Have you ever been told that wearing a short skirt meant you were “asking for it,” or that you can’t wear a crop top because people might get the “wrong idea?” Everyone from my older brother to a middle school teacher have tried to control what I wear because of their preconceived idea that society can determine my behavior and mood based off of my clothing.
Labeling a woman’s clothing as revealing or “suggestive” diminishes her self-confidence and comfortability in her own body. When we go out to concerts, parties or any other public place, we want to put on the clothes that make us feel the most comfortable and empowered. Not all women find confidence in the same attire (some prefer mini-skirts and dresses, while others don’t like to show that much skin), but they should never be subject to assumptions about their sexual availability simply because of what they wear when they go out.
“What were you wearing?” Black leggings and an over sized hoodie. My god, I haven’t talked about this in a long time.. it’s been 13 months today and it still hurts to even talk about it or even think about it. All I wanted to do was sleep.. why couldn’t they just let me sleep?.. #sexualawareness #whatwereyouwearing
Sometimes I am afraid to go out in some of my favorite outfits because of the judgmental looks I have gotten in the past or because I have received unwanted male attention when wearing those clothes. The confidence I once felt when buying my favorite jeans and sheer top, and wearing them for the first time, has diminished simply because of my perception of myself compared to others’ perception of me.
Men, as well as other women, are guilty of putting down other women because of what they wear, which further perpetuates this idea that people identify someone’s behavior and sexuality just by looking them up and down. When girls slut-shame each other, it only reinforces this false idea that the girl wearing skimpy clothing is overly sexual. This concept illustrates the lack of a support system among women that enables us to band against this idea that consent can be determined by our outward expression of style.
New video! A big conception people have about sex is that consent can be implied. As a result of this, we have people around the world asking silly questions like, “Is that crop top a secret message saying hey let’s bang?” Believe it or not–no. There is actually no connection between that style choice and you. Watch our fun video about affirmative consent so we never have to have silly conversations like this again! Click the link in our bio to watch the full video. #consent #poetry #yesmeansyes #animation #education #affirmativeconsent #endvictimblaming #listenup
It is never okay to think that anyone is consenting to anything just because they are wearing clothes that a patriarchal society has decided are revealing, overly sexual or “suggestive”. The only form of consent that is legitimate is verbal communication; I will always reiterate the fact that YES means YES and NO means NO, and it’s as simple as that. Your clothes allow you to express yourself, but they should not take replace your voice and speak for you.
Cover image from stocksnap.io