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Socially conditioned to blame women

A woman was raped very close to my flat very recently; it saddened me greatly that I wasn't there or able to help or that no one apparently heard her screams for help. Even though, when chatting to people about it, you're given a sense sympathy for the woman and worry about the rapist not being caught yet, there have already been referrals made to what she wore. In the description of the woman (I can only imagine this is to help potential witnesses?) given out by the police, she was described as wearing 'blue slippers'. Whether this means pump-like shoes or actual slippers I dunno or care but already I've heard someone say "Maybe bit stupid though, eh, wearing slippers?".

A woman is thought of as 'asking for it' if she wears something not 'approved' of or acts 'inappropriatey' by her community or society. We all know it, we've always known it, but collectively don't seem that bothered that we want to change our society for the better.

Author: Lisa, Female, Edinburgh
Date: 01/07/2010

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Replies to this post

You're right there is the sense out there that a woman's dress and her morality (and even IQ) all go hand-in-hand.

I have to admit that I do hold a certain level of prejudice about the way some women dress, not because I think they are asking for sexual attention but because they will receive it, regardless of invitation and any self respecting woman should be aware of this.

If it doesn't bother them then ok, they are stronger willed then I am and maybe I am just a prude. But I still hate it when I see men leer over me or even worse - younger, unsuspecting girls and they think they have a right because we have gone to certain lengths to make ourselves attractive.

I don't know what the answer is. I'm not a man-hater. Most of the guys I know are respectful of women no matter how they dress. But until a woman learns what true self respect is, I think guys will always get away with being leery/ disrespectful and think it's their right to exercise their will over a woman.

To end, Rape is always inexcusable in my book. But the attitudes that lead to that mindset in men are fueled by how some women dress and behave.

Author: Stella, Female, Edinburgh
Date: 03/07/2010

What bothers me is that, we, as women are expected to look good all the time. I got older and started ignoring that a few years ago. I simply don't care if someone else approves of how I look or what I am wearing. Haven't worn high heels in years and few have seen me in anything but t-shirts and jeans and runners. Don't you know that it's always the woman's fault? Ask any man.

Author: been there, Female, us
Date: 03/07/2010

stella i think the attitudes are fuelled more by the status of women in society and how men are increasingly conditioned to perceive women as objects in an increasingly pornified culture.

Author: sigh, Female, scotland
Date: 03/07/2010

I totally agree that the majority of our media's output and mainstream culture does condition men to view us as such and in turn puts pressure on women to conform to this - but for me it comes back to the woman and her choice as an individual.

We CAN control how we are perceived by men we come in contact with in day today situations. Not all of them will respect us but we should at least respect ourselves more and hope that through our actions we can change these attitudes.

Author: Stella, Female, Edinburgh
Date: 05/07/2010

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“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