A New York City woman is shining a spotlight on the unwelcome attention women and girls deal with — and why "how you dress" doesn't make a difference.
Nearly 6,000 people have liked Christen Brandt's Facebook post, and almost 3,000 have shared the image. In it, Brandt shows the outfit she was wearing when catcalled recently.
Brandt said she was walking through a crowded subway station when a stranger commented on her appearance:
A man passing by me said, "Damn, you have some great legs." When I ignored him and kept walking, he turned around to follow me, to get closer, even as I was moving away. "Did you hear me, honey? I said you have nice legs. Damn! Thank you.
"It was the 'thank you' that got me," she continues. "As if my 5 inches of legging-covered skin were there for him. Given as a gift wrapped in brown tights. Existing in the world for him to appreciate, or not."
Brandt, the co-founder of She's The First, a nonprofit that sponsors education for girls in low-income countries, implores her friends to consider the impact (or lack thereof) women's clothing choices have on how they are treated in public.
Next time you wonder whether your skirt is too short, next time you ask your teen daughter to change her clothes, or the next time you hear about school dress codes in the news, remember this photo.
Brandt is wearing a scarf, parka, tights and boots in the image.
"And it. doesn't. matter.," she writes.
All women have these moments. All of us. And yet the world acts as if it's still our problem to fix.
Brandt's message has struck a chord with thousands, and dozens of commenters have chimed in to echo her sentiment.
"I wish I could say I was shocked or surprised," wrote one, "but the truth is this happens ALL the time and has certainly happened to me."
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