Why Dress Code affects Dating Rituals

I never knew that the level of someone’s sexual desires could ever be determined by the presence of a collar bone.

It amazes me that we are still producing a sharp rape culture for women and many of these institutions are not corresponding with the twenty-first century.

A woman’s body is often deemed inappropriate in this manner. Girls, at a rather young age, are taught to pull down their shirts, cover their shoulders and to not bare their knees. I clearly remember that if I wore a tank top with straps that the straps had to be “three fingers” in width and I was the talk of the classroom when I wore short skorts.

The emphasis increased in high school, especially in Catholic high schools. I went to one and I did not mind not having to think about what I had to wear each morning nor having people judge me on what I wear. I was made fun of in kindergarten for not wearing Nike sneakers, in elementary school for wearing velour tracksuits and ironically, in eighth grade, I was told that my Nike sneakers were fake (note to self: Nike apparently causes trouble among kids!). However, dress code was very strict. There was only a selection of three colours of undershirts you can put under your polo (then it was change to specific gradients, such as navy blue, not baby blue), kilts were banned and shoes had to be all black with absolutely no shred of colour on them such as a logo. It was constricting.

We went on a retreat in the ninth grade in order to ease the transition to high school. We were allowed to wear our regular clothes. One of the girls in my group wore a low-cut shirt which embraced her ample cleavage and was told by one of the teachers that she couldn’t wear it because “it would distract the boys”. I’m sorry but how is this not creating the assumption that women are walking sexual objects that need to be covered up?

My mother still tells me to pull my shirt down when it is short. Unless I am in a place of worship, that is not inappropriate!

Women can wear crop tops, short shorts, ripped jeans, low-cut shirts, fitted dresses, short dresses, mini-skirts, hoop earrings, fish-net stockings, six inch stilettos or be stark naked. Unless they directly ask you to have sex with them, in this form:

“Do you want to have sex with me?”

THEY ARE NOT ASKING FOR IT!!!!

It’s the equivalent of saying that a shirtless man on the beach is fair game. You can see this in the media. Look at the recent commercial for Just Fab Shoes. There is a man asking the assumed female viewer “what it will take” for them to buy shoes from their website. He presents a couple of pairs of shoes and then asks if the viewer would like him shirtless, takes off his shirt and says “done”.

This commercial demonstrates the sexualization of both genders by using a man to sell a  product but it shows the sexualization of women more as they are “so tempting” that a man has to take his shirt off and that they will do anything for an attractive man.

Michelle Obama has worn dresses that bare her shoulders but we would never say that she is asking for it. Why? She is married, middle-age and in a position of power. Isn’t this disappointing that we are targeting single, young women who we are degrading instead of empowering?

I remember when I was assaulted at a club in Montreal. I was simply waiting to get a drink at the bar when I was touched inappropriately multiple times. I used self-defense, grabbed my friends and got out of there. I was in tears, very uncomfortable and upset and was told by my friends, “what did you expect?”

What did I expect? I expected to have a good night out with my friends, laughing and pretending that I am Beyonce on the dancefloor. I did not expect to be sexually assaulted.

Enough with the victim-blaming. Enough with the sexualization. Enough with the gender inequality.

Most important, enough with the VIOLENCE and SUBORDINATION of women.

Sincerely,

The Modern Day Fairy Godmother

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The Double Standard

Good Morning everyone!

This is a notion that seems to have been placed under unwritten code. It is not something that is foreign to us and I have only started to think about it in light of recent events.

The truth is that we conform to the double standard because we live in a GENDERED society. Many of my friends who are LGBTQ will argue that we live in a heteronormative society, which is unfortunately true.

Men and women act in certain ways because they believe that these are behaviours that are prescribed for their gender. I have lost count of how many times a man and I have both opened a door at the same time and he said “Ladies first”. Usually, I am in too much of a hurry to argue and end up thanking him. In hindsight, what are the implications of such a behaviour? That women must walk in front of a man that can protect them? That men are trying to appease women in spite of both past and present inequality? These are just mere suggestions but the fact of the matter is that this behaviour is not as superficial as one may assume.

One can argue that the man is just being polite but why is it that when a woman opens the door for a man, it is not responded with the same positivity? I am a woman who will gladly open a door for anyone regardless of gender in order to prevent obstruction as well as being polite.

It is hard to picture living our lives in ways that do not prescribe to gender but just think: A human is a human is a human. One can argue that men and women have different body parts that can do things that the other cannot but the truth is that our bodies are more similar than different. We both can live life and create life.

If there are really no significant gender differences, why do we act like they exist? The double standard has extended itself into dating and that’s what gets annoying. The man has to ask the woman out, has to pay, has to drive her, etc. The worse part is that a vast amount of women are okay with these expectations as they appear to benefit them but do they really? These manners only show the dependence of women rather than the independence that women have strived to achieve for centuries.

Ladies and gentleman, let’s not let these gendered social norms affect our lives. Instead of finding a husband or a wife, why not a partner in life?

Ladies, you can pay the bill. Gentleman, you can choose monogamy. Why conform to these ridiculous stereotypes that produce nothing but nonsense?

As I have said before, love is not complicated; people are. However, society complicates these people more than necessary.

Here’s a tip: spoil each other, regardless of gender. You will end up spoiling yourselves as each of you are giving the other person the most that you can give.

I am a heterosexual woman but will refuse to “act like a lady”. Instead, I am a human being who will love someone in my own way.

Sincerely,

The Modern Day Fairy Godmother