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More Delicious Austen - Impressions and Expressions of Ijon — LiveJournal
November 7th, 2004
02:06 pm

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More Delicious Austen

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From:cinamon
Date:November 11th, 2004 11:21 am (UTC)

Took me long, but still... :)

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You also said two things I'd like to comment on -
Part I -
First, I agree; I wasn't accurate in my phrasing - these dichotomies still exist - no argument about it.
But my point was [still is] that even if they exist, they are no longer the *only* perspective available, nor the most important one.
To say it more bluntly, to me, there's no benefit in talking about a 'majority', even if it exists, because what interests me is the individual.
We live today in a world that offers a variety of opinions and ways of living. And yes, there probably are ways that are more 'popular' than others. Statistically, there may even be a majority. But, so what? Is that majority's choice/view more valuable than that of the individual? Personally, I think not [and why I appreciate living today :)]. Why? Because one does not necessarily need to live according to this 'majority'. That's the beauty of it - we have choices; and because we do, it doesn't matter [at least not to me], if a lot of individuals choose X; to me, choice X is equal to choice Z or B.
Of course, one can argue that in the end, the choice of the masses does affect you, because you are offered 'products' [whatever they may be - cloth, TV programs, Cafes], that are compatible to that certain 'target audience'.
To that I'll say there is such abundance today, that each can find something suitable.

You admit that what you said in the first paragraph ["the real majority of women still care how they look and about fashion as a tool for attracting men, and most men still care more about what's underneath all the fashion"], applies 'to a majority of western cultured current men and women, by no means to any individual or subgroup anywhere or anytime'.
So I guess I have to ask - what do you benefit from talking about the 'majority'?
I can only talk about what I know, i.e. me, the people in my life and the people I watch.
I must say that my experience, is different than your description; the majority of women I know don't care how they look *simply* to attract men, and I can only wish what you said about men was true [Where are those men hiding? I want one! ;)].

I also have to say, it's was not at all about being modern or not; it's about me actually conducting my life, believing something else.
Obviously, people [women too :)] still care how they look.
But, to me, the important question is, why? Care for themselves, or for other's approval.
What I'm saying is, even if you met some women who 'dress to impress',
not *all* women are like that, and my comment meant to say that I think speaking in terms of these dichotomies, not only does not do the others justice, but also helps establishing a fixation about women as a collective group, that is simply untrue anymore [and I think was never true].

Look, obviously there's a biological difference between men and women, which means there are certain experiences that unite all women, as there are experiences that unite all men. But other than that, I strongly believe in gender-free-individualism.
I am well aware that patterns are hard to break, especially historical-cultural ones.
I think we are in a transitional period, and that awareness is a crucial key.
That's why I felt obliged to say something when these dichotomies popped into the air;
it's simply important, I think, to balance it a bit, and maybe to open a debate.
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From:mux2000
Date:November 11th, 2004 12:02 pm (UTC)

Re: Took me long, but still... :)

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To begin with, I see I remarked to an observation you did not make - about the society or majority of women. If you speak of yourself and those around you, my first remark is meaningless, like you said. I don't care about the majority any more than you do, I was just responding to something you did not say.

About 'the dichotomy' - I hope all these arteficial gender differences go away too, but there are still natural gender differences we have to take into account. This specific difference (attitude towards fashion) is very arteficial, but it could have natural sources I don't know about. I agree that either way, we're at a cusp point (in this as in many other issues) that will be resolved in the future, but today we're still in a society where most women do not make their own choices and follow the fashion herd in a persuit of some essence I don't understand. And most men (most men I know anyway) don't get that race either.
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