time. Yoga pants are just one option of many.”

              It’s rather disingenuous to pretend track pants and yoga pants share the same degree of acceptance in the fashion world. Track pants are only ever worn for comfort, when doing laundry or other chores. Yoga pants are worn in social environments, to events, out in public. There is a reason for this difference, and it isn’t comfort. Pretending otherwise is just being dishonest.

              And again, it amazes me how fervently some women will deny their own agency in order to avoid any kind of criticism or blame for the outcomes of their own choices. You would rather accept that your choice to wear yoga pants was completely innocent, and that men looking at your ass is them objectifying you, than admit you know how your ass looks when wearing them, and that men will check your ass out, and choose to wear them nonetheless.

            • MEN CAN CHECK US OUT WHEN WE WEAR YOGA PANTS. THEY CAN THEY CAN THEY CAN.

              This is like talking to a brick wall.

              Check us out if you want but please don’t assume that we’re wearing those pants in order to turn you on. Women may think their butts look good in yoga pants but that still doesn’t mean that it’s FOR MEN. Women can and do wear things that make their bodies look good FOR THEMSELVES. We are not trying to tease you. If you happen to notice us and give us a harmless look then fine. But we are still not wearing those pants with you or your libido in mind. Please please please, accept this.

            • Granting permission NOW doesn’t change the fact that the conversation, until this point, was denying that same permission.

              Insult me all you want, call me a brick wall all you want, it doesn’t change the content of comments that came before you. Doesn’t change the fact you are still trying to guilt men in other comments with such strawmen as accusing an opposition to accusations of objectification for looking into some demand for a positive reaction.

            • You are delusional, I never guilted men for looking at women, and most of the comments here haven’t either. I think you’re just wanting permission to treat women like objects and you’re blaming women for not letting you. That’s all I’m getting out of this conversation at this point.

            • “That’s all I’m getting out of this conversation at this point.”

              Then there isn’t much point having a conversation with you, as you will see what you want to see, not what is being said. This isn’t my problem though. After all, comments like “I think you’re just wanting permission to treat women like objects and you’re blaming women for not letting you” is doing precisely what you claim you aren’t doing. You are attempting to shame me (and all men who read these comments and share my view) by attempting to equate not wanting to be creep shamed, with demanding some kind of positive response to my lust. Next you’ll be accusing me of rape apologia, as doubling down, increasing the accusations to greater and greater levels, is how this silencing tactic goes when the initial shaming efforts fail to work,

            • Sara:
              I’m confused. @ 2:05, you say …
              “You are delusional, I never guilted men for looking at women, and most of the comments here haven’t either. I think you’re just wanting permission to treat women like objects and you’re blaming women for not letting you. That’s all I’m getting out of this conversation at this point.”

              But yesterday, Rave said …
              “Sometimes the truth is ugly, and while we aren’t necessarily calling him a monster, we are pointing out that his talk about women dressing to tease him, is still in the same vein of blaming women for mens behaviour, which is a form of rape culture.”

              and you responded, at 9:18,
              “Well said, Rave”

              Well the men’s behaviour in question is looking at women wearing Yoga pants.

              So which is it – never guilted men for looking, or it is part of rape culture?

            • Um, seriously? Are some of you this thick? The problem is men PRESUMING that women are dressing to tease them and turn them on. The problem is not that men get turned on in and of itself. I can’t make this any clearer. It’s definitely a sign of rape culture if men are assuming that a woman’s motives for getting dressed in the morning are just so she can catch the attention of any man she sees. But a man noticing an attractive woman is fine, just as long as he is respectful towards her. Not rocket science.

            • Sara @ 6:24

              Really not interested in responding to ” Are some of you this thick?”

            • Then don’t. But you do come off that way because you seem incapable of understanding things that really aren’t that complicated if you have two brain cells to rub together.

          • Look, but please be respectful. Is that too hard?

            I wouldn’t say “too hard”, but yes, it’s hard. The reason isn’t because we can’t control how many glances we take or how long those glances last, but because the judgment of “respectful” is controlled by how women feel, not by what we intend or expect them to feel. Although several women in this discussion have described as obvious the difference between looks they don’t mind and ogling or staring, they have glossed over the fact that the threshold is different from woman to woman, and from one situation to the next even for the same woman.

            If my buddies Ryan Gosling, Archy, and I are exercising together at the local YMCA, we could be checking out and appreciating women in yoga pants with the exact same duration and frequency, and probably get three different reactions. There would be more than one reaction from the women, too, since they’re individuals and there’s no “react like a woman” description that fits them all. Some might find it rude of all three of us if she caught any one so much as glancing in her direction. Others might feel flattered by or indifferent to all three. In the middle range, there are some who would feel flattered and confident to have caught Ryan’s eye, because he’s dreamy and if he’s looking their way, maybe they daydream about what he would say to them after, “Hey, girl…”. If they caught me looking, I’m 5’7″, about 155 lbs., and babyfaced, so they might think, “Rude, but probably not a threat.” If they caught Archy looking, he’s 6’6″ and big (if I’m remembering Archy’s self-description right), there might be more who feel creeped out and threatened by him than by either The Gooseman (that’s what we call him when we’re working out together) or myself.

            Is there anyone who really thinks that aside from being chummy with Ryan Gosling, my hypothetical is absurd, and that women will uniformly share the same thresholds and reactions to a range of men checking them out in equal measure? This variance is what makes it hard to “look, but be respectful” — because we often don’t know how threatening or unthreatening the person we’re checking out will find us, or how little it might take before she feels disrespected. A quick glance is sometimes enough, if she believes you were more than glancing and mistakes a first glance for a twentieth. If we do have a sense of how welcome or unwelcome our glance is likely to be, then the “be respectful” guideline ends up meaning it’s okay for attractive people to check each other out, but everyone else should just keep their eyes to themselves.

            So, the standard of how much looking is okay and how much is ogling is not a consistent standard, either from woman to woman, or for the same woman independent of who’s looking and where. Since it’s impossible to read minds and abide by a standard that’s in constant flux, the best we (men) can do is to abide by our own standards and hope for the best. When we’re lucky, the result if you catch us looking (or just think we are) will be that it’s harmless or even feels complimentary; when we’re unlucky, the result will be you thinking we’re an entitled creep. Either way, it could be the exact same look from us, and whatever you feel about it, it’s not our fault. Kinda like it’s not your fault if we happen to feel aroused.

            • Addendum to the hypothetical – Assume “good behavior” by all three of us, meaning no catcalling, whistling, feel copping, etc. Just appreciating from a distance. No fair to assume that Gosling would be discreet while Archy and I would drool and make smacking sounds.

            • Marcus, I tried to reply to your comment, but no matter what it keeps saying “awaiting moderation.” Not sure what is setting that off. My first comment had the “f” word in it but I took it out but it’s still not showing.

            • Okay so I just posted this comment but it is currently “waiting to be moderated” so I guess some of my phrasing was bad. Here let me try again without all the cussing.

              I guess my question is, is it really the worst thing in the world if a woman doesn’t appreciate you looking at her? I’m always baffled by how certain men in these discussions think that their lives are soooo hard because women are not falling all over themselves when you check them out.

              Like, if you look at a woman and you notice that she’s not reciprocating your attraction towards her, then stop looking and move on with your day. Like, I’ve actually been in situations like this with cute guys before. Maybe I’ve looked in their direction and smiled, and if he smiled back then I know that the feeling between us is mutual. But if he ignores me or gives me a weird look then I know he’s not interested and I move on. I guess I just don’t understand the dilemma. No one expects you to walk around with your head down, never looking at or smiling at a pretty woman, but if a woman gives you a clear sign that she doesn’t want your attention then just move on with your life. Is there really a need to go on a diatribe about how women are such teases and it’s just so hard to be male? Like, really?

            • Well, that didn’t work either.

            • the fun is trying to work out which word will cause the comment to disappear into the m.zone 😉
              looking at your post, im guessing it was the word ‘moddderrrated’

            • “I guess my question is, is it really the worst thing in the world if a woman doesn’t appreciate you looking at her?”

              When blame and shame are heaped on him for doing so… yes. If women don’t appreciate men looking at them, they need to take some responsibility for ensuring that doesn’t happen. It is unacceptable to attempt and claim women should be allowed to dress however they want, and should be entirely free of having undesirable responses, no matter how natural those responses are. Keep in mind, we’re talking about more than just not appreciating being looked at, we’re talking about telling men they shouldn’t look, calling them creeps or misogynists for looking, accusations of objectification, or worse.

              “I’m always baffled by how certain men in these discussions think that their lives are soooo hard because women are not falling all over themselves when you check them out.”

              You’re welcome to point out such an example, but I suspect this is just a strawman to try and shame men for daring to speak up. The problem isn’t about a lack of positive reaction, it is about the negative reactions, the shaming and guilt that caused the author to try and find away to absolve himself of that guilt in the first place. If he wasn’t made to feel guilty for even looking, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. And you solution, add more guilt.

              The rest of your comment is just more of the same. trying to turn an opposition of the negative reactions into some demand for a positive one. Rather offensive if you ask me. And certainly not helpful to the general conversation.

            • Did you ever stop to think that you’re getting negative reactions because you are coming off as creepy and intrusive? Maybe the problem is not with women, maybe it’s YOU. Maybe you need to re-evaluate your interactions with women. Because I can tell you that I never shame men for looking at me unless they are being creeps about it. There has to be reason for me to accuse you of objectification. It isn’t just me being a big meanie pants. So instead of blaming women for over-reacting to your advances, maybe you need to look inward. Just a suggestion.

            • I never shame men for looking at me unless they are being creeps about it.

              So if I look the same way at you and another woman, and you shame me for being a creep while she doesn’t care (or maybe even is flattered), then she must be an idiot, because your judgment is never wrong, right?

              So instead of blaming women for over-reacting to your advances, maybe you need to look inward. [Emphasis added.]

              You’re doing it again — confusing looking with advances. That’s why guys like Nathan feel shame and guilt whether they’ve acted on a momentary arousal or not, because they know some women like you will interpret looks as come-ons, and consider them creeps for it.

            • Hey, guess what? Sometimes people’s comfort zones and boundaries are different! If I’m reacting to you in a way that another woman doesn’t that might be because we are different people with different experiences. Again, it all comes down to the fact that IF you are making women uncomfortable, repeatedly, then re-evaluate your approach. But if this is just something that happens on occassion then just get over it. Move on. It’s not a crisis. I still don’t understand why men act like women denying them is such a catastrophic event.

              Looks can be just as threatening and creepy as advances, btw. If you’re looking at me like I’m a nice juicy steak, then I’m going tell you to get the eff away from me. But if you just look at me for a second or two, smile politely and maybe give me a nod and a hello, then that’s fine. One is polite and the other is gross and creepy.

            • “Looks can be just as threatening and creepy as advances, btw. If you’re looking at me like I’m a nice juicy steak, then I’m going tell you to get the eff away from me.”

              But remember folks, she’s not shaming men for looking. The fact that how SHE chooses to interpret those looks (be it looking at her like a steak or something else) is lagely a manifestation of her own imagination, and is therefore in no way under a man’s control (short of avoiding being seen looking), is besides the point. Men aren’t shamed for looking, they’re just shamed for how she chooses to interpret that look. Totally different, and still the mans fault.

            • So it basically it doesn’t matter to you whether or not women are comfortable with the way your looking at them? You think women should just suck it up because men are turned on by women and should be able to just ogle women wherever and whenever they want for how long as they want? Women don’t really know how they feel about something, they’re just always shaming men for being men and interpreting looks in order to make men feel bad? I don’t even think there is any point to carry this on, if this is really how you feel. You’re so steeped in MRA rhetoric that you can’t see past it.

            • You’re so steeped in MRA rhetoric that you can’t see past it.
              Whose MRA rhetoric? Not mine?

            • Danny, I was addressing Mark. He is dismissive of women and our concerns all over this thread.

            • Does it matter if men are uncomfortable or not by the way you dress? Does it matter that dressing sexy makes men want to look at you, only to be labeled “threatening creeps” when they do?

              Is it that hard to, if you don’t want people looking at your ass, not to dress your ass in clothing specifically designed to make it desirable to look at?

              Are you complaining when dressing sexy has some kind of positive impact on your life? Or do you just demand to reap all of the benefits but play the victim when a man you don’t want looking at you looks at you? (Not touches or follows or threatens or assaults or stalks or harasses, but merely has his eyes in your direction)

            • Drew, this is the last me I’m going to say this. It. Is. Not. A. Problem. If. Men. Look.

              However, women are allowed to respond to men if they feel they are being creepy and intrusive. If you’re staring at me for an extended period of time like I’ve got 8 heads or something like that I’m probably going to react to it. Anyone would. However a quick look is fine. I don’t expect no one to look at me if I happen to be wearing something that shows off my butt or boobs or whatever but that doesn’t mean that I want to be gawked at all damn day. Do you see what I’m saying?

            • *last time I’m going to say this, rather

            • “It. Is. Not. A. Problem. If. Men. Look.

              However, women are allowed to respond to men if they feel they are being creepy and intrusive.”

              And that is determined by what and by who, exactly?

              Yes, I see what you’re saying. Do you see what I’m saying when I point out that how “creepy” a guy is acting is entirely dependent on the particular woman, at the particular time, for any reasonable or unreasonable qualification? So there’s nothing wrong with looking, except when there’s something wrong with looking. Its not a problem if men look, except for when a woman decides there is a problem.

              And the problem may be that she had a bad day, or that she was dressed sexy even though she didn’t want attention, or that the man is overweight or bald or old or dirty or smells bad, or that he reminds her of a guy she knew years ago who did a bad thing, or he looks like her brother, etc, etc.

              And the problem is never on the woman’s end; the problem is never that the woman wasn’t in the mood to be looked at or that she didn’t like the particular man looking at her – the problem is always the man. So the same man can give the same look to two different women.. and with one it’s okay and with the other he’s a lecherous, dangerous, threatening “creep”. Or two different men can give the same look to one woman, and it’s okay for one guy and not okay for the other.

              The problem is, men can’t read minds. We can’t look at you and know “She’s wearing yoga pants because attention makes her feel good” or “She’s wearing yoga pants but doesn’t want any attention.” We can’t know if you had a bad day or a good day or if you’re in the mood to flirt or want to be left alone.

              So we have to develop our own standards, for what is and isn’t appropriate. Yes, I agree, gawking is rude and following someone is unacceptable and yelling crude comments is wrong. But glancing for a moment? Nope, not wrong, even if the woman “catches” the man and decides he’s an objectifying jerk who thinks he’s entitled to assault her. Talking to a woman? If done respectfully with attention to social cues, nope – not wrong. Even if a woman decides it’s a horrible intrusion and thinks he has the “right” to talk to her.

              Yes, men should absolutely respect women, and if a woman seems uncomfortable, it’s not unreasonable to expect a man to change his behavior toward that woman. That’s common courtesy. But, as a man, I can’t go around all day terrified that glancing at a woman’s butt in yoga pants makes me OMGTEHCREEPY, and as the gender that is always expected to make the approach, I sometimes have to take the risk that striking up some small talk is going to be taken poorly.

            • Drew, I don’t think you are creepy at all for glancing at a woman in yoga pants or any other article of clothing that you might find appealing on the female form. I do the same sometimes when I see men that I think are hot or wearing clothes that show off their physiques. And you’re right, sometimes you don’t intend to be creepy but it can be read that way by strangers and that sucks but I also don’t think it’s that big of a deal. If someone that I don’t know keeps looking at me I’m probably going to be a bit weirded out. I mean, I don’t know the person. And I’m not a mind-reader either. I can’t tell if that person is harmless or is planning on harassing me so I might be a bit defensive at first. It goes both ways. I guess we all just have to do our best to respect each others boundaries as best we can. We won’t always get it right and signals might be misread, but I think if our intentions are not malicious then no real harm will be done. Not sure what else to say.

            • Agreed, Sara.

            • “Drew, this is the last me I’m going to say this. It. Is. Not. A. Problem. If. Men. Look.”

              So it’s not a problem if men look…

              “However, women are allowed to respond to men if they feel they are being creepy and intrusive”

              …unless it is, then it’s perfectly acceptable for a woman to react to the man looking.

              Nice double speak there. This is why there is a problem. This is why we are saying that we’re told it’s not OK to look, because despite you saying otherwise, you always add an addendum which then gives yourself permission to once again say it’s not OK, based solely on looking.

            • Mark, do you think that women should just let men ogle them and stare at them as much as they want? Do you think women are just things that exist for the visual pleasures of men? Do you not understand that women have feelings and boundaries and that sometimes when men won’t quit staring at us it makes us uncomfortable?

              Drew and I already came to an understanding about these things. We both agreed that’s totally cool for men and women to notice each other, but it’s important to be respectful of boundaries and not do things that make people uncomfortable. Do you think this is an unreasonable request?

            • “…unless it is, then it’s perfectly acceptable for a woman to react to the man looking.

              Nice double speak there. This is why there is a problem. This is why we are saying that we’re told it’s not OK to look, because despite you saying otherwise, you always add an addendum which then gives yourself permission to once again say it’s not OK, based solely on looking.”

              You’re actually doing a great job here of illustrating the difference between appreciation and objectification. You’re hoping that Sara is going to give you a primer on how to look at all women without being deemed creepy, when actually it’s on a case-by-case basis, AND THAT’S PERFECTLY OKAY. Because ‘women’ aren’t a category. Of course different women are going to react differently to the same look, and that’s because women are different people. Only someone who has a problem seeing women as individual humans, rather than a categorical object ready to be observed, would have an issue with this. The solution, which has been suggested numerous times, is to adjust your actions on a case-by-case basis. Note that, again, this is something that we do all the time with people in our lives; we don’t act around our grandparents the same way that we act around our best friends, because we don’t expect them to react similarly to the same brand of behavior. If you are interested in seeing a woman as an individual, you will care about how she reacts to your glances. If you don’t, and you just want license to stare at her because she has something you like, that’s objectification. Period.

            • wellokaythen says:

              “If you don’t, and you just want license to stare at her because she has something you like, that’s objectification. Period.”

              I think it’s sad that any man would feel the need to seek some sort of license. I think Nathan is torturing himself because on some level he feels the need to have some sort of permission to look at women, maybe even some sort of papal dispensation to allow him to have sexual thoughts about other people. In fact, he doesn’t need anyone’s permission, and he doesn’t need a license. I challenge the entire notion that any permission is required.

            • Mr Supertypo says:

              I agree wello, people are free to look (not stare) and free to dream. Anything else is just *beeep*

            • “If you’re staring at me for an extended period of time like I’ve got 8 heads or something like that I’m probably going to react to it. Anyone would. However a quick look is fine. I don’t expect no one to look at me if I happen to be wearing something that shows off my butt or boobs or whatever but that doesn’t mean that I want to be gawked at all damn day. Do you see what I’m saying?”
              Agreed, I can’t see how anyone would have an issue with that.

            • “You’re so steeped in MRA rhetoric that you can’t see past it.”
              Hello strawman.

              “Women don’t really know how they feel about something, they’re just always shaming men for being men and interpreting looks in order to make men feel bad?”
              This all largely depends on the look given and since it’s fully based on her interpretation, yes she may absolutely fail to understand his look. That’s the nature of guessing another person’s behaviour based off a look, he may be admiring your necklace, might be admiring your breasts. He might be wondering if he knows you, I did this the other day and had to take a few looks to try remember where I knew her from as she looked very familiar and she may have thought I was into her, she might have felt creeped out, she may have thought her hair was messed up…who knows (was a few quick glances though and she didn’t look at me at all). Thing is if she approached me n starting shaming me, or made an online post describing how degrading n objectifying it was then that would be shaming. How often do these women actually find out why the guy is looking? It’s most often just their instincts and internal guesswork at play, probably right in many cases but I guarantee many will get it wrong.

              I’ve had women tell me they thought I was confident when I was actually scared shitless and in a heavy depression at the time, body language is a mere guide and not a comprehensive library of someones feelings n desires. I’ve walked past people who have looked at me, I felt threatened, I felt scared, all they were doing is smiling n going about their business. Why did I feel scared? Because I was just out of highschool and had recieved a huge amount of bullying to the point I was seeing negative where it wasn’t, I was seeing the bullies in people who I am sure now were just going about their business and probably didn’t pay much attention to me.

              What you see as creepy may be a person with aspergers, they may be ADHD and daydreaming their ass off without realizing what they are looking at (I’ve done this heaps of times), they may be suffering PTSD, doing the 1000yard stare, they could be so many different things but if you see someone looking at you and feel creeped out then you may be right, you may be wrong, would you then go harass them or tell other men to quit that shit whilst stating FOR A FACT that the person is objectifying, and other terms used to shame? My own mother called a guy creepy because of how HE LOOKED. I have friends who are creeped out by this 40 year old guy with “pedo glasses”, not because he behaves creepy, but because he LOOKS creepy to them, he fits a stereotype of the middle aged child abuser in tv n movies.

