Slutwalking is stupid

Now I realise I’m courting extreme feminist abuse by this post, but so be it.

Australian popular culture always seems to follow North American examples no matter how silly e.g. “gangsta rap”.  So I suppose it was inevitable that the phenomenon of the “slutwalk” would rapidly be emulated here, mostly by young women with little or no feminist consciousness for more substantive issues like equal pay.

Apparently the “slutwalk” movement arose after a Toronto police officer dared to suggest that dressing in a “sluttish” manner on the streets, especially late at night, might not be a really great idea.  Many young women reacted with outrage and began street demos where they dressed in “slutty” outfits.  I guess it has some kinship with the “Reclaim the Night” demos that have become an annual event in Australia, or the public reaction to Muslim cleric Sheikh Hilaly’s remarks about scantily dressed women as “uncovered meat” (who, implicitly, were courting rape).

However, I can’t help questioning the commonsense rationality of “slutwalking”.  Certainly the proposition that the primary responsibility for curbing aggressive responses to women who may be dressed in a highly sexualised way rests with the blokes exhibiting those aggressive responses is undeniably true.

Conversely, however, does it make sense to deliberately and unnecessarily behave in a way that a predictable proportion of aggressive, testosterone-driven males with poor impulse control will treat as an open invitation for a root?  How does “slutwalking” differ in substance from the hypothetical example of a middle class person of either gender parading around the streets of a notoriously poor and violent inner city suburb displaying their iPod, iPhone, iPad and a wallet obviously stuffed with money?  For a police officer to suggest that this might be unwise behaviour isn’t in any sense condoning the actions of the thieves who will almost certainly proceed to commit an opportunistic mugging.  It’s just commonsense advice.  “Slutwalking” isn’t a courageous political act, it’s just mindless, imitative, populist stupidity.

About Ken Parish

Ken Parish is a legal academic at Charles Darwin University, with research areas in public law (constitutional and administrative law) and teaching & learning theory and practice. He has been a legal academic for almost 12 years. Before that he ran a legal practice in Darwin for 15 years and was a Member of the NT Legislative Assembly for almost 4 years in he early 1990s.
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81 Responses to Slutwalking is stupid

  1. murph the surf. says:

    Oh dear – and you didn’t dare include a photo either!

  2. Pedro says:

    You’re getting old Ken. But seriously, how is it different to going to Cronulla beach in a burka?

  3. Tel says:

    Such protest would count for little unless the girls got themselves wasted on cheap bourbon first. I mean we have rights in this country, and there’s no point putting those rights to the test unless you put them all the way to the test. I completely support the freedom for all citizens to wear as much or as little as they like, and to drink as little or as much as might suit them.

    Should any troublemaker attempt to molest or harm any woman under such a situation it is the absolute duty of the state and the police, to take a clear statement (presuming there are survivors) and put the matter into a database where it can wait to be investigated without fear or favour. I pay a fair bit of protection money to the state, and I expect that protection to apply to all citizens on an equal basis.

    In the computing industry we learnt the hard way what happens when you try to build idiot-proof systems.

  4. Fyodor says:

    What Murph said. 1.5 stars, Margaret.

  5. Ken Parish says:

    it is the absolute duty of the state and the police, to take a clear statement (presuming there are survivors) and put the matter into a database where it can wait to be investigated without fear or favour.””

    Well yes. But leaving aside the tongue in cheek element, that isn’t the point. Is there anything wrong in principle or practice with a police officer giving public advice that young women who dress scantily when out at night on their own are putting themselves at risk? It doesn’t mean the police would fail to investigate any resulting sexual assault without fear or favour, just that they’re exercising a public function of advising people not to behave in a needlessly risky fashion. In the best of all possible worlds we would not have any sleazebags likely to commit opportunistic rapes in such situations, but we don’t live in the best of all possible worlds.

    Of course it would be otherwise if the police were in the habit of warning women not to go out dressed scantily while making no effort to warn young men prone to commit sexual assaults, but that isn’t the case. Indeed it’s mostly that which differentiates this situation from Sheikh Hilaly. He clearly believes/d that it’s all the woman’s fault (including morally) and that the bloke should not be blamed. OTOH the Toronto cop wasn’t suggesting that women were morally at fault nor was he condoning the potential rapist’s actions in any way, he was just suggesting that it was needlessly risk-taking behaviour on the woman’s part. That is clearly the case, and the entire “slutwalking” phenomenon now seems to have entrenched/expanded such silly behaviour as if it was a meaningful political act.

  6. conrad says:

    Ken,

    I think you have it from the wrong angle — I think the slutwalk here is really an awareness campaign against victim blaming rather than a particular protest against the police officer. If you look up the various research on victim blaming, you’ll find it’s very prevalent amongst both males and females. Given this, I don’t mind it, and I don’t mind reclaim the night either for that matter.

  7. Ken Parish says:

    OK. An even sillier reductio ad absurdum. Would it constitute victim-blaming or offender-condoning to suggest to a group of prison visitors that it might be a tad unwise to succumb to any temptation to enter Hannibal Lecter’s cell naked and holding a flensing knife and a bottle of beef marinade?

  8. Incurious and Unread (aka Dave) says:

    “Following a spate of robberies, a police spokesman recommended that iPhones should not be used outside the home after dark.”

    What would the response be to that, do you think, Ken?

  9. Ken Parish says:

    Dave

    No doubt quite sensible advice, at least in isolated, dark public places. Can you imagine anyone then mounting “Dark alley iPhoning” demos?

  10. Paul Frijters says:

    I always find these things fascinating because of the unspoken but apparently universally accepted ‘stylised facts’ about the relations between the sexes:

    – men are more desperate than woman and thus have the role of having to chase desirable women.
    – women play the role of attractor and it is well-understood that their dress is a signal to men, both of their wish to be chased and (in expectation) their willingness to entertain ‘bids’ from men.
    – it is up to social norms (self-restraint) and the legal enforcement of social norms (police) to ensure that, no matter how desperate they are, men must achieve their wishes via consensual means.

    If you reflect on it, this ‘game’ is interesting from an economic theory point of view in that it will always be optimal for both sides to push the envelope of the possibility set, i.e. there will be a race on the female side to be more daring and race on the male side to skirt on the border of the social norms. I believe the former is called being hot and the latter is called being cool.

    As to the role of the police, I can understand that from their point of view they want to have at least temptation as possible because that makes their work easier (this includes the temptation for robbery and cannibalism), but in this particular case there is no real possibility of taking away the temptation. All that can be done on the side of individual women is that vary the degree to which they raise the desires of men. The aggregate desire is more or less a constant. Hence in that sense the statement by the police officer is naive and the slutwalk women are right that as a group they are best served by an absolute protection. Individual women might manipulate the probability of male agression, but as a group?

  11. Incurious and Unread (aka Dave) says:

    Who said anything about “dark alleys”? If a policeman had said, “women should avoid isolated, dark alleys late at night” I can’t imagine anybody getting upset.

    Hannibal Lecter, dark alleys… . You must realise how weak your case is if you have to resort to these extreme hypotheticals rather than the matter in question.

  12. Ken Parish says:

    The dark alleys label was attached to your iPhone hypothetical. For young women on their own at night in scanty dress, the risk from aggressive predatory males is high even in brightly lit public places. If you weren’t so intent on winning the argument I doubt you would even question the general proposition. Have a look at sexual and general assault figures in and near urban CBD areas. Paul F may have a point about aggregates, but the police officer concerned was giving advice to individual young women about how to minimise risk of sexual assault. If the Toronto policeman was simultaneously failing to ascribe primary blame to the males who commit those assaults, or if police in general were failing to take vigorous action to stop them, “slutwalking” demos might have some sensible point. However police DO take sexual assaults seriously both in Australia and Canada, and I haven’t read anything that recounts the context of the Toronto policeman’s offending remarks. Do you know what else he said? In the absence of context these demos are just meaningless self-indulgent exhibitionism.

  13. Leinad says:

    Re: “gangsta rap”

    Early one mornin’ while makin’ the rounds
    I took a shot of cocaine and I shot my woman down
    I went right home and I went to bed
    I stuck that lovin’ .44 beneath my head

    – ‘Cocaine Blues’ MC Ca$h,

  14. desipis says:

    Ken,

    My view is that it depends quite a bit on how the (allegedly) offending comment is phrased. The only actual quote I can find in this instance is from the slutwalk website and it’s unclear how accurate it is. Ths quote is: “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized.”

    To me this comment isn’t ‘victim blaming’, however I can see how one might interpret it in that way. The problem comes from two inferences that can be read into the comment (or at least would be compatable with the comment). First that “avoid[ing] dressing like sluts” is somehow a complete protection from being victimised. Second is that “dressing like sluts” is an essential part of all victimisation. It’s these inferences, rather than any comment about risk, that could be interpreted as ‘victim blaming’ through implying that women are in control (and hence at fault) of their victimisation. I think it’s quite unfair to assert that the police officer was implying these things though (absent a clear pattern of behaviour by that officer to suggest otherwise).

    While someone who is advocating for victims and attempting to raise awareness of an apparent acceptance of these ideas, might view this as a case useful to their cause, a ‘slutwalk’ is going to lack the required nuace to deal with the issue. The ‘slutwalk’ completed misses that identifying such risks is useful in combatting future victimisation. It might be a good idea to encourage police organisations to clearly frame their advice as risk information and avoid any possible inferences about value judgements. If a perceived culture of victim blaming material contributes to the psychological harm of victims then it might be worth taking action to remove that perception.

    I’ve also seen less justifiable arguments from the more radical elements of feminism. One is that any acknowledgement that women dressing a certain way can drive men to certain behaviour normalises and thus increases that behaviour. Another is that informing women about such risks is a method of controlling their behaviour in a way that contributes to the patriarchy and thus doing so is wrong.

  15. Chris Johnson says:

    Hello ken

    A lot depends on a point of fact: are women who dress like ‘sluts’ more likely to be attacked? This is a common assumption, I know, but I would be interested to see the evidence.

    I remember listening to a program (on Radio National? I can’t recall) in which men who had been convicted of assaults on women in public spaces were asked how they chose their victims. Provocative dress did not come into it. The typical target was a woman who was alone, was small in stature, did not display physically confident behaviour (standing tall and walking purposefully is a good way to stay safe) and had long hair in a ponytail.

    Chris

  16. Pingback: Club Troppo » In defence of sluts and slutwalks

  17. lauredhel says:

    You know, I really live for the day when men will stop comparing my vagina to their wallets, mobile phones, and cars. Sadly, I don’t think it is going to come anytime soon.

    And Ken? I wholly support your right to “deliberately” walk around in muscle shirts and arseless chaps without getting raped and scolded for it.

  18. Patrick says:

    I don’t believe I have ever even thought to compare anyone’s vagina to any of the listed items, or really any of my possessions at all.

    Is there some deeper meaning that I am too simple-minded to get?

  19. Ken Parish says:

    I think Paul Frijters nails it quite well in this passage of his post:

    “One might counter by saying that a police officer might reasonably suggest to the baker that he should take due care in not abandoning his shop while his bread is on display, and that parents should not leave their kids unattended with males they do not trust. In the contest of dresses that would be a statement of the type ‘when you look desirable but are not seeking sexual advances, take care not to be alone in dark alleys or alone and drunk around men you do not trust’. That is the type of sensible advice any mother and father (I have 2 daughters nearing that age) would give their offspring. They would not tell the baker to stop advertising bread and for kids to stop going to school and to church.”

    If the Toronto police officer gave nuanced advice of the sort Paul exemplifies above (i.e. that one’s dress is one of numerous potential risk factors that may make one more vulnerable to sexual assault depending on the combination of circumstances) then that is perfectly sensible and even necessary advice for which he should not have been criticised. OTOH if all he said was “if you dress like a slut you might get raped” or words to that effect then he deserves the criticism he has received. The thing is, none of the media or blog coverage that I’ve seen details the context of the police officer’s remarks, so none of us is in fact in a position to comment in any meaningful sense.

