…something which most people don’t want to admit many men feel: that they have the right to be sexually titillated or at least aesthetically pleased, by the sight of women.
Not by women in their bedrooms, or on a date, or at a party; just by women in general, walking down the street, shopping, working, going about their daily business. Women men don’t know, have never had any dealings with and have no relevance to their lives, have no right to be out in public, unless they are making an effort to look as if they care if men want to fuck them or not. If they’re not prepared to make themselves sexually attractive to men, they they don’t really have the right to be out in the world. They should either stay at home or wear a burka, so that men’s aesthetic sensibilities are not offended. Looking as if they don’t actually care if they please men or not, is enough to be considered as a declaration of hostility by men like Demetri Marchessini. The idea that we should have dressed to please ourselves, to go about our business comfortably, rather than to have prioritised being aesthetically or sexually pleasing to men, is a terribly worrying one for men like this.
Marchessini is idiotic enough to have expressed that worry out loud in public; but there are many more men out there, who at the back of their mind have the same assumptions but just don’t express them out loud because they suspect they’d be laughed at as loudly as Marchessini has been. While it’s fun to laugh at them, it’s worth examining why they are worried; if women are comfortable and happy in their own skins and aren’t trying to please men, then that means that men can’t enjoy the power kick of being constantly reminded that women’s essential role is to be there to please them and be used by them. That’s what lies at the heart of this hostile trousers nonsense.
I won’t even begin to compare the way men express hostility to women, compared with how Marchessini et al think women express hostility to men; men’s hostility to women goes way beyond wearing the wrong trousers; in public, men catcall, harass and insult women; those women who dress without reference to pleasing men will be instructed by male acquaintances to put some make up on or cover their grey hairs and advised by men they don’t know that they are munters if they don’t; those who do dress to comply with patriarchal beauty standards will be advised that they have nice tits, or a fat arse or that they need to be fucked slowly for 12 hours or any of the other myriad threatening remarks men seem to be able to pick out of their bag without thinking. They’ll rape or sexually assault a quarter of us at some point in our lifetime; and they kill 2 women a week in the UK.
If only men could take a leaf out of women’s book and express hostility to the opposite sex by wearing clothes women find unattractive, instead of insulting us, harassing us, raping us, beating us or killing us. How much more pleasant and safe the world would be for women."