A License to Rape

In 2005, the last year for which I could find official statistics on this subject, 174,420 women were sexually assaulted or raped, and over 99% of those cases involved a male perpetrator.

Fortunately, this number actually points to a “per capita” decline, in which the rate has fallen from 2.4 victims per 1000 people in 1980 to 0.4 in the present day. This is obviously good news, but rape and sexual assault against women are still huge problems in America that have yet to be adequately addressed.

If you’re a rational human being, this statistic is of great concern, but fear not: prominent men (and some [very, very few] women) have spent a lot of time on this problem, and here is their suggestion:

Stop dressing so provocative, ladies.

Never mind that there is absolutely no credible scientific evidence to suggest a correlation between clothing and rape.

Never mind that sociologists and psychologists have identified, over and over, that the main motivation to rape is demonstrating power, not because of a clothing catalyst.

Never mind that women are raped when wearing sweatpants or military uniforms or baggy jeans and a t-shirt or even tattered, dirty clothing typically worn by the homeless.

Basically, this is yet another attempt to blame women for allowing themselves to be raped. If only they could dress modestly, this wouldn’t happen as often, amirite?!

Of course, that’s interesting because thousands of men are tragically raped and sexually assaulted, every year, and I never hear them being blamed for what they wore, probably because anyone with half a brain realizes that suggestion would be absolutely moronic. If a man wore only underwear in public and was tragically raped in a back alley, there would be no assertion that he deserved it due to his lack of attire. And yet, women are often blamed for the sexual violence they encounter because they wore a “slutty” outfit.

It reminds me of an article written by a Christian commentator, several years ago, on this subject. He wrote approvingly of his father having a saying on women in sexy clothing:

“If you’re not selling, don’t advertise.”

How cute.

Of course, this also pisses me off because the argument makes the claim that I, as a man, am unable to control my sexual appetite and urges, that men just can’t help themselves when they’re around short skirts and stilettos. It’s as if these folks are giving me a license to rape if I’m around women wearing sexy clothing.

You might be thinking that’s going too far, that’s it’s not fair to characterize this theory as promoting rape.

Well, what else is it? 170,000+ women are raped and sexually assaulted, each year, and apparently, it’s because they’re wearing erotic attire, not because the perpetrator is an asshole seeking to express power and increasingly encouraged by a society that treats women as second-class citizens.

So, here’s a question for you geniuses who believe in this shit:

What is appropriate clothing for women to wear outside the home?

What kind of outfit serves as rapist repellent?

Maybe we should cover a woman’s entire body so that only their eyes are visible. I hear that’s working really well in some Muslim countries where women are still raped (and later punished for it, but that’s a post for another day).

We need to get away from the absurd notion that women are in any way to blame for being raped or sexually assaulted. The victim is never at fault and suggesting otherwise on some bullshit theory that grown men just can’t control themselves because of clothing is childish at best and criminal at worst.


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