Modesty shouldn't equate respect. Respect should be there no matter what I wear. Men respect other men more than they do women. I could walk around the city in a tight dress and men would catcall me, but if I walk around in a tight dress with my boyfriend, they wouldn't say anything.
Nothing makes me more furious than being objectified by men. Being looked up and down like a piece of meat is demeaning and demoralizing. Almost all of the women I know have experienced this. It is frustrating and we shouldn't have to deal with that.
One experience really sticks with me. I was minding my own business and helping customers at work when this older man waltzed into our pizza shop. He came up to the counter, and I went up to him to see if he had a question. This man looked me up and down real slow. He asked, "what time do y'all close," and I said, "we close at 3 a.m." He proceeded to flirt, "what time do you get off," which made me very uncomfortable. I could feel my blood start to heat up and my heart rate increase. My fists were tight. I retorted angrily, "excuse me?" and he snickered confidently, "I'll be here when you get off." He kept checking me out up and down with no hesitation, even though I was clearly uncomfortable. I shot back, "NO you won't," and ran to the back of the store. The way he stared at me and licked his lips made me want to puke. I started crying once I got to the back of the store and my coworker asked what's wrong. I started to have a panic attack due to the amount of anger that I felt towards that horrible man. One of my coworkers happily escorted him out and made sure that he wasn't going to come back. The kicker is that the man didn't even want pizza. He simply came in to harass me. I am disgusted that a man would go out of his way to make me feel uncomfortable and be okay with that.
It is not okay to be objectified regardless of what you are wearing. It is not okay to be objectified period. It is frustrating to have to change an outfit because I know I will get unwanted attention at a bar or walking down the street. I should be able to wear what I want without a man objectifying me like a piece of meat. I am more than my body. I demand respect. You should too.
Let every one of us stand together and support each other when situations get iffy. Talking about our experiences is important in increasing awareness of the issue. Keep demanding respect and fighting for what is right. Modesty shouldn't equate respect.