“I noticed (especially around New Year) the reaction of women to other women who are more seductively dressed. The greatest example was a young woman at a party who was wearing (thank god) a pair of hold ups (better if they were nylons, but at least in the right direction). They peaked through a couple of times and they attracted the attention (mine included) of the majority of men at the party. Needless to say, most of the women there began to comment in a negative fashion about the young woman’s attire. They made some ridiculous claims and some harsh comments about a person whom most of the people personally knew little about.”
“When I first began wearing stockings this summer, I would watch people as I walked on the streets, and especially on the subways. I would get double takes to admiring glances from men, even some nice comments.
“The looks from women, though… I was really surprised that there were women whom I could tell were obviously making assumptions about my morality based on my stockings. What the hell does one have to do with the other? At first it troubled me. No one likes to be on the receiving end of disapproval. And let’s face it – we women dress to impress each other, not men. When we read the fashion magazines to see what style of shoes are most popular, we do that for other women – to give evidence to our being ‘in the know’. For the most part, men are not going to know the difference between a pump and a mule – let alone a Sabrina heel. It’s code we use between us.
“But then I began to see the humour in it. Did these women really believe that my wearing stockings was going to hasten the fall of Western civilisation? Was I somehow setting back the cause of feminism? Was there going to be a mass rampage of out of control men raping and pillaging because somehow I’m responsible for tempting them? Bah! How could a pair of FF stockings with a conservative skirt suit be any more threatening than the groups of marauding teens with their pierced everythings and purple mohawk hair-dos?
“There are always going to be those who feel they are the moral arbiters for the rest of us. If others wish to project their hang-ups on others, that’s their business. I carry myself and act with dignity – most of the time and I know my own self worth. I am a lady – and I choose to dress like one.”
“I went to a health club yesterday on a trial membership. Thought I’d make good on my New Year’s resolution to tone up and lose a few pounds. Nice facilities but an open change area with no private booths. When I started to undress, I received some horrified and disgusted looks from some of the other ladies. Several made not so subtle comments about my stockings and open bottomed girdle. I detected words like ‘slut’, ‘whore’ and ‘who does she think she is?’ I was ticked off and uncomfortable.
“I got a similar reaction after the work-out and shower as I was dressing. I could feel their eyes on me. So on my way out I told the manager. Her comment to me was that members have the right to their opinion and nonconformists should expect to be talked about. I’m not going back, needless to say.”
“One thing I have noticed about women who wear stockings is that they are confident ladies. Somehow I guess they have to be, whether they’re just making a statement to themselves, or to a wider audience. Why other women’s reactions negative? Well, from experience, women are not always negative – some I have met are inquisitive, some think ‘I wouldn’t have the nerve to do that’ but wish they did.
“Part of it is that they don’t have the same kind of self-confidence. It’s a bit akin to the tall poppy syndrome – criticise those that are more successful or more confident or stand out just a little bit from the crowd. Well, it’s easier to criticise than to do or join.”