by David Kellin-Editor
I read the letter to the State paper today, and was shocked, but not really. I am shocked that the old arguments are arising again, and not shocked because things have not changed much at all over the years.
Let me make this clear. What anyone wears, or doesn’t wear, does not give you permission to take unwanted actions towards them. Consent comes from the person, not their clothes. If you are incited by something someone wears, that does not give you permission to act any way towards them.
I think it is convenient to blame the other person for CAUSING your behavior, but that does not fly. You see, there are not laws that say you must dress a certain way. (yes there are some about not being dressed). If your shirt is off the shoulder, no police officer is going to arrest you. If you go touch a person with their shoulder exposed, yes, you can be arrested. If you chose to act in an unwanted way, that is your decision, your consequences.
I know there is an argument that you have to be safe, and dressing one way or the other can make you unsafe. Shouldn’t our hope be that we could go anywhere we liked and be safe. Are we unsafe because of our clothes, or because of the decisions of those around us in relation to our dress. I believe the latter. People need to be better, respect more and make better choices. We need to work to make the world safe for everyone period.
When we get into saying that if you don’t want unwanted attention, cover up, we are trying to make the other person responsible. We do not know why anyone person is wearing what they wear. I think it is fair to say, there may be a myriad of reasons, that have nothing to do with your desires. Self control is the key to healthy relationships. If you can’t control yourself, just keep stepping.
I have tried to keep this gender neutral, because I am sure it goes both ways. My overalls help me bend and keep uninjured. I am sure I look good in my overalls, but to tell you the truth, if you came and told me so, I would not appreciate that much. Overalls have a purpose in my life, and it is not to entice you.