beige_alert: (kilt)
[personal profile] beige_alert
There are plenty of recent examples (the president's daughters come to mind) but surely eleventy-billion further examples come readily to mind of women being harshly criticized for dressing wrong or being slut-shamed or blamed as 'asking for it' on the basis of whatever they were wearing. Men, on the other hand, not so much. I've always been aware of that but lately I've been exploring, well, either deliberately attracting attention to myself or just generally dressing not-entirely-conventionally in public, and that well and truly pounds home the double standard.

Generally, the women being criticized for dressing wrong are not showing up to the quarterly staff meeting at the office wearing a thong and no top.  Not at all.  We live in this culture, we know what's considered basically normal, if you have working vision you've looked around and know what is well within the range of average.  They're being told they're asking for it because they showed up at a party wearing a just-above-the-knee skirt and a top that shows a bit of the space between the breasts and they did something fancy with their hair.  Like all the other women at the party.  They're wearing a skirt and leggings and two layers on top and moderately fancy shoes.  They are well, well, *WELL* within the usual range of usual.  They're getting stuff shouted at them while wearing blue jeans and a turtleneck.  Putting a lot of care into looking "normal" and by any sort of rational comparison to the average succeeding at looking "normal" by no means prevents angry abuse.

Me?  Oh, I can wear paisley leggings (oh, and with no pockets, also a bag slung over one shoulder, and yes, that's a purse, though it's black and yellow recycled plastic from "Mountainsmith" and all properly masculine-hiking-gear-looking)  to the coffee shop like literally no other obvious-boy-person-with-a-beard this week or probably this decade and not one single person says one single word.  The only way people say stuff to me is if I wear a kilt.  Seriously, how close to the average man's outfit is a boy-skirt?  It is not close at all.  It is very very far outside the range of normal dude clothing.  And people don't slut-shame me, rather, some women can't resist making jokes about whether or not I'm wearing underwear, and while that's actually sort of uncomfortable, it's not the same thing.  Apparently someone who looks like me can dress like roughly 0.01% of the people who look like me without a big problem but if you look like a woman just because you're dressed like 20% of the other women doesn't mean you are safe.

Fellow men: Think about that.
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