              What I suggest is give people the benefit of the doubt if ALL they have done is look, you feel creeped out and that’s fine, I feel creeped out too at times but I don’t think of that person as a creep. I don’t go online n say that person WAS a creep, but it’s ok to say I felt creeped out. I take issue with automatic assumptions of negative behaviour in people. There are some out there who believe penis in vagina sex = rape every single time no matter what, there are people who think someone looking at them for .123 seconds means they only think of them as an object. I highly doubt there’d be so many men with apprehension on this topic if all it dealt with was creepy shit like saying sexually explicit comments, purposely staring, catcalling, etc.

            • wellokaythen says:

              “So it basically it doesn’t matter to you whether or not women are comfortable with the way you’re looking at them? You think women should just suck it up because men are turned on by women and should be able to just ogle women wherever and whenever they want for how long as they want?“

              That could be the conclusion, but it’s not automatically the case. If I don’t care how someone feels, then I don’t have any recommendation about what they can do with their feelings. “I don’t care” is not the same thing as “suck it up.” Saying I have an inherent power to do something says absolutely nothing about how other people are supposed to feel about it. Like it, don’t like it, put up with it, fight it, those are separate from whether I’m in my rights to do it.

              I don’t think anyone here is saying “men look, so women should just enjoy the attention.” The whole point seems to be that how women feel about or what women do about it may not be the central question.

            • Yup. Because sometimes women dress sexy because they like the attention, and other times women dress sexy even though they don’t want the attention. So giving a woman who is dressed sexy attention is good when she wants it and makes you a bad evil objectifying creep when she doesn’t want it, and you should just know, and act accordingly.

              Because a woman has the right to interpret anything she wants as a threat, including a glance at her, or striking up conversation. Because you have NO RIGHT to talk to her, except when she wants you to talk to her, in which case you shouldn’t “be afraid” to talk to her.

            • wellokaythen says:

              She has the right to tell a man to stop looking at her or even tell him to go away, and he has the right tio decide to stay or go. I see no reason why both people can’t have freedom of speech and freedom of eyesight. One of the great things about freedom of speech and freedom of movement is that two people can come to opposite conclusions in the same situation and they can both be right.

              No one can shame you without your consent. An attempt to shame a man is just an attempt, really. Whether it works is largely up to him.

            • You’re missing the point here, bud. It’s not that he acted on his desires that’s the issue. The issue is where he’s attributing the blame.

              If yoga pants provokes shameful desires in him, well, that’s problem. He should try to see pants as more than sexual stimuli.

            • How about this, let’s agree we are all entitled to feel how we feel.

              it is okay for a man to feel attracted to a woman. Or not. Your feelings are valid. Likewise, it’s okay for a woman to feel bothered if she thinks a man is attracted to her. Or not. Or to be happy or flattered or offended or creeped out. However she feels is how she feels. Her feelings are valid. As long as no one starts screaming at each other, or behaving offensively, we can deal with our feelings and all go about our day.

            • Mark,

              Let’s compare the perspectives, shall we? You talk about Nathan receiving the brunt of the internet community for this one article, the shame being heaped on him and how it’s excessive and these comments shouldn’t happen. So right now, Nathan’s sad lot is based on his negative attention in this one situation.

              Have you even considered what’s it like for women to be shamed and made to feel guilty for their clothing choices all the time? Think about it. Something so trivial as CLOTHING is the reason real women in real life meet real physical, non-virtual, harassment.

              You can’t understand why people are so angry? He’s making charges that women are trying to tempt him simply by wearing gym clothing. Wouldn’t you get angry when someone blames you for something you didn’t do?

            • “Have you even considered what’s it like for women to be shamed and made to feel guilty for their clothing choices all the time?”

              Have you ever considered the reason women get shamed and made to feel guilty for their clothing choices is because they shame men for appreciating the attributes those clothing choices accentuate? It’s a matter of what came first, the chicken or the egg, shaming men for looking, or shaming women for showing?

              Problem is, despite a small handfull of people trying to point out the shame the author felt, the shame he was trying to alleviate by putting (some) of the blame on the women themselves, all I’ve seen is denial women play any part in any of it. All I’ve seen are attempts to deny men are shamed for looking (while simultaneously creep shaming the men here for daring to even try to have the conversation), while still getting angry they are blamed for the shame men are made to feel. If men weren’t made to feel ashamed for looking (and we’re talking reasonable looking here, the author gave no indication he does otherwise, yet still feels ashamed and “chavinistic” for looking), they would feel no need to absolve themselves of the guilt by placing the blame on women. If they didn’t feel ashamed, there would be no blame to pass around. But nobody wants to address this point, instead just adding more shame and blame onto the author, who already has more than enough.

              “You can’t understand why people are so angry?”

              Oh, I do. They are angry because the shame the author was feeling got turned on them, and when they tried to turn it back, some people said wait a minute. They are angry because they are attempting to speak for all women, and making huge absolute claims. yoga pants are only ever worn for comfort, women don’t wear them to appeal to men… but walk into any sports bar and you’ll see every waitress in ether a mini skirt or yoga pants, and you can’t tell me that isn’t to appeal to men for bigger tips, because I know better. So if some women do it, then the authors only failure would be attributing it to all women… but he didn’t do that. He made efforts to point out that it wasn’t always SOLELY for comfort, thus acknowledging that sometimes, it was for comfort.

              I will say one thing, what confuses me most about this conversation is how easily most of the women here willing to abandon their agency. To pretend they know nothing about sex appeal and that any attraction their attire may create was completely beyond their reasoning, totally unknown to them. it’s pretty sad really.

            • Mark, you are completely and utterly misunderstanding why women are taking issue with this article, even though it has been pointed out to you and everyone else REPEATEDLY.

              Nathan was not being shamed and called chauvinistic for looking at women in yoga pants, he was being called out for presuming that all the women he saw wearing yoga pants were wearing them for his viewing pleasure. As women have pointed out REPEATEDLY it’s totally fine if men think women look good in yoga pants but we aren’t necessarily wearing them to appeal to the male gaze. We are wearing them because they are comfy and easy to put on during days when we feel like being lazy or when we just left the gym and didn’t feel like changing. For the vast majority of us, it is SOLELY for comfort. You would think that after the 283249th woman pointed that out that you would maybe finally get it, but you still keep insisting that we are wrong. Apparently you know why we wear the clothes that we wear better than we do. Pointing out that women who work in sports bars sometimes wear yoga pants does not indicate that the average woman running errands during the day in a pair of yoga pants is doing it to entice men. Again, as you will see, if you read numerous comments and responses from women on this subject, you will see that many of us never considered yoga pants a sexy article of clothing. We do not wear everything to appeal to you and your libido. Maybe some women do in some places and situations, but you cannot project that onto all of us. You just can’t. We are not hear for you to ogle and drool over. We are human. You are allowed to be physically attracted to women, of course, but understand that we are human beings with feelings and boundaries of varying degrees sometimes we might not want you gawking at us. If you can’t be respectful towards your fellow humans, regardless of their gender or clothing choices, then maybe you shouldn’t be out in public.

            • “I’m always baffled by how certain men in these discussions think that their lives are soooo hard because women are not falling all over themselves when you check them out.”
              Most commonly I see fear of being associated as a creep. Do remember that a creep label can really fuck your reputation up, for instance as a photographer I NEED to be creep-free in my reputation.

              It does calm my nerves a bit to realize a simple look for most women won’t get them calling me a creep but I do worry about the small portion of women who will throw that term around. I usually look at women if I like them for like.. 0.5 seconds? But I avoid any staring.

              “No one expects you to walk around with your head down, never looking at or smiling at a pretty woman, but if a woman gives you a clear sign that she doesn’t want your attention then just move on with your life. Is there really a need to go on a diatribe about how women are such teases and it’s just so hard to be male? Like, really?”
              Thing is there are people who do and what’s worse will say men are objectifying women by looking.

              “Like, I’ve actually been in situations like this with cute guys before. Maybe I’ve looked in their direction and smiled, and if he smiled back then I know that the feeling between us is mutual.”
              Are you a female? Then you have no idea on what it’s like for men. Do you realize that many of us are quite aware it’s already hard enough to hit on women when so many are afraid of men with schroedingers rapist, that we have to be extra cautious because that whilst you get to have a quick look that you can do as a woman with little threat of being seen as a creep a man I’d say has a much higher chance she will feel uncomfy/threatened by it, an act that can be innocent in nature (not everyone is well versed on socializing skills). Already men have to be very fucking careful of looking at children over the pedophilia hysteria, adding on women’s fears with schroedingers rapist may make some feel like we aren’t meant to look at anyone except other men, although looking at other men at the wrong time, wrong place may land a fist in your face.

              I find it interesting to see a woman comment on this, with some pretty obvious condescending behaviour, and dismiss these men’s feelings on the matter. I myself am a man who NEVER wants to make someone feel uncomfy but the issue is that there are some women who are on HYPERALERT where they seem to be bathed in so much material teaching them of the male gaze where they see negative in most male actions, even looking at someone for a moment. I have zero issue with women telling off men who cross boundaries, who say creepy shit, act creepy, but my issue is with those who tend to be too trigger finger in finding negative where it really isn’t, where a glance let alone a 5-10 second stare becomes threatening.

              Imagine being raised to know how scary you are simply because you have a penis, raised to know women are afraid of you, raised on harmful teachings like extremist feminism where young boys raised by extremist mothers end up hating themselves, an original sin of genders, where the feel like they can’t even look at other women and especially can’t find a woman sexually attractive without feeling creepy. This fear ranges from mild to extreme, for me I am aware that some get bothered by looks and I find it difficult to actually look at other women if they notice me looking at them. My mind automatically thinks “Fuck, did I just make her afraid, did I do something wrong” and I end up feeling GUILT over something that should be pretty damn benign since there’s actually no harmful intent. I was raised in a pretty open household luckily so I haven’t been affected as much as others but I do ask people take a second to think why some men feel cautious in even looking at a woman. It doesn’t help that men have often been demonized as a group of savage sex starved maniacs.

            • First of all, in no way did I deny permission for yoga pants guy to notice women. I pointed out that his assertion that women are somehow to blame for his reaction to a particular type of pants is incorrect, and indicative of an issue common in society. Like I said, ugly truth, but truth none the less, and instead of being afraid of the truth, wouldn’t it be better to face it and see what can be done to change it?

              Using the info that he’s given in the article, he’s either acting in a way that’s making women uncomfortable, and thus illiciting bad reactions (if it was just one or two women with bad reactions for their own reasons then it’s likely he wouldn’t feel that guilty, though perhaps even one would be enough)

              OR

              He has some kind of guilt or shame about his sexuality. That could have come from misinterpreting feminist ideas, which is possible, or maybe from upbringing, or religion, or something else entirely.

              OR

              He feels that womens’ bodies are shameful, and feels guilty for appreciating. This could come from all kinds of different places too.

              Either way, the fact remains that HE feels guilty about his obsession with yoga pants on women. That’s a shame, because provided his behaviour was reasonable (and while we can never give a specific set of instructions to never offend a person, we can certainly give a general consensus) there’s nothing wrong with appreciating the fruits of nature, so to speak, within reason.

              The problem, is that he’s putting the blame for the guilt he feels, on women, and in doing so, reducing us – all individuals with our own minds, experiences and reasons, to automotons that make even basic choices like clothing based on what men desire.

              It’s invasive and degrading to have a complete strange announce that my mind is occupied by him or other men when I’m looking in the mirror. Mostly my mind is occupied with how *I* feel about how I like. To have that invalidated is insulting and part of a greater problem we have in society – making the ‘victim’ (in this case the object of lust) to blame for the action. It’s also insulting to men, you’re also intelligent indiviuals, with your own thoughts and memories, and sensible women do NOT see you as drooling Neanderthals to dangle our saucy lady steaks in front of.

            • I’m curious, does it matter if the woman thinks you are a creep for looking, assuming you never talk to her or even see her again? If you think your feelings (of attraction) ahouldn’t affect her, then her feelings about you (thinking “ick, creepy guy staring at me”) shouldn’t affect you either. Assuming it all stays in people’s heads.

            • I agree, if it stays in her head that she was creeped out by me, that doesn’t affect me at all. That’s distinct from the types of comments that have said, “If I feel uncomfortable from him looking, he’s going to hear about it from me.” (I’m paraphrasing, but I’ve seen that sentiment expressed several times now.) To me, that’s an escalation from discomfort to openly accusing someone of being a creep, similar to how cat-calling is an escalation from harmless appreciation to imposing on the person you find attractive, and the more people who witness either escalation, the worse the object of that response will likely feel. Whether the feeling is, “Ick, creepy guy” or “Mmm, nice butt”, a lot of feelings are best left in our heads.

              I think that point is even clearer if you take the yoga pants thing to an extreme. I say everyone or certainly most people in this discussion would agree that it would be horribly inappropriate and rude for a guy to say to a strange woman, “I just want you to know that you’re so sexy I’m going to fantasize about you later when I masturbate.” However, I hope there wouldn’t be objections to any guy, without going around telling people he’s cast them in his fantasies, fantasizing about whoever he wants when he masturbates. The flip side of that is we can probably agree (I hope) that if a woman is grossed out by the thought of a guy masturbating to a fantasy she’s part of, there’s nothing inherently wrong or insulting or shaming about that. However, if she were to tell a specific guy, “Dude, the idea of you jerking off to me is disgusting and you’re a creep if you even consider it,” then I think that would be as inappropriate and rude as her being informed he was planning to.

              Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to Tweet, blog, and update my FB status about how ridiculous it is when people broadcast every thought that pops into their heads, because as Ghandi never actually said, I want to be the change I wish to see in the world.

            • I think a lot of the discussion about this topic degenerates into each side telling the other side that their feelings are “wrong.” That’s unfortunate. Personally the idea that a strange random guy is going home and jerking off to his fantasies about me in yoga pants sounds, well, icky, and I would prefer not to know about it. But what happens in his head is his business. But if he tells me that’s what he’s doing, I think I’m also entitled to tell him “yuck, I’m grossed out by that thought, ew”. So probably better not to share those thoughts!

            • I think we’re in agreement here, but I just want to point out that in comparing the two things that would both be inappropriate and rude to say, so there was no “If he says ___ first…”. But yeah, some thoughts are best left unshared.

            • Agreed. Actually I’ve never confronted anyone for what I considered inappropriate staring. I’ll just get up and leave or walk away.

            • wellokaythen says:

              Marcus,

              I think Joanna and some other women want to know where this gym is where Ryan Gosling works out. If it doesn’t exist, can you please talk about it some more? : – )

    • “That’s different from saying men are never wrong, but if there is no safe haven to express a “wrong” thought without being cast as an objectifying, rape culturing, entitled misogynist, then men will mostly continue keeping those thoughts to themselves.”

      Or, alternatively, continue expressing it in ways that are objectifying, rape culturing, entitled misogynisticly, such as cat calling and wolf whistling. If you’re going to be labeled as evil anyways, why hold back?

    • That’s an excellent point. However, the article I read in response to this one over at the soapbox wasn’t vitriolic, and much of the responses I’ve seen on here haven’t been either. Sometimes the truth is ugly, and while we aren’t necessarily calling him a monster, we are pointing out that his talk about women dressing to tease him, is still in the same vein of blaming women for mens behaviour, which is a form of rape culture. It’s not nice, but it’s true, and it’s something that needs to be dealt with in society.

  41. This is what I hate about identity politics and feminism. For all the complaints about the slut/stud dichotomy, it is male sexuality that is made out to be the greatest evil in modern society. Men have become afraid to even acknowledge he finds women attractive without claiming he is a chauvinist (definition, feels one group is superior to another. But given what follows, one must wonder if it is in fact female chauvinism he displays, not the male chauvinism he likely intended to mean). I’ve never seen a woman expected to self flagilate like this author, simply because she dared to acknowledge she finds attractive men attractive, especially under a given circumstance.

    As to yoga pants themselves… I hate them. I see them as yet another double standard. Every benefit women find in yoga pants, men will find in track pants. But track pants have been stigmatized outside the gym as lazy and slobish, and I see yoga pants as no different. I used to wear Track pants all the time, because, they to are comfortable.

    • We have a reasonable expectation within the society that sexual acts should be performed in private along with sexual displays. We set a hard limit at the threshold in which nudity is involved but we frown upon solo sexual acts with clothes on especially in formal setting such as schools, work, etc..

      What this man is asking is whether or not wearing a skin tight outfit counts as a sexual display which is inapproriate because of it’s affect. We can disregard the intent of women wearing such clothing because the affect is what matters. Women should be held accountable for the affect of their behavior and dress on others because she is living in a society where half the people are sexually aroused by her appearance. If it is not her intent to do so then she ought not select outfits that leave nothing to the imagination. In other words she can dress more like men who don’t gain any sexual advantage by dressing in spandex. I understand that women are following the herd much of the time and being sexy isn’t necessarily the goal, but that doesn’t change the affect. Presuming women desire this affect on average is only logical when we look at the direction of fashion trends.

      I think men should start considering whether or not women dressing this way constitutes a form of sexual harassment. We are too reluctant to pass judgment on women and too quick to do so in the case of men. If you are going to dress in a way that is provocative thus causing discomfort to the men around you then we should be as judgmental towards you as we are towards the men leering at your needlessly exposed body.

      Sex is not shameful but public displays sexual displays in inappropriate settings are.

      • I have a very hard time imagining that many men have ever been reluctant to judge women. The article itself is about judging women, sadly, many of the comments from men are judging women. What you don’t like is that we’re standing up for ourselves.

  42. I’m willing to bet you only experience this agonizing dilemma when seeing small, thin, conventionally attractive women in yoga pants. Thus, the problem is not the yoga pants. It’s you.

    • Its not just the yoga pants and its not just seeing women he finds attractive, obviously its seeing women he finds attractive in the pants that really tickles his fancy. Whether your male or female, theres probably a specific style of clothing that people wear that really makes you turn your head. For Nathan its women in yoga pants. Of course no kind of clothing is going to make someone you previously thought totally unappealing suddenly attractive, but it can definitely draw your attention to someone you may have not given much thought to before by accentuating certain parts.

      Your the second person to make a comment like this and I don’t understand the intent. As someone else already pointed out would it somehow make him a better man if it turns out he actually likes seeing larger women in yoga pants?

  43. Mary De Longis says:

    I guess no man ever considered that compression clothing (tight by definition) gives muscle support when exercising? I run, and contrary to Neanderthal wisdom, loose sweat pants are not comfortable at long distances (loose clothing can rub) and they give no additional support. To think that tight is simply to be provocative demonstrates a lack of interaction with athletes.

    • Revo Luzione says:

      Agreed. Compression gear is very helpful for a number of athletic endeavors. And it does look good on the right person too. Let us not mince words, sometimes what works in fitness clothing is also what looks good. From an evolutionary standpoint, there’s probably no coincidence there.

      But let’s unpack this for just a moment. I’ve observed in cycling, and in other activities, some men even have a problem with other men wearing tight clothing. I think it’s insecurity speaking in both cases. Insecure men don’t like to be aroused by women in tight clothing, because their arousal only reminds them of their perception of attractive women as unattainable. They don’t like to see virile men in tight clothing, because it’s competition, thus they get insecure about their own assets.

      A little self acceptance would go a long way in these issues. So would calling a spade, a spade.

      • “Insecure men don’t like to be aroused by women in tight clothing, because their arousal only reminds them of their perception of attractive women as unattainable.”

        I find it amazing that you try to blame this on male insecurity. This tendency to resort to male bashing in the defense of women is how insecure men avoid being judged by women in my opinion. Instead of recognizing that sexual arousal is involuntary and that women could try to dress modestly (like men) when that is not their intent, you move to shame men for not wanting to suffer a involuntary response. Let’s be honest, if not for men being aroused by women’s bodies in these outfits women wouldn’t be wearing it. They desire to look good and look sexy are one and the same. That sexy look can be over the top and men should call women on it. There is nothing wrong with men expecting a reasonable degree of modesty from women just as women expect men not to stare at them for an extended period of time while they work out in the gym.

        • Revo Luzione says:

          “…. that women could try to dress modestly (like men)”….

          See, I’d like to see the reverse social trend . I’d like to see women OK with the male gaze and male arousal, and I’d like to see more men proud of their physique enough to wear form-fitting clothing.

          What is modesty? Another way to say ‘shame.’ Which there is a lot of in your reply. Why would any man be ashamed of being aroused? To be aroused is to be alive.

    • Nice way to broad brush all men into your little attack.

    • I see men in compression clothing with loose fitting shorts on top. Why can’t women do the same? If males see fit to be modest and not expose their junk then why can’t women?

