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The "They Just Can't Control Themselves" excuse is a disservice to everyone

One argument I've heard against the idea that a woman is not at fault for being raped even if she is dressed provocatively is that men "just can't control themselves" when they see a woman in a short skirt or a low-cut top. If you think about it, this is insulting to women, obviously, as it is a form of slut-shaming and victim-blaming, but it's also insulting to men. Men are not animals. Most of them are perfectly able to control themselves and act like civilized human beings around women; to imply that a short skirt instantly sends any man into an uncontrollable sexual frenzy shows a clear misunderstanding of the motivations behind rape: it's not animalistic sexual urges brought on by seeing a woman dressed in a "sexy" way; it's a way of exerting power and control over a person. If we reduce the perceived motivation for rape to something that men just feel "compelled" to do, it dehumanizes men (which really isn't fair), it trivializes the unspeakable and inexcusable act of rape by brushing it off with "boys will be boys", and it disregards the reality that rape is not a purely sexual act. It's about power and control.

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

Author: Joss, Female, Connecticut
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