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'Dressing for your man' did I over react?

(49 Posts)
DaveMccave Thu 29-Nov-12 14:47:10

Recently I attended a wedding with my boyfriend. I had mentioned in the run up that I was dreading having to find a dress, that I rarely wear dresses etc. He complimented me on the night, I told him not to get used to it because it's about an annual occurrence I wear a dress, and made it clear I wasn't particularly comfortable wearing it.

As we were leaving he said 'I wish you'd dress up like that for me sometimes.' I admittedly had had a few drinks so don't know if I over reacted but I called him sexist and got in a bit of a row. He said he meant at home and not out, but I said it doesn't make a difference, when I've just told him it makes me uncomfortable. Why would he want me to be uncomfortable for his benefit?

Anyway it was resolved and forgotten about, and he apologised but I know he thinks I was being silly. But when I mentioned it to friends they were really shocked at my reaction and said I was crazy for not realising that he was just trying to compliment me etc.

Was I?

samandi Fri 30-Nov-12 09:54:38

Seems a bit of an overreaction to me. And I'm not particularly into wearing fancy dresses either.

namechangeguy Fri 30-Nov-12 10:03:07

Does he make other unreasonable demands on you as well - housework and stuff? Maybe this is just the tip of the iceberg. What other sexist and misogynist traits does he let slip after a couple of drinks?

AbigailAdams Fri 30-Nov-12 10:06:16

Ahh yes Sausage. Because relationships are all about making the man happy confused

MoreBeta Fri 30-Nov-12 10:12:45

"Hmm. I saw my DP in a suit for the first time recently and he looked damn good. He never wears a suit normally (he doesn't need to for work), and would obviously feel uncomfortable wearing one around the house for no reason. "

Yes exactly. DW met me when I was wearing a suit and she still likes me in a suit but I hardly ever get chance now. She always compliements me.

Likewise I always think she looks great in a dress, but she rarely wears one and I don't think she feels that comfortable wearing them so I don't go on about it - she still gets a compliement when she does though. smile

inde Fri 30-Nov-12 10:19:09

Ahh yes Sausage. Because relationships are all about making the man happy

If your in a loving relationship then it's about the man making the woman happy and the woman making the man happy. I can see why a woman wouldn't dress to make men other than their spouse happy and I can see why she wouldn't dress all of the time to make anyone happy other than herself. But saying she would wear a dress to keep people happy at a wedding but would never wear one to please her husband seems a little over the top to me.
Incidentally I do wear clothes that my wife prefers to see me in all the time.

namechangeguy Fri 30-Nov-12 11:13:34

I assume the OP also wore the dress to please the newlyweds. It was rather thoughtless of them too.

I wonder if the new bride knows what she is in for? As someone said earlier, the 1950's harks back to a dark time for women's rights. Is the bride a friend? Maybe she should be warned of the insidious nature of the attire that she too was coerced into.

HalloweenNameChange Fri 30-Nov-12 16:32:27

NCG maybe the op felt obligated to wear a dress because women tend to wear dresses to formal occasions such as weddings. The way men are expected to wear suits? Doing it once a year because society dictates it isn't the same as being asked to dress up for someone who should love her as is.

sausage wtf?

namechangeguy Fri 30-Nov-12 18:28:39

This is true Halloween. I guess both genders are expected to conform at ceremonies such as weddings, so maybe that is not sexist. In fact, women have more choice - trousers or dress are common at weddings. Fair point. So it's just her other half who is out of order and selfish. What the hell was he thinking? Still, he did apologise. Perhaps he should not drink so much in future.

AnyFuckingDude Fri 30-Nov-12 18:34:07

This sounds like a fancy dress wedding

How totally fucking grim

I would refuse to truss myself up in 1950's garb, seriously

Op, did you wear bobbysox too ?

BertieBotts Fri 30-Nov-12 18:40:43

I can see both sides. I think when you start noticing sexism etc it jumps out at you in situations where you never would have noticed it before.

Him saying it would be nice if you dressed up "for him" does have that sexist root, so I can see why it jumped out at you as a sexist comment, however I think it was a bit of an overreaction - he wasn't saying "I want you to dress like that all the time" or "I find you less sexy when you wear your usual clothes" or "Women should dress to please their man" - which is probably what you're reacting to with the sexism klaxon (which is fine, and I think it's good to notice these things) - however, he's just expressing that he liked the way you looked, and suggesting that perhaps you could dress like that on occasion when it's just the two of you, because it would make him feel special. Which is fair enough, and you are free to take up that suggestion or ignore it!

