When I was a teenager, I wanted to wear shirts showing my belly and spaghetti strap tank tops because I lived in central CA, in places that easily reach well over 100 degrees from about May-September, some of which time school is also in session. I also wanted to wear certain things to make a fashion statement. Being told that articles of clothing which bore no reproductive organs (or breasts, which aren’t reproductive organs, but that’s another discussion entirely) were “wrong”, and being given the impression that such clothing was “sexual” and an “invitation” to males, is not only complete hogwash, it’s seriously damaging to a girl’s self-image and inner dialogue.
I was told once by a male friend that teenage boys will think about teenage girls sexually because teenage boys think about sex. And that a girl wearing more clothes is no less a target of these sexual thoughts. I personally think it’s ridiculous to think that teenage girls don’t think the same way about boys. I have news for you, they do! My friends and I talked about boy’s butts, abs, arm muscles, and yes, even speculated at the size of their penis. Teenagers are full of raging hormones, male and female alike.
So then what are we, as a society, saying when we deem certain non-reproductive parts of a girl’s body “sexual”, but ignore all but a few parts of a boy’s body? We aren’t stupid enough to believe girls don’t think about sex, so what we are saying is that because boys are generally more capable of overpowering girls and forcibly having sex with them, girls should do their best to not be a “target”. But by telling girls that they are targets, we are also telling boys that the girls who don’t adhere to these Puritanical rules must WANT to be taken advantage of. They are “asking for it”. This is “slut-shaming” at it’s finest, glorified by none other than the institutions of government control and brainwashing otherwise known as public schools. Not to leave out the largely religious private sector of schooling, which is even more adept at shaming girls for their natural bodies.
So what I’m saying is that as long as we shame girls’ bodies, we are condoning rape…at least when the victim is dressed like a slut. I might add here that rape isn’t about sex at all, it’s about power and control. And those who enforce dress codes are doing what? Attempting to control an entire subset of the population. So who is the real threat to teenage girls here? And you thought that rap music was to blame for our “rape culture”…