    Oh, and lauredhel, I most certainly would not resent someone advising me that I would be unwise to walk around in muscle shirts and arseless chaps in Oxford Street, Sydney on my own late at night, especially when a bit inebriated, if I didn’t want to receive (perhaps aggressive) sexual advances from blokes. That is, dress is a risk factor and there’s nothing wrong with pointing that out, at least to young people some of whom might not have considered the facts carefully before. It’s one thing to make political points about basic human rights and freedoms and double standards, but it doesn’t necessarily help an individual who has been raped and traumatised for life by some scumbag because the people who could have helped them with some practical advice abour risk management are too afraid to give it for fear of being demonised by thoughtless feminist ideologues.

  20. lauredhel says:

    “[…] dress is a risk factor […]”

    Show your work.

  21. lauredhel says:

    “it doesn’t necessarily help an individual who has been raped and traumatised for life by some scumbag because the people who could have helped them with some practical advice abour risk management are too afraid to give it for fear of being demonised by thoughtless feminist ideologues.”

    Ken, us girls start being told as toddlers to “close our legs” lest we inflame male passions, to not hang upside down on the monkey bars, and it only escalates from there. You really think we don’t _know_? You think we were never warned? You think we haven’t spent our entire lives looking over our shoulders, arranging our keys between our knuckles, crossing the street when someone walks too close behind, examining every.single.interaction and excursion we ever have for rape potential? And then getting assaulted and raped by “trusted” men, by teachers, by boyfriends, by husbands, in school uniforms, in doctors’ offices, on crowded buses in broad daylight, in trackie pants, while making out? You get to lecture us on what it’s like when you’ve lived your entire life like this.

  22. Tel says:

    I really live for the day when men will stop comparing my vagina to their wallets, mobile phones, and cars. Sadly, I don’t think it is going to come anytime soon.

    I was scanning the comments out of order and when I hit that I became consumed with figuring out which previous comment this statement was an answer to, but it’s a puzzle I’m unable to solve.

    And Ken? I wholly support your right to “deliberately” walk around in muscle shirts and arseless chaps without getting raped and scolded for it.

    A while back we all agreed to keep quiet about what happened that night, I swear I deleted all the photos.

    Seriously though, I admit that I do lock my door when I leave the house, and I’ve worked a lot of jobs but never ever have a bunch of police come rushing in to help me out doing my work. Just doesn’t seem to happen, can’t think why.

    Mind you, I did live for many years with a rather slack approach to household security and I never had a problem… until someone slipped in and robbed the place. Needless to say, at the time I had nothing worth stealing and nothing of mine was stolen. However, a woman who was living with me lost some jewelery that once belonged to her grandmother, and had great sentimental value but probably only so-so resale value. She was very hurt by that so now, I lock the door every day.

    Thing is, I know what a secure building looks like, and I know that my house never will be that. When I got the “Kevin Rudd” up-top, the guy literally walked straight in through the roof tiles, faster than it takes me to open the front door. That’s how I knew for sure this guy was good to do the job.

    I’ll leave it as an exercise for the reader to figure out how their wallet… errr vagina… fits into this story ;-)

    I stuck that lovin’ .44 beneath my head

    Small arms are the great equalizer.

    They also devalue the state/police protection product offering, and encourage police unions to ask for higher wages. Anyhoe, I’m off to do a google image search on “hiding a nine under a G string”. Full report on that, later tonight.

  23. Don Arthur says:

    Ken – Would you be offended if someone told you that the best way to avoid being demonised by thoughtless feminist ideologues was to stop making misogynistic comments?

  24. Ken Parish says:

    Don

    I don’t know whether the police officer made mysoginistic comments because the context has not been published to the best of my knowledge. If you’re suggesting that my own comments are mysogynistic, however, then I utterly reject any such suggestion i.e. it would be difficult if not impossible to overstate the extent to whcih I would be offended if that’s what you mean.

  25. Don Arthur says:

    Ken – The word ‘misogynistic’ signals a judgment about a person’s behaviour.

    ‘Slut’ is also a judgmental word.

  26. Ken Parish says:

    Don

    Yes, but that simply underlines the fact that we can’t know what judgment it was reasonable/sensible to make about the policeman’s words unless we actually know what they were in their context. It’s understandable that many people are reacting as they are to his words quoted in isolation. But it mtakes a world of difference whether they were uttered in isolation or as part of a much more complex, nuanced message which canvassed a range of social and situational factors that may contribute to risk of sexual assault and that can be managed.

  27. Patrick says:

    Lauredhel, my daughter, fwiw, is going to grow up learning self-defence and how to shoot a small reliable pistol.

  28. desipis says:

    [email protected],

    Who exactly is the ‘we’ you are referring to in your comment? Are you claiming your perspective is that of all women?

    Is it possible that some women haven’t had the same education or upbringing as you?

    Is it possible that some women have different values to you and would adjust their behaviour due to awareness of such risks?

    Is it possible that a cautionary authority figure could provide a balance to a sexualised risk taking subculture imposed through peer pressure?

  29. desipis says:

    Show your work.

    Given we have a police officer (presumably) with experience in the subject, shouldn’t it be up to those attacking the comments to “show their work”?

  30. Don Arthur says:

    we can’t know what judgment it was reasonable/sensible to make about the policeman’s words unless we actually know what they were in their context.

    Right. Who knows, maybe he was trying to parody unacceptable attitudes to women (doing a bit of play acting). And in that case you might say his behaviour was imprudent rather than morally reprehensible.

    In which case you can imagine a colleague saying to him:

    “I know what you meant mate, but everyone knows how risky it is to say things like around a bunch of university feminists.”

    “So you’re saying I should shut up and stop complaining?”

    “Yup. You had it coming.”

    So the question is: Can the officer complain that this treatment is unfair without being hypocritical?

    ***

    Of course, the outrage and the slutwalks aren’t directed against this particular police officer. Even if it turned out he was quoted out of context, the slutwalks wouldn’t have been canceled. The comments were just a trigger.

    When a person in authority makes a comment like that, what many people hear is “Women can’t expect to be treated with respect if they go out in public wearing make up and revealing clothes.”

    And the protesters response is “Women should be treated with respect regardless of how they dress.”

