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Not Asking For It (But You Can't Always Get What You Want)

The other week, I read about the whole #CropTopDay brouhaha on Twitter. Apparently, a young girl was sanctioned in her school for wearing revealing clothing. Instead of taking her punishment as a life lesson, she took to the web and started an extension of the movement to promote awareness, and started a debate that students should be allowed to wear whatever they felt was comfortable in school.

For the record, I am feminist-compassionate. I don’t understand all of their social demands, but I’m sympathetic, and try to understand why they think the way they do.

I do, however, draw the line at women parading around the streets wearing whatever they want, and saying that even if they’re doing that, they’re not asking to be raped. This is really where the whole issue of Crop Top Day stems from: the objectification of women that prevents them from being able to dress comfortably in fear of sexual assault, whether be it verbal or otherwise.

See, I get it. I know women shouldn’t be objectified. I don’t believe in male dominance at all, and am a staunch opponent of rights for rapists (a completely separate matter altogether). I know that women have a right to promote awareness that their bodies should not be viewed sexually by the average man on the street. And I completely agree! It is the responsibility of men to keep their thoughts away from the gutter at all times, and to keep their dicks in their pants.

But see, responsibility flows both ways. In the same manner that men have the responsibility to make sure they don’t objectify women, women also have the responsibility to be aware that not everybody is going to think like that. You have the responsibility to protect yourself as much as you can, and dressing appropriately is one way of doing that.

Think about it this way: when somebody buys a nice car, and parks it in a gnarly area of town, their side mirrors are getting stolen, at the very least. Or if you flaunt a lot of cash while you’re out in public, then you’re exposing yourself to criminal elements that won’t think twice of stealing your cash.

If your side mirrors get stolen, does this mean you were asking for it? Or if you were mugged in a dark alley, does this mean you were asking for it? I mean, you were flaunting your money around, but you sure as hell didn’t want to get mugged! And dude, that was a really, nice car! Are we going to educate each and every person in the world that stealing is bad, too?

That’s absurd. You are responsible for everything you do, no matter where you go. If you dress provocatively, and you end up getting raped, the rapist needs to go to jail and suffer for what he did, but you’re not completely blameless yourself. That’s something you have to remember. No amount of feminist ideology will change that fact.


  1. It's about time someone wrote about this... :)

  2. what? its not simply tied in a lovely ribbon that way. things are complex and cannot be reasoned out in a simple tautological manner. There are many shades to rape--the act itself is reprehansible--but one cannot make conclusions and say that because one dresses 'provocatively' makes a woman partly to blame. Of course not. a rapist can always say in his defense then that her skirt was too short or her neckline too revealing. But what is too short? what is too revealing? Are women having to consistently calibrate their dress to what men consider provocative? A beautiful woman can be raped and then a man could say that it was how she dressed that made him do it. We would never be able to go out in the street if we were to try and figure out the provocative-ness level of our clothing to make sure that this doesn't trigger the lascivious appetites of a number of men who will at some point probably ogle you as you cross the street. Does it mean then that for every person who wears a tight pair of shorts, rape is in the horizon? I should hope not. At the end of the day a man, or even a woman for that matter, should be able to respect the expression of another individual. Whatever they say, are or wear. And that's what we respect, the person. The individual, the human being. That's at least one good reason why we shouldn't rape.

  3. maybe we should also qualify the use of certain words--provocative versus revealing, etc


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