"Respectable" Clothes

7:10:00 PM

We went to Baguio last week. The trip was fun except that one time my grandmother decided to visit a Catholic church after we went biking. As an atheist, I wasn't interested in praying or praising god or whatever but I still got down off the car because I was curious on what the church looks like. I was being a tourist.

One of the people I was with was a also a teenage girl. She was wearing shorts because, duh, the activities for that day was biking and going around the whole city. According to her mother, she even asked if her clothes were "allowed" but her mother just told her to try. We were almost inside the church when my cousin, sibling and I heard people arguing. When we turned around, it was a woman (I think she's a nun) and she was talking with the mother of the girl. We approached them.

Of course, she was angry at the girl because she was wearing shorts. She said...

(The conversation was in Tagalog, but I'll just translate it.)

"Wearing provocative clothes is not allowed inside the church."

Her mother explained that we were tourists and we went biking that day. She even told her about her daughter asking if her clothes were allowed inside.

I was already pissed off! It wasn't because I didn't care about the church's rules; it's because of how I feel about people telling women what to do and what to wear. My cousin and sister were also pissed so we just stayed with the girl outside. The mother went inside.. AND GUESS WHAT! The nun kept talking to us..

"When we go out of the church, we wear "proper" clothes." 

What she really meant: "For me, what I'm wearing is proper. You should wear clothes that we think is proper."

"You shouldn't even be roaming around the  church in those clothes."

What she really meant: "Go inside the car."

"You should look respectable. You should respect us. Respect god."

What she really meant: "Because your legs are showing, you're not respectable."

Yeah, sure, it's their church and they make their own rules. But here's the thing: These kinds of rules contributes to objectifying women and rape culture. RESPECT is not about clothes. A women deserves to be respected whether she's wearing long sleeves and jeans or not wearing anything at all. These kind of rules give boys the idea that when a woman is wearing shorts, she does not deserve to be respected. These gives the boys the idea that when a woman is wearing clothes that shows skin and he disrespects or rapes her, it's HER fault because SHE provoked him.

Instead of teaching women how to prevent themselves from being raped or harassed, why don't you teach men self-control? When you make these kind of rules, you are making women feel responsible for controlling men's urges. That is so wrong. That is bullshit.

To all the women out there: Wear what you want to wear. It doesn't matter what you're wearing, you deserve to be respected. Next time somebody tells you that you don't "look" respectable, ignore them (or maybe punch them in the face)and say, "I look beautiful.".

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