An Open Letter to, well, Everyone: Guys in Cars

Dear Readers,

I was going to write about summer dress codes–
About how grossly unfair they are to the female gender.
The forced androgyny of shorts that have to be KNEE LENGTH.
No exceptions.
But there isn’t too much to say; aside from the normal litany of complaints
The complaints that don’t really have anything to do with dress code.
But instead have to do with society.
“Why do I have to cover up? This tank top isn’t that revealing. They don’t make shorts that length for girls! Yes, I wear skirts and dresses because I am female, and it’s my prerogative.”
So let’s, instead, talk about life’s little lessons in sexual harassment.
Guys in Cars.
The ones who think that it’s ok to scream “I HAVE A BONER!!!” at me while I’m standing, waiting for a stop light to change.
The funny part? I was wearing a sweater with some rolled up jeans.
Nothing revealing, provocative, or sensual.
Worse than the guys that yell at you from a distance are the ones who sloooooow down.
“Hey honey, daaaaaaamn guuuurl, you lookin’ fine.”
Does that ever work? I hope not.
Mostly, I ignore them. Really, I want to ask them how they treat the women that they care about.
Probably not very well.
My mother says that it’s the way that I dress that provokes dirty thoughts.
But that doesn’t make sense, because that sleeping bag coat that I wear in the winter is the least sexy thing since slugs.
It’s not my miniskirt, my short shorts, or my tube top.
It’s not my 4 inch heels or my low cut dress.
It’s not my modest sweater.
Stop blaming me for slut shaming, cat calls, overeager men.
It’s sexual harassment.
I don’t deserve it. It’s not flattering, it’s unwanted, and it needs to stop.
It’s not me, I say to my mother. It’s them.
Men, boys, people who don’t have respect for women.
Who don’t realize that it’s my prerogative to wear what I like, and it’s not done for their benefit.
It’s probably time, in our so-called “advanced society,” that we stop heaping blame on women and start teaching men to accept responsibility for their actions.
I like my body.
I like the clothes that I wear.
I don’t like being sexually harassed when I walk down the street because men can’t “control themselves.”
Seriously.
Stop it.
Sincerely,
Rachel
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