Culture

In Light Of The Upskirt Ruling, Some Fashion Tips For Ladies

CREDIT: AP Photo/J. David Ake

Visiting a national monument, such as the one pictured above? Hope you're wearing cute underwear and are prepared for any strange man to take a photo up your skirt without your consent!

Today is a glorious day for a one Christopher Hunt Cleveland, an all-American hero who just wanted to take upskirt photos of women at a national monument without having a bunch of no-fun freedom-haters stand in his way. Though he was arrested in June 2013 and charged with two counts of attempted voyeurism when U.S. Park Police spotted him at the Lincoln Memorial surreptitiously taking pictures of the “private parts” of women seated on the memorial steps, he has been found guilty of, well, nothing.

D.C. Superior Court Judge Juliet J. McKenna ruled that the women “did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in such a public place and that they had positioned themselves in ways that made there intimate areas visible to any other passerby,” as The Washington Post reported. Her ruling states that “There is no evidence Mr. Cleveland positioned his camera in any way or employed photographic techniques or illumination, so as to capture images that were not already on public display.” This, even though officers who detained Cleveland found hundreds of “comparable shots from other outings” on a computer stored in Cleveland’s car.

Less than a month ago, a Texas Court issued much the same ruling, striking down a law that would ban upskirt photos on the grounds that it “would be a violation of federal free-speech rights and a ‘paternalistic’ effort to regulate the photographers’ thoughts.”

I know what you’re thinking: what a gross ruling! How completely unfair and ridiculous and horrifying, to have no legal recourse in the event this happens to you.

But honestly, this ruling makes perfect sense. Everything bad that happens to a woman is always the woman’s fault. You can never allow yourself to leave the house in a loose-fitting garment and just expect that no man standing behind you on an escalator will snag that underpants portrait. Remember: when you’re female, if someone else behaves in a manner that is completely, irredeemably inappropriate, the person who is actually responsible is you.

I bet you’re digging through your dresser drawers trying to find something appropriate to wear out of doors. Coming up empty, no doubt. Yours is real whore’s wardrobe. Well, not anymore. Here are some fashion-forward tips for you!

Getting the obvious out of the way: only wear skirts or dresses if you are fully prepared to be at fault in the event someone else decides to violate you by taking a photo of you from the ground-level-up, a perspective you obviously should have had in mind while getting dressed.

Don’t wear jeans, either. “Wearing jeans and roaming around attracts unnecessary attention.” You should only be attracting necessary attention, like the exact right amount of attention. A man will determine the correct quantity of attention you deserve. Trousers are also unacceptable.

Leggings make you look like a prostitute, so, that’s a no-go.

Come to think of it, it appears that all waist-and-below options are problematic in some way. Not really sure how to advise you on that front. Pretty much a lose-lose-lose situation.

But what about the last line of defense between you and that coveted upskirt shot? Will mere underwear, made only of fabric, be enough? U.S. Attorney Akhi Johnson argued “women generally have a subjective expectation of privacy against photographs of their private areas while wearing clothing to cover the private area.” But Judge McKenna struck that insanity down, which means, clearly, wearing clothing to cover your body so as to prevent onlookers from seeing your body is not doing enough to shield your skin from their gaze.

A modest proposal: less Under Armour, more actual armor.