Author: has written 5267 posts for this blog.

Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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190 Responses

  1. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable June 1, 2011 at 4:50 pm |

    hahahahahahaha.

    I was pissed.

    ICWUDT.

  2. Katniss
    Katniss June 1, 2011 at 4:54 pm |

    Can you please add a trigger warning to this post?

  3. vanessa
    vanessa June 1, 2011 at 4:58 pm |

    oh my LORD. I just came across the link on Feministing (which, wtf) and then I made the mistake of not only reading it but the comment section, and holy shit. I have NO WORDS.
    But! I then immediately clicked over to here and I read your first sentence and then I laughed. Ruefully.

  4. Tallulah Spankhead
    Tallulah Spankhead June 1, 2011 at 5:09 pm |

    Oh, Jill, thank you so much for this. We’ve been having this argument at our place for a week now, over an MP who “didn’t hear the question” and still felt comfortable blaming drunk women for rape, and SlutWalk. I’m getting really sick of explaining why it’s not the clothes/drinking/attitude/dirtysluttitude that matters. From now on, I will just point them here.

  5. Micah
    Micah June 1, 2011 at 5:10 pm |

    hahahahhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, YOU GOT ME

  6. Catherine
    Catherine June 1, 2011 at 5:10 pm |

    Thank-you! I also found that through Feministing and was horrified. Glad there are people calling out the bullshit.

  7. Sienna
    Sienna June 1, 2011 at 5:10 pm |

    I was like “Jill, what happened to you” until I continued reading. LOL.

    But really, this is a great post. I constantly have debates about this with my own family, women no less.

  8. alynn
    alynn June 1, 2011 at 5:12 pm |

    I read the subject and thought: Oh hell yes, because anyone should be able to wear what they want w/o slut shaming or victim blaming.

    Then I read the stuff before the line and thought: Whaaaa?

    Then I read the rest and thought: Wait, someone really wrote that other stuff in seriousness?

    Then I clicked through and thought: Oh dear lord noooooo!

    Sigh.

  9. Dan
    Dan June 1, 2011 at 5:16 pm |

    Yeah, wow. I know this is a pretty minor aspect of this problem, but I do want to add, as a heterosexual man, I sort of resent the idea that booze or drugs or certain clothes can create a hazy altered reality in which consent isn’t, ultimately, *completely cut and dry* and we’re all capable of becoming the sort of fucking monster who would ever rape someone.

  10. Autumn
    Autumn June 1, 2011 at 5:18 pm |

    This is ridiculous. Miniskirts are not a feminist issue. Hot pants, on the other hand!

    (Which is to say, thanks for the smackdown of that other piece, whose writer I’m sure thinks she was doing something righteous but did exactly what you spelled out here.)

  11. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. June 1, 2011 at 5:21 pm |

    Jesus fucking Christ, Jill. Are you trying to give us a collective aneurism? Because I will mail you my vomit.

  12. Icaarus
    Icaarus June 1, 2011 at 5:26 pm |

    Okay Jill, (and all women) this touches a topic that I have some deep feelings about. So I will give the same reply here that I did the first time it came up. The miniskirt in public is not a matter of feminism, or decorum, or violence, or any other bullshit statement. Women that chose to wear it should not be marginalized, or blamed for being the victim. It is however a matter of taste. I don’t care if you are Hally Barry or Kaley Cuoco, I don’t want to look at your g-string nor your camel toe, nor your bare ‘baby maker’ whilst on my commute home from work. This is one piece of fashion that has it’s time and place, yet is so easily abused that it would almost be safe to say it is worn for more inappropriate time then appropriate time.

    Additionally, if you do choose to wear something that risque. I will say again no you should not be harmed in any way. Just remember that yes you will be stared at lustfully from guys (and girls) that do want to look at you on their way home, don’t be rude to people just because they are looking at you.

    Above all else, please be safe, no matter what you are wearing, and don’t flash me your g-string when you sit down in front of me in class at 8:00 am.

  13. Daisy
    Daisy June 1, 2011 at 5:30 pm |

    You scared me there Jill. I thought Althouse had hacked you.

  14. Shoshie
    Shoshie June 1, 2011 at 5:41 pm |

    Aaah! You totally got me, Jill!

  15. Icaarus
    Icaarus June 1, 2011 at 5:45 pm |

    Jill:
    Congratulations, Icaarus, for Grade-A Missing The Point.

    No Jill I changed this point. I have been listening to and defending against the stupidity of blaming the victim for years through various means. This is not a new topic here, nor in local conversation throughout Canada (Thanks Crazy Conservatives in T.O.) This story shows not just the blaming the victim line which has been beaten to death in the blogs and to improve anything needs to move past the mutual agreement societies; but the ” ‘What are you looking at?’ one of them snapped at a man who leered at them.” statement leads to a topic I have never heard you mention. Everyone is quick to say “women should be able to wear what they want” or “women who dress like sluts are victims”. I have yet to hear anyone on the blogs say “women should have the right to wear whatever they want without fear of injury, and the decorum not to be rude to fellow transit riders” That is a topic of conversation that can explore new ground in the blogsphere.

  16. preying mantis
    preying mantis June 1, 2011 at 5:58 pm |

    “Just remember that yes you will be stared at lustfully from guys (and girls) that do want to look at you on their way home, don’t be rude to people just because they are looking at you.”

    So, are you trolling, or are you literally so clueless that you can’t tell the difference between looking and leering? Do you also have a super-hard time telling the difference between a guy just hanging out and doing his thing, and a guy trying to start a fight? ‘Cuz, seriously. Seriously.

  17. Cocktails. « The Lady Garden
    Cocktails. « The Lady Garden June 1, 2011 at 5:59 pm |

    [...] and elsewhere where people have taken up the victim-blaming mantle. (If you’re sick of it, here‘s a piece of joy from Jill. – H/T Deborah. Add in a couple of nasty emails, including [...]

  18. Jim
    Jim June 1, 2011 at 6:02 pm |

    Jill: Congratulations, Icaarus, for Grade-A Missing The Point.

    No, I’ll show you missing the point. I never see anyone dressed like that without wondering at them and envying them for being able to stand the cold. That goes for guys in tank tops in 40 degree weather with their nipples standing into the next county. Some people are so blessed.

  19. Jim
    Jim June 1, 2011 at 6:04 pm |

    Oh, and “camel toe” has got to be one of the goofiest expressions for anything.

  20. Icaarus
    Icaarus June 1, 2011 at 6:14 pm |

    No preying mantis I am not trolling, nor am I clueless. I purposely avoid looking and leering (remember I did say I find miniskirts unattractive) I also find the annoying giggles/snide comments that generally follow the “What are you looking at” to be equally unattractive. But the worst is the “why is everyone staring at me??” when it’s minus 40 and both of them are in ultra-minis. My point is that anyone reading this blog would be well aware of the previous, insightful comments on the topic over the past few weeks. Summary don’t blame the victim for being a victim . Let’s just not forget that there is an often ignored third side to any “what to wear” issue.

  21. groggette
    groggette June 1, 2011 at 6:23 pm |

    fuck that noise! I’m going to go drink some pints and flirt with the hot guy in my group I’ve had my eye on for awhile.

    (OK so I was planning on doing that anyway but now I’ll do it with gusto!)

  22. jana
    jana June 1, 2011 at 6:36 pm |

    The g-string flashing/wobbly drunkenness was at 8:00 post-meridiem in both stories, rather than at the start of banking hours. Does that change it for you?

    Icaarus brings up an interesting point that I hope Jill, as a feminist who prides herself on her ability to listen to alternative points of view, will hear.

    This issue of slut/not-slut has to do with subject/object relations; who is object and who is subject, and who gets to say what and when. Yes, let’s do explore this further, as the argument that “I should be able to wear what I want when I want, period” seems to me to be overly simplistic for our complex world, as simplistic as the “She was asking for it, then” argument. At either end of the spectrum, these arguments have more in common than they are different.

  23. Nahida
    Nahida June 1, 2011 at 6:36 pm |

    Awe, I missed the pleasure of becoming pissed off and wondering if Jill was hacked cause I read her Twitter first. =(

  24. Ismone
    Ismone June 1, 2011 at 6:36 pm |

    Well, Icaarus, you were defending the leering. Shame on you.

    Also, I have noticed that I get leered at wearing all kinds of different things. Except for when I am out with my 6’4″ solemn-faced baby brother. Then nobody says anything to me. The leering and comments are about respect. If it offends you (or anyone) they should look away.

  25. preying mantis
    preying mantis June 1, 2011 at 6:53 pm |

    “If it offends you (or anyone) they should look away.”

    But he has deep feelings!

    Also, it’s not nice to be rude to leerers when you started it by wearing something individual dudes deem inappropriate and attention-whorish.

  26. Allison
    Allison June 1, 2011 at 7:00 pm |

    OH MAN YOU FREAKED MY SHIT OUT

  27. andrea
    andrea June 1, 2011 at 7:01 pm |

    Jill, you had me worried. I honest-to-dog said, in full Mike-Myers-as-Shrek accent, out loud “HOLD THE PHONE!”

    In other news, I’m glad to see the Women’s Temperance movement is alive and well. *sigh*

  28. andrea
    andrea June 1, 2011 at 7:02 pm |

    P.S. I love the best case/worst case scenario… it’s applicable to EVERYTHING!

  29. Addy
    Addy June 1, 2011 at 7:09 pm |

    Alcohol does play a large role in many instances of rape, in part because many serial rapists use alcohol and situations that involve drinking to prey on women. But rather than discouraging women from drinking, we need to do a much better job at identifying these men and keeping them away from these social situations, preferably by having them arrested for their past crimes. Think of all the frat parties in which guys who are known to have raped women in the past are still welcomed and enabled to rape again. From an article on npr.org, “Myths That Make It Hard To Stop Campus Rape”:

    “On college campuses, repeat predators account for 9 out of every 10 rapes. And these offenders on campuses … look for the most vulnerable women. Lisak says that on a college campus, the women most likely to be sexually assaulted are freshmen.” So really, according to the logic of that Frisky article, women really should avoid being college freshmen too, since that puts them at higher risk for being assaulted.

  30. Icaarus
    Icaarus June 1, 2011 at 7:10 pm |

    You are right, Ismone, it is about respect. I can understand, looking back at my previous comments, that they may not have been direct enough or clear enough because it certainly was not my intention to defend leering or any rude behaviour. So here is a summary and clarification:

    Blaming the victim is wrong, bad, evil and misguided.

    Being disrespectful is wrong, bad, evil and rude.

    Wearing clothing that is obnoxiously revealing (or just plain obnoxious) is just as rude as leering, for similar reasons, and no matter what the person being leered/stared at is wearing or doing.

    Leering is wrong for more reasons that the rudeness/disrespect factor. Don’t leer, Don’t stare.

    The majority of people who you meet on the street will not be respectful towards you – plan accordingly; this goes equally out to everybody. The form that disrespect takes is the only variable. This does not give you license to be disrespectful back, or disrespectful to the next person you interact with. It does give you license to ask them politely to not stare. If they don’t listen, of course you can step up to polite enforcement methods where available.

    Be pleasantly surprised when someone breaks the previous point, enjoy it, and share in the positiveness of being respectful to each other.

  31. Marie
    Marie June 1, 2011 at 7:13 pm |

    As a 46-year-old feminist mom of three, I find it amusing to see how popular mini-skirts have become (again). I’m past my mini-skirt days. Haha.

    I am Facebook friends with a handful of young women in their late teens and early 20s (family friends or relatives).

    Has anyone else noticed that when many young women pose in photos nowadays, (1) they are usually wearing mini-skirts and heels [in spite of winter temperatures] and (2) they usually have one arm thrown around their friend and the other one on their hip? It must be the new pose. They look so confident (I’m sure it’s often an act).

  32. preying mantis
    preying mantis June 1, 2011 at 7:16 pm |

    andrea:
    P.S. I love the best case/worst case scenario… it’s applicable to EVERYTHING!

    I still can’t believe “Best case scenario: one of them would lose their wallet or twist their ankle and end up in the emergency room.” was actually in the original article. Ending up in the emergency room: best case scenario. Ending up in the emergency room is not the “best case scenario” of throwing yourself off a goddamn cliff with nothing but a parachute and hard nipples. What sort of ridiculous person posits it as a best case scenario for young women getting drunk?

    And also, yes, the worst case scenario is–and we have a brazillion articles to back us up on this–winding up dead, so fail on that, too.

