Probably not on your radar, but over the weekend, Slate reposted it's tongue-in-cheek essay, "A Dandy's Guide to Girl-Watching." [link]
Author Troy Patterson claims, "Despite all the many philosophical inquiries into beauty since the Greeks and into sidewalk scenes since Baudelaire, there is an acute shortage of discourse on the subject of checking out hot chicks, a silence all the more appalling because they are famously difficult to ignore."
He references a decade old (and famously lewd) NY Observer piece on the joys of summer skin and spandex. That article claims that men "are blithering dopes who find themselves in constant hummana-hummana mode all summer long. The women claim they're dressing for comfort and they seem perfectly oblivious to the intense effect they produce in the men, who fall instantly and hopelessly in love with every woman who approaches, only to pass out of their lives forever."
Wow. Hyperbole much?
That's overstating it a bit. Not all women are oblivious to their effect, and not all men are hopeless. Well, most of us aren't. There are still a few cavemen on the prowl. In a previous post, I agreed that catcalling is harassment -- and that it originates only from the most immature and insecure men.
Beauty is out there, but what's to be gained by making the beautiful uncomfortable?
A dandy, of course, is overly concerned about appearances and appropriateness, so crossing the line between noticing and ogling is strictly prohibited. Patterson says "the most correct girl-watcher apprehends passing loveliness in a sunny flutter -- as a series of little thrills to the soul."
Besides, it doesn't have to be demeaning -- to either side. "To be a gazer, some say, is to place oneself superior to the gazed, which works fine as a tenet of film theory and feels notably more dubious as a premise of girl-watching analysis. ... It is the nature of beauty that the girl-watcher is helpless before the wonders of nature."
Go for it, dude. Any thoughts on "JUICY" short-shorts, while you're waxing poetic?
Yes, the relationship between the subject and object of desire can be complicated by the rules of society. Thank goodness. Otherwise, the whole world becomes an episode of Jersey Shore.
I'll say no more than this: I'm glad that my internal dialog stays internal. My guess is that most of our readers (men and women) feel the same way.
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