Friday, February 4, 2011

Me and My Miniskirt

The other day, I was on my way to a friends house for movie watching fun times. Not to brag, but I was dressed pretty spiffy. I had on this really cool camouflage print pleated skirt with metal D rings that I made a few years ago, my combat boots, and some brightly colored thigh high socks. This friend of mines doesn't live in the best of neighborhoods. Granted, my neighborhood isn't exactly Mister Rogers territory either, but at least its turf with which I'm more familiar. The sun had set, and while walking along the darkened sidewalks I began to feel a tiny sense of panic. This sense of danger only lasted for a moment. My cell phone was at the ready, I was walking through a pretty public area, and was staying away from broken street lamps and dark alleys. But still I wondered, does walking down the street in my somewhat short skirt (as cute as it was) make me a target. Was my attempt at fashion a siren song for sexual assault. In my opinion no. From my experience creepers gonna creep and perverts gonna perve.

Believe me, I know this from experience. All up until about my eleventh grade year in high school I dressed rather homely. I had no control over my wardrobe and had to be content with whatever hand me downs and Ross junior section clearance items my mother put in my closet. My wardrobe consisted mostly of hand me down sweaters and baggy jeans with *gag* elastic waistbands. (Why did they even sell jeans with elastic waistbands in the junior section?!?!). Suffice it to say, that I was not much to look at. In no way shape or form could someone say that I was dressed provocatively. Even with this being the case, I had a great number of gag inducing run ins with men of the creeper persuasion.

 There was the time I was walking home from band practice (Band Geeks FTW) and a guy pulled over to ask me for directions. Me being the nice and somewhat naive young lady that I was, it wasn't until I was telling him that he needed to make a left on Eads street, that I realized that he had removed his member from his pants and was pleasuring himself. I don't know if this guy had a cartography fetish or some other kink involving maps and directions. Either way, I would have much preferred it if he masturbated to one of those soothing mapquest voices as opposed to burning the image of his member into the delicate retinas of my 15 year old self. This was the beginning of what was going to be quite an eventful few years. Guy masturbating in car, was followed by creepy guy at the 7 Eleven, old guys who hit on young girls at the bus stop, guy masturbating on the bus, and a whole slew of other colorful characters.

The next year I got my first part time job and used my little minimum wage salary to finally buy clothes that I liked. This was the year that I discovered hip huggers, and fitted tees. I was in heaven, or so I thought. Then one day on a crowded bus a teenage boy that I had never met or seen before, GRABBED MY BOOB before bolting out of the metro bus doorway. I was too stunned to react. I felt violated, exposed, embarrassed and angry. I didn't know if I wanted to scream or fall into tears. Part of me wanted to run off the bus and force the punk to explain himself, but most of me just wanted to hide. This being a somewhat jaded city, no one on the bus reacted to what happened. Although there was one elderly lady who looked at me and asked if I was alright. Unable to form words I gave a small nod and stared at the floor until the bus pulled up to my stop. Not knowing what else to do I told my mother what happened, hoping to get some love and support. Instead, she told me that this is the kind of response I would get for dressing the way I do. Feminine modesty is a big thing for my mother, and I know she meant well but telling a teenage girl that's it's her fault that she was sexually harassed is not a healthy thing. For a while I hid behind baggy clothes and muted colors, but it didn't stop the catcalling and inappropriate advances from men on the street. Eventually I realized that whether I hid behind over sized hoodies or wore skinny jeans, men on the street being inappropriate was just something that was going to happen. And hiding behind ugly clothing not only looked bad, but was completely ineffective. So that's why I rock my mini skirts. I refuse to let creepers dictate the way I live.

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