"asking for it"

One of the most common responses to someone sharing their story of being sexually assaulted is when outsiders decide the survivor was "asking for it." Let's make one thing clear... NOBODY is EVER asking to be raped. It doesn't matter what they are wearing, where they are, what they look like, how they act, how much they had to drink, or any other arbitrary rule made up to take the blame off of the rapist and onto the survivor. 

While at Penn State one of my instuctors, in a class focused on activism against sexual and domestic violence, showed the class this video and some people still argued that if the woman was wearing a short skirt she "knew what she was getting herself into." No. It doesn't work that way. She has the right to wear what she wants, when she wants, and be free from harassment and sexual assault.

Just in case it hasn't been made clear to you, what a woman (or anyone for that matter) is wearing does not give you the opportunity to decide what she is interested in doing with you. She chose to wear that outfit because it is what makes her feel comfortable in her own skin. It is not an invitation and it certainly is not an excuse for you to rape her. When you wake up in the morning do you look in the mirror and choose your outfit in an effort to get raped? NO. ABSOLUTELY NOT. Women don't do that either. 

So the next time you are walking down the street, hanging out in class, at a party, or at a bar remember this: Her outfit is her decision and she has a right to wear whatever she wants. You do not get to make any assumptions about what she wants from you. If you are interested in talking to her because you find her attractive or you want to have a conversation with her, talk to her like a human being. Be respectful. She is not a piece of meat. She is not there to be your eye-candy. Do not sexually assault her. 


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