Just because she’s wearing shorts, does not mean she’s asking for sexual harassment

Let me wear what I want without feeling at risk


I am sick of the suggestion the way girls dress could be to blame for sexual harassment.

If a man walked through the street topless on a hot day it is unlikely any woman would sexually abuse him or he would even feel at risk.

Once, on a horrendous night out at Oceana, a spotty, drunken bloke with truly pungent body odour came up to me and grabbed me by the chest.

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I struggled away and when I finally managed to pull his hands off of me and shouted at him, his response was simply: “You shouldn’t have them out if you don’t want me to touch them.”

This absolutely epitomised everything that I hate about sexism, as it suggested that I was in some way to blame for what had happened.

Ever since I was about 12-years-old, my mum has checked me up and down before I leave the house.

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I’m now 20 and living away from home, I’m pretty sure it kills her that she can’t still do this and even though it drives me mad, I can’t really blame her.

The lines “Pull your skirt down a bit” and “Why do you always have to have your tits hanging out?” get thrown around daily when I’m at home – it’s a common battle we all have with our parents.

I hate upsetting her, but I’m not willing to change just to walk down the street to avoid being hooted at or wolf whistled – it would mean accepting defeat.

Women, you should not have to dress a certain way to feel safe and men, you should know this by now.

If you don’t spend your life in jeans and turtleneck jumpers you’re a slut or, even worse, asking for any trouble you encounter.

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Yes, you are more likely to receive attention if you dress a certain way but ultimately, most of these men just see a pair of boobs regardless of what you’re wearing.

We’ve all had those days where we’ve left the house in trackies with greasy hair and still been hooted at, which proves that it’s not about how you dress, it’s purely the fact that you have a vagina.

We are raised to ignore the man that shouts out of his van at us, the builder who puts down his tools so that his entire concentration can be upon your chest, the businessman who knows he doesn’t need to stand that close to you on the train, the pensioner whose leg is touching yours and the dickhead who grabs your boobs on a night out.

But these are all forms of sexual harassment we should not have to put up with: just because I don’t want to be sexually assaulted, does not make me frigid, nor does it make me a lesbian. It makes me a woman, it makes me human, it makes me normal.

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