WOMEN WEAR SHORT CLOTHES: A logical deconstruction

In this world of never-ending opinions and conceptions, some are more inciting than others. They often get assimilated and are set as another block for an ever-expanding road of the thinking process. 

One such instance that has colonized the minds of the people of the Orient (lately) is the appropriateness of female apparel( the rural understanding of clothes or rather short clothes reflecting the character and the voluntary attention-seeking peccadillo of some females by posting ostensible titillating pictures( the urban understanding of the relationship of clothes to the female to gauge the character.

The latter is first an augmented and more sophisticated claim than the former in that it takes upon different human tendencies (attention seeking) and places it right next to a much more general concern or, instead, an already existing scrutiny. 

Now, what I endeavor to do in this little deconstructive project of mine is to give out a logical framework to show how narratives are built as a result of faulty reasoning and how the very conception of the relationship of clothes to a female is sometimes self-centered and self-oriented rather than it being out there for the world. Groaning under the weight of limited space, I shall not discuss the second part here. 

Breaking down the argument of Short Clothes

One of the first issues I have been swimming in the ocean of is the female display of their raunchy selves to grab the attention of ‘others.’ Now, at the heart of this argument is the assumption that such clothes are meant to be worn for the eyes of the ‘others’ and therefore hold nothing that would make the very act of ‘wearing’ oriented inwards( the idea of wearing something for yourselves). 

However, this descriptive claim would fall out of place if there exists at least one woman who wears ‘such’ clothes that are not meant for others.

The phenomena can be represented in symbolic form as ∃(x) ( Existential Quantifier).

The fallacy of generalization in this scenario almost sounds intuitive and is one of the logical fallacies that the modern rational mind quickly points out. 

In asserting the viles of female dressing, there is an underlying argument that people hardly notice. The argument goes like this:

Either girls wear short clothes or they don’t get looked at.

Girls do wear short clothes.

Therefore, they do get looked at.

If you are acquainted with symbolic logic, you would know that certain statements we assert in our day-to-day lives can be represented in the form of certain symbols.

The argument above is no exception, and therefore we can state it as:

G ∨ ~ L



Here, the symbol G represents the statement, ‘Girls wear short clothes.’ The sign ‘∨’ represents a disjunction or, in simple terms, represents the words ‘either’ ‘or.’ 

‘~’ This is called the symbol of negation and is used in negative statements to represent ‘not’ or ‘it is not the case.’ Lastly, the symbol in the last represents the statement ‘they do get looked at.’

(No, I am not making this up, this is actually a branch of the discipline of logic called symbollic logic).


Argument Forms: Why the argument is invalid

To lead my way further into this esoteric excursion, I will have to introduce to you the concept of ‘argument form’. Arguments form are basically the underlying forms of various arguments. So, if I say that 

If Messi represented the football club Real Madrid, then Messi is a great footballer.

Messi is a great footballer

Therefore, Messi represented the Football club Real Madrid

To take another argument, 

If Michael Jackson is assassinated then Michael Jackson is dead

Michael Jackson is dead 

Therefore, Michael Jackson is assassinated.

Both the arguments provided above are intuitively invalid owing to the fact that the conclusion that we reached is false. 

Now, if someone were to make a similar argument of the same kind then it would be invalid by the virtue of the form of this very argument. 

If someone again argues that

Either I study hard or I fail the exam

I did not study hard

Therefore I failed the exam


Either I get up early or I will miss my train

I did not get up early

Therefore, I missed my train

These two arguments would seem intuitively valid and are indeed valid. So, if you try to come up with a similar argument in this very same way you would come up with valid arguments every time. 

The logical form underlying here is

p ∨ q



This is what we call a Disjunctive Syllogism and any argument of this form will always be valid and the argument that doesn’t contain this logical form will always be invalid. Now, the argument that we considered for women’s apparel was 

G ∨ ~ L



This is has the logical form

p  ∨ ~ q



which is invalid. 

Want to learn how logic is misunderstood? Check: HOW LOGIC IS MISUNDERSTOOD: Dhruv Rathee, Ramayana and logic

A word of caution

After having gasped a breath of supercilious air by showcasing the logical invalidity of a very mundane and prejudiced argument, I would rest my case. But only with providing a note of caution to my readers.

In creating a logical apparatus for seemingly worthless arguments, it is not easy to operate upon them while they are being said, and even if you were to point them out to others, they would still be obscured as it is nothing but jargonish. 

So, the best practice would be to point out the much more general fallacies in their arguments and to look out whether the argument begs the question or whether the argument arrived at is committing the fallacy of generalization.

Overall, it would be fallible to consider the scrutiny of the dressing as merely an Oriental phenomenon or modern phenomenon, if you may. Even in medieval times, wings, wasteful-sleeve lengths, etc., were considered a sin. ( Read: https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/womens-fashion-male-gaze-judgment-essay).


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