January 13, 2016

The No Pants Subway Ride in the broader zeitgeist, dissected postmortem

We've seen articles on this wannabe-happening over the past several years, but let's take a little time to dissect it. I'm judging from this slideshow of pictures.

First, it's clearly in a dying stage. The participants by now are a lot uglier, more people-ignoring, and SJW-ier (but I repeat myself).

The event began in the mid-to-late 2000s, when there was a more slightly more outgoing and fun-loving social climate. The participants were mostly attractive hipsters, the type who would have gone out to '80s night wearing American Apparel shorts. They cleared a bare minimum of fun-loving-ness and comfort in their own body.

Sometime in the past five years, it must have attracted the attention of the Slutwalk crowd. By now, they are the majority in pictures. They don't go out dancing, they feel awkward in their bodies (not surprising given how doughy are), and they aren't doing it as an ironic goof but as an overly serious pseudo-provocation. They're too busy staring down at digital screens or the blank pages of their Moleskine journal to make eye contact with the by-standers. And you can't be a public instigator without making eye contact with the crowd.

It doesn't seem like generational turnover, since the early-to-mid 20-somethings five years ago were still Millennials. In fact, the whole thing feels like a semi-risque slumber party of the type that might have taken place among high schoolers and college kids, back when they actually threw parties (a small get-together where everyone stares at phones or passively watches beer pong is not "throwing a party").

It's like the Millennials are trying to have some of the fun they were denied by growing up with helicopter parents and in an overall cocooning environment. But acting like a high schooler at your first party when you're actually 25 just makes you look more awkward. That ship has sailed, so you might as well try to have fun in a more mature way like going out dancing instead of showing up in public in your "undies" (as the kiddie generation refers to panties). In one picture, those "undies" are further infantilized by having a great big "Harry Potter" logo across the back.

But the infantilization gets worse: this year's event shows several parents who are participating with their children. One mother is even wearing one of those kiddie animal-head beanies with the long braids down the sides. In our stunted era, being a "cool mom" doesn't mean going out dancing at the disco, but dressing up like a kid for a kiddie no-pants subway ride.

Aside from Jerusalem, the Washington DC area has the ugliest young people of any major city. It has nothing to offer people whose orientation is more corporeal than cerebral, so it only attracts out-of-shape misfits who obsess over policy details. Say what you want about where New York has been heading, but there are still some things to do there, and it still manages to attract halfway attractive people.

In the New York of a few decades ago, though, nobody would have behaved this way -- throngs of nubile girls wearing panties out in public would have gotten raped. The violent crime rate was still rising toward its peak (1992), and young women had enough street smarts not to show off their figure in public in such an increasingly dangerous environment. Millennials could not be more naive, having grown up during the falling-crime period that we're in.

As it turns out, wearing skimpy and revealing clothing actually reflects lower libido levels. When real-life sex pervaded the atmosphere, women wore very baggy and boxy clothing to hide their figure from any unwanted attention -- and when libido levels were much higher, there was a lot more unwanted sexual attention out in public.

The contours of her torso were entirely obscured by a huge sweater, whose sleeves were also so baggy that you couldn't even see the outline of her shoulders or arms, and whose bottom fell low enough to also obscure her hips and buns (as they used to be called). Really the only outline she might have shown was her legs from a little over the knee on down. Pants were not skin-tight, but not baggy either.

The oversized sweaters, jackets, and coats of the '80s continued well into the mid-'90s (reaching its pinnacle in the sack-like overalls of the time), because women wanted to wait awhile after the crime rate had been falling to make sure it was safe to start wearing more figure-hugging clothing again, which began in the second half of the '90s.

This was no different from the baggy and boxy shape of the Jazz Age, another period when violent crime was on the rise, making young women street-smart enough not to invite unwanted attention while out in public.

Body-hugging shapes did not return until the Midcentury, when crime was falling and libido levels had mellowed out from their height during the Roaring Twenties. The iconic look for young women at the time was the "bullet bra" worn by the "sweater girl" -- someone naive enough to not think twice about parading her headlights out before the general public. Young women in the Jazz Age actually tried to de-emphasize their size -- don't want to risk getting raped, do you? But in the much safer 1950s, they didn't have to worry so much about that threat.

