Girls' bodies aren't responsible for boys' thoughts.
I grew up in a very religious culture and received countless lessons on the importance of modesty. I recently asked my husband how many lessons he had on modesty or respecting women's bodies. He paused, shook his head slowly, and said: "zero".
The narrative that women need to "cover up" to prevent men from having "unclean" thoughts is one that has always bothered me. To me, this idea insinuates three things:
1. Preventing men from having sexual thoughts is more important than women's comfort. This prioritizing of men over women upholds the imbalance of power and patriarchal systems that have oppressed us for years.
2. Women have the responsibility of preventing these thoughts in men. This feeds the rape culture that victim blames women. Men must be held responsible for their own thoughts and actions. AND we must hold society accountable for how it sexualizes women and rewards toxic masculinity in men.
3. It insinuates that women's bodies are inherently sexual. Women's bodies are only as sexual as society deems them to be. What is considered to be "not modest" varies by the religion, country, and year.
Wear what you want. What is comfortable. What aligns with your religion and your values. Wear it for YOU. Not for the patriarchy.
Your Feminist Therapist Who Sees A Therapist
P.S. Everything posted here is for educational purposes only and is not a replacement for individualized medical or mental health treatment. Please note, as an ethical boundary, I no longer respond to blog comments.
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