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Dress Code

I watch a video of a young celebrity having her boob groped by a man acting like a preacher and like she doesn't notice. Do men really think girls can't feel when their hug is just high enough to cup the curve where your breast spills out or the one where you back starts to sink into the places that hold your pants up? I don't know sometimes. I remember a little elementary school boyfriend saying that he was embarrassed when, in front of everyone in our class at a little girl's bat mitzvah, I raised his hand from sinking lower. Like this was the time it was ok to share my body- while witnessed and judged and way too concerned with the ridiculous dress I had to throw together because there was no way to buy that amount of fancy-wear for the dozens of parties my jewish friends decided to throw when we were 12. I really think he thought he was being subtle. Newsflash- there are nerve endings even close to our asses and tits.

One of the comments below the video says- It's so inappropriate. And what she is wearing is inappropriate. Especially in front of a group of men. I ask what they see as inappropriate because maybe, just mayyyyyybe, I have misread the comment completely and the fact that I'm already in a difficult mood and drinking alone has made me a tad more trigger-friendly. But my instincts prove to be correct and comments fly about how they were just raised differently, to dress modestly. I ask if they see this connection. However strongly they claim to believe what he did was wrong, they still felt the need to point out that she was ALSO in the wrong. He groped her, but she was wearing something inappropriate. While I have all of my own personal opinions about dress codes and modesty, which I will gladly share in a second, the reality that is not tinged by my opinion is that she still found it important enough to castrate the victim for her role in the incident, however unwillingly. That is the world we live in. I am regularly fighting against my own feelings of judgment towards other people, regardless of how much I really believe in people showing up as they are, sharing as they please and identifying as they may. I am a ball of self-reflecting biases... but here they are showing up more and more often. There are these terrible, dark sides to ourselves that we don't even realize we have. But they are there. And they continue to spoil our ability to change and progress as a society.

I saw a beautiful post about feminism that talked about all of the pressures a stay-at-home-mom feels, all the while "complaining to a husband that, if he is really being honest, thinks I'm being just a tad bit sensitive" or something along those lines. I believe that to be the world, even outside of me. This was a woman, in her reality, shaming a man for his very clear assault, and needing to also give him the escape of her attire. The craziest part is that this was all while emphatically expressing that what he did was unacceptable and intolerable- but you still had to just throw something in there to slut shame the girl, just for the sake of throwing it in there.

I understand the concept of modesty. I understand dressing for the right situation. I also understand that choosing not to dress like other people dress in that situation is none of my own business, not to judge, not to comment, and not to claim for myself. The moment we think "those glasses look ridiculous" or "that dress is too short" or "she is too fat for that crop top", we are assuming that our opinion is more important than their desires. We are taking ownership of their ability to control how they decorate their bodies. The same is true of the opposite- a bright yellow a-line dress can demand that we express our approval, but in reality, we had no business ever needing to approve what anyone else put on that day. And yes, that includes someone wearing a short dress in front of men, or- gasp!- to a church service.

And, spoiler alert: god already knows you have a vagina.

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