Friday, April 12, 2013

mind your own leggings.

Today, a beloved coworker of mine pulled me into her office. This made me nervous, there were a few different avenues this conversation could lead me down but i knew it wasn't the fun loving nature she and I usually share.

I shut the door and sat down.

"I'm only telling you this because someone once told me this...." she started. "I think your leggings are too sexy".

The highlights of this conversation are as follows. I was told men look at me in the office. And I was described having a full body.

This conversation hilariously and ironically comes at a time where middle and highschools around the US are banning leggings and yoga pants for young girls because they are distracting young boys. And that folks, is how you teach a 12 year old that she carries responsibility for young boys not being taught how to respect a classmate. It inculcates the idea that young boys, or men as a whole have no self control, it excuses them, they just can't help themselves-so women must play some mental gymnastic game on how not to be victimized. And then if you are a victim, you are blamed.

Back inside my co-workers office. I sat, I listened and I didn't say a word. When she was done speaking, I nodded my head and went back to my desk.

I just wonder if it ever crossed her mind to pull the men who she says look at me into her office. Have a closed room discussion and put the spotlight on them and their wandering eyes. Tell them it doesn't matter if i'm wearing leggings or a brown paper bag, respect is a minimum. Not just because we are co-workers and sharing this space for 40 fucking hours a week, but because i'm human. What if she asked these men with wives and daughters how they would feel is someone looked at them the way they do at me.

I'm quite sure that conversation never crossed her mind. Because nobody had THAT conversation with her.

There are obvious other issues here. I won't go into the full bodied bullshit. Or the fact that this co-worker is someone who i've come to on many occassions about being harrassed by our shuttle bus driver. I just think there needs to be a mindshift switch when it comes to responsibility and expectations and teaching and learning-to gender issues specifically yes, but just in humanity.

And with that I say, have a good weekend. And mind your own damn leggings.

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