  33. sXe
    sXe June 1, 2011 at 7:23 pm |

    I’m not debating the validity of this post, but I am curious about one point. You say “human beings don’t rape out of instinct.” But I always thought they do? I feel this true with most male-dominated species.
    When you think back to our origins, our two most primitive ideals were survival and reproduction. That’s just how nature works, however unethical it may seem. It is only through thousands of years of living in a civilized society that we learned to curb our immediate urges for the betterment of the collective and developed the concept of marriage and monogamy.

  34. andrea
    andrea June 1, 2011 at 7:26 pm |

    preying mantis: I still can’t believe “Best case scenario: one of them would lose their wallet or twist their ankle and end up in the emergency room.”

    I’d hate to think of how many wallets and/or ER trips I’d have gone through by now if this was true.

  35. Tori
    Tori June 1, 2011 at 7:27 pm |

    Wearing clothing that is obnoxiously revealing…

    Which is — what, exactly? I have never in my life seen someone wearing a skirt/shorts/etc. so short as to put someone’s underwear and/or genitals on display.

    The form that disrespect takes is the only variable. This does not give you license to be disrespectful back…

    Also, no — the form of disrespect is not the only variable. As a woman who often wears clothing that others might deem “revealing” (obnoxiously revealing? IDK), if there’s a guy leering at me or making asshole comments about my state of dress, I also am aware of the possibilities that:

    1. The leerer is prepared to do more than to look and talk.

    2. If the leerer does touch me or my clothes, block my exit from the situation, or otherwise become physical, the most likely response from others in my area is that they will do nothing.

    In other words, there’s a very real power imbalance that enables the leering — and it’s not related to my tube top or my shorts.

  36. Ashley
    Ashley June 1, 2011 at 7:31 pm |

    I hear everything you’re saying. It’s like we are working to teach girls “Don’t get raped” instead of teaching the rapists “Don’t rape.” There’s no excuse for rapists, but what can we do? The truth is, rapists are going to rape no matter how much shame and punishment we put on to them, just as people commit other crimes. (Just one) of the reasons I don’t dress revealingly is for my protection. Just like the fact that we lock our doors at night so we don’t get robbed. It would be wonderful if we could walk around wearing whatever we wanted and not receive unwanted attention, and it would be nice if we didn’t have to worry about getting robbed as well as getting assaulted, but it is just not reality.

  37. Alison
    Alison June 1, 2011 at 7:37 pm |

    Wearing clothing that is obnoxiously revealing (or just plain obnoxious) is just as rude as leering, for similar reasons, and no matter what the person being leered/stared at is wearing or doing.

    WTF does “obnoxiously revealing” even mean? Like…revealing to the point that you personally are annoyed? Oh, well, heavens to Betsy. Must be so hard to be you with all these people doing things you personally do not like or approve of. Could you provide us with a list? Like…how about tank tops? Are those revealing to an obnoxious degree? Maybe only on large-chested women? And what about low-rise jeans – please inform me the number of inches of rise I need in order not to be all obnoxious at you with my pelvic bones.

    And for the FUCKING love of God – NO, wearing revealing clothing is not just as rude as leering at someone. I mean, are you kidding me with this? See, the difference is, when I put on clothing in the morning, it’s not something I’m doing to you, and I don’t specifically seek you or anyone else out and stand in front of them and force them to leer at me. On the other hand, leering at someone IS something you do to someone else, on purpose, with intent. Do you see the damn difference? Or even the difference between glancing/looking at someone and leering/gaping at them?

    My head hurts.

  38. shah8
    shah8 June 1, 2011 at 7:42 pm |

    Well, I *did* wind up in these grungy warrens of the Internets because Amanda Marcotte argued so hard with Steve Gilliard about Natalie Holloway on exactly this sort of thing, some years ago. At the time, I didn’t exactly agree with her but thought she had a point…

    Years later and crossing the paths of many feminist. Another woman dies before the general point was accepted that Joran van der Sloot was something of a serial killer, that…

    I do have to admit, this was one of the more creative and charging means of burying the lede…

  39. lyn
    lyn June 1, 2011 at 8:07 pm |

    “Wearing clothing that is obnoxiously revealing (or just plain obnoxious) is just as rude as leering, for similar reasons, and no matter what the person being leered/stared at is wearing or doing.”

    Oh, and you are the arbiter or all things obnoxious? You have some magical ability to objectively assess what is *obnoxiously* revealing and what is not in all contexts? Wow. Not the superpower I would choose, but congratulations.

    Also – Jill you had me worried too. I think it was the first person that really got me. Throughout I was thinking…surely this is a quote? And there’s just been some formatting problem? Please let this be a formatting problem!!!11!

  40. Meaghan
    Meaghan June 1, 2011 at 8:07 pm |

    alynn:
    I read the subject and thought: Oh hell yes, because anyone should be able to wear what they want w/o slut shaming or victim blaming.

    Then I read the stuff before the line and thought: Whaaaa?

    Then I read the rest and thought: Wait, someone really wrote that other stuff in seriousness?

    Then I clicked through and thought: Oh dear lord noooooo!

    Sigh.

    This was my EXACT sequence of events. You should’ve saved this for April 1st!

  41. Nate
    Nate June 1, 2011 at 8:12 pm |

    @Allison, I can’t speak to the OP, but to me, revealing to an obnoxious degree=spandex/anything skintight unless you’re a pro wrestler.

    With regards to the article, I agree with Ashley. Until we eliminate whatever gene causes sociopathy/psychopathy/ASPD, there are going to be rapists. It’s not victim-blaming to warn someone to lock their doors-it’s common sense. Similarly, it’s not blaming the victim to warn women (or men) in bars to watch their drinks, not get blackout drunk in unsafe areas, or otherwise make themselves an easy mark for rapists, muggers, etc.

  42. marnijane
    marnijane June 1, 2011 at 8:17 pm |

    I’m actually kind of glad that shit post happened. I work in drug reform and during sexual assault awareness month this absolutely awful campaign was put out by the women’s marijuana movement claiming, essentially, that booze leads to rape, weed doesn’t. (Not linking but if you search for it, for the love of god trigger warning for blatant rape culture and apologism and blaming the victim). What ensued was drug reformer rapefail, me scouring this site and yesmeansyes for related posts i could use to educate people, and eventually writing out a massive amount of posts myself. So what i’m saying is i’m happy this post addresses the booze leads to rape “soft” victim blaming.

    What’s truly amazing with pieces like that, the soft victim blaming, for lack of a better term, is that you see just how insidious rape culture is. Because the second you blame anything other than the rapist you’re taking away their agency and their fault and requiring the victim to take precaution against something that’s been shown time and again to be impossible to take precaution against. One of my favorite posts on that phenomenon was on this site a while back, predatory theory i believe it was called.

    Sorry that was long winded, the aforementioned rapefail was horrible and i’m *really* excited you’re writing on this. In a sort of depressing way.

  43. Athenia
    Athenia June 1, 2011 at 8:19 pm |

    “tarted up”?!?!?!? I can’t even!!

  44. Alex
    Alex June 1, 2011 at 8:23 pm |

    Oh geez, Jill! I’m pretty sure it was at the “tarted up” line that I had to talk my roommate down into finishing the post! I really liked the lion analogy, the “why are we (as a society) breeding lions to be as aggressive as possible…” part really hit the nail on the head for me. Excellent work, thank you!

    @Ashley It really, really, really doesn’t matter what you wear! There really aren’t any preventative measures for rape because rapists rape no matter what. That cannot be stressed enough.

    While I can understand where you are coming from in that rapists are obviously fucked up and it’s anyone’s guess as to whether they can all be ‘stopped’, rape culture is about far more than the rapists themselves. It’s about prosecuting rapists, protecting survivors and ending victim-blaming; it’s about putting a stop to rape as an act of war. Rape culture enables rapists to get away with rape because the survivors are discredited and rapists are mythologized as scary boogeymen lurking in the shadows.

    Melissa McEwan at Shakesville has this amazing Rape Culture 101 post that I highly recommend for further reading.

  45. Heather
    Heather June 1, 2011 at 8:34 pm |

    ““If I get in this elevator, the best thing that could happen is that I have an awesome time. Worst thing? I die.” “If I hit the Shift key right now, the best thing that could happen is that I have an awesome time. Worst thing? I die.””

    I’m going to embroider that on a pillow.

    On a serious note, I’m so tired of people with this “but you lock your doors so you don’t get robbed, so don’t [extensive list of everything fun, necessary, or just a regular part of life] and you might not get raped” BS. Even if rape and robbery were comparably invasive and terrible,* locking my door is not the same as not ever drinking, not wearing “revealing” (obnoxiously revealing, perhaps?) clothes, not going anywhere alone, not having my hair in a ponytail, not decorating the outside of my home to “girly” (serious tip I was told by campus police officers), ad nauseum.

    Ugh, every time I start a comment here I have so much to say and then I get so mad writing that I can’t make sense of it, but you get the point.

    *Not trying to reduce the experience of those who have been robbed. I’m sure that it is really terrible.

  46. Ashley
    Ashley June 1, 2011 at 8:48 pm |

    Heather:
    ““If I get in this elevator, the best thing that could happen is that I have an awesome time. Worst thing? I die.” “If I hit the Shift key right now, the best thing that could happen is that I have an awesome time. Worst thing? I die.””

    I’m going to embroider that on a pillow.

    On a serious note, I’m so tired of people with this “but you lock your doors so you don’t get robbed, so don’t [extensive list of everything fun, necessary, or just a regular part of life] and you might not get raped” BS.Even if rape and robbery were comparably invasive and terrible,* locking my door is not the same as not ever drinking, not wearing “revealing” (obnoxiously revealing, perhaps?) clothes, not going anywhere alone, not having my hair in a ponytail, not decorating the outside of my home to “girly” (serious tip I was told by campus police officers), ad nauseum.

    Ugh, every time I start a comment here I have so much to say and then I get so mad writing that I can’t make sense of it, but you get the point.

    *Not trying to reduce the experience of those who have been robbed. I’m sure that it is really terrible.

    No one said it was the *same* but I think the general idea is similar.

  47. Athenia
    Athenia June 1, 2011 at 8:49 pm |

    OOps…sorry “tarted up” wasn’t in the original.

    I think “binge drinking” is a feminist issue, but not because rapists take advantage of it.

    Why in heavens am I required to drink to “have fun”? Especially around rapists? Why should I drink so that I can have sex a la Jersey Shore? Why do both men and women feel that drunken sex is thee sex to have? Why is that viewed as the ideal sex situation? Drinking and Sex seem so intertwined that it seems that our society totally accepts that drinking *is* consent.

    If we are aiming for enthusiastic consent, drinking totally negates that because a drunk person cannot consent.

  48. andrea
    andrea June 1, 2011 at 9:01 pm |

    Athenia:

    I think “binge drinking” is a feminist issue, but not because rapists take advantage of it.

    I agree there is room for more discourse around reasons and influences that lead to binge drinking, because I’m sure it probably does more harm than good, but more in the context of “Why do we do it and what does it accomplish” rather than “You Gonna Get Raped!”

    Anectdotally, the day I realized I had become a grown-up was when getting sloppy-drunk became something that happened by accident, not something I set out to do on purpose.

  49. preying mantis
    preying mantis June 1, 2011 at 9:13 pm |

    Heather: On a serious note, I’m so tired of people with this “but you lock your doors so you don’t get robbed, so don’t [extensive list of everything fun, necessary, or just a regular part of life] and you might not get raped” BS. Even if rape and robbery were comparably invasive and terrible,* locking my door is not the same as not ever drinking, not wearing “revealing” (obnoxiously revealing, perhaps?) clothes, not going anywhere alone, not having my hair in a ponytail, not decorating the outside of my home to “girly” (serious tip I was told by campus police officers), ad nauseum.

    A) Concern troll is always, always concerned.

    B) And even if getting burgled and getting sexually assaulted were remotely equivalent, really, what happens if you get burgled? “Did you lock your doors and windows?” “Yup.” “Well, then, I guess it just sucks to be you. Sorry!” Pretty much nobody spends a thousand hours going over everything about your home, schedule, and possessions trying to determine why you got robbed, because nobody’s hyper-invested in coming up with bizarre lists of superstitions that pass for ways to not get robbed.

    Whereas rape? Sweet zombie Jesus, do we as a culture go over all the bullshit things women could totally (totally!) have done to make men who want to rape go rape someone else instead of them. Attacked wearing pants? Should have worn a skirt. Attacked wearing a skirt? Should have worn pants. Dressed like a whore (as idiosyncratically defined by dudes who have deep feelings on the subject)? Should have dressed conservatively. Dressed conservatively? Should have dressed more conservatively. Dressed in a burka? Why didn’t you just add a sign saying “I’m too ashamed of sex to ever report you if you rape me”? I mean, victim-blaming is kind of like assaults themselves in that respect–there’s nothing that’s going to stop someone who wants to do it from doing it, because they want to do it. The blamers just keep going until they find something that they can plausibly blame you for having done or not done. If a predator gets the social message that he can’t skate with one excuse if caught or discovers that this or that demographic group will reliably report his ass, another excuse or more disenfranchised group is selected.