  44. wellokaythen says:

    “Let me start by saying that women have every right to wear whatever they want, where they want, without having to be leered at and objectified. Intellectually and philosophically, I know this. And the ex-Catholic in me tries his best to recognize the lechery and look away as the minutes and miles tick off on the treadmill’s dashboard in front of me.”

    This is the part that bugs me. This actually makes me sad for you and angry at our society. It’s hard to break a lifetime of sexual repression, especially if it’s religious guilt reinforced by ideological guilt. Seeing lust as a deadly sin and objectification as a misogynist sin is a completely unnecessary double whammy.

    Did I miss an incident of sexual harassment? At no point in this article did I see anything that you should feel guilty about. I see no mention here of anything you have to apologize for or to repent about or call yourself a pig because of it. Finding women you see sexually attractive is NOT a sin, not the way I see it, and there’s no reason you have to keep on seeing it that way. (Unless there’s a part of you that enjoys the “dirty” feeling you get from it and the guilt is just woven into your sexuality, in which case self-flagellate all you want.)

    Feeling lust is not a sin in my book. If you’re afraid of Hell, I’m not sure why, because you’re already putting yourself through a version of it.

    It almost sounds like you’re lumping a bunch of things all together – just noticing they look attractive to you is the same as lechery is the same as objectification is the same as leering is the same as violating them. I would make a distinction between, on the one hand, glancing, noticing, fantasizing about her on your own time, and on the other hand staring at her hard for minutes at a time.

    • Agreed and well said.

    • Bay Area Guy says:

      women have every right to wear whatever they want, where they want, without having to be leered at and objectified.

      No they don’t, period.

      *cue female outrage*

      Women have every right to wear whatever they want, however sexy or revealing. They do not, however, have the right to not be checked out. They do not have the right to control the male eye’s reaction to what they wear.

      Dress as sexy as you want. Just don’t scream “objectification” when a guy decides to ogle you.

      • Bay Area Guy says:

        For christ sake, men are not monks, people. Some feminists seem to labor under the delusion that a woman should be able to walk around naked and it’s a man’s fault if he decides to ogle her or get aroused by her.

        A bit of an exaggeration, but this is getting a bit ridiculous.

        • Not to far off of an exaggeration, if you consider the slut walks where women were going topless and getting pissy that men noticed.

      • Men can definitely check out an attractive woman, but do you agree that sometimes men take it too far? It’s one thing to do a double-take at a sexy woman, it’s quite another to stare at like she’s a piece of meat and cat-call her and all sorts of other disrespectful things. She’s still a person, even though she’s attractive or sexy to you.

        • Bay Area Guy says:

          Obviously, anything can be taken too far.

          What annoys me, however, is the overall feminist insistence that women should be able to do whatever they want, whenever they want, without ever having to be inconvenienced in any way.

          If you dress sexy, then expect some guys to check you out. Dressing in a revealing and provocative manner in general tends to generate unwanted attention.

          Basic common sense, people.

          Oh, wait. I guess that now makes me an apologist for rape culture. “The way a woman dresses should have no bearing on how men respond to her!!!!!!!!” Argh!!!

          • Feminists are insisting that women should be able to wear whatever they want without fearing harassment and objectification. That’s way different than saying that men can’t ever check us out. I check out hot guys pretty often myself. But I don’t invade their personal space, I don’t stare at them like they’re food that I want to devour, and if I notice them looking at me and they don’t seem like they’re interested in me at all, I tend to back off and leave them alone. I do not insist that they are oppressing my sexuality by not showing interest in me or welcoming my gaze, like many men here are doing to women that they see.

            And another thing is that women are not always dressing provocatively and they still receive unwanted attention from men. Wearing yoga pants, like the women that this author is writing about, is not dressing provocatively. It is dressing casually. If a man happens to think yoga pants are sexy on women then he is free to think that, but women are not obligated to be flattered by it. If we’re wearing casual clothes or work-out clothes, usually we are not trying to get attention from men. We’re just wearing something casual and comfortable to go about or daily business. That’s it.

            • Bay Area Guy says:

              Feminists are insisting that women should be able to wear whatever they want without fearing harassment and objectification.

              Harassment, yes. Objectification, no.

              As other commenters have pointed out, this whole “you’re objectifying women in your mind” is just the feminist version of the “sinful temptation of lust.”

            • NO. It is not okay to view a human being as an object. Women are people. They are not things. Finding someone attractive does not equal objectifying them. The two are totally separate things. Objectifying someone means you’re dehumanizing them and turning them into something that exists for your pleasure only. It means you don’t respect them as a person. I can find someone attractive, admire their beauty or handsomeness without turning them into an object in my mind. If you can’t do that then that is a problem.

            • Here’s how I’m hearing your message: “It’s okay to find us attractive, but it’s not okay if we notice you finding us attractive, because that creeps us out. Creeps, of course, have no respect for women or boundaries. But really, it’s okay to look.”

            • I don’t understand what is confusing to you. Everyone looks at other people. We look at other people all the time, people we are attracted to we might want to look at a little longer. That’s not bad. Feeling aroused is not bad. But there are always limits. You can’t just start gawking at a person and not expect a reaction from them. Some people might react positively, and others might not. And if you notice that someone is not reacting positively to your staring, then look away and carry on with your day. This is not a crisis. I’m starting to wonder how some of you guys function in the real world. You act like you’re totally clueless about how to interact with people (women in particular) in polite society. Sheesh.

            • wellokaythen says:

              “You can’t just start gawking at a person and not expect a reaction from them. ”

              I agree. One should not have an absolute expectation about how a woman will react when she notices a man looking at her. She has as much right to react as I have the right to look. In most cases, I don’t think the commenters are saying that because he has a right to look therefore she just has to put up with it and should not react to it. Why can’t he have a right to look AND she have a right to tell him not to?

            • That isn’t what she’s saying at all Marcus. Men are not helpless little robots with no free will. Yes, you have the whole biological thing going on, so do women. But you are not stupid, you are not helpless and you are responsible for how you treat others, and that includes objectifying them.

              How about this… say I have a nice car. It’s a really nice car. And I just have it a good wax today. Here’s what is totally cool with me and most other car owners.
              – Noticing my car.
              – Taking a quick look at my car and appreciating it’s fine automotive beauty
              – Acknowledging me, the owner of the car.
              – Talking to me about my car a little, in a respectful way

              Here’s what isn’t
              – Staring at my car so much that I’m starting to wonder if you’re gonna start humping it, or steal it.
              – Touching my car without my permission
              – Talking about my car in a way that is hurtful or degrading to me and my car
              – Acting like my car is really only around for you
              – Talking about my car like it’s some kind of bait on a fishing pole I’m dangling in front of you
              – Telling me what to do with my car
              – Blaming me for having my car when you can’t have it

              I drive my car for me, I wax my car for me, I bought my car for me. You don’t feature in the equation, in the same way that I don’t feature in the equation that leads some one to plant a nice tree. It doesn’t mean I can’t admire the tree, in the same way you’re allowed to admire my car, but I’m not allowed to act like the tree is only there because the person who planted it wants to tease me, just like it’s not cool for you to vilify me as some age old auto tease who loves to make you suffer.

              What that means is that you can appreciate a body, but don’t forget that said body is part of a PERSON. An individual with feelings and rights and thoughts and ideas, and it hurts in a variety of ways to be appraised based solely on your body, or worse, to have others act like your body is somehow a bad thing, or that it’s your fault because they feel things about your body no matter what you actually do.

              If you’re straight, think of it this way – if you wouldn’t be comfortable with a gay guy doing it to you, then don’t do it to a woman without invitation, that includes leering and so on. Or would you want other guys being really obvious and drooling over your girlfriend in a creepy way? Then don’t do it to another woman. I’m sure you don’t mind other guys noticing your girlfriend, and even appreciating a little bit, it might even be an ego boost, and you probably don’t mind a guy you know is gay glancing at you and smiling, and maybe even being a little more appreciative of your biceps or whatever when you’re doing curls in the gym. So maybe that’s cool to do with women. Just don’t go overboard, your lust is your responsibility. It isn’t shameful, or sinful, but it needs to be balanced with respect and recognition of others feelings. Men aren’t stupid, they can handle it.

            • And by the way, oftentimes objectification LEADS to harassment. Why do you think some men feel entitled to harass women? Because they view them as objects, not people. That’s why.

            • Bay Area Guy says:

              Your logic is rather faulty, Sara.

              NO. It is not okay to view a human being as an object. Women are people. They are not things. Finding someone attractive does not equal objectifying them. The two are totally separate things. Objectifying someone means you’re dehumanizing them and turning them into something that exists for your pleasure only. It means you don’t respect them as a person.

              No it doesn’t mean that you “don’t respect them as a person.” Just because you view someone of the opposite sex as a potential object of pleasure for your fantasy doesn’t mean that you’re somehow disrespecting them, so long as you treat them right in real life.

              To quote Dan Savage (quoted in the Girl Writes What video that I posted below):

              “Face facts, ladies: people always have and always will objectify the people they’re attracted to. Men who wanna f**k women objectify women (at places like Hooters); women who want to f**k men objectify men (at places like Centerfolds). Gay men objectify other men (at places like Ashton Kutcher’s a$$crack), lesbians objectify other women (at places where Venus and Serena play tennis). The urge to objectify is universal, and so long as it’s fairly and respectfully indulged, it’s not offensive, not a problem, and not news.”

              Again, you feminists are just modern day Puritans who replace “lust” with “objectification.”

              Now speaking of “fairly and respectfully indulged”…..

              And by the way, oftentimes objectification LEADS to harassment.

              Your point being? Obviously, all behaviors must be tempered to the point where they don’t go overboard. Eating can lead to obesity. Overwork can lead to various health defects. Relaxing for too long can result in sloth.

              Does that mean eating, working, and resting by themselves are vices that should never be indulged?

              Yes, I know, you’ll claim that it’s an inadequate comparison and that those are things you do to yourself, not other people, etc.

              But the point is that anything done in excess can be negative. So long as you can draw the line and ensure that you don’t go too far, then you’re fine. Most guys, at least in my experience, are able to objectify while not indulging in harassment.

              Yes, how dare a guy lust after some random hot woman in his mind. Unless he gets to know her and connect with her on some emotional level, he’s a bloody misogynist who’s objectifying her in his mind!

            • Bay Area Guy says:

              And seriously, retire the word “entitlement.” Most guys, in my experience, hardly feel “entitled” to women’s bodies. At least in my experience, they tread very carefully around them out of fear of being tarred as creeps by the likes of you.

            • Gotta say, what a lot of women have to deal with daily disagrees with your assertion.

            • Bay Area Guy, I disagree, but then again I think we are going by two different meanings of the word objectification. As a woman, it makes me uncomfortable when men admit that they objectify women because I know that the objectification of women is what has led to a lot of negative treatment of women in our society. I don’t expect that no man will ever find me attractive and check me out or anything but it would be nice to know that I was still a person in their eyes and not an object. I’m not a toy for you, I’m a woman. That’s all I’m saying.

            • Bay Area Guy says:

              I don’t think we’re going by different meanings of the word, Sara. I think it’s a matter of how much weight we give to “objectification.”

              You see it as an appalling evil, with only a thin line separating it from harassment and rape.

              I see it as a normal, biological impulse, that isn’t noteworthy unless it leads to negative actions.

              (as in, actual actions. So looking for a bit too long doesn’t qualify, in my book)

              Besides, if I’m looking at a random attractive woman, and I know absolutely nothing about her as a person, how else can I think of her besides in a physical sense? Am I supposed to use telepathy to connect with her as a human being on an emotional level?

            • No, of course not, but viewing another person as an object is in fact what leads many men into harassment of women. If you’re only seeing them as just a body and not a person you’re giving yourself permission to treat them with disrespect. And I’m saying “you” in a general sense, not necessarily you personally. As long as you are not harassing women and treating them like they’re your personal play things then no harm done. I can’t control the thoughts in another person’s head but I think it’s always good to remember the value and worth of every person, even those you find attractive. Because once you forget that you’re dealing with a human and not just a “hot body” then that can lead to some scary situations for women. I hope you understand what I’m saying. Just be respectful, is all.

        • So you wish to impose social rules onto when and where men are allowed to look, and for how long? cat calling is a different issue, and attempting to bring it into the discussion attempts to change the goalposts.

          Arguing over when life begins is deemed trying to control what women do with their bodies, and is wholely unacceptable… but where a man looks is something perfectly reasonable to control and dictate?

          • Men can definitely look at women. Not once did I say that they can’t. But you have to realize that staring at people, even “sexy” people is rude. It’s just called social etiquette. If you find yourself unable to stop staring at someone you might run the risk of making them uncomfortable and they might voice their discomfort by telling you to buzz off. That’s just life. If you think it’s your right to stare at women and ogle them and as much as you want then it’s also the right of women to let you know when you’re over-stepping your bounds and making them uncomfortable.

            • Is it just social etiquette for men, or does t apply equally to both sexes, making your assertion that men take it too far a rather sexist one?

              As to whether or not you said what was allowed or not, you responded to Bat Area Guy who made the assertion women do not have the right to be “checked out”. What is and isn’t social etiquette is irrelevant to a discussion of what rights one has or does not have. So it is not unreasonable to make the conclusion that your objection to B.A.Guy’s assertion was some kind of claim of what men should and should not be allowed to do (AKA, rights, not etiquette)

            • Of course it applies to both sexes. I think everyone should have respect for one another, just in general. It’s not a bad thing to be attracted to someone and to “check them out” so to speak, but all I was saying is that there is a right way and a wrong way to do that. I think it’s always a good idea to keep in mind that the woman (or man) that you’re checking out it still a person and to not go out of your way to make them uncomfortable or feel disrespected. I have no problem when men look at me but sometimes it just feels creepy and predatory. That’s my point.

            • If men staring at a nearly nude women in skin tight clothing is rude then so is the women wearing clothing that induces men to stare at her body. It’s easy enough for women to throw on some loose pants over their spandex just like the boys. They can put a loose shirt over their sports bra. This is not oppressive, it’s courteous. Women want respect and so do men. Women showing respect for men is not walking around in a outfit that leaves nothing to the imagination when their goal isn’t getting sexual attention.

            • Not quite ed.

              If men staring at a nearly nude women in skin tight clothing is rude then so is the women wearing clothing that induces men to stare at her body.
              The rudeness comes in when there is some sort of commentary or gesture (whether from the man on the side so expressing attraction or from the woman for acting oppressed for being looked at).

              Women showing respect for men is not walking around in a outfit that leaves nothing to the imagination when their goal isn’t getting sexual attention.
              Oh their clothing choices isn’t the point of disrepect.

            • “Women showing respect for men is not walking around in a outfit that leaves nothing to the imagination when their goal isn’t getting sexual attention.”

              I think “and then complaining about being sexually objectified.” needs to be added to this. There would be nothing disrespectful in wearing the outfit if shame and blame were not heaped upon men for responding as one would expect.

            • And yet it’s clearly established that no matter what a woman wears, some one will find it drool worthy. What matters is how far it’s taken.

              I went to a gaming night a while back, for magic the gathering. Lots of geek guys, a few girls. I don’t have much in the way of cleavage, but according to some one else the guy sitting across from me was taking a good old gander at my breasts. And they expected me to immediately be offended.

              Now, first of all, I didn’t notice him looking beyond a glance or two. Maybe he was being a bit sneaky, or maybe he was being respectful. Either way, I was offended, because while he may have been staring, he treated me like a person. He didn’t complain about my clothes, didn’t accuse me of dressing up to tease him (I can’t even remember what I was wearing), and he simply acknowledged me, talked to me, showed me how the game worked. He acknowledge that there was more to me than a pair of breasts that he happened to look at. I told the person who asked me that they could assure the guy (it was a couple of days later they told me) that I was not offended because he was respectful about it.

              He got to appreciate some mammary glands, I got to be treated like a human being. End of story.

              It really isn’t that difficult, why the constant complaint. Surely you don’t go around eying women like meat all day? Surely you’re not so piggish in your treatment of women that you feel the need to defend yourselves against the desire of women to a) not be held responsible because men like certain things and b) not be reduced to mobile flesh for male enjoyment?

            • Gah. WASN’T offended, curse you typos

  45. wellokaythen says:

    It just seems odd that someone looks at a total stranger and leaps to a straightforward conclusion about that person’s motives when it comes to something like yoga pants, which could be word for one or more of a dozen reasons.

    Wearing yoga pants has an effect X on male view Y. Therefore, that effect MUST be the original intention of wearing them, right? That’s pretty bad logic. It’s a form of logic quite common among people who are immature and emotionally underdeveloped or have hair-triggers on their own psychological issues.

    It’s a classic reactive move – I felt a certain way because of what you did, so you must have intended to make me feel that way. (I tend to associate this kind of thinking with women more than men, but I admit that’s probably sexism talking.)

    Ultimately, if you like the way a woman’s butt looks in a particular pair of pants, why does it even matter what her motives are? I suspect some men are telling themselves “she dresses sexy on purpose” because those men feel the need to give themselves some kind of permission to look. They feel the need to rationalize their attraction because part of them feels guilty. So, drop the guilt about feeling attraction for what you’re attracted to. Who cares why she chose that outfit?

    By the same token, a woman should not assume that because a man is looking at her that he’s assuming she’s dressed for his pleasure. Don’t make a bad assumption about a bad assumption.

    • wellokaythen says:

      Sorry, should say “could be worn” not “could be word.”

    • “I suspect some men are telling themselves “she dresses sexy on purpose” because those men feel the need to give themselves some kind of permission to look. They feel the need to rationalize their attraction because part of them feels guilty. ”

      Yes the men feel it’s rude to stare at a women’s ass. Why are you surprised by this? The man is wondering the women’s intent because she should have known that wearing a outfit like that would cause men to want to stare at her ass. What we should be asking is why the hell a women would wear an outfit like that if she did not want men staring at her ass.

      We spend too much time trying to shame men for their natural response to these nearly nude women. Let’s set an expectation that these women ought to practice a little modesty to keep from sexualizing non sexual environments. If it’s a shame for men to stare then it’s a shame for her to wear. If she is not wearing proactive clothing then we can put full blame on the men who leer. Otherwise both are to blame for creating a uncomfortable environment for each other.

      • How is a pair of yoga pants “nearly nude’?!?!?!?!?! And what’s the next step? We can’t wear yoga pants, because they’re too form-fitting. OK, so are jeans. And tank tops. That fitted sweater is too much. The skirt shoes too much leg. Those patent leather shoes are too shiny, they let men see up your dress (which is why they were banned from Catholic schools in the 50’s). And bathing suits? Nope, too risque. Women should be covered, neck-to-toe. In fact, let’s force them to wear veils, because the sight of a woman’s skin may cause an unhealthy reaction in a man.
        Extreme? No. It’s already happened in many places.
        And no, I don’t wear my yoga pants with the thought that men everywhere are going to be staring at my ass. The point we are trying to make is that women are as human as men. We are individuals, just like you. We are complicated, just like you. We all have our own thoughts, just like you. And many of us are sick and tired of being told what we think, what our “motives” are, and what we can and cannot wear without a reasonable expectation of being out in public and not being humiliated.
        You want to look? Go ahead! Just try and be subtle and polite, and don’t automatically jump to the conclusion that the woman you’re staring at welcomes it because she put on a pair of pants you happen to find appealing.

        • “Shows” too much leg, not “shoes.”

          • wellokaythen says:

            And, let’s be practical about it, guys. If you stare too long and make her uncomfortable, she will leave or have you thrown out. When that happens, you won’t get to look at her anymore. Maybe subtlety allows you the chance to see what she wears a few days later, which you may like even more. Alienating her may prevent such opportunities in the future. Consider long-term gain as well as short-term impulses.

            Peripheral vision, instant memory creation, and a rich fantasy life are crucial here. I think staring shows a real lack of visual and mental skills. Completely impractical over the long term.

            Right, wrong, should, shouldn’t, whatever. Does staring actually get you what you want, or does it get in the way of what you want?

            • ” If you stare too long and make her uncomfortable, she will leave or have you thrown out.”
              Yeah, pretty much. So you live in a small city. You get thrown out of a health club because someone feels that you have breached her standards of etiquette. How long does that news take to circulate through the community…. 3 hours?
              __________________
              Does anyone have this problem?
              When I am focused on something – might be complex mental work, might be delicate physical work – a woman in revealing clothing, or with provocative body language, or strong perfume, or an attractive voice comes within my sensory range, I get distracted. It takes only a small fraction of second to dismiss the stimulus, but when it happens repeatedly, it gets irritating. And I am really good at dismissing it. I was not as an adolescent. I would love to be completely oblivious at times, it would be so much easier on me. To be clear, I am NOT saying this is in any way women’s responsibility – it simply isn’t. However, it is simply easier for me to keep this stimulus out of my sphere when I am focused on doing something.
              I don’t know how men who do not have the facility with such stimulus dismissal fare. Nor do I know whether women experience this as well, or to the extent men do. It does appear to be hard wired however, I cannot remember a time when this did not happen – nor does it have to be a picture or a lived woman. It can even be something whose shape evokes female to me. There are neuronal columns in the visual cortex whose task it is to filter stimulus to identify straight vertical lines, straight horizontal lines, circles…. The speed of the reaction suggests to me, that there are a series of neuronal columns whose task it is to identify certain specific curves.
              Are women aware of this process? I don’t know?