    That’s what I think the slutwalks are about. Women are insisting that they should be treated with respect.

  31. Anna Winter says:

    But it mtakes a world of difference whether they were uttered in isolation or as part of a much more complex, nuanced message which canvassed a range of social and situational factors that may contribute to risk of sexual assault and that can be managed.

    It really doesn’t, Ken.

  32. Fyodor says:

    That’s what I think the slutwalks are about. Women are insisting that they should be treated with respect.

    Is that what the slutwalks are about? I admit I was confused about the objective.

    Now that sluts are walking free, we can all relax, comfortable in the knowledge that, due to their walk down the street amongst a group of like-minded placarding sloganists, these women have won the respect that is their due from all those blokes who were otherwise going to judge them for dressing sluttily.

    Job well done.

    Now onto harsher punishment for parole violators world peace.

    Per ardua ad astra.

  33. Tel says:

    That’s what I think the slutwalks are about. Women are insisting that they should be treated with respect.

    There are two sides to being treated with respect, it’s one of those things you very rarely get by just insisting.

  34. Don Arthur says:

    Tel – By respect I mean not being leered at, insulted, groped or assaulted just because your female, in a public place and dressed a certain way.

    Is this something individual women are supposed to earn?

  35. Tel says:

    In an ideal world, all people would be entitled to go about their business without interference and associate only with those others that they voluntarily choose to associate with.

  36. Peter Patton says:

    Many young women reacted with outrage and began street demos where they dressed in “slutty” outfits. I guess it has some kinship with the “Reclaim the Night” demos that have become an annual event in Australia, or the public reaction to Muslim cleric Sheikh Hilaly’s remarks about scantily dressed women as “uncovered meat” (who, implicitly, were courting rape).

    Of course these white-bread bourgie chicks do not move in the same circles of those chicks, who dress like sluts, coz they are sluts, proudly so. Unlike the vile “offended” and “outrage” little miss Vanillas who had it all sussed by 2nd year Gender Studies, Hot-blooded, sluttish fucks of the century, do not dress sluttishly just on Mardi Gras night, they do it calculatedly. Oh amd pssst to Miss 23 majoring in Gender Studies, the real slut does it doing so knowing it maxes the odds of her fucking a Bulldog tonight at Bankstown Leagues.

    Sans zip.

    As she pulls up her nickerless jeans, she tells her fuck-stick du jour to call her. If she’s got time, she’ll teach me how to master the game, taking Melbourne sluts by storm. 50 penises in 50 carparks in 50 days. What a gal!

    The Born Slut fumbles for her revolver. Her contempt at the Rock Chopping and Presbyterian bus loads of girls from MLC, and Monte Saint Angelo, dressing like sluts for night, hiring mini buses to confront the misogyny and patriarchy with their “message sending’ “We’re slut” badges is palpable.

    I’ve always loved sluts. My sluts consider it so bedint that these Slut Goddesses in training, like the sloppy young things airin’ it out in men’s dunnies across Melbourne clubs and pubs to be such amateurs.

    As one of my favorite sluts – a now 40 year old women, who once bragged she was a life-support system for a cunt, bragged only last week: “I’ve had 4 abortions already this year, what’s the best these wannabe will go home as dry as they left.

    Poor dears.

  37. Ken Parish says:

    Derrida Derider’s analogy is much more apt than any that I dreamed up.

  38. Anna Winter says:

    It really isn’t until you can respond to those annoying questions about proof. Walking in front of a car is not like wearing a skimpy outfit. The policeman’s “advice” was like suggesting that you wearing bright coloured clothes while being a pedestrian may compel drivers to hit you with their car.

  39. Ken Parish says:

    Anna’s comment highlights why DD’s analogy is undeniably imperfect. A rapist’s actions are in every sense willed/deliberate, whereas a drunken driver’s collision (as opposed to the conduct that got him drunk in the first place) is nearly always unwilled and merely reckless. Nevertheless, DD’s analogy highlights in other respects the fundamental ethical and practical problems with the slutwalking response.

    I simply don’t accept that a policeman who merely includes dress as one of numerous risk factors for sexual assault merits any criticism at all let alone the shrill condemnation he has received. OTOH I don’t know whether that was the context of the Toronto policeman’s remarks. Nor am I arguing per se that demonstrating against “victim-blaming” is anything other than praiseworthy. However perhaps a less problematic pretext might usefully have been chosen.

    Nor could anything I have said reasonably be taken as suggesting that rape is ever condonable, understandable or excusable by reference to the victim’s conduct or at all. It’s that point which I think DD’s analogy underlines quite effectively. I simply don’t think it’s possible to ignore the inevitable effect of the slutwalking phenomenon of rendering prudent and desirable conveying of rational information about risk management off-limits from now on.

    Nor does my own experience as a parent of teenage girls vindicate Anna’s previous proposition that all young women are aware of the risks because they have them drummed into them from early childhood. It may be true for Anna, but my parental experience suggests to the contrary that lots of teenage girls (just as much as boys) think they’re immortal and invincible and that most parental injunctions just don’t apply to them. The only persusasive rebuttal of that phenomenon is that police officers will usually be the very last people that a teenage girl who is so minded is likely to listen to. Thus the Toronto policeman was at the very least wasting his breath and taking a pointless risk of social censure for no likely gain at all. He should have kept his mouth shut, but for pragmatic rather than moral reasons.

  40. Anna Winter says:

    I think you’ll find it was a different female that made those other comments, Ken. There are more than one of us. /snark

    You’re still avoiding the whole question of whether or not it’s true that skimpy outfits increase risk of assault, even though the entire question of whether it’s victim-blaming or prudent advice hinges on it.

  41. Ken Parish says:

    Anna

    For reasons of lack of time I unwisely relied on increasingly fallible memory and failed to look back up the thread before posting the comment to see who said what. When dealing with commenters happy to take every point however cheap/spurious, that is especially unwise. /snark.

    On the point you claim I’m avoiding, it’s essentially the same argument that tobacco advertisers make: our advertising doesn’t really attract people who wouldn’t commit this behaviour anyway, at most it might influence them to change brands.

