As women, we need to stop looking at other women and assuming they are dressing a certain way for male attention. Every time I go out and there is a woman there dressed in a tight dress, or whatever, shaming starts immediately. Not always to her face. But it’s there.
There seem to be people who think that we have control over whether or not we get objectified, and that somehow what we wear affects whether or not OTHER women get objectified. That one woman wearing skimpy clothes gets added blame for bringing down women as a whole.
Look, objectification comes from OUTSIDE. It is not in our control. WHETHER OR NOT WE GET OBJECTIFIED IS OUT OF OUR CONTROL. Maybe that woman in the short skirt really is only wearing it to get male attention. Maybe you don’t like that. Well, get over it. You know nothing about her, her experiences or what she may be feeling. Not to mention the fact that women get objectified regardless of what they wear. I could go out with a paper sack on my head and some dude will still check out my boobs. I could wear a garbage bag as a shirt, but someone might still look at my ass.
So what do I do? How do I feel sexy, and dress in clothes that make me feel attractive, without allowing myself to be objectified?
I can’t. Because objectification will happen regardless of what I do or what I wear.
And here’s the real danger with this kind of thinking. This idea that what you wear determines how others will treat both you AND others of your gender only serves to further undermine women and lay blame where there is none.
Our ability to be empowered on our own terms defies those who wish to make us less than what we are. Wear what you like. Wear what makes you feel strong and good about yourself.
The real work, ladies, needs to be done on those who objectify to the point that they no longer see that woman as a person, and treat her accordingly. Your arguments, your finger pointing, your vitriol…rests solely on them. Not the woman you feel is inviting it.
You should be fostering confidence and empowerment in your friends, family and colleagues. That is what will further the cause of equality.
I believe in equality for every race, gender and sexual orientation. I am proud to be a feminist. And I do not believe that feminism should be one and the same with shaming, judgement and finger pointing. Feminism and the road to equality should be empowering. The road to equality IS empowering, when focused on the things like encouragement, education, and enlightenment.
Keep fighting the good fight, everyone. We’ll get there.