Thursday, October 29, 2009

You're so vain, I don't dress like this for you....

By Taliajae Freedomfighter

I wear a full spectrum of clothing. I love jeans and 'skater' Tees (as we called them when I was 18). I also love big, baggy sweatshirts to snuggle up in when its chilly outside. Tennis shoes are my preferred pair of footwear and for summer I go with flip flops. In essence I tend to dress for comfort.

Having said this I do love to dress up once in a while. I'll wear a moderately short skirt, a low cut tank top, knee high boots or stilettos. I will do my hair up and put on more makeup than usual and go strut my stuff. Why do I do this you ask?

For me. Not you.

I think a lot of men assume that when a woman dresses 'provocative, scantily clad, sexy' what ever you call it, that you are doing it for them. Sometimes we probably are, but I think most of the time we do it for ourselves. I like to dress sexy to make myself feel good about the way I look. I don't normally put a lot of stock into my appearance but sometimes a girl just wants to get fancy. This is were the message gets blurred.

When a woman walks down the street in an outfit that shows off her curves or enhances her body then society gets the impression that she is trying to attract men. This isn't always the case. The problem is that then she puts herself in a position of possible cat calls, stares and even stalking. Sadly this is all too common.

Why do women have to worry about the way they dress attracting men who might harass or hurt them? I do. When I go out at night and am wearing a skirt I instinctively scan the street I'm on for men who may be paying attention. When I walk to my car at night I immediately look in the back seat and under it. When a man calls out to me on the street I glare at him and then check once in a while to make sure that he isn't following me.

These fears are instilled in us at a very early age. I got a lot of the rules from my mom. "The world is not a safe place for girls. Watch out for men in strange cars. Don't walk alone at night. Check the back seat for a kidnapper." Society has taught us that men get to act on their sex drive which then puts women is a position to be prey.

I have to daughters. I don't want to see them fear the streets at night. I don't want them to be one of the 60% of women who are assaulted in their lives. I want to fight back. Take back the night. Stand up against sexism and sexual violence.

I am a vagina warrior, until the violence stops

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