            • wellokaythen says:

              Some men (some!) appear to be incapable of fantasizing about something without staring directly at it. Maybe they have the memory capacity of a goldfish, and when they look somewhere else the nice ass instantly disappears from their memory. There’s something that’s socially very useful and sexually very fulfilling about being able to get a brief look and do the rest in your head on your own time. (Women seem to be much better skilled at this than men, for the most part.) Some versatility is in order here. I understand the impulse to stare, but there’s really no *need* to stare.

            • yeah, agreed..

              but I was actually talking about an entirely different neurological event

      • wellokaythen says:

        “The man is wondering the women’s intent because she should have known that wearing a outfit like that would cause men to want to stare at her ass. What we should be asking is why the hell a women would wear an outfit like that if she did not want men staring at her ass. ”

        I’m not sure why her “original intent” makes one bit of difference one way or the other, unless a man feels like he needs some sort of permission to look. A man can only stare if he thinks he doing her a favor, only if he thinks she wants it? No thanks, I don’t actually need anyone’s permission to look, and I certainly don’t need my own permission to look.

        Once you get into “should have known” territory, then it’s not really about objective reality anymore. Then it’s taking a bit of visual evidence (I like the way her ass looks in those pants) and spinning it into a whole imaginative story that I tell myself. Then in my mind’s eye I’m standing next to her in the morning as she’s deciding what to wear, reading her mind. I think that’s called projecting – I’m thinking about her, so she MUST be thinking about me….

        Seriously, I’m wondering what the point really is about analyzing her motivations or debating about what someone should have known and when she should have known it. Unless the “she must know how much I like it” is part of your sexual fantasy. (Nothing wrong with that, it’s a fantasy like any other, but bear in mind it may just be a fantasy.)

  46. After some of the more recent comments and re-reading Nathan’s original article, I’m wondering about the depth of dysfunction evident here as it relates to sexuality – both male and female. Humans are biological animals wired for sex and attraction. Yet the smallest impulse generated by this wiring is so quickly seen as dangerous. Sex and fear are wound together so tight. The fears for men and women may be different, but the correlation remains – sex is dangerous. When (and how) are we going to overcome this dysfunctional assumption?

    • wellokaythen says:

      Well said.

      I think one challenge is that guilt, fear and shame are for many people now wired into a feedback loop with sexual attraction. Think about how often people use words like “dirty” and “naughty” and “temptation” and “sin” and “danger” as part of sexual language. Sometimes people hang onto the fear, shame, and guilt because these feelings intensify the sexual experience, whether they are conscious of it or not. Religious observers have been aware of this intensification for, oh, at least 3000 years I’d guess.

      Some people have a love/hate relationship to their sexual guilt. They want to let go of it, but part of them doesn’t really want to let go of it. I wonder if Nathan would fall into that category.

      • Great points.

        Dropping down one level, the tragic vision of life is the dominant viewpoint – and it colors sex just as it does humor, art, and music. It takes a lot of effort and/or naiveté to get your head out of the water when it comes to fear.

        • wellokaythen says:

          Yeah, the tragic view of life is really powerful. I think people hang on to the fear, guilr, and shame about sex because those feelings are doing something for them. It’s not just habit. Sometimes those feelings are serving some sort of purpose, whether they work well for that purpose or not.

          Sort of like the old proverb, if all you have is a hammer, then every problem looks like a nail. If guilt is your only tool, then you’ll feel guilty about everything.

  47. Bay Area Guy says:

    Girl Writes What has something to say to all you “don’t objectify!” Puritans.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-N9daqANcw

  48. This shame factor seems to be the issue underlying all of this–the feeling that although he (or anyone else) thinks yoga pants look hot, he shouldn’t, and it’s bad, and he should try to avert his eyes completely and pretend he never gets turned on by anything ever.

    There’s nothing wrong with glancing and thinking, “Her ass looks good in those pants.” I do that with men at the gym (or wherever) all the time–I see a hot guy, I check him out for a second, and then I return my attention to my own business. It’s just when you stare that it can become creepy and indecent. But there’s nothing wrong with simply noticing that you find someone attractive. It’s a normal human response; both men and women do it. We’re all sexual beings. When you’re comfortable with your own sexuality, you notice the same things you would otherwise, but it’s not a big deal. Shame, guilt, etc. are what lead to this kind of unhealthy obsession.

    Also–yoga pants ARE comfy, and most women wear them primarily for that reason. That doesn’t mean we mind if you think our ass looks good in them. No, we don’t want to feel violated, but Christ, man, I don’t care if you give it a glance. Feeling ashamed is only going to feed into this fixation.

    • “It’s just when you stare that it can become creepy and indecent.”

      Then it’s creepy and indecent for a women to wear a all spandex outfit to a gym where she will be stretching and bending over in front of them. When will we demand some decency and respect for men from the women in these environments? There is too much coddling of women in our culture and men have been too afraid to be honest about this because we are quick to shame them for it.

      “Also–yoga pants ARE comfy, and most women wear them primarily for that reason.”

      Shorts are also comfy. If you like the feel put shorts over them. Enough with these weak excuses, put on some damn clothes that cover your ass. You don’t need to be indifferent to the effect of turning on every man who sees you. Show some respect for them and yourself.

      • Ed, we don’t wear our yoga pants to disrespect you, OR to turn you on, OR to get any specific reaction from you. I’d bet you wear what makes you comfortable to go to the gym. Maybe the sight of your legs in shorts is a turn-on to some of the women there ( if you wear shorts). Does that mean you have to cover up your calves?
        Maybe, in all honesty, there is a deeper issue here. If the sight of women in something like yoga pants makes you so angry, as it seems to do, maybe there are other issues going on. I’m not saying this to be facetious, I’m just wondering where all that anger is really coming from.
        Btw, many of us find shorts uncomfortable. What you call ” weak excuses” are actually truth.

        • ” I’d bet you wear what makes you comfortable to go to the gym”

          You ladies keep trying to draw this back to the gym, but the author very clearly specifies he’s speaking about wearing yoga pants outside the gym.

          “If the sight of women in something like yoga pants makes you so angry, as it seems to do, maybe there are other issues going on”

          I’m honestly curious if you realize how this comment comes off? Do you realize that this is the very kind of thing that creates the guilt and shame the author was trying to justify and absolve himself of? We are trying to have a discussion here, and your response is to make an accusation based on … what exactly? What makes you think he’s angry? the fact he isn’t backing down? The fact he’s insisting on keeping the conversation going? Why must he be angry and have other issues? If men aren’t allowed to even discuss concerns they have regarding sexuality without being called angry or disrespectful or hateful of women, then how is anything to be resolved? Is it your intention to stifle the conversation? To win by shaming men back into silence, so you can continue to creep shame them when they do precisely what’s being discussed here, IE noticing you in yoga pants OUTSIDE the gym?

          • I brought it back to the gym because I was responding to Ed’s comment. “It’s creepy and indecent for a woman to wear a spandex outfit TO A GYM (emphasis mine) where she will be stretching and bending over in front of them.
            He goes on to write that there is “too much coddling of women…Enough of these weak excuses, put on some damn clothes that cover your ass.” That doesn’t sound angry to you? I guess we have different definitions of angry.
            He also wrote “Show some respect for them and for yourself.” Which is VERY different, I think, from what Nathan is trying to say.
            The main issue many of us have with this article is the assumption that women wear yoga pants with a clear intent to turn men on. The points many of us are trying to make is that a) most of us are thinking of ourselves when we buy and wear yoga pants, and not how we can torment those around us, and b) There’s no shame in being turned on. We just ask to be treated respectfully. Go ahead and look. Just don’t leer, touch, or lash out at us . And, yes, that goes both ways.
            I have no intention of shaming anyone or shutting them up. Why did I “accuse” Ed of having other issues? Because we all do. And we all have a responsibility to look at our crap. When I was younger I was convinced that all men were shallow, sex-obsessed jerks. Just because I believed it, did that make it true? Of course not!
            I wasn’t “accusing” Ed of anything. It was an honest question. If you see it as condescending or trying to shut him down, that’s your interpretation, not my intent.

            • We just ask to be treated respectfully. Go ahead and look. Just don’t leer, touch, or lash out at us .

              I’m onboard and clear about all of that except “leer”, and I think that’s what a lot of this debate hinges on. It’s not that anyone is pro-leering, but there seems to be a frequent disconnect between guys who think, “I’m leering” and women who think “He’s leering”. That is, a guy may feel he’s “doing it right” with the quick glances, smiling and averting his eyes if she catches him, and all those things you (women in this discussion) are saying is cool, but that woman who just caught him may think, “What a creep! I just caught him leering and he gave me a cheesy smile!”

              There’s not a lot of objective ambiguity about whether a guy touched or cat-called or things like that, and I don’t think a single guy in this discussion has defended such actions. All the disagreement is about the look, and a guy can steer well clear of what he thinks is leering or ogling, and *still* be regarded as a creep by a woman with different standards, or even a woman who happened to see one of those respectful admiring glances, but mistook it for more and read all kinds of intent into it, which is no better than if the man reads intent into a woman dressing that way to titillate. I don’t have a hard time conceding (because I never believed) that attractively-attired women aren’t teases or sluts for dressing that way. Is it hard for the women in this discussion to concede that just because they feel creeped out sometimes, that doesn’t always mean the guys are actually creeps who have done something wrong? How ’bout this – our incidental arousal isn’t your fault, and your incidental feelings of being ogled by a creep aren’t ours. Fair?

            • Sounds fair to me!

            • @Ed: Why is it that you feel violated when a woman turns you on, even if indirectly and probably accidentally? I am sorry that you have so much fear and anger surrounding this subject. No one is trying to make you uncomfortable—I suggest that you look inward and assess why you feel this way instead of assigning blame to the people around you.

              Shorts without any stretch are much more likely to rip or to restrict my movement when I’m doing yoga poses, besides, and the sweat situation would be pretty gnarly if I wore them over my yoga pants. These are the kinds of things I think about when I select workout clothes, not “How much will this turn all the dudes on?” And my yoga pants do, in fact, cover my ass. If we’re talking about assless yoga pants here, that’s a trend I haven’t heard of and think should probably be questioned. But I assume we’re talking about the regular variety.

              Would you tell the shirtless men in my hot yoga classes to cover up? Those guys are mighty attractive—does that mean they should be covering themselves up instead of doing what feels comfortable so that they don’t run the risk of turning me on?

              @Mark:
              I’m perfectly willing to talk to you about women wearing yoga pants outside of the gym, too. But the argument doesn’t change much—they’re comfy, they cover everything that needs to be covered…so what’s the big deal?

              This whole situation would be funny if it weren’t causing so much anger/fear/shame to arise. Because if a woman is wearing yoga pants for “everyday wear,” it’s usually for an unsexy reason, like “I’m feeling lazy today,” or “I ate a ton of fries last night, I feel too bloated for my jeans,” etc.

              Who’s saying, “Let’s stop the conversation”? It seems to me that Alyssa was just suggesting that this writer seems to have some underlying issues that are contributing to this obsession/worry he has about feeling turned on by women in yoga pants. And it is pretty evident that he does–because otherwise, why would he be so bothered by it? It’s not like he’s alone in having issues with his sexuality. And it’s not that he shouldn’t ask questions, but he seems to be focusing the blame outward. I do appreciate that he is at least sort of trying to work on the issue by talking about it. But he’s obsessing about the reason women wear them outside of the gym and suspecting malicious motives instead of saying, “Hey, what’s going on with me here? Why am I so bothered by the fact that I think women look hot in yoga pants?”

              @Marcus:

              Well, ok, sometimes miscommunications happen. In many different situations. And everyone is an individual with his/her own background, experiences, feelings, opinions, etc.

              Sure, it’s normal to be bothered by someone thinking that you’re a creep, but if you honestly feel like you weren’t being creepy, then it shouldn’t really get to you. Recognize that she could have misread you, or you could have misread her, or perhaps she has anxiety, or who knows what else, and give her her space and go about your business.

              Of course just because I feel creeped out doesn’t mean that someone meant to make me feel that way. But if I do feel creeped out for whatever reason, I’m going to let that person know (through subtle body language) that I feel uncomfortable.
              It’s usually safe to just glance—meaning don’t linger like you’re trying to take a mental photograph. I practice this too. I look at men I find attractive, but in order to avoid giving them the wrong idea or making them feel uncomfortable, I look away and focus on whatever it is that I’m doing. I think that if I ever accidentally lingered, it would be within a guy’s rights to give me an “Uh, what are you doing?” look, and I would just have to laugh at myself and go on my merry way.

            • Sure, it’s normal to be bothered by someone thinking that you’re a creep, but if you honestly feel like you weren’t being creepy, then it shouldn’t really get to you.

              I agree, and that’s already how I feel. Glad you feel that way, too. Do you think you can convince Sara, who earlier today, wrote to Mark Neil:

              Did you ever stop to think that you’re getting negative reactions because you are coming off as creepy and intrusive? Maybe the problem is not with women, maybe it’s YOU. Maybe you need to re-evaluate your interactions with women. Because I can tell you that I never shame men for looking at me unless they are being creeps about it. There has to be reason for me to accuse you of objectification. It isn’t just me being a big meanie pants. So instead of blaming women for over-reacting to your advances, maybe you need to look inward. Just a suggestion.

              It’s been a while since I’ve written any articles for GMP, but one of my first pieces here was From Librarian to Eye Candy in 20 Seconds, in which I described the experience of repeatedly appreciating an attractive woman from afar (on a cruise) and later even discreetly ogling her, all without creeping her out or drawing disapproving comments or body language. I wrote the piece many years ago, not for GMP, and submitted it before I’d learned to expect every such piece to go through the GMP grinder and come out as rape culture sausage. I still stand by the piece as a demonstration of how men can and do glance and occasionally even stare without disrespecting or threatening the person they’re enjoying. If you read it, before you go assuming that the woman in question was creeped out by either my looking or writing about it later and just never said anything, know that I showed the piece to her after I wrote it (to make sure she wouldn’t mind if I shared it on my blog), and she was pleased and flattered enough to circulate it among friends and the nickname (“20 seconds”) became a running joke among them. It’s experiences like that that reassure me I’m not crossing lines, and inure me to the “Look inward, you’re probably a creep” messages that occasionally come up in these discussions.

            • Marcus–if women are consistently bothered by your attention, then yes, I think it’s a good idea to reevaluate the way you’re presenting yourself. I was referring to having one or two isolated incidents when woman objects to you noticing her (whereas most women aren’t bothered by the same behavior), in which case you should respect her feeling, realize that she may be more sensitive to that type of attention than others, and not take it personally.

              What bothers me about your piece is that you didn’t just notice “20 Seconds,” you continued to objectify her. If she didn’t mind, then fine, whatever, but I do think a lot of women would feel uncomfortable in that situation.

              To me, and I believe many other women, what makes it creepy is the fixation. There’s nothing wrong with simply noticing a woman’s body, but it’s not a piece of art hanging on a wall, it belongs to a human being. “20 Seconds” was not, in fact, on your computer monitor or TV screen in a porn film as Hot Librarian. She was a real person, doing her job.
              The fact that she was dressed conservatively also serves to disprove Mark Neil’s claim that “If women don’t appreciate men looking at them, they need to take some responsibility for ensuring that doesn’t happen.” Women have the right to object to anything that’s being done to them, including staring, and it’s not their responsibility to try to wear things that all men will find unattractive (which is pretty much impossible, anyway, because all people are turned on by different things). A lady wearing something that turns you on will only affect you indirectly, whereas you (or anyone) staring at her affects her directly. You can make the choice to notice but not to fixate.

              I do, though, appreciate that we are having this conversation.

            • I appreciate the conversation, too.

              My problem with telling me about how 20 Seconds was a real person and and how she deserves full respect as a human being isn’t that I disagree, because I don’t. The problem is that it sounds for all the world to me like you’re telling me I got it wrong in the first place, which I didn’t. (Also, I don’t think it dehumanizes her to come up with a funny nickname based on a porn cliché, because I regard that porn actresses as whole people, too, even though I’m not personally acquainted with them.)

              To review: I noticed and appreciated her good looks from a distance. (For anyone who didn’t read the story, she was a concierge on a cruise.) I didn’t lurk or go out of my way to be where I could see her or make noises or drool or hit on her. I saw she was pretty and pointed her out to my dad, then made some jokes no one else could hear. One day I went on a snorkeling tour I had no idea beforehand she’d be on, and she turned out to be the crew chaperone for that tour. Like the guests, her attire was casual beach outerwear, and when everyone got to the snorkeling site and disrobed down to their bathing suits, she looked amazing in a bikini. Underwater but still at a distance of several yards, I spent more time looking through my snorkeling mask at her than I did at the stingrays. Any time we were close enough for conversation, whether at the concierge desk (for actual concierge needs) or on the snorkeling tour, I addressed her as a person, not as an object that I was there to stare at. This was not putting on a show to keep her from finding out I thought of her as a sexual object I was entitled to, because I never thought that. I’ll point out again the part that I think most effectively disproves the “You were objectifying her” hypothesis, which is that before publishing the article I wrote about her, I showed it to her. There was a chance she’d say, “Ew, creepy, that makes me uncomfortable”, which would have been disappointing, but it’s because I recognized that possibility and respected her as more than just an object to look at and write about, that I wanted to run it by her.

              That encounter was over 10 yrs. ago, long before GMP or the corner of the blogosphere it inhabits tried to tell me anything about what kind of looking is okay and what isn’t. I personally think it puts me in the running for the poster boy of how to do it right, because the only way I could have “objectified” her less would be to have never noticed her at all, which so many people in this discussion are swearing isn’t what they want or advise. Instead, the original comments (which only numbered a couple dozen or so) mostly scolded me or disapproved of how I’d objectified her, and reminded me of the full person behind 20 Seconds, even though I never violated any of the “guidelines” or made her feel uncomfortable. I did everything right, got a good story out of it that she liked, but I’ve still been told (but only at GMP) that I was objectifying, fixating, and basically doing it wrong. Outside of online gender discussions, the response to that story has been uniformly positive regardless of the gender of the reader.

              Aside from plugging an old piece, my point in bringing this up is that Nathan tells a story of looking at attractive women where he gets some of it “wrong”, because he not only feels ashamed of it (which is arguably wrong), but goes the extra step of blaming women for being temptresses. I told a story of looking at an attractive woman where I didn’t do either of those things – feel ashamed or blame the woman I found attractive for my shame – and caused her no discomfort. If it were true that there’s a right way to look and wrong way to look, I’d think maybe there’d be some back-patting from women (on the same site), but the opposite has been the case. It pretty much doesn’t matter – to some women – if you’re the drooling idiot who cat-calls and gropes, or the quiet glancer; if a man admits to any amount, the assumption will be that he’s understating how much he ogled and how much discomfort he caused, so he will be called out as an objectifier…even though we all agree there’s nothing wrong with a little looking.

            • Marcus… do you really not see how making jokes about a woman (even if “no one can hear”) and staring at her underwater longer than you did the sting rays is objectification? Objectification doesn’t mean you lose ALL sight of someone’s humanity and are unable to talk to them like a normal human being, as you pride yourself on being able to do. A “little looking” to me is an appreciative, instinctive glance. Or maybe continuously being drawn to me with the intent to get to know me. Rude comments, oogling me like I’m meat to be consumed… it’s going to make me uncomfortable.

              Maybe you didn’t make that woman uncomfortable. But you certainly could have. And did you consider that it’s possible that you did? But in order to avoid causing problems with her job (as a man and a customer, you were in the position of power) and protect her own safety, she went along with it as a means of self-protection? It’s more than possible. I say this as someone who has experienced assault and has learned when it’s not safe to potentially inflame a man. And while you and others might say, “But I’m not that kind of man!” Well, how am I or any other woman supposed to know that? I’m the one who will get chastised for “not being careful enough” should anything happen. Just something else for you to consider.

            • Marcus… do you really not see how making jokes about a woman (even if “no one can hear”) and staring at her underwater longer than you did the sting rays is objectification?

              No, I really, really, honestly, not just kidding around, don’t. Objectification is about what’s in my head, is it not? I know that at no point did I perceive or treat her as just an object. I consider that “treat her” part especially important, since I don’t believe “lusting in my heart” or “sexualizing her in my mind” is anything to be ashamed of.