    No doubt that too is an imperfect analogy, but the point it’s intended to make is that signalling behaviour is designed to send particular signals. Almost undeniably the signals are received by at least some males (after all that is at least a significant part of the signaller’s purpose), unfortunately including some who the sender did not wish to attract and who may may exhibit extreme violent tendencies and a lack of concern for the existence or otherwise of actual consent subsequent to the initial signalling behaviour. Since all of these consequences are entirely predictable but nevertheless apparently not obvious to quite a few young women who engage in such signalling behaviour (at least in my own subjective and current parental experience), my basic and indeed sole concern is that the slutwalking “movement” may serve to deter the conveying of desirable risk management information in the future.

  42. Anna Winter says:

    No doubt that too is an imperfect analogy, but the point it’s intended to make is that signalling behaviour is designed to send particular signals.

    But you haven’t addressed the question of how slutty clothes might be more powerful than a “No” uttered by the woman. Beautifully packaged cigarettes probably make people more likely to want to buy them, but if the shopkeeper tells you that packet is my personal stash, it isn’t for sale, and so you steal it, is that because the manufacturers took a risk in making their product so desirable?

  43. lauredhel says:

    Aha, Ken, at 42 I have realised where you’re going completely, utterly wrong. You seem to think that rape is sex.

    Women _may_ dress in a way you or other might label “slutty” when they are considering having sex. (Or they may do it because of the various reasons tigtog has outlined so thoroughly and clearly on the LP thread, like being in the possession of large breasts.) They may do this because they want to have sex with a particular person, or because they wish to look nice for that particular person, or because they are looking for someone to have sex with, or because they’re going out with their friends and they’ve dressed up nicely together for fun, or for a huge panoply of other reasons.

    What women are not saying (and I do not like the “advertising” comparison, because, as I have tried to say over and over and over, women are not commodities) is “I would like to be violently attacked and raped”.

    Rape isn’t sex. Get that sorted, and the rest will follow.

  44. desipis says:

    You’re still avoiding the whole question of whether or not it’s true that skimpy outfits increase risk of assault, even though the entire question of whether it’s victim-blaming or prudent advice hinges on it.

    Isn’t that sort of the point though? Shouldn’t we wait until we have evidence before we condemn those attempting to raise awareness of what they perceive to be a real risk?

  45. Ken Parish says:

    “But you haven’t addressed the question of how slutty clothes might be more powerful than a “No” uttered by the woman.”

    OK. I’ll try another analogy which could also be twisted by someone intent on doing so rather than seeking to understand and learn from each other. There is said to be scientific evidence that some colours attract sharks (although other studies suggest they’re colour-blind). Less controversially it seems that a waved red cape tends to inflame the unreasoning anger of a bull. Now, even if an individual’s subjective intention in waving a red cape in a field containing a bull is to attract another human being and “have sex with a particular person, or because they wish to look nice for that particular person, or because they are looking for someone to have sex with, or because they’re going out with their friends and they’ve dressed up nicely together for fun” ( and no, it hasn’t escaped my attention that it was Lauredhel who said that), it remains entirely sensible and responsible for some other genuinely concerned person to point out to them that waving a red cape in a field containing a bull is a really unwise idea.

    Of course, the major defect in my latest analogy (although you may find others, which I’ll certainly seriously consider) is that you would hope a male human being would not be quite as unreasoning, dangerous, potentially violent and bovinely stupid as a bull, but observation suggests that one’s hopes in those respects may well be misplaced. In any event, whether potential rapist male humans are readily capable of controlling their violent impulses or not (and I’m well aware of the research and rhetoric that rape is an act of violence rather than sex, not to mention the rhetoric without research backing that all males are potential rapists), the utterly predictable fact is that many of those males don’t and won’t restrain their urges (whether they’re predominantly violent or sexual, and whether they could do so if they chose). Should young women who haven’t internalised that message be denied extra opportunities to learn it except for overwhelmingly strong reasons?

    Note that I’m not saying that this hypothetical red cape waver should deny herself the freedom to wave a red cape for evermore and in all circumstances. Waving it when there are other people around (preferably including those you aimed to attract or impress) and/or a ready escape route from any bulls who may be present would no doubt lie within the range of rational choices on a risk/benefit approach. She might even choose to wave the red cape in the bull’s field as long as she’s clearly aware of the risks, keeps close to the fence and is ready to run like hell.

  46. Anna Winter says:

    Should young women who haven’t internalised that message be denied extra opportunities to learn it except for overwhelmingly strong reasons?

    Learn what, though? That sharks like bright colours?

    Basically what you’re arguing is that slutty outfits say to some men that the wearer wants to have sex with anyone and everyone, and even crying “no!” may not be enough to override that message. It’s an extraordinary claim that needs some evidence. Otherwise it’s all just moral panic and focussing on fixing an imaginary cause, while the actual cause – rapists who don’t care about the word “no” – gets sidelined.

  47. Ken Parish says:

    OK. I give up. Even an unarmed truce (i.e. conceding that we may disagree with each other but now understand where the other is coming from and accept that it’s sincere, well intentioned and not utterly silly) seems out of reach. BTW for what it’s worth I accept that in relation to your position.

  48. Don Arthur says:

    Anna – I disagree with Ken about this but I think you could interpret his arguments a bit more charitably.

    Of course lauredhel is right to insist: “What women are not saying … is “I would like to be violently attacked and raped”. It’s not reasonable to claim that men are confused about this.

    I think Ken confused the issue when he referred to men treating women’s choice of clothing as an “open invitation”. But maybe his argument doesn’t hinge on the attackers forming any idea at all about what their victims want or don’t want.

    Is Ken saying bulls look at a flapping red cape and think “that man wants me to gore him”?

    Here’s hypothetical: If you lived in a community where a significant number of men looked at a women who wore revealing clothes and thought “that woman deserves to be raped”. Imagine also that the community’s legal authorities reinforced this view by failing to prosecute offenders. If a woman was visiting such a community, would it be wrong to advise her on how to dress?

    I shouldn’t have to say this but I will. I don’t think anyone deserves to be raped. Ever.

  49. Ken Parish says:

    “It’s not reasonable to claim that men are confused about this.”

