OMG what is she wearing? She’s just asking for it.

When I was 17, I was privately and publicly shamed by an administrator in my school. A woman I respected and admired told me that I couldn’t dress like the other girls. Because I had a more voluptuous body, a body I was already ashamed of because it was bigger than most teen girls, a body that I’d kill to have back, but one that I didn’t understand apparently held power against horny teenage boys. (I’ll tell you a secret, though: it didn’t. My body was not what teenage boys were looking for. It was something adult men found attractive, though. And I suppose THAT’S why I was told that my outfit was unacceptable.)

Rape culture and dress codes

What was I wearing you ask?

In the peak of the new Millennium, I could have been wearing a tiny crop top and tight flared jeans. Short shorts and a skimpy tank. A two-piece prom dress that left nothing to the imagination.

But I was stylish in my short overalls with thick straps and a fully covered abdomen. The problem was in the strapless tube top that covered my breasts and stomach. It gasp showed my shoulders. But not any more than one of the very popular camisoles of the time. Not any more revealing than anything any of my cheerleading peers, who were much thinner than me, were wearing on that warm May afternoon.

And I was called out. By a female administrator whose name I still remember with crystal clarity. Who tried to mark me as her equal in womanhood.

“Women like us have to be conscientious of how we dress. We can’t wear the same clothes as the other girls.”

She was nothing like me. Tall, thin, in her mid to late 40’s. She didn’t understand me. She didn’t know me. And she certainly wasn’t like me.

But she did have the power to make me wear an old hoodie from the bottom of my locker over my overalls the rest of the day. The rest of that hot, spring day in an un-air-conditioned high school.

And I did. Because I was terrified of getting in trouble (save all those tardy detentions). Because I believed in authority. Because, at 17, I was already ashamed enough of my body.

This is what rape culture looks like. Rape culture shames a woman or a young girl into thinking she can’t dress a certain way, because boys and men can’t control themselves.

Rape culture lets men like Brock Turner out of jail after 3 short months, even though he ruined a woman’s life. He violated her body, and because of his “bright” future, he got off easy.

Brock Turner is out of jail. Do you remember him? You should. And you should probably stay away from him. Because he can’t control himself around women. And instead of the government keeping him away from and protecting us, we must do our best to stay away from him. We’re told to dress less provocatively and not to drink alcohol, instead of men like Brock being told not to fucking rape.

Well, I’m sick of this bullshit. For 16 years, I’ve held that memory of the school administrator telling me that “women like us need to be careful what we wear” for far too long. And school dress codes that favor boys, limit girls and promote rape culture need to disappear.

Let’s teach the right way to behave and stop worrying how people dress.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

A Closet Full of Clothes…But Where Are Brian’s Clothes?

As my closet fills with fall clothes, I started thinking about my wardrobe vs. Brian’s wardrobe. When we moved into Brian’s dad’s house, putting most of our stuff into a gigantic storage unit, I had to pack up Rubbermaid tub on top of Rubbermaid tub full of clothes that I wouldn’t see again for another several months. I miss my clothes. Right now, I’m especially missing my Chicago Bears gear. All my t-shirts, hoodies and sweatpants. And sweaters. It’s getting a bit chilly out there. I’m definitely missing my sweaters.

How Should You Share the Closet Space?

The closet pictured was our Downers Grove apartment when we first moved in. I had NOT moved all my clothes in yet. Brian had. You can see the separation. Eventually, I took over this entire closet, plus some of the other closet. And Brian took that small portion of the other closet for his seven shirts.

Right now, my wardrobe dominates the small closet that Brian and I are currently sharing (it’s about half the size of our Downers Grove apartment closet). We’ve been in this situation before…sharing a small closet in which I only have a small portion of my clothes on display…For the first year and a half of our relationship, before we moved into our first apartment together, we didn’t technically live together. I just never went home. And we shared Brian’s tiny closet. Well…I shared his closet with him. It was slam-packed with my clothes, leaving just a tiny few inches of space on the hanging bar for Brian’s clothes.

Luckily, Brian only has about 5  fashionable designer dress shirts (which I happened to have purchased for him, because that’s what girlfriends do, right?) and maybe 3-4 other hanging articles of clothing hiding in the back of the closet, and the rest of his clothes can be folded in a dresser (or a laundry basket if we’re stretched for space, which we are). He didn’t have to pack any clothes in storage tubs. All of his clothes are hanging out in our room. But if you were to look at our closet, you’d see a whole lot of lady clothes and not a whole lot of Brian clothes.

Where am I going with this? Oh. Right. Closets full of clothes and space.

Hypothetically speaking…if we were to, say…move into a new house…and that hypothetical house were to have a deliciously sized hypothetical walk-in closet…and Chrissy were to be reunited with all her clothes (and they were to meet all the new clothes Chrissy purchased in their stead), how much of that walk-in closet would be used for Brian’s clothes, and how much of that walk-in closet would be for Chrissy’s clothes?

I mean…this isn’t a debate or anything. It’s a very serious question about very serious clothing and a very serious [hypothetical] closet.

And I’m asking for a friend.

Because that girl’s boyfriend may or may not have hypothetically told her that 50% of that hypothetical, magical-unicorn-of-a-closet would hypothetically belong to him.

What are your thoughts? Do you think the closet should be a 50/50 split regardless of the number of hangers on each side?

This post was sponsored on behalf of Sir Men’s Wear. I was compensated for my time, but this is still my story and I’m sticking to it.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!