  50. andrea
    andrea June 1, 2011 at 9:19 pm |

    preying mantis: A) Concern troll is always, always concerned.

    B) And even if getting burgled and getting sexually assaulted were remotely equivalent, really, what happens if you get burgled? “Did you lock your doors and windows?” “Yup.” “Well, then, I guess it just sucks to be you.Sorry!” Pretty much nobody spends a thousand hours going over everything about your home, schedule, and possessions trying to determine why you got robbed, because nobody’s hyper-invested in coming up with bizarre lists of superstitions that pass for ways to not get robbed.

    Nobody tries to imply, either, that maybe you had not been robbed, but that perhaps you had given the so-called robber your stuff, based on your previous generous nature.

  51. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable June 1, 2011 at 9:21 pm |

    Jim: No, I’ll show you missing the point. I never see anyone dressed like that without wondering at them and envying them for being able to stand the cold. That goes for guys in tank tops in 40 degree weather with their nipples standing into the next county. Some people are so blessed.

    I’m originally from CT and was so convinced that this should give me magic winter-time powers to dress as obnoxiously revealing-ly as I do during the summer time. Alas, it is not so. :(

  52. preying mantis
    preying mantis June 1, 2011 at 9:24 pm |

    andrea: Nobody tries to imply, either, that maybe you had not been robbed, but that perhaps you had given the so-called robber your stuff, based on your previous generous nature.

    No, that is also a thing that they do not do. It is almost magical, the way sexual assault has so little in common with robbery.

  53. seanfish
    seanfish June 1, 2011 at 9:32 pm |

    Oh hellz this was just the lols to me.

    For the record: I am a man. I think women are great to look at, but not to leer at. I think men are great to look at, but not to leer at. I think small animals in nature are great to look at, not leer at. I think great works of art are great to look at, not leer at.

    I want to query Icarus, who I don’t think is trolling, but I think is crazy when they come out with:

    Blaming the victim is wrong, bad, evil and misguided.

    Being disrespectful is wrong, bad, evil and rude.

    (a) right, and (b) way wrong.

    Disrespectful is rude, yes. But evil? Are you equating not standing up (let’s stick with public transport) for an elderly person on the tube with murdering that elderly person? Because murder is something I’d clearly see as evil. The elderly person may feel some avoidable discomfort because someone doesn’t offer them a seat on the tube, but their life isn’t ended, or dramatically changed for the worse.

    It’s easy to construct arguments if you avoid small things such as, I don’t know, having a sense of proportion.

    And sharing the blame between the rapist and victim is all about not having a sense of proportion about what counts as an evil act.

    Being disrespectful in return to someone who is leering doesn’t even count as rude for me – it’s simply addressing that person’s behaviour in terms they will have no reason to misunderstand.

  54. tinfoil hattie
    tinfoil hattie June 1, 2011 at 9:45 pm |

    Any man who has sex with a woman who is too intoxicated to consent is, by definition, a rapist. Why on earth would any non-rapist WANT to “have sex with” a completely non-responsive woman? Answer: he wouldn’t.

  55. tinfoil hattie
    tinfoil hattie June 1, 2011 at 9:52 pm |

    preying mantis: Nobody tries to imply, either, that maybe you had not been robbed, but that perhaps you had given the so-called robber your stuff, based on your previous generous nature.

    As a matter of fact, nobody blames a robbery victim for even having the nerve to own things in the first place! Whereas women deserve rape for “going around all having a vagina at you” as some brilliant commenter, somewhere, once put it.

  56. Heather
    Heather June 1, 2011 at 9:53 pm |

    Thank you. Just thank you.

    Yup, I was in shock when I started reading this. I was casually reading through posts in my Google Reader while watching a movie on tv and I had to pause the movie to figure out WTF I was reading! “You know why I didn’t get raped? Because I wasn’t in the same room as a rapist.” How is this not ALL people need to understand?

    So, again, thank you.

  57. Heather
    Heather June 1, 2011 at 10:02 pm |

    Question: Is there any evidence whatsoever that women wearing “revealing” outfits are raped more often than those women not wearing “revealing” outfits? I haven’t been able to find any proof of that. Why does everyone just assume that it’s true?

    (BTW, even if it IS true, I’m not saying it’s anyone’s fault they were raped. At all. It just strikes me that the whole premise is based on something that has no basis in fact.)

  58. Mama Mia
    Mama Mia June 1, 2011 at 10:06 pm |

    Dan, way up thread, said the thing that, for some reason, rape apologists don’t pick up on. The vast majority of men ARE NOT rapists. But every time folks say that seeing a drunk woman makes men rape them, they are insulting every single man that IS NOT a rapist. Saying alcohol turns men into rapists is so insulting to men!

    I know a lot of guys that have been around drunk women, and they did not rape those women. I have heard drunk women proposition men, and those men turned the women down BECAUSE they did not want to have sex with a woman who didn’t know what she was doing.

    Rape apology is not a defense of men, it is an insult to men.

  59. Nahida
    Nahida June 1, 2011 at 10:11 pm |

    Personally I don’t really give a fuck about what’s insulting to men. It’s hugely problematic that every truthful argument must be held against how it affects the perception of men.

  60. GinnyC
    GinnyC June 1, 2011 at 10:27 pm |

    Mama Mia:
    …every time folks say that seeing a drunk woman makes men rape them, they are insulting every single man that IS NOT a rapist.Saying alcohol turns men into rapists is so insulting to men!

    Agreed!

  61. andrea
    andrea June 1, 2011 at 10:38 pm |

    I don’t know, I think it’s important to illustrate that the rape culture is damaging to women and men, if only to get both women and men to take the idea seriously.

    Basically, if we point out how rape apologism is insulting and/or damaging to men, we’re basically saying “Next time you excuse your buddy/co-worker/relative/celebrity’s douchebaggery because they took advantage of some chick who had drank too much by saying something like ‘well she was drunk and uh.. he’s a guy’, you’re perpetuating rape culture and the idea that all men are drooling horny animals that can’t help but rape, so don’t come crying to us when a woman on the subway gives you the hairy eyeball because you happened to smile at her.”

  62. Hmm
    Hmm June 1, 2011 at 10:49 pm |

    Nahida:
    Personally I don’t really give a fuck about what’s insulting to men. It’s hugely problematic that every truthful argument must be held against how it affects the perception of men.

    It’s problematic that the untruthful misrepresentation of men affects the perception of men?

  63. karak
    karak June 1, 2011 at 10:55 pm |

    If I go around behaving as though all men are violent, dangerous criminals, I’m castigated for being a bitch because not all men are like that and I’m a hyperfeminist and just looking for a reason to cry. If I go around behaving as though all men are sane, rational people that understand boundaries of personal space and basic humanity, then I’m tempting men into attacking me while I’m helpless and vulnerable and I really deserve whatever I get.

    Honestly, what is a girl to do?

  64. Alex
    Alex June 1, 2011 at 10:56 pm |

    tinfoil hattie:
    Any man who has sex with a woman who is too intoxicated to consent is, by definition, a rapist.Why on earth would any non-rapist WANT to “have sex with” a completely non-responsive woman?Answer:he wouldn’t.

    It took me years (six? seven?) to fully acknowledge that I had been raped because it was a friend of mine and because I had been drunk and all the other classic internalized victim-blaming excuses for why he would have slept with me when I was a) too drunk to stand up (I passed out pretty quickly; when I woke up it took me waaaay too long to remember where I was) b) dating his friend c) in the middle of a fight with his friend d) always having to refuse his advances every other time I saw him.

    Still now even though I know that it’s a clear cut case of rape, the shame and guilt remain and I have to remind myself of the kind of person who would have wanted to have sex with me that night.

    That’s another reason why, for me, this post and others like it are so crucial because it’s not just about challenging rape culture but creating a space for survivors and their supporters to share, learn and support one another.

  65. evil fizz
    evil fizz June 1, 2011 at 11:13 pm | *

    You know, I think Obnoxiously Revealing has enormous potential as the name for a cover band. Less so as regards a catch all for things that offend one particular dude.

  66. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. June 1, 2011 at 11:23 pm |

    evil fizz:
    You know, I think Obnoxiously Revealing has enormous potential as the name for a cover band.Less so as regards a catch all for things that offend one particular dude.

    I was thinking it would make an awesome blog title actually. Anyone planning to start a blog?

  67. Tori
    Tori June 1, 2011 at 11:32 pm |

    Kristen J.: I was thinking it would make an awesome blog title actually.Anyone planning to start a blog?

    Not starting, but thinking of changing the name of my current one.

    But what I really want is “Obnoxiously Revealing” scripted across a tank top. In silver glitter.

  68. LC
    LC June 1, 2011 at 11:57 pm |

    I would so buy that tank top.

  69. Jamie
    Jamie June 2, 2011 at 12:01 am |

    Fantastic. I just came here right after reading that bullshit, and it was a much-needed laugh.

    Beautiful!

  70. StartledOctopus
    StartledOctopus June 2, 2011 at 1:07 am |

    Hrk. I’m a teacher in South Korea and the kids all wear uniforms from middle school up. Girl’s skirts are getting so short that the government is considering installing front and side panels on their desks so no one peeks at their underwear. Although I agree wholeheartedly with the content of this article, these are not adults choosing what to wear in their free time – these are kids who are in school to study, and I think since they already have a uniform they should just mandate skirts of a certain length. Installing the panels seems like a bit of a backwards approach to the solution to me…
    One of the foibles of Korean fashion that entertains me is that, even if your shorts are short enough to practically be underwear, it’s doesn’t get in the territory of sluttitude. If you show some shoulder, on the other hand…

  71. lyn
    lyn June 2, 2011 at 2:57 am |

    I just trawled through that comment section. Some real troopers trying to point out the basic logic fail that, well, when you say ‘I’m not blaming women BUT women shouldn’t drink so much’…you put the onus on victims and not on rapists…and hence blame women. Just saying that you don’t doesn’t make it so.

    And seriously, all the people on that thread ranting about how they don’t drink much and don’t think much of people who do? High horses much?

    So I will buck the trend (I cannot be bothered posting over there – yich), and say that I don’t drink much because I get bad hangovers. I have never drank so much that I blacked out. I still, however, support other people’s right to drink and, y’know, live life without being assaulted. I like to think of it as not being an absolute douchey moron.

  72. becky
    becky June 2, 2011 at 3:05 am |

    Heather:
    On a serious note, I’m so tired of people with this “but you lock your doors so you don’t get robbed, so don’t [extensive list of everything fun, necessary, or just a regular part of life] and you might not get raped” BS.Even if rape and robbery were comparably invasive and terrible,* locking my door is not the same as not ever drinking, not wearing “revealing” (obnoxiously revealing, perhaps?) clothes, not going anywhere alone, not having my hair in a ponytail, not decorating the outside of my home to “girly” (serious tip I was told by campus police officers), ad nauseum.

    Word. Even the analogy is vaguely disturbing (“locking up” you home – “locking up” your… well, what? body? how?). It perpetuates the false notion that if you don’t get drunk/don’t show any skin/never go anywhere by yourself/don’t go home after dark, etc. you’ll be somehow safe from rape. Not only is this laying the groundwork for victim blaming (and makes your life a rather miserable experience), it is also based on false (and latently racist) assumptions, namely that rapes are mostly committed by “strange” men who jump suddenly out from behind a tree in a dark alley. I do not wish to diminish such experiences at all, but as statistics report, most rapes are actually committed by people who are known to the victim, namely 70 per cent. So this “be safe” rhetoric and the slut-shaming and victim-blamig that comes with it is an integral part of rape culture, and it reproduces the indefensible conviction of some people that if you do “everything you can,” nothing will happen to you (or the chances will be significantly diminished). Actually, rape is something that happens in people’s own homes. So, “locking your door” to not get robbed actually does not work for rape, neither in the literal nor metaphorical way.

  73. Nahida
    Nahida June 2, 2011 at 4:13 am |

    Hmm: It’s problematic that the untruthful misrepresentation of men affects the perception of men?

    Yeah, while women are victim-blamed for being raped I’m totally concerned about whether or not men are still winning some patriarchal popularity contest.

  74. Eneya
    Eneya June 2, 2011 at 4:16 am |

    I read the text before the line and thought “Yes, cause nobody have ever heard, or even worse, been a victim of sexual harassment/assault while wearing non-revealing clothes. You know, like that woman in Saudi Arabia that has been raped at gunpoint by her driver (because women can’t drive there).”
    I was kind of spooked for a second, I mean… well, you said it yourself, victim blaming is the thing that spurrs rape culture, not revealing clothing.

