Social Question

nikkiduq's avatar

Do you think rape victims are also to blame for their fate because they dressed up/exhibited behaviors that attracted unwanted attention?

Asked by nikkiduq (551points) June 18th, 2011

There are instances where people blame the rape victim for their fate because the victim attracted unwanted attention. Should we be more considerate of the places we go and the way we dress up to avoid unwanted attention that could result to rape? Or do you think victim-blaming is just irrational? I argued with my father that victim blaming is not right because rape could also happen to people who don’t show skin and people who are in a stable relationships. He contend that women should be discreet and don’t show anything that will attract unwanted attention (my father is a sexist but he denies it, arguing that he is only concerned for the ‘welfare’ of the women in the society). What do you think?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

141 Answers

incendiary_dan's avatar

Attire is not an invitation to be raped.


Aethelwine's avatar

Everyone is responsible for their own actions.

in other words, Hell No!

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Of course not. There is no such thing as “asking to be raped”.

Only 4% of rapists remember what their victim was wearing. Women who are dressed modestly are more likely to be attacked because they’re seen as passive and thus better victims, whereas women who dress “slutty” are seen as aggressive and thus not a good choice for a victim. Only 8% of rapes are committed by stranger, so clearly this idea that if you wear a skirt out in public a random man down the street will rape you doesn’t pan out most of the time. There’s very little (if any) evidence that wearing “slutty” clothes actually increases your likelihood of being raped (although it does increase your chances of being told it was “your fault”, but most victim-blamers don’t actually check to make sure you were, in fact, wearing a skirt before listing that as the cause).

lillycoyote's avatar

NO, NO, NO, NO, NO absolutely not!!!!!!!!!!

Aethelwine's avatar

that french fry looks sexy in all that grease. It made slather ketchup on it and shove it into my mouth, making me obese. Not my fault!!! I swear!

Plucky's avatar

Absolutely not.

Raven_Rising's avatar

No. Rape has nothing to do with the way someone dresses. It has everything to do with some poor excuse of humanity using sex as a weapon.

Berserker's avatar

No. Rape has little to do with sexual desire, it’s a power thing, many times related with psychological trauma. And if not, then just being a primate. In this day and age? Lulz.

Clothes or behaviour have fuck all do with it. If that was the case, people would be raped constantly everywhere. Rape is also something that happens between known people much more often than it does with strangers.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

My logical and straightforward opinion would be, no matter where you happen to be you have to be aware of what you drive, carry, or wear. A woman dressed in a mini at night in heels down by skid row takes on a greater risk of sexual assault than up town in the restaurant district. Here is why, down on skid row there is less public travel and it is more than likely not lit very well; two components that make crime more likely. The same as a guy or gal with a fancy watch or car would attract more attention down there then the theater district. Women who don’t clutch their purse near them are not saying “Rob me!” but if it is easy for a purse snatcher to peel them, he will. Wearing a mini, booty shorts and all that is not bad or wrong, but logic says there are places where a woman would stick out wearing them as a fly in the mayonnaise.

Brian1946's avatar

Hell no, it’s always the fault of the rapist. That’s why it’s called rape.

Saying that it’s the fault of the victim, is like saying that it’s the fault of the person gets shot because they’re wearing the wrong colors in the wrong neighborhood.

lillycoyote's avatar

Yes @Hypocrisy_Central that all may very well be true, women more than anyone, more than you, understand where they are more safe and where they are less safe. It is always in the back of our heads, something men don’t have to worry about much at all. But no man has the right to attack and violate a woman in that way no matter what she is wearing.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@lillycoyote But no man has the right to attack and violate a woman in that way no matter what she is wearing. Did you hear me say that? I am saying no matter who you are you have to have situational awareness. No body should jack you and still your car but if you get lost or end up in a dead end if you are in the wrong part of town your chances of attracting crime increases. It is no different for a woman; maybe even greater so. No one can tell me if it was 11:15pm in the evening on some dimly lit street with little or no traffic a woman in a pair of jeans, sneakers, and a nondescript jacket would go under the radar better than any woman in heels, a mini dress, and a cropped sweater. Not that the woman in jeans can’t or won’t be raped I think her chances are better because at a distance she would blend better. She has every right to wear a mini anywhere she pleases, but some places will attract more negative attention than she may want. It is more location and apparel. Not just what she is wearing.

When you leave your home do you not lock your doors? Why? You want to minimize the opportunity for any burglar that might be prowling your neighborhood. If you didn’t lock your door you still are not saying “Rob me!” but you make it easier for someone to do it.


Sometimes. I know people say we shouldn’t blame the victim, but dress does matter. Sorry, but it’s a sad, unavoidable fact of life in this unfair world——the way a person dresses, expresses him/herself outwardly, has a tangible bearing on how others react and treat him or her. Of course men have the greater responsibility to watch their untoward behavior and aggression, but when a woman goes out to a risky place dressed like a hooker, and she is sexually assaulted, she is not totally blameless. I wouldn’t go walking down some dumpy street—- where there are gangs—- dressed to the nines and wearing a Rolex watch and a nice flashy diamond ring. To do that would be very foolish of me and asking for trouble, and if I get mugged and/or murdered, it’s no wonder I got victimized.

Nullo's avatar

Not as such, no. At the same time, though, modest dress and wise choices of venue will help to keep one out of trouble. Sort of like defensive driving.
Or like stormtrooper armor. Sure, it was worthless in the face of heroic gunfire and Ewok rocks, but it would stop dings from sharp corners, reduce the risk of smacking your funnybone, help you blend in with the rest of the stormtroopers (making you more difficult for people pick out you), and above all else, announced affiliation with an Empire that did not suffer offense lightly.

Plucky's avatar

@MRSHINYSHOES Most women that are raped do not go to a “risky” place dressed like a hooker – unless they are a hooker. Scantily clad women can, and mostly do, get raped anywhere. Just as a woman in a sweater and jeans can and does. It happens everywhere. I don’t care if a woman goes out in public naked with red strapped high heels on ..that gives no one the right, nor the invitation, to rape her.

incendiary_dan's avatar

@PluckyDog More to the point, @MyNewtBoobs has compiled some compelling statistics that show that manner of dress doesn’t really influence chances of getting raped.

lillycoyote's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central and didn’t you hear me say:

”... that all may very well be true, women more than anyone, more than you, understand where they are more safe and where they are less safe. It is always in the back of our heads, something men don’t have to worry about much at all. But no man has the right to attack and violate a woman in that way no matter what she is wearing.”

I believe the implication there was that woman always have, in the back of their minds, the issue of their own safety. This question was specifically about whether or not the way a woman dresses make her complicit in her own rape. I still say no. No matter what a woman wears, no matter where she wears it, no man has a right to rape her and no one has the right to blame her for her own victimization. And don’t lecture me about what women should and shouldn’t do to avoid the risk of rape. That the burden is still on us to avoid being attacked, that we must be the ones who are afraid rather than the rapists who are afraid of being caught and imprisoned shows just how far our society still has to go. And you, as a man, could be more helpful if you focused on the potential perpetrators rather than outlining to potential victims how best to avoid being raped.

augustlan's avatar

Absolutely not.


@PluckyDog In the same vein, a lot of people who are murdered and/or mugged for their possessions did not “go to a risky place” dressed to the nines. Of course no one has the right to rape a woman, but the question put forth by nikkidug asks “Should we be more considerate of the places we go and the way we “dress up” to avoid unwanted attention that could result in rape?” Indeed anyone, man or woman, should always be conscious and considerate of what they wear, where they wear it, and when they wear it. Based on outward appearances for example, a guy wearing numerous nose and tongue piercings and donning a multitude of loud tattoos, will not be treated with as much respect as a guy with a neat, conservative appearance by the general society (and in most places in our society). I know that sounds awful and unfair, but that’s how life is. Men and women should always use common sense, and part of common sense is don’t do things in certain places if you want to stay safe. This especially applies when travelling to different countries, but even when you’re in your own territory you have to use common sense and wisdom.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@lillycoyote ..we must be the ones who are afraid rather than the rapists who are afraid of being caught and imprisoned shows just how far our society still has to go. And you, as a man, could be more helpful if you focused on the potential perpetrators rather than outlining to potential victims how best to avoid being raped. Well you pointed out what I would agree on, the rapist want to stay free and out of jail. The last time I commented on how to better that situation many of the female, and a few of the male, collective jumped down my throat as if it was wrong even when it was logically correct.

