CPAC: The Jersey Shore-ification Of Our Young People — UPDATED

February 14, 2012 / 11:09 am • By Dr. Melissa Clouthier

Erick Erickson wrote a must-read piece to the young men of the conservative movement. It’s good stuff and especially important considering men are to be future leaders at home, at church, etc.

Women will be future leaders, too, and I was dismayed to see how many of them either looked frumpish or like two-bit whores.

First, are these young people being taught anything by their parents? I was at another service-oriented gathering of young women where the girls were in tight bandeau-skirts (you know, the kind of tube-top skirts that hookers wear on street corners?). They were sitting with their mothers. What is going on here?

Second, have women so internalized feminist dogma that they see themselves in only two ways? Butch, men-lite wannabes or 3rd wave sluts who empower themselves by screwing every available horndog man?

Neither path is a way to self-love and respect, mind you. Both tracks will inhibit future success.

Women, if you’re at a conference where you’re learning to be a future politician or wish to succeed in the business of politics, dress the part. No, you don’t have to be in a business suit with pearls. However, modesty is a minimum. So:

1. No cleavage. That’s right. Cover that up. I say “no” in absolutist terms because women will show a tiny bit and that’s okay, but really, in a business environment where ideas are the priority, a dude thinking about your ta-tas is counter-productive.

2. Skirts no more than three finger-widths above the knee. Why do I even have to write this? Well, because someone is allowing these girls out of the house with mini-skirts that reveal too much.

3. Save the stilettos for Saturday night on a date with your boyfriend.

4. Bend at the knee. No, I don’t want to see your butt.

Young women, you degrade your own value by dressing and then acting the ho.

I cannot even tell you how many girls have told me that all they want is to get married and have babies. They do not seem to make the connection that a young man is not interested in getting married and making babies with a girl who is so easy as to have a one-night stand over a CPAC weekend (or any other weekend.)

You know what a guy thinks when you slut-it-up? He thinks: If she’ll do that with me, she’ll do that with anyone.

This is not politically correct advice, mind you. Young ladies at college are encouraged to embrace their sexuality and flaunt it on the one hand (empowerment!) or to be tough, gruff and make-up free (man’s world!) to be taken seriously.

A successful woman can be tough and beautiful, modest and stylish, smart and sexy while still being chaste and having expectations of men.

The conservative movement means conservative values–promoting behavior that will lead to a sound society. Family is at the basis of this. Sexuality, and the self-management of it, is at the core of family.

A man who will use self-restraint, respect a woman, honor her enough to not pressure for sex–is a man who will more likely be faithful in marriage, work and life.

Likewise, a woman who sees herself as more than a sex-object and realizes she doesn’t need to be a man in order to be worthy, who carries herself with confidence and modesty, will attract men who want to get married and make babies.

It is disheartening that these ideas even need to be written about, but clearly they do. If, at the number one conservative conference of the year, young men and women are looking and acting like the cast of Jersey Shore, it’s time to reset the compass.

It’s past time.

P.S. Parents, your children reflect your standards, or lack thereof. For. Shame.

UPDATED: Worth a read. A father gives his account of young women and says, in his article, The Death of Pretty:

Most girls don’t want to be pretty anymore even if they understand what it is. It is ironic that 40 years of women’s liberation has succeeded only in turning women into a commodity. Something to be used up and thrown out.

Of course men play a role in this as well, but women should know better and they once did. Once upon a time you would hear girls talk about kind of women men date and the kind they marry. You don’t hear things like that anymore.
But here is the real truth. Most men prefer pretty over hot. Even back in 6th grade I hated the “hot” Olivia Newton John and felt sorry for her that she had to debase herself in such a way. Still do.

Please read the whole thing.

Updated again:

Well, at least Wonkette is consistent. They are for sluttiness! Yay! Let’s promote STDs, drunken debauchery, casual sex, and by extension, the inevitable unwanted pregnancies and abortions that result. Isn’t being progressive positively regressive? Like it’s some big cultural evolution and progress to have humans rut like animals.


