or, the proper behavior towards the fairer sex. Since, apparently, there are males out there that have no clue how to behave when a woman is wearing a bodice. Although it's hard for me to believe, there really are some males (and probably females, but I've never had a problem from another woman) that volunteer/work at these events that *aren't* Rennie or SCA or LARP types. (And most of the clansmen I've run across really do fit in the "Rennie" category, even if they've never been to a RenFaire before - at least to *me*.) Or they're newbies who are still in the gawking stage...but most of *them* have a clue about proper behavior. Most of this is just...common sense, really. It seems that Rennie's/SCA-dians/LARP-ers just seem to *know* this stuff...plus, the "rules" are a little bit different if you're "family" - and just meeting someone does NOT put you in that category! Even if you do get along with the rest of the group. (I know I tend to let Ren-men/SCA-dian men get away with more than I do Mundanes, simply because I know that they play by the same rules. Or at least similar rules.) Anyway...here goes with my rambling and probably incoherent thoughts on this.
First off - just because a lady has her assets on display, it doesn't mean that you can slobber all over them. Or play with them. (Unless the lady in question "belongs" to you, and you're not on display in front of, oh, say - 40,000 people. At a family-friendly event, with LOTS of small children running around.) Yes, they're on display - feel free to look. Just be sure to make eye contact every once in a while so we don't feel like we're nothing but walking boobies. We wouldn't be wearing the garb if we didn't intend men to look. We wouldn't be armed with live steel if we intended on you actually *handling* the 'girls', ok?
Yes, we understand that bodices are eye-catching. Why do you think we wear them? The whole point of setting up a Clan tent is to get people in to learn about their heritage....if a bodice will bring a guy in, his wife/girlfriend/SO will usually end up getting info...or yanking his chain so *he* can get the info. Personally, I don't flirt heavily with a "tagged" guy - poaching is a no-no in my books. I just bring 'em in, then my cousins can help them look up names and such (that's also why I haul a wheel along - if you can catch someone's attention, you can get them into the tent area. Otherwise, they just wander by in a fog and ignore you.) (and yes, I look up names to - this weekend we had enough coverage I didn't *have* to - that doesn't occur often!)
Oh - and guys, ALWAYS assume our IQ is much larger than our cup-size, 'k? There's less bloodshed that way.
Some women feel comfortable displaying more skin than others - it doesn't mean they are "easy" or free with their favors. Personally, I think that showing too much is unattractive (and in some cases it should be illegal!), but it's not my call. (I do find myself wondering - often - if the female in question actually owns a mirror...like the lady wearing a chemise, underbust bodice (and she really needed more support), petal overskirt....and knee-length bloomers. The look? Wasn't working for her, is all I'm saying!) If the managment allows it, ok. I'll snark about it behind your back, but whatever. *g* (This also goes for men, BTW. If you're gonna wear a kilt, for pete's sake wear one that FITS you - not too long, and definately not too short (eugh!) You get bonus points if it's a well-fitted kilt, and even MORE points if it's leather. MMMMMMMMMMMMmmmmmmm, leather kilt......)
Now, I don't know how it is for everyone else, but for myself (and those I've talked to at the Games), when you put on your garb you "become" someone else. Not in the sense of "Fiberaddict? There's no Fiberaddict here - just me, JoAnna Hawkwood." sort of thing, but....I know I let my "inner wench" out to play when I am dressed appropriately. I become more outgoing, and more willing to banter and interact with strangers than I am in my normal clothes. I can be more *me*, in other words, than "normal" society allows. (If you've ever worn garb, than you already know what I'm trying to say.) I would *never*, in Real Life, go up to a strange man and tell him "Thank you for improving the scenery!" just because he is dressed in a well-fitted outfit, but I do it All the Time when I'm in garb. (And it tends to shock them speechless when I do, too!) It seems to be easier to flirt and banter when you've got yourself all laced up in a flattering bodice, for some reason.
That being said, keep in mind that just because we are flirting with you, and flattering you, it might just be politeness on our part, and not *mean* anything. It certainly does NOT give you the right to exhibit jealousy when we turn our attention to someone else (especially if the "someone else" is "Family"!) and it also doesn't give you the right to call us "Honey" or "Sweetheart" or other terms of endearment in front of other members of our group, or even in front of strangers to "stake your claim" - or to get offended if we call some man "Darlin' " or other form of endearment. (I'm a native Texan - if someone flatters me, I'll come back with something to the effect of "Darlin', you're so sweet!" or "Oooh, Darlin', c'mon over here and sit by Me!" or somesuch. *It doesn't mean anything*, it's just the way I talk, 'k? In fact, I don't think I *ever* called my husband Darlin' except when we were flirting out in public!) It certainly doesn't mean what you *think* it means!
That just about covers the bodice, I think...let's move on to bloomers. Most of the ladies I know wear them to prevent Ren rash, and most of us make them out of fun fabric so we can show them off. Just because we flash our bloomies at you doesn't mean we like you, or want you, or that we're even *interested* in you - maybe we were flashing someone else behind you, and you got caught in the middle. It most certainly doesn't mean you have the right to cop a feel of our skirt-clad ass the first chance you get! (Yes, it really happened, and y'know what? He's lucky I was so shocked that I didn't think to grab one of my blades and remove the offending appendages....) Thanks be I was in bloomies, an underskirt, an overskirt, and LONG chemise! (11 pounds of clothing/weaponry on Saturday.....*15* pounds on Sunday. Most of it steel.) (And, to make it worse - this was just after he decided my bare back needed his bare hand on it...UNDER the bodice. Sunday, I had my MacDuff cousin tightlace me into my Pendragon - there wasn't much room for *me* in it, let alone someone else's unwelcome hands! The tightlacing backfired a bit...but the other males were most appreciative and seemed to understand the rules, so...it was good.)
If I shake out my skirts, it's not an invitation for *anything*, it just means I need to get myself reorganized (or...I need to get the dog hair Off.Of.Me. Right.NOW. *g*) Spinning has a lot of fallout - especially when you're dealing with fuzzy, fly-away fiber. I'm not doing it to attract attention - I can attract enough attention with it, thankyouverymuch! Don't read too much into it!
When 2 wenches get together, we tend to let our hair down, so to speak. Don't assume anything...you'll end up in a painful situation most times. If 1 of the wenches happens to be a handspinner who practises the art of lounge-spinning, you really need to watch your step. Just because I have my left leg flopped over the arm of my chair, and I'm all comfy and boneless doesn't mean I'm "advertising" - it just means I'm home and I'm "in the groove" and wanted to get as comfy as possible. (You'd be surprised at how many folks think spinning is hard....they take one look at me all sprawled out and it changes their mind! Plus..the McBuffet bloomers draw A LOT of attention, what with the neon pink/electric blue/bright orange flamingos on a black background gently swaying in the breeze as my left leg swings in time to the music. *g*) I can't sit upright and stiff for long periods of time...and I'm not gonna go *there*, OK? *g*
grrrrrrrrrrr....why do men get stupid when we females put on garb?? Do bodices suck the brain cells right out of their heads or what? It's very frustrating when someone doesn't understand the basic rules tries to jump in with his own assumptions......*sigh*
Ah, well - next Festival should be better, yes?