I've been trying to word this post very carefully and it winds up being incredibly long winded and boring to read. So I'm just gonna out with it at the risk of sounding insensitive:
There's been a lot of talk on the internet about slut-shaming and our victim blaming society, and when it comes to women's wardrobes, the general message has been "instead of teaching our daughters not to dress like "sluts", let's teach our sons not to sexually harrass or assault women". And believe me when I say I agree with that.
HOWEVER. As much as I agree with teaching our sons not to be rapists, I can't help but also agree with at least the spirit of the idea that women should be mindful of, and take responsibility for, the choices that they make when they leave the house, or post a picture on Facebook. Now, when I say take responsibility for, I do *NOT* mean that they should be okay with someone doing something to them that they didn't ask for (whether it's an assault, or something as small as a cat call or a comment that was "meant as a compliment, I swear!"). I mean that if they do something that they know, or should, will attract sexual attention, they should be prepared for the fact that they will get attention, whether it's positive and healthy or uplifiting, or negative and hurtful. And when you're talking about teenagers or young adults who aren't necessarily very mature and might have absentee parents or bad influences in their lives, a lot of it could wind up being hurtful.
I also feel like if I ever have daughters, that I don't want them doing what some teenaged girls are doing now, ie. putting pictures of themselves in skimpy clothing up on Facebook for everyone to see, or going to school in revealing clothing. I feel like I would want to tell them, or any other teenaged girl that valued my opinion, that you're putting this up there for everyone to see, and if anyone who doesn't know you really well as a person were to see it, they might get the wrong idea, think of you in a one dimensional way, etc.
Even as I write these things, I can hear the comments that are about to be made. "Well it's their fault they get the wrong idea, not the poster's. This is exactly how victims of assault wind up feeling like it's their fault and struggle with coping". Intellectually I can appreciate that these comments are correct all the way. But it doesn't change the gut feeling I have that maybe posting that picture was a bad idea in the first place.
To anyone who would spiritedly defend the notion that "girls shouldn't have to mind their wardrobes or their posts, boys should be more respectful", I ask you this: For a teenaged girl, is it anything goes? If you saw that your daughter had posted an incredibly suggestive photo of herself online, would you be okay with that? And if not, how would you explain why that's not okay?