    Yes, drinkin, as well as short skirts are a feminist issue.
    And by feminist missue, I advise everyone, go watch/read “My Short Skirt” from the Vagina Monologues.

  75. Helen
    Helen June 2, 2011 at 7:00 am |

    Icaarus:
    Okay Jill, (and all women) this touches a topic that I have some deep feelings about. So I will give the same reply here that I did the first time it came up. …

    Oh, lordy.

    It is however a matter of taste. I don’t care if you are Hally Barry or Kaley Cuoco, I don’t want to look at your g-string nor your camel toe, nor your bare ‘baby maker’ whilst on my commute home from work. …Just remember that yes you will be stared at lustfully from guys (and girls) that do want to look at you on their way home, don’t be rude to people just because they are looking at you.

    Dude. In my neighbourhood, and many others, there are always the Chest Baring guys, including the quite old and lumpy ones who enjoy watering the front lawn shirtless. I for one do not wish to view their tufty, unpreposessing torsos, but being dudes, it is not considered some kind of Fact of Nature that they must be stared at rudely and harassed while doing so. Cogitate on that awhile, if you will.

  76. Past my expiration date
    Past my expiration date June 2, 2011 at 8:28 am |

    Parking garages (as opposed to surface parking lots) are also a feminist issue, I read this morning. Because women feel unsafe in badly-designed parking garages! (Evidently nothing bad has ever happened to men in badly-designed parking garages.) The list of feminist issues is endless, if you define “feminist” as “reminding women that they need to not do regular things, because they might get raped”.

  77. ~s~
    ~s~ June 2, 2011 at 8:49 am |

    Heather:
    On a serious note, I’m so tired of people with this “but you lock your doors so you don’t get robbed, so don’t [extensive list of everything fun, necessary, or just a regular part of life] and you might not get raped” BS.Even if rape and robbery were comparably invasive and terrible,* locking my door is not the same as not ever drinking, not wearing “revealing” (obnoxiously revealing, perhaps?) clothes, not going anywhere alone, not having my hair in a ponytail, not decorating the outside of my home to “girly” (serious tip I was told by campus police officers), ad nauseum.

    becky: Word. Even the analogy is vaguely disturbing (“locking up” you home – “locking up” your… well, what? body? how?).

    CLEARLY the solution is to wear chastity belts. All the time. You know, just in case.

  78. L
    L June 2, 2011 at 8:58 am |

    Nate: Until we eliminate whatever gene causes sociopathy/psychopathy/ASPD, there are going to be rapists. It’s not victim-blaming to warn someone to lock their doors-it’s common sense. Similarly, it’s not blaming the victim to warn women (or men) in bars to watch their drinks, not get blackout drunk in unsafe areas, or otherwise make themselves an easy mark for rapists, muggers, etc.

    Yeah, except that wearing a parka everywhere won’t necessarily prevent you from being raped. Why do people act like the ONLY REASON women are ever raped is because they have a little skin showing? I have had uncomfortable, unwanted attention when I was dressed for a night out, as well as when I’ve been at the grocery store with no makeup and sweatpants.

    Encouraging women to cover up more, drink less, etc is not going to prevent women from being raped.

  79. Olive Wildly
    Olive Wildly June 2, 2011 at 9:01 am |

    YES! THANK YOU!

    I grew steadily more frustrated and disappointed with you in the first half of the post. Then you turned it around and BAM. This is exactly the discussion I was having with my father the other day. We had both agreed that rape is a chosen action made by solely by one person: the rapist. BUT he refused to back down from his stance that women (like his 3 daughters) shouldn’t wear revealing clothing anyway because it would make them the target of a rapist.

    It’s so much a part of our rhetoric that, I believe, people don’t question it. If rape is a choice by the rapist, why can’t women wear whatever they want? If we let ourselves believe that the victim has influence over the actions of the rapist, we lessen the amount of choice and decision the predator had. Therefore creating “gray area.”

    FYI Dad, I’m printing this out and bring it over tonight.

  80. “I’ll get drunk if I want!” Why victim-blaming is never a feminist act

    [...] Feministe, Jill counters with her own version: “Why Wearing Mini-Skirts is a Feminist Issue.” The more I think about sluttly clothing and its relationship to sexual assault, the more I [...]

  81. matlun
    matlun June 2, 2011 at 9:43 am |

    Heather: Question: Is there any evidence whatsoever that women wearing “revealing” outfits are raped more often than those women not wearing “revealing” outfits? I haven’t been able to find any proof of that. Why does everyone just assume that it’s true?

    There is a statistical correlation.

    However, statistical correlation is not the same as causation. I would also be interested in finding some good research trying to break this out from other risk factors.

  82. Andie
    Andie June 2, 2011 at 9:54 am |

    I just want to add that any site that features articles with headlines that include the word ‘butterface’ probably doesn’t have a real firm grip on what ‘feminist’ issues are.

  83. matlun
    matlun June 2, 2011 at 9:56 am |

    sXe: You say “human beings don’t rape out of instinct.” But I always thought they do?

    Yes, that part of the OP as well as the lion analogy was rather weak. If a human ends up in a lion pit (whether by jumping or being thrown), I would not really blame the lion for mauling that person.

    The key here is rather the observation “Human beings aren’t lions.” We do not blame the lion, since it is an animal and is not considered having moral volition. This makes “lions will be lions” a strong argument.

    The rapist, however, is a human being, and is expected to be able to overcome instinct when required.

    Personally, I think the rapist’s argument “I could not control myself” is very weak. If that were really true, then that person is a danger to society and needs to be locked away.

  84. melindeau
    melindeau June 2, 2011 at 9:57 am |

    I just came from reading The Frisky article as well as the associated comments and WOW.

    Do the people making comments on that article not realize that they are further promoting the rape culture with their “cautionary advice”?

  85. rain
    rain June 2, 2011 at 10:04 am |

    @75

    Dude. In my neighbourhood, and many others, there are always the Chest Baring guys, including the quite old and lumpy ones who enjoy watering the front lawn shirtless. I for one do not wish to view their tufty, unpreposessing torsos, but being dudes, it is not considered some kind of Fact of Nature that they must be stared at rudely and harassed while doing so.

    Yesterday, I was googling for some kids’ soccer pics, and came across this fascinating juxtaposition of exposed torsos (NSFW, because of her, not him):
    http://sports.popcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/soccer-fans.jpg

    Just as fucked up is the different kind of results when you image google “boys soccer” and “girls soccer”, the latter being NSFW.

  86. Rare Vos
    Rare Vos June 2, 2011 at 10:07 am |

    Do the people making comments on that article not realize that they are further promoting the rape culture with their “cautionary advice”?

    Perhaps, but more importantly, they don’t care. notice how virtually every one of them says something like “sure this advice should be given/should apply to men too, BUT”.

    It is always about letting “boys be boys” and making women responsible for their behavior.

  87. Jamjam
    Jamjam June 2, 2011 at 10:13 am |

    Yeah. I wonder thy those “I’m not a sexist but women, rape is your fault too if you wear miniskirts/drink/exist” people never follow their line of thought to its logical end:

    -> “So – if I see a man passed out from booze, it must be his fault, if I castrate him. ”

    Hey, the guy obviously “brought it on himself” by drinking in excess…

  88. matlun
    matlun June 2, 2011 at 10:16 am |

    matlun: There is a statistical correlation.

    Jill: I’ve actually never seen stats on this. Matlun, would you mind sharing where you found them?

    Hmm, I thought that was fairly well established, but checking sources now I could not find a good reference.

    I will have to withdraw the above statement. How embarrassing.

  89. M. We.
    M. We. June 2, 2011 at 10:17 am |

    Nate: Until we eliminate whatever gene causes sociopathy/psychopathy/ASPD, there are going to be rapists.

    This disabled survivor is far from pleased to be ‘splained at, and no less to be ‘splained at with the hypothesis that disablism would prevent there from being rape.

  90. rain
    rain June 2, 2011 at 10:37 am |

    @9
    Re: calling rapists “monsters”. Considering the way you used it, this was probably unintentional, so I’m not trying to jump on you here, but part of rape culture is promoting the idea that rapists are some kind of monsters, ie, not your brother, cousin, or that nice, “normal” looking friend of a friend you just met at the party. Rape isn’t as aberrant a behavior as “monster” makes it out to be.

    @41

    Until we eliminate whatever gene causes sociopathy/psychopathy/ASPD, there are going to be rapists.

    If the origins of these disorders are genetic, then if a sociopath rapes, does it mean that he’s not at fault and can’t control himself?

  91. Why Being Drunk Is Not A Feminist Issue | Change Happens: The SAFER Blog

    [...] Yesterday, Kate over at The Frisky contended that “being drunk is a feminist issue” and was promptly smacked down by Jill from Feministe. I’ve quoted a representative excerpt from Kate’s essay below: The more I think about alcohol [...]

  92. matlun
    matlun June 2, 2011 at 10:48 am |

    rain: If the origins of these disorders are genetic, then if a sociopath rapes, does it mean that he’s not at fault and can’t control himself?

    Why would it matter if it is nature or nurture?

  93. Nancy
    Nancy June 2, 2011 at 10:58 am |

    Loved this article. Brilliantly done. Thanks.

  94. Rhiannon
    Rhiannon June 2, 2011 at 10:58 am |

    I don’t like to admit to being played like a fiddle, but when I hit the dividing line in that post, I was about ready to stop reading, indeed thinking, “THIS is on Feministe?!”

    Nice post!

    For anyone in the Chicagoland area, come to the Slutwalk on Saturday. :)

  95. C
    C June 2, 2011 at 11:21 am |

    matlun:
    Hmm, I thought that was fairly well established, but checking sources now I could not find a good reference.

    I will have to withdraw the above statement. How embarrassing.

    For something that is stated so often, there is very little research I was able to find in relation to it. (In contrast, there is a fair amount of research on how many people *think* it’s true.) The one statistic I was able to find: “A Federal Commission on Crime of Violence Study found that only 4.4% of all reported rapes involved provocative behavior on the part of the victim. In murder cases 22% involved such behavior (as simple as a glance).”

    Obviously, this is not a great citation, but I also haven’t found any statistics that contradict it. Assuming it’s valid (and ignoring the vague “provocative behavior” – did they really say “a glance” is provocative?), I think it’s fair to say that there no increased risk of sexual assault to women who don’t “cover up.”

    On a total side note: I have been accused of “flirting” for having a completely asexual conversation with a man. (By “asexual,” I mean that it did not involve sexual innuendos, touching, etc.) Maybe on top of the warnings to not drink and not flaunt, we should add “Don’t talk to men. You never know when your intelligent opinions will get them all riled up and they won’t be able to control themselves.”

  96. matlun
    matlun June 2, 2011 at 11:33 am |

    Jill: So it’s really not accurate to suggest that mental illness is what causes and sustains rape.

    I guess that depends on your definition of mental illness. Anyway, that debate is just a distraction. Whether or not the kind of personality problems that “causes” people to rape are classified as a mental disorder is in the end a question of semantics. If for example the DSM-5 working party expands the classifications to cover more rapists, this would not change reality.

    Trying to use these type of arguments to declare rapists and other criminals as “other” can be very problematic.

  97. Athenia
    Athenia June 2, 2011 at 11:39 am |

    tinfoil hattie:
    Any man who has sex with a woman who is too intoxicated to consent is, by definition, a rapist.Why on earth would any non-rapist WANT to “have sex with” a completely non-responsive woman?Answer:he wouldn’t.

    Apparently, the NYC cop that was accused of rape was interested in a half-passed out woman.

    I’ve also run into many guys at parties who offer their places for me to “sleep” after I’ve had some alcohol. So yes, there are people out there who think half drunk women are THEE people to stick their penises in. I think part of the problem is that people don’t take breath tests before they have sex—what does “incapacitated” mean anyway? Able to speak, but not thinking straight or completely passed out?

    Rape is about power–and for many guys sticking something of theirs into a vagina gives them power points.

  98. Andie
    Andie June 2, 2011 at 11:39 am |

    Jill:
    The thing is, if someone is looking to sexually assault someone else, telling women to cover their drinks or not wear skirts or not get drunk isn’t going to stop him from finding someone.

    This also kind of makes the emphasis on risk reduction a divisive issue among women where it becomes “Well, better her than me” rather than “No, better NOBODY.”