              Objectification doesn’t mean you lose ALL sight of someone’s humanity and are unable to talk to them like a normal human being, as you pride yourself on being able to do.

              Really? Then feminists are describing it wrong, because I’ve been told almost to the letter that that’s what objectification is, and I don’t do that.

              A “little looking” to me is an appreciative, instinctive glance.

              And if you were the concierge and had shown any signs of discomfort at how long any of my glances or looks lasted, I would have stopped, but you weren’t, and I followed my own standards of what’s respectful and what’s not, and nobody was made to feel uncomfortable. Monitor your own glances however you like, but no single person is the arbiter of exactly how many seconds or fractions of a second are allowed before *other people* will feel disrespectfully objectified. I followed most of these tips you and others have given about how *not* to make a woman uncomfortable (without needing the tips) and succeeded in not making her uncomfortable, but you’re still telling me how I did it wrong, or might be deluded in thinking I did it right.

              Maybe you didn’t make that woman uncomfortable. But you certainly could have. And did you consider that it’s possible that you did?

              Which part of showing her the story to make sure she was okay with it do you not understand? Do you not believe my account of how I behaved, or do you really think that I failed to show any sign of taking her comfort into consideration?

              But in order to avoid causing problems with her job (as a man and a customer, you were in the position of power) and protect her own safety, she went along with it as a means of self-protection?

              Women often say things they don’t mean, so we shouldn’t take them at their word – is that what you’re telling me now? Even if I disbelieved her words (and smiles and positive body language) as you suggest I should consider doing, her actions spoke volumes. If she pretended to be pleased so as not to make waves with me the powerful customer, why would she make the playful parting remark a few days later about the rose (tattoo) having a stem? If she was uncomfortable but pretending not to be for the sake of her job, why would she circulate the story among crew friends and laugh about “20 Seconds” becoming an inside joke nickname among them?

              So I ask you, have you considered the possibility that I managed to glance and even do some discreet underwater ogling, all without feeling shame, blaming a woman for whatever feelings I had, and without causing an iota of discomfort or dehumanizing her? I submit that it’s not reasonable to reprimand me for feelings you imagine yourself having if you were her, had caught me looking, and had seen me ignore your discomfort — because none of that happened. If something like that and worse has happened to you, that’s tragic and inexcusable, but I’m not going to feel guilt over wrongs I never perpetrated, no matter how earnestly you ask me to reconsider.

            • wellokaythen says:

              Shame on you, Marcus. Stingrays don’t just exist for you to look at them, you know. They don’t look the way they do just for your own amusement…. : – )

            • That’s true actually. :)

            • I was careful to only admire them, not ogle like Steve “The Crocodile Hunter” Irwin.

            • wellokaythen says:

              And, to make it even more subjective, there is a possibility in some cases that a woman may think a man is looking at her when he really isn’t. What you see out of the corner of your eye may not be what you think it is. When you think you caught him looking away quickly, did you really catch him looking away quickly, or did you imagine it because you assume that’s what a man would do in that situation? I’m sure everyone has had the experience of feeling like you’re being watched but you never see anyone looking at you. I know we’re all supposed to trust our instincts, but we can’t actually sense someone looking at us. Sometimes that’s just the imagination.

            • I’m also seeing him as angry because of all of his posts combined. He SEEMS like an angry guy, which is why I said “IF it makes you angry, as it SEEMS to do…” (Again, my own emphasis.)

      • Ed, you need to realize that my brain doesn’t work like yours. While some men might say, “SURELY women understand the effect!”, I really don’t understand it first hand. When getting dressed in the morning, I want be comfortable, I want a style that reflects me as a person, and sure, I want to wear something that is flattering instead of unflattering. But it’s to take care of myself. I don’t WANT the attention of guys hollering at me from cars when I walk down the street. But I also don’t think it’s fair to insist I wear a particular sort of outfit to avoid that attention. I’ve been hollered at in loose running shorts, in tighter running shorts, in baggy sweat pants, and in yoga pants. I’m not trying to disrespect you or any other man, and I expect you to not disrespect me by trying to suggest that the only thing that will make me worthy of respect is wearing something that seems “modest” enough for you. It leads me to be ashamed of and uncomfortable in my body, and has even lead me to feel responsible when men take inappropriate action against me (assaulting me after a clear, “Please don’t touch me, I don’t want to do this, no”), and led the men in question to not feel responsible at all. If you think my butt looks great in yoga pants, fine. If you think my legs look great in running shorts, great. I don’t mind that you notice it at all. If you take that as grounds to disrespect me, to blatantly stare and make comments, to suggest that it says something about my character, or to suggest that the men of the world are incapable to correctly functioning if a woman’s wardrobe makes to her too appealing (a COMPLETELY subjective analysis in a world where women are punished for not being conventionally attractive and are objectified and shamed for being “too sexy”), I have a problem with that. I do NOT have a problem with men. I have some of the greatest guy friends in the world and an very good father, and I respect and appreciate them so much. I believe that their more than animals who can’t control their eyes and hormones. I think better of them than that. Let’s try to make this respect thing mutual, eh? I won’t tell you what to wear, I will view you as a full human being, I will not assault or disrespect you and make sure my friends don’t either, and you do some research on male privilege.

  49. I’m curious…is there anyone else here besides me who had no idea what yoga pants were before this round of articles? I mean, now that they have a name I realize what they are and that I’ve seen (and appreciated) them, but I never knew they were a thing, or “the uniform of modern motherhood”. I just thought of it as a general fashion trend where women wear tights or leggings as pants way more than they ever used to. (On a man, I’d have identified them as running tights.) It’s like tight jeans, only more so. I’m still not clear if “skinny jeans” just means form-fitting, or jeans only skinny women can wear. If you’d asked me to describe what I thought “yoga pants” were before these articles, I think I’d have described what I’ve come to believe are known as “harem pants”, sort of loose fitting but very light and comfy, usually with a drawstring. I’m probably wrong about that, too. (Actually, I just googled those and it appears I’m wrong again, because most examples look like MC Hammer pants to me. I have no idea what the name is for the kind of style that was “yoga pants” in my mind until two days ago.)

    • The world of fashion is a strange and complicated one, lol!

    • I thought they were leggings, a resurgence of an unfortunate fashion trend from the ’80’s. Personally only very fit women look good in those types of garments. If you have an ounce of fat, your butt looks enormous. Most of the women I see in yoga pants or leggings look pretty bad.

    • Guess what! It turns out I wasn’t wrong about what yoga pants are, I was just wrong about what they are for women. I did an Amazon search on “yoga pants men” and almost all of the long pants versions are exactly what I pictured. Somehow, running tights for women became “yoga pants”. Go figger.

      I recently got a pair of Under Armour black leggings that are form-fitting, and crazy comfortable. I can’t imagine going to the grocery store or walking around a mall in just those, but I’m vaguely tempted to try now, just as an experiment to see what unusual attention I’d get, if any. I kinda think I’d get checked out, but not in a good way, like those guys who wear Speedo bikinis at the beach – especially if they’re not European.

    • Mr Supertypo says:

      ” I’m curious…is there anyone else here besides me who had no idea what yoga pants were before this round of articles? I mean, now that they have a name I realize what they are and that I’ve seen (and appreciated) them, but I never knew they were a thing, or “the uniform of modern motherhood”. I just thought of it as a general fashion trend where women wear tights or leggings as pants way more than they ever used to.”

      Me to, I was actually wondering what thise yoga pants was and I was picturing something ala pajamas. But now I know, and IMO they arent that sexy. I prefer short shorts or miniskirts. Yoga pants dont actually cut in for me. But hey thats me…and this is the testimony that not everybody is the same.

  50. Women being a lot more selective only respond to visual stimuli if the man is very attractive.

    Consider a very attractive young man. If he wears tight speedo like shorts that show off his a.ss outline of his c0ck, lot of thighs and legs, a tight sleeveless shirt, revealing the shape of his torso and showing his bare sculpted arms; women in close proximity are bound to get sexually uncomfortable. If this became a common sight we would see women on the same side of the debate as most men are now in the yoga pants debate.

    It will be a double edged sword for women too. On one hand there will be eye candy but on the other the writing will be on the wall that you can only look, but not stare and certainly not touch.

    Since men are more egalitarian in their sexual attraction, find a much larger number of women physically appealing, and most men have at least some sexual attraction to nearly every young woman; this issue of staring, checking out, lusting after, objectification appears to be a one sided gender specific issue.

    • There are many more scantily clad young men out and about than there were, say, 20 years ago, as men, like women, become more and more objectified.
      It comes down to this: having a reaction to someone you find attractive is normal, natural, and shouldn’t be anything to be ashamed of. It’s when either the reaction is taken to more of an extreme (touching, commenting, openly staring) or when the person having the reaction lashes out against the person they find attractive that the problem starts.
      And I disagree that men find more variety of women attractive. I think it’s definitely an individual thing, not a gender thing.

      • Women only check out hot guys. They’ve acknowledge it here as well.

        Men check out like 80% of young women

        • But it’s up to each of us, individually, to decide what is “hot.” What one person finds attractive, another may find repulsive.
          It may seem like women only check out certain men. Just as it seems, to women, that men only like one type of woman. Turns out neither case is true.

        • But it’s up to each of us, individually, to decide what is “hot.” What one person finds attractive, another may find repulsive.
          It may seem like women only check out certain men. Just as it seems, to women, that men only like one type of woman. Turns out neither case is true. So we’re all probably getting checked out a lot more than we think!

        • But it’s up to the individual to decide what’s ” hot”. If we all found exactly the same thing appealing, I imagine very few of us would ever get married.
          It’s funny: women think men only like stick thin, Amazonian supermodels, while men think we only want ripped 25 year- olds. My guess is that we’re ALL being checked out a lot more than we know!

          • Thats not what the vast majority of men expereince…being checked out by women.

            But most women, even avg looking ones say they are frequently in the male gaze.

            I can see youre going in the wishy washy everything shade of gray vague mode. But its just not the same for men and women.

            Women only check out conventionally hot men. The sight of the bodies of avg/alright looking men do little for women. Women even cover it up by saying “we are not as visual”. In reality they are ‘visual’…just selectively visual.

            • First of all: Multiple posts on my part, ugh, and sorry. My phone kept telling me my comment post had failed.
              I cannot speak to the level of checking out that goes on on the part of all women, but I DO know I’m a bit more shy about it than others.

            • Not true! I check out guys that don’t exactly fit the model of “conventional attractiveness” all the time.

              Women tend to be much more subtle about it, because according to societal standards, it’s “weird” for us to do it.

            • If a guy looks like what you’re suggesting (sculpted body in a speedo) I’m not going to be interested at all, honestly. I’m usually put off by guys who are to “pretty” or buff. I’m into intellectuals with good character and kind hearts. I think there are few gender differences here: one, I do think that the MAJORITY of men are more visual than the MAJORITY of women. I think their brains tend to work that way. I’m a sexual person, but I don’t picture anyone I see walking down the street naked, or get bombarded by sexy images that I’ve seen of men or women. My brain just doesn’t work that way. From what I understand, many men’s brains do.

              Beyond that, you have the fact that men are socially conditioned to be the pursuers, while women are taught to be passive. If we aren’t even supposed to ask guys out on a date (traditionally and usually) it would be completely against the “feminine” character that we’re supposed to have to blatantly look at guy up and down. It would be considered coming off way too strong, not to mention pretentious. Whereas men growing up (many times) learn that that’s what men do, that boys will be boys! They even do it groups. So I think there’s a social construct gender role in play as well as different brain patters (in the majority of men).

        • I don’t even notice hot guys, actually. Male bodies have very little effect on me. I might notice a guy has a nice face or is dressed well, but it’s more aesthetic than sexual. I’m not aroused by looking at men. I think I’m truly not visual.

          • sarah, it is the same for most hetero women.
            thats why their surprise at the reaction to yoga pants,’ men find yoga pants on women attractive, or to be nearly nude???’. yet they claim they are as aroused by visual stimulus as men are.

      • “It comes down to this: having a reaction to someone you find attractive is normal, natural, and shouldn’t be anything to be ashamed of.”

        This is rather a hard statement to accept when, in the very sentence preceding it, you labeled men being checked out as being objectified.

        “It’s when either the reaction is taken to more of an extreme (touching, commenting, openly staring) or when the person having the reaction lashes out against the person they find attractive that the problem starts.”

        This I agree with. It’s just a shame that if/when someone tries to point out the second part IS a problem, they are accused of promoting the first, told they don’t respect women, or even hate them, and insulted in all sorts of ways, which really just promotes the kind of shame the author is feeling which started this whole conversation.

        • By “objectified” I mean by advertisements, movies, TV, etc. rather than by being checked out. Should’ve been more specific. It’s gotten to the point where you can’t watch an hour of TV without seeing men being portrayed as either vapid eye candy, completely inept, or as pure brutes.

  51. I think I just noticed something else.

    Has anyone heard from Nathan since this post was published?

    • good point, hope someone has checked in on him.
      as the hunts of tom.m, alyssa.r showed, when the feminists have decided you are the prey-of-the-day, it is not an easy thing to go through

  52. So you really don’t respect women, huh? You think women are always in the wrong and it doesn’t matter if men make them feel like objects? You think men should just be able to gawk and stare at women as much as they want regardless of whether women feel comfortable with that or not? Women should just shut up and deal with it because men are turned on by us and how dare we think that we exist for any purpose except to turn men on? Right?

    I’m done with you. Your hatred of women is so thick that you can’t even see it.

  53. So what I think I’m seeing in this dicsussion is a question over comfort zones. How far do they reach out, who is crossing whose zone, and so on.

    So a woman wears an outfit. Does this cause any problems in anyone else’s comfort zones?

    A guy checks out a woman who is working an outfit. Does this cause any problem in anyone else’s comfort zones?

    Also I think one thing that’s going is a bit of talking past each other over when does looking becomes staring ( think that most people here agree that actual commentary, gestures, and touching are wrong).

    Does that sum up with is going on?

  54. so the main points here is that everything women do, including their choice of comfort clothes, is geared towards attracted men; that it is inconceivable that a woman would don an article of clothing with no consideration for how it will affect men; and that women choose yoga pants over sweatpants because they are more attractive to men. you’ve got to be kidding me…

  55. I’m sure this point has already been made that if yoga pants/tights are comfortable, so are bathrobes and karate gis. But I dont see women wearing them casually.

  56. OMG! Yoga pants turn men on! So that’s why I’ve been wearing them! Here, I thought I was just donning these lycra pants just to keep from becoming a sweaty mess or but, no, it turns out deep down inside I’m asking for male attention.

    Yoga pants are comfy as hell. I might be wearing them at the supermarket because I didn’t have to change. Or because I’m about to do something active. Or just because I feel like going through my day in comfort. Trust me when I say yoga pants are not for attracting your attention. If they’re creating uncontrollable desires within you, well, then bud that’s your problem.

    Damn Nathan, it’s a male-centered universe you’re living in.

  57. Drew, I don’t think you are creepy at all for glancing at a woman in yoga pants or any other article of clothing that you might find appealing on the female form. I do the same sometimes when I see men that I think are hot or wearing clothes that show off their physiques. And you’re right, sometimes you don’t intend to be creepy but it can be read that way by strangers and that sucks but I also don’t think it’s that big of a deal. If someone that I don’t know keeps looking at me I’m probably going to be a bit weirded out. I mean, I don’t know the person. And I’m not a mind-reader either. I can’t tell if that person is harmless or is planning on harassing me so I might be a bit defensive at first. It goes both ways. I guess we all just have to do our best to respect each others boundaries as best we can. We won’t always get it right and signals might be misread, but I think if our intentions are not malicious then no real harm will be done. Not sure what else to say.

  58. Mr Supertypo says:

    ok my take.

    SOME women use yoga pants, because their are confortable, some other women use them because they like attention. We are all different people. So get over it.

    Finally, a observation, labeling someone as creep is actually objectification. The person you call creep is actually a human being, dont forget that. So please erase that human degrading word from the dictionary and stop using it. Thank you :-)

  59. I haven’t ever considered yoga pants or other tight fitting workout attire “sexy” but if Nathan does, I think he’s a grown man who should be able to handle seeing women he finds attractive without feeling “doomed” and resort to leering at her.

  60. QuantumInc says:

    So yeah, this seemingly innocuous bit caused a s***storm. It seems the core issue, (as far as the original post is concerned) is the idea of believing someone when they tell you something about themselves. He specifically says that he asked women about it, and his briefly states that the women he asked said they wear “yoga” pants because they are comfortable (as opposed to fashion). However a couple of short paragraphs later he insists there is another reason, one that matches sexist narratives that have popped up a billion times before. In the beginning he mentions that these “yoga” pants bring out his most chauvinistic characteristics, it seems these characteristics have seeped into the article itself.

    Fundamentally you just have to believe what people tell you about themselves, about their gender, their race, their profession, hobby, what-have-you. A woman knows more about women than than a man, a black man knows more about black people than white people. Unless that white guy has professional credentials and/or a PhD in race studies he would be an arrogant, racist, idiot to contradict anything a black person has to say about black people. So if the women in your life have an explanation for why women where yoga pants outside of yoga, and you’re just an average dude, you MUST take it at face value. To do otherwise is AT BEST “mansplaining”

    In the comments there seems to be a number of commenters with male user names who don’t understand the difference between respectful sexual attraction and sexual objectification. It doesn’t really anything to do with sex, it’s all about ethics. You’re not supposed to treat people like things. It’s really tempting when you only want one thing from them and/or don’t have any reason to care about what happens to them after you leave, and yet there is tons of non-sexual objectification in the world, but it is still fundamentally wrong for very obvious and logical reasons to treat a person like a thing.

    A person has a right to their own body. Your privilege of observing that body is extremely limited, and can be revoked at any time, barring what’s necessary to avoid collision.

    Yet, lots of women report men who ignore these basic human rights, or get obnoxiously passive aggressive about their bodies, clothing or purported sexiness, or just non-passive aggressive, as if the ethics change when sex enters the equation. See above.

    On the other hand: Our “sex negative” culture has made a lot of people, especially women, neurotic about sex. There is a stereotype that almost all men are rapists. Certain men feel okay actually being rapists as long as you never say “rape”. Meanwhile women are often afraid of men. Slut shaming makes woman afraid of even their own libidos.

    Paradoxically, women are given reason to seek marriage but to avoid sex. So sometimes when a woman receives ANY sexual attention she will promptly freak out and “creep shame” the guy in order to defend her womanly honor. Sometimes many of the nearby men and women, including the police will join her in that freak out if she’s a “perfect victim”. This gives men reason enough to be afraid and angry. Meanwhile a similar behavior from the right guy gets a positive response. She’s internalized harmful messages about sex and romance and will be eternally disappointed when Edward Cullen turns out to be an emotional vampire (really deserves your pity, not your lust). (Not-quite-coincidentally women who don’t play to part perfectly have trouble getting help when they really are assaulted or even rape, because they’re imperfect victims).

    There is a strange and unfortunate synergy between the idea that “sex is a sin!” and some of the sexual objectification rhetoric, (and I’ve seen certain religious writers use “sexual objectification” to describe all pre-marital sex). Some feminists only ever focus on the dangers of sex. I feel that conversations about men ogling women are doomed to lean into sex negative territory, as if there is not right way to do it. Even respectful interactions will make someone somewhere scared, and the subject of sex is still very scary for many people, especially women.

    • Your privilege of observing that body is extremely limited, and can be revoked at any time, barring what’s necessary to avoid collision.

    • Bay Area Guy says:

      Your privilege of observing that body is extremely limited, and can be revoked at any time

      LOL, really? And who do you suppose is going to “revoke” such a “privilege?” I’m curious to know.

      Fundamentally you just have to believe what people tell you about themselves, about their gender, their race, their profession, hobby, what-have-you. A woman knows more about women than than a man, a black man knows more about black people than white people. Unless that white guy has professional credentials and/or a PhD in race studies he would be an arrogant, racist, idiot to contradict anything a black person has to say about black people. So if the women in your life have an explanation for why women where yoga pants outside of yoga, and you’re just an average dude, you MUST take it at face value. To do otherwise is AT BEST “mansplaining”

      Sorry, this is just wrong.

      What I’m about to say will go against prevailing left wing identity politics dogma, but being a member of x oppressed group doesn’t automatically give you great wisdom about that entire group’s experience. Everybody, including members of “marginalized groups,” is full of sh*t.

      Besides, women don’t exactly have a reputation for being upfront and honest towards men.

      • ” Your privilege of observing that body is extremely limited, and can be revoked at any time

        LOL, really? And who do you suppose is going to “revoke” such a “privilege?” I’m curious to know.”

