A few days ago I was in a heated debate with my male friends about the dress code of women in work spaces.
Let me give you the background of the debate.
There was a picture doing rounds on social media of a female teacher wearing white tight pants, which reveal her beautiful curves and big behinds.
Now the debate was around whether that was ‘appropriate or inappropriate dress code for a teacher, given that she will be standing in front of both young boys and girls in class.
What really disturbed me, besides the fact that in 2019 we still police how women should dress, was the views that emanated from the discussion.
One guy said, ‘imagine my young teenage son being exposed to such, this is so inappropriate.’
I nearly dropped my coffee mug when reading that text.
Then the next fellow said:
‘There are things which happen naturally to both men and women. Men will be aroused every time they see a naked or provokingly dressed(God knows what that means) women.’ An old-lame excuse that misogynists use right?
Then the last guy, trying to be on both sides of the argument suggested that maybe there should be a professional dress code for teachers in general.
The language in all these comments wreaks anti-women, sexism and misogyny.
It calls for men to earnestly stop their continued quest to try and drive the narrative around womanhood.
This attitude of forever policing how women should dress needs to stop.
For years women have been suffocated by society’s demands on what constitute a proper dress code for them and we need to allow them to breathe and express themselves.
We need to stop ridiculing and slut-shaming women who feel comfortable in clothes they choose to wear.
My take on the discussion is that, instead of keeping a beady eye on female teachers and what they choose to wear, why can’t we teach our sons at an early age on how to control their sexual urges and not see women as objects to fulfill lust?
Creating a non-sexist, dismantling patriarch and sexism starts with us men teaching each other on how to fight our own sexual demons and stop objectifying women’s bodies.
We can’t continue to use lame excuses that women should dress ‘properly’, so that we can be able to control our sexual urges.
Women should be allowed to express themselves.
Let’s fight our male privilege baf’wethu and not tell women, especially black women how they should live their lives.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE ANTI-MAN TO BE PRO-WOMAN’ – JANE GALVIN LEWIS
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