Over the past year I have experienced sexual harassment simply because I was wearing a “very short skirt” or a “very small short”. That alone gave men a reason to call me a hoe, scream inappropriate words, touch my body in the street or just look at me in an inappropriate way. Men think that just because we wear certain clothes, they are allowed to look at us in a certain way or call us certain things. I know I am not the only girl who has experienced this. Nowadays I can say that we, as teenage girls, aren’t free of doing or wearing what we desire because of the society we live in and the treatment we would receive. This restrictive reality is clearly seen through the typical “you can’t wear that skirt because men are going to look at you”. The Paremos el Acoso Callejero group and the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru surveyed 800 women in 2013 and found that nearly 60% of women had experienced street harassment; more than 80% of them aged 18 – 29 years.
There are many rules set by society which we need to follow in order to be accepted. If we don’t follow them we get criticized and discriminated against just because we don’t want to be one more of that bubble. For example, some of these ‘rules’ consist of us having to sit like a lady, having our legs crossed and our hands on our laps; we can’t sit with our legs opened, or a hunched back, it’s a SIN. However, it is acceptable for men to do that, because in this way they portray their masculinity; if a men sits like a “lady” he is labelled a “gay man”. In addition, we need to shave our leg hair, or armpit hair because it looks ugly, however men can grow it out and if they don’t, then they say they aren’t a real man, a macho. Something that comes along with the “sit like a lady” is “talk like a lady”; a girl shouldn’t say any bad words. Girls need to talk ver smoothly and have a sweet voice, ladies can’t talk about sex in front of people, which is really ridiculous. If a woman has a deep voice, people would make fun of her and call her hurtful names. We have the right to speak our minds and we shouldn’t be judged by how we speak.
Another popular myth is that women are TOO worried about their bodies. Let me ask you, men, why do you think it is? Could it be because we are judged if we are too fat? If we are too thin? If we wear makeup? If we don’t wear makeup? If we talk about our period? If we have a certain type of hair? If we have small boobs or if we have large boobs? If we have stretch marks? If we have any plastic surgeries we are called “fake” for? Believe me, the list can go on, these are just some of the reasons we are iNSeCurRE. 91% of women are unhappy with their bodies and turn to dieting to achieve their ideal body type. Unfortunately, only 5% of women naturally possess the body type often portrayed by Americans in the media. 58% of college-aged girls feel pressured to be a certain weight. Yes, I know men are not the only ones who judge and talk about this, but at least us women should support each other. We shouldn’t bring each other down, we are beautiful how we are, the beauty is in the inside, so STOP JUDGING and CRITICIZING!
Lastly I would like to talk about the behaviour we, teenage girls SHOULD(?) have. First of all, I want to address that IT IS OKAY if you don’t follow this, I bet no one likes these “rules” and we shouldn’t feel obligated to change the way we are just because everyone tells us to. Women are expected to wear makeup, to remove our stretch marks or pimples because they dOn’T look nice. I personally think this is such a trashy argument, we need to show our true selves, how we really are. Why should we pretend to be “perfect” when no one is? Research has revealed that the overwhelming majority of female children in the UK ask their parents to wear makeup at the average age of just six years old. The most popular reasons included ‘being bullied for not wearing it’, ‘social media’, or ‘feeling ugly’. What’s more, 89% of the parents polled had previously caught their daughter wearing makeup without their permission, with the average age found to be seven years old. When asked for their opinion, 77% of respondents said that they thought there was societal pressure for children to wear makeup. Expanding upon this, 27% of parents said that celebrities were the biggest reason for their pressure, followed by their children’s friends and influencers. We shouldn’t compare ourselves to anyone but ourselves if we want to be who we truly are. I know this is easy to say and hard to do but we need to try. If a man paints his nails he would get judged and bullied for having a “femenin” attitude, some guys don’t wear any nail polish because they want to avoid being harassed and insulted. Oh God save them from society please! The final situation I am going to talk about is about us, teenagers, when attending parties. We shouldn’t kiss any boy unless he’s our boyfriend, we shouldn’t have sex with anyone until we are married… However, if a boy does these things, oh Lord, what a man. NO IT’S NOT OKAY! It’s NOT okay to congratulate a boy because of how many girls he has kissed or how many girls he has slept with while humiliating a girl for doing so. Why should we judge people for this? If a man is getting congratulated and praised, then why can’t a girl?