It’s summer time, my favorite time of the year. It’s a time for swimming and ice cream and all sorts of cold drinks and treats. It’s also the best time of the year for my washing machine, because in these hot summer months I rarely have to worry about tons of laundry.
My son was born one year ago plus 4 days, and I have found even more reasons why the summer is a great time to have a baby. For one thing, I rarely had to dress him in more than his diaper. This suited me just fine, since skin-to-skin contact was the key to keeping him calm and happy, and we totally avoided that Purple Crying, or Colic, that all new parents are warned is inevitable. Breastfeeding was a snap since I was often walking around in spagetti strap sundresses or bedsheet togas. I didn’t much care what I wore at home since my boobs would leak all over everything anyway. It was just easier to go topless or as close to naked as I could get. And there was that added bonus of being able to walk everywhere during the day with my son napping in his stroller; I shed all my baby weight and was down to my HIGHSCHOOL weight within three months! So yeah, when I plan my next kid I’m going to be shooting for a birthday in April to July, just for those reasons.
But that’s just a few of the reasons to love summer. I also happen to love it because in the summer I wear next to nothing! No layers of sweaters or tops. Everything is spagetti strap all the time; not because it’s a fashion statement, but because IT IS FUCKING HOT OUTSIDE!
I cannot even think about wearing anything with more material once the temperatures climb up to 25 (Celsius. I don’t know what that is in Farenheit. Look it up)! If I’m indoors then I might wear a tank top with thicker straps to cover my shoulders, but only because the air conditioning is usually cranked up high. But outside? Fuck it, I’m showing as much skin as I can get away with, without feeling totally exposed.
But it’s odd how quickly I’ve forgotten what dressing for the weather used to mean when I was at work or going to school. I forgot that until a few years ago I would carry my light spagetti strap sundresses in a bag and take them to work. I forgot that I would have to wear a blazer over my tops at all times, and swelter in the poorly air conditioned store. I forgot that I would have to change into my sundresses after work just so I wouldn’t die of heat stroke once I got to the bus stop. I forgot about “modesty” and about dress codes and all that shit. I forgot what it was like to have a school dress code as well.
Today I was reminded when I was scrolling through my Facebook feed.
Right now I am in yoga pants and a spagetti strap top with no bra. My near-one year old is sitting in his diaper and nothing else. And while I’m inside my relatively cool house in comfortable clothes with the curtains drawn so that the sun can’t heat up the house, my friend’s five year old daughter is probably outside (as it’s lunch time) wearing a sweater because she was told to cover up.
She had a spagetti strap tank on under that sweater, because she was dressed for the weather and it’s fucking hot outside. Unfortunately her school doesn’t see it that way. They made her wear her sweater because bare shoulders “distract boys/men” and it’s inappropriate.
What. The. Fuck.
Before I point out the fucking obvious reason why this is stupid (SHE’S FUCKING FIVE!!!!), I will get to the real issue here. It’s not the dress code. It’s the mentality behind it.
Girls should not show skin because it’s distracting to the opposite sex.
Why are we still letting this be okay? Why are we STILL saying “sure, no problem!” and covering our shoulders and suffering through the heat waves in silence, all to avoid being branded sluts or whatever the labels are? Why is it that in 30 degree weather it’s the women and girls who are told to “cover up” for the sake of the men and boys who can’t “concentrate”? We are not talking about dressing up in string bikinis or jewel encrusted undies with pasties here. We are talking about a girl or woman wearing a spagetti strap camisole that might not even show a hint of cleavage being told that her shoulders are “distracting”. Halter tops are banned, and they could cover up more chest area than a tank top. No shorts higher than an inch above the knees. It’s ridiculous!
I understand the need for decency. I understand that blatantly flashing boobs and butt at school or work would be inappropriate because nobody wants to see your ass hanging out of your shorts. Just as men should not go commando in loose shorts (EWWW testicles hanging out!) I agree that women should dress so that a wardrobe malfunction is less likely to happen. But banning tanks and spagetti straps altogether is ridiculous and so is the idea that a certain type of clothing shouldn’t be worn because it is distracting to the opposite sex.
But let’s pretend for a minute that this is totally okay. Let’s pretend that men/boys are not in control of their actions and that it’s up to us women/girls to keep those naughty thoughts from occuring in their pea sized male brains. And let’s also pretend that we women are slaves to lust as well! Let’s pretend that boys need a dress code to stop us from staring at them.
In that thread of logic, let’s ban all the articles of clothing men wear that might distract us.
No more tight or fitted jeans; draws too much attention to their lower half, especially if the cut lines are showing.
No board shorts; if they got wet they would be clinging to all the “wrong” places
No sleeveless shirts; because look at those muscular arms
No fitted tee shirts; because look at those pectorals and again, ARMS
Nothing leather; because the sight of a man in leather makes girls’ brains go all mushy. Every girl likes a badboy, after all.
While we’re at it, let’s tell men they can’t ever take off their shirts in our presence. Let’s bring back those old timey swimsuits and cover up even more skin. But we can’t make them too tight because the muscles might be showcased in a way that overloads our sexed up hormonal brains.
And let’s start enforcing this rule right from birth, and tell toddlers to cover up, and insist on wetsuits for preschoolers. No more naked babies.
After all, we don’t want our five year olds and under looking at each other’s bodies and thinking sexual thoughts…Oh, wait, that’s right! They’re fucking FIVE!
Sometimes I hear about the shit that’s going on today and I cringe at the thought that one day I will have to deal with it with my kids. I cringe at the thought that my next child may very well be a girl and I’ll have to fight all these stupid rules. And then I think of my mother in law and how she used to go down to the school and yell at the principal for daring to tell her daughter to cover up when she was dressed in a decent enough summer top, but just so happened to have developed breasts early. I think about her and how she wouldn’t take shit from people in “authority” and I smile. Then I think about the shit that I will have to put up with and smile as well, because I know I’m going to be one of THOSE moms. I’m going to teach my son and my eventual daughter that they are in control of their actions. I will teach them that the way they dress has no bearing on how they “deserve” to be treated. I will stand tall and proud and I will raise hell and I will make sure that NOBODY gets away with telling my children how they should dress.
Because seriously,it’s fucking 25 degrees and my friend’s five year old kid is in a fucking sweatshirt.