Clothing and Victim-Blaming

28 Mar

In response to recent news about the Texas gang rape of an 11-year-old girl and , Florida state Rep. Kathleen Passidomo thinks a .

Is this 2011? These are the moments that remind us that if don’t have a movement to carry us forward, we will slide backward.

It blows my mind that anyone could look at the gang rape of a child and say, “Well look at how she was dressed– she was asking for it.” What shocks me even more is to hear this kind of oppressive rhetoric from a woman.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. In our society women are allowed to be the virgin, the wife/mother or the whore. Unfortunately, we women have taken on the responsibility in many cases of enforcing these narrow roles. So often it is fellow women making remarks about how a woman chooses to dress, and we learn how to do this to one another at a young age. At a recent training I attended, a sexual assault prevention educator described her experience teaching middle and high schoolers. She said more often than not it was the girls who argued that some girls are “asking for it” when they dress like a “hoochie.” Her response?

“Do you really think anyone gets dressed to go out, looks in the mirror and says to herself, ‘Ooh yeah! I’m going go be a rape victim tonight!’?”

The other reason women seem to look down upon one another for dressing or presenting themselves in a “sexy” way is jealousy. From my point of view, there is plenty of sexiness for all of us. Another woman being sexy doesn’t make me or you or any other woman any less sexy. Sex as power for women is for another conversation, but for now let’s just think about sisterhood. Let’s support one another, no matter what we are wearing.

Signing off, I couldn’t help but to think of this piece from Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues:

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4 Responses to “Clothing and Victim-Blaming”

  1. Ben D March 31, 2011 at 10:39 am

    I completely agree with what you say here. The victim blaming is so disgusting. Someone once said to me that a women should be able to be drunk, naked, and strapped to a mattress at the top of Bascom hill and STILL not be bothered. There never a justification for rape, not ever.

    Thought you might like this article.

    • trevinomurphy April 2, 2011 at 10:09 am

      Thanks, Ben. That article is really well done! Thanks for reading :)

    • April 17, 2011 at 1:48 am #

      Someone said that to me too, and it was definitely Carmen H. Except she only mentioned State Street, I’m not sure whether Bascom Hill was covered in the “should be safe to be drunk, naked, and have a mattress strapped to your back” deal. Yeah. She’s pretty awesome.


  1. 7 Self Defense Myths « - July 10, 2011

    [...] are minors. To suggest that a woman’s appearance has anything to do with her attack is called victim blaming and it is extremely [...]

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