Because, as a woman, I must stand as a tribute to patriarchy no matter what my choices are, because choice is an illusion? That is, according to the logic of some.
If I dress in a modern way, with heels and more revealing clothes, slut shaming is the rule of the day. I’ll also garner far more sexual attention than if I were covered. BUT, if I cover and dress more modestly, regardless of the history of abuse that caused me to make that decision in the first place, I am participating in patriarchal cultural norms.
Well, what the fuck am I supposed to do?
I often hear cries of “Embrace your body! Don’t be ashamed!”. Yeah, no. I’m not ashamed of my body. My body is quite lovely, and if you saw it, you’d likely agree. The point of my choice to cover is to remind myself first, others second, that my body is mine. It belongs to me. I took a dangerous stand against one specific male in my life who truly believed that my body belonged to him. It didn’t. It doesn’t. It’s mine. I cover my body because I don’t want him, or you, or anyone else looking at it. Period. End of story. I don’t give a flying fuck if you think I’m doing it for the patriarchy. I can’t change your mind.
When people decide they know better about how someone else ought to dress and feel about themselves, they are giving lip service to feminism, and nothing more. When somebody tells you why they do this thing that you have decided is a failure in asserting their own claim over their own body, you’re just ignoring their lived experience. You know better than they do. They’re not feminist enough. They’re brainwashed. Etc., etc., etc.
Fuck you. And fuck your elitist attitude.
Women have the right to wear what they please, and you may keep your opinions to yourself. It’s not all black and white. All covered women are not male tools anymore than all uncovered women are. Cause, you know, Rebecca in her mini skirt is showing her legs. Does that mean because men can see her legs that she is displaying her legs for their titillation? No. It’s 90 degrees outside and Rebecca is hot. Also, mini skirts please Rebecca. End of story.
If you see me and I am veiled, am I veiled because a man told me to? Because obviously, I have no brain, or will, or agency of my own, right? No. I am veiled because it damn well pleases me to be veiled in public. Because my body is mine, and I’ll do what I fucking want with it. I will dress it however I fucking please, and I will speak up for your right as a human being to do the same.
You won’t hear me making value judgements on the way you choose to dress, because I am a real motherfucking feminist, who believes people can decide for themselves, based on their own lived experience, what is best for them, and what makes them feel empowered and most comfortable.
Take your goddamn feminist policing elsewhere. Preferably back behind your own closed doors, where you can evaluate the reasons why you think you need to be the arbiter of other people’s clothes.