By Emily Sheer–
Sometimes, in lieu of recognizing and respecting women as autonomous human beings, men make comments that degrade and shame women for expressing their autonomy. This really comes into play during the weeks preceding Halloween.
As my peer illustrated perfectly in the Halloween issue of the Louisville Cardinal, men often degrade and shame women for choosing “sexy” Halloween costumes because they think women should feel bad exposing so much skin. They believe it is unbecoming of ladies with certain levels of intelligence to wear sexy costumes, lest they be mistaken as common, uneducated street whores. They also feel the need to passive aggressively tell us what to wear to conform with their ignorant, pre-feminism way of thinking.
Men, I understand, somewhat, what would make you act like such a sexist pig. I get that you are raised in a patriarchal society that tells you it is okay to degrade and shame women. It probably makes you smile, and you feel so smug thinking you know the correct choices women ought to make but ignorantly, as you think, do not. Smug enough to write a whole little article on it.
But, I think you have the ability to be too intelligent for that. I think acting like a sexist bigot is beneath you. I think that, simply by the virtue of being a human being, you owe it to yourself to think hard about your conception of dignity. It isn’t up to me to decide that you stop shaming and degrading women for being sexual beings and expressing autonomy over their body. But, don’t you owe it to your own self-worth?
Give it some thought, and think about what respecting women and human beings in general, means to you. Because if I see you out on Halloween, shaming women because they aren’t wearing what you think they ought to wear, it’s true a lot of other people will agree with you but not me. I’ll be looking at you, probably glaring, silently wishing that against all odds, you will take a Women and Gender Studies course or two, and maybe become a somewhat decent human being by the time you graduate.