  99. matlun
    matlun June 2, 2011 at 11:53 am |

    C: “A Federal Commission on Crime of Violence Study found that only 4.4% of all reported rapes involved provocative behavior on the part of the victim. In murder cases 22% involved such behavior (as simple as a glance).”

    I have seen this quote around also, but I am uncertain about what it even means. If we read “provoke” in a sexual sense, it seems very implausible. For example, in most date rape cases there would presumably have been some earlier flirting.

    I would guess it means “provoke” in the sense of direct insult or damage, but I do not know.

  100. Niki
    Niki June 2, 2011 at 12:01 pm |

    Jill, you are awesome and in my secret dream world, you and I are besties and we patrol the streets with megaphones calling out sexist crap and wearing pretty shoes together.

    On a more serious note, though, this was brilliantly executed. Like others have said, you friggin GOT me. I was angry. I was ready to flip out and ask you what the hell happened to you. But at the same time, I was waiting for the insight that I knew would come, because I just knew you couldn’t mean what you were saying.

    So let me say this: You are a hell of a brave writer, Jill. You are brilliant and analytical and your writing is damn effective. And in recent months, I think I can honestly say you’ve become my favourite feminist writer on the whole wide internet. Please don’t stop being so awesome.

  101. Geo
    Geo June 2, 2011 at 12:04 pm |

    Who am I to judge the inappropriateness of how you appear in public? I have the right to feel whatever I feel. I do not have the right to punish you for my feelings.

    Rape will be greatly reduced when we men see rape as a men’s issue and begin seriously looking at “masculinity” and how it hurts both ourselves and others.

    A significant majority of rapists rape women and girls that they know. Rapists look for opportunities.

    Most of us men are Not rapists. Most of us men Support Rape in various ways Not speaking up and confronting Rape Supportive behavior when we are with other Men.

    There are a moderate number of men’s groups such as: Men Can Stop Rape, The White Ribbon Campaign, Emerge, A Call to Men, etc. that do good work. More of us need to get involved with existing groups and in starting new groups. I’m trying in a small way with A Men’s Project: http://www.AMensProject.com to help make resources visible for men.

    It is time for Rape to be a “Men’s Issue” that we men take seriously. We need to do more than occasionally respond positively in blogs with brief supportive words. Thanks!

  102. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable June 2, 2011 at 12:18 pm |

    Maybe we can also work on creating the image that women are just as important as men, and thus women’s issues are just as important instead of reframing it within the current power dynamic?

    Or maybe we can reframe as an “issue” so we stop erasing trans folks and people with nonbinary gender identities. Let’s do it!

  103. Andie
    Andie June 2, 2011 at 12:36 pm |

    PrettyAmiable:
    Maybe we can also work on creating the image that women are just as important as men, and thus women’s issues are just as important instead of reframing it within the current power dynamic?

    Or maybe we can reframe as an “issue” so we stop erasing trans folks and people with nonbinary gender identities. Let’s do it!

    Rape Culture. It’s Everybody’s Problem.

  104. Rare Vos
    Rare Vos June 2, 2011 at 1:05 pm |

    PrettyAmiable – thank you. I’m all for guys getting invovled – its spectacular and about damn time.

    However, framing it as men need it to be a men’s issue before they’ll get involved is just . . . . . no

  105. CQ
    CQ June 2, 2011 at 1:25 pm |

    Thank you for your brilliant writing, Jill. I think Niki said it best — and I’d just like to underscore, highlight, and amplify her comment because it sums up my feelings exactly.

    Niki:
    On a more serious note, though, this was brilliantly executed. Like others have said, you friggin GOT me. I was angry. I was ready to flip out and ask you what the hell happened to you. But at the same time, I was waiting for the insight that I knew would come, because I just knew you couldn’t mean what you were saying.

    So let me say this: You are a hell of a brave writer, Jill. You are brilliant and analytical and your writing is damn effective. And in recent months, I think I can honestly say you’ve become my favourite feminist writer on the whole wide internet. Please don’t stop being so awesome.

  106. Paraxeni
    Paraxeni June 2, 2011 at 1:25 pm |

    some of my comment might be triggering, sorry

    @L, Rare Vos, and Athenia (78, 86, 97)

    Thank you. It’s not about what we wear, where we are, what we’re doing. It’s about the message woven through society that boys>girls, men>women. It’s about girls and women having ‘acceptable behaviour’ defined in strict terms, while ‘boys will be boys’ and anything goes.

    It’s got fuck all to do with sex, and everything to do with that sense of empowerment, that sense of entitlement that rapists have, that they can take what they want because it’s theirs anyway.

    Signed – attacked (not raped, just sexually assaulted) in broad daylight at 13, wearing the baggiest sweater and jeans on Earth, by a group of older boys on bikes who surrounded me against a wall, as adults walked past. After picking up my library books, and wiping the spit off my glasses, I ran home crying. I was told to ‘grow up’ and “be more careful in future” and “well, that’s what happens” (what, going out on a hot day in baggy clothes for a walk to the local library, and being attacked because of it?). My body, my problem, boys will be boys, and “with a face like yours you’re lucky anyone would come near you anyway”.

    People need to stop enabling and defending rapists, enforcing gender essentialism, and need to blame the offenders rather than the victims. This whole culture of rape apologism, with women as objects to be used and thrown away, needs to be dismantled. Mini skirts, Snooki, booze,- they’re all just false flags designed to distract us from the main issue.

  107. alessa
    alessa June 2, 2011 at 1:32 pm |

    I think I just destroyed that articles comment wall. I had a full on battle with one of the worst of them.

    It was seriously like banging my head repeatedly against the desk.

    People fight sometimes just because they want to be right.

  108. ACG
    ACG June 2, 2011 at 1:39 pm |

    Jill: I’m curious how researchers define “revealing” clothing, since “revealing” is kind of a subjective term.

    That’s what I’ve been wondering. Obviously, we know that Obnoxiously Revealing is clearly defined and arbitrated by Icaarus, but what about other levels? What my great-grandmother, aunt, and best friend would tell you about “revealing” would vary widely. Ditto “provocative.”

    And if we’re going to blame rape on “revealing” and “provocative,” and if we’re going to say it’s because the rapists were just so out-of-control with desire and frustration that they couldn’t resist victimizing this tasty and vulnerable treat in front of them, we have to start considering what our nuns, grandmothers, toddlers, police officers, and Mennonites are wearing to make themselves so damned rapable.

    One of the scariest times in my memory was the walk back to my car after a college football game. The guys were multiple, bigger than me, piss drunk, and in an enormous pickup; the lines included “That’s okay, I like ‘em when they’re quiet” (I still shudder); and I was wearing jeans, tennis shoes, an oversize football jersey, and ten hours’ worth of tailgate grime. They weren’t after me because I was irresistible–they were after me because I was there and they were assholes. And I don’t understand why I’m the one who’s supposed to watch the game from the safety of my house when they’re the ones who aren’t adhering to the social contract.

  109. Paraxeni
    Paraxeni June 2, 2011 at 1:40 pm |

    I feel this is relevant:

    Does a woman really need to cover herself from head to toe to avoid being harassed or being seen as a sex object?

    I had been traveling around the world for ten years and while doing so I observed women, how they dressed, and how men reacted. The conclusion I always came to was that women all over the world were wearing what they wanted to wear and for the most part were not treated inappropriately because of how they dressed but rather how certain people reacted to dress based on their own convictions. What I noticed is that no matter what a woman wears, there are some people out there who treat women inappropriately. There are men who will harass women that are scantily dressed and men who will harass women covered from head to toe. There are people – men and women – who treat women with disgust because they are scantily dressed and other people – men and women – who treat women with disgust because they are covered from head to toe.

    That’s from Nadia, who’s experimenting with taking off her hijab for the first time in 20-odd years.

    (the link is in Readable format, which is easier for readers with visual/sensory impairments, or screen-reader users)

  110. SunlessNick
    SunlessNick June 2, 2011 at 1:46 pm |

    The key here is rather the observation “Human beings aren’t lions.” We do not blame the lion, since it is an animal and is not considered having moral volition. This makes “lions will be lions” a strong argument. - matlun

    Also, the lion will also maul the person in the pit regardless of whether witnesses are looking down into it. Rapists on the other hand seem to have no difficulty in controlling their “overwhelming instincts” when they’re aware of witnesses or cameras.

  111. Luna
    Luna June 2, 2011 at 2:01 pm |

    Tori: I have never in my life seen someone wearing a skirt/shorts/etc. so short as to put someone’s underwear and/or genitals on display.

    I have. Several times. The first was a man at a Dairy Queen. I could see the whole package, so to speak. The second was a teenaged girl (woman? female human, anyway) who was wearing a sheath dress and was sitting with one leg tucked under her other leg. I could see her pink flowered panties. The third time, was a middle aged woman. She was wearing a muumuu type dress that was riding up. She was not wearing underwear. I saw pretty much everything.

    Or that is, I would have seen all of these things in great detail had I not had the common fucking sense to LOOK AWAY. Jeez. It’s a human body. It’s not like I’m traumatized from a glance at some genitalia I wasn’t expecting to see. What the hell is the matter with people that it freaks them the fuck out to see naked flesh. I bet they are just AWESOME in the sack. *shakes head*

  112. ACG
    ACG June 2, 2011 at 2:10 pm |

    I have to question whether humans have the instinct to rape at all. The instinct to fuck, sure–me, too–but sex != rape. Pretty much all definitions of rape involve a lack of consent. At that point, we’re talking about instinctively taking our own rage/frustration/feelings of inadequacy out on someone who’s unable to defend herself, and to my knowledge not even lions do that.

    Sex-hungry lizard brain or no, I certainly hate the thought that my boyfriend and dad and brother are struggling constantly to resist the urge to fuck a woman against her will.

  113. Amy Louise
    Amy Louise June 2, 2011 at 2:18 pm |

    THANK YOU! What an unbelievably great post.

  114. Luna
    Luna June 2, 2011 at 2:34 pm |

    You know what I’d love? Some hard numbers associating rape with the victims clothing. Just so that I could throw it in the faces of the ‘sluts are askin’ for it’ crowd.

  115. rain
    rain June 2, 2011 at 2:51 pm |

    @91

    Why would it matter if it is nature or nurture?

    Maybe Nate can explain, since s/he brought it up. It seemed to me to be very much like conversations about gay sex (not here, but less progressive sites), where someone will bring up pedophilia. Do that often enough, and eventually a lot of people will start making a mental link between gays and pedophiles. Same thing here. Bring up psychopaths often enough in discussions about rapists, and pretty soon the mental image of a rapist will be, for a lot of people, some mentally ill guy, not the boy next door, not anybody they know. So I saw the comments @ 9 and 41 as quite similar.

    As for whether wearing “revealing” clothing leads to more rape, this might not fit the bill, but there was a survey on street harassment in Egypt, where it’s a huge problem, and the majority of women cover themselves:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7514567.stm

  116. Rachel
    Rachel June 2, 2011 at 3:00 pm |

    Why…WHY did I read the origional article??!!!!

    Also, there is no correlation or causation with “wearing ‘revealing’ clothing” and rape unless you use the argument that women are the ones who are more likely to be seen as wearing “revealing” clothing (because even if a man has no shirt…it’s still not revealing but if I wear a tank top…WATCH OUT!) and women are raped more. Rapists rape. They will use any opportunity to do so. The fact that the origional article would advocate that women bend to the actions of the rapists for their own good is vomit inducing.

  117. akkadia
    akkadia June 2, 2011 at 4:48 pm |

    great post! but do you have to call the vagina a baby-maker? a baby-maker? i mean, i have one and it’s not a baby-maker; a lot of people have them and they are not all baby-makers. it feels a bit essentialist and reductive to call it that. this is a very parenthetical note. i really salute all your hard work and thousands(!) of brilliant posts. peace – a

  118. preying mantis
    preying mantis June 2, 2011 at 4:55 pm |

    “i mean, i have one and it’s not a baby-maker; a lot of people have them and they are not all baby-makers.”

    You’ll pry the term “baby-cannon” from my cold, dead hands.

  119. Nahida
    Nahida June 2, 2011 at 5:11 pm |

    “baby canon” beats “love canal”

    yech.

  120. preying mantis
    preying mantis June 2, 2011 at 5:15 pm |

    ““baby canon” beats “love canal””

    See, you can’t make gun- and explosion-noises and couple them inventively with pelvic thrusts and hand gestures with “love canal,” so I’m not sure how that one ever caught on at all.

  121. AnitaBath
    AnitaBath June 2, 2011 at 5:35 pm |

    I’ve been reading The Frisky for a while now and stayed away from the article cited because I knew the comments and some of the content would piss me off. I think a lot of you brought up a lot of good points over here and generally remained civil (except for the whole “Everyone over there is such an idiot! UGH!”), but you guys don’t think it’s the least bit immature to mosey on over there and resort to a bunch of name calling? If you remained as civil as you do over here, I think people would have been a lot more receptive to your comments. Instead, it just looks like a petty high school fight.