        Well, I dunno…. mebbe the bouncer? the judge? the HR department? the club manager? her boyfriend? the social ostracism of the community? the owner of the body? Who knows.
        Oh, by the way, the quickest growing demographic of gun owners and NRA members appears to be women, so …

        • PursuitAce says:

          And this is why I ignore them. Anything else and you’re in criminal territory. Thanks for making my point again.

          • By ignore them, you mean women? or bodies generally? or the potential enforcers?
            In criminal territory… well no, but is their a risk that outweighs any benefit of looking, – possibly.

            I am not sure if people get that there is a risk involved here. Certainly women recognize the risk to them, but I’m not sure that men get the risk to THEMSELVES. When I was 18, I got a job behind a bar at a hotel that served a lot of truckers. There were a lot of fights, and frequently those fights were over women – we’re talking the kind of place where broken beer bottles were a weapon. The night manager was over 6’6″, and some 300 plus pounds. A real nice guy actually. If one of the women complained, the offender was removed… expeditiously, and no questions asked. I got better gigs, but this pattern was pretty much universal.
            So at work, the risk is HR, in public it is to your reputation, and if it gets nasty, you could well end up in front of a judge.
            Likelihood – probably not that great… but why court the risk. Don;t look, or control, it properly, or don;t put yourself in the situation.
            Is that your point ?

            • So this is an example of female privilege? You see it acceptable to have men beaten for looking at you?

            • Acceptable !!!!!???
              Are you well?
              Come on, this is what can and does happen. Universally – no, but it is a risk.
              And, being male, it is not men looking at me, but men having a conflict with women in various settings.
              A female privilege – I don not subscribe to privilege theory on either side. For some women it might be an expression of power, for others, it leaves them aghast.

              When one approaches a wild animal, does one extend their hand first? Wild animals are irrational, in human terms. ( And no, I am not calling women irrational, the reaction to the situation can be however).

              If you like those risks, be my guest.

      • wellokaythen says:

        “What I’m about to say will go against prevailing left wing identity politics dogma, but being a member of x oppressed group doesn’t automatically give you great wisdom about that entire group’s experience. Everybody, including members of “marginalized groups,” is full of sh*t.”

        I agree. If you think about it, the idea doesn’t leave much room for individuality, so racism wins out once again. If every black man is an expert at being a black man, then any institution will only need one in order to represent the entire black male population. You just need ONE of each underrepresented group and you will have all the perspective you need. Saying “they all think alike” is no better than saying “they all look alike.”

        And, the idea sets up a pretty amazing conclusion, if you think about it. Apparently, people of color have a kind of monopoly on objective reality, they just know the truth in their own lives, while white people are steeped in misperceptions and illusions. That could be entirely true. The fact that I doubt this could be attributable to some sort of white privilege on my part. I can’t prove my way out of it, because this theory has to testability. However, it does call into question how white people ever came to be so powerful if they’re the only ones who are delusional…..

    • SalelakaMokonzi says:

      So how do we bridge the gap between the two perspectives. On one hand there seems to be a prudishness that withdraws from the world and our physical reality while on the other hand rests an idea of excessiveness in pleasure, where every other person is an object for our use, and means to another end. How can we be capable of seeing ourselves as men and women created in the image and likeness of God, not simply as a spiritual being but even in the very physical reality of our bodies, even in the midst of the sexual act?

    • Katherine says:

      GREAT comment QuantumInc!

  61. I can understand why women dont like being stared and ogled. I have experienced being uncomfortable stared by women at the beach ( yes I caught them “ogled” my body ) , so I know how it feels like. ( whats different is maybe I felt more annoyed than threatened ) . I dont know why its so hard for guys here to understand that.

    If I met a gorgeous woman ( strangers ) , the longest time I could stare her is like 5 seconds. When I was single, staring really gorgeous woman longer than that actually didnt make me feel good because I felt like shes too gorgeous for me and woman like that won’t like shy guy like me . And thats even make me felt more lonely. Yes sometimes I’m really shallow.

    • I dont know why its so hard for guys here to understand that.
      Because most guys simply don’t experience being checked out much less stared at or ogled.

  62. I can’t believe this has generated so much controversey. Or that one man feels so guilty about looking at girls in yoga pants as to apologize for it.

    Wear what you like. I’ll look if I like. I couldn’t care less if you think I’m a creep, or if you cry on your blog about the guy who eye raped you. In fact, I don’t care at all. If you’re some girl I meet in passing, with no connection to me and who I don’t know in the slightest, I don’t care about you or if my line of sight is making you uncomfortable. Learn to deal or cease the behavior that causes you to feel uncomfortable. Ya know, like an adult.

    • Or maybe YOU could act like an adult and respect the people around you.

    • “I don’t care about you…” < — pretty much sums it up. You don't care about others, and this article wasn't intended for sociopaths, so you really don't have a place here.

    • “Learn to deal or cease the behavior that causes you to feel uncomfortable.”
      Oh my gosh, you victim-blamer! D:

    • It is not chauvinistic behavior for a man to look at an attractive woman. It is perfectly natural for men to look at women, just as it is perfectly natural for women to look at men.

      We all understand that, right? Except for the insane women who think that a man looking at them is akin to rape, but men, please ignore them. You are doing nothing wrong with a quick glance. Or two. You are being a jerk by staring or doing weirdo elevator eyes, but women will simply avoid you if you do those things, so end of problem.

      Seriously, wear q baggy gray sweatpants with elastic around the ankles and an oversize t-shirt and no man will so much as notice you.

      What is especially galling are the women who dress provocatively and then complain that men stare or hit on them. No one is suggesting you wear a burkha, but do not pretend you are wearing a tight, short, lowcut dress and men are the pigs to stare at you! Most men are not pigs, they just like to look at women, so enjoy it, if that is your preference (it certainly is mine). And if you don’t enjoy and you do not want too much attention, show a little less skin. But do not pretend that when you go to a public beach and take off your bikini top that the problem is the men. Women, you do not live in a vacuum, so stop being so full of sh*t!

  63. wellokaythen says:

    The argument is going in circles here because it’s a subjective point of view versus another subjective point of view, but each one is acting like an objective point of view. A little more owning one’s own sh*t would go a long ways here.

    First of all, something is creepy because it *feels* creepy, not because it “just is” creepy. A perceived threat is a perceived threat. And, no matter how attuned one is to the universe, one cannot actually feel eyes looking at you. You can only see someone looking in your direction, you can’t detect it otherwise. Feeling eyes on you is an act of imagination. (It may be an accurate conclusion, but it’s still an act of imagination.) Ogling is, ironically, in the eye of the beholder. You are taking a visual input and working up a whole story about it.

    On the other side of things, something is sexy because it *feels* sexy to you, not because it “just is” sexy. An article of clothing has no agency. It doesn’t actually make you feel a certain way. It doesn’t actually do anything to you. It’s your imagination that’s coming into play. If you feel sexually inspired by seeing a woman wearing yoga pants, then accept that it’s your perspective on it. You are also taking a visual input and working up a whole story about it.

    As for the “privilege” of being able to look at someone, I disagree somewhat. In a public place, it’s not a privilege to be able to turn my eyes in any particular direction as I see fit. In the absence of a valid legal restriction, I have the right to move my eyeballs, neck, head, etc., any way I want. Freedom is the default. If something is not prohibited, then people are free to do it. My looking is not only a question of someone else’s body, it’s also a question of my own body. Ultimately if it’s an issue of rights/privileges, then it’s a question of balancing two rights that may be equally valid. I tend to think that my right over my own eyes is bigger than one’s right not to be looked at.

    • If we are all in public spaces we can look as much as we like. And do. If someone does flout or ignore the generally accepted social norms around looking and approaching, they also may get pushback about it. Someone follows me around in a gym, looking at me as if I was a statue, they are gonna get called out and I’ll report the incident to the club manager. Someone follows me in a car? I’ll do what I can to push back against that.
      Someone looks at me in the store and smiles and goes about his day, really not a problem. I’d expect that if I flouted or ignored social norms and cues, I’d get push back too.

      • wellokaythen says:

        I know a look that seems inappropriately long can feel like a threat, but I would make a distinction between looking and approaching or between looking and following. The slope isn’t entirely slippery. There is a real difference, at least in my book. I don’t think of looking as an action, but I do think moving towards someone or following her is an action.

        It’s unfortunate that Nathan in his mind makes a really fast slide from noticing to attraction to obsession to blaming to potential harassment to going to Hell in a split second, but that’s blending a bunch of things all together. A look that is slightly longer than is generally socially acceptable is not simply a gateway to sexual harassment, however that may feel at the time.

      • @ Julie 2:52 PM
        “generally accepted social norms around looking and approaching . . . I’ll report the incident to the club manager”

        You should do whatever you decide to do.
        Generally accepted norms vary from place to place, and they vary between groups of people. There is no clearly defined generally accepted anything. If you doubt that, see GAAP, which IS written down and published, and still not applied everywhere – see court cases.
        As for the reporting to the club manager, here is how this will play out. The club manager will evaluate the cost of taking action against the person you complain about ( they might lose one patron), and the benefit (they can avoid bad publicity, and continue to keep women coming to the facility). You can see this dynamic everywhere – from bars, where a complaint made by a woman results in the bouncers removing the guy, to the courts, where judges award non-contact orders and other restrictions based on a person’s (generally a female applicant) allegations of abusive contact, or even fear. The judge decides that they do not want to be perceived as having failed to grant the application, should something happen, and so the respondent is removed from home, and children, often without notice. NO, I don’t see any solution to this, by the way.

        SO the sensible solution, is to simply stay away from people who DO have such power.
        ______________________
        I sat in a class of 70 people, doing an HR course in my MBA. I was running on 6 hours sleep over 2 days, wrestling with my daughters health problems. As I sometimes do, I was so immersed in what I was thinking about, I was simply not processing any visual inputs at all. I eventually became aware that the professor was glaring at me from the front of the classroom, making faces at me, and then making comments about my stare. She was a feminist professor, and advocated feminist policies and feminist theory, even when they were not relevant to the material being covered.
        For the rest of the term, I got verbal abuse from her, my papers were the minimum pass ( and they were good papers), and was told that my actual hands-on experience in implementing HR programs in actual companies was irrelevant, and that I lied about it.

        Would you do that kind of thing – I really doubt it. Would Joanna – same thing. But this woman did. Over the 3 required courses I had with her, the same treatment, and it came close to costing me my degree.
        Sorry, I don’t spit into the wind.

        • Not talking about looking or breaching eye contact etiquette. Talking abou being followed touched or verbally harrassed. I’d confront the person and if they didn’t stop yeah then I’d talk to management.
          I e been stared and looked at and haven’t ruined anyone’s life. We are not talking about looking but being physically invasive.

          • @ Julie 6:07
            “Not talking about looking or breaching eye contact etiquette”

            Ahhh,
            I guess I misread this ?
            “If we are all in public spaces we can look as much as we like. And do. If someone does flout or ignore the generally accepted social norms around looking and approaching, they also may get pushback about it. Someone follows me around in a gym, looking at me as if I was a statue,”
            I should have ignored the “we can look… norms around looking…,looking at me…”, and the fact that the original post and most of the discussion has been about looking, leering, ogling, and making presumptions about intent as invitation to look, leer, and ogle. I missed the part about touching and verbally harassed… actually, I’m still missing it !!

            Deeply sorry about that…

            • So what is it you believe you are not allowed to do? Look at a woman? Smile? Say hello? Who is saying you can’t do that.

              I’ll give you some examples-in the last city I lived in I went to a gym. I had a friend who went there, a man, and he went through an ugly divorce. She went to the gym too and she would follow him around and say weird shit and bother him (and others). He complained (as did others) and they asked her to leave, which I think was the right thing to do.

              At my current gym, where I was tonight as a matter of fact, there are people from about 20-60 going there, gay and straight, in all kinds of shape. Some in incredible shape, wearing clothes that shares that shape. I see dudes and chicks in yoga pants, shorts, tank tops etc. These are both men and women I’m talking about. In fact, there was one fellow today. Golly, he was something and I looked at him several times. I see people looking at each other all the time. Sometimes flirting. Mostly, just working out. The world doesn’t end.

              I don’t see weirdness hardly ever. Which is why when it happens, most people react like it’s weird. Some person following someone around or just hard core staring for long periods? Seems out of place. People react and not just women.

              The last time I got stared at was in a coffee shop, and I was sitting in work clothes with my kids. The gentleman staring was really staring, like point blank, no blinking, intense look. So I looked back at him for awhile and he never changed expressions. It was odd. Finally I went up to him, said hello and asked if we knew each other and he just looked at his computer without saying a word.

              I didn’t call the cops, I said hello and tried to determine what was up. But if he had tried to sit at my table or said sexual things to me, I’d probably assume that he was having some kind of emotional or mental troubles and act gently, unless he wouldn’t go away and then I’d call for the manager.

              People look at each other all the time.

              Can you describe for me what it is you (or any of the other posters) seem to want to do? What is it that we women are denying you?

            • I want to stipulate a couple things before having another whack at answering your questions, Julie. First, I don’t think you specifically have been vague or inconsistent about looking being okay and the kinds of things that go beyond looking that aren’t okay. (Same with Alyssa Royse when this thread was younger.) So, I have no beef at all with you on this. Second, whether or not other women are attempting to be more restrictive about what’s okay and project shame on any looking that gives them the slightest discomfort, that doesn’t mean that I feel shame for looking or go around making women uncomfortable and not caring if I do.

              Can you describe for me what it is you (or any of the other posters) seem to want to do? What is it that we women are denying you?

              It’s not just what I want to do, it’s what I’ve done for a long time with no problems, and will continue to do. I gave a pretty specific and detailed example in my “Eye Candy” piece, which involved short glances, and later some extended looking (use whatever synonym for “look” that you want) when I could do it discreetly and without causing discomfort. I did not follow, harass, touch, cat-call, or otherwise cross any of the boundaries that seem not to be in dispute here. All I did was look. Recognizing that “you women” aren’t a monolith, I don’t believe every woman who read that story thinks my looking was problematic. However, in both this discussion and the one that followed the article when it ran, there have been women saying that I did something wrong, that I objectified, disrespected, and dehumanized the woman whose beauty I appreciated. All with my look. When I shared evidence of how I *knew* I never caused her any discomfort, I’ve been told she may have been lying to protect her job, I ought to consider that she may not feel safe enough to tell me, and so on. All because of my look. Some of these same women will say elsewhere that “It’s okay to look” and express exasperation when we men don’t believe they mean it, but their reaction to looking-only examples betrays how they really feel about “just looking”, even if they can’t see it themselves. I think those women (not you) would deny “just looking” because they object to any look that might make any woman feel uncomfortable, and since people aren’t monoliths, every look could make someone uncomfortable, so the only respectable way to behave under that standard is to not look. Ever.

              Can you, Julie, or any of the other posters, describe for me why, if looking without making the looked-upon person uncomfortable is totally okay, my example of doing exactly that is cause for concern? Why do I get lectures and reprimands for doing it right, when there was no trace of any of those things women are saying *are* the problem, like touching, harassing, ignoring body language indicating discomfort, and so on? To be clear, I’m not seeking validation to assuage latent guilt about how I acted, because my conscience remains clear. I’m saying as a matter of logic, if someone tells me they’re okay with X, and I share a story of me doing X, and they object, then I’m going to conclude they’re not really okay with X, no matter how many times they said otherwise.

            • I was actually responding to Rezam. Ill try to reapond tomorrow to you.

            • Marcus, I would have to go back and read your eye candy article but I think maybe what caused the negative reaction was not the looking itself but your attitude toward the woman you looked at, your idea that she sort of existed for your pleasure to look at. I’m not defending or advocating the negative reaction, I’m just trying to explain why some women have such a strong emotional response to it. Like she was a painting in a museum.

              Women are raised being told over and over that out physical beauty is our most important and valuable quality, and many women feel a level of sadness and anxiety about their bodies and appearance that is impossible to explain to men. Even women who are young and attractive compare themselves to others and they also know that their beauty won’t last anyway. There is a sense that we get from the world that men only value us for our beauty, and once that’s gone, we’re like dirt. We’re nothing. So while it is nice to be admired at times, it doesn’t come without emotional pain. It is hard to feel good about being admired without also feeling bad that the man admiring us only cares about our physical appearance, and once that’s gone, what’s left? Or what will happen if we gain 5 pounds or how would he feel if we weren’t wearing makeup or he saw us in a less flattering outfit? Of course I’m not saying any of this consciously goes through every woman’s head when she sees a guy looking at her. But those feelings are there.

              Imagine if I wrote an article like “eye candy” but it was about how I met a really rich guy at the pool and how much I just loved being around rich guys because, you know, they are so amazingly RICH. And I went on and on about how much I love guys with money. And then when readers complained that I was objectifying the man for his money, or expressed concern that I was only valuing men for wealth over other qualities, I said it was all in my head so what’s the problem? Or if I defended my love of rich guys by saying that it’s normal and healthy for women to love rich guys more than poor guys, probably something in my genes, so get over it?

              So, let me be clear, I’m not saying it’s wrong for men to admire beautiful women, just that like a lot of women, it makes me sad knowing that my youth and physical appearance (both of which have waned) is so important in the world. It’s a little demoralizing.

              Awhile back I was looking at some PUA websites, out of morbid curiosity, and there was one PUA school that advertised “never date ugly women again!” As a woman who is not a “HB10,” that made me feel pretty crappy to think that maybe the men I’ve dated in my life thought of me that way, as an ugly girl, but they couldn’t do any better. If they had PUA training, maybe they would have dumped me. The opposite of appreciating “eye candy” is NOT appreciating people who aren’t eye candy. If you follow me. Am I saying men should be attracted to ugly women? No, of course not. That’s the world we live in. That’s how men are built. I get it.

              Anyway I’m not saying these feelings are right or wrong, just trying to explain why when I read an article like “eye candy” I have some negative feelings, or why even when a guy admires me (not that it happens that often anymore, but I have largish breasts so I do get stares depending on how I dress, even though I’m 46), it is not really a completely positive experience.

            • I think its silly you compared men love beautiful women with women love rich men. Please women love attractive and hot men as much as men love attractive women. I never heard women declaring their love for rich men but I often hears they crazy for handsome celebrity and celebrity guys. Many men do insecure with their appearance just like women, but we dont buy makeup and dress instead we go to gym and buy protein shakes. Its basically the same thing.

            • John, you totally missed my point which was to try to explain to Marcus why many women had a negative reaction to his “eye candy” article. I’m not realky interested in debating whether men have their own concerns about their appearance, of course they do, but that’s not my point. Also, my hypothetical article abt loving rich men is simply to try to illustrate something that might cause men to have a similar kind of reaction, if I wrote about it.

            • Is it enough that I can acknowledge and sympathize with those negative reactions without feeling responsible for it? Because that’s how I’ve felt all along, even without multiple explanations.

            • … was not the looking itself but your attitude toward the woman you looked at, your idea that she sort of existed for your pleasure to look at.

              This is the part that’s in women’s heads, not mine. I’ve never had an idea that women sort of exist for my pleasure to look at. I take pleasure in looking at beautiful women as I take pleasure in looking at anything beautiful, but there is nothing in this universe that I think was put there for me, or that I’m entitled to use because I saw I liked how they or it looked. If I’m a guest in your house, I will no more feel entitled to you if I happen to think you have a nice ass, than I will feel entitled to take a painting off your wall to carry out with me because I think it’s pretty and would look great in my home. If I notice you at a gym, I’m not going to have my way with you any more than I’m going to steal the iPod I see plugged into the sound system because I find the music pleasing to my ear.

              If the test for objectification is what I do in my mind, then that’s no different from saying “You can’t look”, because you’re already assuming that looking must mean those other bad things about thinking you exist for my pleasure so I’m a risk to start crossing boundaries right and left. The test has to be in how I treat you, and however disgusted someone might feel that I could experience sexual attraction based on sight alone, I did nothing to the woman in that story that made her feel uncomfortable. If someone is demoralized at how I *could* have treated someone, then scolds me as if I *did* treat them that way, that still doesn’t amount to me having done anything wrong. I’m sympathetic to the circumstances that lead to that feeling, without feeling responsible for it or that I need to change my ways.

              As for your rich guy at the pool…Did you just notice Mr. Wallet Candy from afar and daydream about the lifestyle he could accustom you to, or in this hypothetical, do you start hanging around him hoping for free stuff, gushing about how attractive you find successful men, and yelling “Ka-ching!” every time he’s in the vicinity? I don’t find that daydreaming from afar part remotely bad on your part, so if you told me about a cruise story where it happened, I wouldn’t explain to you how you’re thinking his wealth exists to provide you with a lifestyle you feel entitled to. If you did those other things, they would be more analogous to the following, harassing, cat-calling kind of behavior we keep agreeing is wrong, and which was absent from my “Eye Candy” story.

