A guy at work, a colleague, said to me: “you look like a sexier version of Meg Griffin.” Many other people at work said it was nothing and not to report it, however it has made me uncomfortable to be around him and work with him. When I reported it initially the person was really supportive and kind, her boss however called me up and asked if I was sure I wanted report this comment as it just seems like banter. After having to explain, while it is an isolated situation with this colleague, it has made me uncomfortable to be around him and made me question what I wear. Also, I don’t have anything but a professional relationship with this colleague so him joking like this was bizarre and unprofessional.
Why when I go shopping for clothes do I have to go all the way to the third fourth or fifth floor. Even in two story or single story units I always have to go upstairs or to the back and the choice is way more limited. All I want to do is get in and out as quickly as possible so surely it makes sense to put clothes for people like me at the front or on the ground floor and leave the seasoned and more dedicated shoppers to spend more time going up and down escalators. Even going along any main street in a city the number of shops for people like me with deep voices, stubble and flat chests is outnumbered 5 to 1 aimed at the smoother more curvaceous memers of society. Life is so biased to women
I have hair cut to a shortish bob, still pretty girly. I was at a weeklong summer camp, and for the first two days, I had worn T-shirts and leggings or shorts. On the third day, I came to camp in a T-shirt and a shin-length prairie-style skirt. I sat down in the circle with the rest of the kids, (about 6-8) and the boy next to me, about 6 years old, leans over and whispered, “Dude, why are you wearing a dress?” I was young, and thourougly confused by the comment, so I decided to correct him. “It’s a skirt, not a dress.” He stared at me like I was an alien. “Well, why are you wearing a skirt?” I shrugged, “Because I want to. So there.” He continued to stare. I began to feel uncomfortable. I fidgeted. Then, it dawned on me. my eyes widened. I tapped his back, my anger quickly dissolving into shock. “By the way,” I said cautiously, “I’m a girl.” “Oh shit.” (Keep in mind, this is a 6-year old) “Oh man. Wait till Jeremy hears about this! He’ll flip!” I glared. I was only about 8 at the time, and I didn’t really understand that people stereotype people by their hair and their clothes, I just liked short hair and long skirts and leggings with T-shirts, so that’s what I wore. What I did realize was that this kid (younger than me) thought it was funny that he mistook me for a boy. For the rest of the camp, I glared at him, and stared at him, searching for some sign of remorse or apology. None came. When we sewed clothes, almost all of the kids gave their girl dolls dresses and their boy dolls pants. I seed bot, so my doll could switch off. Now I’m older, and when i think back to this, I don’t feel angry, I feel sad. Sad that someone so young could be so unthinking and cruel. Sad that that little boy had no one in his life to teach him that people come in all shapes and sizes and clothes and hairstyles, no one to tell him that it didn’t matter if i was a boy and I was wearing a dress. Sad to think “What if It had been a boy he said that to?” But mostly, i’m sad that this is the generation of kids we are raising. (This is coming from a kid)
I usually have a pretty relaxed/casual style, but sometimes I like to mix it up and dress nice for a day. Whenever I do, someone (or multiple someones, but I’m mostly thinking of one person in particular) always has to comment on my clothes or my body, and it makes me feel really weird. It’s never even a compliment. Today I wore a dress with spaghetti straps and my friend And he (kind of aggressively) asked why I decided to dress up today, then told me my skin is too pale to show that much skin. Then later he said it was too cold to wear that, and I should’ve dressed warmer. It made me feel really uncomfortable and self-conscious.
I’m 14 and I constantly get comments from the boys in my class about my clothes (we don’t have a uniform) I have very low confidence and i’m too scared to wear the clothes I actually like. They’re usually not about my body (although I have gotten a few) but just the fact that I’m wearing something else but skinny jeans and hoodies.