    And for some back story, a couple of the writers over there have been writing a lot about the NYPD cop rape story and how they thought it was bullshit, and then the editor posted an article putting herself in the woman’s shoes and what ammo everyone would have used against her (http://www.thefrisky.com/post/246-girl-talk-too-drunk-to-be-a-victim/). It kind of struck me as if Kate’s article was a well-here’s-the-other-side sort of thing.

  122. Autumn
    Autumn June 2, 2011 at 5:40 pm |

    rain:
    @9
    Re: calling rapists “monsters”.Considering the way you used it, this was probably unintentional, so I’m not trying to jump on you here, but part of rape culture is promoting the idea that rapists are some kind of monsters, ie, not your brother, cousin, or that nice, “normal” looking friend of a friend you just met at the party.Rape isn’t as aberrant a behavior as “monster” makes it out to be.

    Excellent point, Rain. Rape is a monstrous act, but by painting all rapists as monsters we begin to think we can spot them–when we can’t. It sort of plays into the idea that the rapist is the boogeyman behind the bushes (where did “boogeyman” come from anyway? Is he boogieing the night away?) instead of someone you know, when indeed 80% of rapists are known to their targets.

  123. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. June 2, 2011 at 5:51 pm |

    Tori: Not starting, but thinking of changing the name of my current one.

    But what I really want is “Obnoxiously Revealing” scripted across a tank top. In silver glitter.

    Alas, cafe press has no glitter options. But here is phrase on a tank top. If anyone wants one I’ll send any proceeds that come this way to RAINN (or similar if you specify).

  124. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. June 2, 2011 at 5:52 pm |

    Or I could *try* to remember to include the link.

    http://www.cafepress.com/KristenJsRandomItems

  125. Geo
    Geo June 2, 2011 at 6:06 pm |

    My saying that rape needs to become a “men’s issue” for men to get involved perhaps was poorly worded. When we “White People” for example, view racism as a “Black” or “People of Color” issue (only), it is a “side issue” for us, as it isn’t “our issue”.

    When we Men – view rape as a “Women’s Issue”, we commonly don’t take it as seriously as we should. If/When we see it as a “Men’s Issue”, we need to take affirmative actions such as supporting women and perhaps equally importantly beginning to work with Men to Stop It.

    Women have done incredible work towards ending Rape and Domestic Violence. The failures, where there are failures, are most commonly because Men aren’t listening, owning their complicity and taking action to change the status quo in positive ways.

    As others have said here, many, if not most rapists are “normal men” – our brothers, cousins, neighbors, etc. not “monsters” except in how they choose to act. We who purport to be “good men” need to do much more with other men to help make our (male) violence really unacceptable and rare. (It is “our” violence until and unless we do a lot more so it can become “their” violence.) Thanks!

  126. I Wouldn’t Do Anything Differently « Anytime Yoga

    [...] been following some conversations here on Feministe and here at Shakesville about an article to which I will not link directly. The [...]

  127. Tori
    Tori June 2, 2011 at 7:04 pm |

    Kristen J.:
    Or I could *try* to remember to include the link.

    http://www.cafepress.com/KristenJsRandomItems

    There was — somewhat miraculously — still money in my bank account on this, the day before payday. So I considered that a sign and bought one. Send the proceeds to wherever you deem fit. :)

  128. Tori
    Tori June 2, 2011 at 7:05 pm |

    When we Men – view rape as a “Women’s Issue”, we commonly don’t take it as seriously as we should.

    Geo — Doesn’t this get at the deeper issue, though?

  129. Jenae
    Jenae June 2, 2011 at 7:37 pm |

    1. Have just renamed my blog Obnoxiously Revealing. Trufax.

    2. Read ‘The Gift of Fear’ a few years ago (don’t like it, feel it blames ppl for getting into bad situations because ‘the dumb slut shoulda listened to her ~instincts~’ but that’s beside the point) and was talking to my (male) partner about it. I was telling him about all the stuff I do on a daily basis to keep safe–walk with my keys in my hand, don’t park in secluded spot at night, etc etc and he looked at me like I was crazy and said, “Wow. You live with a lot of fear.”
    What I didn’t say at the time and wish I had was that ALL WOMEN LIVE WITH THIS FEAR BECAUSE WE KNOW 1/4 OF US WILL BE RAPED. It’s not that I’m a paranoid person. The fear is a legitimate response to the reality.
    I envy the fact that he will never have to think about those things. That he will never be accosted, touched without permission, made uncomfortable or unsafe by unwanted advances…lucky him. That’s the privilege he gets to enjoy for being male. But it rages me that he attributed my attention to safety as some type of paranoia instead of to the rape culture we live in.

    3. I also know that, despite all the ridiculous stuff I do on a daily basis to keep myself “safe,” I am not truly safe–that if someone wanted to rape me, they would do it. In a way, realizing this has freed me to not be quite so worried about small things. In a way, it makes me more afraid because, despite my inner fantasies of being a badass ninja, there is probably nothing I could do to stop it. And that scares me.

  130. What the NYC “rape cops” case tells us about “feminist thinking” | Conservatives for America

    [...] the victim” mentality, contra to the knee-jerk bloviations of “feminists” like Jill at the popular “Feministe” blog, whose predictable response to the talk of women being more responsible in how much they drink [...]

  131. modesty and rape and victim blaming and rage and such | You guys!

    [...] This post on Feministe just about made my head explode because it’s very “shirt skirts gonna get a girl raped” in tone, at the beginning, and that does not sit well with me. Jill argues that, while rapists are responsible for rape, women could make it less of a temptation? or something? by dressing more modestly. And she says this: In an ideal world, rape wouldn’t exist. In an ideal world, it wouldn’t matter how much a woman had to drink, what she was wearing, or what overtures she had given—no man would ever consider sex without explicit consent and would recognize that a short skirt isn’t an invitation to rape. But we don’t live in that world. Unfortunately, short of some Herculean sensitivity raising effort, we do not have control over what men, drunk or sober, will do when presented with our bare legs. What we do have control over is our side of the equation — how much we decide to show. [...]

  132. Chicken Little reviews Half the Sky « journal6other

    [...] the beauty of lotus blossoms in the broken and mutilated feet of its women? Is that something like lipstick feminists insisting on the privilege of shoving their feet into four-inch heels as a freedo…? Must we follow ten paces behind those men, because our grandmothers [...]

  133. Nate
    Nate June 2, 2011 at 9:22 pm |

    Jill,
    According to the studies I’ve seen, a disproportionate number of rapists meet the diagnostic criteria for anti-social personality disorder. See e.g. S.P Rigonatti et al, Personality Disorders in rapists and murderers from a maximum security prison in Brazil, 29 Int’l J.L. & Psychiatry 361, 365 (2006) (84% of rapists met the diagnostic criteria for Antisocial Personality Disorder); in other studies it’s lower, but still well over half.

  134. IrishUp
    IrishUp June 2, 2011 at 9:31 pm |

    Nate; there is every reason to believe that the inmate rapist population is not representative of the universe of people who rape. The traits of inmates in maximum security prisons are likely to be even less applicable to rapists overall.

    David Lisak has done some of the best work describing the characteristics of the majority of the uninstitutionalized male rapist in the US.
    http://www.sexualassault.army.mil/files/RAPE_FACT_SHEET.pdf

  135. mikeymikemike77
    mikeymikemike77 June 2, 2011 at 9:34 pm |

    For all the neverending discussion about clothing, is there any actual studies (academic, not polls) that show that a woman’s clothing actually increases her likeliness to be raped? The people who started saying this seems to be the rapists themselves.

    Interesting way to start a piece (confused me.. don’t know if i liked it or not)

  136. Collie
    Collie June 2, 2011 at 10:33 pm |

    sXe:
    I’m not debating the validity of this post, but I am curious about one point. You say “human beings don’t rape out of instinct.” But I always thought they do? I feel this true with most male-dominated species.
    When you think back to our origins, our two most primitive ideals were survival and reproduction. That’s just how nature works, however unethical it may seem. It is only through thousands of years of living in a civilized society that we learned to curb our immediate urges for the betterment of the collective and developed the concept of marriage and monogamy.

    It seriously makes my skin crawl to use evo psych, but even in the realms of such this has been disproven. Firstly, you cannot really separate species by “Male-dominated” in this aspect, but instead more specific social structures (does the species mate for life, is it polygamous, polyamorous, monogamous, what role does each gender play in raising the young ect). Secondly, out of all basicness human structure points more towards a general mating partnership between two (hidden ovulation, lacking of penis spine, essentially 1:1 birth-rate ectect). If we look back to the focus on survival and reproduction, it’s going to differ vastly depending on the social group. While the rape and pillage male idea might make reproductive sense in a pride or a harem of females (which would then have a strong collective network of raising offspring), it makes shit all reproductive sense to rape a bunch of lone females as their offspring would have a vastly lower chance of survival (let alone impregnating them). Instead monogamous species create a more consensual partnership in which the male and female both raise the offspring and regularly exclusively mate (back to the whole hidden ovulation thing), which works better for the whole survival and reproduction thing when you’re actually able to impregnate a mate, AND have your offspring live to carry on the genes. Thus the theory that seems to be most popular in evo pyscho goes that if there was a gene or instinct to rape it would have been lost through the generation from natural selection, as in a monogamous-leaning species, the best chance you have to keep the genes flowin’ is in a partnership.

    /full disclosure: I tend to think evo pysch is mainly a load of crap in any case, but the argument that rape is human instinct doesn’t even hold water in their world. I also hear this argument far too often, so thought I’d post the evo psych rebuttal in case anyone ever wondered or needed to correct someone on it.

  137. Bloody Hell Leah
    Bloody Hell Leah June 2, 2011 at 10:48 pm |

    Oh, the smoke coming from my ears…. You totally got me with that.

    The best way to prevent rapes? Stop raping people.

  138. Alison
    Alison June 2, 2011 at 11:27 pm |

    You know…seeing all these comments from people asking if any studies show revealing clothing leads to a greater chance of being raped, or saying those stats don’t exist so this BS should disappear, etc etc…

    The thing is, IMHO, even if there *were* some big, thorough, detailed, scientific, super-duper study that showed YES, wearing revealing clothing DOES create a higher, or much higher, or much much way so much higher chance of being raped…so the God damn fuck what? Because the fact would remain that there is still a person making the decision to commit rape. There is still someone taking active steps to commit a crime, to force him/herself on another person. If a study shows my chance of being raped while wearing flannel pajamas is X but my chance of being raped while wearing sheer lingerie is X + a jillion, that’s still putting it in a passive term and ignoring the fact that *the presence of a rapist* is still necessary for rape to occur. Because if I am in the presence of a non-rapist, the flannel pajamas and the sheer lingerie would have an equal effect on whether or not that person will rape me. Namely: ZERO. If I’m in the presence of a rapist, and he’s only Y likely to rape me in flannel pajamas but Y + a jillion likely to rape me in sheer lingerie, guess what? Both of those situations involve rape, and both of those rapes would be equally awful, traumatic, and fucking illegal.

    So while of course I hate when people point to what a woman was wearing as a tsk-tsking reason why she was assaulted, and I hate when women are told that gee, you know, we should probably think about our outfits a little more because we wouldn’t want anything *bad* to happen to us…I hate all that, but coming from a “there are no stats to support that” standpoint undermines the fact that those stats do not fucking matter, real or not. We can certainly point out clothes don’t matter, but don’t spend so much time on that, because it’s a distraction from the real point.

    (An aside: It reminds me of when people want to put laser-like focus on sexuality not being a choice. It very likely isn’t, but so what if it was? Shouldn’t LGBTQI rights be something we fight for anyway, even if some or all people who fall into one or more of those groups chose to be there? I’m bisexual, and whether I was born that way or chose to be that way, I’m still a human being who deserves equal rights and treatment under the law.)

  139. Bushfire
    Bushfire June 3, 2011 at 6:10 am |

    **creepiness warning***

    I love that you’ve been in bed with women!!

    haha

  140. Bushfire
    Bushfire June 3, 2011 at 6:10 am |

    **creepiness warning***

    I love that you’ve been in bed with women!!

    haha

  141. matlun
    matlun June 3, 2011 at 8:22 am |

    sXe: I’m not debating the validity of this post, but I am curious about one point. You say “human beings don’t rape out of instinct.” But I always thought they do?

    Collie: It seriously makes my skin crawl to use evo psych, but even in the realms of such this has been disproven.