Dan Riehl welcomes Tube Tops.

On “Whorishness.” Related: STDs

Little Miss Attila on navigating gender relations:

There is, in fact, a sort of intellectual jujitsu that a few conservative males practice, wherein they decline to respect women in the egalitarian John Stuart Mill sense (because, doncha know, that’s feminist, and it’s bad), and yet they decline to do it in an Old-World, gentlemenly sense (because that would be old-fahioned, and we’re all very modern around here). These two approaches can overlap, but in a certain type of male they might both be eschewed . . . and that is a recipe for caddishness.

I’ve seen it, and it isn’t attractive.

But, you know: these matters of etiquette aren’t easy, no matter where one stands on the social-conservative spectrum. And conventions . . . well, they can be dicey arenas when it comes to the etiquette of flirting. (Rebecca Watson just called to point out that a guy once tried to coffee-rape her in an elevator, which, you know . . . made me sigh heavily.)

The bottom line is, treat people decently. If you’re wrestling with heavy-duty personal demons such as uncontrolled anger—or a tendancy to proposition new acquaintances‐don’t drink as heavily, even if there is a hosted bar.

She brings up a good point on acting respectful. And that’s really what I’m talking about here–dressing, acting respectfully, appropriately (man, I hate that word).

It’s a matter of even knowing what is respectful attire, action, etc. This all makes me seem terribly old-fashioned. And it probably makes me seem hard on women.

If a woman is looking for a man, don’t act like a little girl, don’t dress provocatively and then be appalled when you’re propositioned, and have a couple standards for behavior–your own and his.

These sorts of things used to be taught. Now the rules and expectations are so blurred and confusing, there’s a certain amount of blithering hysteria involved in the Western mating ritual. Girls really have no concept of their own value and are shocked at being treated as a commodity.

Question: Were loose standards the standard for getting into the bloggers lounge? Inquiring minds outside the room want to know.

  • Mark Reagan

    Pics or it didn’t happen.

  • gil mann

    I’m gonna use “go jump in a lake, yo” constantly from now on

  • I gather you did not approve of how Sarah Palin looked at CPAC.  She had stiletto heals, open toe, platforms, blouse open, low cut, tight skirt, above her knee, her hair going every which way, make up and jewelry.

    The Pink Flamingo

  • Waynesnodgrass

    All I can say is — are you serious?  This reads like completely tongue in cheek.  

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  • Carcie

     Excellent reply!

  • Trust1TG

    Rule #1 for clothing – Clothes send a message – Clothes tell folks who you are, where you are going and what you intend to do.

    You don’t wear a prom dress to wash the car or weed the garden.  You don’t wear a date dress to a business meeting.  And so on.

    Men’s clothes are so simple: Sports, casual, business and formal.   

    Women have a huge range of choice.   

    But Rule #1 still applies.

    Women with political interests and ambitions can dress like someone who will be respected and elected to Congress.  

    Or like they will only end up in a hotel room, an abortion facility or off a bridge near Chappaquiddick.

    Choice is everything.

  • Trust1TG

    Church is no place for strapless dresses and sun suits, that’s for sure!

    To those sitting behind a woman in a strapless dress, with only her bare shoulders showing above the pew, she looks naked.   

    Makes it very hard indeed for the males behind her to concentrate on worship and GOD.  Leads them to sin and temptation.   Not very kind and thoughtful of her brothers in Christ for a girl to dress that way.   

  • Trust1TG

    JDW – you are over-reacting, coming off sounding judgmental and bitter yourself to be calling people all those names….too Alinsky-like by far.

    We are concerned that these young ladies not trash their lives by living too fast and free, wasting their youth, health, time and careers.

    We don’t want them to wake up in a few years with incurable STDs, addictions and abortions, tons of regrets and no self-respect.

