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A man with nipples the size of silver dollars:
Disgusting 13%
Strangely erotic 26%
Just plain wrong 60%

Votes: 15


 Author:  Topic:  Posted:
Oct 25, 2001
You know, boobs.

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Let it be known (none / 0) (#1)
by nathan on Thu Oct 25th, 2001 at 06:28:38 PM PST
that I highly approve of Bob the Angry Flower. Man, I even own the books. In fact, Edmonton comics generally rule.

Li'l Sis: Yo, that's a real grey area. Even by my lax standards.

A web comic that's actually funny? (3.50 / 2) (#2)
by Mendax Veritas on Thu Oct 25th, 2001 at 08:24:21 PM PST
How will I cope with this mind-shattering violation of my world-view?

I mean, when I think "web-comic", I think of crap like "After Y2K" and "The Joy of Tech" -- the product of graphically-talentless dweebs with the wit, style, and aesthetic qualities of a road-killed skunk.

Tits are like toy trains... (4.00 / 2) (#3)
by chloedancer on Fri Oct 26th, 2001 at 12:23:10 AM PST
They're really for the young'ns, but their Dad sure likes to play with 'em.

Last weekend I engaged in "retail therapy." Bought a deceptively clever shirt that shows absolutely no cleavage while leaving little to the imagination in terms of curvature. Still haven't mustered the proper level of insouciance to wear it to work yet; the habit of dressing to be invisible is too ingrained, I fear. (Hell, the guys where I work tend to get a tad nervous if I put my hair up or wear lipstick -- I have no clue as to how they're react to a full-scale blitz of the feminine variety. While the place where I work doesn't have a dress code, it's still got all the unspoken rules and mores of a conservative religious order.)

But with the kind of week it's been, maybe the cheap entertainment would be amusing -- maybe I'll try it out tomorrow and report back with my perceptions of the experience. And maybe I'll pack along the Bushmill's for "composure insurance." ;)

picture? (none / 0) (#5)
by Anonymous Reader on Fri Oct 26th, 2001 at 10:38:28 PM PST
we need pictures

Be careful of what you ask for. (none / 0) (#6)
by RobotSlave on Fri Oct 26th, 2001 at 10:46:56 PM PST
We could all be in for a world of hurt due to your hasty "show us yer tits."

© 2002, RobotSlave. You may not reproduce this material, in whole or in part, without written permission of the owner.

especially considering (none / 0) (#7)
by nathan on Sat Oct 27th, 2001 at 12:32:22 AM PST
the linked comic.

Li'l Sis: Yo, that's a real grey area. Even by my lax standards.

Having endured many a Mardi Gras celebration, (none / 0) (#8)
by chloedancer on Sat Oct 27th, 2001 at 11:27:11 AM PST
I only flash for the coveted "big knocker" beads (the cheap mass-produced plastic trinkets just ain't worth it -- sorry, guys).

Now to report on the results of this exercise in social anthropology...

First, I've actually found a link with a picture of the garment in question: Venetian Pleats (mine is black, however). It was worn with black jeans and black knee-high suede boots, no jewelry, hair in a ponytail and a minimum of makeup (lipstick and blush). If you have any doubt, Shoeboy can vouch for the fact that I've got the stuff to do it justice.

Reactions varied. The most frequently observed response was a vague nervousness; my impression was that the majority of the geeks didn't know how to react to a "foreign entity" in their midst. While walking through the hallways I noticed that some co-workers appeared slightly stunned; on several occasions conversations in progress would stop as I passed by. A brief stroll through the NOC was amusing -- the guys were really even jumpy/visibly startled. Oddly enough, the gay men on staff were the most openly appreciative and were the only ones willing to comment -- kinda makes me wonder if there are any after-hours drag queens on staff ;) And except for one female co-worker whom I clued in (realizing that she'd appreciate the humor of the situation), my perception was that I was invisible to the other women I work with.

The sense of "otherness" was present throughout the day. I noticed that while the men I was interacting with face-to-face (including my teammates) were what I would describe as more formal or respectful, it seemed that they were somehow generally less cooperative or less willing to assist in some major troubleshooting efforts (a degree of resistance I had not experienced previously was present -- it seemed that I had to work harder to get 'em to buy what I was trying to sell). My overall sense of these situations was that I was somehow no longer part of "the team", but instead something of an outsider. My impression was that I had to put more effort into gaining credibility than I generally experience when dressed "normally". And it reaffirmed my suspicion that actually wearing a dress or skirt to work would be absolutely unpardonable. My conclusion is that form-fitting "cute" t-shirts are less disruptive than form-fitting silk and spandex.

