Article

Too sexy for my bus, woman told

Too sexy for my bus, woman told

“Suddenly he stopped the bus,” the woman named Debora C. told Bild newspaper. “He opened the door and shouted at me ‘Your cleavage is distracting me every time I look into my mirror and I can’t concentrate on the traffic. If you don’t sit somewhere else, I’m going to have to throw you off the bus.'”

After you stop laughing at the absurdity of this story, you might realize that this reaction bears more than passing resemblance to the Islamic “uncovered meat” analogy.

Instead of placing the responsibility for desire and arousal on the male, where it belongs, such statements essentially demand women cover themselves to compensate for the lack of male self-control. When we allow people to get away with this type of thinking, we are prolonging the implicit patriarchy and repression of women. We are telling women that their bodies are shameful in some way.

A spokesman for the bus company defended the driver. “The bus driver is allowed to do that and he did the right thing,” the spokesman said. “A bus driver cannot be distracted because it’s a danger to the safety of all the passengers.”

This guy should have been instantly fired. How juvenile and insulting can you be to a customer? If you have a job (such as bus driving) where you interact with the public, you need to be prepared for a wide range of imagery which may on occasion include sexual temptation. Welcome to planet Earth. If you can’t do the job, then quit.

It might also help to get laid.


Comments (20 comments)

John P / July 17th, 2007, 1:15 pm / #1

OK. This gets my award for the best blog story of the day.

If I had an award. :)

Zeolite / July 17th, 2007, 3:29 pm / #2

Thanks for this post, I very much appreciate the acknowledgment and condemnation of sexism. It’s too often ignored.

Secular Planet / July 17th, 2007, 7:13 pm / #3

I don’t agree with the driver, but how can you possibly assign responsibility for his unwilled sexual desire over the woman’s deliberate decision to show off her boobs?

BlackSun / July 17th, 2007, 7:53 pm / #4

Secular Planet, I hope you’re kidding. :-)

Secular Planet / July 18th, 2007, 3:25 am / #5

Kidding? Hell no!

Look: I said I disagree with the bus driver. There’s no way that he should kick her off the bus and it’s his job to handle this and so much more. I’m ONLY talking about the issue of arousal.

If I am sexually aroused by seeing a woman, there is NO CONSCIOUS DECISION to do it. It’s just something that happens. I can’t look at a sexy woman and CHOOSE not to feel attracted to her. It’s impossible. What I do ABOUT that arousal IS my responsibility, but I am not at all responsible for natural feelings.

The woman, on the other hand, actually has a real choice about what to wear each day. She can cover herself well or she can show off her breasts for whatever reason. She CONTROLS how much people are aroused by her. I’m not saying it’s wrong to do so, but it’s her DECISION. Don’t tell me she didn’t think about people being attracted to her when she showed off her cleavage instead of wearing a poncho.

The man makes NO decision and the womans makes a CLEAR decision, so if anyone can assign responsibility (NOT BLAME!!!) for the arousal then it’s on the woman. It’s bus driver’s responsibility, HOWEVER, to deal with it professionally.

No, I am not kidding. I’m banging my head against the wall that you blame a man for FEELING something completely unconsciously and then think that I’M the one joking!

BlackSun / July 18th, 2007, 10:52 am / #6

Secular Planet–

Whoa.

I understand human sexual response may be involuntary. So are a lot of things. I can’t help from feeling hungry. But it is my issue to deal with finding my own food. If I see someone eating in public, I don’t blame them for my hunger. I don’t expect leniency if I beat them up and take their food.

You are correct a woman knows that she can dress up or dress down with different results. But it is a slippery slope from your argument to the idea that if a woman dresses provocatively it is her responsibility if she gets raped. Or to the Islamic argument about uncovered women being like “uncovered meat.” If you haven’t read that, go follow the link in the original post, and you will see how shockingly similar it is to what you are saying.

Frankly, men should be able to control themselves and behave properly even if women were walking around everywhere naked. That doesn’t mean you wouldn’t feel something. But you and only you can decide how to act on those feelings.

Women should feel as free in their bodies as men. They should be able to take their shirts off when it’s hot, just like men. They should be able to freely breastfeed their babies. But then you say it’s their fault if you get aroused. Well what if a woman was aroused at men taking their shirts off? Should we be banned from removing our shirts to keep women comfortable? It’s precisely the attitude you are taking that leads ultimately to burquas and to a total objectification of women and devaluation of their rights. Imagine if men had to put up with this. The point is we never would. It’s a boundary issue, and it’s blatant sexism.

