Usha
This post was set off by a post I read this morning in Jhumoor Bose's blog.
In a survery that she conducted for an IBN live article among her friends, colleagues and readers, 56% said the reason why a woman shows off her cleavage was because "She likes looking hot and wants to feel good about herself" and the second was 18% who claimed "She wants to keep her man on his toes by reminding him that she can get any other man she wants". From the use of the third person it seems that most people responded according to their perception of why someone else would want to show off their cleavage. I am not sure how many would flaunt their cleavage themselves, assuming they had one. In these surveys among educated people it is also the way the questions are worded that determine the response. Of the 5 questions asked, 4 had negative connotations in the sense that they implied that she was doing it for the sake of someone else and only one, the one that got 56% response was for her own sake. In today's politically correct world, that is obviously where most of us would like to find ourselves. After all those who took the survey are people who can read English and internet savvy which means people from the top 1-10% of the population.

Personally I have no issues with people who indulge in cleavage display as long as I am not forced to join the club. They can show but I am not looking. If they feel good in a particular kind of dress, so be it. But I do find it funny when they justify this under the label of empowerment. How exactly does the display of parts of one's body qualify as empowerment? Because you have the power to buy those uplifting bras that are awfully expensive (I am sure) or because they have large breasts or because it makes you obsessed with the way you look and what you wear, or because you can handle the lecherous stares of men without being bothered by it? What about all those women who wear it because their men like it, they want to look good for the sake of someone else - are these also a signs of empowerment? Is being enslaved to a concept of what constitutes "looking good" a true sign of empowerment? And finally how come people who are visibly empowered - the ones running countries and corporations and the ones who are entirely in control of all their decisions and their lives don't feel the need to make a statement of this by showing off their figure or curves?

Early feminists discarded the bra as a symbol of objectification of a woman - they didn't want to pad or prop up their breasts in order to look good. It was liberation in more than one sense. But how does the entrapment of your body in some numbers dictated by the fashion world constitute liberation? An added irony is that the very same people who support cleavage-display when the mammaries are aesthetically showcased , object violently to breast-feeding in public, the primary purpose for which they are there! So what is it? breasts can be shown but nipples are a definite no no? If you are about to tell me that a cleavage doesn't constitute display of breasts, a cleavage does draw one's attention to the breasts whether it was intended or not.

And finally, it is scary. Scary that 8% among this elite who took the survey thought that women show off their cleavage because they like men to lech at them. Here is a country where women have to prove that they did not invite rape. Here is a country where society judges you on your dress norms when you have been the victim of eve teasing, physical assault and rape. We have to walk among them, their bad looks and bad intentions. Is the display of one's cleavage worth risking all this? Are our women empowered enough (in terms of laws, self-defence and societal understanding) to handle this jungle and its creatures? Is it that difficult to look good, confident and empowered without a public display of one's mammaries? or is that what differentiates looking "hot" from plain vanilla "looking good"?

P.S: For those of you who are getting ready to throw stones at me, I am not judging anyone. Nor am I advocating the Burqa as an insurance against men with evil designs. I am just trying to see if as a society we are cleavage-ready. And to get your opinions on an issue which I don't seem to understand. How many of you parents are ok with your adolescent daughters in a low neck dress? How many of you men are ok with your wife/ daughter wearing a cleavage displaying dress in a mall for instance? Would you feel fine if they wore such tops to work? And ladies, are you truly comfortable in such dresses or is it just peer pressure? I sound totally clueless, ya? Blame it on generation gap, agelessbonding notwithstanding.
I'd be very interested to hear the men's views on this. I am saying this not because I think a man decides what a woman should wear but because I know some men who say that they love to watch a woman's cleavage but they would not like their own family to dress that way.
Anonymous comments are acceptable as long as they are not obscene or offensive.
35 Responses
  1. ~nm Says:
    This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. ~nm Says:

    I am not sure how I may be perceived after writing out my opinion on this but I will still go ahead and say it out.

    Cleavage is supposed to attract and arouse men besides the other parts of a woman's body. So if you show cleavage, it will do only that and nothing else.

    And if you expect that men should not get excited looking at it, then I guess thats the end of the sex/physical intimacy in this world.

    So if you decide to show it, accept those glances or lusty looks and if they make you uncomfy, don't show it.

    And you definitely can't be choosy which men should get aroused and which shouldn't if you decide to display it.


  3. Sukesh Kumar Says:

    I second ~nm but there is another perspective.

    Lets take example of jeans, jeans have come of ages from bell-bottoms to slim fit and then to low-waist (showing panties and jockeys). The point is fashion-statement changes.
    And fashion is more or less is sex statement whether we call it 'feel-good' or 'look-good' or 'empowerment'.

    Now if fashion changes to baring one's chests/breasts and then to nudity; it is not a problem unless society is agreeable.

    Empowerment thus is not doing whatever one wants but doing what one wants under societal scrutiny.

    For a society where burqa is mandatory even low-waist jeans is obscene to public eye. And for a society which limits itself to 4-inch cleavages, nudity will be offensive.
    So basically freedom of fashion is relative to society we live in.


  4. diya Says:

    I am one of those who have no problem in breast feeding my baby in public, if the mite is hungry/sleepy/scared he asks for it and gets it, it is his right, it is safe, hygienic food which does not need cooking time, so what the heck. But I am not comfortable wearing cleavage showing dresses. These are personal choices true but the effect is not in your hands. The Rakhi Sawants and Bipasha Basus have faced the consequences, so you better have a body guard.
    Overt sexuality as a sign of liberation? A doubtful proposition depends on who is making you wear the dress. Once I went to Trinkas in Calcutta in the evening, a girl was singing there with her cleavage revealing dress, I could not pay attention to the song because I felt very uncomfortable, she cut a pathetic figure the dress part of her job obligation. However the same dress worn by a party goer out to enjoy herself would be a bold statement of her independence. So the matter lies in the choice.
    Usha, I think the argument regarding the invitation to rape does not hold ground, what revealing dress did the slum dweller woman wear when she was picked up by men in a car and mercilessly raped in Delhi. In the absence of proper toilets she had gone to the roadside to do what she does every morning. And little children who are raped? what revealing dress did they wear? Only those are raped who are vulnerable.


  5. Usha Says:

    nm: That's how I look at it too.

    Sukesh:"Empowerment thus is not doing whatever one wants but doing what one wants under societal scrutiny."
    I do not agree with us.
    I think empowerment is when you can live your life according to your terms even it is not what society wants from you. But the power comes from being able to face the consequences of trouble from others who do not think the way you do. The country's legal,judicial system should be strong enough to protect her individual liberties and her right to live her life in anyway she chooses as long as it doesn't interfere with anyone else's rights.

    Diya:Most of the time it is men who object to breast-feeding in public.
    Time and again we hear that a victim of rape invited it by being the wrong place at the wrong time, by being dressed in a certain way which was an invitation etc. I am not saying that it is the only reason. it is committed for revenge, it is done out of sexual frustration and because they thought "she wanted it." I do not say any of these reasons are acceptable for the heinous crime. I am only talking of a mindset here.


  6. Usha Says:

    Sukesh: it is me again. Reading through my response to you, I guess it can be argued that that those who want to display their cleavage are empowered in the sense they are dressing up the way they are comfortable. My concern is whether they are empowered enough , strong enough mentally and physically to face the consequences in a sexually repressed society such as ours which has no respect for individual rights and liberties.For example is a 18 year old in a low cut dress equipped enough to handle a lout who tries to grope her or some creeps who subject her to eve-teasing? When she complains about this what is the first reaction - that the guys should be booked under law or that she "invited" it? How empowered is she under the circumstances?