I would not know if there was anything I could say that would change, improve, or take away the need to rape from a rapist, because I cannot even put myself into their frame of mind to understand them. The only thing I can think of which really won’t help the here and now is to legalize prostitution so those guys who want to get their jollies off and go to wherever these professional women are allowed to work and employ her of her services. Out in the open I believe the service would be safe, and affordable as price comparison and competition comes into play. Then no guy will have an excuse he could not find any sex and had to take it by force.

Plucky's avatar

@incendiary_dan I agree with @MyNewtBoobs. I did not say otherwise in my post. I said that women who are scantily clad can get raped anywhere and so do women in jeans and a sweater. I was trying to make the point that I don’t care how anyone dresses ..none of it has to do with giving a right, or invitation, to rape. I was saying sort of the same thing but differently (and without statistics). :)

DominicX's avatar

I don’t think anyone is arguing that dressing a certain way gives a person the “right” to rape someone; I know few people who consider rape a right. But what if it were shown that dressing a certain way did actually increase your chances of being raped? In a perfect world, people would dress how they wanted and would worry about rape, but this is not a perfect world…I admit it doesn’t address the root problem, but it couldn’t simply be ignored if it were the truth.

Bellatrix's avatar

No. Women should be able to dance in the street naked and not expect to be raped.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Bellatrix I think if she looked like them, she is pretty safe dancing naked.

Nullo's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central What has been seen… cannot be unseen. O_O

incendiary_dan's avatar

@PluckyDog Yea, I was building on your thing directed towards @MRSHINYSHOES and agreeing, not refuting in any way.

Cruiser's avatar

Of course not. Not anymore so than a bank marquee is an invitation to rob it.

poisonedantidote's avatar


I knew that would get your attention. Before I continue I just want to state that my official answer is no. The person to blame is the rapist.

However, I would say that a woman who dresses a certain way, and acts a certain way, and then gets raped, does have some level of “blaim” so to speak. This comes in the form of negligence, or some variation of negligence. I would say the level of negligence is similar to that of a person who fills their house with ps3’s and tv’s, but fails to purchase a security alarm to protect the house.

In other words, the guilt belongs to the rapist. However, If you dress and act in a provocative way, get drunk, talk to strangers, and then walk home alone at 2am, in this day and age, then yes you have some blaim via negligence.

Yes, a woman should be able to dress and act how she likes without fear of being raped, but the reality of the situation is you just cant do that. When you know the “she was asking for it” argument exists, and you know these people exist, part of the responsability must be on the woman to protect her self and take precautions.

I have said my bit, feel free to trample away.

Mikewlf337's avatar

NO! Seriously? Just because I woman dresses a way that gets attention doesn’t mean a person has free pass to rape her. Not much thought involved in this question.

poisonedantidote's avatar

I just want to point out, that blaim and guilt are totally different things.

I would also like to touch on the difference between “victim” and “witness”. In court rape victims will normally get butchered by lawyers. I feel I need to point out, that while horrible, it is necessary to put lots of pressure on rape victims in court, seeing as they are the sole witnesses to the rape in most cases.

We have to keep a system where innocent until guilty is the default, and the victim has to prove the guilt of the rapist.

However, the punishment for rape should be much much higher. This is not because I think rape is so terrible that it should have a heavier punishment, I think murder is much much worse. But I would give rapists sentences comparable to murder sentences, simply because rape is sooo hard to prove, that if you lie about it and make us prove it, you get longer in jail just for being a dick.

SABOTEUR's avatar

A woman is naive if she believes certain types of dress (or lack, thereof) won’t risk provoking inappropriate responses from certain men.

Whether a man should or should not react inappropriately to the way a woman dresses is irrelevant. It happens, and women should be conscious of the fact that they always risk attracting unwanted attention.

To me, it’s not about “blame” as much as it’s about common sense. As an American citizen, there shouldn’t be any place in the United States I shouldn’t be able to go to safely. The reality is there are certain places in my friggin’ neighborhood that I would be well advised not to attract unwanted attention. Understanding this beforehand, if I do visit these areas, I will do so in a manner that draws as little attention as possible.

Finger pointing and broad generalizations do nothing to stop rape or any other personal violation. Instead of righteous indignation, people…women especially…might be better served to simply “act like they know”.

Mikewlf337's avatar

@SABOTEUR That is also true. If one does go into a place where there is known dangers then that person should take the proper precautions. It isn’t the womans fault if she gets raped even if she was wearing “whore clothes”. That said, she pretty much hightened her chances of being raped by wearing “whore clothes”. Still the man who raped her is the one who decided to rape her. He could have just as easily left her alone. I will say I have less sympathy for a woman who dresses like a hooker getting raped than a woman who acts like a respectable person getting raped

SABOTEUR's avatar

To me, it’s about mindfulness.

Crime victims, in general, makes themselves less likely to become targets if they’re aware of their surroundings and carry themselves as if they know where they are.

A lot of times, it’s just about being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Anyone intent on violating someone else’s personal space will do so regardless of what they wear. But they may opt to choose another victim if you carry yourself in a manner that minimizes attracting unwanted attention.

Finger pointing…again…does nothing to prevent these unfortunate occurrences.

Just act like you know.

marinelife's avatar

No, how is dressing a certain way an invitation to swxually assault someone who said no?

Rape is forced sex. Period.

It is the fault of the rapist. Period.

SABOTEUR's avatar

Glad we now know who to blame.

Now, how can women avoid becoming rape victims?

aprilsimnel's avatar

Rapists are going under the assumption that sex is an act of submission for women. That’s what they’re looking for. Forced submission, to dominate someone, and are using sex to do this. It wouldn’t matter how young or old the female was or how she was dressed. Most women are taught to be passive and nice and not hurt anyone’s feelings. Well, fuck that shit. Being so damned nice and not listening to our instincts, that’s what can get us into trouble, not what we’re wearing.

The Gift of Fear, friends. And in those situations where you are going to be attacked regardless, because the attacker is a straight-up psychopath? Listen to your instincts. Sometimes it’s better to fight back, sometimes it isn’t. In my case, I chose not to fight back, because I knew it would enrage the other person and I didn’t want to get killed. Plus, I was a child and my attacker was much bigger than me with great big hands. I wasn’t going to take that chance of him throttling me to death, so I dissociated.

redfeather's avatar

Absolutely not. Women are raped at home by people they know and I doubt they’re chillin on the couch in hoochie skirts and sequined bras. Sweats, short tight dresses, nope. Doesn’t matter what they wear psycho rapists will do what they’re gonna do no matter what their victim is wearing. So why blame the victims? So dumb.

Facade's avatar

No. Rapists are going to rape no matter what women wear because rape is about power, not sexual attraction.

TexasDude's avatar

Hell fucking no. This blame the victim mentality has got to go. Rape is almost never about some guy being too horny to help himself. Instead, it’s almost always about domination, which has nothing to do with what a woman wears.

Kardamom's avatar

I think women are more vulnerable by dressing in revealing or sexy clothes in certain situations, but that is not an excuse for any man (or woman) to rape them. I said that they are more vulnerable not that they are in any way responsible.

Women are, by their size and strength compared to men, almost always more vulnerable to attack than a man would be. So are children and smaller sized people and people with handicaps and folks with developmental problems, but that does not make them responsible for getting raped. All people, need to learn what their vulnerabilities are (and so do their caretakers in the case of children and developmentally challenged folks) in certain situations, like going to a strange or un-lit area, walking or jogging alone, or going to places where there are a lot of drunk people, or going to an area that is known for being a high crime area and take precautions. But in some instances, you just can’t plan for every contingency.

Displaying a naked body, in and of itself is not what causes men to rape. If that were the case, women in “primitive” tribes where full frontal nudity is the norm, would be raped at a much higher rate, but that isn’t the case. Rape is a pyschological problem based on anger and power issues.

john65pennington's avatar

How can you explain the 65 year old grandmother that was raped. She was wearing everyday clothes.


I think people here are missing the point. Rape is both a matter of control and domination, but it “can” be a matter of sexual temptation also. There are men who are bent on control and domination. They rape because they want power over the victim. But for most men, sex is a naturally powerful drive, and some errant men let their sex drive get the better of them, and they will try to take advantage of a woman who flirts with them, and especially one who wears very suggestive clothing. Sorry, but if you look slutty and go to a place where there are guys who cannot control their alcohol and their lust, don’t expect to be totally blameless if you’re victimized. Again, the question goes back to the point “Should we be more considerate of the places we go and how we dress up to avoid unwanted attention?” I’m not talking about the 80 year-old grandma or the woman in sweatpants and sweatshirt here. Yes, there are many cases of rape where baby girls and old ladies are the victims, and those cases are good examples of domination and control by the perpetrator, but that’s not what the asker is pointing out here.

I think I’ve answered this question succinctly and factually, so there’s no point in me furthering this discussion or returning here, especially as it doesn’t seem to be sinking in. To re-iterate would be to merely re-hash what I’ve said. :)

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Mikewlf337 That said, she pretty much hightened her chances of being raped by wearing “whore clothes”. So true. The women just are not getting it. Situational awareness. This is not a perfect worl of perfect gentlemen, they need to think from the perspective of a possible attacker not obstinately trying to dismiss the fact that situational awareness should not be optional. I think I should be able go anywhere in the ocean but if I am hanging off a wake board making myself look like a seal to a shark and it attacks me, all my beliefs are out the door.

Qingu's avatar

Absolutely not.

It’s like saying someone who chooses to walk through a bad neighborhood at night is “to blame” for getting mugged and shot.

Blame is different from risk.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

No. Anything else…I repeat…thinking anything else is sexist and patriarchal. @MRSHINYSHOES Your philosophy makes this reality worse for sex workers. You think they deserve to be victimized more than ‘proper’ women? You’re in luck – you’ve got dumbass cops, useless doctors and the laughable justice system behind you.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@SABOTEUR Now, how can women avoid becoming rape victims? No. Stop putting the burden on women to protect themselves from rape. The question is how can we help men avoid raping someone? When homicide rates are up, we focus on getting people to kill each other less, not teaching everyone “Oh, well, murder’s gonna happen and that’s just the way it is, so GTFO of here”. Why should rape be any different?

Zaku's avatar

Of course not.

That some people aren’t sure, or even think so, shows that we need better education about rape and blame.

Raven_Rising's avatar

@MRSHINYSHOES If someone is drunk, steals a car and kills someone when they drive off in a drunken stupor, we hold that person responsible for their actions. Drugs or lack of impulse control are not seen as valid defenses. Nor is it considered the car owner’s fault that their car is stolen or vandalized, even if its a shiny, brand new Mercedes. Its the fault of the person who stole said vehicle.

So where does the blame lie again?

Raven_Rising's avatar

Also, if someone here could define the term “slutty” that would be great, since different places/people have different criteria as to what “slutty” is. Is it the showing of cleavage? Is a miniskirt “slutty”? A tank top? Are ankles permitted to be in view? Would a burqa be more appropriate for late night outings, perhaps accompanied by a lightsaber and a flamethrower?
I just want to know so when I go out for groceries later on, no one mistakes me for being a shameless hussy.

_zen_'s avatar

@MRSHINYSHOES ‘s remarks are par for the course – read back at some of his other mysogynistic, sexist and chauvenistic gems. Brrrr. That was me shuddering.

Women should be pregnant, barefoot and in the kitchen – when they are allowed to go out – they must wear unprovocative clothing and stay in well lit areas – and hurry home. if they get raped – it’s partly their fault.

meiosis's avatar

The people claiming that women wearing revealing clothes are in any way resposible for inflaming the uncontrollable lusts of men should:

a) apologise to men for making such an outrageous slur. I have as healthy an appreciation for the female form as any man, yet forcing myself on beautiful women is not something I have ever been driven to do, in common with the vast majority of men


b) put up some statistics showing that rape victims are disproportionally from the more attractive spectrum of womanhood or, in the event of the statistics not being found (as they won’t be), shut the fuck up with their asinine, offensive nonsense.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Absofreakinlutely NOT. Wearing hotpants and thigh-high boots may be an invitation for flirting and possible consentual sex. It is not an invitation for rape. Ever. Period.

lillycoyote's avatar

@meiosis Yes, absolutely, you’re right. The implication that men are simply animals who are unable to control their sexual urges to the point that they will attack and victimize is an insult all men, the overwhelming number of whom, of course, are not rapists. As is the implication that legalizing prostitution might be part of the solution to reducing the incidence of rape. GA!

As to part b) There is also this attitude in ours, in many societies, sadly held by men and even some women of the saint/whore. You rape a nun. That’s one thing. You rape a woman who is sexually active and maybe wearing a skimpy dress, or you rape a prostitute well, that’s an entirely different thing.

And on Father’s day, those of you have daughters, who think that some, maybe not all women, but some are somehow complicit in their own rapes owe it to your daughters to understand what rape is and what isn’t, what it is, where it happens, why it happens, to whom it happens. You can protect your daughters physically and by teaching them how to protect themselves but that will only take them so far, you will not always be with them to do that. But you can protect your’s and everyone’s daughters, and wives and girlfriends, and sisters, and mothers and friends and teachers by educating yourselves about the truth of rape, fixing the misconceptions and prejudices you are carrying in your hearts and your minds and helping other men with the same outdated, misogynist notions about rape become educated to. The women you love will continue to be in danger as long as you think there are women who are “asking for it” and women who aren’t. Because the rapists don’t work that way and the women you love have as a good a chance as any women do of being raped at some point in their lives no matter how they dress or how they act or where they are and your kind of thinking only contributes to a mindset that creates a society, a world where all women vulnerable to attack.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@lillycoyote Even more than teaching them to put their keys between their fingers when walking, fathers can teach daughters that even if the daughter said yes once, even if she got drunk, even if she wore a skirt, she still has the right to say no – and then follow that up with how they react to other instances. Refraining from saying “Oh, well, of course that massage therapist didn’t get raped by that Hollywood star/athlete/politician, she’s just looking for money and attention” or “Well, your classmate Jenny better stop dressing like a skank, or something bad’s gonna happen to her…” or “Well, it’s really horrible how that 11 year old girl got raped, but what about how the lives of the accused are just totally ruined? Many of them had a scholarship!!!” goes a long, long way towards making sure said daughter doesn’t have some pre-existing notions about how the victim is to blame should something happen to her, thus speeding a possible recovery along.

lillycoyote's avatar

@MyNewtBoobs Exactly, and understanding why and when and to whom rape happens goes a long way in protecting your daughter if she happens to get a ride home from work or from a party from that current or former star college athlete or politician or prominent or important somebody or any not so prominent or important man or boy who got away with it once, or maybe more than once, because people made excuses for him and blamed his victim.

incendiary_dan's avatar

Personally, I think part of the blame falls more with men who think their role is done just by not raping. Any man who perpetuates rape culture makes it seem acceptable, so not specifically standing out against that shit means you’re responsible. Male privilege comes with male responsibility, or should anyway.