    Do you have any references for that? To the best of my knowledge there is no consensus about this, and I do not see how it would even be possible to “disprove” it.

    How would you judge what is “natural” for humans and what does that even mean? For example: If in a “natural” population, a low percentage of men rapes, is that enough to make the behavior natural? (If you answer no, does this mean that you would not consider homosexuality natural?)

    As usual when discussing evo psych or social darwinism, it should be noted that evolutionary explanations and analyses carry no moral weight.
    Whether or not rape is “natural”, it is still utterly unacceptable in a civilized society.

  142. Maggie K
    Maggie K June 3, 2011 at 8:57 am |

    I’m sure this isn’t new, but I’ve always read “Of course it’s his fault for raping her, but she’d still have been safer not wearing that/getting drunk/going there” and heard “Hey, why didn’t she work harder to make sure some other poor sucker got raped instead of her?”

    It’s like that joke about the two guys running away from a lion – “I don’t have to run faster than the lion. I just have to run faster than that other guy.”

    Like… rapists do not HAPPEN TO COME ACROSS PASSED OUT DRUNK WOMEN. Unconscious drunks, despite what some people think, do not grow on trees! You generally have to go to a fairly specific location to find one! Rapists SPECIFICALLY LOOK for vulnerable women, and if one particular woman doesn’t seem vulnerable enough, well – there will always be SOMEONE lower on the “rapeability” totem pole. We cannot as a culture work towards ensuring that no person has power over any other person ever, but we CAN work towards a culture that makes it harder for a small minority to abuse that power when they have it.

  143. Macha
    Macha June 3, 2011 at 11:12 am |

    Because a jerk who thinks no means yes cares whether your skirt is above your knees or not? Because he would never attack a woman wearing sweatpants? I hate that ridiculous non-logic. Argh.

    Great post!

  144. bhuesca
    bhuesca June 3, 2011 at 11:34 am |

    @ IrishUp @ 142 – I’m reading your link, and I have a question- is this only a study of male-identified rapists who rape female-identified victims?

    Because that misses a lot of rapes and rape victims, although the unincarcerated/uninstitutionalized population being studied would necessarily miss the male-identified/classified-on-male-identified/classified or female-identified/classified-on-female-identified/classified rapes that come with same-identified/classified-sex prison situations…

  145. Randomosity
    Randomosity June 3, 2011 at 1:26 pm |

    Jenae:
    I envy the fact that he will never have to think about those things. That he will never be accosted, touched without permission, made uncomfortable or unsafe by unwanted advances…lucky him. That’s the privilege he gets to enjoy for being male. But it rages me that he attributed my attention to safety as some type of paranoia instead of to the rape culture we live in.

    And another thing that pisses me off is this:

    Several years ago I was at a sci-fi convention deep in a discussion with friends. Some guy I knew slightly came up from behind me, poked me in the shoulder and continued on his merry way.

    I hold a brown belt in tae kwan do. Without me thinking about it, my elbow came up and if I weren’t a martial artist, I’d have clocked him. I stopped less than an inch from his nose and read him the riot act.

    You do NOT approach from behind and poke me.

    You do NOT touch me without permission.

    That felt like an attack and if all you wanted to do was greet me without interrupting the conversation, why not wave?

    His defense was that was a greeting. It felt threatening to me, so I reacted accordingly. I told him he was damn lucky I had the control not to hit him when I saw who it was.

    The conversation, instead of being about how much Uwe Boll’s movies suck, was about how much of a bitch I am and how I overreacted and how that poor guy would forever after be afraid to say hi to a woman and how other women were fine with being grabbed or poked from behind.

    I stuck to my guns and reminded them that those other women gave permission. I didn’t. Furthermore, if you do something that might be threatening, don’t be surprised if people defend themselves. I did finally get the women on my side, but the men weren’t convinced. Privilege dies hard.

  146. lady gloom
    lady gloom June 3, 2011 at 1:26 pm |

    Thanks for this article and for the comments. I’m not sure I’ve ever smiled so much at an article about rape myths. (Rictus grin, sometimes, maybe…)

    Whenever someone lists the woman’s clothes in some victim-blaming mantra, I just want to say one thing:

    “You think no one was ever raped wearing a burqua?”

  147. A Narrow Critique of Reactionary Anti-Rape Feminism « Free Thoughts

    [...] Those who frequent feminist blogs like Feministing of Feministe are also familiar with a specific issue that arises over and over: somewhere, someone proposes something that women can do to protect themselves from rape and is ripped to pieces for it.  (for an example, see this article.) [...]

  148. Ismone
    Ismone June 3, 2011 at 5:34 pm |

    No, Icarus,

    The clothing is not as disrespectful as the leering. My clothing is not about strangers. It is about me. Their leering is about disrespecting me. My clothing is not disrespectful to them, because my body is not about them.

  149. Helen
    Helen June 3, 2011 at 8:11 pm |

    It’s telling that the people who think a miniskirt or low cut top is “obnoxiously revealing” never mention the old guy with the short shorts and his nuts hanging out. We’ve all seen it, haven’t wee? Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeewww.

    Surprisingly, I have never felt in the least inclined to rape these people.

  150. len
    len June 3, 2011 at 8:12 pm |

    Some of these comments amaze me. Life has consequences. The same way you wouldn’t wear a minskirt to church–or rock climbing, why would you wear a mini on a subway?

    not that dress matters because rape is about power and control–not sex.

    But at any rate, why do girls think it’s appropriate to walk the streets dressed like a call girl and then get upset when people call them out on it? If you’re grown enough to dress provacatively, you should be grown enough to handle the leers that are bound to follow.

    #realtalk

  151. len
    len June 3, 2011 at 8:16 pm |

    Ismone:
    No, Icarus,

    The clothing is not as disrespectful as the leering.My clothing is not about strangers.It is about me.Their leering is about disrespecting me.My clothing is not disrespectful to them, because my body is not about them.

    No, your body isn’t about them, but when you enter a public space dressed provacatively–you make it about them because you’re obviously trying to be noticed. So don’t get pissed when people notice and call you out.

  152. len
    len June 3, 2011 at 8:19 pm |

    @Randomosity

    You need to take a chill pill if an acquaintance poking you is enough provocation to set you off into the throes of paranoia.

  153. Charity
    Charity June 3, 2011 at 8:25 pm |

    Also, Nate, antisocial personality disorder is not the same as psychopathy, although they are commonly used interchangeably. ASPD is largely behaviorally defined, which means that *of course* a lot of folks who have engaged in criminal behavior, are well on their way to meeting diagnostic criteria. There are lots of pathways people take towards meeting diagnostic criteria for ASPD, and to imply that a *genetic* path is most common just because it’s a *psychiatric diagnosis*, is incorrect.

    Thanks IrishUp for that Lisak document, that was fantastic! I really appreciate it.

  154. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub June 3, 2011 at 8:43 pm |

    But at any rate, why do girls think it’s appropriate to walk the streets dressed like a call girl and then get upset when people call them out on it? If you’re grown enough to dress provacatively, you should be grown enough to handle the leers that are bound to follow.

    I have noticed, and discreetly looked at, men who have gone about shirtless, in shorts, and in bike shorts. On the beach I’ve noticed men in ultra-tiny speedos and swim suits. I have managed to not leer and act like a douche to men who dress (and often act) provocatively.

    Know why? Because ogoling someone and catcalling them and acting like a Xanadouche makes them feel uncomfortable. Because even if I notice a man who’s dressed provocatively, or who’s acting in a provocative way, I still acknowledge his humanity. But it seems that a woman who wears a short skirt or skinny jeans is not. Hell, I’ve had to deal with dudebros hassling me when I was wearing baggy jeans and a shapeless sweater, a long skirt and a high necked blouse, or baggy sweat pants.

    If men cannot or will not control their behavior, then it’s men whose actions should be curtailed. Your lack of self-control is your problem and your fault.

  155. Li
    Li June 3, 2011 at 8:51 pm |

    len:
    @Randomosity

    You need to take a chill pill if an acquaintance poking you is enough provocation to set you off into the throes of paranoia.

    I do take chill pills. They’re called my anti-anxiety medication. Unfortunately, I still experience people touching me without my permission, especially without me seeing it coming, as violence, and my body likes to do random shit in response. So, like, funny line you have there, but also, if people can’t find ways to interact with me that don’t involve crossing into my personal space and disrespecting my boundaries? Maybe they need to take a don’t-be-an-entitled-fuckwad pill.

  156. Tori
    Tori June 3, 2011 at 9:45 pm |

    If you’re grown enough to dress provacatively, you should be grown enough to handle the leers that are bound to follow.

    Ah, yes, because totally accounts for the apparent fact that other people’s “provocatively” equals my “hey, it is 100 degrees plus sunny and I am going to be walking to the crotch doctor today; genitals + airflow = winning combination.”

  157. Shi_san
    Shi_san June 3, 2011 at 11:15 pm |

    Uh, how are people suppose to get somewhere if they’re not allowed to walk outside or ride the subway dressed “provocatively” (whatever that means)? It’s sorta implied that it is ok to wear a mini skirt somewhere, so how do people annoyed by “obnoxiously revealing” clothing suppose to go there? Bring a change everywhere.

    @Len Also, I don’t see why “call girls” as you put it deserve to get treated like crap. If they are ‘call girls’ then they deserve decency and not to be yelled at on the street. Seriously.

    And I want to chime in with how extreme differences are in what is considered ‘revealing’ or ‘slutty’ clothing between people. I work at a store that sells lingerie, dancewear, and costumes, and we have people coming in that are looking for something “Slutty but not too slutty.” Which can mean anything from a slingshot bikini to a low cut full length dress to pasties and a miniskirt. (Someday, I want to respond with “Sorry, we only have ‘Too Slutty’ here.” Mostly because this is so vague as to be really annoying.) Mostly what people seem to mean is ‘something that covers the parts I don’t like and shows the parts I do’.

    Anyway, that’s my two cents.

  158. Geo
    Geo June 4, 2011 at 1:56 pm |

    I’m perplexed at the seeming simplicity of some of the issues here.

    You dress “slutty” – however that is defined by me:

    1. That somehow gives me a right – because we are in public – to confront you? Similarly, :
    a. If you have a bill sticking out of your pocket or purse, does that give me a right to take it?
    b. If you “smell bad” to me – whether it’s perfume, sweating profusely, or alcohol seems to be on your breath, does that give me a right to contemptuously tell you what I think about your smell because you are in public?

    2. Let’s assume that you are “dressing slutty” and are seeking “male attention”:

    a. I have the right to seek sex with you, because your attire says that you want or deserve sex with (specifically) me?
    b. Your attire means that my actions in response – verbal or physical – justifiably – can or should be “at your level” – which is direct and not “subtle”?
    c. IF – you resist my advances initially or subsequently, How you have dressed means that:
    1.] You “really want it” or
    2.] You “deserve it”
    so I have a RIGHT to have sex with you how I want it, when I want it, where I want it?

    3. I have the knowledge to judge the situation because we are in public and either such knowledge is “common knowledge” or I have special skills in this area? I have the wisdom to share what I know with you? I clearly know better than you?

    This all is rather simple and obvious to me. While Rape – and Sexism expose the weaknesses We Men commonly have in such areas, I would also note that:

    1. We White People – act similarly to People of Color,
    2. We Heterosexual People – act similarly to: Gay/Lesbian/Bi/Transgender Folks,
    3. We Upper-Middle Class People – act similarly to poorer People
    4. We non-elderly (though I’m getting there), abled people – act similarly to older and differently abled people and
    * 5. NONE – of this takes away – from the seriousness or rape, other sexual assault, and domestic violence that Mostly Men and Boys do to Women, Girls (as well as other men and boys).

    Thanks!

  159. Jenae
    Jenae June 4, 2011 at 2:55 pm |

    Randomosity:
    The conversation, instead of being about how much Uwe Boll’s movies suck, was about how much of a bitch I am and how I overreacted and how that poor guy would forever after be afraid to say hi to a woman and how other women were fine with being grabbed or poked from behind.

    Honestly though, how do they even know that other women are okay with it? I know that a lot of the time I shrug or laugh my discomfort off instead of calling men on shit like this. The good thing is that now I’m older and it doesn’t happen as much but it used to make me uncomfortable as hell!

    Ien–No, Randomosity does not need to “take a chill pill.” You need to examine your own privilege/blindness to privilege.

  160. Lily
    Lily June 4, 2011 at 3:49 pm |

    Len: But at any rate, why do girls think it’s appropriate to walk the streets dressed like a call girl and then get upset when people call them out on it? If you’re grown enough to dress provacatively, you should be grown enough to handle the leers that are bound to follow.

