This Is Not About Leggings

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

I’m a mother of sons.


Never, not once, does it occur to me that other humans should police their appearance in accordance with the behavior, or possible behavior, of my sons.


Never.


I love my sons. With my entire body and soul and heart. I love them more than I love myself.


But fuck all of that. Entirely.


A mom wrote a letter to the editor of the Notre Dame student paper decrying leggings. She feels women should stop wearing them. Because men.


In the interest of transparency, I’ll share with you that I was assaulted while wearing leggings. By two men. (Boys really. They were teens.) Two men I thought were friends. And while they assaulted me, they told me it was my fault.


Because I wore leggings.


I will be goddamned before I tell my sons that they are free to act like predators because of the way someone else dresses. That they are free to act like assholes because of someone else’s appearance. That they are free to act like an orange faced bag of shit because of how someone else’s body moves.

Recognizing and eliminating injustice begins with bodily autonomy.


Again. For the people in the back.

Recognizing and eliminating injustice begins with bodily autonomy.


If we are ok with women being ridiculed for their clothing choices, it is easier to accept their assaults.


If we are ok with transgender people being ridiculed for looking different, it is easier to accept their assaults. 


If we are ok with the disabled being ridiculed for their body differences, it is easier to accept their assaults.


When we other them, when we place human beings into categories that are different from the categories we find ourselves in, and when we begin to think of those categories as less than our own, we chip away at their humanity.


We chip away at our humanity.


We are all human beings. And we need to unpack this bullshit. And fast.


This is why black and brown bodies are in danger. Why the police are called on them for just existing. This is why women are taught, from the time they are kids, to always be on the defense from sexual assault. Rather than men being taught, from the time they are boys, what active and enthusiastic consent looks and sounds like. This is why transgender and nonbinary people struggle to just safely fucking pee in public bathrooms. Why the disabled have to battle every day through an existence that is designed around limited access for them.


It is all rooted in bodies. How we treat them. How we view them. How we shame them.


We learn at the feet of our own selves. We learn to hate our own appearances. And it’s a trauma that we perpetuate every time we shame someone else. No matter how small it seems.


We are perpetuating some toxic garbage on the bodies of fellow humans every day.


This isn’t about leggings. 


It will never be just about leggings.


And I will never entertain the notion that I should be out here teaching my children that what another human being wears is a signal of entitlement. That the clothing another human being chooses gives my sons access to that human’s body.


Fuck off all the way with that.

And learn to do better. Start HERE.

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