If we’re such violent animals, I think I’ll use my violence to stop rapists, or at least make them reconsider their actions. And suffer.

lillycoyote's avatar

@incendiary_dan Yes, that’s one of the points that some of us have been trying to make. The overwhelming number of men our live are not rapists or batterers, of course, but those who aren’t can be part of the solution and it doesn’t necessarily take violence, though @incendiary_dan we all, I think, appreciate your willingness to step up to plate here, hopefully armed with at least a nice, solid wooden bat. :- ) If a man is trying to rape me, please feel free to shoot him (only if you have a clear shot that misses me), poke his eyes out, stab him here, there and everywhere or to just pull him off me, beat the crap out of him, whatever it takes… Actually, if you can stop him and incapacitate him I would prefer he be arrested and tried because I kind of have issues with vigilantism but if you have to kill someone is self-defense or in the defense of another, I have no problem with that… anyway, I digress…

But… one of the most important ways men can help, and this is the point I was trying to make above, is that it doesn’t take brute strength or violence, though it may take some courage to be part of the solution and that is in men making and effort to educate themselves in understanding rape, changing their own attitudes and misconceptions and helping to change other men’s attitudes and misconceptions. Men can help us create a world where we are safer and where the women you love and care about are safer. But help where you can Dan, kick some ass if you have to. :-)

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

@lillycoyote I was just about to ask @incendiary_dan how to be part of a solution.

What specific action steps would we take?

Berserker's avatar

@meiosis Word up. I imagine that a lot of men must feel pretty insulted by the claim that rape happens due to being too horny.

I’d love to see statistics that prove it, myself. I say it again, rape is something that usually happens between people who know one another (not saying the otherwise never happens), so it really has nothing to do with lust.

incendiary_dan's avatar

@lillycoyote Whatever it takes, I’m in. I’m mostly good at talking, so I’ll stick mostly to that. Failing that, I’ve got a machete collection. :P

Edit: Yea, I got that people were kind of saying what I said. Sometimes men need to hear that from other men for it to sink in. Yay patriarchy.~

lillycoyote's avatar

Well, you asked …

Here are two 10 point lists that are pretty good.

10 things men can do to stop rape
Women live with the knowledge that they are at high risk to be raped. Unlike men, they must always take into account what the risk factors are in any activity they plan. Women are often admonished to take precautions in their day-to-day lives. Why should the responsibility for rape prevention hinge on factors such as whether or not women park in well lit areas, walk with the buddy system or lock car doors? The truth is, the responsibility for rape PREVENTION belongs to men! Because if rape is to stop, it MUST begin with men. All men. Not just the few who become rapists, but also with every man we know. If you don’t understand, read this top ten list and get some ideas of how to begin. (Men- can you imagine not sleeping with your windows open on a breezy, warm summer night?)

Stop Rape!

Top Ten Things that Men Can Do

Although statistics show that most men never rape, the overwhelming majority of rapists (and one in ten victims) are in fact male. We ask men to make a promise to be a different kind of man—one who values equality and whose strength is not used for hurting.

1.Be Aware of Language. We live in a society in which words often cut down or put down women. Avoid words like bitch, whore, freak, dog. Those words send a message that females are less than human. Seeing them in such a light makes it easier to treat them without respect or to ignore their well being.

2.Communicate. Sexual violence goes hand in hand with poor sexual communication. Our own discomfort in speaking about sexual issues dramatically raises the risk of rape. By learning effective means of sexual communication—stating your desires clearly and listening to your partner, men make sex safer for themselves and others.

3. Speak Up. You may never see a rape in progress but you will hear jokes and language that is inappropriate and degrades women. When your best friend tells a joke about rape, tell him it is not funny. Support women who bring charges against violent men. Do anything but remain silent.

4.Support Survivors of Rape. Rape will not be taken seriously until everyone understands how common it is. In the U.S. alone, hundreds of thousands of women are raped each year. By learning to sensitively support the survivors in their lives, men can help both women and men feel more comfortable about coming forward and talking about what has happened to them.

5.Contribute Your Time and Money. Join or donate to an organization working to prevent violence against women (532–6444). Rape Crisis Centers, Domestic Violence Shelters and similar groups depend on your donations for support. In the Manhattan area you can join SAFEZONE or The Campaign For Nonviolence, for example. You can give financial support to those groups as well as the K-State Women’s Center, the local Crisis Center Inc. and others. For info, see

6. Talk with Women. If you’re willing to listen, there is much to be learned about how the “risk of being raped” affects women’s daily lives. Talk to them about it.

7.Talk with Men. Talk about what it is like to be viewed as a potential rapist. Talk about the fact that 15–20% of all males will be sexually abused in their lifetime. Talk about whether they know any rape survivors. But start talking.

8. Organize. Join an organization dedicated to stopping sexual violence. Men’s anti rape groups are powerful. They are gaining popularity on college campuses. If you have the time and the drive, you can make a powerful difference. At KSU, join the PEERS student activist group!

9.Work against ALL oppression. Rape feeds off of all forms of prejudice including racism, homophobia, and religious discrimination. By speaking out against behaviors that promote one group as being superior to another, you support everyone’s equality. And finally…….

10.Don’t ever have sex with anyone against their will—No matter what.


10 Things Men Can Do To Prevent Domestic and Sexual Violence

1. Acknowledge and understand how male dominance
and aspects of unhealthy manhood are at the foundation of
domestic and sexual violence.

2. Examine and challenge our individual beliefs and
the role that we play in supporting men who are abusive.

3. Recognize and stop colluding with other men by
getting out of our socially defined roles, and take a stance to
prevent domestic and sexual violence.

4. Remember that our silence is affirming. When we
choose not to speak out against domestic and sexual violence,
we are supporting it.

5. Educate and re-educate our sons and other young
men about our responsibility in preventing domestic and sexual

6.“Break out of the man box”- Challenge traditional
images of manhood that stop us from actively taking a stand in
domestic and sexual violence prevention.

7. Accept and own our responsibility that domestic
and sexual violence will not end until men become part of the
solution to end it. We must take an active role in creating a
cultural and social shift that no longer tolerates violence and
discrimination against women and girls.

8. Stop supporting the notion that domestic and
sexual violence is due to mental illness, lack of anger
management skills, chemical dependency, stress, etc… Domestic
and sexual violence is rooted in male dominance and the
socialization of men.

9. Take responsibility for creating appropriate and
effective ways to educate and raise awareness about domestic
and sexual violence prevention.

10. Create responsible and accountable men’s
initiatives in your community to support domestic and sexual
violence prevention.

I think both lists are pretty good.

And here are some pretty good men’s organizations dedicated to stopping violence against women. They have links, information and calls to action.

Men Can Stop Rape

Stop Violence

A Call to Men

This is a link to a pdf hand out for men who want to help support a woman after she has been raped but I posted it because of the first point.

When a woman claims to have been raped believe her.

It is not your role to question whether a rape occurred. False rape reports are no more nor less common than false reports for other violent crimes.

For some reason, just because people are sometimes falsely accused of all sorts of things, when someone claims to have been mugged or robbed people don’t have as much doubt in their minds about the claim as many people do about a woman who claims to have been raped.

If somebody is walking down the street and they get robbed at gunpoint and their wallet or purse and Rolex or engagement and wedding rings get stolen, generally people believe them, don’t say they were asking for it by wearing the Rolex and jewelry in the first place and don’t question why they didn’t scream and put up more of fight.

People need to rethink that attitude.

