My Body, Not My Consent

“So if you don’t want attention why would you wear that?”- If I have to have this conversation one more time! I am sick and tired of people assuming the way you dress warrants how they behave towards you, patient and yes by people I do mean (small minded) men.

I am a woman who loves myself more than anyone ever could, health and that includes my body (flawless in my eyes). The way I dress is a means of expression for me, if I wake up feeling like wearing a mini skirt, I will, and if I wake up wanting to wear a tracksuit, I will wear a tracksuit. And neither of those mean “stare at me, call me names, sexualise me and touch me”. Well of course not the latter choice of outfit according to those small minded people I mentioned above; every woman should have the choice to wear what she wants to, whenever she wants to.
This is an issue which effects women all around the world, and if you are a woman reading this, I am sure you have personally have encountered this. Fashion is a form of self-expression, and just as an artist’s style grows and adapts over many years, so does our sense of personal style. The clothing that we wear is, in many ways, a projection of what we are going through emotionally and mentally at a given time, and while helping your daughter/sister/friend/mother understand that her self worth goes far beyond her sexual appeal is hugely beneficial, being overly critical of her self exploration is not. Let’s support current and future generations of women in making wise choices based upon their innate value as human beings, not from a place of being sexually objectified.
To assume we are all walking around in short shorts because we are seeking attention is absolutely insane.. I mean oh please! The last thing many women want is to be perverted over. I wear short shorts simply because I want to, because I enjoy the feeling of sunshine on my legs and the flexibility that they give me in my active lifestyle. I don’t appreciate the prying eyes, and as I am polite enough to not glare at  the bulge in your bike shorts, I hold you to the same standards when it comes to my thighs, breasts or stomach.
I took it to Twitter to find out what people thought, a staggering 65% of women said they were “nervous” and “anxious” about leaving their homes wearing items of clothing that are deemed as “asking for it”. These women  are afraid to leave their homes in comfort because of their choice of outfit; this needs to stop.
Let us be free. Let us be comfortable. Let us feel the beautiful sun on our skin. Please, stop telling us what to wear. Stop assuming we “are asking for it” because my £4 Topshop crop top is sure as hell not the way I communicate my consent to you!
My clothes, not my consent.
Written by Payzee Mahod

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