Later, when her 12-year-old son asks her, “Why do girls want to dress like sluts?” Fondas replies with a rant against pop culture: “Girls see it everywhere: on TV, in stores, magazines, movies, online. That’s why they think it’s the definition of ‘pretty’!” Her son is unconvinced..
.. I can’t help thinking that a much better answer to the question, “Why do girls want to dress like sluts?” is “What’s so bad about being a slut?” Girls who play up their sexuality via their clothing choices—and girls who explore their sexuality with more than one partner—are people, too; putting on a tube top does not mean forfeiting one’s dignity. Fondas’ approach, though obviously well-intentioned, plays into the notion that a woman’s appearance is of paramount importance. And I fear her answer to her son’s question conveys the message that it’s OK to pity or disrespect girls who dress a certain way, since, according to her worldview, they’re just helpless dupes. But if we really want to prevent girls from being victimized, perhaps we should teach boys to spend less time judging what girls wear and more time listening to what girls say.
OMG yes to this!
From “Why do teenage girls dress like sluts? Because they’re teenagers” in Slate by L. V. Anderson. (My use of bold in the above). (Because what if in response to sexual assault we limited men’s freedom the way we limit women’s freedom?)