"You Shouldn’t Wear This... Show Some Respect!"

“Ew, look at her shorts. Why are they so short?”

“She’s obviously asking for it, like, look at what she’s WEARING!”

“No one needs to see that.”

 

If you’ve never thought or said one of these phrases before, then all the power to you; you know that being shallow will not get you anywhere. Apart from simply endorsing shallowness, however, enforcing modesty has serious implications. It sends a message to girls and women that what they wear should always matter to other people, especially males. Notice how people usually don’t care as much if a man shows a lot of skin. Despite this, they say that sexism has been eradicated completely? Ugh. Don’t worry, women aren’t evil creatures who will destroy the world by... you guessed it: having bodies.

Forcing modesty upon girls teaches them to be ashamed of their bodies and to be self conscious with every move they make. It perpetuates the idea that women ONLY dress for men, and for no other reason. Since when do women have feelings, needs, and comfort levels of their own? THEY ARE ONLY BABY MAKING MACHINES WHO EXIST FOR THE CONSUMPTION OF MEN, AMIRITE? But even if they wanted to dress sexy in order appeal to men (or other women, HELLO!), why should anyone care? They are simply doing what makes them content. The world goes crazy if they see people like Amber Rose or Emily Ratakjowski going against oppressive norms and doing their own thing. Just let people do what makes them content, as long as their actions don’t create catastrophic events in your life.

Recognize that the goal of writing this is not to force everyone to wear a bikini 24/7, but to recognize the fact that you are entitled to wear whatever you want, whenever you want, wherever you want. This is whether it’s a baggy sweatshirt or booty shorts. Why can’t people be judged for their personality and how they treat others instead? Wearing “strange” clothing and treating others well are definitely not mutually exclusive.

Making girls and women lose their sense of bodily autonomy, liberty, and the fact that they can do what THEY want with their bodies: does that really look like an ideal world? And just to let you know, freedom and bodily autonomy are basic human rights. Enforcing modesty also teaches girls and women that their bodies are something really strange and hypersexual so that they need to be overtly self consious of it all the time. It excuses catcallers and rapists, making them think that they are entitled to a woman’s body if she isn’t conforming to some wack standards. In what world is harassing someone and violating them more tolerable than showing skin? In what world should that make any sense? Why not show how female bodies really are like and people learn to respect that?