There are all kinds of arguments about what a woman should do with her body, whether it’s how to dress it, how to wear her hair, or even whether or not to put on makeup.
But one of the big debates is how she should dress when going out in public, cringed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Revolutionary_Iron30 was shocked when her aunt’s response to discovering her niece wasn’t wearing a bra was to demand that she put one on for safety reasons.
When her aunt stopped talking to her until she put one on, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she was really so wrong for her clothing choices.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for not wearing a bra?”
The OP generally only wore a bra when she felt necessary.
“So I, (17 Female) walked to the corner store close to my aunt’s (34 Female) house.”
“She originally was gonna go by herself but I was worried that she might get hurt and no one will be there to help her (she has arthritis and major back pain) so I decided to come with her.”
“I want to preface this by saying that when I’m going somewhere quick (like the corner store to get one thing), I don’t put a bra on and instead wear an oversized t shirt\hoodie.”
The OP’s aunt was uncomfortable with her clothing choices.
“As we were walking to the store, she was telling me how she was rushing so she didn’t even have time to put socks on or fix her hair.”
“I laughed and told her that I didn’t have time to put a bra on and that I was in a bonnet so she shouldn’t be too worried about her appearance.”
“The conversation went like this:”
“Her: ‘Stop going out without a bra. It’s inappropriate.'”
“Me: ‘I’m wearing a big t-shirt, so no one can really see my boobs.'”
“Her: ‘It doesn’t matter. Men will notice and still harass you.'”
“Me: ‘If I’m getting harassed, it’s not because I’m bra-less, it’s because the person who’s harassing me is a weirdo.'”
The OP’s aunt did not respond well to this.
“The rest of the walk was silent and ever since she’s been ignoring me.”
“I told some friends about it and they said that I was wrong because it’s impolite to not wear bras when you’re going out bc kids could be around.”
“I honestly don’t see what I did wrong. I was going to a corner store that’s a five-minute walk away from my house, not some red carpet event.”
“Anyway, I just wanna know if I was wrong in this situation, so AITA???”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some said the OP had every right to wear what she wanted, in public or otherwise.
“NTA. Undergarments aren’t visible items of clothing. Nobody in the public can tell for sure what you have on UNDER your clothes.”
“They can guess if they scrutinize your private parts, obsessed with the hints that shape and drape give them. But it’s gross to do that. It’s gross to theorize what other people’s underwear probably is. Gross.”
“Wear a bra, don’t wear a bra. It’s your choice, and either way, you are appropriately dressed as long as you have on a SHIRT. Whatever underwear you wear, you are NTA.” – Agreeable-Celery-811
“NTA, I hate the mentality that bras are some sort of required item of clothing. It’s personal preference and nothing more.” – Comprehensive-Tie395
“There is nothing wrong with going bra-less. I’m 44 Female, and I hate bras period. The only times I wear a bra is when I go to work, for a family get-together, and things like that.”
“Usually, I’m bra-less with a hoodie or an oversized t-shirt while I’m out doing most things because I’m comfortable with it.”
“Men don’t get shamed for ‘free-balling,’ so why should women get shamed for ‘free-balling’? Maybe it’s because we carry our ‘balls’ higher than them?! I don’t know.” – m0rt4lfury
“I’m wracking my brain to figure out how your not wearing an item of clothing is ‘impolite’ to strangers who might or might not even notice. And so what if they did? You have breasts – sounds perfectly normal – you don’t need to try to hide them. Hoodie or not. NTA.” – ParsimoniousSalad
“The idea that somehow wearing a bra makes someone more modest or moral needs to GO. Doesn’t matter what size someone is, either.”
“I’m tired of people saying that we need to lash down breasts, but bellies, excess arm or thigh flab, double chins, etc., can all bounce around unfettered. Breasts are part of the body. Nipples are part of the body. They are fine. They are not inherently sexual. Letting them be reasonably covered is sufficient.”
“This ‘you have to wear a bra!’ nonsense is spouted by men and women, with the implication that not wearing one is irresponsible, or indecent. It is ridiculous, and I WILL die on this hill. Wear a bra or not—your choice. But do not tell me I am somehow inappropriate for choosing not to wear one.” – HappyLucyD
“NTA and I honestly NEVER wear a bra unless I’m in a professional setting. What’s impolite is policing women’s bodies and blaming them for sexual harassment perpetrated against them.”
