I am a woman in America.
You might ask, what is the significance of this piece of information? Well, quite frankly, I want to bring awareness to the fear we as women face due to our bodies constantly being over-sexualized in public spaces.
Often times, men love to chime in on our choices of clothing. Shorts are too short for their liking? They label us whores. Tank top is too tight? WHORE. Dress is too revealing? We must want them to notice us, right?
That's what many men think. They believe that we do everything in our power to gain their attention when that is almost never the case.
The sexualization of a person is defined in the following ways: When a person's value comes only from his or her sexual appeal or behavior, to the exclusion of other characteristics; When a person is held to a narrowly defined standard that equates physical attractiveness with being sexy; When a person is sexually objectified, made into a thing for others' sexual use, rather than seen as a person with the capacity for independent action and decision making; and/or when sexuality is inappropriately imposed on a person.
I write this all to ask, why is everything we do characterized by our sexual appeal in the eyes of men?
Just because I am wearing a tight dress doesn't mean I want you to look at me. It doesn't mean I want you to touch me, and it most definitely doesn't mean I want you to have sex with me.
There is so much danger in this new culture we find ourselves in. The way men oversexualize our bodies on a daily basis stunts our growth overall as women. It keeps us down, and it paves a way for men to stay at the top, controlling our minds, how we think about ourselves, and how we choose to live.
Can I not dress-up for myself? Can I not wear a full face of makeup without a man saying, "She's trying too hard"?
Why does everything we do have to equate to the amount of male attention we may or may not receive as a result?
This society has grown so incredibly ugly in this way, and it is one of the main reasons that there are so many things we as a society have to do before women are seen in the same light as men.
As women, we have a burden placed on our shoulders. Our bodies are seen as the property of men, allowing for them to feel as though they can infringe upon our rights, and sin against our bodies whenever they feel compelled to do so. This isn't our fault, but instead, it is the man's fault and failure to understand our worth.
Until men start realizing their misogynistic ways, we will never be able to move forward because a man must first recognize his wrongdoings before he can change them.
It is not okay for our bodies to be objectified in the eyes of men. It is not okay for our bodies to be oversexualized, and it is not okay for our worth to be defined by how much male attention we receive.
Somewhere, somehow, there is probably a man judging us based off of our appearance--whether that be our physical assets or our clothes, but us women can't keep letting these things stop us from living our lives the way we want to. Dress how you want, do what you want, and become the person you want to be. Male attention was never our objective, we as women just want to live without the fears that oversexualization brings.