You say a woman should control her dress. I say they should have the right to wear whatever they want within commonly acceptable parameters (currently in this society, that means up to and including a bikini). As men, we will become far more dignified and evolved when we learn how to take control of our distraction and arousal. We can’t get from the era of patriarchal religious repression to the “secular planet” you and I would both like to see if we continue to perpetuate these backward attitudes.

John P / July 18th, 2007, 1:26 pm / #7

I guess one could also say that if women were allowed to just rip their shirts off at will, and did it with the regularity and freedom that men do, a little cleavage wouldn’t be such a turn-on. We males have set ourselves up for that one, by dictating fashion and modesty.

Secular Planet / July 18th, 2007, 9:28 pm / #8

If I see someone eating in public, I don’t blame them for my hunger.

I don’t blame the woman. I very specifically put in ALL CAPS that I don’t blame her. Check this out yourself.

I don’t expect leniency if I beat them up and take their food.

Who said anything about beating anyone up?

You are correct a woman knows that she can dress up or dress down with different results. But it is a slippery slope from your argument to the idea that if a woman dresses provocatively it is her responsibility if she gets raped. Or to the Islamic argument about uncovered women being like “uncovered meat.” If you haven’t read that, go follow the link in the original post, and you will see how shockingly similar it is to what you are saying.

I haven’t said any of that! You said the man was “responsible” for the arousal, which is absurd. It’s not a decision. It’s not an action in his part.

Frankly, men should be able to control themselves and behave properly even if women were walking around everywhere naked. That doesn’t mean you wouldn’t feel something. But you and only you can decide how to act on those feelings.

If you live in happy candy fun land, sure. This is the real world. A woman who walked down the street naked and not expect a response needs to enroll in a biology class.

But then you say it’s their fault if you get aroused.

No, I didn’t! I never said that word! I said they are responsible for their actions which lead to arousal. That is not the same as blame or fault or guilt. I’m responsible for what I say and I do, whether it’s good or bad or whatever.

Well what if a woman was aroused at men taking their shirts off? Should we be banned from removing our shirts to keep women comfortable? It’s precisely the attitude you are taking that leads ultimately to burquas and to a total objectification of women and devaluation of their rights. Imagine if men had to put up with this. The point is we never would. It’s a boundary issue, and it’s blatant sexism.

I swear it’s like you can’t read. I SAID I DISAGREED WITH THE BUS DRIVER! I don’t know where you’re getting this stuff.

You say a woman should control her dress.

I never said such a thing. Again, it’s like you don’t read a word I said and you pull this stuff out of the thin air.

This is so pointless because I’m having a “conversation” with someone who ignores everything I say and puts words into my mouth.

BlackSun / July 18th, 2007, 10:15 pm / #9

Secular Planet, I apologize for focusing on the one issue. You are correct that you stated the behavior of the driver was wrong. But you still support the idea that male sexual arousal is subordinate to and results from women’s decisions on how to dress. It is that idea I object to. It is the idea which is at the root of the pathology.

If I am sexually aroused by seeing a woman, there is NO CONSCIOUS DECISION to do it. It’s just something that happens. I can’t look at a sexy woman and CHOOSE not to feel attracted to her. It’s impossible. What I do ABOUT that arousal IS my responsibility, but I am not at all responsible for natural feelings.

People have varying levels of attraction. Some people would be aroused, others indifferent. Maybe the lady’s not your type, maybe she is. Putting the blame or cause or choice or control or whatever you want to call it on the woman’s level of clothing pretty much goes right along with the religious party line. From Genesis chapter 3:

Immediately their eyes were opened; they acknowledged their nakedness, and covered themselves with fig leaves…

If you live in happy candy fun land, sure. This is the real world. A woman who walked down the street naked and not expect a response needs to enroll in a biology class.

Ever been to a nude beach? People are extremely relaxed and well behaved. What’s their secret?

This is so pointless because I’m having a “conversation” with someone who ignores everything I say and puts words into my mouth.

Whether or not you said it directly, that’s your argument: men can’t help themselves. If you look at my response carefully, I said your argument was a “slippery slope” toward the rape justification, not that you had justified it. These types of objections to visible female skin are always shame-based and sexist. And once you start down that road, everything becomes about the woman. I also find it demeaning to the large numbers of men who have no problem controlling their levels of arousal.