              Lots of things have been debated in this discussion, but the jumping off point was that Nathan was wrong to blame women for an unpleasant feeling he had. That is, he experienced fleeting lust as shameful, and laid the responsibility for that on women for “causing” his lust. I don’t think that lust (which he didn’t act on) was cause for shame, but to the extent he felt that way, ownership of that feeling resides within him, not women for making him feel that way. What has happened repeatedly in the discussion that followed has been women expressing how objectified they feel, if attractive, and demoralized, if not, and laying the blame for that on men. The initial feeling is not the same as Nathan’s, but they commit the same error of automatically blaming an unpleasant feeling on the opposite sex, based on a presumption of their state-of-mind even in the absence of problem behavior.

            • I’m not blaming men for my feelings, I’m just saying that it doesn’t feel particularly GOOD to think about how men think about women. There are many things in life I suppose we all have to accept even though it sucks. But you were wondering why women didn’t like your article and I’m trying to explain why. Not that men are at fault for my feelings, but, I guess, just to say that I have those feelings and this is why. Likewise, if you or someone else feels ashamed of your desires to look at women because you know some women react negatively, is that the fault of women who after all, are entitled to feel what they feel? (creeped out, dehumanized or whatever)

              So many guys in this discussion seem to be saying that women are “wrong” to feel badly about being looked at, and similarly women are saying men are “wrong” for wanting to look. I think I said in another comment that all of our feelings are valid. People can’t help how they feel. If a woman thinks you are creepy for staring, or feels bad about it, then don’t be surprised that she’ll express those feelings when the topic is discussed.

            • It’s like there is a moebius strip of shame cycles. Some women hear men being honest and then reply about their feelings honestly and then the men feel shamed and the women feel defensive about being told they are shaming and it’s gross.

              Sometimes I read threads here and other places and I think, if that’s how most men think about women I’d like to be invisible. But then my real life encounters don’t validate what I’ve read and I don’t know. Or maybe I’m not attractive in the way that inspires the way many men think about women.

            • I’m just saying that it doesn’t feel particularly GOOD to think about how men think about women.

              That sounds very close to me to saying “lusting in your heart” is bad, because you’re talking about thinking, not treating. That would make Nathan’s original sense of shame for thinking about women that way justified, which I thought we’d already agreed we don’t believe.

              But you were wondering why women didn’t like your article and I’m trying to explain why.

              No, I was wondering why they told me I was doing it (looking) wrong and should consider that maybe I made her uncomfortable and she was too afraid for her job to be honest with me about that. But even more, I’m wondering why women have projected that discomfort onto the woman in my story despite clear evidence I’ve given that she was not uncomfortable. That is, they’re not just denying my interpretation (that she wasn’t uncomfortable) but the actual woman’s feelings, because something makes it easier for them to believe I must have been an objectifying creep. Their reaction to misbehavior they imagine me committing isn’t a mystery — the mystery is why they think I committed it.

              Likewise, if you or someone else feels ashamed of your desires to look at women because you know some women react negatively, is that the fault of women who after all, are entitled to feel what they feel?

              If a woman says she thinks I consider women to exist only for my pleasure, she is wrong. If she changes the statement to feeling sad because I think women exist only for my pleasure, I believe her sadness, but that doesn’t make her any more correct about my state of mind. I’m not sure if that’s what you were asking, but I honestly couldn’t figure out the question, having never challenged anyone’s entitlement to feel anything, but also having not tried to blame a shame I don’t feel on anyone who didn’t cause it with negative reactions they didn’t have. (I count 8 negatives in that last sentence, which makes it syntactically positive, I think. I’m not sure of the rule on an octuple negative, but I feel positive about it.)

            • Also, I think if I wrote a blog post about fantasizing about Mr. Wallet Candy, and talking about how much I love thinking about rich men who coukd take care of me and buy me stuff, I’d be crucified in the comments! Seriously, I think the reaction would be resoundingly negative, even if I said it was all a fantasy and actually my boyfriend makes less money than I do and I always split the check. :-)

            • Most definitely, but you could write about your favorite breakfast meal in the gender blogosophere and get crucified in the comments. If you wrote a lighthearted story about Mr. Wallet Candy on a personal travel blog read mostly by family and friends as I originally did, you’d probably get a resoundingly positive response, as I did. 😀

            • wellokaythen says:

              “If the test for objectification is what I do in my mind, then that’s no different from saying “You can’t look”…..”

              Bingo.

              This is one big problem with the “objectification” idea. Too often there’s no distinction made between what goes on in a man’s mind and what he does. Critiques of objectification tend to treat thoughts as actions. I think thoughts and actions are different things. Related, maybe, but not the same thing.

              Ultimately, calling you out for objectifying women in your mind is no different from saying you have sinned because you had lust in your heart. You will need some sort of radical deprogramming on the order of a totalitarian system of control or cultic brainwashing. Ultimately, one solution would be some sort of thought police, perhaps some sort of re-education program. Maybe a labor camp where you can work out AND retrain your mind to eliminate perceptions of women’s corporeal aspects? Lots of luck with that.

            • If I said I had racist feelings, but insisted it was okay because my feelings are all n my head and I treat people well, would other people be entitled to call me out about my feelings?

              Anyway, I’m actually not accusing Marcus of having feelings that are “wrong”, just explaining that women don’t necessarily enjoy the fact that men view us as eye candy. Think about that phrase – eye candy – something good to eat. I am not a piece of food for you to enjoy. If you start talking about how you enjoy women as eye candy, some women will call you out on that. They won’t like it. Are that saying your feelings are “wrong?” no, they are saying that your feelings make them feel crappy. That’s all it is.

            • If I said I had racist feelings, but insisted it was okay because my feelings are all n my head and I treat people well, would other people be entitled to call me out about my feelings?

              This is the kind of statement that belies other ones that there’s nothing wrong with looking, because you appear to be comparing “just looking” with “racism”, which strongly implies a belief that “just looking” is a bad thing which people ought be called out for. I disagree that just looking, or “lusting in one’s heart” or “objectifying in one’s mind” or however you choose to phrase it, is a bad, shameful, or sinful thing. So just on that point, I think the comparison is already inapt.

              But let’s say for the sake of argument that lusting in my heart is as bad as racism. If neither one is apparent in how I treat people, then there’s nothing really to call out, is there? If one’s behavior and treatment of other people aren’t causing harm, what is there to call out? Would you prefer someone who says all the right things but acts like a total asshole? This is another case to me where it resembles a religious debate to me, because of the similarity to the doctrinal debate of “faith vs. good works” that divides Protestants and Catholics. You seem to be arguing that it’s what in the mind that counts most, *regardless* of actions, while I (an atheist ex-Catholic) feel deeds matter more. By my reckoning, I can lust all I want, and as long as I haven’t actually misbehaved with things like following, cat-calling, touching, etc., I’m in the clear. But you and others keep trying to convince me that if I so much as lust, it’s as though I’ve already done those other things. We’re arguing “creepy works” vs. “by lust alone”, and probably have about as much chance of eventually agreeing as Protestants and Catholics.

              Think about that phrase – eye candy – something good to eat.

              No, “candy” is something good to eat. “Eye candy” immediately suggests that it’s a metaphor, unless you think eyes are capable of literally eating, or maybe it’s some halloween candy that looks like eyeballs, which obviously hasn’t been my usage. When I think “eye candy”, all it means to me is, “a treat for the eyes”. It’s descriptive, whimsical, and yes, even respectful. So as a writer telling that story, I could have chosen more mundane language like, “a really pretty woman to look at”, but that would have been cumbersome and crappy writing. I could have used other phrases that would also describe, but be more objectifying and less respectful than I ever felt, like “tits and ass”, “an incredible rack”, “motor-boatable”, and so on. Instead, I went with a benign phrase that accurately captured what she was at the time: a treat to look at. The only way to have a problem with that is to have a problem with “just looking”, because in every single interaction I had with her, from looks she was never aware of, to conversations, to showing her a story I wrote about her, I was considerate and respectful. This took no special effort on my part, no struggle to try to see her as more than tits and ass, because I never saw her as simply a body that existed for my enjoyment. She was a whole person like any other and I treated her that way, *even when* appreciating her as eye candy. My eye candy feeling is not incompatible with respect, which is the piece so many women seem unable to believe. Doesn’t that say more about the importance they place on their looks than it does about how much importance I attach to it?

              If you start talking about how you enjoy women as eye candy, some women will call you out on that. They won’t like it. Are that saying your feelings are “wrong?” no, they are saying that your feelings make them feel crappy.

              I don’t have to start thinking about it, because I’ve already thought about it. This is like being told I should educate myself and “do the work” about some dogma I disagree with, as though no one who has gotten educated or done the work could possibly disagree and reject it *because* of what they know about it. I still feel no guilt about enjoying women as eye candy, because I’ve never thought their appearance defines who they are or has anything to do with what I’m “entitled” to. It’s my belief that regardless of my eye candy habits, women define themselves in terms of their appearance or attractiveness far more than I ever do, and while men aren’t a monolith, either, I’ve seen more than a few men express the same thing, and I believe them. When women call me out for enjoying eye candy (i.e, for just looking), I very much think they’re telling me my feelings are wrong, and if they tell me my feelings (the ones they think I have, not the ones I have) make them feel crappy, I again think that’s a way of telling me my feelings are wrong. When they do that, they’re wrong.

              The “entitled to our feelings” thing doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. Sure, we’re entitled to them, but that’s like saying birds are entitled to feathers. It’s not really a right that can be either protected or taken away – it’s just part of being the species we are. We don’t just have feelings, though, we often process them and that’s when we start ascribing reasons and causes to them. A raw feeling isn’t right or wrong, it just is. Those explanations, however, can be some mix of correct and incorrect, and it gets especially dicy when it comes to assigning motives, like “I feel X because you intended Y.” So sure, in a trivial sense, everyone is entitled to their feelings and you can’t rebut a feeling, but on the processing side, feelings don’t entitle anyone to declare themselves correct just because they feel like they’re right. (That’s like what Stephen Colbert so cleverly called “truthiness”.) So, women can feel crappy about something I say and tell me why, and I don’t dispute their right to feel that way, but I can still dispute whether they’re right to feel crappy given that my attitude and actions aren’t the ones they keep saying really bother them.

              That’s all it is.

              All it was was women telling me my [imagined] feelings make them feel crappy, you say. So the parts about me objectifying women in an unacceptable manner, and I should consider how uncomfortable I may have made “20 Seconds”, and how maybe she was too afraid to say so because of her job and my position of power over her, ignoring my evidence that she was authentically comfortable with the story because she shared it with friends and colleagues…that was all just women telling me they feel crappy? Didn’t feel like that to me.

            • I don’t have to start thinking about it, because I’ve already thought about it.

              Whoops, I just realized I totally misread what I thought I was responding to in that part, and mistook “start talking” for “start thinking” and gave it a totally different reading. My bad on that section. Sorry.

            • Sarah says: ‘…explaining that women don’t necessarily enjoy the fact that men view us as eye candy. Think about that phrase – eye candy – something good to eat. I am not a piece of food for you to enjoy. If you start talking about how you enjoy women as eye candy, some women will call you out on that. They won’t like it…’

              You do understand that you are speaking for yourself, not all women, don’t you?

              I enjoy men seeing me as ‘eye candy’ and I enjoy looking at men and seeing them as ‘eye candy’. It is not the only way I see them, but it is the first thing I notice about an attractive man.

              Candy = Sweet and delicious. How can that be a bad thing? It is a compliment, not an insult.

              The fact that you or any other woman does not like what someone else is feeling about you is irrelevant, as your feelings do not trump anyone else’s. You are entitled to them, as is everyone else. Even men.

              You seem to want to reserve the right to feel a certain way only to yourself and if you do not approve of the way someone else feels, they are somehow ‘wronging’ you. A male friend of mine jokes about women like this, always looking to be offended: ‘He assaulted me with his opinions!’

              Many women see themselves as professional victims (such an attractive personality trait!) and what professional victims is to use guilt and shame to try to control others. What they are really just bullies in a passive-aggressive disguise. Very ugly stuff, that.

            • Marcus, you are expending a lot of time and energy trying to defend yourself here, and you don’t seem to be really considering what anyone has said to you. Several people have tried to explain why your “eye candy” piece bothered them, but instead of trying to understand, you’re taking a “Whatever, y’all are stupid! I’m not wrong!” approach. Why is it that you’re being so defensive? Could a part of you be unsure about whether you’re right about all of this?

              Obviously I only have your piece and your comments here to draw from, but from what I have seen, I do not believe that the way you see women, and the way you seem to feel about and express your sexuality, is healthy. You’re not alone in this; our society in general is very confused when it comes to sexuality. Of course this is only my opinion. But I suggest that you try to open your mind.

              Consider not only that you may have some past experiences or feelings that influence the way you approach your sexuality, but also that everyone else does too.

              All the best. Peace, I’m out.

            • Jeana, you have spent a lot of time and energy trying to shame me over feelings and behavior that don’t trouble me, and don’t seem to be really considering what I’ve said. I’ve explained several times why my “eye candy” piece and the behavior I describe in it did not violate any of the guidelines several women have described as the “right” way to look, but instead of trying to understand, they take a “Whatever, you’re still a creep! We’re not wrong!” approach. Why is it that you and others are in denial about being okay with “just looking”? Could it be that you’re unsure whether you really are okay with being looked at or not?

              Obviously, I only have your comments here to draw from, but from what I’ve seen, I don’t believe the way you perceive men, and the way you seem to feel about looking as a threat to your sexuality, is healthy. You’re not alone in this; our society in general is very confused about sexuality, as you noted. I suggest, however, you try to open your mind to the possibility that men – at least some of them – don’t think the way you think they do.

              Consider not only that you may have some past experiences or feelings that influence the way you feel about being looked at, but also that everyone else does too. Women are a varied bunch who don’t all react to looks like you do, and men are another varied bunch, who don’t all pose a threat to you just because some have in the past.

              Namaste.

            • What exactly bothers everyone about your piece?

            • Have you considered that if so many different people are getting the “wrong” message from your article the clearly you didn’t communicate your ideas well?

              The more you talk to more it sounds like you don’t understand the difference between being attracted to someone and objectifying them – and every time someone tries to explain the difference too you, you just answer back “well, you’re just imagining it!” – even though they’re basing their opinions on what you said.
              If you talk like you’re objectifying women, why *shouldn’t* we assume you’re objectifying women?
              (Also, I think you’re very, very naive if you think you can have all sorts of objectifying thought without it leaking out into your actions – peoples unconscious biases are revealed all the time in ways they don’t even think about – you’re no different.)

            • …you don’t understand the difference between being attracted to someone and objectifying them – and every time someone tries to explain the difference too you, you just answer back “well, you’re just imagining it!”…

              Not a single person has tried to explain that difference to me. Including you. Many have said that “just looking” is fine with them, and that’s the context I brought my story up in. The only way there’s any logical consistency to accusing me of objectification in the example related in the story is to have a problem with “just looking”. I still would disagree, but it would at least be logically consistent.

              Instead, you and others keep attempting to shame me for thoughts. Not behavior – thoughts. And how is my conscience so clear on this? Because my good behavior and non-creepy impact was confirmed by the woman you’re so convinced was objectified by me, and I did not do things like make her uncomfortable with staring, dehumanize her, act like I was entitled to anything, or even publish the story without first making sure she was cool with it and wouldn’t feel disrespected. *She* then circulated the story among co-workers, further confirming my impression that neither my looking nor actions had crossed any boundaries. If looking at someone attractive without them even noticing, and then taking the extra step of checking her comfort level later because I happened to write about it and didn’t want to publish if it would make her uncomfortable doesn’t show respect for the person, then what the hell does? I not only respected her as a whole person, but treated her as such each time we interacted.

              As I said, no one has come close to “explaining” how I could have been any less objectifying or polite in finding her attractive, while *still finding her attractive*, so as far as me having objectified her — yes, you’re imagining it.

            • One of my favourite articles about female objectification: http://www.afterellen.com/movies/how-much-female-objectification-is-too-much-female-objectification-transformers-dark-side-of-the-moon

              I’m not delving into the exact instance you all are talking about…but the article I linked to examines how you can be attracted to someone but not objectifying them.

            • I’m not sure people can really explain it fully as feeling objectified is a subjective feeling based on how she feels at the time, what she has learned, how she was raised and quite a lot of women are raised I think to feel objectified some to the point where harmless looks are seen as objectifying.

              If you don’t feel you have objectified them, then stand your ground and don’t let them say you have, that is your right, and only you know what goes on in your mind. If they give tips on how to make women feel less objectified I’d say take them into account as I do but don’t let some try shame you into never looking at a woman.

              As for a woman feeling uncomfy if you look at her, that is harder to avoid but you can help avoid it. Don’t stare, don’t look for too long but that’s mostly a universal body language thing that makes others uncomfy, animals especially get nervous when someone stares at them as it’s predatory behaviour. A few glances here n there, smile if they see you, a genuine friendly smile, don’t say or act creepy and you can help avoid them feeling uncomfy. But if they are a victim of abuse or were raised on dogma of men being badddddd then it may be a lot harder to avoid but as long as you are not trying to act creepy and are aware of your behaviour I think you’ll be fine (at least that is the advice I’ve gotten from other women).

              @Mika
              “If you talk like you’re objectifying women, why *shouldn’t* we assume you’re objectifying women?”
              Is it possible that some women are raised to see objectification where it doesn’t lie? Or is it possible that objectification in other areas of life could bleed over into feeling objectified by things others don’t feel objectified by? I’ve been in situations I’ve felt very threatened but others didn’t, because of my previous history with bullying and abuse, I felt under threat but it doesn’t mean I WAS under threat. Is it possible people are seeing too much into Marcus’s article?

              Some people above dislike the words eye candy, they see it as something to eat, whilst Marcus see’s it as being good. Who is right? Some will feel objectified by it, others won’t. If someone calls me eye candy I won’t feel objectified by it unless they mean ALL I am good for is to look at. 1 term that has a different meaning based on who reads it, it’s subjective in this case but it doesn’t mean he is objectifying women. What would be a more appropriate way to describe what he wants to?

            • Jeana says: ‘…I do not believe that the way you see women, and the way you seem to feel about and express your sexuality, is healthy…’

              If this article bothered me (it was very enjoyable) I would not continue reading it, just as if a movie bothered me, I would not continue watching it.

              The women who took offense at this article are the ones who have something wrong with them. They are the kind of women who are always looking for offense and, if (heaven forbid!) it is not there, they make something up to justify their hatred and distrust of men.

              They obviously have had bad relationships with men (not to mention some serious Daddy issues) and that led them to be bitter and mean, but when a person has problems with romantic relationships all of their lives, they have to look at the common denominator.

              Men, take heart! Ignore these horrible women and if you meet one like that, run away! Most women, like most men, are decent and kind.

            • Julie @ 8:39
              I am not perfectly sure I understand your problem with my post from 5:10. I commented on your remark that you would register a complaint with the facility manager. My clear reading is that you were talking about looking. You appear to say not. I accepted that
              ________________________
              I explained what the likely outcome of a complaint to the manager would be. To me, this is clear support for simply NOT looking. In my experience, complaints by women in almost all public facing services, is that women’s complaints are acted upon to her satisfaction – irrespective of the underlying facts, which the decider frequently assumes they cannot determine satisfactorily. So, if you (a guy) have a problem with controlling your looking (and I do, just not the typical one with ogling, as I explained elsewhere), then you should go somewhere else. Remove yourself from a situation that you don’t handle well.

              ____________________________
              I am certain, having read your material for several years now, that your actions would be sensible and appropriate. I am far less confident of any given person (and that includes women) that I may encounter at any time. You do realize that a lot of people are not as sensible as you are? Sometimes I wonder if a large percentage of people are really all there – as an ex-bartender, my experience says many aren’t. I actually HAVE experienced that kind of over-the-top reaction, as I explained. It is almost surreal.
              ____________
              Lastly, my interest is solely in the looking, which is frequently being broadened into approaching, verbal harassment (your example above w the guy and the divorce), physical intimidation (by following around), or being touched. To be clear, my interest is actually more in the neurological underpinning of the looking – the pattern and shape recognition. I am actually curious about the impact on men of that pattern recognition process. I am not sure that men are fully aware of why that happens, and how to manage it. I am mentoring quite a few young men. They could use some help with this, I think.

              I don;t expect women to do anything about this issue. What on earth could they possibly do?

            • I have no idea if there is a neurological underpinning. I’m distracted by people all day and not sure if it is based on shape or just…well, adhd.

              As for the rest, sorry, I misread you and thanks for clarifying.

            • Not a problem.

