Emma Lindsay has a message for the men of the world who dare to ask: “Why do women wear sexy clothes if they don’t want attention?”
Lindsay writes in a candid essay posted on Medium that for years, unwanted male attention made her so uncomfortable that she completely stopped wearing sexy clothes and makeup and shaving her legs, and was careful about showing affection or unconsciously flirting in conversation. Still, she faced catcalls, harassment, even stalking. She blamed herself for men’s advances and even sent an email to one man, expressing her discomfort at his attention but saying that she would “tolerate it if it helps” him to feel better.
“I felt obligated to suffer any degree so that male sexuality would not be inconvenienced,” she recalled in the essay.
But Lindsay said that policing her own sexuality for the comfort of men made her miserable. She was left unable to form romantic connections to people. Now, she says, women should be able to wear sexy clothing and express their sexuality without men making them feel uncomfortable about it.
“There are few socially acceptable outlets for women to communicate desire, but how they dress is one of them,” she writes.
And if women are able to dress to express desire, men should do it too, she writes.
“Maybe all those dudes asking ‘why do women dress sexy if they don’t want attention?’ should be putting a little more time into their own image,” she says. “If we could take some of the misogyny out of the whole thing I’m convinced the art of pickup could actually be good for society.”
Read the full story at Medium.