Women are sexy. Men’s brains are designed to go after them. But doing so without consent has been taboo in human society for at least a hundred thousand years, regardless of their state of dress or undress. Dealing with the inevitable internal difficulties sexual arousal and desire creates in the male brain is just part of being a man. The one thing it’s not is the responsibility of any woman, ever. I think it’s tragic any time a woman anywhere, ever, is asked to tone down or cover up her body or beauty for the benefit of men. No, let them shine in all their sexy glory. Just watching them makes life more interesting and fulfilling. Sure it hurts to want them sometimes, but I’d never have it any other way.

Funny thing is, the woman wasn’t even nude, just provocatively dressed (according to the hearsay report of one sex-starved bus driver). That’s why I asked initially if you were kidding. I mean, cleavage for chrissakes?

Secular Planet / July 19th, 2007, 4:49 pm / #10

But you still support the idea that male sexual arousal is subordinate to and results from women’s decisions on how to dress.

“Subordinate”? I never said anything like that. I challenge you to actually quote something I said which even implies that.

“Results from”? Yes, women dressing sexy causes men to become aroused without the men doing anything. That’s simple biological fact. It was in fact my ONLY point, the one which you have wrongly read so much into.

Putting the blame or cause or choice or control or whatever you want to call it on the woman’s level of clothing pretty much goes right along with the religious party line.

How many times do I have to repeat that I am not blaming the woman? I think I have said it at least three times already. And recognizing that women’s clothing affects men’s attraction has nothing to do with religion. It’s just common sense.

Ever been to a nude beach? People are extremely relaxed and well behaved. What’s their secret?

I never, ever said that seeing a nude women would cause any particular behavior. People who go to nude beaches become used to it and aren’t aroused as much,of course. But if a woman were to walk down a regular street naked, plenty of men would become aroused. I’m not talking about what they should or shouldn’t do, just what sort of sexual feelings they would create. There’s NO moral judgment here.

Whether or not you said it directly, that’s your argument: men can’t help themselves.

No, it’s not! You have read so much into my response which I never, ever even implied. Look, let’s look at what I wrote:

…how can you possibly assign responsibility for his unwilled sexual desire over the woman’s deliberate decision to show off her boobs?

I was responding to your apparent blaming the man for his unwilled feelings when he did nothing to cause them. Pointing out that it was the woman who actually did something does NOT mean that I’m blaming her for anything.

We both agree that the bus driver was wrong. He should learn to control his desires and do his job. The woman should be able to dress anyway she wants. It seemed that you were BLAMING the man for his FEELINGS and I took issue with THAT and THAT ALONE. Stop reading into what I wrote.

BlackSun / July 19th, 2007, 5:51 pm / #11

Secular Planet,

women dressing sexy causes men to become aroused without the men doing anything

The crux of the argument is that you think men can’t control their arousal. I think they can. I think JohnP is right on the money when he states:

I guess one could also say that if women were allowed to just rip their shirts off at will, and did it with the regularity and freedom that men do, a little cleavage wouldn’t be such a turn-on. We males have set ourselves up for that one, by dictating fashion and modesty.

What turns men on is a glimpse of something taboo. In this case, something a little closer to being over the fashion line. But the legality is, as long as a woman’s nipples and vagina are covered, she is within her rights to wear whatever she wants, wherever she wants, including a floss bikini. So a little cleavage is far from over the line.

People who go to nude beaches become used to it and aren’t aroused as much,of course. But if a woman were to walk down a regular street naked, plenty of men would become aroused. I’m not talking about what they should or shouldn’t do, just what sort of sexual feelings they would create. There’s NO moral judgment here.

Right, because the threshhold of arousal is moved by their expectation. Which proves my point that it’s voluntary and subjective. Which is a far cry from your statement:

women dressing sexy causes men to become aroused without the men doing anything

Now, I dare you: accuse me again of misquoting you.

blo / July 26th, 2007, 9:16 pm / #12

so it’s repressing women when you don’t want them to dress like whores — you have lost your minds

the very persons that claim to speak for women – wanting them to be valued for more than their bodies – turn around and say go ahead, be free, dress in a sexually immodest manner — there’s the real shame

you are in denial of male and female sexuality – and the wonderful differences involved

BlackSun / July 26th, 2007, 9:46 pm / #13

dress like whores

Blo, who decides what that means? Aside from that comment being completely demeaning to women’s sexuality, (and whores’ choice of occupation), it’s subjective and impossible to define. So when in doubt, of course, it’s the woman’s fault. Lame.

you are in denial of male and female sexuality – and the wonderful differences involved

No. Social repression does this. I’m clearly in favor of a sex-positive rather than sex-negative approach.

