This actually happened.
Friends and I were having a nice conversation in a pub near our house when the people around us started swiveling their heads around to stare at something.
We followed their gaze. What we saw was a young woman who had just arrived with her friends. She was of average height, a little pudgy and, if not beautiful, certainly pleasant looking.
What was remarkable was that she was wearing a black bra with nothing on top of it. It was not one of those athletic bras that you see at the gym, but a regular brassiere with lace decorations in the front and a couple fastener hooks in the back.
"Did she forget to put on a shirt?" one of my friends said.
"I don't think so," said another. "She seems to have coordinated the bra with her skirt and sandals."
This set up an internal argument with the dual aspects of my nature.
Bad me: I'm going to take a cellphone picture and put it on my blog.
Good me: Don't you do that! It would be invading her privacy.
Bad me: What privacy? She's in a bar, for chrissakes!
Good me: Be nice, now. Probably she just isn't very bright.
By this point, my friends had shrugged and gone back to our discussion of Kantian logic in the 21st century.
Still, my mind wandered.
Was I crazy to find this young woman's outfit strange? Certainly everyone else in the bar seemed to have the same thought.
Had I not seen more provocatively clad women flaunting themselves in public? Of course I had.
Was her choice of outfit -- like, say, the Russian invasion of Ukraine -- inappropriate? Well, sorta.
As is my wont in challenging situations, I tried to think what my kind-hearted but stern-minded mother would do. I could see her going one of two ways:
If she did not know the young woman in the bra, she would have said: "Stop looking at her!"
If the young woman were her daughter or the child of a friend, Mom would have hustled the
girl out of the bar in about 20 seconds.
Of course, Mom was always pretty judgmental, and that's a Bad Thing now.
I'm so confused.