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!

I Sit at the Bad Girls’ Table and What I Learned About Hot Tea

Not that this should surprise you or anything. I’ve always had a penchant for troublemakers. Even when I was 12-year-old misfit, I knew how to find the most entertaining kids.

So last weekend, when I went to a bridal shower, it was no surprise that I found myself at a table of instigators.

Instigators

And this is how y’all responded

You’ll note that even the bride commented on “guiding us” to a table in the back (near the cupcakes, so we weren’t disappointed or anything).

We were tasked with writing notes to the bride on rocks. I love it when people get all Pinteresty. Of course, we had to steal all of the paint pens from all of the tables, so that we could write simultaneously. This was important business.

It was also important business to steal an extra rock off the only empty seat at our table…and write an additional note. “I wasn’t invited, but thanks for the food!” I truly have fantastic, brilliant and hilarious friends.

This was especially true when someone sat down at the empty seat at our table…and we needed to find a rock for her. The bride’s sister was less than impressed with our mad skill. She was also unwilling to let us sneak the bonus rock onto a different table. I can’t say that I blame her. We weren’t very sneaky.

After a few fart jokes…and a story about peeing…(Remind me to tell you guys that one, because of course, the pee story was MY story.) we got to the nitty gritty of troublemaking.

Because the present-opening part can get…well you know how the present-opening is at showers. We needed to be entertained. And DELICIOUS cupcakes can only hold a table of gals for so long. Especially when there are like…10 more cupcakes without tummies to find a home in. That we couldn’t possibly eat.

I, in an attempt to be sophisticated, ordered tea instead of coffee. They had a great selection of options, but I went with black tea so I could be super fancy and enjoy it Irish-style with milk and sugar.

Another girl at the table ordered an herbal tea, chamomile, I think, so we could be fancy together.

At the arrival of our hot beverages, the other girl thought it would be an excellent idea to also add milk to her tea. Because we were being fancy.

Unfortunately, after adding lemon and sugar and milk to her tea, we discovered that chamomile tea was not so good with milk. In fact…it curdled.

Instead of just…fessing up or ignoring it…we needed to fix the problem. Or at least hide it. Because that shit was nasty. So another girl at the table (the same one who showed up to a place setting without a rock–she was a real sport!) ordered another hot tea to replace the curdled one.

Once it arrived, we played a little game of bait and switch in which we poured the curdled tea into my empty tea pot (I had already refilled my cup), closed the lid and moved the curdled mug to the center of the table. And no one was ever the wiser. Until the teapot got to the dishwasher, I’m sure. Because that shit really was nasty.

2014-02-16 13.40.37 2014-02-16 13.40.10
Of course, we all thought that we had just learned something about tea and milk. Black tea with milk good. White tea with milk bad.

Except that we were wrong.

After some Google research, I learned that the LEMON was the curdling culprit. Not the tea.

Live and learn blog friends!

Are you a troublemaker? Do you find yourself giggling more than anyone else at a bridal shower or baby shower? Tell me about a time you did silly things when you were supposed to be a grown up!

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!