On the final day of the CIAA tournament, I caught up with Bernadette Rouser outside of the Convention Center. The Michigan native moved to Charlotte three years ago and has attended the tournament each year she’s lived here.

She said this year’s tournament was extra special because she was able to enjoy it with relatives visiting from out of town, but she couldn’t help but notice how some women were dressed, in her opinion, too provocatively.

“They come out just like it’s 90-degree weather,” she said, “and it’s what, 40 degrees today [and raining]?”

She continued: “They have on six-inch heels with a T-shirt. They are barely covering their butts… it’s just disgusting.”

Rouser said some of the females caught her husband’s eye, but she wasn’t worried: “I know they not going home with him,” she said, “because he is going home with me.”

Rouser said she teaches her niece and 12-year-old daughter that dressing provocatively attracts attention for all the wrong reasons.

“I tell her that, if a man really likes you, he is going to like you for who you are” she said. “If he likes you just for the way you are dressed, he just wants one thing, and that’s what’s under that T-shirt.”

She said women who feel they need to dress in skimpy, provocative clothes should work on their self-esteem. She doubts men will respect them…and questioned whether the women respect themselves.

Some men share their thoughts

So I took to the streets again, this time to ask the fellas what they thought.

Most of those I talked with said they liked the attire they saw. Some said that if a woman works hard on her body and wants to flaunt it, they see nothing wrong with that.

Others confirmed what Rouser stated.

I caught up with an SUV full of guys from Washington, D.C. They said they loved the way the ladies were dressing.

“They are dressed real nice, lovely and spectacular,” said Orlando Fitzgerald, who was sitting in the passenger seat.

He then added, “If you dress like a [prostitute], there are guys that will treat you like a [prostitute].”

As he was speaking, a group of women in short, tight dresses and stilettos passed by. The guys immediately began cat-calling and shouting to the women how they would love to “smack that.”

The ladies dismissed their remarks and kept walking. The conversation continued. Fitzgerald said he liked Southern women because they were more friendly and less stuck up than the women in D.C.

The conversation was again interrupted when Ricco, the driver, blurted out, “If you know any women with low self-esteem, introduce me to them real quick.”

Why, I asked.

He replied: “Because I can take control of them real quick.”

Point made.

Further down the street we ran into Doc Evans of Charlotte.

“The ladies are dressed very well, sexy and sophisticated,” he said.

When asked if a woman dressing “provocatively” would make a man respect her less, he said the way a man treats a woman in not based solely on her attire.

“It’s more about the way a woman carries herself, as opposed to what she is dressed like,” he said.

I agree. The way a woman carries herself definitely influences how she is treated by a man or anyone else.

I’m also reminded of the adage: “You can’t judge a book by it’s cover.”

While that is also true to some degree, the cover of a book does offer clues to what the book is about.

When it comes to clothing, a woman must consider what type of man or attention she wants to attract. She can’t say she wants a man to appreciate more than her body if that’s all she uses for bait.

Michaela Duckett is a Charlotte-based writer who covered events and people surrounding the CIAA tournament for Qcitymetro.com. Email her at mduckett@qcitymetro.com.

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