Men can do really as much or as little as they can manage. You can go full tilt, join a men’s group, march in the street, answer the calls to action or you take smaller measure. Learn more, educate yourself, and as the list mentions, language is important, notice and possibly call other men on how they talk about women and rape and correct them. That may take some courage. Talk to women. Seek out some women you trust you and who you can talk to and do just that. Some women may not want to talk about it, they may have many reasons, they may be rape survivors without your even knowing it and some women are more sensitive to the issue of personal safety than others but if you can, ask women to tell you what would you do differently, what would change if the threat or danger of rape completely disappeared from the world, from the landscape of your life. Actually, I’m going to ask that here, right now.

Any, you asked … maybe more later.

TexasDude's avatar

Oh I love these lists. Here’s my favorite:

A lot has been said about how to prevent rape. Women should learn self-defense. Women should lock themselves in their houses after dark. Women shouldn’t have long hair and women shouldn’t wear short skirts. Women shouldn’t leave drinks unattended. Fuck, they shouldn’t dare to get drunk at all.

Instead of that bullshit, how about:

If a woman is drunk, don’t rape her. If a woman is walking alone at night, don’t rape her. If a women is drugged and unconscious, don’t rape her. If a woman is wearing a short skirt, don’t rape her. If a woman is jogging in a park at 5AM, don’t rape her. If a woman looks like your ex-girlfriend you’re still hung up on, don’t rape her. If a woman is asleep in her bed, don’t rape her. If a woman is asleep in your bed, don’t rape her. If a woman is doing her laundry, don’t rape her. If a woman is in a coma, don’t rape her. If a woman changes her mind in the middle of or about a particular activity, don’t rape her. If a woman has repeatedly refused a certain activity, don’t rape her. If a woman is not yet a woman, but a child, don’t rape her. If your girlfriend or wife is not in the mood, don’t rape her. If your step-daughter is watching TV, don’t rape her.

If you break into a house and find a woman there, don’t rape her. If your friend thinks it’s okay to rape someone, tell him it’s not, and that he’s not your friend. If your “friend” tells you he raped someone, report him to the police. If your frat-brother or another guy at the party tells you there’s an unconscious woman upstairs and it’s your turn, don’t rape her, call the police and report him as a rapist.

Tell your sons, god-sons, nephews, grandsons, and sons of friends that it’s not okay to rape someone.

Don’t just tell your women friends how to be safe and avoid rape. Don’t imply that she could have avoided it if she’d only done/not done x, y, or z. Don’t imply that it’s in any way her fault. Don’t let silence imply agreement when someone tells you he “got some” with the drunk girl. Don’t perpetuate a culture that tells you that you have no control over or responsibility for your actions. You can too help yourself. Rape is not about sex, it’s about control and power, and what kind of power comes from taking advantage of others? No power anyone should ever desire.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@MRSHINYSHOES @SABOTEUR @Hypocrisy_Central @Mikewlf337 Please read (or re-read) this excellent response posted by @MyNewtBoobs. Particularly of interest is this bit here:

“Women who are dressed modestly are more likely to be attacked because they’re seen as passive and thus better victims, whereas women who dress ‘slutty’ are seen as aggressive and thus not a good choice for a victim.”

Your comments regarding prevention all seem to operate on a false premise. You are advising women to dress in a way that the data suggests may not help them at all (and could potentially harm them). That’s the problem with conventional wisdom—it’s usually wrong.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@SavoirFaire You’re so hot to me when you take time to point out how I’m right.

lillycoyote's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard I hope your not being sarcastic about my lists because if all men thought like you I wouldn’t need no stinkin’ lists

SavoirFaire's avatar

Note to self: point out how @MyNewtBoobs is right more often.

TexasDude's avatar

@lillycoyote nope, I actually enjoy those lists. I was hoping someone would post one of them so I could post the one I did. I actually printed up dozens of copies of it once and put them over all the urinals at my school. They usually wound up ripped up and thrown on the floor. I guess I hurt a rapist’s feelings.

lillycoyote's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard Yes, rapists are a pretty sensitive bunch.

Berserker's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard I remember when you first posted those, like last year. I printed it out and stuck em on notice billboards at school. They’re long gone, but they did stay there for a bit. Well, no time like the present for a sequel.

incendiary_dan's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard Next time figure out who did it and make sure their urinal will spray hotsauce on their tender areas.

I have also spread around those sorts of lists, though I’ve never followed up to see if anyone vandalized them. I have been called a number of hurtful things for suggesting that more women should learn to use effective self-defense weapons, particularly firearms. The name calling has always been from men.

I think I’ll post them on my Facebook soon, since some of my students read my posts. I’ll get them while they’re young.

Berserker's avatar

@incendiary_dan Hey good idea, I’m gonna do the same.

TexasDude's avatar

@incendiary_dan For each torn poster, I put up two more in its place. I kept this up for a week or two until the school sent out an email warning us against “advertising anywhere other than on allotted bulletin boards.” :-/

TexasDude's avatar

@incendiary_dan that’s actually what I was thinking as well. Didn’t stop me from slipping a few of the posters in a few choice students’ mail boxes, though, if you catch my drift. ;-)

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@SavoirFaire I read what @MyNewtBoobs. Posted, as well as what others posted. I also weighed what everyone posted to the criteria of logic. I also have the opportunity to have spoken with guys who have done time for rape, some did time for other things and the rapes they did were never reported, I had seen it. I will still premise that by situational awareness, even if she was not in a mini (but I assume the OP was speaking that “dress up” meaning something that accentuated her shape or even somewhat sexy) situational awareness don’t go out the door. We use situational awareness all the time for many things, why so wrong using it to keep you from harm’s way be it a mugging, car jacking, or rape? How many Jellies pick up hitchhikers they don’t know? I bet hardly any. Because it has the potential not to be safe. Even if the chances in reality are only 8% that the person you let into your car will actually do something people are not going to say ”well if he car jacks me my actions had nothing to do with it”. If the rider never got in the car they have a much harder time jacking your car. Is that logic too hard to see? If woman is in a mini in a well-it crowded plaza at 10pm at night it is totally different if she is on a dimly-lit street with no one walking about at 10pm, surely you can see that?

We can use list like @lillycoyote for many things and have a better world.
• If you drink do not operate a vehicle or plane.
• If you drink make sure there is a sober adult with you if you have kids.
• Don’t drink if you on a boat out in the water.
• Don’t use your fire arm to settle an argument.
• Don’t use your gun to take property from other people.
Etc, etc. This is not a perfect world an you have to take into account those who will not follow the list. Even when driving you double check before you switch lanes even though you signals are on you can’t assume anyone will honor your request just because it is the rules of the road.

Support women who bring charges against violent men. Hell yes, that is one of the best way to change the culture and put a stop to it, or slow it way down, because it is the rapists who are afraid of being caught and imprisoned as @lillycoyote. If the women don’t speak up, and they were there, I can do nothing if I didn’t see it. Many women for whatever reason don’t say anything, I not only seen it on the news but got an ear from it here on Fluther why women stay silent. If I see it or have credible evidence it happened I can say something, but most of the time it is just her and who did it to her; and he ain’t talking, unless to brag to his buddies who ain’t talking either.

I never said wearing provocative clothes will get you raped X% of the time like clockwork no matter where you are. My point which people overlook as usual was that if you wear provocative clothes, in the wrong place, at the wrong time you increase your chances to get attacked. If you don’t believe that logic I challenge to you get some fancy jewelry, and expensive watch and LV clutch purse and go walking in a low income high crime are and see how many blocks you’d get without attracting attention or getting robbed. Then walk through a well-lit mall with many patrons and see if you get the same attention? Please video it, if you receive the same time of attention in both areas I will redact everything I have said.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central I didn’t say a word against situational awareness. I said that clothing does not operate as a factor in the way that part of the above conversation assumes it does. Moreover, notice that you have now changed the scenario. Instead of having one variable (clothing), you have multiple variables (clothing, location, visibility, number of onlookers). Hold that up to the “criteria of logic” and you will see that the experiments are not comparable.