  • Carcie

     Interesting to make the leap from mode of dress to incurable STDs, addictions, and abortions.  I speak as an old lady, by the way–one who spent 20 years working with addicts/alcoholics–never saw one who got that way through their dress preferences, also, many years in hospitals, including caring for those with abortions (before legalizing) and they didn’t get that problem by their dress, either. 

    Suggest you rethink your connections.  Next you’ll be telling us rape victims brought it on themselves by mode of dress.

    You want the big tent:  make people welcome.

  • “It’s amazing that we even have to ferret through what is sleazy v. stylish.”

    The point is, we DON’T have to “ferret” through all that!  So you don’t have to. These women didn’t ask you to judge them.  So YOU don’t have to. They didn’t ask you to unilaterally declare what is or isn’t an appropriate dress-code. So, guess what! You don’t have to do that! The person who is “ferreting,” the woman who is acting like the “ferret” in this situation is YOU, Melissa!Lead by quiet example. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything. Who made YOU judge, jury and executioner! Those are aphorisms, cliche, but that’s because there is a kernel of truth there too.
    If you think the way these women dress make their opinions less credible, then pay LESS attention to them!  Question: How many postings did you write about CPAC? How many of those postings had to do with how other women were dressed? What percentage of your postings about CPAC have focused on this trivial issue? If you want Conservative Women to be taken seriously, find the Conservative Women who are WORTHY of praising and promoting, and do that!  Ah, but this has probably created the most BUZZ for you in a while.  Still, do you really think THIS is the issue that people should be focusing on?”Why do I even have to write this? Well, because someone is allowing these girls out of the house with mini-skirts that reveal too much.”Do you HONESTLY believe that young women should not be ALLOWED out of the house without meeting some imposed, objective standard of dress? Why not just start handing out burqas now! Because the sexiest feature on a woman is her face. Who gets to lock women in the house until they dress properly? Their parents?  Their husbands? Why can’t you just trust women to decide for themselves, even if they won’t always make decisions based on YOUR standards. Allow all women the freedom to choose their own path. Because with the FREEDOM to choose, comes the FREEDOM to make mistakes as well. Your whole tirade sounds so anachronistic and repressive. And you DON’T have to write this. Nobody asked you to, certainly not the women whom you’re demeaning. The choice was yours. This mistake, Melissa, was yours to freely make.

  • Rosie Sloane

    I am a 35 year old professional woman who works with college students, and while I would never identify myself as “conservative” (in fact, if I had to label myself anything at all it would be “liberal” and certainly “feminist”), I have to say that I AGREE with the advice to young women to learn how to dress appropriately (although there is nothing wrong with stilettos at all, in my opinion), yet I am DISMAYED at 1) the language used (slut?  whore?) and also the logic as to why decorum is necessary.  (Essentially, to land the “right” kind of man.)  YOUR ADVICE IS SOUND, BUT YOUR LOGIC AND LANGUAGE ARE DEEPLY FLAWED.
    The sad truth is that as a young, attractive woman, I find it difficult for men to take me seriously and women to be cooperative with me.  (It is well documented through social psych research that women are less cooperative with other women than they are with men.)  Walking into a business meeting with my “ta-tas” hanging out would only exacerbate those issues.  I love my femininity though and I don’t want to hide it.  I wear 4″ heels, I wear (knee length) pencil skirts, I wear red lipstick, but I do it in a way that doesn’t automatically scream, “Don’t take me seriously!!” when I walk into a room.
    Sadly, being a young woman is difficult; you are resented for your sexuality by men and older women, you are marginalized as vapid if you are “attractive” and criticized if you are “unattractive.”  They have to work harder to be taken seriously, but should not have to be ashamed of the curves of their body either.  It can be a hard balance to find and other women need to lead by example, and be inspirational – not insulting.

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  • Guest

    The only thing I feel about this is sad.

    Sad for ‘Dr.’ Melissa Clouthier.

    Scared that she may have access to young minds.

    And shocked that she seems oblivious to herself.

    Dr. Melissa Clouthier, you’re what the French call a cochon.