    No, nor is that what I’m saying. However it’s beyond question that a significant number simply don’t care. Rape is no doubt more about violence and power than sex, but that isn’t really germane to the question of risk. The risk level is situational and manageable at least to an extent by young women.

    “Here’s hypothetical: …”

    Only the second half of this proposition is hypothetical, in that at least in recent decades it appears that police generally aren’t hesitant to prosecute offenders these days. But there’s lots of research showing that a very significant minority of young males DO believe that women who dress in revealing clothes deserve to be raped (“they’re asking for it” – if not from the rapist). That is the point I’ve been making (presumably incoherently) from the outset.

    Moreover, my answer to the question “would it be wrong to advise her on how to dress?” is conditional. No, but only if it was one of a number of items of practical advice about risk management (see below). If dressing “slutty” was the only advice the cop gave then that’s obnoxious, stupid and wrong and he deserved the condemnation he received.

    “I shouldn’t have to say this but I will. I don’t think anyone deserves to be raped. Ever.”

    In fact I’ve said it repeatedly.

    Finally, here’s the sort of risk management list that I would regard as appropriate for a police officer to present in an educational address to young women. It doesn’t in fact list scanty dress,but IMO it should as only ONE of numerous possible risk factors which can be managed:

    Most violence against women occurs within a relationship – that’s why learning how to build healthy relationships is so important. But trouble can happen outside relationships with strangers or people you don’t know well.

    Think about the things you can do to keep safe and out of trouble. This might include:

    Plan to go out and hang out in a group.
    Go with people you feel safe with and who you know have your best interests at heart.
    Look out for yourself and your friends – good friends make sure that their friends are safe and make safe choices.
    Have some transport plans to make sure you can get there and back safely.
    Let someone know (parents, brother/ sister, housemate) where you are going, and when you’ll be home. If your plans change let them know.
    Alcohol and sex can be a dangerous mix. If you are not in control of yourself, you won’t be able to control the situation.
    Remember if you are so drunk that you don’t know if the other person is consenting – stop. It could be rape. When you know that the other person is so drunk they may not be capable of giving consent – don’t do it – because this would be rape.
    Avoid being alone and isolated with someone you don’t know well. If you start to feel uncomfortable, go with your feelings, and get to a safe place as fast as you can.

    Agreeing to one type of activity such as kissing doesn’t mean there is a ‘green light’ for other sexual contact – remember it’s ok to change your mind and say “no” at any stage.

    You shouldn’t stop being careful just because you know the person you’re with – you may not know them as well as you think.

  50. Anna Winter says:

    I don’t think there is a more charitable interpretation. Let me be clear that I’m not saying that Ken or anyone here supports or agrees with the idea that anyone deserves to be raped. So everyone can stop with the defensiveness, I don’t think that.

    But there is no more charitable way of interpreting Ken’s argument that warning women not to dress slutty is a responsible thing to do, than as an argument that slutty dress somehow helps cause it. Because if you don’t think that slutty dress can cause men to disregard a plea to stop, then how is it in any way useful advice? And if you do think there’s a causal relationship then I repeat my request for some evidence.

  51. Don Arthur says:

    Anna – The reason I asked you about the hypothetical case was to work out where the disagreement lies.

    Maybe the real sticking point is about whether there’s a link between how women dress and the risk of rape.

    If there’s no link in countries like Canada and Australia then comments such as the Toronto police officer’s are not helpful advice. Given the language he used, it would be reasonable to interpret them as victim blaming.

  52. Don Arthur says:

    On a related issue – When clothing retailer Westco insisted female staff wear t-shirts bearing the slogan “Stop pretending you don’t want me”, there was an outcry:

    Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner Pru Goward welcomed Westco’s decision to withdraw the T-shirts.
    “If you put slogans like that on a T-shirt, you can’t expect your staff not to be harassed,” she said.

    Of course one of the main problems with this case is that Westco didn’t give employees a choice.
    But Goward and other critics seem to be saying that, at least in some cases, there’s a link between how a woman dresses and how men behave towards her.
    Should the critics have made it clear that they were not condoning male behaviour when commenting on the case?

  53. Patrick says:

    I like Don’s idea of using hypotheticals, or even case studies.

    1) I have three little sisters. My mother would happily let little sister #2 go jogging in the late evening by herself, whilst #1 sister, 3 years(!) older, was subject to a dusk curfew. My mother certainly didn’t think either of them deserved to be raped but she did know that smaller more fragile #1 sister was more likely to be attacked than larger rather un-fragile #2 sister.

    2) I have a little girl who one day will be much bigger and will want to go out at night. As I noted above she is going to learn self-defense, and depending on where we live, she will be encouraged to carry as well. And, when she goes out, I’ll probably have first rules and later suggestions based on things like where she’s going and who with…oh, and what she’s wearing…

    Would anyone commenting here do differently in either 1 or 2? Why/why not?

  54. Anna Winter says:

    Maybe the real sticking point is about whether there’s a link between how women dress and the risk of rape.

    No, I think the real sticking point is that it needs more than a link to be considered helpful advice, it needs to be a causal link that says that slutty clothes are so powerful that they will say “Yes” so loudly that it would outweigh the “No” actually voiced by the woman.

    Or is the causal link that rapists, as Patrick mentions above, target those they think are weak because they are more likely to get away with it, and that by constantly bringing women’s slutty clothes into the mix, are we in fact giving rapists a target they know will be less likely to fight back legally, because the system will think them partly to blame?

    A link between slutty clothes and increased sexual advances says nothing about how those increased sexual advances lead to increased sexual assaults, unless you think that woman’s voices don’t have any effect at all on men’s decisions.

    It isn’t a “security measure” to cover up in the same way that locking up your valuables is. How much security does a piece of fabric give? The analogy only works if you think slutty clothes are a big “rape me” sign. Is that what you think? Because I don’t find that offensive, I find it completely illogical and stupid.

  55. desipis says:

    Anna,

    So you’re suggesting that the warnings given about dress standards in another time and place do more to motivate a potential rapist than the gratuitous form or flesh right before their eyes? Evidence?

