Life of Liz

I see YOU…YOU see me … What’s the BIG deal?

In Authentic Life, Out of the Comfort Zone on February 4, 2013 at 9:16 am

coedbathroom

When it was time to move our oldest into her college dorm last year, we were not prepared for the realities of co-ed dorm life.

coedbathroom_1

As you may know these days, typically, male and female share the same shower facilities and in some cases toilet facilities, but we had not yet put 2+2 together, realizing that would mean our innocent and naïve 18 year old would be witnessing MEN walking barely covered with a single towel to conceal their manhood to and from the hall showers.    Of course, she didn’t think it was any big deal and she doesn’t consider herself innocent or naïve to the ways of her generation.  Nope, she easily dismissed us as “out of touch” and went back to unpacking her color coordinated room with her new BFF’s.

But I was sad.  Sad because it was another example of our daughters’ generation letting their femininity be slyly stripped away without thought or effort.  And for what end?

I went away to college at 18 and had a 3 year LTR.  I met Henry when I was 20 (overlap of the LTR) and we married when I was 26.  When we settled into husband and wife, there was a lot of getting to know each other that ensued.  “But you knew each other for 6 years prior to marriage!”  Yes we did.  However, I did not routinely see H shower or shave or do whatever MEN do prior to meeting up with me.  There was still some giddiness about the unknown and an excitement when that became a daily occurrence.  Don’t get me wrong – it wasn’t a huge turn on – but it did establish something different and a new chapter for me as a woman.  Will my daughter have the same experience now that she has spent 2 years seeing men walk to the shower with a micro-towel wrapped around their waist?

showergirl

So … how does this affect my daughters’ femininity?  For one, it breaks down the walls between HER body and HIS body.  Because SHE is also walking to/from the shower and many of the SHE’s are very happy to skip along with nary a micro-towel to cover their well endowed 18 year old bodies.  You see ME  … No big deal.  I see YOU … No big deal.  And here is my point (finally!): when it becomes No Big Deal (in her mind) for HIM to see HER; when it’s just another body moving towards the common area shower what happens is SHE and HE are the same.  In HER mind, there is nothing particularly different or special about her body.  But, SHE loses more because without her FEMININITY he has no reason for HER.

Feminine attracts Masculine.  If you strip away the FEMININE you end up with women who have forgotten that attracting and continuing to retain that attraction is a key component to male/female relationships.  When men stop noticing attractive women, women will look for attention and validation from another source … yep, you got it!  Their female BFF’s!

haircut “Yes, I love your hair … YOU can really rock the mom bob”

“OMG!  You look soo good in sweatpants and they look so comfy!  You should definitely wear them on date night, he’ll love them!”  

But most men like long hair and most men aren’t big fans of sweatpants as dinner attire.  When we stop dressing to attract men – we enter a phase of dressing to receive compliments from our BFF’s and somewhere in that mix we lose our ability to be comfortable in our unique femininity.

So … I pose a rhetorical question to universities at large … “Did the social experiment work out to your satisfaction?”  or how about “Are we better off with a generation of 20 somethings that are so comfortable with each others’ bodies that they have lost all ability and interest in trying to attract the opposite sex?”

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  1. Great article. As a man I completely agree.

    I still tend to be pretty shy in the bathroom.

    Good for you: physical modesty and chaste behaviour in a woman is attractive to a man — we want to have to storm the citadel and discover its secrets (and be the first to do so)… 😉

    And the picture at the top of the page where the slutty woman is squatting to pee next to some strange guy like a pair of farm animals is grim beyond…

    Huxley didn’t guess the half of it.

    • I hope my post captured just how SHOCKED I was when I realized the shared bathroom situation. Like I said, I am modest and I’ve always reminded my 6 daughters to behave as ladies – which to me includes modesty. From talking to my husband, it does seem that most men DO appreciate chaste behavior in women – but somehow most women are moving in the exact opposite direction. Very sad. BTW, after her freshman year our oldest moved into her sorority house where at least she is with all girls and where a house MOM assures no males are ever escorted upstairs. That is A LOT more supervision than what the dorms offered — for the FRESHMAN. Go figure!

  2. […] Life of Liz – I see YOU…YOU see me … What’s the BIG deal? […]

  3. “typically, male and female share the same shower facilities and in some cases toilet facilities” Oh. My. God. I would die. I’m not even slightly prudish but no WAY I would cope with unisex facilities. I mean I’ve been to unisex spas/saunas, but I just think that for example, at a gym, no way I want dudes’ eyes crawling all over me, gross…

  4. Agree on the feminine attracts masculine and the lack of “trying” to look feminine is more and more common. Also, instead of gaining affirmation from the opposite sex, they get it all day, every day from the Facebook and Instagram friends which (consciously or subconsciously) don’t always have their best interests at heart. If your friends all look like frumps with short hair, why would they want you to look feminine and attractive? Enter into the Borg-like mass of andro-women.

    • Good point, I hadn’t put FB or Instagram into the equation but you are right. When we get the impression that ‘all’ are promiscuous or ‘all’ have similar styles and we get a lot of LIKES – we are comfortable with our choices. And women can be brutal in their attack of other women (especially feminine women) so FB becomes a reinforcer of what the masses want.

  5. Liz, I don’t think they’ve lost all interest, but I do think they’ve lost much of the mystique and the added pleasure of the sexual intimacy of marriage being special…precious and unique. I was pretty protected through my growing up years, and had no clue what being a “modern woman” would do to us (women and men), to me, in the long run. I’ve become much more traditional in my adulthood and we have tried to pass that on to our kids. So far, I really think we’ve managed to do ok. Did you see the bins of condoms in every bathroom?

    Sara

    • No, I didn’t notice the bins of condoms, lol! That may have been a deal breaker. “Mystique” is a good way of putting it – b/c that is what is being taken away. When you can see half naked men (or women) in your everyday life – it is much less noticeable to you when you get married. I was pretty sheltered growing up and even through out my college years so there was a lot of newness when I became Henry’s wife … I still tend to be pretty shy in the bathroom, lol!

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