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Woman to blame

Women need to understand that dressing up like sluts is going to sexually provoke men. Men respond to visual beauty. I'm not defending the rapist but if you dress in an indecent manner then you really are asking for it.

Author: Stacy, Female, Madrid
Date: 29/06/2010

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Replies to this post

In my mind, a woman's behaviour and/or dress has nothing to do with a rapist's actions.
Rape isn't about a loss of control on the part of the man, it's an issue of a man trying to gain control of a woman and her body.

Rape isn't about a man really really wanting to have sex, and forcing a woman into it. It's about a man wanting control of a woman's body, and forcing her to submit to him.
Plenty of men walk around every day really wanting sex - and plenty of men look at women in bars, or in clubs, or wherever - but not all men rape women.
If one man can control himself and accept a woman saying 'no' to sex, then so can every man. There is never an excuse for rape.

Author: Zoe, Female, UK
Date: 30/06/2010

Men respond to visual beauty, yes - but is that response to force a woman to have sex with them?

There's a simple point to be made here - one woman in a bar, dressed attractively and perhaps dancing provocatively, and lots of men looking at her.
It happens a lot, - but NOT ALL OF THOSE MEN WILL END UP RAPING HER. Even if every single one of the men in the bar found that girl attractive and would have liked to sleep with her, not all of them will want to RAPE her.
If one man can control himself, then there is no excuse for another who cannot.
Rape shows an absence of respect for the woman and her body, and her right to say 'no'. Rape isn't about a loss of control - that a man was just so horny and turned on that he 'had to' have the woman, it's about a man seizing control of a woman's body, without respect for her as a human being.
There is no excuse for rape, and as the campaign tells us, no-one asks to be raped.

Author: Feminist&proud, Female, UK
Date: 30/06/2010


"Women need to understand that dressing up like sluts is going to sexually provoke men ... I'm not defending the rapist but if you dress in an indecent manner then you really are asking for it.

You call the women concerned "sluts," but men raping because they're "sexually provoked" ? You could thus call them "animals." To say that men cannot deal with two different cultural concepts - 'pretty skirt' + 'no I won't have sex with you' - opposed in their minds ... well, that's knocking them off the homo sapiens level and kicking them back to chimpanzee.

Also ... "Men respond to visual beauty." Does that mean that no "ugly" woman is ever raped? Or that a blind man is incapable of rape?

Author: Shoshana, Female, Philadelphia
Date: 01/07/2010

No matter how a woman has dressed, she does not in any way "ask for it". Its ridiculous that a victim should come under scrutiny for being attacked and have to justify or take responsibility for it happening. Nobody would ask a stabbing victim that and the damage is still as significant.

Author: Vicki, Female, UK
Date: 01/07/2010

Even if there was a point of "dressing up like sluts" and "dressing in an indecent manner" that just pushed the poor menfolk with their lack of self-control too far, where would you say that point is? A dress or skirt rather than pants? How short can my skirt be? How about a pair of shorts when it's 90 degrees in the summer? Is that going to make all the men in the area immediately be so sexually attracted to me that they absolutely have to drop what they're doing and force sex on me, against my will?


It is ridiculous to try to set a limit on what *women* can do, how *women* need to control themselves, by blaming rape on a lack of anything resembling that kind of control in men. Saying that you're not defending the rapist, and then giving him a convenient defense for his actions by saying he can't control himself is just stupid.

Author: Sadie, Female, USA
Date: 01/07/2010

The thing is, despite your little disclaimer that you're 'not defending the rapist but...', that's EXACTLY what you're doing.

By claiming that women who dress 'indecently' are somehow asking to be raped, you project the message that it is perfectly okay for them to be raped, because they deserve it. Because they 'asked' for it.

And if that doesn't fit squarely into your definition of defending the rapist, I shudder to think of what might.

Author: Kathleen, Female, Barcelona
Date: 03/07/2010

I can't believe you actually wrote that!!

Certainly, visual (and other) stimulus can cause certain emotional and cognitive reactions, we are all sentient beings capable of making choices about what we do with those reactions.

It's actually quite insulting to imply that all men are mechanistic animals who just can't stop themselves doing anything. Who are so rules by their hormones that they have to rape. If that was the case why aren't all men rapists? Why don't men rape their colleagues in the office? Why do they try to hide it, if it's so natural and primal?

