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  • Last modified 3569 days ago (Feb. 11, 2009)

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We are women

Here I go again, but I just cannot help it. I get more frustrated each time I see a younger woman/teen dress in a way that is disrespectful to her.

I know the styles are such that promotes “If you’ve got it, flaunt it,” regardless of your age, but here’s how I see it.

I was raised to believe a woman could do anything she wants to do. It doesn’t matter if it’s a man’s world, because we women can do anything.

What I find extremely frustrating is when women, particularly teens and young adults, demean themselves by dressing in such a way that is embarrassing for women everywhere and continue to support the notion that women cannot be taken seriously.

When I was in my early 20s, which also was the early 1980s, I worked for a major department store in a larger community. At that time, we women were beginning to come into our own but we weren’t quite there yet. As a member of the management team, I was one of only a couple of females and I was the youngest. The manager asked me to get coffee and doughnuts at Friday morning meetings, asked me to get his notes from his office, etc., etc. I did it at first but then realized I was the only one being asked to do these tasks. Finally, I told him I didn’t mind being asked but would prefer he ask other department managers to perform these tasks. It worked. He asked others, including males, to run his errands and make coffee.

We women still are fighting to make the same amount of money as men for the same job position.

We women still are fighting to be treated with dignity, the same as any other human being, on and off the job.

We women continue to strive to be respected as CEOs, ministers, police officers, doctors, and yes, even editors.

When a 16-year-old or 22-year-old female wears a top that nearly shows it all, it sets back all females everywhere 20-30 years because it reinforces the notion that women do not belong in serious job positions, and we should be stifled and kept at the disposal of men.

One option I wish school districts in Marion County would consider is uniforms. From kindergarten through 12th grade, everyone, boys and girls, should be required to wear uniforms. Nothing fancy, just a certain color and style of pants and shirts.

There would be no competition for designer clothing that parents have to face each school year.

There would be no discussion in the mornings when Junior wants to wear the crotch of his pants down to his knees.

There would be no cringing by teachers and administrators when Sally Ann wears a mini skirt that could double as a headband.

If uniforms aren’t in the cards, enforce dress codes, for Pete’s sake. Schools should not allow clothing that is distracting such as low-cut tops and short skirts, or dangerous such as gangsta jeans.

Yes, I probably am a fuddy-duddy, old-fashioned, and a few other carefully phrased names, but enough is enough.

I was a child during the bra-burning days of the 1960s. I was a teen during the longhaired, “anything goes” days of the 1970s. I have seen enough to realize what promotes success and what does not.

Show some dignity.

Boys, hike-up those darn long pants. Girls, you can be in style without looking like you belong on a Jerry Springer show instead of high school.

— susan berg

Last modified Feb. 11, 2009

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