FYI: My Clothes are Not an Invitation to Rape Me

20 Feb

I absolutely LOVE this campaign from the UK.

If you haven’t read it about it already, there was a cop from Toronto that recently spoke at a campus safety information session and said women can avoid being sexually assaulted by not dressing like “a slut.”

Dear Mr. Officer,
I don’t care if I’m wearing the sluttiest outfit or a skimpy top or if I’m totally naked. What I choose to wear does NOT, by ANY means, give anyone the right to sexually assault me. My clothing or how I act or what I’ve had to drink, doesn’t excuse a man from sexually assaulting me. My slutty outfit is NOT an open invitation for a man to rape me.

The fact that he said this proves that there is still a mindset about blaming the victim of rape or sexual assault. This is precisely why so many women are afraid to come forward after they have been raped. They’re afraid that someone will say, “well you know, you were dressed a little slutty tonight.” They’re afraid that they won’t be believed or that they’ll be told they shouldn’t have been walking alone or had that last drink.

Thisisnotaninvitationtorapeme.co.uk says

A woman’s outfit is often used during a rape trial to discredit her reputation and suggest she is the “sort of woman” unlikely to refuse consent to sex.

Someone needs to take the time to educate this cop about the facts and reasons behind rape. Rape is violent. Rape is not about sex it’s about control and power.  Rape is not about what I decide to wear. I’m not sure when we all starting thinking that if a man is sexually aroused he becomes this uncontrollable monster and can’t stop himself. Men are not animals. We should be able to hold them to a higher standard.

1 in 4 women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime.

I want you to think of four women you know. Your mom, your sister, your friend, your girlfriend, your grandma, your daughter. Based on the statistics at least one of those women has been sexually assaulted. How can we be okay with this? How can we be ok with a police officer who has taken an oath to upload the law has the audacity to say something as sexist and insulting as, women can help prevent their own sexual assault if they cover up more?

The students that were at the meeting where this cop made the statement are demanding an apology. Lets be honest, an apology is not enough. If there’s one cop out there that really believes this, that means there’s plenty more. This is going to deter many more women from coming forward and suffering in silence after they’ve been assaulted. This needs to stop. More men need to man up and be part of the fight to end sexual violence. Enough is enough.

If you are a victim of rape here are some places you can go for help (I wouldn’t suggest starting with the cop at the Toronto police department.):

RAINN is a great place to start for help. The Rape Crisis Center for children, men and women. There are many many places and people who can help you. Don’t be afraid to talk about it and find help.

20 Responses to “FYI: My Clothes are Not an Invitation to Rape Me”

  1. Unamused April 6, 2011 at 4:36 am #

    I have a slightly different take on the story, which I will link rather than typing it all out here.

  2. M Schwartz April 6, 2011 at 8:36 pm #

    There is a crucial difference between acknowledging a cause and blaming the victim.

    The officer was acknowledging a cause: women whose outfits are designed to turn men on, are at a higher risk of attracting a rapist.

    • iamcharli April 6, 2011 at 9:45 pm #

      Which is precisely the problem.

      • Unamused April 6, 2011 at 10:14 pm #

        I know we agreed to disagree, but… why does the solution to this problem involve destroying the police officer’s career? After all, you have already admitted that what he said was true. You actually said the same thing yourself.

        Nevertheless, you said: “Lets be honest, an apology is not enough. If there’s one cop out there that really believes this, that means there’s plenty more.”

        But you yourself really believe what he said. Why, exactly, does he need to be punished?

    • Elisabet June 9, 2011 at 2:51 pm #

      If the dress a woman buys is short, and makes the woman that bought it more comfortable than a dress that isnt short, should she be afraid of being raped just because the dress is short? Not all outfits that people call “slutty” are DESIGNED to TURN MEN ON. Fashion is not designed to turn men on. If I wear a short fashion designed dress, should I be afraid of being raped? No I shouldnt. What you are saying the officer said is not any better than blaming the victim. Women should not be on a higher risk of attracting a rapist just because of the clothes they wear.

  3. Asher April 7, 2011 at 12:48 am #

    Out of curiosity, as a man with three little sister, how many rapes do you think will be prevented by your “slut marches”?

    • iamcharli April 7, 2011 at 12:53 am #

      It was a protest. To raise awareness for the issue. If you are a father you should teach your girls to love their sexuality and to not let anyone make them feel ashamed of it.

      Via The Daily What:
      “We are tired of being oppressed by slut-shaming; of being judged by our sexuality and feeling unsafe as a result,” reads the SlutWalk manifesto. “Being in charge of our sexual lives should not mean that we are opening ourselves to an expectation of violence, regardless if we participate in sex for pleasure or work. No one should equate enjoying sex with attracting sexual assault.”