“Men don’t harass women on the street because they’re sooooo gorgeous and they think they’re gonna get a date, or they were soooooooo shocked by the indistinct outline of a nipple they were compelled to speak by forces truly beyond their control.”
“The point of street harassment is to remind women and minorities that we are not safe in public spaces and our bodies don’t belong to us. Whether you personally are wearing a bra is truly irrelevant, I’ve been catcalled in sweatpants and a hoodie just the same as when I’ve been walking home from a bar.” – breaking_sad_
“NTA. Times have changed. Wear what you want. You were exactly right, if someone harasses you, it’s because they have a problem, not you. Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself and call out anyone that’s disrespectful about your appearance.” – kylecs7387
Others agreed and said the aunt was perpetuating rape culture.
“NTA. Kids might be around good maybe those kids will learn that an article of clothing that only came into existence about 150 years ago doesn’t determine whether or not a person is a decent human being.”
“The ‘guys might harass you’ part, that’s what pepper spray is for, and honestly a guy is far more likely to harass someone with a bra showing cleavage than someone wearing a baggie hoodie.”
“And third, how would she expect other people to tell when she couldn’t tell until you told her?” – Ruckus555
“I’m stuck on her reaction of not talking to you – that is extreme! NTA IMO (in my opinion).”
“You even mentioned wearing oversized clothes, which seem to do the trick, as, if I am understanding correctly, she didn’t even know you had no bra on until you told her.”
“If she couldn’t tell, it is likely all these hypothetical harassers and impressionable kids won’t be able to tell either. And I doubt you will mention it to them.” – ServelanDerrow
“I also just hate this line of thinking because if I learn how to dress in a way that victimizes me less, then I’m just setting up another woman to be hurt. It doesn’t solve any issue and just perpetuates rape culture.” – kubuubud
“I like the meme that I saw about rape:”
“If rape was about the way women dress, rapes would quadruple in the summer. They don’t.”
“If rape was about women being drunk, sober women would not get raped. They do.”
“If rape was about how much sex a woman has, virgins would not get raped. They do.”
“The only cause of rape is rapists.” – Summerh8r
“This is rape culture and victim-blaming 101. ‘If you had dressed differently, then ___ wouldn’t have happened to you.’ Absolute bulls**t. NTA.” – Pineapple_Wagon
“Gosh… It’s 2022. Do we really need to have this conversation over and over again? Okay, y’all repeat after me:”
“A WOMAN’S BODY IS NOT ANYONE ELSE BUSINESS.”
“A WOMAN IS NOT RUDE OR INAPPROPRIATE FOR NOT WEARING A BRA.”
“WHEN SOMETHING HAPPENS TO THE WOMAN IT’S THE FAULT OF THE ASSAULTER AND NOT I REPEAT NOT OF THE WOMAN.”
“So did everyone get it?” – whysocomplicated
“Oh no, the poor kids! How dare they see a girl’s figure through an oversized tee-shirt?!”
“As if their mothers don’t often walk around without bras or haven’t breastfed, some of them up to the age of 4?!”
“Kids see boobs in their own home every day, kids see boobs through shirts even with bras on!”
“I literally haven’t worn a bra since before the pandemic, do you, and if anyone says you should wear a bra because of men, tell them to stop perpetuating rape culture and victim-blaming!”
“If men can’t control themselves around loose boobs, they should stay at home. NTA” – jaxbabe
“I usually walk around without a bra. They’re uncomfortable so why do I have to spend all day in something that bothers me all the time?”
“To avoid being harassed by men you have to become a recluse. It really doesn’t matter how you present yourself as long as it seems as if you have a vagina.”
“Your aunt and friends are still used to the silly made-up social rules of women needing to wear bras because religion says women must cover up etc.”
“NTA. You’re not gonna stop getting harassed just because you have a bra on because that’s a behavioral issue that isn’t being addressed.”
“If anything, bras bring attention to boobs as they’re made to make boobs look a certain way… also bras, as they’re sold in modern-day, have only existed for a few decades. It’s all so arbitrary.” – SambandsTyr
The subReddit was frustrated right along with the OP on this one. Not only are bras incredibly uncomfortable for a lot of people, but they absolutely should not be a requirement for going out in public, especially in the concern is safety.