... being attractive ?
I don't know why, but I'm reminded of the clever girl standing outside the school after the exams - "I'm sure I've failed - I didn't do any work ...", while someone who's really afraid they've failed bites down the ungracious words ...
A few obvious points. Perhaps tops that crowd the balcony when you lean forward aren't the best way to stop chaps looking. Your mother really should have explained that sort of thing to you a while back - and maybe papa too.
"I can't avoid presenting as sexual if I take any care over my appearance"
Perhaps you need to deconstruct that sentence - unpack it a little and tease out the meaning of 'taking care'.
"There is no freedom, for the young women of my generation, to define beauty in the way we want it, particularly not in the working world where a reasonable level of conventional dressing is expected."
Does conventional dressing equal Nell Gwynne ? And of course, you're as free as a bird to leave, start your own media organisation - or to dress as you wish. What are they going to do - sack you ? Not if you're any good they won't.
I guess Ms Red wants to have the cake and eat it - or, to put it another way, to be able to dress as if there are no other people in the world. Alas, dear reader, there are. And half of them are chaps. And unless they start putting something in the tap water, chaps will look - as they've been doing for the last several thousand years.
(And pretty girls will have advantages over their plainer sisters - as they've had for the last several thousand years. I predict a CiF column for Ms Red - all their young female columnists are fit (who chooses them ?), whereas some of the young chaps hit every branch in the ugly tree.)
Cuts, Cuts, Cuts..!
1 hour ago