Yesterday the CBC ran a story about a dress code (pictured abover) that was handed out to Air Cadets in St. Johns Newfoundland. Among other things, the dress code warned female cadets against wearing shirts that “reveal their developing bits”. Their. Developing. Bits. You can read the article here.

This story struck a cord with me because not only am I a woman, but I was also at one point an Air Cadet. And while my time there was short – shining boots and marching “up and down the square” wasn’t really my thing- I don’t recall ever experiencing anything like this dress code. Air Cadets was offered as a place of inclusion, and equality. That may seem counter intuitive given the reputation the armed forces has, but that’s always how I saw it. I was never told I couldn’t do anything because I was a woman, and I was certainly never told to cover my “bits”.

So that begs the question, was this an isolated incident, or is it indicative of a wider social problem. If you ask me it’s the latter.

The whole idea that women’s bodies are bad or shameful is not new, but it’s definitely boring and out of date. Despite the fact that it’s 2016 we seem to be acting more like its 1620. There are still people out there who think it’s ok to publically shame women because, GASP, they have breasts and vulvas.
I’m really tired of hearing grown adults perpetuate bogus stereotypical ideas about men and women. No joke, I recently had a women tell me that “men are better at math than women, its true, they did a study.”  Who did a study? Because obviously that’s BS, just ask NASA.

When I hear comments like that and read stories like the one mentioned above, I worry. I worry about the world that we are creating for our kids. I worry about the kind of outdated ideas that my daughters are going to have to fight. But the reality is that it will be the same BS that women have been labouring under for centuries. And it’s probably unrealistic to expect that those attitudes will one day disappear entirely. But who knows, as long as people like Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan, call out body shamers then maybe one day our kids will live in a world where they are seen as something more than just a sum of their genitalia.