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Internationally renowned feminist Gloria Steinem once said, "The basic problem is that women are assessed by how we look, whether we look conventionally pretty or conventionally not pretty. The problem for all women is we’re identified by how we look instead of by our heads and our hearts.”

Let’s face it, we all want to be treated equally, to be heard and accepted no matter who we are.

Unfortunately, society shapes everything. We women are expected to sit a certain way, cover up our bodies and not have opinions. We must wear makeup but not too much; stay skinny but “keep some meat on our bones”; and be fun but not annoying.

The guidelines are unrealistic, and for what? To be a lady? If that’s what it takes, then count me out.

The main issue that makes my blood boil is the fact that women everywhere are still being treated like the scum of the earth. Every day, girls and women of all ages are objectified and have their bodies sexualized. According to an online survey cited by NPR, 81% of women have experienced some form of sexual harassment at least once in their lifetimes. And according to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, an American gets sexually assaulted every 73 seconds. That is horrifying! We need to stop keeping sexual assault secret and spread the word.

Women shouldn’t have to watch over their shoulders and walk in groups of two or more in fear that somebody will assault them. We should be able to wear what we want without being slut-shamed and harassed. The amount of makeup we wear is our choice, and the number of stretch marks on our thighs is our own business. We don’t need men and conservative women to tell us how to live our lives.

The amount of skin we show doesn’t determine who we are, and it doesn’t make it OK for people to harass us. We can wear what we feel comfortable and confident in. Ladies, don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.

Katelyn Starner is a freshman journalism student at Warwick High School.