Also, I’m not sure I’m the best subject to use for your video experiment. I look like the guy people are afraid to meet in a dark alley. No one harasses me when I’m walking around at night.

lillycoyote's avatar

And by the way, what is it with men having sex with woman who are passed out? I realize the process and an anatomy is good bit different and a woman having sex with a man who is passed isn’t so workable, but how much more can a man objectify a woman than to use her, her unconscious body, basically, to masturbate? I would have absolutely no desire to have sex with a man who was stone, cold passed out, unable to participate in any way, even if his “lower unit” was functional. Are these kinds of guys actually capable of having reciprocal sex with a fully conscious woman?

Guys, can you enlighten me on this one?

lillycoyote's avatar


Do you know why so many woman don’t speak up? Why so many rapes go unreported?

You say you got an earful from the woman on fluther as to why woman stay silent about rape. What did those women say?

lillycoyote's avatar

@incendiary_dan You say you’re pretty good at talking. That’s a great weapon, reason and the truth, the language men use to talk about women and rape, your power of speech and persuasion can help change that, your eloquence, backed up with a nice machete, a machete collection actually, well, that’s a solid package. :-)

Berserker's avatar

Someone say machete? ...sorry. XD

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@SavoirFaire Moreover, notice that you have now changed the scenario. Instead of having one variable (clothing), you have multiple variables (clothing, location, visibility, number of onlookers). Only because people keep trying to drag clothing into it aside from location or the operative words in the OP I seen “dressed up/exhibited behaviors that attracted unwanted attention?” I have been on enough “boys night out” to tell you that if there were a group of three women and one was in a peasant dress and flats, the middle one in a mini with heels and a shimmery spaghetti top, and the last in a sweater and jeans the middle one will stand out to at least 50% men quicker than the other two. This is info straight from the horses mouth, all the list and ideals is not the reality. Guys will notice a mini 5 times more than jeans, I will bet my dollars to anyone’s donuts on that one.

@lillycoyote Do you know why so many woman don’t speak up? Why so many rapes go unreported? Based on the totality of responses and conversation here is the pecking order IMO:

Reasons not to report your rape:
• Denial, you don’t want to admit you were a victim, especially not to that mentor or boss at work or that jock you been crushing on for three months. In some small part confusion as to if it was a rape, there might not have been the classic smack down, clothes ripping type.
• Embarrassment, having to say that hunk you so wanted to be with took from you and you didn’t stop him, now you have to tell people your family being at the top of the list.
• Fear, thinking if she told he would not be arrested, or bail out and come back for seconds or some other form of retaliation.
• Mistrust that reporting the rapist will do anything but take them back to point two with the added factor of friends and family think maybe she were lying. Or fear of the defense attorney trying to label her as being hoochie or trying to question her life style.

So, she says nothing. The rapist is embolden because he believes no woman will say anything and he gets to go out and line up the next mark.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central You are talking about ordinary guys, not rapists. The latter group uses a different set of calculations in determining targets than men out for a night on the town use in determining who to holler or whistle at. So even if you’re right, the point is irrelevant.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@SavoirFaire Same goes with any 10 point list. You can’t tell a rapist if you see a drunk woman don’t rape her. If you see a woman in a mini don’t rape her. That might appeal to the average John Q, but what do a rapist care of that? Makes any list of recommendations about as useless as a 3 meter yacht in the middle of the Gobi desert.

lillycoyote's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central The 10 point lists are not for the rapist, you… (if I didn’t like you .. I would have finished that sentence with bit of rather ugly name calling.) ... why are you being so goddam dense @Hypocrisy_Central, is it on purpose, are you going out of your way to be dense? The 10 point lists are not for the rapists (@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard‘s was more of a manifesto or an expression of outrage and frustration, a statement of the fucking obvious). The 10 point lists are for men like you who, if they wanted to, could part of the solution instead of part of the problem. You don’t have to be a rapist or even a misogynist to be part of the problem.

Mikewlf337's avatar

@SavoirFaire I disagree with with what @MyNewtBoobs said. Women who dress slutty are not seen as aggressive, they are seen as slutty.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@Mikewlf337 I didn’t say they weren’t seen as slutty, I said they weren’t seen as good victims.

Mikewlf337's avatar

@MyNewtBoobs You were said they were seen as aggressive. They are not seen as aggressive.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@Mikewlf337 Statistics and psychologists say otherwise.

Raven_Rising's avatar

I’m still waiting on a definition of the term “slutty”. Did someone come up with the guidelines on that one yet?
Or is it still a random value judgement based on personal opinion that still has no bearing on whether or not a woman gets raped yet still gets tossed around during the investigation and trial anyway as some sort of mitigating circumstance of why the rape might have happened?

I didn’t see a definition listed anywhere so I thought I might have missed it

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@Raven_Rising I’ve found that “slutty” is really “whatever that whore was wearing when we had consensual sex, which the bitch is now saying was rape”.

Mikewlf337's avatar

@MyNewtBoobs What statistics? Post some credible Statistics that prove that people are intimidated by slutty women. They are just sluts

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

MYTH: Provocative dress can cause a rape.
FACT: Victims are chosen because of their vulnerability, not because they are sexually provocative.

Myth: Rape victims provoke the attack by wearing provocative clothing

- A Federal Commission on Crime of Violence Study found that only
4.4% of all reported rapes involved provocative behavior on the part
of the victim. In murder cases 22% involved such behavior (as simple
as a glance).

- Most convicted rapists do not remember what their victims were wearing.

- Victims range in age from days old to those in their nineties,
hardly provocative dressers.

Utah State University

Ok, once again: I didn’t say that people find women that dress “slutty” to be intimidating in a biker-gang kinda way. But the entire problem with women wearing something other than a burka is the idea that they’re taking control of their sexuality, they’re taking an active (read: not passive) role in their life – they’re actively going after the men, those hussies, instead of letting the men come to them! Which makes them bad victims – victims who will fight back, who will scream, who will do something other than just let it happen.

Mikewlf337's avatar

@MyNewtBoobs Those links do not prove that slutty women are more aggressive. Those links just said that slutty clothes do not increase the likelyhood of getting raped. It just said that rapist look for vulnerability which could be a slutty woman as well as any other type of woman.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Mikewlf337 But “aggressive” is not the central point of the matter. The question is whether or not women dressed in a particular way are more likely to become targets of rape. They aren’t. That is the crux of the matter, and that is what @MyNewtBoobs has supported. If your only objection is to the use of the word “aggressive” to give a qualitative characterization of the quantitative point at issue, that’s not very much to be going on with.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central I have not posted nor said anything about any 10 point list, so I’m not really sure how your previous post is a response to me. Regardless, @lillycoyote sums up the matter nicely.

Aethelwine's avatar

The majority of rapes are done by someone the victim knows. It has nothing to do with what the person was wearing.

I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt the first time I was raped. It happened in a friend’s home, by two male “friends’ of mine.

The second time I was raped, I was asleep in my apartment when I was in college. A male acquaintance of mine followed me home from a party and broke into my apartment. I was in my pajamas when I woke up and found him on top of me. There was nothing sexy about the pj’s I was wearing, or the clothes I had on at the party I attended that evening that would have led this acquaintance on. It was not my fault.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@jonsblond Every single time I was raped, I was wearing pants and a top or really gross, raggedy sweats. Not once was it in hot outfits (which I did wear).

Facade's avatar

@Mikewlf337 I think @MyNewtBoobs is trying to say that women who dress in sexy clothes are probably very sure of themselves. A lot of rapists are cowards, and would probably go for women who appear to be less challenging for them.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Raven_Rising I’m still waiting on a definition of the term “slutty”. Did someone come up with the guidelines on that one yet? Best I could come up with.
1. a. A person, especially a woman, considered sexually promiscuous.
b. A woman prostitute.