  • RBiggs

    Remember Sarah Palin in those beauty pageants?  What a slutty whore.

  • Carcie

     I have a suggestion, a positive one instead of demeaning and insulting others–why not offer a seminar during the CPAC meetings, titled something like”Appropriate Dress for Success in Politics.”  Stress how appearance can convey the desired image, and foster accomplishment.  Show by example.

  • Hypocrits

    because you should have respect for everyone… sorry that you dress like an old granny but get off your high horse… i bet the magazine you cling onto do not mind showing skin… but let someone show some skin, back to the 1950sssss…

  • Dfdf

    but since there is no proof for god, its ok to be yourself and dress in how it makes you comfortable…. 

  • Anonymous


    Thanks for your feedback. I agree that women are sent very mixed messages. And I have been appalled at the objectification and degradation of women, especially conservative women, especially women who have opinions that fly in the face of liberal dogma. You can search through all of my posts about that.

    The descriptive language is provocative, sure. In some ways, I think with the p.c. culture, we’ve forgotten how men think and we’ve become afraid of words.

    Is the concept of sluttiness in question? Is there no such thing anymore? Because while we’ve drummed away at being non-judgmental about a woman’s sexual behavior, people still judge.

    People used to describe some men as hound-dogs. We’re all hound-dogs now, and that’s okay?

    The problems — STDs, pregnancy outside the stability of two-parent families, abortion, poverty — fly in the face of this anything goes culture. There are consequences.

    And like I said in my follow-up post, I made a mistake by conflating the two issues — proper dress and decorum in business situations with the social ills associated with a hook-up culture.

    What I am hearing, even from conservatives, is that there’s no problem with the hook-up culture and even more, it doesn’t matter how one dresses or acts in different social situations. I beg to differ.

  • homegirl seriously needs to get laid…

  • Anonymous

    If you don’t believe in God then why go to church at all? 

  • Anonymous

    While I certainly take your point, just because a woman shows a little skin that doesn’t absolve a man from his responsibilities to Christ.  A little skin shouldn’t be enough to lead us toward sin.  Especially if the church handles it to keep such displays to a minimum.  If they don’t then you might want to attend a church with a proper respect for modesty.

  • Ceylon777

    IMO, even a little cleavage is not OK in a business environment.

  • Ceylon777

     I didn’t see any cleavage.  Her skirt was not made of spandex, it was tailored wool that skims the body, not clingy butt-revealing tape.
    I thought she looked fine.

  • Ceylon777

    I think this might be the first time young women have heard this.  Boobage display is so common these days, they probably have no idea anybody has an issue with it.
    My own experience:  We had a 40-something male sales guy who worked across the room from a 20-something college intern who regularly wore cute low cut tee-shirts and showed a bit of perky cleavage.   I didn’t realize it was a problem in the office until the salesguy told me “she’s going to have to dress differently, you don’t know what that does to me……”
    Yipes, I had no idea some guys can’t hold it together in a business environment.  Maybe this guy was a pervert, but it left me wondering.  We have a dress-code now.

  • Bella

    Google “needy” and attempt to stop embodying it. Quit the obsessive texting, wear clothes that make you feel beautiful (despite Melissa’s crude protestations, it is your “God-given” right to dress your body as pleases you), do things that you enjoy with people whose company refreshes you, and for fuck’s sake do not mention the amount of babies you want to produce. Have some self respect. It isn’t drunken exploits that buy love, it’s confidence. 

  • Dr. Clouthier, you set up two sets of opposites: (1) frump vs. whore, and (2) butch, men-lite wannabes or 3rd wave sluts.

    You gave a prescription for not dressing like the whore/slut, but I don’t see a prescription for how to avoid dressing frumpy/butch. I guess pantsuits are Right Out based on “butch”.

    Can you explain your “frumpy/butch” category and how to avoid that as well?

  •  If a man seeing a woman’s bare shoulders is so overcome by his man-bits that he can’t pay attention to the sermon, he needs therapy. You shouldn’t blame his inability to pay attention and not fantasize about sex on the woman, it’s his mind “going there” and his zipper.

