Women can wear whatever they please

By Pham Minh Tan   March 7, 2023 | 04:56 pm PT
Women can wear whatever they please
Women walk in Bui Vien backpacker street in HCMC, July 2017. Photo by VnExpress/Thanh Nguyen
The way women dress is never an excuse for sexual harassment, and they should never be blamed for what they wear.

It's an age-old story now set here in modern times: the correlation between women wearing clothes and sexual harassment. There are many who believe that the way a person dresses is the reason they get sexually harassed. But according to the WHO, while what a person wears can increase the chance of them being sexually harassed, it is never the direct cause for such an act.

One thing is certain: whatever a woman wears is her business. They are allowed to choose what to wear, and they should not be reduced from a human being to an object to satisfy men's needs. They should neither be judged nor blamed when they choose to wear whatever piece of clothing they find most comfortable.

However, according to the WHO report, it is true that dressing scantily does lead to an increased chance of being sexually harassed. This conclusion has been reached by multiple studies. But even if this is true, women are never responsible for the acts of sexual harassment perpetrated on them. The harassers are fully responsible and fully to blame, no matter what kind of clothing a woman wears.

Sexual harassment is a serious issue that affects the health and wellbeing of its victims. Victims may suffer depression, anxiety, eating disorders and an increased risk of suicide, among other consequences. It can also impact their social lives, causing them to feel insecure and lose trust in others.

What we need to do is to understand all this, and learn to respect a woman's choice in her clothing, making them feel safe in their own ways of self-expression. The public also needs to be educated on this matter for an increased awareness about sexual harassment to prevail in our society.

Such education needs to be provided in schools, helping kids understand sexuality and related topics, as well as providing them the know-how to protect themselves in dangerous situations. There also needs to be more legal policies to protect women's rights, especially in cases of sexual harassment.

But perhaps, what's most important of all is to shift our societal views about women. And we need to change our mindset and thinking on sexuality in general as well. Equality is achieved not only through fair treatment, but also by learning to respect people's personal choices on how they dress, how they behave and how they live.

Only when society as a whole understands this can we create a more equal and civilized culture, where women are truly treated fairly and with respect.

The opinions expressed here are personal and do not necessarily match VnExpress's viewpoints. Send your opinions here.
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