  56. Anna Winter says:

    I don’t need evidence, apparently. My explanation of the alleged link is as likely as Ken’s.

  57. Don Arthur says:

    Maybe we could establish what everyone here agrees on.

    Here are some claims I think aren’t at issue:

    1. Nobody deserves to be raped. No matter what they wear, how much they drink etc.

    2. Preventing rape should not be the victim’s responsibility (like 1 this is a normative claim).

    3. Focusing on the issue of how a women’s clothing and appearance affects the risk of rape can dstract attention from more important issues (eg norms about consent).

    4. Rape does not necessarily involve physical violence.

    5. If someone advises women not to go out “dressed like a slut” it’s reasonable to interpret this as a normative judgment about how women should and should not present themselves in public. People who use this kind of language shouldn’t be surprised that the people they’re talking to are angry and offended.

    6. Nobody here has any solid evidence that the way a woman dresses increases the risk of being raped in a country like Australia.

    Does anyone here disagree with any of these statements?

  58. Ken Parish says:

    I accept 1-4 inclusive (and have said so repeatedly on this thread). I do not accept that 5. will necessarily (or properly) be the case as long as the statement is made in the context of a fuller list of risk-managing behaviour (like the list I reproduced in #50) and the purport/intended message of “dressed like a slut” is carefully explained. It’s obviously a remark designed to shock and convey an emphatic message but it isn’t conveying an accusation at any member of the audience (unless they choose to take it that way). Thus it isn’t really analogous to your earlier “what if I called you a mysoginist?” example. The policeman wasn’t calling any audience memebr a slut, just colourfully describing the ways in which some people dress. As long as it was said in context and carefully explained I simply don’t accept that it was offensive. Thus, at least as far as i’m concerned, this point IS at issue.

    On 6, I certainly can’t quote any specific research on rapists about their responses to different modes of dress. However, many if not most of the items of advice/risk listed in #50 are equally matters of commonsense unsupported by evidence. And yet I suspect that few readers (including Anna and Lauredhel) would regard any of them as problematic. Nor frankly should the dress issue be seen as any less a matter of almost self-evident commonsense. Scanty dress is designed to send a sexual message (at least to a particular audience) and will usually succeed at least to some extent. Predictably the people who receive that message may well include some young violent males who have little self-control and even less regard for a woman’s right to say “no”. Thus if you dress in that way and if other risk factors are also present (e.g. you’re not with a group of friends in a well lit place and/or you’re a bit drunk and therefore possibly oblivious to other warning signs of danger) this might be a recipe for avoidable trouble. Anna’s argument that it’s illegitimate or illogical to highlight dress as an issue if blokes aren’t going to take heed of “no” anyway simply misconceives the point. Scanty, deliberately sexualised dress predictably may attract the attention of some people in respect of whom a low profile would be a safer option. It is intended by the wearer to attract attention of a sexual nature and one can hardly be surprised when it achieves its aim (and sometimes overshoots by attracting sexual predators). Far from the burden of proof lying on a person who asserts that the way a woman dresses increases the risk of rape, I suggest the opposite is the case. Anna’s argument requires us to accept, counter-intuitively and without evidence, that dressing in a manner designed to signal sexual attraction does not in fact succeed in doing so and/or only succeeds in attracting the attention of males willing to honour the legal and moral requirement for consent.

    None of this implies a proposition that women should dress in burqas or take responsibility for consequences if male predators are attracted. It is simply saying that dress is a relevant risk factor that any prudent young woman should take into account along with all the other factors I listed in #50.

  59. john walker says:

    Young people like excitement , old people often warn young people that excitement can turn out to be risky/dangerous. Old peoples language can be very out of date and old people can be very annoying.

    The choice of language was pretty ugly, but if he had warned them that ‘the police can not be everywhere’ ,’use a bit of situation judgement’, sort of stuff it would not be being discussed.

    PS Rape victims are not always female.

  60. Ken Parish says:

    “The choice of language was pretty ugly”

    Yes I should also have expressly noted that. It certainly isn’t the way I would have expressed myself and imagine the Toronto cop won’t put it that way in future either. However, as John observes, it’s possible to convey effectively the same message in a less ugly/confrontational way. It seems to be Anna and Lauredhel’s position that such a message however mildly expressed is illegitimate/obnoxious. I simply disagree for reasons I’ve now explained ad nauseam. I’m tuning out of this conversation now.

  61. john walker says:

    Is it possible that the policeman’s ‘language’ , was a quotation from men that he had arrested ?

  62. desipis says:

    Anna,

    My explanation of the alleged link is as likely as Ken’s.

    You’re making my point again. This is why I think a reasonable reaction is to agree to disagree, live and let live, instead of rousing up the mob and starting a witch hunt.

    Don,

    I disagree with point 3. I believe the phrase “We can walk and chew gum at the same time” is appropriate here. In any case, it seems to me the criticism of the comment is creating more of a distraction than the comment itself.

    I disagree with the “reasonable”ness in point 5 as its applied to the anger and offense. It might be a reasonble interpretation, but it’s also reasonable to expect people to consider other interpretations and give the author the benefit of the doubt. While we shouldn’t be surprised that some people are quick to anger, that doesn’t mean we should condone knee-jerk responses either.

  63. john walker says:

    Is a touch of an old divide about human nature underlying this .

    If you believe that we are by nature sinful – the mark of cain on us all- then warnings that Genghis is always there waiting for his chance are just realistic warnings.

    If you believe that we are born innocent, you will be more inclined to see the issuing of warnings about ‘Genghis’ as a failure of society to achieve perfection.

  64. Anna Winter says:

    Anna’s argument requires us to accept, counter-intuitively and without evidence, that dressing in a manner designed to signal sexual attraction does not in fact succeed in doing so and/or only succeeds in attracting the attention of males willing to honour the legal and moral requirement for consent.

    No it doesn’t. To repeat the question I posed earlier, ignoring the ridiculousness of equating women with products: you make a packet of cigarettes more desirable through nice packaging, but does it make sense to list that as a risk to consider when formulating your business plan? That you should balance two considerations – making your product desirable to customers, but not so desirable that they might want to steal it? Because that is what your argument boils down to: Don’t make yourself too attractive a target.

