“I am not my clothing”

I was pulled off of an airplane and told I was an embarrassment to the airline because my skirt was too short. Two separate strangers told me I needed to change my clothes in public. A housing employee told her residents to avoid me. Years ago, I was told I could not be affiliated with because I was viewed as too “slutty”. At school, a fraternity on campus sent around a scavenger hunt list asking pledges to take a photo with me and nicknamed me a sexual slur. A boy assaulted me multiple times because I was too tired to have sex with him and “he expected more, since I had taken his virginity”. Seven years ago, I was raped for the first time. I mumbled no a few times before passing out. I was wearing leggings and a baggy tank top. When I woke up, I celebrated losing my virginity because that is the fucking culture that we live in and I thought it was a good thing.

I have never been told that I did not deserve these things. I have been told that I was probably asking for it.

Five years ago, I lost enough weight to be confident about my body and to feel good enough to wear skirts. My clothing brings me joy in ways that other things in life do not. I get a lot more pleasure out of shopping than the average person. My skirts are short. My dresses are tight. They are not an excuse to judge me and they are certainly not an excuse to rape me.

Just because you disagree with my choice of outfit does not give you the right to call me a slut, so dear world, I would appreciate it if you’d stop doing so.