      • Unamused April 7, 2011 at 1:13 am #

        Their behavior, whether you call it “being in charge of [their] sexual lives” or being a “slut” or whatever, is exposing them to violence, whether they “expect” the violence or not. You do not dispute this fact.

        The feminist position seems to be: well, we’re not giving up our slutty clothes, so I guess you’ll just have to change the fundamental nature of male sexuality instead. You’ll just have to explain to the rapists that women have the right to not be raped, no matter what they do or say or wear. Meanwhile, we’ll keep acting the exact same way.

        I guess we will see how well that works out for women.

        PS No one is equating “enjoying sex” with attracting sexual assault. The truth is much more horrifying: we’re equating attracting sexual assault with attracting sexual assault.

      • Asher April 7, 2011 at 1:29 am #

        I’m lost as to what “the” issue is. Are we talking about rape? Or are we talking about what that particular police officer said? If the former, I fail to see how raising awareness will decrease the likelihood that one of my sisters, or three nieces, will be raped. If the latter … well, the same.

        What does “raising awareness” actually have anything to do, at all with decreasing incidences of rape?

      • Asher April 7, 2011 at 1:35 am #

        On a tangential note, I have decided to name my penis “awareness”, giving my wife the distinction of being the single woman more responsible for raising awareness than any ever born.

      • Asher April 7, 2011 at 1:39 am #

        Come to think of it, the whack-jobs over at The Spearhead claim to be raising awareness of the devilishness of general womankind. Or some such crap. Frankly, “raising awareness” seems rather overrated.

        My wife being the exception.

  4. Tim April 7, 2011 at 7:57 pm #

    The one in four stat is bogus, anyway. Sommers thoroughly debunked it, here:

    http://www.leaderu.com/real/ri9502/sommers.html

    In a nutshell, the ‘one in four’ myth is from a study where 42% of the women polled went on to continue their sexual relationship with their ‘attacker’.

    bwahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Also, one of the questions in the study was:

    “Even when the sex was consensual…did you feel like you had been raped ‘after’? If the answer is yes, then said woman was ‘raped’.

    bwahahahahahaha!!!!!!

    I call bullshit.

  5. Rusty Shakelford June 23, 2011 at 10:41 am #

    I feel like she has a point, but it’s not up to you what society thinks. Like walking into an area the Crips control with red on. Just because you wear red doesn’t make you a Blood, but they’re going to assume you are and do you violence. So, be cognizant.

    I’m not saying these preconceived notions are correct, but I can say they are based in enough fact to effect the thought process of the people around you and their reaction to you. Thus,you can do the follwoing:
    A) Dress as society has expects a respectable young lady to dress
    B) get touched because your dressed like the 50 girls before you that let any man touch them.
    C)Try to do both and stay mad because you’re trying to “have your cake and eat it to”

    P.S I am not supporting rape, supporting thought

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Feminism Worth a Thousand Words « i am charli - April 5, 2011

    […] This is a new feature I’m starting where I’ll be posting pictures I found that are really powerful. This one is great! It was from the Toronto Slut Walk. They walked in protest of the police officer that suggested women avoid being raped by not dressing like a slut. I blogged about it here: My Clothes are Not an Invitation. […]

  2. Hatred (part 2) « Unamusement Park - April 6, 2011

    […] doomed expedition begins at a curious post by feminist blogger iamcharli, entitled “FYI: My Clothes are Not an Invitation to Rape […]

  3. Feminists are illogical and not worth debating « Unamusement Park - June 9, 2011

    […] blogger i am charli spells it out in the post that introduced me to this slut-tastic phenomenon (here): If you haven’t read it about it already, there was a cop from Toronto that recently spoke at a […]

  4. I Support the SlutWalk Movement Because I Believe « i am charli - June 24, 2011

    […] for a while now, but until now, I’ve struggled with how to write it effectively. When I first blogged about the remarks that the Toronto Police officer said, someone responded by asking me if I would […]

  5. I support SlutWalk because I believe . . . | SlutWalkTampa - June 27, 2011

    […] a while now, but until now, I’ve struggled with how to write it effectively. When I first blogged about the remarks that the Toronto Police officer said, someone responded by asking me if I would […]

  6. Unamusement Park » Blog Archive » Hatred II: victim blaming - July 3, 2011

    […] doomed expedition begins at a curious post by feminist blogger “iamcharli,” entitled “FYI: My Clothes are Not an Invitation […]

  7. Unamusement Park » Blog Archive » Feminists are illogical and not worth debating - July 6, 2011

    […] the Sluts’ ill-advised Walk, in the post that introduced me to the slut-tastic phenomenon (here): If you haven’t read it about it already, there was a cop from Toronto that recently spoke at a […]

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