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Spaghetti straps, base urges, and polite society


The Actual Hero
Sanctuary legend
“All of civility depends on being able to contain the rage of individuals.” – Joshua Ledergerg

I saw some users on reddit talking about school dress codes, specifically about spaghetti straps and how silly it is that girls are not be allowed to wear whatever they want.

They implied that it is the guy's fault for being distracted. It is the guy's fault for having natural (if not exaggerated by the effects of puberty) biological urges. It is the guy who must suppress these urges, and not act on them, and all responsibility falls on his shoulders if he happens to lose his mind over a bit of exposed skin.

Of course, no consideration is given to the mental anguish and embarrassment that these young men face. Who cares if they're distracted? Who cares if they get an erection in class? They should just work harder at suppressing their urges, right?

What these people fail to realize is that they hold double-standards. This is not how polite society operates. We all have urges, and we all must resist them. We all must do our part to avoid provoking these base urges in others, not only for our own protection, but so that we can receive the same kindness.

For example, one must resist the urge to do violence to another person. So, as members of polite society, we mutually agree to not intentionally anger someone else. We don't insult them. We aren't rude to them. We don't provoke them. If we violate this mutual agreement of civility, we risk getting a punch to the face.

Legally, you can say nearly anything you want to provoke the other person. There is no law against being rude. But we're talking about polite society.
You don't provoke me, I don't provoke you, our base urges aren't roused, and we both go home happy. Simple, right?

This may involve restricting yourself a bit. Maybe, if you want to avoid a confrontation, you will have to resist YOUR urge to tell the other person what you really think of them. Maybe you'll have to have tact and express your point in a less inflammatory way. This is not free. This comes at a cost to you. Considering the other person's feelings takes a some effort.

I see dress codes as being similar. They are a compromise to keep base urges in check. Girls make a sacrifice for the benefit of hormonal boys. EVEN IF they get nothing back (like not getting sexually harassed), wearing a garment with a thicker shoulder strap is a small price to pay to alleviate the suffering of someone else, wouldn't you say? Doing what you can so as to not cause suffering in others is just basic humanity, isn't it?

So to these parents (mostly women) who want their children to be able to wear whatever they want: do you still believe in compromises, polite society and basic humanity? Do you accept the consequences of base urges getting provoked to the point that they boil over and become action? Or do you just believe that men are lesser than women, and so their suffering does not warrant consideration?


Arch Disciple
Sanctuary legend
Sanctuary contributor
If they don't wont people staring, don't wear skimpy clothing. Simple.

When it came to school dress codes here, they pretty much all boiled down to "wear the uniform" once you get to secondary school onwards. The only students allowed to not wear uniforms where those in year 13 (last year of high school, no idea what that is american schools) and pretty much every school expected you to wear something 'smart and presentable'. The idea was that it was supposed to prepare you for interviews, but it was rarely ever enforced, and people just wore whatever.


My school was cool with spaghetti straps as long as they were two fingers wide which I guess was to adequately cover bra straps
Tube tops weren't allowed as were low cuts


Arch Disciple
Sanctuary legend
My schools didn't have any uniforms or dress codes. People didn't get bullied for it, nor got lost in their urges.
We're generally a reserved people though..


Staff member
Should we have a "Society" sub-forum?
Sorry, forgot to reply to this.

We used to have a sub-forum for every kind of category, but that kind of setup really only works best when the forum has a lot of active users. Otherwise, what it leads to is a bunch of dead sub-forums. Hence why the sub-forums got massively cut down from what they were.