Dressing Sexy Does Not Mean ‘You’re Asking For It’
With all off the alleged sexual assault details that keep coming out of Hollywood many people are shocked. The list keeps getting longer. Some have claimed that they didn’t see it happen. Or that it didn’t happen to them. That’s fine. I urge you to believe the ones that say they have been assaulted in some way.
Statistically speaking, one in four women living in North America will be assaulted in their lifetime. Experts urge that sexual assault is drastically underreported. I would suspect, from the stories shared among my circles are hearing about others, that number is closer to three in four. Check out your social media for #MeToo and see how real it is.
If you think that sexual assault can be prevented, you’re right. Some may think that by fighting back a certain way, being of a certain gender identity, or wearing certain clothes can help you prevent assault. Some spend needless effort saying that your experience is "not that bad" compared to other experiences. It's all bad. Those people are incorrect.
There are myths and then there are facts. The only prevention is stopping the assaults in the first place. Educating people on what constitutes assault and consent are paramount. Programs such as No Means No are actually decreasing rates of violence. Blaming the victims is pointless.
Saying hurtful, incorrect things like,
“If she didn’t dress that way, no one would have attacked her.” Or,
“She should wear less makeup.” Or,
“She was asking for it.” Or,
“Males don’t get raped.”
Please stop. Women and men should have the freedom to dress however they want without nasty comments.
Recently, Cate Blanchette accepted a Style Icon award at In Style’s annual awards. She denounced those who think that dressing provocatively is any real defence strategy. She hit the nail on the head with one sentence,
Fuck yeah, right?
If you have said that dressing sexy infers that a person wants to have sex – or is asking for it – shame on you. Shame on the assaulters. Shame on designer of women's sometimes sexy clothing Donna Karen. Get informed about what prevents sexual assaults. Victims and survivors of assault should not be the focus of the blame, rather, let’s educate the people around you on what does prevent: stop assaulting.
To anyone out there that has been assaulted, know I believe you. I am so sorry that happened to you. I am you. #MeToo