Behavior such as slapping, stalking, or intimidating prolonged eye contact has nothing to do with appearance, but rather with strength

Kathryn Swartenbrooks is a journalist.

Catherine Swartenbrooks

If there is a word for the feeling you get when it suddenly turns out that something that has been a part of your world for decades has a name, the Germans must have invented it. However, my last encounter with this phenomenon was introduced to me by a New Yorker in his twenties. “Subway shirt” damn it.

I’ve been pulling it on every summer morning for years. It’s actually usually a T-shirt, but sometimes also a cardigan or a light rain jacket, but never a denim jacket, because you don’t get away that easily once you get off the tram. Subway T-shirts are all the pieces of clothing you use to cover yourself in public transport, an opaque protective layer that not only protects your body from bacteria (like a bare back on a subway seat? Horrible!) but above all against looks and greedy body pieces. A thin layer against what dares to call itself a civilization.

“Just wear what you want” looks especially cool in your bedroom mirror, because unfortunately the human body doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Often, the corpse appears to be public property, at liberty to spit, poke, and comment on it. And so you take everything, or at least one extra piece of clothing, out of the closet to arm yourself against it.

Right now, young women are just flashing on my screen under a hashtag sub T-shirt, but of course transgressive behavior just isn’t their role. After Pride Days, the tales are pouring in of people who were booed on the way to and from Pride (or simply, under their social media selfies) because of their clothes. One might think we’re a free country, or at least a country where everyone should be able to wear what they feel good in, no matter how revealing, revealing, or gender-affirming, but you probably don’t. t have a twitter account. And so the subway shirt looks sad, but defensible.

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However, presenting a piece of clothing as a solution is considered tricky to critics, and useless if clothing isn’t really the problem.

Research shows that the motivation for behavior such as stalking, stalking, or prolonged scaring in the eye has less to do with the perpetrators, but rather with power. The fact that this power is still often wielded over young women, trans or queer tells us incredibly how ‘equal’ this society really is.

It is, among other things, why initiatives such as Pride continue to be so needed, and why some also make a point to participate in them while extravagantly dressed. They occupy space and sometimes claim it, yet also the right to exist. Not “look at me”. Especially “You See Me”. The words are already there, but no one seems to be listening.

Denton Watson

"Friend of animals everywhere. Evil twitter fan. Pop culture evangelist. Introvert."

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