              On the neurology, you can ignore this, feel free …
              There are certain shapes that in many people trigger rapid reactions – for many people, snakes are a visual cue, and the reaction goes straight to the limbic system before it is moderated by cerebral cortex systems. Eyes in the night. Amorphous mists. Uncontrolled rushing water. Some sounds have the same effect – a crying child, a scream.
              I think that some of the visual cortex columns are tuned tor the same kind of rapid recognition of body shape, within pretty broad parameters. For example, consider the golden ratio in architecture (Fibonacci numbers), which is closely matched in body shape.

              What I am having trouble figuring out is whether this is a component of the masculinized brain ( the strength of those columns in terms of number of neurons per column), a difference in the dendritic development differentials between men and women that might modify the effect in women, or something else entirely…

              This is another understudied area. I think it underlies a considerable part of the ogling, leering problem. Together with a lack of training in men to manage those tendencies.
              We know almost nothing, so we are like witch doctors staring at the inexplicable, and sometimes inventing the supernatural as an explanation. Only now, it seems to me, we call the supernatural a ________ Theory, and create ideologies, and it serves the same purpose.

        • It’s pretty obvious usually when someone is lost in thought like that, their eyes don’tmove much nor do they notice you see them looking at you. The extreme of it is the 1000yard stare. As a daydreamer (adhd yay…) I would stare off for quite some time whilst mentally I was focusing on my daydream then suddenly awareness snaps back to reality and realize I was staring in the direction of someone.

          Your teacher is/was terrible btw.

      • PatRiarchy says:

        What if they weren’t looking at you as a statue? What if they were looking at you like you were some human female they would like to fk? Does that make a difference?

        When a female dresses sexy why does she do it? What does a female get out of it when she dresses “sexy?” Why are the same clothes on a 13 year old cause raise hackles?

        If men completely ignored her, would she still feel sexy or does it take the compliance of men to make a female feel sexy?

  64. To be honest most women usually are not offended if they catch men “appreciating the view” so long as he doesn’t make a nuisance of himself doing so (your brain can register an image in less than 5 seconds, so there’s no need to keep looking, or look multiple times. She saw you looking the first time and if you’re not going to approach her and talk to her like a human – which includes letting her shoot you down if she doesn’t reciprocate the appreciation of the view – you’re being a creep.).

    That being said, every time men start to formulate a thought like “Women do ____ because of sexual attention from men” they need to revise; go back, replace the ‘because of’ part of the sentence with the word DESPITE, then they will be making an accurate statement.

    (BTW: Won’t be checking back on this comment, so troll away.)

    • “She saw you looking the first time and if you’re not going to approach her and talk to her like a human – which includes letting her shoot you down if she doesn’t reciprocate the appreciation of the view – you’re being a creep.)”
      Was that you’re a creep if you look after 5 seconds, or if you look at her under 5 seconds, she notices, and you DON’T approach you are now a creep? If the latter than every shy guy is now a creep?

  65. First of all- to argue that you are by no means implying that women are to blame for this fad and then to turn around and say that we are merely eager for attention from men, is completely ridiculous. Men wear shorts to the gym, sometimes wear sleeveless shirts, sometimes they wear bike shorts- now for me to turn around and say that you are wearing those so that the women in the gym can ogle at you while lifting weights, all the while straining to look at yourself in the mirror- would again be wrong. You are basically saying that women cannot venture out into the world without dressing to impress someone other than themselves? Your arrogance really impresses me because I believe that I can wear whatever I would like while running errands, lounging on my patio or even walking around the mall. What you’re insinuating is that of the same mentally one might apply to situations related to rape culture- that women are asking for whatever they are given due to how they dress or how they speak. I do not comment on the ridiculous outfits that men wear, because I assume that whatever their attire is, they are most comfortable in it. And while I can agree that we live in a world that bases almost everything on our own judgements, I highly suggest that you do not advertise that as a grown man, you cannot seem to comprehend that women perhaps find some articles of clothing more comfortable than you might. Perhaps before you condemn all women to pathetic, simplistic and materialistic cookie cutouts maybe you should open your mind to the concept that it is 2013 and whatever we decide to dress is has nothing to do with what you consider as attractive.

  66. wellokaythen says:

    I’m trying to imagine a related scenario, to see if maybe there could be some double standards here. Let me try this one:

    Imagine if I was someone who got into fights with other men because I didn’t like the way they looked at me. Suppose I just got out on bail for punching a man who I thought looked at me funny. He looked at me in a way I didn’t like, I took offense, so I did something about it. I wasn’t going to let him get away with it, so I confronted him and taught him a lesson. One time long ago a guy who looked at me funny tried to pick a fight with me later, so I learned my lesson and now I hit first. All very logical from my point of view, of course.

    Now, consider the criticism I would face. First of all, people would rightly say I have a problem with anger and that I need to find nonviolent ways of operating in the world. If the problem was just the violence, then they’d stop there, but they wouldn’t.

    They would also tell me something about how I should not let other people get under my skin, that I should not treat looks as physical threats, that I am over-reacting to what is just an innocent look in my direction. They might even tell me I’ve got some serious boundary issues if I think of a stare as an assault on my person. They would tell me, especially the women in my life would tell me, chill out, it’s just a look, it doesn’t mean anything, don’t jump to conclusions, don’t let your imagination run wild, a look is not an action.

    Or, let’s say I don’t get into fist fights, but any man who looks at me in a way I don’t like I verbally confront with a “whatta YOU lookin’ at?” Presumably most people here would think I’m in serious need of psychological help, or I have way too big of a chip on my shoulder about other people.

  67. I am so utterly and unbelievably tired of the notion that whatever I do to my body is for male benefit. I dress up – it’s for men to ogle me. I put on make up – it’s for men to ogle me. I do my hair – it’s for men to ogle me. According to men, everything I ever do revolves around their whims and their pleasure. Newsflash, boys: Whatever I do I do it for myself, not for you. You, your needs and your pleasure are all an irrelevant afterthought. And if I choose to do something for a specific male individual I am not doing it because he’s a man, I am doing it because I found him to be a worthy person – being a man is not part of that. The world does not revolve around you and your dicks and time for you to wrap your silly, little, egotistical minds around that notion.

    • Robin (Female) says:

      I dress for myself *and* to get male attention. I like male attention because, hold on, I am a heterosexual female. I dress as appropriate for work or for a date, but I am never, ever offended at an admiring glance from a man. I know the difference between harmless flirting and sexual harassment and that gap is very wide.

      Why have women thrown the baby out with the bathwater? And why does it always seem to be the younger women who are so hateful and angry at men?

      Here’s the truth: The vast majority of men are decent human beings, they love women, and will go out of their way to be polite and helpful to *all* women, not just the women who they want to have sex with (granted, that is almost all women, but hey, DNA is DNA). For some bizarre reason, many women not only do not appreciate these gestures of kindness and respect, they go around in a constant state of resentment and bitterness about it. They are totally bonkers.

      Men, I apologize for all these crazy women. We are not all like that and if Darwin’s Law prevails,over time there will be less and less of them.

  68. I wear them because they are so freakin’ comfortable and I am always on the go — work, school, recreation. They are versatile in that I can wear a skirt over them or not, wear a sarong…whatever. If a guy thinks that it’s any more than that, as this author has made pretty clear, that is his own screwed up thinking, plain and simple.

  69. I find sad that Good MEN Project’s comments are often flooded by “femi-nazi” stances.
    It makes this place much less men-friendly and more like the rest of the world: tense, gloomy, conflictual and makes me say… whatever.

    BTW, “nazi” = “the whole world must behave MY way”. No exceptions, no leeway, no irony at all. “May the Goddess hit you with lightnings if you dare to slightly annoy a woman, ever”. It sounds like The First Female Reich.
    So long to compassion, tolerance and mutual acceptance.

    Ok, so now go ahead and bash me. 😉

    • Because women wanting to be treated differently then they are currently being treated is so totally like the Holocaust, right?

    • Joke:

      Q: How many feminists does it take to change a lightbulb?

      A: That’s not funny.

      I do not understand these bizarrely angry women. I am free-spirited and independent, yet I very much enjoy looking at attractive men.

      Does that make me less independent? Nope. Am I ‘objectifying’ them? I suppose so, in that when I see an attractive man and briefly think of him as a potential sexual partner (what fun!) and then go on my merry way.

      I just do not see how I have harmed him.

      I very much doubt that I am the only heterosexual woman who does this, but it seems that I am the only women here.

      • @Robin: “I very much doubt that I am the only heterosexual woman who does this, but it seems that I am the only women here.”

        I agree with you, most (healthy) women appreciate men’s attention and their (respectful) desire for them. Thus, I’m glad to read your positive comments.
        You’re not the only one here who is supportive and understanding of men, but – alas – it seems the GMP is “occupied” by many angry and passive-aggressive man-haters females. :(
        Thank God for women like you. :)

        • And most men appreciate women’s attention and their (respectful) desire for them.

          I can assure you that if an attractive man at the gym is wearing tight biker pants and working out near me, I will be glancing at him. Politely and discreetly, but I will be checking him out. I would be a bit embarrassed if he caught me at it though.

          On the other hand, if a man with a buff body is wearing a tight t-shirt and biker pants, it is safe to assume that he wants to be noticed by (hopefully) the opposite sex.

          • I find it more or less impossible not to notice and even intentionally glance at attractive men dressed in revealing clothing, but it signifies nothing more than that I have eyes that function and that I was born with same biological imperatives that every organic life form on this planet. Let’s not feel shame at biological imperatives, it does no one any good whatsover. Nor should we pretend that women are somehow different than the female of every other species on this planet, and that we can miraculously rise above our procreative impulses because we are better creatures. Although I have to admit, I don’t notice nor care when people look at me, since I live in a big city and I’m surrounded by hundreds of fellow pedestrians and commuters every day, it’d be impossible to get vexed about other people staring or checking me out or whatever – they’d have to cross the line into verbal harrassment or physical touching or otherwise disrupting me in order for me to notice or care. I’m not the Thought Police, and am too focused on my own life and my own thoughts to have time to be concerned with what other people are thinking or seeing. Unless, of course, an attractive gent is checking me out, in which case, I do feel flattered.

  70. Nathan got it right except for the whole guilt thing about looking. They get to wear it, we get to look. Full stop.

  71. Gint Aras says:
  72. I had no idea yoga pants are regarded as sexy but then again I don’t go to the gym or yoga class. I practice martial arts, so I’m mostly covered up, but I can understand that certain garments are convenient for exercise and happen to be sexy because they reveal more – this has been true since the Victorian era when bloomers and singlets were considered racy (even today, women’s day wear is called “sportswear” in the fashion world). If you can’t look away from the yoga pants, why not read a book, listen to music, or a book on tape? Focus on your workout and zen out instead of gazing at the people around you. Exercise is often the only form of recreation that I have due to my busy life with work and school. I’d be peeved if someone ruined that, so don’t leer, be respectful of other people’s workouts, obey the gym rules, and think about yoga pants on your own time. If you can’t do that, well, find some form of other form of exercise for which people do not wear yoga pants – rock climbing, for example – or jogging, or bicycling, martial arts, but definitely not yoga.

    • Even better, why not gouging out one’s eyes…?
      That way, there won’t be any temptation of staring or leering, lest not – God forbid! – that a woman might feel a little discomfort somehow.
      After all, aren’t men on this planet to submit, serve and obey?

      • Mark Neil says:

        One of the things that is bothering me the most about this discussion is how many people refuse to acknowledge the author’s position is addressing OUTSIDE THE GYM. Those arguing against him always seem to drag it back into the gym. Now, I could make assumptions about motive, such as it’s an easier position to defend, that yoga pants are not worn for “the male gaze” when you pretend they’re only worn in the gym, or doing exercise, but I’ll leave the projection of motive to the ideologs.

        But, of course, the sense of entitlement is a close second.

        • Martin Nash says:
        • I’m the wrong person to comment on this – my only concern is that the author does not ruin someone else’s workout by acting like a perv, or otherwise act creepy towards women who are just going about their business outside the gym. Of course, my definition of “acting creepy” is biased since I live in a large city. I don’t even notice staring – it’s just a part of big-city life that I disregard along with every other irritation. Then again, I am certainly not buff like some twenty-something avid yoga practitioner, also, admittedly, I dress conservatively for everyday. Yet any time I wear tight clothing that reveals my derrriere, I find that men stare at it, especially if they are behind me on the street or a staircase. Likewise if I wear short skirts and high heels, a low-cut blouse, short-shorts, a cocktail dress, etc. Since my office’s dress code prohibits that type of clothing, and it’s not practical to wear them for the particular kind of exercise that I do, and in fact I only dress like that for special occassions, I have no idea how widespread this staring-at-yoga-pants problem is. I only know that I would not intentionally do cardio near a pool in which many buff guys are practicing dives and walking around in skimpy Speedos, because even if I tried telling myself not to look, I’d be unable not to look – in fact, I’m sure I’d be staring slack-jawed, since I am not a competitive swimmer who is accustomed to the sight. So if yoga pants are that kind of trigger, avoid places in which you have a good view of women in yoga pants. If you can’t even walk down the street without leering at women in yoga pants, then you must work on that, because it’s not impossible to rein it in. Every summer I see men quietly sunbathing or reading or swmming at the beach, surrounding by gorgeous women in bikinis, who still somehow manage to act courteous and gentlemanly even if they cannot avoid seeing nearly-naked women, and yet they can rein it in to socially-acceptable levels, so it can be done, you just might have to work on it a bit.

  73. I think this was a pretty good article (you seem to have a good handle on human fault and objectification), but with some serious faults. Assuming that women are lying to you or not understanding their own actions when they tell you “we wear them because they are comfortable” is pretty telling. I experienced heavy shame and insecurity when I started wearing yoga shorts to the gym to lift weights, because I knew there was a stigma surrounding ‘women who wear yoga pants’. Truth be told, they are incredibly comfortable, breathable, and give me a full range of motion when I squat, deadlift, etc. When I started getting strong and had more confidence in the gym, I really just stopped giving a f*&k what men might think about my ‘intentions’, because goddamn these pants are comfortable.

    This confidence extended into real life, where I could now understand the appeal of simply pulling on yoga pants and a sweater to get groceries, lunch, etc. I think the fact that men find yoga pants sexually appealing means that they project this onto their intentions – “Her ass looks fantastic in those pants. She must know this, and is wearing those pants so that I will notice.” No. While some women may find this a pleasant or exciting side effect, the assumption that (all) women dress themselves to inspire boners is ego-centric and actually pretty damaging. The display of the bum and male appreciation of the bum are usually incidental.

    Appreciation isn’t BAD. Looking isn’t BAD. Assuming women are dressing themselves for your sexual pleasure or to flaunt their own promiscuity IS bad.

  74. Hah- I guess it is about comfort
    Shunning Plus-Size Shoppers Is Key To Lululemon’s Strategy, Insiders Say
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/31/lululemon-plus-size_n_3675605.html

  75. I am a heterosexual male. Because of this, when I see the human female form, my pulse quickens a little, and I think about sex. There is nothing anyone can do about that. However, I am also a gentleman, which in my case means that I always exercise good manners and try not to offend or be rude. I do not stare, because that is rude. I am not a potential rapist, because my desire for sex does not equate to the desire to harm anyone, The fact that seeing an attractive woman makes me think of sex does not make that woman less of a person to me. Far from it. I find women endlessly fascinating. way beyond the sexual attraction, I find women graceful in movement, and mostly pleasant to be around. Because women and men are individual human beings, I find some of them have personalities or habits that irritate me, or viewpoints that I strongly disagree with. On the other hand, I find many females completely adorable. Not so much as sexual objects, but just endlessly fascinating in every way. If a pretty girl wants to be seen only for their intellect, they are going to be disappointed. But they will also have the great advantage that no matter where she goes, people will be super helpful and want to do nice things for her. No matter what social changes we make, 100 generations from now, male humans will still think about sex when they see the female human form. Unless you completely avoid men and boys, you are going to be thought of in a sexual way. I admit that it seems kind of creepy. The blunt truth is that if you are a pretty girl , virtually every male past puberty who sees you, will be imagining you naked. There is nothing any of us can do about that. However, virtually none of those men or boys would ever wish to harm you. Most would aid you if they thought you were threatened in any way. The problem with this article is that the author has been taught that it is dehumanizing and wrong to see women in a sexual way. Then he encounters the real world. Unlike him, I am comfortable with my sexuality. I also am perfectly comfortable working for women, or with them. But sexuality is part of life. You are not going to change that. If you do not wish to have men picturing you naked, wear shapeless clothing and a veil. That certainly does not mean that provocatively dressed women deserve to be assaulted or addressed in a vulgar manner. It is my job as a civilized person to treat you with dignity and respect no matter how you look. But you do not get to tell me what to think about. toad

  76. Ugly, disgusting, fat old-looking trash…you really think that all women in gyms are there to get trim and sexy? I guess you want to diminish all the real female athletes who’re way stronger than you ever dream to be, wuss. I’d beat you to a pulp in you tried to run your sh*t little coward mouth to me in person.

Trackbacks

  1. […] the rounds today, a blog post about one man’s angst over yoga pants, as worn by women, and many, many responses to that […]

  2. […] has some sharp criticism of Nathan Graziano’s piece here at the Good Men Project, “Yoga Pants Nation“. Ms. McDonnell-Parry writes: Newsflash Nathan Graziano: Not everything women do is done with […]

  3. […] yoga. Even though some of you ladies have decided to make yoga pants an every-day thing, most men (with a few exceptions) around the world can appreciate. Let’s all take a stretch and see what Tumblr accounts are […]

  4. […] yoga. Even though some of you ladies have decided to make yoga pants an every-day thing, most men (with a few exceptions) around the world can appreciate. Let’s all take a stretch and see what Tumblr accounts are […]

  5. […] yoga. Even though some of you ladies have decided to make yoga pants an every-day thing, most men (with a few exceptions) around the world can appreciate. Let’s all take a stretch and see what Tumblr accounts are […]

  6. […] yoga. Even though some of you ladies have decided to make yoga pants an every-day thing, most men (with a few exceptions) around the world can appreciate. Let’s all take a stretch and see what Tumblr accounts are […]

  7. […] day or so ago, The Good Men Project published a post about women wearing yoga pants called Yoga Pants Nation. It was a fun, tongue in cheek-y kind of piece about a man, Nathan Graziano, who has found some […]

  8. […] inaccurately-named “120 Strength Training Tips for Women”  and once while reading “Yoga Pants Nation” by Nathan Graziano over at the Good Men Project (which really, can they just rename it to the […]

  9. […] this post as a result, you need no introduction to the argument. As for the rest, you should read Nathan Graziano’s essay, Yoga Pants Nation, on the Good Men Project. It’s generating a lot of attention, some of it negative. A heated […]

  10. […] think that yoga pants are just a bit too sexy for everyday wear. Nathan Graziano even commented that yoga pants are part of an “age old game, where women flaunt and men […]

  11. […] week, The Good Men Project published an article called Yoga Pants Nation, in which the writer, Nathan Graziano, confesses how much trouble he has existing in a world where […]

  12. […] me all throughout my yoga class one night this week. I had just come across the Good Men Project post on yoga pants and for some reason, though it didn’t surprise me in any way, it was unsettling to […]

  13. […] Yoga Pants Nation @ Good Men Project […]

  14. […] man comes clean on how he feels when looking at women in Yoga pants (not me the author). goodmenproject.com/featured-conte… via @goodmenproject — Thomas Matlack (@TMatlack) February 20, […]

  15. […] man writes. He says all women in your whole county wear sexy pants for their exercising, and “all…men…are….pigs”. This, perfect for us. You pigs like the sexy women. Please click for more sexy women. We send. […]

  16. […] author makes reference to a hypersexualized website called Girls in Yoga Pants and then to an article on The Good Men Project to make her point about the sexualization of yoga pants. She mentions two […]

  17. […] Good Men Project’s piece on how hard (no pun intended) it is on men when women wear yoga pants. (Okay, pun intended, a little bit. But seriously, Graziano’s piece is idiotic. I […]

  18. […] Most recently the fashion police have turned their disapproval towards yoga pants. Apparently some men think women wear yoga pants outside yoga class because they like to turn men on. The entire problem with this whole assumption is that strangers wear clothes for no reason to do […]

  19. […] a blogger on our site was so brazen as to admit that this yoga pants thing for women was kind of problematic for him as a man because it…. The response was swift and lethal: get over yourself. Women wear yoga pants for comfort and if […]

  20. […] line is it does not matter what a woman wears. It does not matter where she is. It doesn’t matter what she tweets. It is her body, not […]

  21. […] for super sexy sexiness here, so get yourself some yoga pants – because we all know that yoga pants equal insta-boners for miles around – and squeeze your boobs into a tiny tank top.  The more skin showing, the better, because […]

  22. […] should be filed under “when keeping it real goes wrong.” It is doubtful the Good Men Project op-ed on how guys feel about women in yoga pants will be counted among the must-reads of early 21-century […]

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