Stop making excuses, that's exactly like saying I've got no responsibility for mugging you as you were carrying a handbag and poor people respond to knowing someone's got a wallet. See? Not my fault. You shouldn't have let me know you had a wallet. Stupid person.

Men are adults and should take responsibility for their actions, just as women should. I'll wear what I damn well please and it is NOT consent for someone to have sex with me.

(PS the VAST majority of rapes are committed by men known to the victim and are pre-planned. How did they know what she was going to be wearing and that they just wouldn't be able to help themselves??)

Author: Clare, Female, London
Date: 03/07/2010

Yes, men do get sexually aroused and like looking at pretty women. But they also have brains and manners and decency and a little thing called respect for women. Or they don't. That's the difference, not whether a woman is dressed "decently" or not. Sexually arousal is not what makes a rapist. Lack of respect and recognition of personhood for women is what makes a rapist.

If all it takes is sexual arousal to incite a man to rape, what if the girl is covered head to toe? What if the girl is wearing a hijab or a niqab? What if the girl is a child? Where do you draw the line between who gets blamed and who doesn't? You can't, and that's why it's an illogical, ridiculous, insulting argument.

Author: Chelsey Worth, Female, Canada
Date: 03/07/2010

Well, Stacy, those women you know who have been sexually assaulted or raped will probably be keeping VERY quiet around you. You must be feeling extremely safe and smug with all that rapist collusion you're spouting? Poor rapists, they just can't HELP themselves. Diddums.

Author: Trees, Female, Scotland
Date: 06/07/2010

I'm just dismayed. I was repeatedly sexually assaulted by my ex boyfriend in my late teens in the early 1990s. I won't go into detail what happened, but it was non-penile penetration WITHOUT consent. He was nearly a foot bigger than me. He made out to me that he was a gentleman, but as soon as we were alone, he turned into a different person and when I told him it was painful and I didn't like it, I was a "prude". And incidentally at the time, I was wearing a baggy Garfield t-shirt and tracksuit bottoms so that's hardly dressing provocatively, is it?

I have reason to think that this individual doesn't like women. I was told after we split up that he was considered a "mistake" and his mother disdained him. I firmly believe he got off on my fear. So please, please don't fuel this belief that if you dress in something tiny, you're asking for it. Thankfully it's only some men that think this way. I know plenty of decent, good men out there who are respectful and would find these views abhorrent. I have huge problems with intimacy that I'm trying to resolve with my psychiatrist and psychologist's help as well as other mental health issues partly caused by this. My mind effectively shut down for about 7 months afterwards because of the pain.

I just hope that this individual has not done this to someone else (I didn't go to the police as I knew it would be my word against his) and that this website and campaign helps stop the myths that fuel hatred, fear and abuse. I was a teenager. I had my whole life ahead of me and it should have held the promise of good times with men of my choosing in a respectful and enjoyable way but now, in my mid 30s, that has been denied me because of the selfish actions of one "man".

I am speaking out to make anyone who thinks a woman deserves it ashamed, because you should be. NO MORE!

Author: SurvivorOfAbuseAndAngryAsHell, Female, Scotland
Date: 11/07/2010

If a good looking man takes off his shirt I might respond and get all hot and bothered, but that doesn't mean I'm going to rape him.

I'd expect the same level of control from a man if a good looking woman takes off her shirt.

Author: Kim, Female, Canada
Date: 14/07/2010

I don't even know where to start with this... Perhaps with the question: Are you even actually a woman posting this? Can you really believe that it should be your job to cover up to prevent arousing us? Don't you have more important an productive person of society things to do? Also, I am offended that you think rape is a lack of male control. Rape stems from sick minded persons (that's right, persons; Women (although considerably less frequently) can rape too) who wish to gain control over another person, because they disrespect them as a person to the point of thinking them an object for them to abuse. It has nothing to do with my sexual control but my gender's mental capacity and common sense to understand that women are people too and that they have a right to doing WHATEVER they wish with their body. You should be ashamed of yourself.

Author: Sam, Male, United States
Date: 11/11/2013

Have your say

“Rape seems to be the only crime where it's seen as ok to put the victim on trial.”

Natasha, Female from Glasgow

“Short skirts don't cause rape. Rapists cause rape”

Joss, Female from Connecticut

“About time something like this was shown on TV. Hopefully it will make everyone realise there cannot be any excuse for rape - EVER.”

Helzo, Female from Renfrewshire