I thoroughly agree with you that Men and young boys should be responsible and accountable for their…
Osinachi Ukomadu

Dominique, I (emphatically, whole heartedly) agree with everything you say except the last paragraph. I think Osinachi has a point:

“However, I strongly disagree that the way for young girls/women to feel beautiful and wield power is through what they wear.”

What is it about how they are dressed that makes girls/women feel beautiful and powerful? What power is it that they are wielding? If its the power of attracting attention, in particular the male gaze, then the solution is exactly part of the problem.

Don’t get me wrong. There is a time and a place (and an age, and appropriate situations) for either sex to actively seek out the attention of the other. But it is not all the time, or in all places, or under all circumstances. Boys and girls, men and women need to resist the brainwashing of our hyper sexualised culture and make room in their self images for a whole range of sources of power and self worth. Being a good cook, being an athlete, being a supportive friend, being a success in business: all of these are great sources of self (and public) esteem, none of them are mutually exclusive, and none of them are gender specific, although sometimes our patriarchal society tries to paint them that way.

I think that trying to persuade young women and men of the truth of the last sentence would be much better advice than “wear what you want”.

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