  • Sally

     What a kind nature this comment reveals. I’d subscribe to you RSS feed any day.

  • Sally

    “We don’t want them to wake up in a few years with incurable STDs,
    addictions and abortions, tons of regrets and no self-respect.”

    I’ve met a number of impeccably dressed women with one or more of these problems. Life offers no guarantees.

  • Sally

    “the feminist dogma about women: that power comes from by being a prostitute or by being a man.”

    Uh, I’m not an expert in what feminists think but I am almost sure it’s not that power comes from being a prostitute.

  • Carcie

    I do thank Melissa for initiating this discussion, as many of the comments were interesting and insightfull, and most were even respectful which is a nice change from many blogs.

    It is amazing that so many young people, and so many “religious” people are so very judgemental.  I thought it was us old folks who were supposed to be stick-in-the-muds!  I’m still puzzling over these questions:  what does mode of dress have to do with religion?  Are some men (apparently good Christian men in particular) so weak-minded that the sight of (horror of horrors!) naked shoulders make them have sexual fantasies so vivid that concentration in church is impossible?

  • Jerry

    You are apparently of the school of thought attributed to Steven Ambrose-:”God gave man a penis and a brain but not enough blood to use both at the same time.”
    I really do not think that “bare shoulders”are so provocative that that a mans supply of blood will flow in a down ward path away from his brain.

  • Jerry

     Right on target!


  • Carcie

     Sorry–that post should be attributed to me, not Jerry–we do share a computer!

  • Bea

    Yeah, feminist buzzwords, but I promise I’m a thoughtful, sincere person regardless:

    Ignoring obvious social rules about dress (I don’t wear a pantsuit to a club or a sweatsuit to work) the onus is on men– and whoever else likes looking at breasts– to pull yourself together and regard any person in a professional setting according to their professional performance. Even as someone who is sexually attracted to women, this has never been the slightest problem for me and I give men more credit than to think my uterus is the reason.
    Further, you know absolutely nothing about a women’s sexual behavior, not to mention her intelligence and professional competence, based on her hemline. It’s a particular fault of conservatives, I think, that eccentricity is always seen as dysfunctional, and “sluts” (which is a hyperbolic slur, not a type of woman) are inherently stupid, worthy of disrespect or social punishment. Or are you also upset by the tattoos and body- moded techs at Apple’s genius bar? Do try and be forgiving of any women who naively assume, as I do, that my conversation is more provocative than my cleavage, and beyond that my thoughts and the results of my work will trump my reputation, first-impression and whatever your opinion of what I look like. That is at least the ideal towards which I will continue to conduct myself.

    And as depressingly revolutionary as this idea seems to be: just google “the pleasure principle.” Women have sex because it feels good, even with kind, respectful, strange men and they aren’t “getting took” because a woman’s personal sexuality is not a commodity that can be taken, earned OR given regardless of what her partner or any slut-shamers at large seem to think. It’s a matter of agency, and uh, that women have it. 

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  • Rob

    I really wish every young woman had to take a class in High School where the syllabus was based on the precepts set forth by Dr C, specifically that a woman can be successful, beautiful, tough, stylish, smart, and sexy without acting like some garrish whore, drunken floozy, or simpering simpleton around men.

    It’s not that I don’t find it fun to look at all the sweet young things running around doing their best to dress/look/act like some sluts they saw on TV – right down to the over the top sluttish behavior they saw on the tube – but I would hope for more for my neices. Honestly, who could have foreseen that the end result of 60’s and 70’s feminism was 21st century sluttishness?

  • Thank goodness we mere women have articles like these to tell us what we can and cannot do.  Whatever would we do if we actually had to think for ourselves.  IDIOT!

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  • As usual, Melissa, you are right on!  I’ll proudly stand in the minority and stick with you.  I noticed this and felt that these women belonged in Vegas, not a Conservative political conference.  

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