One curious exception did occur, however. My supervisor and I have a long history of not seeing eye-to-eye when reacting to crisis situations; our perspectives are always radically different in such circumstances. I tend to operate on an "Emergency? Let's watch and see what emerges" basis, and he tends to go for the "quickest solution" approach. Upon arriving at work yesterday morning, I received a relayed "order" to re-image all of the workstations for a group of people I'm responsible for keeping happy. I reviewed the trouble tickets and discovered that only three instances of the problem had been reported. I then countered with a recommendation that we fix the problem only for those experiencing it without re-imaging rather than disrupting everyone in that group. He walked away for a few moments and then came back to me, formally thanking me for "doing exactly what was needed -- looking at the actual problem and its rate of occurrence" instead of opting for the far more extreme "fix". While I can't say that this was causally related to my appearance yesterday, I can say that it was the first time that's ever happened. (His gratitude is generally only expressed to those who agree with his ideas -- my personal experience has been that he only gives me credit for things he wishes to distance himself from.) It might be interesting to test this the next time I have to present him with a contradictory judgment call or a proposal I suspect he'll not meet with enthusiasm; it did make me curious to discover if there might be an actual advantage to be gained in such circumstances. ;)

In general, I think I was perceived as being intimidating or even slightly threatening; I'm not certain if it was enough to discourage me from wearing this particular garment to work again, however. My female "tech mentor" is a Boeing engineer who is literally notorious because she wears fishnet stockings to work on a regular basis -- her argument is that the confidence she displays with her appearance also carries over into her ability to fight for her projects with the big boys (and her legs are one of her best features, truth be known). The guys did seem to pay attention in a way that could have its advantages if I can learn how to bulldoze through the sense of discomfort it created. And maybe it'll have its advantages on those days when I want to minimize interruptions so I can actually get some work done.

Have you considered alternate explanations? (none / 0) (#9)
by RobotSlave on Sat Oct 27th, 2001 at 01:36:35 PM PST
I don't mean to go all Dan Savage on you, but have you considered the idea that maybe people were reacting to the garment itself, rather than your boobs?

My dear God. Look at the thing. It's a fashion atrocity, Chloe.

I'm not suggesting you don't look good in it, mind you. Even if I'd seen you in that '80s-retro... thing, it wouldn't matter much if I thought you or your breasts looked great or terrible; my opinion is probably more subjective than most.

What I am suggesting, however, is that the discomfort you observed in the male engineers might have been the visible manifestation of them thinking, "someone needs to tell her that that weird top makes her look like a fucking freak, but I'll be damned if I'm going to say anything." Compliments or comments from the gay men could have been purely catty-- have you never known a gay man to say one thing to a woman's face and then rip her to shreds behind her back? There is still, unfortunately, a strong current of misogyny in the gay community. And your supervisor? Maybe he figured he could finally afford to dish out a bit of praise, because there was little chance of you undermining his authority or encroaching on his turf or whatever while you were wearing that preposterous garment. Maybe he even felt sorry for you. The silence of your female co-workers? Doesn't that tell you something? From what I've seen, women are quite comfortable commenting on or complimenting a new article of clothing. Unless, of course, it's a fashion nightmare.

Now, I could be wrong. It is possible, though very difficult to imagine, that your co-workers have never ever noticed your tits before, and they were reacting solely to the new and powerful presence of your mammaries. But I doubt it. Very much.

If you want to test the tits theory, try a tight baby-doll tee, or a halter top, or thermal underwear as outerwear, or a cashmere-type sweater that's a little too small. There are plenty of ways to show off your goods without resorting to shock tactics.

© 2002, RobotSlave. You may not reproduce this material, in whole or in part, without written permission of the owner.

All potentially valid points, without question. (none / 0) (#10)
by chloedancer on Sat Oct 27th, 2001 at 02:40:12 PM PST
But do you really consider a buncha geeks that view the only truly acceptable "uniform" as being t-shirts and jeans to genuinely concerned with matters of style or fashion? And where I work, most would give an appreciative nod to anything '80s-retro, as well. I am in awe of your willingness to give them the benefit of the doubt, however -- it's really something I should aspire to.