My boyfriend and I signed up to a workaway project in Peru. The website described the place as a permaculture-based community, but we found it was land and buildings belonging to one man aged around sixty, with volunteers working five hours a day in exchange for basic food and a dorm bed – a pretty normal workaway deal in terms of exchange, but not the Peruvian-focused community we were expecting. On our first day there another volunteer, man in his mid-forties from San Francisco, turned up after an all night ‘peyote ceremony’. Wearing classic ‘new-ager in Peru’ gear he spoke about having been ‘re-born’ in his experience. A little later, the conversation turned to his opinions on the ‘modesty’ of women. His opening line was ‘I think it’s great that women here dress more modestly than women back home.’ In my head, I thought – ‘Oh great, you’ve been re-born a chauvinist’ but I didn’t say it. I knew though, that I would not be able to sit through this conversation without saying anything, but was confused as to what he meant by ‘the women here.’ I asked: ‘ Do you mean women wearing traditional Andean dress?’ to which he replied no, he was talking about the ‘new age’ foreign women of whom there are many in a nearby town. For him, clearly, Peruvian women did not register as ‘the women here.’ I should’ve pointed out the racism and dehumanization inherent in his statement, but I didn’t (retrospect is a fine thing). What I did try to do was unpick why he thought he had a right to make statements about the modesty of women’s dress. He said ‘all the men I’ve ever spoken to prefer women dressing modestly’ and ‘I tell women in San Francisco, no man’s going to fall in love with you if you dress like that.’ I can’t remember exactly what I said in response, I just tried. He was so angry to be challenged, claiming his right ‘to have a preference’ and becoming quite malicious, saying I was ‘full of shit’ and that he understood ‘I had issues around this topic.’ There was one other young, female volunteer, a friend of his, who tried to tell me ‘he didn’t mean it in a bad way’ and then left the room. My boyfriend came in, and tried to mediate but I was shaking by that point and suggested we end the conversation as it was un-constructive. We decided later that day, based on this argument and the disappointment in the workaway placement, to leave. We went to see Michael, the boss man who owned the place, our reasons for leaving. He was very angry that we wanted to leave (he’d planned to have a ‘full labour force’ that week) and demanded to know the details of the details of the argument. When we explained, he seemed very unimpressed, and said something about the first amendment, and freedom of speech being the ‘right to offend’. I didn’t respond because I was confused about what his point was – I figured surely free speech goes both ways? Yes, a man has a right to express his sexist opinions, just as I have a right to question the validity of them. He didn’t want us to leave that day and we agreed to stay and work two extra days as a compromise. Michael said he would try to ‘resolve’ the conflict and ‘work out what had happened’. I pointed out that we’d told him what had happened – he didn’t have to agree with my opinion, but there had been a debate about gender and sexuality between two people with different opinions. He said he’d heard ‘my version’ and would speak to other people to get to the bottom of it. We didn’t want to be around the others that night, and went out to eat in the nearby town. The next morning, Michael called us back for a ‘quick chat’. His said: ‘Last night I did my due diligence, wanting to resolve the conflict that happened. And I found the source of the conflict.’ He paused dramatically, pointed at me and then said, ‘It’s you, and your angry agenda. And that’s it, I’m going to ask you to leave. Don’t argue with anyone else and leave.’ I was so happy to go, as I’d been regretting agreeing to stay the extra two days. I smiled at the term ‘angry agenda’, we packed and left. We are now in a hostel and working out what to do with our sudden freedom. I know it was a lucky escape (we were due to stay there one month!), but it’s left me re-running the whole situation in my mind. The hypocrisy of touting ‘freedom of speech’ in defense of a man’s chauvinistic judgments, and then telling me to leave his house because of my ‘angry agenda’ …? At first I found it funny because it’s so textbook. But it’s not funny, really – just surreal and all too real at the same time. Thank you so much for this platform – I feel better for venting!
Why do they have to call them ‘boy’ shorts all the time? Why can I not be wearing ‘girl’ shorts for once? I mean, I identify as a girl and it was the gender I was assigned at birth, but that’s not enough for the disturbingly sexist fashion industry, cos if I want to wear clothing that is considered traditionally non-feminine, I must refer to them as ‘boy’ clothes. It’s like the feminine version of being emasculated… …Also, why, if they really are ‘boy’ shorts, are they cut so much shorter than ‘real boy shorts’ are? I started to just make my own because I’m sick of getting cut in half through the crotch every time it’s sunny outside. I mean, the whole point is that they’re meant to be comfier than ‘girl’ shorts, right? If they cut ‘real boy shorts’ the same length as they do ‘boy’ shorts for girls, nobody would buy them because they would crush all the men’s balls. Just let me keep my goddamn upper-thighs to myself, would you?! I shouldn’t have to sit at home sewing shit onto brand-new clothes just to make them wearable and making ALL my own clothes while I keep up a full-time job isn’t really feasible. I mean, I can sew, but I’m not THAT freakin’ good. I have the same issue with “boyfriend” jeans. They call them “boyfriend” jeans because a girl wouldn’t wear something that baggy, right? All her jeans would be skin-tight, as it should be, right? Wankers.
Almost every time I see an article about Kate Middleton, it’s about her outfit. Just now I saw one about how she’s worn the same coat like three times. I’m sure William has worn the same clothes over and over too, but no one cares since he’s a man.
It just got to me how difficult it is to find clothing for a pear-shaped body. I am a woman of said body shape. I manage to get by with day to day clothes, i.e. buy bottoms, buy a top one or two sizes smaller, which better be stretchy and/or loose fit. But coats are an absolute nightmare. I live in Canada, so parka is a must for when it gets cold. It seems like whoever designs parkas has never seen a woman (outside of photoshopped adverts). All parkas are cut straight. Hips don’t exist. So the choice is either a) an obviously oversized jacket bunched up at the top, with sleeves too long, or b) a bomber jacket, which means my bum will be freezing.
I tried to buy my daughter some sandals suitable for scooting and climbing trees etc. The woman in the shop kept bringing out white and pink strappy sandals that were totally unsuited to a small child in the park. The footwear gender divide is very stark, it may seem trivial but white fancy sandals say: girls should be neat and tidy and not run or climb. Then as a present for being sensible she presented my daughter with a pink hairbrush that dyes your hair pink!