Fashion critics should mind their own business

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Cartoon by Dan Cordero

A woman’s right to choose is normally associated with abortion and sex. But what many people forget is that women also have the right to choose how they look and how they express their sexuality.

Along with power and control over their own body, women also have the right to not be shamed or harassed for their choices. Too often on campuses across America, females have been ridiculed for their clothing and their choice of partners.

As temperatures rise, women shed their extra layers of fabric to seek some relief from the summer’s swelter but often face other kinds of heat. Some less than restrained folks blurt out “Those shorts are way too short” or “That girl is way too fat to be wearing that outfit.” Comments like these perpetuate sexism at Southwestern College by branding as unsophisticated, easy or slutty.

Telling a woman that her body type is not right for an article of clothing, besides being really rude, encourages the impossible standard of the perfect pin model figure. Society needs to learn that a woman’s body is not public property to judge and criticize. Some  forget that a large set woman wearing a short skirt is a human being and deserving of respect.

Thin women are also victims. Many avoid wearing for fear of being called scrawny or facing questions of eating disorders.

Women just cannot seem to win. Too much skin and they are “sluts” too little and they are “prudes”. Women who cover up for religious purposes are also scorned and are often branded as oppressed. Whichever choice they make, women face a double-edged sword.

Harrassment of women must end. Victimizing women needs to end. “She shouldn’t have dressed that way if she didn’t want the attention,” is never an excuse. That kind of rhetoric feeds rape culture. When cat-called, need to speak up and make it clear that these comments are not welcome and will not be tolerated. Men witnessing harassment also need to speak up.

Instead of continuing to shame women for having a sense of sexuality, other women should fight and stand up for their sister. Barbie is not real but harassment is. Both need to go into the box, forever.

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