What I Wear Doesn't Mean I'm Asking For Your Male Attention

Don't Assume I'm Asking For Your Male Attention Because Of What I'm Wearing

The oversexualization of our bodies needs to stop.

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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.

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I'm A Christian Girl And I'm Not A Feminist, Because God Did Not Intend For Women To Be Equals

It is OK for me to not want to be equivalent with a man.

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To start off, I am not writing this to bash feminists or get hate messages. I am simply writing this to state why I do not perceive myself as a feminist.

March is International Women's Month and that is what has got me thinking about how I view myself as a young woman in the 21st century. I enjoy every day getting to soak up the world as a young lady, particularly in the South.

If you know me, then you know that I love and utterly adore Jesus. He is so perfect. He is everything. He is my whole life. Some people might say that I am a "Bible-thumper" or someone who has had too much Kool-aid and maybe I am, but I know who my Creator is and that He died for me, and that is all that matters.

In my young age, I loved to just sit in church with my parents and absorb all that God would deliver. As I have grown up, I have ventured off and joined a church that is different than my parents, so the responsibility falls more on me, but I love that. Since this era of independence began, I have thoroughly enjoyed taking ownership of my faith.

I spend a lot of time chatting with God, worshipping Him in all kinds of ways, and just diving deeper into His Word. Through all of this growth as a Christian, I have learned a lot, but something I have learned is a concept that some may not agree with, which does not surprise me.

I do not believe God meant for women and men to be equal.

There, I acknowledged the elephant in the room.

It is a shocker, I know, but I have some Biblical evidence to back up this belief that I have.

Let us begin in Genesis. God created man and then he created woman. This was two separate occurrences and order is key. He created Adam and then Eve.

Jesus treated women with grace and kindness, do not get me wrong. I mean just look at how He treated the woman at the well, the one who used all of her expensive perfume to cleanse His feet and not to mention His own biological mother! He has a truly unique place in his heart for women, but He also has special intentions for us in the world and in the family setting.

We are to submit to our husbands.

We are to be energetic, strong, and a hard worker.

We are to be busy and helpful to those in need.

We are to be fearless.

All of this is explicitly laid out by God in Proverbs 31.

We are not to be equal to our male counterparts. Jesus does not lay out the Proverbs 31 man, but He rather lays out the Proverbs 31 woman.

A husband or man is to be the head of the household as Christ is to the church.

A man is to love a woman so deeply that represents how he loves himself.

A man is to leave his father and mother.

Women and men are not equal in God's eyes, but they each represent Him in their own ways that the other needs.

If we were all equal, we would not need one another and therefore we would not need God. I am so thankful that we were not created equal. I am so thankful that God is so great that He could not just create only man or woman to represent His image. He is so perfect.

So, you see I am not a feminist, and it is OK.

It is acceptable for me to have this belief that God intended for men to lead women. It is also okay for people to have differing opinions. Writing this was not easy, but I know that not all people agree.

To feminists and those that are not, you are allowed to believe whatever you wish but have evidence to back it up.

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To All The Men Who've Catcalled Me Before

Obviously I want men to stop catcalling and harassing women. But sometimes there's a deeper meaning behind why they do it.

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I'm driving down Route One, windows down, listening to my favorite podcast. At a traffic light, I spot out of the corner of my eye that the window of the car next to me is being rolled down, and suddenly words are being called to me, trying to get my attention. My open window is not for an invitation for those words, but an invitation for the crisp spring air to fill my car.

However, these words that I can barely make out, interrupt the tranquility of the scene, invites an uncomfortable presence that I wasn't prepared for. At this point, my eyes were still on the road ahead, but curiosity turned my head towards the one who possessed those unwanted words.

He was a black man. He looked at me with a bold gaze and now with my attention held, he began to increase his advances. He made kissy noises, smirked and kept asking me how I was doing. I wanted to take this as an innocent and friendly interaction with a fellow stranger, but I couldn't. I was not afraid of him, rather I was afraid to give him that chance. Instead of a fearful side-eye, I look at him directly and say hello.

But as soon as the greeting escaped my lips, I wanted nothing more to do with the interaction. I quickly rolled my window up as the light turned green and speedily drove away.

Maybe I handled it badly. Maybe I should've just ignored him and turned my speakers all the way up, and pretend to have not heard him. Maybe I should've kept my window down, look at him without any judgment, no fear and confidently said, "Hello." But preconceived notions permeated my mind at that moment and all I wanted to do was drive undisturbed to my destination. Instead of listening to the rest of the podcast, I sat with my thoughts on the situation. It wasn't a big deal; women get catcalled all the time and it's frustrating when it happens.

This shouldn't be the norm, but it is.

We can blame society and toxic hyper-masculinity but at the end of the day, it probably will still happen. But after the situation that had just happened at the traffic light, I wanted to think about the man who catcalled me for once. How did he feel? What made him do that? Did he think I was a bitch when I acknowledged him only to shun his existence by rolling up my window? Did he think I would appreciate his advances towards me?

These open-ended questions got me to think of a new perspective. Obviously, I want men to stop catcalling and harassing women. But sometimes there's a deeper meaning behind why they do it. And this doesn't categorize all men as predators. Men and women are both potential victims of this unwanted attention. This is not a gendered issue. So maybe we should take a non-gendered approach to it.

Men like Terry Crews who are outspoken voices in the "MeToo" movement have helped break down the walls of hyper-masculinity, especially in black men. I wonder if the expectation to adhere to the "boys will be boys" ideology and "brute" stereotype often attached to black men inadvertently drives some of the crass behavior some men partake in. If these ideas were never pushed upon or perpetuated, would catcalling even occur? In a perfect society, maybe.

If I could go back to that scene, to the black man who catcalled me from the car window, I would acknowledge him and ask, Why? I wonder what he would say.

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