    Man, this reminds me of the guy I knew who throws things at women he thinks are “hookers” from the comfort of his car.

    Look, I like skintight and revealing clothing. I would say the majority of misogynists would say I dress “slutty”. However, there’s a difference between the attention I get that is enjoyable (because hey, I do enjoy flirting, and drinking, and fooling around with people) and the attention I get that is unwelcome, and frankly I have had creepier and more frightening experiences with men while wearing sweatpants and baggy hoodies. The plural of anecdote is not data, but that’s how I’ve experienced the world.

    I have had amazing sex while drunk. I have also been raped while drunk. In the former case my partner and I had had sex before, had planned to have sex all night, and we both expressed our clear and happy intent to have crazy sex prior to and during said sex–we used protection and we had a really, really great time. When I was raped, I was less drunk than I had been then. It was still wrong and fucked up, even though I was not only dressed “slutty”, I had been drinking and !!AM ALSO A SEX WORKER!! I think besides being white and cis I almost hit every possible victim blamer cliche, actually.

    Alcohol abuse and binge drinking are bad. Social drinking can blur problematically with these things. I come from a family of alcoholics, so believe me, I know the detriments of alcohol. On the other hand, I think that adults have the right to act like idiots now and then if they want–getting blackout drunk isn’t fun, and we do have a problematic drinking culture, but when it happens those blacked out people deserve not to be raped, assaulted, leered at, or otherwise victimized. Ditto for people in “revealing” outfits.

  161. J
    J June 4, 2011 at 5:47 pm |

    I was thinking about this whole issue the other night, in relation to the whole bullshit “Would you walk through a dodgy neighbourhood flashing your wallet and iphone about?!” analogy which is always employed in victim-blaming discussions about rape. One of my main objections to that sort of argument has always been that it’s basically equating people’s bodies to property which is just fucking creepy, but there was something else about it that really disturbed me and I couldn’t really put my finger on it until recently.

    My baby brother was mugged walking through our town centre a couple of months ago on his way home from a night out. He was absolutely blind drunk at the time. So drunk, in fact, that he didn’t remember he’d been mugged until the following morning, on realising he was a bit bruised (his muggers- despite the fact he offered no resistance whatsoever – decided to give him a bit of a kicking anyway) and missing his mobile phone and £30 in cash.

    Of course, I was full of sympathy and concern for my brother. I perhaps fretted a bit about him being all alone in a vulnerable state and wondered/wished that he hadn’t decided to crash at a friend’s house or walked home with someone instead of on his own. But I didn’t once, not once, think he was to blame for what had happened.

    It was only later that I started to compare the situation with that of a rape of someone in similair circumstances – walking through town on their own and really drunk. It really helped me to crystallise exactly why the whole mugging scenario employed by a lot of rape apologists is such nonsense: because victims of such violent drime are not to blame at all, full stop, and the onus is completely on the perpetrator.

    I cannot imagine a defence lawyer standing up in court and claiming that, because my brother was drunk and in town on his own, he was asking to be mugged, with any success. The fact that such arguments are seriously used to excuse rape all the time is just disgusting….

  162. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable June 5, 2011 at 7:27 am |

    len: but when you enter a public space dressed provacatively–you make it about them

    This is actually the dumbest thing I’ve ever read. +2 for loser misogynists.

  163. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub June 5, 2011 at 7:38 am |

    Man, this reminds me of the guy I knew who throws things at women he thinks are “hookers” from the comfort of his car.

    I’m willing to bet if one of those women bashed his windshield in with a baseball bat or threw a brick at him in retaliation, we wouldn’t hear such a loud chorus about how he was “asking for it” by acting so provocatively (by, you know, assaulting these women).

  164. jennygadget
    jennygadget June 5, 2011 at 8:38 am |

    len,

    Is this mini enough for you?

    http://www.rei.com/product/810687/merrell-belay-skort

    Not having yet taken up the sport myself (I have promised several friends I will try soon, though :p) I don’t personally know anyone that has worn that rock climbing, but I’m sure somewhere in the world, a woman has. Especially as I found several pictures of women and girls wearing other skirts while climbing – trees, rocks, etc. (I would provide proof, but I didn’t really think it would be appropriate to link to personal flicker photos.)

    If the rock climbers I know are any indication, the presence of a climber with that kind of clothing is hardly going to change how little or much catcalling there is. (srsly, if the harnesses themselves don’t bring it on – for all genders – nothing is going to.) Also, since one tends to rock climb with people you know – friends you literally have to trust with your life, truth be told – even if there are salacious remarks made, that’s really not the same thing as if it had come from random strangers. I believe that is more properly called “kidding around” (assuming your friends are good enough friends to knock it off it bothers you).

    but, silly me, none of this matters, does it? You were simply trying to make a hypothetical point to put us in our place – as opposed to actually engaging in conversations about real people and realistic scenarios….

    also, with regard to this complete bs:

    “If you’re grown enough to dress provacatively, you should be grown enough to handle the leers that are bound to follow.”

    so….if being 12 and wearing a loose-fitting, over-sized t-shirt fits this description (and it must, because that is how old I was and what I was wearing when I first started getting assholes yelling at me from their cars) then exactly how young and unprovocatively dressed do I need to be to not be blamed for the violence that other people do to me?

    (hint: it’s a trick question. which is the whole fucking point)

  165. Nate
    Nate June 5, 2011 at 1:54 pm |

    @Charity,
    My understanding is that the DSM-IV folded psychopathy into antisocial personality disorder. Is that incorrect?

  166. Mark
    Mark June 5, 2011 at 8:12 pm |

    Athenia:
    OOps…sorry “tarted up” wasn’t in the original.

    I think “binge drinking” is a feminist issue, but not because rapists take advantage of it.

    Why in heavens am I required to drink to “have fun”? Especially around rapists? Why should I drink so that I can have sex a la Jersey Shore? Why do both men and women feel that drunken sex is thee sex to have? Why is that viewed as the ideal sex situation? Drinking and Sex seem so intertwined that it seems that our society totally accepts that drinking *is* consent.

    If we are aiming for enthusiastic consent, drinking totally negates that because a drunk person cannot consent.

    To answer your question, it’s because most of our generation (and most people in general, really) are vapid little shits that soak up what pop culture, advertising, et al. says is ‘cool,’ ‘good,’ ‘the thing to do,’ ‘the way to act,’ etc.

  167. Plop
    Plop June 6, 2011 at 4:54 am |

    Maybe i’m not hanging on the right websites but i’ve never seen a post saying : “Guys, if you see a girl wearing a dress in the railway station at 1 am. She’s getting HOME into HER bed, alone, and she doesn’t want to talk to every guy taking the same train”

    By dress, i mean showing my knees and really nothing more -_-’
    Sigh !

    My guy friends answer me that girls loved to be seen and admired. Well, yes, maybe. But seriously, not all the time >>

    On this, have a nice ! ^^
    I love the comparison with the lion

  168. zanne
    zanne June 6, 2011 at 8:18 pm |

    @randomosity: Had a less threatening but somewhat analogous situation recently in which I met a (male) friend of a (male) friend at an event. At the end of our interaction, the friend-of-friend announced “everyone gets hugs” and proceeded to initiate hugging with those of us he had just met (another female friend, a male friend, myself). I was not interested in hugging. He didn’t ask if he could get closer to me; he assumed that because he wanted to, it would happen. And because he was the friend of a friend, and I didn’t want to make a scene, I allowed it. I have been kicking myself for it since then… that would have been the appropriate moment for an assertive response about my preferences for what happens to my body and a very reasonable request that if you want to do something that involves my personal space, you ASK first.

  169. Blacky
    Blacky June 7, 2011 at 7:58 am |

    J: I perhaps fretted a bit about him being all alone in a vulnerable state and wondered/wished that he hadn’t decided to crash at a friend’s house or walked home with someone instead of on his own. But I didn’t once, not once, think he was to blame for what had happened.

    Yet, what you did was victim blaming.
    You feeling you didn’t doesn’t make no difference whatsoever.
    It’s what the victim feels that matters.
    Concratulations.

  170. Ismone
    Ismone June 7, 2011 at 3:51 pm |

    Len,

    Please don’t give anyone advice on self-defense or reactions to unwanted touching, because you clearly do not know what the hell you are talking about. If you do not treat physical contact from someone who you cannot see as a threat, your reflexes are worth nothing to you. As a person, no one should ever initiate contact with someone who cannot see them, because by doing so, you are either going to (1) scare them; (2) initiate a self-defense reflex; and/or (3) cause their self-defense reflexes to become desensitized, such that they will no longer be able to defend themselves in case of a real attack.

    Further, on dressing provocatively–I really don’t think I can top what Sheezlebub said. But most importantly, what someone wears or whether they act in a sexualized fashion does not mean that it is acceptable to shame them or characterize what they wear in any way. Plus, if you talked to actual woman, you would know we are harassed no matter what we wear. My daily uniform in the military was ass-ugly, and we still got routinely harassed for being “provocative.” All that this told me was that it doesn’t matter what you wear, assholes will harass. I have seen men in all kinds of states of intentional or unintentional undress; I have somehow never managed to make insulting comments about what they are wearing or their sexuality. I must be awesome.

  171. Matt
    Matt June 8, 2011 at 2:16 am |

    Blacky: Yet, what you did was victim blaming.
    You feeling you didn’t doesn’t make no difference whatsoever.
    It’s what the victim feels that matters.
    Concratulations.

    notice the telltale but followed by the claim that she was not victim blaming. irony is my friend. he works hard to make me happy.

  172. LetmeShare
    LetmeShare June 9, 2011 at 5:31 am |

    Oh~ I think they’re just having fun. They will seduce rapist to come near them, and these girls would reciprocate the story when a cops come along. LOL!

    Please visit us:
    femfaqs

  173. Friday Read Around the Web « wild/precious

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  175. friendthegirl
    friendthegirl June 13, 2011 at 11:54 am |

    I had missed this piece in The Fix — a site sort of keep on my radar considering that the subject of my blog, Stinkin’ Thinkin’, is “Muckraking the 12 Step Industry,” which the Fix has definitely aligned itself with. Commenting on The Fix could be a fulltime job for me.

    Coincidentally, over the weekend I wrote a post for ST called “Why Addiction Recovery Should Be A Feminist Issue,” which might be interesting to readers here as a sort of response to The Fix. I guess it would have been if I had actually read the thing first:

    http://stinkin-thinkin.com/2011/06/11/why-addiction-recovery-should-be-a-feminst-issue/

  176. Mario Vilas
    Mario Vilas June 21, 2011 at 4:47 am |

    Nonsense and all, the first part reminded me a lot of what people usually say in my country about getting mugged…

    If you don’t want to get mugged, don’t walk into a favela. In an ideal world favelas wouldn’t exist and you’d be able to walk everywhere in the whole city -but they exist, and while most people in a favela are honest workers, your chances of getting mugged rise dramatically if you go there (and you don’t already live there).

    It’s fucked up logic, but it “works”, in a darwinian sense at least. People who stay close to neighborhoods with greater police presence have less chances of getting mugged. Same thing goes for clothes (simple clothing doesn’t draw the attention of robbers).

    And since it “works”, you won’t stop seeing this kind of logic anytime soon.

  177. nmaha
    nmaha June 21, 2011 at 6:11 am |

    I think you have made a brilliant point here. Rapists are like a disease, you do your utmost to eliminate them but you also take preventive measures to protect the yourself and your loved ones till they are all gone.

  178. Politicalguineapig
    Politicalguineapig June 21, 2011 at 1:42 pm |

    Ismone: Why did you pull the punch? I think your friend would have understood very quickly if you’d actually punched him. Any guy who tried that sh*t on me would be nursing a lot of bruises.
    I’m very cautious around men, in general. I understand that it’s not what you wear or what you do that causes rape, but I also don’t do anything that could be construes as an invitation, like wearing skirts/dresses or smiling in a bar or while riding public transit.

  179. Politicalguineapig
    Politicalguineapig June 21, 2011 at 4:33 pm |

    *Could be construed as*

  180. True Patriot
    True Patriot June 27, 2011 at 11:35 am |

    Just as women should wear whatever they want, MEN should be allowed the same option – they can wear kilts, manskirts, manbags, etc. This is a free country, and it is unpatriotic to say (as most Americans do) that women should have special rights when it comes to fashion.

  181. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub June 27, 2011 at 12:29 pm |

    I would welcome more men in kilts, sarongs, or skirts in general.

  182. #062. My take on Why Mini-Skirts/Being Drunk is a Feminist issue. « Live strong.

    [...] here and here for reference. This is sucky shit. Please forgive me I just jot down what I think about these [...]

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