Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Outfit of the Day - Randos in the Parking Lot

There's been a lot in the news recently about feminism and the way women's bodies and clothing is viewed by men.  A lot of it was triggered by the events in Santa Barbara and the #yesallwomen movement, and pushed even farther by the string of schools having concerns over girls and dress codes.  The main message that's coming through is that women and girls are still being taught that dressing in a certain way sends a certain message.  This cannot continue - men and boys need to be taught that women and girls are more than their bodies and more than their clothes.  Unfortunately, it's a tough lesson to learn, and one I had my own experience with today.

I park about a block away from my work and have to walk through another parking lot.  My work is in a rough part of town, and I'm pretty used to people talking to me along to way.  Sometimes it makes sense, sometimes it doesn't.  This morning as I was walking to my building I noticed a man talking to another man in a car.  No matter, I'm just walking along, head down, sunglasses on, just trying to get to work at 8:00 a.m.  Once I walked by him I could hear him behind me asking, "Are you going to pay a ticket, or going to work?"  I ignored him the first time, but when he asked again I stopped to talk to him thinking that he might just be wondering what time the building opened.  I told him I was going to work, and joked that I was lucky that day, no ticket for me.  Instead of wishing me a nice day or something similar, he says "Are you allowed to dress like that in a court?"  Um, excuse me?  I tried to make a joke out of it, always a bad idea.  "What, I don't look nice?"  He went on to explain that he thought since it was a court it was all "Yes, Your Honour/No, Your Honour."  I told him I wear a robe in court and he started talking about a nearby coffee shop instead.

So yeah.  A man went out of his way to not only approach me and comment on what I'm wearing, but also to go so far as to ask if I was allowed to be dressed like that.  Insinuating that there was something inherently wrong or shameful about how I was presenting myself.  I've been dressing for work for a long time now, and I feel like I do a decent job of it.  I try to look presentable, but comfortable and suitable to the situation.  The point is, it is no one else's concern how I choose to present myself and my body.  And the fact that he was approaching me from behind can only lead me to believe that something about my ass was so concerning to him that he just had to go out of his way to comment on it.  I didn't feel unsafe in any way, but the audacity of some people just blows me away.

Guess what - I dress how I want to dress.  No one gets to tell me otherwise.  My ass in a tight skirt will always be allowed.

Skirt - Old Navy
Top - Maurices
Sandals - Target

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