Every spring, concerned citizens spring up like so many tulips (or boners) to share their opinions on how women should and shouldn't dress when it's warm outside. Unfortunately, unlike pollen allergies, there's no known antidote for these five most obnoxious types of seasonal "Ladies! Put your clothes on/take them off, plz!" articles.
1. Appreciative Objectification (Pro-Skimpy Clothing)
Intrepid Guyism reporter Ryan Jones spent a recent afternoon accosting women to "thank them" for "offering their contribution to the season," i.e. dressing for the first nice day in New York City.
"We haven't seen skin on the street in months and months, and we wanted to offer a sign of our gratitude to you," he tells one woman clad in jogging gear before inexplicably handing her a lollipop. (Other "rewards" include leis for "get lei'd" jokes, breast cancer stickers because "they're aware that breast cancer exists" and maracas.)
The video is so pseudo-benevolent — calming music plays in the background, Jones speaks in ingratiatingly earnest tones — so women who object will come off as humorless bitches. One woman's attitude is a "bit dark," Jones notes — maybe because she doesn't care if he thinks she looks great? — but he tells her she'll "get a prize, anyway." Whatta guy.
2. Fat Girls Shouldn't Go Outside (Anti-Skimpy Clothing, unless you're Miley Cyrus)
There's nothing like a woman dressed in little-to-nothing, as long as she's not a fat slob! May God save those who dare to don crop tops without prior approval from the Boston Globe's Christopher Muther.
"It takes a brave man to stand up against a trend that threatens to invade summer like a swarm of Asian Long-Horned Beetles," he writes of midriff-bearing shirts. Muther has "deepest respect for the women who can wear these and actually pull them off" — but of course — but as for the others:
I’m a firm believer that everyone should wear what makes them comfortable (in my case that happens to be a Slanket and tennis shoes), but I’m not a fan of any article of clothing that has the potential to show off muffin tops. There will be a contingent of women wearing them who shouldn’t, and then a contingent of women who will wish they could wear them.
"Your honor, I find this garment guilty of making some women feel bad about themselves," Muther writes. Yes. It's all the crop top's fault; what a polyester dick.
3. Long-winded Defense (Very Pro-Skimpy Clothing)
Last year, the Globe and Mail published a three-page explainer on why it's okay to creepily stare at women's butts. It invokes nostalgia, a reasoned critique of Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In ("These days, with women charging so fast past us, we're happy to feel anything"), and some thoughts on the changing seasons:
But it was such a beautiful day. And so I decided to spend the rest of it cruising the city, investigating the famous male gaze, to find out just how ashamed we lads ought to feel.
There are people sunning themselves all over downtown Toronto, glades of flesh and sunglasses. Ninety per cent of them are women. It's not as if they're hiding.
“Beautiful women are like flowers,” W interjects. “They turn to the sun. But if they don't receive a certain amount of attention, they wither.” The simile has an 18th-century feel, like the conversation: It's about manners, after all, which are always most complicated in times of equality.
Ladies: men will stare at you when it's warm out — and then write hella long essays about it all — because of feminism.
4. Jesus Hates Short Shorts (Very Anti-Skimpy Clothing)
Beware the k-hole that is the evangelical modesty blogging community; it's a dark place full of inexplicable recommendations for white rhinestoned bow clips (gotta cover up that sluttish hair) and ruminations on what to do when it's summer and lust is nigh. It may be 100 degrees outside, but that's no excuse to stop making "an effort to respect ourselves and our brothers in Christ by dressing modestly," as one blogger writes in her "friendly" Spring "modesty reminder." Reformed Resource is not so peppy:
Summer time is approaching and with the increase in temperature, there seems to come an inevitable decrease in modesty. While the preacher in Ecclesiastes tells us there is “nothing new under the sun,” we are living in a time when finding modest clothing is becoming more of a challenge then ever before. Previous generations may have found seductive options in women’s clothing departments; however mothers of today face the tough challenge of having to weed through piles of immodest clothing to outfit their children in a way that shows that they are raising covenant children, dedicated to the Lord.
Carrie's mom, is that you?
5. Miniskirts Kill (Beware Skimpy Clothing or Risk DEATH)
A few years back, a bunch of dudes told a car insurance company that they were "distracted by short skirts and low-cut tops in the Summer weather, leading to record numbers of accidents on the roads." Hence the headline: "Male road accidents soar in summer due to women's short skirts." Yes! Careless ladies are clearly the root of the problem here, as even science agrees:
Behavioural psychologist Donna Dawson explained: "Research shows that men are far more easily distracted behind the wheel than women.
"Men are more visually orientated and so distractions such as an attractive woman walking down the street can quickly take their attention away from driving and the job in hand.
To summarize: wear tank tops to please male onlookers — unless you're fat — because feminism has made men sad, but God will smite you and you'll murder some well-meaning dude drivers thanks to the siren call of your boobs.