  7. Shefaly Says:

    Usha:

    There is an alternative explanation possible - which of course involves my interpretation of Desmond Morris. I wrote a post about it in summer of 2007 when headlines about the cleavages of Hillary Clinton and Jacqui Smith were abounding. The link is here:

    http://laviequotidienne.wordpress.com/
    2007/09/08/partial-explanations/


  8. Others may do what they want, but I for one am CERTAINLY not doing any cleavage show.
    But then, I ALSO feel that it is all a matter of how comfortable you are in what you wear. If you are self conscious about your body, then that makes it uncomfortable for both the wearer and the onlooker. No doubt guys would have a field day ogling in either case.
    I have seen amply endowed colleagues wearing tight dresses that I would not be seen dead in, but they revel in the attention they get ..I wonder if they would be the same if they heard the sniggers behind their backs? I personally feel that using your body to make an impression makes you lose respect, whether that be cleavage, butt or panty!
    And it's not leaving the boys behind either- this body showing business. Have you seen young boys with their jeans so low their undies show? Absolutely putting off! Why on earth do men find it sexy I wonder?
    My sister has her hands to her head with this brief showing biz with my nephew, and if now its briefs, I'm wondering(dreading) what it'll be by the time Sonny boy grows ..!!??


  9. Sukesh Kumar Says:

    @Usha * 2:
    Exactly, that is what my point is. Lets say some corporate goes to his office wearing nothing but his underpants. Though he maybe exercising his empowerment but it is plain stupid of him as the social values(his colleagues) will have only one word for him: Lunatic.

    Similar is case with your 18-year girl. If we are a "sexually repressed society" then she is not empowered enough to wear a long-cut dress.
    Of course it is not her fault, the fault lies with restrictions of society but the irony is we can not do away with these restrictions. Up at some point society will always draw a line whether it is till 'baring breasts' or it is at 'going nude'.

    @Just Like That:
    I confess I wear low-waist jeans and if you pick up T-shirt you will be able to see my briefs coming out my jeans.
    (But the trick is "if you pick up t-shirt".)
    I don't know if it makes me sexy or not but it is natural to me and I am comfortable with this.
    So "your wondering: if it makes one sexy or not", is pointless.
    And anyway if it attracts girls' stares towards me, I would love that :D


  10. Swati Says:

    Interesting post Usha ..I agree with ~nm. And you are right ..that most men do not like their lady to show while they enjoy others.
    I also agree that , this changes with society , for example recently in Goa , I saw Indian women in all what will be considered obscene in Bangalore. But people hardly cared in Goa , coz most of the people wore similiar.


  11. Sunita Says:

    Wow, this is an interesting post. I would never wear a cleavage-showing top to office but I do attempt at sexy tops if I am out with the hubby for dinner or an outing. Swimsuit for example, I wear it depending upon my comfort level with people around.
    Inspite of being a roman in rome we might hit trouble but at that point I believe a girl with non-cleavage showing clothes would be as vulnerable as the cleavage-showing girl.
    Now, why do I wear it at all, to look sexy and charming and the hubby besides me gives me the courage to carry it off confidently.
    So its what you wear and where you wear it I guess.


  12. maami Says:

    what's with body displays and the sense of female empowerment?
    i tried finding answers to that here:
    http://maami.wordpress.com/2008/01/14/sluts-and-feminists/
    p.s:i must admit i went to college, three days in a row, not wearing a bra, in a sari and blouse to hold things up, and it was painful liberation. since then i said goodbye to saris and welcomed those ugly naidu hall bras with a broad mind and heart.


  13. Pradeep Says:

    The survey would have made better sense if questions were posed to women who show the cleavage. At least I would like to know the variety of reasons that prompt them to expose and what helps them to decide how much to expose and when.

    Without the benefit of a survey, we all know, I am sure, that matters of dress are a personal choice; and only a proper research only help us understand the rationale behind the clothing phenomenon.

    On whether revealing the cleavage or any other part of the body gives a woman a feeling of "empowerment" is something that a woman who reveals should clarify. But I have read articles which say that some women do feel "confident" about themselves and "feel good" when they expose. I think by "empowerment" is meant "confident". I don't think there has been a research on the extent of exposure that can provide the feeling of goodness.