2. A slovenly woman; a slattern.
Slut or slattern is a pejorative term applied to an individual who is considered to have loose sexual morals or who is sexually promiscuous. The term is generally applied to women and was an insult or offensive term of disparagement, meaning “dirty or slovenly.”
Definition of SLUT
chiefly British : a slovenly woman
a : a promiscuous woman; especially : prostitute b : a saucy girl : minx
In humans, promiscuity refers to undiscriminating casual sex with many sexual partners.[1] The term carries a moral or religious judgement and is viewed in the context of the mainstream social ideal for sexual activity to take place within exclusive committed relationships. Promiscuity is considered a less restrained sex drive. What sexual behavior is considered “promiscuous” varies between cultures as does the prevalence of promiscuity, with different standards often being applied to different genders and civil status. A promiscuous female is sometimes pejoratively called a slut, while a promiscuos male is glamourised with names such as ‘stud’, ‘ladies’ man’, etc. Promiscuity is very often portrayed in literature, cinema and television, for example in the popular series Sex and the City.

Technically one cannot dress slutty they can only be slutty. If you want to wade in to the “promiscuous pool” many women walking around in sweat pants are slutty.

Mikewlf337's avatar

@SavoirFaire I have already answered the central point in this question. I just don’t think slutty women are necessarily aggressive. They are just being slutty. The link that was posted by @MyNewtBoobs says that slutty clothes do not put the woman at a higher risk of being raped. It says that rapist tend to go for the must vulnerable. That could be any woman. Slutty women are just as likely to be raped as every other woman.

Plucky's avatar

I took aggressive as meaning headstrong or more assertive.

By the way, each time I was raped, I was wearing loose jeans, at least two t-shirts, and a jacket. I have never worn provocative or accentuating clothing. I never wore tight fitting clothes. I did not “slut walk” or flaunt ..jeez I was more likely to slink to the side unnoticeable. I do not like attention. I am a passive person. Everything about me pretty much oozes passivity. I truly believe that that’s what attracts most rapists. Does that mean I should avoid going out in public for fear of getting raped? No, it does not. However, I am working on becoming more assertive with my behaviour and presentation. Not only because of fear of rape but for other reasons as well.

This took awhile because the power went out – thunderstorm here.

SABOTEUR's avatar

This blame game is so immature and irresponsible. Who gives a shit?


It doesn’t MATTER what a woman wears. What matters is that some particular time, a particular woman was a more convenient target than some other woman.


Geez…we go on and on about minutiae WHICH SOLVES NOTHING.

I swear we just love to hear ourselves talk. I really really need to avoid “discussions” like this.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@SABOTEUR And again, if the blame game doesn’t help, why is the focus on teaching women to be safe instead of teaching people to be less violent and less rape-tastic?

Plucky's avatar

I agree with @MyNewtBoobs above. Why is it up to the women to make themselves less likely to be attacked? Why are women responsible for helping men not attack them? Seriously ..why is it always on the woman to change her dress code, behaviour, presentation, when/where she walks, who she spends her time with, defense mechanisms, willingness and ability to take self-defense classes, etc? Enough is enough already.

SABOTEUR's avatar

Because teaching people to be less violent and less rape-tactic is less productive than teaching women to be safe.

SABOTEUR's avatar

It’s up to people to be safety conscious…it’s not just about women.

Women can wear what they want.

I can attend Klan rallies.

We both should be mindful of the possible consequences.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Would you care to support the claim that teaching people to be less violent is less productive than teaching people to protect themselves? Perhaps something explaining how the US has less violence against women than the Congo? And did you seriously compare wearing a dress to attending a Klan meeting??

Plucky's avatar

@SABOTEUR I understand that playing the blame game gets old. The problem is that there are so many people that still believe many women “ask for” the rape. As long as those people are high in number ..this blame game will most likely continue.
I agree that it’s up to people, themselves, to be safety conscious. But, seriously, this violent behaviour needs to be dealt with.

SABOTEUR's avatar

Women can change their clothes, but many people can’t change their skin color. Some of those darker hued people blame racism for inappropriate treatment and demand change. Other darker hued people would like change but acknowledge change will happen no time soon, and are conscious about how they may be perceived and treated, and carry themselves accordingly.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Well, change sure as hell won’t happen with an attitude like that.

SABOTEUR's avatar

I agree, @PluckyDog, but until change occurs, I teach my daughters (and caution my wife) to always be mindful in public to avoid unwanted attention.

SABOTEUR's avatar

There’s a difference between “keeping it real” and “keeping it real stupid”.

Women expecting to be safe without doing things to help protect themselves is “keeping it real stupid”.

Plucky's avatar

@SABOTEUR I understand your racism analogy to rape. I get that it’s not going to happen over night. I think the racism problem is harder to fix than the rape problem. A lot of people get twitchy in their seats when they see an army of darker hued people protesting and demanding change. That doesn’t happen so much with women doing the same thing. I am not saying that racism is bigger than rape or vice versa ..just that they’re the same but get different reactions. If that makes sense.

If I had a daughter, I would certainly teach her the same as you stated above. But, I’d also teach her the reason for it – and that it’s not right. I understand that ..and the desire for her protection.

I agree with you; yet, in some respects I don’t.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@SABOTEUR So then I assume you spend 90% of your time focusing on how your wife and daughters can figure out who among their acquaintances is likely to rape them, seeing as how that’s the vast majority of rapes? Or is it just the clothes, which make little difference, and is largely about feeling like the woman can control the situation instead of actually preventing rape?

SABOTEUR's avatar

I didn’t once mention that “rape is right” or that women shouldn’t wear what they want to wear. I simply stated that women should prepare themselves for the possible negative consequences whenever they’re in public. Just being a woman, in some instances, is enough to attract unwanted attention.

It’s not “right”.

It is what it is.

Complain and blame, if you will, but don’t neglect preparing yourself.

That’s all I’m saying.

SABOTEUR's avatar

I spend 90% of my time focusing on how I can leave my home and reach my destination in one piece.

My wife does the same.

The teenage daughters are in la-la land. They were raised on Nick and Disney and are still surprised to learn that people aren’t quite as nice as on tv.

Just the other day, one of my daughters retrieved my wife’s pocketbook from the trunk of the car. Swinging it by the handles. As if someone watching wouldn’t knock her down attempting to snatch it. The same daughter riding with me one night through a more dangerous part of Baltimore…with her window open…texting. A bum standing idly by her window.

Oblivious to the fact that someone might try to snatch her and her texty thing right though the gosh darned window.

If you don’t want to wind up a statistic, you’re always mindful of where you are and who you’re with…men and women alike.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Mikewlf337 The issue is one of perception. Women who are dressed a certain way appear less vulnerable to victimizers than those who are dressed in other ways. But interestingly, the mode of dress that makes one appear less vulnerable is the opposite of the one that people recommend when trying to “help” women avoid rape.

Also, remember that how a woman dresses and how she acts are not necessarily coordinated. You seem to be eliding dress with behavior. Just because you think a particular mode of dress is “slutty” doesn’t mean the woman behaves in a way that you would consider “slutty.” I’ve known plenty of prudes who dressed provocatively and plenty of promiscuous people who dressed conservatively.

So when you talk about who is and isn’t aggressive, you aren’t saying anything on-topic at all. The issue is about who is perceived as being aggressive or not.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@SABOTEUR I don’t think anyone is saying that being careful is a bad thing. The issue being raised by @MyNewtBoobs is different, I think, and has two parts. The first part of the issue is that the people who are doing something wrong that needs to be fixed is the rapists, not their targets. Eliminating the elements of our culture that allow rapists to rationalize their actions seems to get at the source of the problem, whereas telling women to learn how to protect themselves seems to say “men rape, better just learn how to deal with it.” This isn’t to say that women shouldn’t learn how to protect themselves, but only that leaving it at that or treating self-defense as the main way of dealing with the issue is unsatisfactorily incomplete.

