The rationale that my friends used to slut-shame me seemed like an easy fix to a pressing problem, under the assertion that it was okay to call me a “ho” and make me feel worse about even trying to establish a long term relationship with someone. It wasn’t comforting, especially when I already felt low about, yet again, another failed tryst at love.
It means if we respected a woman’s right to bodily autonomy, if she controlled the conversations about her body, if we valued her own opinions more highly than we value everyone else’s opinions about her, then I wouldn’t have to write this.
As my body has been broken up into portions of my face and little pieces of my anatomy, the clothing that hangs-upon my body has also been judged as an articulation of the “person” underneath. I am coming to realize that this isn’t a “phase” I can simply age out of, but a life-long experience that I am expected to put up with for fear of upsetting a precarious equilibrium of objectification and silence.
The resounding laughter that accompanied the word rape, spewed out of at least five mouths. It was a threatening chorus that accompanied the dimly lit street as if to say “We dare you to fight back, and we laugh because we ‘know’ you won’t or you can’t.”
The double standard that girls are supposed to show less skin to exemplify discretion and dignity, while at the same time bare skin in order to be considered desirable, is rooted in the patriarchal construct of control over women’s bodies, actions, and minds.