    But from a man's point of view I can say that sight of cleavage does indeed attract the attention of a man. Women who expose do know this. They should also know that problems follow when the man is unable to handle the sight of the cleavage.


  14. SS Says:

    Hmmmm....very interesting post ma'am :) And equally interesting are the comments.
    I think I am with Sukesh Kumar in saying that "empowerment" is a relative term, more based on circumstances than any real definition.
    Baring your cleavage can be "empowering" in a society that constantly tells you how to dress and what you should wear to be a "good girl". That's when you want to say, "Screw, it's my body, I'll show what I want, just deal with it."
    On the other hand, if you feel under pressure to bare your cleavage, then covering up becomes "empowering" -- you know, when some people insist that to be empowered you must wear Western wear, and then all you want to wear is a saree or salwar kameez?
    Flip the coin, and you never want to take your jeans off because you have been told that a good Indian girl must only wear a saree?

    However, Sukesh, there's one problem. Who comprises this "society" we are talking about? Who decides when society will be ready? Who "readies the society", so to speak?
    More women bearing their cleavage, I'd say -- when more and more women do the same thing, men will have to live with it. But the initial "path-breakers" have to face the music.

    And yes, indeed, what's with all this drama about breast-feeding?
    @Diya, you go, girl!
    Baby gets what baby needs when baby needs. End of story.


  15. S! Says:

    You ask too many questions in one post....

    I wonder if similar eyebrows were raised when the wardrobe of our women had only Sarees & someone wanted to wear a pair of Jeans. Granted, that there is big difference in degree between the two - but conceptually, it is ultimately about what your dress says about you.

    Cleavages are fine & I'd think that their sexuality is rather ephemeral, & the more commonplace they become the more asexual they become as well - but that's just me.

    For the wider world we live in, I think it is useful to think about what you wear & how is it coming across; & at the same time, there is the idea of doing what you want to do, regardless. It is important to balance these two out. And it is also important not to be hypocritical about issues. I think we should leave it to our spouses to strike the right balance for themselves.

    Its just lumps of adipose, after all... you should be thinking of higher, subtler things, lootenant. :)

    S!


  16. Lively Says:

    Though I dont advocate the cleavage show or any other show for that matter, I don't critize it highly either. It is purely a matter of choice. But I really dont think it has gotta do anything with empowerment or feminism. If someone says that it ought to be just a reason. In India I guess it is the aping of the west which has brought in the display of various body parts, not only by women but also men. In west the reason should be making the opposite sex want you, to crave for you to ogle at you. And they dont mind it do they? Women now are okay with being treated as object of sexual gratification and are actually proud of it. So there, that must be it.


  17. Asha Says:

    First of all, a big HI!!

    That was a good post. I certainly agree with you and I am pretty much NOT into cleavage show business. That when I don't have issues breastfeeding in public, with of course duppata or pallu for help. :)

    As a matter of fact, I am even against low-waist jeans, since now-a-days the low has become unlimited enough to show undies. I find it vulgar rather than sexy!


  18. Chitra Says:

    I agree with ~nm and others of similar opinion. IMHO, I tend to think that women who do try and gain attention of all sorts because of the kinds of dresses they choose to wear, are in a way, lacking self-worth of some sort. I think it is a more psychological issue than given credit for. They maybe equating the lecherous glances to earning self-worth?! And if that is the case, I think I would mostly sympathize with them. Cause we know not the conditions under which they grew up and the kind of self-image they have of themselves. I have often wondered what is the need for very pretty and beautiful women celebrities to practically leave nothing to imagination. The answer maybe obvious, but it is plain baffling to me.

    Oh and I am completely for nursing the babies. I have nursed mine in many public places in the US, but using enough cover and making sure it is not embarrassing for me or for the others around me. Now, would I do that in India? NO WAY!! So, there is more to the society around us too.