We can keep an eye on events like the No Pants Subway Ride to get a feel for whether the violent crime rate is edging upward or not. See also: jogging around a city, unaccompanied, in the evening, while wearing only a sports bra and booty shorts. Unfortunately it will be a lagging indicator, since exhibitionism will only decline just a little bit after the crime rate has begun to rise. By that time we will probably have official statistics showing a crime wave.

Nevertheless, women covering up will be independent confirmation that the threat of violence has begun to increase. Likewise, anyone who doubts that violent crime has really been declining just has to look at the behavior of those with the real targets on their backs -- and these days, early 20-something girls feel no danger parading themselves around without pants on the New York City subway. And in fact, they don't get molested or raped (ditto for slutwalks).

Believe what you want about official statistics -- the real-life behavior of those most directly and heavily affected is far more revealing (so to speak).

9 comments:

  1. Sexy, form fitting clothing returned later '90s with the Spice Girls and the AIDS cocktail that turned AIDS from a 3 year death sentence to a livable disease. Check the graphs for AIDS deaths. The mid-'90s was when it started the fall back.

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  2. Steve Johnson1/13/16, 6:20 PM

    "Believe what you want about official statistics -- the real-life behavior of those most directly and heavily affected is far more revealing (so to speak)."

    Right, women are the most likely to see through fashionable lies. Guess that explains why women don't go to the 3rd world and get raped or why some chick won't protest naked at the sight of a mass rape attack. The fact is that women will believe the herd about anything - even if it does hurt them - because their unconscious expectation is that men will fight over them and at worst they'll end up the possession of a stronger man.

    C'mon - you're insightful but you lose it when you try to cram everything into the "rising crime / falling crime cycle".

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  3. It couldn't be more straightforward.

    Claiming that violent crime is as common as it used to be in the '70s, '80s, and early '90s -- or even worse -- all while these 20-something girls are mincing around in next to nothing, with no companions, in a faceless anonymous city, often at night -- give me a break.

    We'd be hearing about it every single day in the news: "Last night another college girl who was out jogging alone wearing only a tank and booty shorts was groped / raped / abducted / murdered / dismembered. Authorities continue to remind young women to be more cautious of their surroundings, to travel in groups, and to wear baggier clothing."

    My view requires taking things at face value -- the stats on violent crime declining are true, and young women's lackadaisical attitude toward how they dress in public reflects feeling safe from the threat of rape.

    The view that everything must be counter-intuitive requires you do disbelieve all police departments across the United States and the rest of the Western world for nearly 25 consecutive years, PLUS believing that women are too dumb to notice that the threat of rape is as high as it was back then or maybe even higher, and that Darwinian adaptation would allow women to be so out of touch with the state of their environment because domain-blind herd-mindedness outweighs staying safe from getting assaulted, raped, or killed.

    By the same token, all those wealthy white people who are flocking back INTO the cities are too dumb to realize that crime is as high as it was in the old days, or worse. Buh-lieve me, they sense how much safer it is -- it's what has allowed them to recolonize the cities, after getting the hell out of there during the last crime wave.

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  4. "Sexy, form fitting clothing returned later '90s with the Spice Girls"

    We didn't really notice how big of a change it was at the time because we couldn't take a long view. It just seemed like a few years ago they were wearing those baggy overalls, and now they're wearing tops and bottoms that don't meet when they're sitting down at their desk. One crazy thing after another.

    Looking back on it, though, it was a huge change and seemingly overnight... around '96 or '97. It would've been hard to believe at the time that it was only the beginning, and that in 10-15 years girls would be strutting around in skin-tight leggings -- and with no baggy sweater to at least cover their hips and buns.

    I like the older '80s and early '90s style better, though. It kept the focus on the girl's face and hair and didn't encourage you to so blatantly objectify her, a la the Mad Men executive staring at the bullet bra that his sweater girl secretary was wearing, or today's intern in yoga pants.

    It's asking too much of guys to not look at girls that way when their clothes are painted on. They're the ones who must lead the change back toward more modest clothing -- unfortunately the only thing that will really wake them up and change their act is a rising threat of getting stalked / molested / raped out in public.

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  5. "Guess that explains why women don't go to the 3rd world and get raped"

    Woefully dumb argument. Before setting off, they don't know anything first-hand about the Third World, and what they are told is lies. That does not count as being "out of touch" with their surroundings.

    What they sense about their own environment back home is first-hand, continual, and corroborated by what their peers tell them about their own impressions. Or don't tell them -- there are far fewer second-hand reports of a girl getting raped nowadays. As in, rape-raped.

    "or why some chick won't protest naked at the sight of a mass rape attack."

    There's no such phenomenon, protesting naked after mass/serial rapes. Probably not even isolated incidents, but certainly not anything as widespread as girls going around the city showing their curves, while unaccompanied.

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  6. Steve Johnson1/13/16, 9:54 PM

    "Claiming that violent crime is as common as it used to be in the '70s, '80s, and early '90s "

    Who claimed that? Crime is clearly increasing and has been for about a decade. That's it - it's not nearly where it was even in the 90s - there was a huge drop then - at least speaking where I know, which is New York.

    ""or why some chick won't protest naked at the sight of a mass rape attack."

    There's no such phenomenon, protesting naked after mass/serial rapes. Probably not even isolated incidents"

    You think I just made that up as an example? I'm not that creative.

    It actually happened. Google "naked protest Cologne".

    "We'd be hearing about it every single day in the news: "Last night another college girl who was out jogging alone wearing only a tank and booty shorts was groped / raped / abducted / murdered / dismembered. Authorities continue to remind young women to be more cautious of their surroundings, to travel in groups, and to wear baggier clothing.""

    You have a lot of faith in the media. If the who/whom is wrong on a story it gets buried.

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  7. "Crime is clearly increasing and has been for about a decade."

    Wrong again, even for your neck of the woods:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_New_York_City#Murders_by_year

    The count of murders peaked in 1990 and has fallen steadily since then. Pair that with rising population size, and the per capita murder rate has fallen even more dramatically.

    Same pattern across the country, whether it's murder, forcible rape, robbery, assault, or a composite index of all violent crime. Violent crimes show the same trends over time.

    New York City has not been this safe since the 1950s -- why else would all those wealthy white people be pouring back in? You think they want to waste an exploding amount of money to live in a place with crime rising for a decade? If crime starts to rise for a decade, it'll be all aboard the Westchester County Express.

    "Google "naked protest Cologne"."

    Like I said, some little isolated incident doesn't constitute a phenomenon. Young women parading their bodies around in faceless cities with zero immediate protection is not only widespread, it has been going on for long enough now that it's familiar and unremarkable.

    BTW, if the threat of getting shish-kebabed in public continues to rise in Germany, there will be no more naked protests. Women will look back and think how clueless and stupid such people could've been.

    Even that isolated incident is not an example of women being so out-of-touch with their surroundings that they'll risk beatings, rape, and death. The goat-fuckers just showed up a few weeks ago, and it remained to be seen how well they would behave themselves -- obviously they would behave badly, but bad enough to make German women run a grope gauntlet in the town square during New Year's celebrations?

    If grope gauntlets become a common occurrence, buh-lieve me, there will be no naked protests.

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  8. Eduardo the Magnificent1/15/16, 4:15 PM

    Hardly a decent pair of legs in the bunch. You know it's over when the uggos outnumber the hotties. And you're holding it in cold-as-fuck New York January.

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  9. The phenomenon has been going on for about 10 years, so it parallels the crime decline that began around 2005-2006. Its more a cocooning thing, for the reasons stated: subway is much more dangerous in outgoing times, and women dress more discreetly on a day-to-day basis, less attention-getting etc.

    "mid-to-late 2000s"

    well I think it was more in the early 2000s, from like 2001-2005, in the East coast at least, it could have been different in different regions or overseas.

    ReplyDelete

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