Should Women Dress More Modestly at the Beach?

Living–and surfing–in Southern California is a great lifestyle. Whatever circumstances led me to lead this charmed life, I am eternally grateful.

I could be landlocked in Kansas bored out of my mind waiting for the spring thaw so I can go tractor surfing.

Freedom to surf in the cold frigid February ocean is a blessing. I know some paranoid conspiracy theorists who think that our freedoms are slowly slipping away; they fear the U.S. is turning into a fascist police state.

As long as I have the freedom to surf when I want, I’m pretty happy with our democracy, as corrupt as it is with legislation determined by big business interests. Yes the divide between the wealthy and middle class has grown exponentially, but as long as we surfers can afford to buy a board and wetsuit and pay rent in a studio shack by the beach, what more could you want or need, besides more surfboards?

Even if the surf’s flat for a couple weeks, just being near the ocean and being able to walk on shore is all the freedom I need.

And as long as women have the freedom to jog on the beach or even surf wearing hardly anything at all, freedom of expression does not look threatened in any way.

Women should be allowed to dress any way they want to, in any society, and I’m glad that we have that women have the freedom to choose.

There seems to be a double standard, however, in how women want to be treated in society, especially here by the beach.

If a woman doesn’t want to be sexually objectified, should she be wearing short shorts with butt cheeks dangling out or sports bras as thin as dental floss?

I understand the power of wanting to be desirable to the other sex. We all want to attract a soul mate into our lives. That’s another freedom we take for granted, being able to choose who we want to marry or spend the rest of our lives with. There are literally billions of people on this planet who don’t have that right, with women, actually, girls, forced into arranged marriages with someone who looks more like a grandfather than a husband.

I view females as being one of God’s most beautiful creations, right up there with the ocean and dolphins. (I want to say puppies, also, but at the risk of females thinking I’m equating the fairer sex to canines, which I’m not.)

This traditionalist thinking probably makes me seem like I belong back in the 1910s, when women looked like they were subjects of the Taliban, not even exposing an ankle.

There’s a big divide between Muslim women being forced or highly encouraged to wear full body covering (niqab) and the freedoms women have in this country.

I’m not advocating that women on the beach wear the niqab or head veils or any other restrictive clothing. All I’m saying is that I see a great contradiction between how most women want to be treated. If they want to be viewed as a complete person, rather than just a sex object, don’t they make it harder by dressing up, or down, to train all their eyes on them.

What do you think?

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