While I'm sticking my neck out making observations about the modern phase of the "war between the sexes": I've been darkly amused to note of late in some interdepartmental struggles at work that despite all other changes in social expectation, disparagement of a woman's virtue remains a standard means of attempting to neutralize social rivals.
More specifically, many female co-workers seem to consider it a particularly effective attack to suggest that another female co-worker only gets ahead because she flirts (or, it is darkly implied, does more than flirt) with male managers. Once this weapon is used a few times against a given woman, those circling in for the kill settle down to, "Did you see that v-neck she was wearing today? I mean, that's a veeeeeeeee neck."
While I understand that using sex appeal for gain is socially understood as being far worse than giving it away for free (especially by those who lack it), I get an odd sort of culture shock hearing the same kind of derision vented against immodesty that I used to hear from very buttoned-up Catholic homeschoolers in high school being voiced by women who I know cohabit with their boyfriends or remain open and active on "the scene".
Despite all the fears and boasts that society has lost all sense of propriety, Mrs. Grundy remains active even in modern society.
Fortnightly Book, March 26
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