As for the women I work with, all i can say is that they'd be the first to be certain to make it known I'd gotten it wrong -- it has been my experience that tech women relish in attacking their own kind whenever possible and would never shy away from such an opportunity.

My work wardrobe is largely baggy, shapeless and oversized these days (I do the "petite girl who likes to wear too-big clothes" thing, oversized T's and tunic-length/styled sweaters being the norm). I am also blessed with broad shoulders in comparison to a slight overall frame, so it's relatively easy to dress to camouflage my entire torso, usually giving little clue as to form or shape from collarbone to mid-thigh. It's a great trick.

I have already recognized that the hypothesis requires further testing. Your suggestions are duly noted; I have two Hot Topix 70's style baby-doll T's that I could try wearing sans the customary oversized cardigan (assuming that the building maintenance folks can ever get the ambient temperature of the building into a decent range).

It's an experiment, after all; pity there isn't some parallel opportunity I could suggest for some XYer to try that would permit me to gauge and interpret their experience.

Don't underestimate your co-workers. (none / 0) (#11)
by RobotSlave on Sat Oct 27th, 2001 at 03:51:51 PM PST
Just because the average computer-operating ape doesn't know Prada from Versace doesn't mean that the beast can't sense when something is out of place.

I'm not buying the description of the women you work with-- they may be catty, like people anywhere, but even "tech women" that I've known would stop short of insulting a co-worker.

You may think that oversized or shapeless clothes have prevented men at work from noticing your breasts. I say the chances of that are slim to none.

In this little experiment, I think low temperatures in the office are likely to greatly enhance any reaction that you might be trying to observe. Alternately, you could use Body Perks.

There are actually many, many things that a man can do to parallel your experiment. Here are just a few:
  1. A simple one is a big flashy or funny belt buckle, provided it isn't a customary accessory. Observe who notices, and who comments. Now you know who's looking at your crotch.
  2. Cycling shorts-- the skin-tight spandex variety. You pretty much have to ride your bike to work to pull this one off, so train a bit first and allocate an hour for every ten miles of commute. Remember, it's all in the interest of science. Cycling shorts cause so much consternation that the only reaction you'll get the first time in is self-defensive laughter. Give it time. Then alternate between cycling gear and "normal" clothes, and observe.
  3. Tight or fitted tees, or other shirts. You don't have to be buff, but you might need to cut back on the cheese doodles for a while, again in the interest of science. Men have nipples, too.
  4. Tight pants made of stretchy material. Tuck in shirt. Wear belt. Not quite the bombshell of cycling shorts, but capable of producing a significant effect. Remember to turn around unexpectedly a lot to talk to people behind you.
  5. Decent shoes. Not quite in the same category, but it's just weird how things change when you chuck the dirty trainers and put on something from Fluvog or Kenneth Cole or whatever.
Note that none of the above should be attempted by the sort of guy who would be uncomfortable with a sudden increase in attention from his gay friends or coworkers. In point of fact, their reaction (and gossip, if there is a confederate taking notes) should properly be regarded as part of the experiment.

© 2002, RobotSlave. You may not reproduce this material, in whole or in part, without written permission of the owner.

RE: Buying description of "tech women" (none / 0) (#12)
by chloedancer on Sat Oct 27th, 2001 at 07:08:16 PM PST
Do you actually believe that women behave the same way as you've observed with one another when there are no guys around? How wonderfully naive. Women can be just as insulting and crass as men, in certain circumstances; put-downs being a common form of communication between geeks, after all.

And have I noted anything about nipples protruding visibly? A well-constructed bra makes this a non-issue, regardless of temperature. I'd just rather not have to deal with chilled arms, given the choice.

Never have been much of a crotch-checker or a footwear enthusiast, myself. But suggesting that one of my male colleagues wear a bra for a day -- that's an idea with humorous possibilities! The cycling shorts idea would be comparable in terms of potential discomfort, however, I just can't imagine most of the guys at work as being willing to test that out, either.

on the subject of breasts, (none / 0) (#4)
by nathan on Fri Oct 26th, 2001 at 05:24:12 PM PST
why is it that women are so enthusiastic about striking lame, self-conscious, sex-segregated poses? "I'm a grrrl, I'm a cheerleader, I'm a h4x0r chick. I'm a librarian." It's goddamned bizarre.

My thesis is that it has to do with the well-known phenomenon of the lower incidence of both genius and idiocy among women than men.

Li'l Sis: Yo, that's a real grey area. Even by my lax standards.


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