The second part of the issue is that telling women to dress differently or not go to certain places treats 4% of the problem while leaving 96% of the problem unaddressed. The vast majority of women are raped by people they know, and typically by someone with whom they have a close relationship of some kind (friend, lover, or potential lover). Such people do not care how their targets are dressed and do not attack in dark alleys. So again, your responses are unsatisfactorily incomplete. They ignore the realities of who is most likely to commit rape.

Here are two truisms that I doubt anyone on this thread would deny:

(1) Women should not have to defend themselves against rape because no one should rape.
(2) People do in fact rape, and so it would be valuable to be able to defend oneself against it.

Given that no one disagrees with either of those, the question seems to become “what is the best way of addressing the fact that people do in fact rape, despite the fact that they should not do so?” Focusing our efforts on stranger rape, which accounts for only 4% of rapes overall, just seems woefully indadequate.

SABOTEUR's avatar

The first part of the issue is that the people who are doing something wrong that needs to be fixed is the rapists, not their targets.

If rapists could be fixed, there’d be no issue. Apparently, that’s not a viable solution.

…telling women to learn how to protect themselves seems to say “men rape, better just learn how to deal with it.”

Fair assumption. Since rapists (or any other criminal act) can’t be eliminated, it stands to reason that everyone should do what they can to avoid becoming a statistic.

…treating self-defense as the main way of dealing with the issue is unsatisfactorily incomplete.

Absolutely. Until a satisfactory solution is obtained, a woman might want to do what she can to avoid becoming a statistic.

The vast majority of women are raped by people they know, and typically by someone with whom they have a close relationship of some kind (friend, lover, or potential lover).

Though I don’t have any proof, it’s unreasonable to assume the rapist just suddenly became a rapist. It’s probably a good bet that some kind of clue was given to indicate the close relative or the loved one might be a bit unstable. Much easier to believe “he would never hurt me” despite clues to the contrary.

SABOTEUR's avatar

Focusing our efforts on stranger rape, which accounts for only 4% of rapes overall, just seems woefully indadequate.

Absolutely correct. The original question, though, doesn’t address rape by men the woman knows, so the answers are apparently skewed to address the question as posed. I bet that if the question was asked without reference to how a woman is dressed, you would probably have received a different type response.

Personally, I don’t believe in “blame the victim”. But, I also don’t believe in blaming things that happen to me solely on other people or outside circumstances. I bear some responsibility for what happens in my life. I guess how much responsibility for self a person should observe is up to each individual.

incendiary_dan's avatar

@SABOTEUR Said ”If rapists could be fixed, there’d be no issue. Apparently, that’s not a viable solution.

Rapists can be “fixed”. Didn’t I mention my machete collection? :P

SABOTEUR's avatar

@incendiary_dan I completely forgot about your collection. Thanks for the correction.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@incendiary_dan So…..what part are you gonna use the machete on, the little head or the big one?

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Still trying to get to the crux of ”slutty dressing” we should know what the official definition is because I posted it up top, but in case you missed it a short review:
a. A person, especially a woman, considered sexually promiscuous.
b. A woman prostitute.

2. A slovenly woman; a slattern.
Slut or slattern is a pejorative term applied to an individual who is considered to have loose sexual morals or who is sexually promiscuous. The term is generally applied to women and was an insult or offensive term of disparagement, meaning “dirty or slovenly.”
Definition of SLUT
chiefly British : a slovenly woman
a : a promiscuous woman; especially : prostitute b : a saucy girl : minx

The operative word seems to be promiscuous which to many is a nebulous term. How does a mini or skinny jeans showing camel toe have to do with promiscuity?

When posing the question here it seems to think many want to toss out the official definition and make up their own.

Which gets me to wonder if this is the prevailing logic? A gal who is dressed in an over-sized jersey top and baggy sweats would not or cannot be a slut even if she is the neighborhood bicycle (everyone gets a ride). Show up at her house with some chips and a Pepsi, a little chitchat, and under 12 minutes the bloke is naked with her in the bed boinking like bunnies. Even if this repeats scenario repeats itself an average six times a week she is no slut because she do not dress in heels booty shorts, or low cut tops.

However, what if she has an older sister who dressed sexy. Who wears booty shorts, minis (commando even), halter and spaghetti tops, never wears a bra, is a virgin, never let a guy get past first base unless he put in 14 months of more of dedicated courting, and never to third base, over the clothe or under; is she a slut by what she wears.

Raven_Rising's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central Thank you for finding those definitions of “slutty”. So according to those definitions, it seems that its based on what the culture in question thinks a sexually assertive or promiscuous woman might look like rather than the reality.

OK, so it is a value judgement based on gender and cultural perception that has no bearing on whether or not a woman gets raped yet still gets tossed around during the investigation and trial regardless as some sort of mitigating circumstance of why the rape might have happened in the first place. Got it!

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Raven_Rising It slutty dress comes up in a rape trial if she ever turns him in to get to that point it is because the term is miss used and miss understood. Look here on how all over the board people are board here. Forget about the official definition, some people still connect to what cotton/Spandex garment is worn. In a trial they male the same mistake as trying to gage promiscuity by how much skin is showing.

What people thinks still doesn’t change how much attention it brings even if mislabeled. Even if you believe all that butter dripping over the pop corn is bad the smell will still grab your attention more than a Twinkie, which might be just as bad or worse.

augustlan's avatar

‘Slutty’ is a red herring. I don’t care if a woman is having consensual sex 100 times a day. She is not any more ‘deserving’ of rape than a nun. Period, the end.

chewhorse's avatar

My Gawd! It’s about time.. It took a hell of a trip getting here at the end of the line.. Man, whatta line! It’s been so long, I think I forgot the question.. Oh yeah!.. uh, NO..

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Okay, I’m dressed like a total slut right now. Someone come rape me so I can have yet another reason for which to blame myself.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate Okay, I’m dressed like a total slut right now. That is mostly the whole point, there is no such thing as dressing like a slut, a slut is who you are not what you wear. The misuse or misunderstanding of which is maybe a small but important part of stranger rape or even rape by family members, bosses, and friends. They see a woman dressed highly sexy and equal that to slutty, which interns says she is loose and practically has sex with a cigarette butt if it had a dumbstick so it makes them think of sex; more over, sex with her. Then people not all will say she caused it by dressing stutty/overly sexy. By definition a woman cannot dress slutty. Trying to define what that is a Folie à deux.
It has never been about a woman deserving to be raped or accusing the rapist because he misunderstood overly sexual dress as slutty as society had.

I would say like it or not, you lock your home when you leave, no one has the right to come trespass on your home if you left the doors wide open and the lights on, but everyone will not be honorable and respect your property rights and will rip you off silly. That is why I am sure you lock your doors when you leave and your car doors too. So, as women you can’t lock your body so you have to be aware of where you are and who is around you. That is just the real of the situation. I have the right to walk anywhere there is a public street but I am not going to walk through a neighborhood I know a bunch of skin heads, and Neo Nazi lived unarmed at 11:30pm. I am far more likely to buy myself a trip to the ER than if I were downtown in the restaurant district at that same time.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central Ummm…. my comment was completely tongue in cheek. It was a simple, sarcastic joke, after all the debate about dress code for potential rape victims, and was meant strictly for the purpose of causing a smile or a brief giggle, or even a fellow jelly commenting that they are on their way to my house. It’s okay… breathe.

manolla's avatar

Rape victims, like any other victims, are victims, and can’t be blamed for the crime commited against them.
That doesn’t mean though, that we shouldn’t take any precauations we see necesarry to prevent the crime.

Answer this question




to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther