The Richmond Register

Viewpoints

February 14, 2013

On Valentine’s Day, women try, men don’t

The following is a crashing generalization, but here goes: When it comes to how we dress, there are serious gender inequities – in standards of comfort and in body exposure. Valentine’s Day underscores a third that rankles just as much: inequality of effort.

Go to any romantic restaurant on Valentine’s Day, and observe. The girls are dressed for festivity, and the boys are dressed for walking the dog.

The ladies have obviously worked 10 times harder on their appearance than their dates. They’ve got makeup. They have sparkle. Their clothes say “evening.”

Their male escorts, meanwhile, are in jeans, not always the dressy kind, and shoes you could run a marathon in. If they really want to go the extra mile, they might tuck their shirts in. Calling Tim Gunn: L’il Abner needs a fashion mentor.

The February issue of a local magazine has a Valentine’s Day-themed cover story about some eligible singles in the community. The men and women all appear to be of good character and steady employment. But the pictures show the women carefully turned out in party clothes, while the men, with one exception, are barely out of their pajamas. The exception wasn’t wearing a tie, heaven forfend, but he did sport a tweed jacket. He was the premier catch.

I know some of you gentlemen will not take kindly to this critique. You will shoot off emails calling me all kinds of vile things. Go ahead. I expect nothing less from you.

Of course, the other inequities are in full view on Valentine’s Day. Many of the ladies painfully totter on spiked heels, a personal sacrifice made more stark by her gentleman’s running shoes. She is also likely to be far less covered than the man – sleeveless or even shoulderless. And her legs may be exposed as high as the law allows.

Now I do accept that for evening romance, women tend to dress more provocatively than men. And that may require the exposing of some skin. How much can be a matter of taste, figure and climate. But many women should know they’d look a lot sexier if they covered more.

This little fashion tip has not reached the club scene, where the nakedness is such that the only mystery is how little mystery there is. Among the inspirations must be that little black outfit Beyonce wore as she rolled on the floor during the Super Bowl halftime.

One other important point about Valentine’s Day is this: Feb. 14 is dead winter in the Northern Hemisphere. It is cold in most of the United States and, in some parts, downright frigid. One can go comfortably bare in formal dress in heated ballrooms. But the average bistro does not guarantee adequate temperature for bare arms, and you do risk frostbite on the way in and out. Note that when it’s especially cold, the boys throw on a sweater.

Also, high heels are a challenge even in optimal conditions. Snowdrifts are not optimal.

You don’t have to wait for Valentine’s Day to find this gender inequality. It’s on full display every Saturday night at the shopping center multiplex.

The female half of the couple recognizes that Saturday night at the movie theater is not the same as Saturday morning cleaning out the garage. The men often don’t. Sense of occasion is not their strong suit.

Again, the above is a crashing generalization.

To the man who makes an effort to show respect for the companion dolled up in his honor, this column is dedicated to you. You deserve the best. The rest of you, bah.

To find out more about Froma Harrop, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at www.creators.com.

© 2013 THE PROVIDENCE JOURNAL CO.

DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM

1
Text Only
Viewpoints
  • 06.29 CrystalFarewell.jpg Starting over at Head Start

    All I ever wanted to be was a journalist. Having worked on my high school and college newspapers, I knew it was the career for me.
    I love talking to people, listening to their stories, being creative every day and experiencing new things. But as you know, news happens outside the hours of 9 to 5, and my job here at the Register rarely stayed within that time frame.

    June 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • Ike Adams They don’t make strawberries as they did back in the old days

    I’m not inclined to go through my archives at the moment, but it almost feels like the column I’m about to write has almost become an annual thing over the years.
    At least I know for sure that that this is not the first time that memories of picking strawberries there on Blair Branch on hot days in June has triggered this keyboard about this time of year.
    I grew up on a little subsistence, hillside farm deep in the mountains of eastern Kentucky, among the coalfields near the Virginia line.

    June 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ike Adams Baby boomers have let technology rob their grandchildren of the joys of youth

    When I was growing up, it was not uncommon to see fathers and sons along creek banks fishing together or in the woods hunting squirrels or pitching horse shoes or even shooting marbles late in the afternoon in the cool hours before dark.
    Dads were teaching kids to play the games they grew up with. Little girls, learned from mothers,how to skip rope, play with jacks or play hopscotch.

    June 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ronnie-Ellis.jpg No Lincoln or Douglas in this debate

    Remember the famous slap-down in the 1988 vice presidential debate when Republican Dan Quayle compared his youth and limited government experience to those of John Kennedy’s when Kennedy ran for president?
    His Democratic opponent, Texas Sen. Lloyd Bentsen, acidly replied: “I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy.”

    June 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ronnie-Ellis.jpg Senate campaign already in full bloom

    Any hope for a respite in the U.S. Senate campaign following Tuesday’s primary disappeared immediately.
    Mitch McConnell and Alison Lundergan Grimes came out swinging in victory speeches which sounded like campaign kickoffs.
    McConnell commended Matt Bevin on “a tough (primary) race” and appealed to Bevin supporters to unite behind his re-election bid. That will be hard for Bevin and those who backed him.

    May 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jim Waters.JPG ‘Taxpayer-eaters’ meet ‘self-serving politician-eaters’

    What some candidates could gain in this year’s election – beyond just winning office – is a stark reminder of how wrong political leaders were when declaring last year they had adequately addressed Kentucky’s public-pension crisis.
    Instead, legislators with serious courage deficiencies failed to agree on reforms beyond what they believe are “politically feasible.”

    May 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ike Adams Step Out, Step up for Diabetes Association

    Six weeks ago when I wrote here announcing the 2014 Edition of Team TKO’s American Diabetes Association, Step Out Walk Team, several dozen of you readers sent generous donations to sponsor grandson Tyler Kane Ochs (TKO) and me in the walk that takes place, rain or shine, in the mud or not, at Keeneland on the morning of May 31.
    Another several dozen of you either called, emailed or dropped a card in regular mail and asked that I remind you again “after the holidays” (Easter and Mother’s Day).

    May 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ronnie-Ellis.jpg Hitting the campaign trail

    The most watched race in the country ? the battle for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Republican Mitch McConnell ? has so far produced a bevy of charges and not much substance.
    We haven’t seen that much of McConnell or his likely Democratic opponent Alison Lundergan Grimes out on the campaign trail.
    McConnell’s primary opponent Matt Bevin has been much more active and visible, but his performance hasn’t enhanced his chances.

    May 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • The case of the scary black cat

    If Margie didn’t believe that black cats were the harbinger of bad luck, she certainly believed it when a black cat brushed against her leg while she was leaning over a large trash can burning garbage one late afternoon.
    Startled by the sudden appearance of the feline, Margie opened her mouth wide and let out a blood-curdling scream that could have awakened Count Dracula himself.

    May 10, 2014

  • Ike Adams Basking in the spring sunshine

    If you had asked me, as recently as two weeks ago, to make a list of things I expected to see on the first Monday in May of 2014, two of the things that I actually did see would not have been on the list, even if you’d required that it contain at least 500 items.
    I’d have been a bit skeptical about Ralph’s purple asparagus and his gorgeous snowball bush, both of which came through most admirably. And I would have had my doubts about the poppies that have been in our back yard for several generations and the bearded German Iris that Jeanette Todd gave us more than two decades ago. It faithfully stuns us there at the corner of the front porch every spring, but there they were, basking in absolute glory as the sun set Monday afternoon.

    May 8, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video
Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

What county fair attraction do you like most?

Amusement rides
Beauty pageants
Flora Hall craft exhibits
Horse shows
Livestock, poultry shows
Truck, tractor pulls
Mud, dirt races
Gospel sing
I like them all
     View Results