I can see why you reacted the way you did, but I think that in this instance it's more of a pointer for a discussion than a revelation of his inner misogynist.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Mon 03-Dec-12 20:06:40

I think I'm with Bertie on this. I wonder if your DH would have been the other way round if you normally wore smart suits and then stuck on some jeans and a jumper for DIY, say - sometimes seeing someone you fancy wearing something unusual for them gives you a bit of a jolt into seeing their attractiveness afresh or in a different way.

There can be a "sexual bauble" aspect (great phrase!) but I don't think that's where your DH is coming from, given what you've said

SomersetONeil Mon 03-Dec-12 20:34:19

I remember a thread a few months back discussing how quite a few feminists and lesbians wore 1950s style clothing - were drawn to it and liked the style. It accentuates and celebrates womanly bodies, which, after all, are nothing to be ashamed of. I might try to dig it out...

The bottom line is - if you're not comfortable nor happy in dresses, then trussing yourself up in one for 'your man' (are there still really people who say this in a non-ironic fashion?! grin) is seriously not the way to go, if you don't want to be resenting him in an eye-rolly, you're-a-bit-of-an-annoying-idiot sort of way...

Having said that, there is some sort of unformed idea skirting around the periphery of my mind about how femininity, in and of itself, is OK. There's nothing wrong with it - if you like it, which is the crucial point. Sort of along the 'let toys be toys' campaign lines. Boys are steered away from 'girls' toys' as if they are second-rate and 'no good' and not worthy of them. Which is damaging. Girls things - and with that, femininity - shouldn't have such negative associations. Although I recognise that it's hard to separate this out from feminine things which are tied up with patriarchal standards of beauty, etc.

But yes - if you as an individual don't feel comfortable in feminine clothing, then that is the crux of the issue.

muddledmamma Mon 03-Dec-12 21:32:45

Wasn't he just being a bit flirty? Upstairs in my wardrobe I've a pair of shoes not meant for walking in and some sexy underwear. Ok, still haven't got round to putting them on but the thought's there smile

I could understand you being put out if he was asking you to parade up and down the street.

Have you considered that he made himself vulnerable to you by opening up about what he likes?

namechangeguy Tue 04-Dec-12 09:28:51

Flippin' heck, muddledmama - doing something to 'please your man'!?! Prepare to be corrected in your thinking....and welcome to the feminist board grin (this place needs a smiley with a tin hat on)

DingDongKethryverilyonHigh Tue 04-Dec-12 10:03:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GreeenFingers Tue 04-Dec-12 10:20:07

God, I have a thing about overalls too. When you see a fit bloke bend over and the fabric gets taut over his bum.

DingDongKethryverilyonHigh Tue 04-Dec-12 10:37:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DingDongKethryverilyonHigh Tue 04-Dec-12 10:37:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GreeenFingers Tue 04-Dec-12 10:43:02

The faric stretched over thier broad shoulders, the wiff of engine oil and fresh man sweat, a dirty streak on their forehead,curly hairs at the nape of their neck.It's no good, got to get my car checked in for a service.

namechangeguy Tue 04-Dec-12 11:11:23

Right, I have somehow woken up in a parallel universe! Objectification of people on the feminist board - this place will implode when the feminist police return, you mark my words wink

GreeenFingers Tue 04-Dec-12 11:50:04

Well I'm a femenist, and it's thanks to the feminist movement that I can excercise my right to tell complete and utter strangers that I have a thing for men in overalls, dont you agree Ding dong?

DingDongKethryverilyonHigh Tue 04-Dec-12 14:07:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GreeenFingers Tue 04-Dec-12 21:28:39

I was "sen" by a rather attractive Latian model, in a very becoming navy overerall. The cam belt was adjusted by a rather tasty Sikh man of abour 45. He was lush, long beard, green eyes and he gave me a cheeky wink. I came home and needed a little lie down.Oh that's another thing, turbans....

GreeenFingers Tue 04-Dec-12 21:32:29

I have to confess, I just love real blokes. No poncy coiffured hair for me, or those silly nicotine coloured trousers, just wholesome unpretentious blokes. They're the ones who are first in line to do the washing up or make you a cuppa. Not those " new men" who make a great pretence of being right on.

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