Sammy Nickalls
January 31, 2016 7:35 am

A picture of a woman wearing a long coat and boots is going totally viral for an incredibly important and essential reason. New Yorker Christen Brandt was walking in the 34th Street subway station when a man passing by her start to harass her, saying “Damn, you have some great legs.”

“When I ignored him and kept walking, he turned to follow me, to get closer, even as I was moving away,” Christen wrote in the photo’s caption. ” ‘Did you hear me, honey? I said you have nice legs. Damn! Thank you.’ ”

Although all of that was absolutely unacceptable and disgusting behavior, there were two words that really struck Christen: “Thank you.” “As if my [five] inches of legging-covered skin were there for him,” she wrote. “Given as a gift wrapped in brown tights. Existing in the world for him to appreciate, or not.”

It should never matter what you’re wearing; no outfit gives a man the right to harass or cat call. But Christen has pointed out that it not only shouldn’t matter — it doesn’t matter. Why? Because in today’s society, men will do it anyway. . . even if your body is entirely covered up in winter gear.

“Next time you wonder whether your skirt is too short, next time you ask your teen daughter to change her clothes, or the next time you hear about school dress codes in the news, remember this photo,” she wrote. “I am in a fucking parka and boots. And it. doesn’t. matter. All women have these moments. All of us. And yet the world acts as if it’s still our problem to fix. Get your sh*t together, guys.”

The post has since been shared over 11,000 times, with various commenters expressing their appreciation for Christen’s post and sharing their own experiences of being catcalled.

“I’ve gotten this in a puffy black [N]orthface and jeans, hair in a bun, and minimal makeup,” one commenter wrote. “Honked at and being stared at by people stopped at traffic lights. I completely agree. What you’re wearing does not matter. At. All.”

“I’ve been cat called wearing my husband’s sweatpants and giant sweatshirt before,” wrote another commenter. “Once, some guy driving his car passed me, then slowed down and waited for me to pass him again on the street before he took off. I was scared to actually walk to my destination.”

What a woman is wearing doesn’t matter — she still is unsafe in today’s world, whether she’s wearing a short skirt or a long parka. Yet so many use it as a way to shift blame onto women instead of fighting back against the street harassment and cruelty that all women have to face at some point in their lives. Thank you, Christen, for starting such an important and necessary conversation.

(Image via Facebook.)