  19. Usha Says:

    shefaly: Interesting. So there goes my statement that empowered women don't feel the need to show off their skin.:)
    But it was interesting to see the signals they were reading into it even in a society that is comfortable with cleavages and far more revealing clothes:
    "Are career women trying to enhance their power or soften their image? Are they trying to attract more attention to what they are saying or possibly draw attention away from its less welcome aspects? Or could it even be that they are letting it be known that they are up for an office romance?"
    A couple of inches plunge in the neckline seems to send out so many signals.
    And your spin on it is interesting too. :)Taking it to another level, I wonder if they are also saying, "Big deal you have the ugly Pen$%. we have beautiful breasts. So now what?"

    JLT: In the case of young girls it is mainly about getting attention. Hence my question about whether the rest of us are cleavage ready so these vulnerable kids can be safe in such dresses. Because you cannot choose who you want the attention from in public places.
    Seriously are there people interested in checking out men's underwear? I thought the advertisement was vastly exaggerated. or is this a myth perpetuated by the ad industry?

    Sukesh: The thing is office regulations and dress codes prevent us from walking into offices and schools with underclothes.
    But in cinema halls or malls or other public places there are no such restrictions and we should, ideally, be able to walk in shorts or low neck dresses. And men do wander around parks shirtless and in shorts in summer. Whereas skin show by a woman still attracts comments, opinions and eve-teasing.
    Even if it is by a person from the entertainment industry where people have been accustomed to seeing them in far less clothing, there is a furore when she appears in similar clothing in public.
    Men seem to have a problem handling it as normal.
    When a woman is empowered she should be free to do it anyway if she feels comfortable in such clothes and she should have the strength to protect herself against anyone who has a problem with that. laws should be there for the protection of her rights and law enforcement should be efficient and timely. Empowerment should be both from within and without. Many of our women are empowered from within in terms of their confidence levels but still lack the support from the law enforcement system.
    Are you saying that your low waist jeans "really" attracts feminine glances to you?hm..I feel like a dinosaur now.

    Swati:Today in most big cities the clothing norms have relaxed a lot more, don't you think?

    Sunita:I agree that such clothes may be perfectly appropriate in a private occasion where you know the kind of crowd. In public places it is still dicey.

    Maami:That was an insightful post and a poignant ending. I just love the way you handle your ideas in your posts. And of course you have the advantage of that owl in your head. :;
    You indulge in skin show to make a living, you are judged as cheap and immoral. You do the same because you can and it makes you feel hot, then you are confident and empowered. As long as you are within the confines where the differences are clear it works well. The moment you step out of the confines, perceptions get blurred and that is when there is trouble.
    As a nation we are a confused lot aren't we?
    But didn't Germaine Greer burn her bra and walk about in western clothing? Most of my French friends tell me that they have bidden adieux to their soutiens-gorge.But I see your point. :)

    Pradeep: Self-confidence is a very important element in empowerment. I don't see why it should be expressed through a skin show. I suspect this is an idea promoted by the fashion industry.

    SS:Interesting insights SS. Thank you.

    S!: Looking at the sculptures in our ancient temples, it seems like our ancestors were a lot more comfortable with their bodies than us. Having been sexually repressed for a few generations now, we seem to have different interpretations of bits of skin showing here and there.
    I think the point about getting used to cleavages holds good in a society that is sexually more open. This may be difficult in a society where publicly holding hands and hugging and kissing are viewed as inappropriate and even illegal. Where calling attention to your beautiful body is understood as an invitation to touch and even violate it. It's just lumps of adipose - go say that to those eve teasers.

    Lively: You may be judging them a bit harshly.They may be motivated by a desire to look good in those clothes and revel in the attention. But in most cases, it is certainly not "making the opposite sex want you, to crave for you to ogle at you." if anything it is young people revelling in the attention of boys in their circle and scoring over their peers. In the case of grown ups it is a statement that they have no problem being considered sexy (they have sexual feelings too and are not just objects of sexual gratification) and being comfortable about their body.
    Concepts which seem a bit alien to most people in this country still.

