Friday, March 30, 2012

My Short Skirt Is My Style, My Choice and My Defiance

Skirts from Hot Topic, YES STYLE, Express & ASOS
As National Women's History Month comes to a close I wanted to highlight a great poem that stuck with me when I went to see the Vagina Monologues. As you can see from my outfit posts, I love short skirts, I tend to favor them over pants.

There's something about a skirt falling at my mid-thigh that makes me feel playful and beautiful. There's something about feeling the warm Texas air against my legs. I feel like a short skirt is an homage to the lower half of my body.

But once I step out the door, there's no denying that my short skirt becomes more than a style choice. It's evident in the cars that slow down to honk, the men that get uncomfortably close on the train and feel they have to talk to me. Only a small percentage, however, have had the audacity to touch me.

My short skirt is not an invitation,
a provocation, an indication
that I want it or give it or that I hook.

My short skirt is not begging for it
it does not want you to rip it off me
or pull it down.

My short skirt is not a legal reason for raping me
although it has been before
it will not hold up in the new court.

My short skirt, believe it or not has nothing to do with you.

"Then why don't you change?" you ask, "Why don't you wear less short skirts in public, you know, have a little modesty?"

Because it's not about modesty. It's about my body (and every other woman's body) NOT becoming public property when it happens to be a public space. It's about men not feeling entitled to my body just because part of it is showing. It's about my style choices not having consequences that equate to sexual harassment.

My short skirt is about discovering the power of my lower calves
about cool autumn air traveling up my inner thighs
about allowing everything I see or pass or feel to live inside.

Bloggers Showing Off Their Skirts
Garbage Dress / Nubia's Nonsense / Gal Meets Glam / Hip Girlie / Cute and Little
While women do wear clothing that is meant to draw male attention, we should not be judged on that alone - especially not by other women. It hurts me the most when women give other women's (and my) short skirts disapproving or angry glares, as if they think the catcalls and harassment are justified.

I've even heard some go as far as to say that "she was looking for it." That line has got to be the biggest cop-out. It's just the harasser not wanting to be shouldered with the appropriate blame, it's the "out of my control" excuse.

And yet I recently read a blog on Genders Across Borders that in a study conducted about street harassment, one man commented, "You can tell the type of girls that are looking for it..."

No, you can't. I wear short skirts and low-cut shirts, I occasionally sway my hips when I walk but I'm not looking for it. And I doubt many women are. And those who do want "it" - as in a sexual comment or advance - will normally let you know.

Short Skirts, Mini Skirts, Vagina Monologues, My Short Skirt, Feminism, Feminist Style
Recent Sightings of Short Skirts on the Runways

My short skirt is not proof that I am stupid
or undecided or a malleable little girl.

My short skirt is my defiance
I will not let you make me afraid
My short skirt is not showing off - this is who I am
before you made me cover it or tone it down.
Get used to it.

I can promise you, though, that most women who wear their short skirts just want to wear something that reflects who they are; they want to be proud of their style choices. They want to wear whatever the hell they want without being harassed in a public place.

My short skirt is happiness
I can feel myself on the ground.
I am here. I am hot.

I think short skirts and bare legs should be celebrated and not covered up, I'm creating a new Pinterest Board specifically for them.

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