Tuesday, May 10, 2011
I'm in the middle of studying for my psych final, which is actually inspiring my thought process. Yet again, I haven't planned anything to write for this week's post. So this helps.
My blogger friend Alex addressed receiving attention for dressing in a manner that skews from common attire. (You know, flowy skirts and blouses instead of microminis and tank tops.) Such attention can range from stares, to glares, to compliments, snarky remarks or blatant insults. Yeah, it happens, whether from female or male observers.
I choose not to be a victim of this type of negativity. My high school is relatively small, and I firmly believe that the majority of my classmates will not matter to me in the future. If for whatever chance they do, it's not as if what I wear now will have much influence then. Bitter questions about why I'm so dressed up - in a tshirt and skirt, no less? Whatever. So I wear what I damn well please, within the boundaries of what my closet has to offer, of course.
One of such negativity's different facets, however, hits a little harder. There's the common perception that females are catty and malicious, whereas the male population is incredibly perverted. I generally eschew these opinions, but it's shockingly common for my peers of both sexes to justify sexual harassment stemming from clothing.
A girl is wearing a low-cut top, so she must be seeking male attention or conforming to the male gaze? I don't know. I'd like to believe she's dressing in a way that's self-satisfying, but as we know, that's not always the case. Regardless, wearing a certain type of clothing does not warrant sexual harassment. Ever.
No one's body is public property, though society often treats a female's body as exactly that. It's too usual that someone will remark on how a woman should expect to be treated inappropriately if she's dressed revealingly.
Yet it's not limited to skin-tight, skin-showing garments. A few months ago, a guy made a comment about my crew-neck tshirt related to my breasts. So I spoke out within the class, and an ally of the harasser defended him, suggesting I was making it up and that I shouldn't wear such clothes if I don't want to hear such things. (Trust me, I fired back.)
Clearly, misogynistic attitudes hold strong among others. This is going to sound completely cliche, but you can change that. Guilty of calling a girl a slut for wearing a short skirt? Try to stop. Hear someone say "she deserves it"? Speak up.
PS Due to unforeseen circumstances, I had to cancel the giveaway I previously posted. I'm terribly, terribly sorry for this.