***This post might turn out a bit harsh, therefore I decided to make some things clear first:***
– I totally support solo female travel – I’ve even done it myself and I loved it.
– I’m far from racist. Even though most of my family members are atheist, we also have Christians and (Arab)Muslims in our family and I am engaged to an Israeli Jew. I also have friends from all over the world (with whom I actually spent time, not just people I met in hostels and spent a week with).
– When I use the word “women” in the cover up and man debate, I mean SOME women. Obviously many of us think otherwise and I am totally aware of that.
– The word “slutty” is meant in a positive way.
Let’s start with the actual post;
Lately I’ve read several articles written by women who encourage solo female travel (which is great). However, there are some things I don’t completely agree with; the cover up or not cover up debate for example.
I read things like “you should dress how YOU want to, it’s your body, you make your own decisions” etc etc etc. I basically hear women saying that we should wear whatever the f we want to no matter where we are, what the religion is, if it’s considered a dangerous place and so on. Many of them also refuse to travel with a man (I will talk about this later).
The problem with the “you SHOULD dress how YOU want to” is the word “should”. Should we dress how we want to wherever we are? Of course!
But does that mean it’s advised to do that? Sadly not.
And why do the same women who encourage us to dress however the f we want, also write posts about how to dress in Iran…?
Because if you show too much skin in Iran, you go to jail. That’s why.
However, there are many countries in this world where you’re in big danger if you show too much skin but there is no law that forbids it – does that mean we can dress as slutty as we want in those countries? If your answer is “yes”, you’re in big trouble girl.
Look, I totally understand your frustration, I also like to show as much skin as possible but in some countries it’s simply not possible. Get over it. And if you can’t get over it, then go to a country where it is accepted to show skin.
Then there’s the “traveling with a man” debate…
We all know that men can be annoying AF but if you’re lucky, you might find a true gem! Keep this gem and take him with you on (some of) your travels.
The huge advantage of traveling with a man is that you’re safer and that you actually can dress however the f you want to!
When I walk around on my own in a Latin American country, wearing shorts (or even worse; a dress) and a shirt; I can’t walk 3 meters without getting seriously catcalled. It gets so bad that it even makes me scared sometimes. When I wear long trousers and don’t show any cleavage, it happens a lot less.
However, when I walk with my boyfriend (who’s extremely sweet from the inside but who’s neutral facial expression looks extremely threatening) I can wear mini-skirts, crop tops that show cleavage as well and wear high heels and NOTHING happens. Men barely even look at me because… I hate to say it but they consider me property of another man.
Is this good? NO. But the sad truth is that many men think like this… in some countries more than in other countries obviously.
I hear girls saying that if we keep covering up and not going out alone when it’s dark, those men will never learn (how to treat women and to stop catcalling) but the problem is that THEY DON’T WANT TO LEARN. They like to annoy us and they like being assholes and they like to insult and sexually assault women (and men too).
Conclusion of this post:
- Adjust yourself to the culture. If you’re going to a place where people always wear long trousers, then don’t walk around in miniskirts.
- If you’re visiting a country where catcalling is “normal”; try to avoid it by covering up a little (this won’t work everywhere but at least it does in Mexico and Guatemala). If you have the choice between wearing your favorite slutty clothes but being harassed by men all the time, and, covering up a little and be left alone most of the time. Well, I think the choice is easily made. Don’t worry, this won’t make you less feminist – you’re just protecting yourself.
- There’s nothing wrong with traveling with a man! You will be able to wear what you want (not in every country but in many) and go to places which could be too risky to visit if you’re a woman alone. You will be safer. Also, traveling with your soulmate is amazing. Being able to share experiences with the person you love the most is incredibly special.
And again, don’t worry, you won’t lose your image as a solo female traveler.