Re: The Origin of The Cravat (Was: Are Ties Phallocarps?)

Joel and Lynn GAzis-SAx (
Fri, 27 Oct 95 05:53:16 GMT

In article <46m09f$>, (Thomas Clarke) wrote:
>In article <46jrag$> (Joel and Lynn
GAzis-SAx) writes:

>I think your B-in-law is right. But that the image of the tie as
>symbolic penis may provide an explanation of its ubiquity as an item
>of status wear.
>Tom Clarke
Well, let's not let our male-self-adulation get in the way here, Tom. :) I
wear ties and I don't go linking them to sex. For me, they perform more of a
social function. A few things that come to mind:

* Status - People who wear the cravats don't work around machines with moving
parts. (It is suicide to do so!)

* Attention getting - The color of the tie as popularly interpreted says a lot
about you. Red and blue reflect different kinds of power. Loud colors
proclaim rebelliousness or rejection of authority or just bad taste.

* Winter protection - The cravat was originally a scarf. And it does serve to
keep the neck a little warm. I am not, however, impressed with its

* Alliances - Remember the old school tie? Different schools at Cambridge and
Oxford have different ties. I would not be surprised if the early Croats
sported ties with special insignia on them. (Anyone know about this?)

* Declaration of individualism - By choosing an unusual tie (my favorite is a
Zebra tie from The Nature Company), you declare yourself to be of the herd and
yet not of the herd....

Freudian reductionism doesn't begin to express the richness of this cultural

Joel GAzis-SAx

Joel and Lynn GAzis-SAx Main email: Visit Alsirat, the horror magazine
The Marx Brothers@Darkweb (Joel) Whoopi@Darkweb (Lynn)