Society needs to stop sexualizing women

Emily Gray, Copy Editor

As a woman, I was shown from a very young age what was “appropriate” to wear. All my skirts and dresses needed to be past my knees or else I was trying to show off my legs. My shirts couldn’t be too tight or too short and they had to seem “feminine” as though people would mistake me for a boy if they saw me in something other than pink. My parents did a great job with me and my siblings by letting us decide on what we wanted to wear and not shaming us for something other than what was seen as acceptable by society, but I constantly found (and still find) myself surrounded by people that think they have the right to judge what I wear. This is frankly unacceptable.


Why don’t men have to deal with constantly being told “you need to cover up, what you’re wearing is distracting?” Why are women supposed to dress modestly, yet men are allowed to wear whatever they want? Why has society burned it into our brains that it is the woman’s job to make sure that men don’t get distracted, instead of telling the man that it’s rude to stare at a woman’s body and judge her for it. Our society is so toxic in the fact that it gives men a free pass to be lewd and disgusting towards women while simultaneously blaming the women for the men acting that way. As a woman, I should be able to decide what I want to wear and not be worried about being looked at or cat-called or, heaven forbid, raped. My clothing does not determine my worth as a person and just because I may be wearing something that is not very “modest” does not mean that a man has any right to judge me. 


Now, I just want to make it clear that I am in no way trying to shame someone for wanting to dress modestly. If that is what you’re comfortable in, then you have every right to wear that and no one should get to tell you differently. However, no matter how you dress, that does not give you the right to judge someone else’s outfit. As a society, we are taught not to accept things that are different from us. Women need to dress a certain way or else they are called “sluts”. It never occurs to people that maybe women aren’t dressing for others, they are dressing a certain way because they feel confident and beautiful in their clothes. Men need to become more respectful and learn that the world doesn’t revolve around them. Women are not objects that you get to look at and play with and throw away, they are real live people with intelligence and emotions. How I dress should not be a reflection of me as a person. 


I want to end this by saying that I do not think that all men are bad. There are many genuinely good men out there and I applaud them on being respectful, kind humans. However, there are those men that think they are entitled to act any way they want just because they are male. This is disgusting. Men and society need to stop sexualizing women for being proud of their bodies and instead be accepting towards them. It is not my job as a woman to censor what I wear for fear of a man being “distracted” by my legs. Women are strong, proud, courageous individuals who have every right to wear what they want and no man should ever feel like he has the right to change that.