    Asha: A big Hi to you too. me neither, didn't understand cleavages until now. But this post and comments helped me understand it a bit more. Will need a few more years to understand hipster jeans and Undie show.
    And I thought I had seen it all in my lifetime so far. :)

    Chitra: While for some it may from lack of self worth, after all these comments, I feel that it is also the ability to carry off a nice dress and the confidence that goes with it. And for some it is pride in their body and the lack of inhibition about showing it off.
    How they handle advances from those who mix up their signals is left to them and their level of empowerment.

    @ all who commented: Thank you all.


  20. Usha Says:

    Correction!!
    Sukesh: The thing is office regulations and dress codes prevent us from walking into offices and schools with underclothes.
    I meant to say "in" underclothes. :P


  21. dipali Says:

    It's all so relative, isn't it?
    I personally find very clingy, revealing clothes distasteful, but then I'm a dinosaur anyway.
    I find visible butt cleavage even more distasteful.
    But if a person is comfortable with whatever she's wearing, I guess I should accept it without any kind of judgement on my part.
    Garments as part of a power struggle in the work place- sounds very disconcerting.


  22. CW Says:

    I once wore a blouse with an unusually low neckline. I had bought it coz I'd fallen in love with the design. But since I'm not used to wearing cleavage of either kind-revealing clothes, I spent a significant amount of time adjusting it throughtout the day. It was quite the oppposite of empowerment, actually.
    I do see a lot of women who carry off, for want of a better word, skimpy clothes with confidence. Whether the confidence is the cause or consequence of the act of wearing them, I do not know.


  23. Shefaly Says:

    Usha:

    "A couple of inches plunge in the neckline seems to send out so many signals."

    I must regress to my electronic and communication engineering classes to make my point.

    Communication theory, as taught in electronics classes, highlights one fundamental principle - communication is not what is sent, it is what is received.

    Communication happens with signals being sent. These signals can be distorted by the medium, random signals, white or other noise, other interfering signals and so on.

    And in this case, a woman can scarcely control how the signals are being received. Much distortion can happen at the hands of factors such as societal conditioning of men, 'norms' established for societies and stylised contexts such as workplaces to name a couple.

    All this technical gobbledegook does not make the signalling less important, but it does tell us that there is so much a woman can influence. She is damned if she does, and damned if she does not.


  24. Usha Says:

    CW: Interesting point. But one I'd never be able to test because I guess i'd do exactly what you did! or wear something inside that would cover what the blouse intends to reveal!

    Shefaly: very interesting and insightful.Thank you.


  25. artnavy Says:

    i have often wondered the same- why ?

    While i do not subscribe to cleavage and also hip/ "jetti" show- it is also relative

    In the sense in a room full of bikini clad women one will attract more attention if well clothed...

    so do we wish to fit in or to stand out?


  26. "Personally I have no issues with people who indulge in cleavage display as long as I am not forced to join the club." -I totally agree with this,it is the choice of the women.

    If some women feels she is empowered is she wears cleavage showing dress ,it is just her perception,i dont agree to that.

    Secondly ,i dont like hypocrites object violently to breast-feeding in public

    I dont agree(correct me if i am wrong in interpreting this aspect).Eveteasing happens everywhere,but it is an open invitation to the eve teaser if he sees a women is dressed scantily.it is like waving a red cloth in front of a bull.the eve teaser is a road romeo who has nothing more to do and he is given a chance to do this.I am not saying he is right.All i am saying is the chance can be reduced by not showing too much of clevage,this is common sense i beleive ,you dont fall into the bait,simple

    There are enough ways a women can dress to be pretty and not necessarily be obscene to be pretty .A women can get the a few stares my dressing obsecenly but she has to thats all in the mind of the women.

    Dont get me wrong as i am expressing my frank opinion


  27. Mahadevan Says:

    Cleavage display is certainly not a sign of empowerment. An empowered woman should have the freedom to be herself. Women generaly do not enjoy this basic freedom and hence the need for empowerment.

