Dear America, Thank You for Not Throwing Acid on Me” – American Women : A Commentary on Twitter and Feminism
By: Jordan Doak
You might’ve seen this tweet before:
… And at this point, as I was, you were probably thinking about how horrible her situation was.
… And then you saw the last picture in the series of four:
“Meanwhile, in America, feminists are complaining about how dress codes are oppressive.
You idiots have never experienced oppression, and pray you never do, because this is what it looks like.”
And it’s not true. We idiots have experienced oppression.
As a society, it is true that we are working towards gender equality (#heforshe). But there is still oppression, and in contention with what the author of this tweet believes, dress codes are a perfect example of this.
In her opinion piece in the Billings Gazette, Ashley Crtalic relates her personal experience with dress code in high school and the message it sends to young girls and society
“When I was a freshman and sophomore, I was groped and cat-called and treated like a sexual object both inside and outside of classrooms. As I walked through the hall, I remember senior boys grabbing at my derriere and whistling at me. I remember classmates yelling across the room explicit instructions of what they would like to do to me. Sometimes I ignored them. Sometimes I just walked away. Sometimes I loudly spoke back to them. Sometimes I glared. Sometimes I told them to please shut up.
At that time, what was ‘in fashion’ was nothing that violated the dress code. I was literally wearing T-shirts and jeans 99 percent of the time.”
Crtalic explains, “The burden of the opposite sex’s learning was placed squarely on my covered shoulders. I was the problem. The other girls and I were made to feel like our bodies were dangerous. Our underage bodies were incredibly sexualized. We were not protected. I hope you can understand that you are not protecting your students with this dress code.
You are shaming them and teaching the girls that they are dangerous, and the boys that they are weak and must be protected…
…You are teaching girls that if their pants are too tight, if too much skin is visible above their knees, if their shoulders are bare, they deserve to be punished. And don’t tell me it’s not punishment. You are telling them to go home and not come back until they look differently. You are setting the stage for the boys you are teaching to grow up into men who say “she asked for it” because she was dressed provocatively. The logic you are using fits perfectly into that mentality. Girls, cover up to protect everyone. The boys can’t control themselves, and they might hurt themselves or you if you don’t keep it under control for them.”
So no, in the US our feminists aren’t fighting for women’s rights with the risk of being attacked with acid and gasoline. But American feminists are still fighting for equality and to not be oppressed in the form of things like dress codes.
And, alarmingly, American people, American women who are still oppressed in certain ways, don’t realize it: