At this point, we’re all so jaded that it really should come as a surprise when women’s bodies are policed or shamed for the desire they might evoke in others. At this point, it seems that women have become so objectified that they are subject to decency by committee, where strangers feel entitled to weigh in on their wardrobe choices and offer unsolicited opinions.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise — but it’s still an outrage.
Recently, Facebook user Tyler Newman shared a post about an unbelievable incident which occurred when his fiancé, Tori, dared to wear a one-piece swimsuit to the pool at their apartment complex.
Tyler tells his followers that he and Tori were lounging at the pool with their friends when they were approached and told that Tori would need to cover up or leave:
Today my fiancée was faced with either changing her bathing suit, covering up with shorts, or leaving the pool that we paid a $300 fee to maintain on top of a monthly rent of nearly $1000 (not including utilities and wifi). Tori was accused of wearing a “thong bathing suit” and told there were complaints about the way she was dressed after roughly 3 minutes tops, of us arriving there. We both kind of sat there in disbelief around five of our friends, some of which are residents and some not.
Tyler says that his fiancé went to the apartment’s leasing office to sort out the insulting misunderstanding, and that the leasing consultant (who was, amazingly, a woman) berated Tori for her choice of swimsuit. The woman told Tori that her swimsuit was “inappropriate” to wear around children, despite the fact that it was a relatively modest one-piece.
In the office, the leasing consultant (who, for now, I will not name) insisted upon letting Tori take her picture to show “how inappropriate” her bathing suit was, and instructed her to look into a mirror at her own body. When my fiancée replied with “I know what I look like, I bought this myself, it’s not a thong” the consultant told Tori that if she didn’t have kids herself, she wouldn’t understand. She was told that the leasing consultant wouldn’t want her own kids around Tori. When Tori explained that yes, she does indeed have a larger butt than a lot of people, and that 95% of the things she wears ride up when she walks, the woman told Tori that a “normal bathing suit covers your entire butt” and again deemed my fiancée’s body inappropriate … She was told that her body, because it’s built more curvy than others is “too inappropriate” for children to be around. She was told “there are a lot of teenage boys in this complex, and you don’t need to excite them.”
“Today my fiancée was told that she is less important than how men feel around her,” Tyler writes. “That Tori is less important than a man’s urges to be sexual towards her. I think she’s the most beautiful woman in the world, but I also respect her … This is how rape culture continues to grow.”
Tyler adds that Tori was mortified by the experience in its entirety, and that he was thoroughly offended on her behalf.
I’ve never seen my fiancée embarrassed to the point where she can’t even look her best friends in the face. I’ve never seen her cry like she did in our apartment today. Never seen her want to be isolated like that. All because some ignorant assholes think they can police the size and shape of her body. I’ve never seen a woman so disrespected.
The Facebook post garnered over 30,000 likes and 28,000 shares.
It is truly absurd that a lady in a one-piece swimsuit (and a relatively average one, by all accounts) should be guilted into covering up. Last time I checked, a one-piece swimsuit is appropriate attire for a public swimming pool. Tori wasn’t topless, and she wasn’t even wearing a bikini. How, then, could her bathing suit have offended so many people? Swimsuits for women inevitably show a bit of butt-cheek, and it seems incredibly provincial to clutch one’s pearl’s over the tightness of a (one-piece!) swimsuit.
We’ve all seen plenty of movies about young male adolescence. If boys want to look at butts, they’re going to find a way to look at butts. And it is not fair to criticize women for the lasciviousness they might inadvertently evoke in the men around them.