    When a woman displays her cleavage, she makes a statement that she is different and she also believes that she is a trend setter. A Salman Khan removing his shirt at the drop of a hat, an Imrankhan giving pose in his swimming trunk knowing it well that it would appear in page 3 the next day or a Parmaeshwar Godrej displaying her cleavage before a Gere or an Imrankhan are mere efforts in making style statements. Lesser mortals imitate them( imitation is the greatest form of flattery) and that becomes the fashion of the day.

    Cleavage display certainly does not invite rape though it may stimulate baser instincts. Rape is caused by revenge, display of power or frustration ( I am quoting from one of your earlier blogs).


  28. Anonymous Says:

    Wow Usha, I'm amazed at the number of comments that go along the lines of this one para from one of the comments:

    "But from a man's point of view I can say that sight of cleavage does indeed attract the attention of a man. Women who expose do know this. They should also know that problems follow when the man is unable to handle the sight of the cleavage."

    What this person is really trying to say is that the woman is at fault. If cleavage baring can't be handled by the ogling men, aren't they better off masturbating in a corner? Why must it be that they revenge/avenge/take it out on the female?


  29. Usha Says:

    artnavy: In certain styles it probably goes with the dress , on certain people it looks beautiful perhaps but when it is done to flaunt your body and attract attention, one should be prepared for negative kind of attention too. Shefaly's comment above throws a lot more light on this.

    Stalag: I know eve teasers do not discriminate - they do it because they are perverts. This is why I wonder if we are cleavage ready. We walk among such perverts and we do not have a strong law enforcement mechanism against these guys.

    Mahadevan: I know you are more modern in your thinking than many youngsters. I think it is at the margins of society that there is a confusion that skin show is an open invitation.

    anon: You are right. But haven't you noticed that for any act of commission or omission it is the women who suffer. That is the injustice of the whole system!


  30. hey Usha,
    In case it wasnt clear enough in my post - I agree with you. and yes, it does look good in certain styles etc - but if you wear it, be prepared for negative attention. you may feel bad abt the 'she asked for it' argument - but the truth is, at the end of the day you are alone responsible for your safety and neither society nor law enforcers seem to be doing much of a job.


  31. Usha Says:

    The MM: I know you understand me. That clarification was for those who are not my regular readers and may think I was being judgemental.


  32. Nisha Says:

    If you ask me, I'd say it is an individual choice as long as the person is not forced due to peer pressure or any other reason.

    As long as a person knows the repurcussions and is a mature individual, then it is ok to dress the person wants.

    Personally, I'm not comfortable wearing tight clothes or cleavage showing dresses.


  33. Mama - Mia Says:

    cleavage ready??!! haha! now that brought a smile on my face!! :)

    i just think whatever be the reason why a woman dresses with or without her mamaries showing, its just a personal choice!! even if she is indeed doing it to get attention, to make her man happy or just to feel sexy its her call! as long as SHE is comfy with it!

    apart from that, l'il girls who dont even have starting of breasts get raped and women in burqa are treated like dirt! none of the offenses can be forgiven or even can imagine getting comments like "she asked for it"

    just because one chooses to have a skin show, doesnt mean you can have your way! impression be damned! unless the woman is behaving her look! lucky man then! ;)

    i recently did buy a top that shows a hint of cleavage! ;) it felt sexy and sassy! but i did end up wearing something that covered it inside and then wore the top! why?? i dunno!

    i guess am not self-cleavage-ready as yet!! hehe!!

    great post!! :)

    cheers!


  34. Roop Rai Says:

    wow, u guys can discuss. i agree with nm and diya.

    nevertheless, why are we to worry about cleavage? we're eliminating women fast enough that we wont have to worry about them being raped or wearing revealing clothes anymore anyway. :)


  35. Usha Says:

    Nisha: Yes as long as they are mature enough to know how to handle the repercussions, why not?

    mama-mia: Agree. When I wrote the post I wasn't sure why it was important to wear a cleavage revealing dress. And I did receive some clarity from the comments.
    But I do worry about very young girls trying to look cool in such dresses and then ending up inviting trouble, given the lacunae in our system and the mindsets.

    Roop: That is a very grim picture there, isn't it?