Frajalo / August 14th, 2007, 7:31 am / #14

Hello. I’m from Canary Islands (Spain) a touristic destination. I advise that is not a good idea to visit us if you are easily offended, because we suffer this terrible weather of temperatures between 20-30 ºC all year, and all our beaches are top-less friendly and some of them nudist. And is quite common to see all kind of… I don’t know how to say it, you can see a lot, and I mean a lot, of women skin everywhere and everytime. And I don’t quite understand why you can’t see men jumping over women all the time, because they are aroused. And you have to believe me when I say that Spanish women are quite pretty. So if you can´t control your emotions that’s your problem. And I don´t want to talk about sexual assaults in Muslim countries where women can’t show a inch of skin.
I hope you understand my point because I know that my English is terrible but I think that reading some things and don´t say anything is worst.

Black Sun Journal » Archives » Public Transport Turns to Public Humiliation for Women / September 13th, 2007, 8:42 am / #15

[…] Social humiliation of women who look too attractive has now spread from German buses (previous post) to U.S. planes. Southwest Airlines (which founder Herb Kelleher had ironically dubbed “the love airline” in the ’70s) has now become irrevocably associated with prudery: In the past week, its flight attendants have reprimanded two women and forced them to “cover up” over the fear they might “offend” other passengers. Setara Qassim said a flight attendant confronted her during the trip from Tucson, Arizona, to Burbank, California, and asked whether she had a sweater to go over her green halter-style dress. Qassim, 21, told KNBC-TV in Los Angeles she was forced to wrap a blanket around herself for the rest of the flight. […]

Aaron Kinney / September 19th, 2007, 11:40 am / #16

Secular Planet wins the “blame the victim” award.

Since when does some guy’s sexual desires dictate a woman’s fashion choices?

And why is it that so many societies throughout history were able to have public nudity without riots or orgies ensuing?

I suppose next that Secular Planet will apply this logic to his favorite choice of food, or some other unwilled desire?

Hey, you know what? I happen to LOVE double doubles (a hamburger popular in the SoCal area). The next time I see some uppity bitch chowing down on one, I will have no choice but to be severely disturbed and offended over the fact that she is purposefully tempting me. I might just steal her fucking food too! And SHE DESERVES IT!!!

Gimme a break.

Aaron Kinney / September 19th, 2007, 11:47 am / #17

Blo,

dress like whores

I TOTALLY AGREEE WITH YOU!!!! Thank you for saying what needs to be said so badly!

Every time a woman shows an inch of skin, an angel dies and the devil laughs. I hate it when women whore it up by revealing their wrists, or ankles, or their eyes. And I especially hate it when women whore it up by SPEAKING, and thus revealing their sensual, feminine, whoreish voices.

Even the way they WALK – their natural STRIDE just stinks of whoredom. Thats why I advocate “hobbling” of our women, like in that movie “Misery.”

I mean, just the other day I visited my moms house, and she was watering the lawn out front WITHOUT HER BURKHA ON!!! I was so dishonored that I had to lash her 20 times in front of the neighbors.

BlackSun / September 19th, 2007, 4:07 pm / #18

Aaron, LOL. Been away from the blog this week, but your great comments have inspired me to get back to it once again. Apologies also to other commenters: I’ll be back soon!

Shane / April 5th, 2011, 6:47 pm / #19

Here is one for the Gipper:

Everyday I give thanks to my God
that I've got a Dick and a tight Ass Bod.
I like to play sports; I love to get naked,
Is it our fault that you girls can't take it?
I own lots of tools and don't mind putting on weight,
When I get ready for a party, my ass is never late.
I can actually drive a car and even change a tire,
My ability to produce children will never expire.
When a male is born, it is clearly heaven-sent,
that's probably why a woman has never been president.
I can pee without squatting, I've slept in a tent,
Women’s fatal flaw is that they are subservient.
First and foremost, my looks don't govern my life,
When I gain a few pounds, I don't go under the knife.
I don't read the nutrition labels; I like to eat meat,
if any women objects, she can just take a seat.

Shane / April 5th, 2011, 6:50 pm / #20

Continued:

I don't own a hair dryer; I brush my hair with my hands,
I am considered the better gender in the majority of lands.
I masturbate openly; I secretly desire a mirror on my ceiling,
I don't go cry when someone hurts my feelings.
Listen to me girls; I need to tell you something right quick,
it pertains to lovemaking and my almighty Dick
That thing in your pants that you guard like treasure,
Men don't respect you for it, we just see it as pleasure.
I like it squeezed, jacked, licked and sucked,
I am capable of having sex and saying "we fucked."
I like to have sex and finish with a roar,
I hope to remain a promiscuous bachelor.

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