Life-long Dress Code This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

January 5, 2018

What I learned in this one out of many encounters with creepy or perverted men was that I was supposed to believe that it was my fault it'd happened.

Walking down the street in the early afternoon, I heard a man calling out, "Excuse me!" behind me. I turned to find myself face to face with a tall, middle-aged man panting from running up to me. "Are you into sports? Have you ever been interested in photography?" His questions began to tumble out. In an attempt to be polite while at the same time raise my mental guard, I answered very breifly or not at all. When it came down to it, since its a long story, he was wondering if i was interested in doing a nude photoshoot with him as my camerman. "You have such skinny, long limbs. You'd be perfect," he told me. I remember the goosebumps erupting on my skin, hearing the want and desire in his voice. As politely as I could, I declined and started walking away quickly. He shouted something rude after but I kept my pace.

I got home and told my dad what had happened later in the evening. He told me, "From now on, you're going out in sweats and a sweater."

Whether or not he'd been joking, it showed me my real only way to keep creeps away. Change myself, what I wear or how I present myself. Not to blame them, wasn't I the one who provoked them with my appearence? Surely they cannot control themselves. Unfortunately, this is also a lesson taught to girls from a young age by pressure from society and school dress codes. "Boys/men cannot control themselves, it's your fault if something happens." 

Generally I dont say much on this topic, since I've never felt the need to. But there is no excuse for a boy or a man to say/do things to women because of how we dress. Its actually scary to me how I cannot escape my schools dress code, because it's followed me into the real world, into my life. No matter how someone acts towards me or what they say, it seems I will always be the one who has to change, literally or figuratively. Society makes women comply with a life-long dress code.

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