The point to my post was simply to say that women have the ability to create an uncomfortable workplace for men by the way they dress.
If we are dressing for ourselves — in a way that makes us feel strong and confident — I do not think we should have to compromise that based on the assumption that men cannot help themselves. I find this somewhat belittling to men.
There seems to be a misunderstanding of what an “autonomic response” is:
Autonomic reaction refers to a number of physical changes, including increased respiratory rate or hyperventilation, palpitations, flushing, and gastrointestinal disturbance, which most frequently occur in response to anxiety-provoking or potentially dangerous stimuli.
Your phraseology (“men cannot help themselves”) is properly posed, but do you really believe what you wrote? Or is what you actually believe that men CAN help themselves but don’t, or won’t?
A provocatively dressed women kicks off an autonomic reaction in a man. It just DOES. No choice or thinking is involved. So what *I* find belittling is the notion that this is “his problem, he’ll have to deal with it.” There’s an ugly sexist stereotype about us that’s associated with that attitude, and it’s best if we don’t reinforce it.
Men and women are equal partners in the human race. They haven’t treated us as equal partners, often, because for 5800 of the 6000 years of recorded human history, brawn was more important than brain, and poor medical care meant that we had to be pregnant 8–10 times to have 3–4 children. We got into stereotypical roles that don’t die easily. But the path to moving ahead is not, in my way of thinking, competing with our partners and beating them; it’s creating a new way of thinking where all we work together.
We can only get there if we are empathetic and sympathetic to each others differences. That’s what good partners do. I can do a job that involves moving 100 lb boxes if you give me a dolly that the man might not need. Simple. And if wearing a particular “something” makes my partner at the office uncomfortable, I’m sure I can find something else to wear.
Seems simple to me, your mileage may vary.