I was wearing my relatively see through navy blue poke dot dress, that I would normally wear with a tank underneath, but on this day was wearing without a tank. With an oversized open blouse on top. A bit risqué for me. It wasn’t meant to draw attention, but as my roommate pointed out, clearly made a statement and would bring a certain form of attention from a certain type of person.
And I hadn’t gotten dressed that morning thinking “I’m going to be provocative and indecent.” But her comment got me thinking how I defined decency. And why we dress the way we dress. And whether this ensemble immediately asked for that type of attention. Did it look like I was just giving it away for free? And where do we draw the line between confidence in ourselves, and showing off the goods?
I observed to my roommate that it wasn’t my intention to get male attention with this outfit. But I realized no matter the intention we have, we will be perceived in ways that we can’t control. We always gather perceptions about people based on how they dress.
And I’m just wondering what defines feminist decency. Am I more of a feminist if I dress the way I want, and deal with the consequences, or should I change what I’m wearing to bolster the image of women as more than just tits and ass? Intended or not, my wardrobe choices do signify something about me.
So just remember that no matter what you put on everyday, it does represent something about you. And I think it stays true to me and my inner feminist by dressing how I want. Patriarchy be damned. Screw you, I’ll dress how I want.
But be aware that there are creeps out there who will only see tits and ass. But there will be creeps who see my looks and physical appearance when I’m wearing sweatpants and an oversized cloak. That’s the world we live in. That’s inevitable. T-shirt and Jeans or low cut top and miniskirt, people will think of you in a way you don’t like.
But it’s about accepting that and owning your choices. Stay true to who you are. That’s the most powerful action to take. And you should always walk into the world knowing how something could come across. But own it. And move on. Because the most powerful thing we can do as women is to be ourselves. Come hell or high water.