    The “angry feminists*” here are pointing out to you a number of things:

    1. Telling people not to make themselves more attractive to rapists is offensive, no matter how you couch it in terms of prudence and risk-assesment. It is on the same continuum as telling women to wear burkas or not letting them leave the house. The difference is merely one of degree, not kind.

    2. You can provide no evidence that there is indeed a link between making oneself more sexually attractive and being raped, but more importantly, even if there is a link, you have provided no evidence that the causal link is slutty clothes –> rape, and not the equally likely proposition that blaming slutty clothes for rape –> making sluttily-dressed women more attractive targets (due to increased difficulties in securing convictions and decreased levels of reporting the crime).

    3. You have yet to address the problem with using terms like “slutty” as if they are in any way objective. Attractive simply means “attractive to the beholder”, so how in the hell are women supposed to prevent that? How is it useful advice if it’s impossible to follow? Women with large breasts are often considered more slutty than women with small ones. Should we add breast reductions to the list of “helpful advice that you can follow or not… really, it’s totally up to you!”

    Your whole argument boils down to “what’s the harm?” as if telling women to cover up is an entirely benign act. That ignores the effect such “warnings” have on a culture at large who come to see slutty women as in some way asking for rape, as opposed to expressing a desire for sex; and the effect it has on women wanting to come forward and subject themselves to a legal system that reflects that culture.

    Warning women to avoid dark alleys and bushes with rapists inside them is one thing. Warning them to avoid looking a certain way is not a sensible part of such warnings.

    *Which raises another point, which is your framing of this entire post as one which will attract angry feminists, thus creating an impression that all the feminists arguing with you are “angry”, rather than simply pointing out that your logic is pants, while at the same time looking at pictures of Liz Taylor’s dressing table. You know, because I’m so angry.

  65. john walker says:

    Liz Taylor’s dressing table .. my wife will want it!

  66. desipis says:

    you make a packet of cigarettes more desirable through nice packaging, but does it make sense to list that as a risk to consider when formulating your business plan?

    I’m pretty sure business owners consider the risk of break in from putting expensive merchandise on display in the front window, rather than keeping it at the back of the store and using sign up front.

  67. john walker says:

    Desipis

    “expensive merchandise on display” sounds like ‘uncovered meat’

    Are you serious?

    Leave it alone mate.

  68. john walker says:

    Anna
    A recent New Scientist article stated (from memory) that about %40 of Americas serious offenders jail population show marked signs of Psychopathic traits and that about %25 are Full Psychopaths. The wide spread use of ICE has also created a new problem of additional chemically created psychos.

    Changing the behavior of a Psychopath : creating an understanding of the rights and feelings of others, is at present not that possible.

    Pragmatically ,isn’t there a case for advocating a modicum of change in the behavior of potential victims?

  69. Anna Winter says:

    Pragmatically ,isn’t there a case for advocating a modicum of change in the behavior of potential victims?

    Only if it’s useful or realistic advice. I don’t believe that advice couched in terms of being sexually provocative, or attractive, or slutty, fall within the scope of useful or realistic, given their subjective nature.

    It is the rapist who would be judging attractiveness or provocation. How could any woman avoid looking attractive to no-one at all, without – as Desipis so helpfully points out – “keeping [the merchandise] at the back of the store”? Where exactly is the back of the store and what purpose is served by helpfully suggesting that women stay there?

  70. Don Arthur says:

    Tigtog has a reference-rich post on this and related issues at Hoyden About Town (from 2009).

    Much of the literature on dress and its relationship to rape takes it for granted that the wearing-revealing-clothes-leads-to-rape idea is a myth. There’s plenty of evidence that it’s a widely held view.

    It seems to me that the burden of proof lies with those who claim that there is a causal link.

  71. desipis says:

    How could any woman avoid looking attractive to no-one at all

    It’s not about risk elimination; its about risk mitigation. Obviously people have a diverse range of preferences and no matter what one wears there’s a possibility it’ll attract unwanted attention. However if we can observe clear trends in society as to what is considered sexually provocative (and I think we can), avoiding such things would lower the chance of unintentionally attracting someone who is dangerous.

    As far as the burglary analogy goes, stores who keep their goods at the back of the store will still have the risk of being burgled. What they’ll avoid is the impulse burglars who decide in the moment that committing the crime is worth it, but otherwise might not have considered it.

  72. desipis says:

    [email protected], so a widely held view that another widely held view is wrong gets us to the stage of one side having the burden of proof… how?

  73. Don Arthur says:

    desipis – If we take the idea seriously maybe we should have government health warnings on lipstick, short skirts and low cut tops

    “WARNING. WEARING THIS GARMENT MAY CAUSE RAPE.”

    But maybe you’re right. How should we decide where the burden proof lies?

  74. Mel says:

    Desipsis:

    “It’s not about risk elimination; its about risk mitigation. ”

    Well yes, but how far should we be expected to go in a supposedly free and open society in order to minimise our personal risk? At what point does it become an oppressive deprivation of liberty? I mean, should our police also be advising obviously gay males not to mince thru public parks in Barbara Streisand tank-tops? Should Hasidic Jews be advised not to walk near mosques? And what about yourself, desipsis, do you at all times take all reasonable safety precautions, for instance do you wear a crash helmet and safety vest each time you walk across a busy intersection?

  75. Russell says:

    I’m not sure what young people today think about this stuff. Growing up in the fifties many mothers passed on to their sons the view that girls who displayed their sex in any flashy/trashy way were not respectable – not to be respected.

    Another widely held view of the time was that girls who dressed or acted sexily but then refused sex were ‘teases’, and those girls were playing a dangerous game, which they might lose.

    I don’t know if those ideas persist, but if they do, dressing in a way that engages these beliefs/attitudes, and some men’s fantasies, is probably increasing your risk of running into trouble. Is sluttish behaviour now respectable? Will it ever be? I suspect attitudes about these things are very deeply rooted in our culture.

  76. nate says:

    @don
    Maybe we could establish what everyone here agrees on.

    Here are some claims I think aren’t at issue:

    1. Nobody deserves to be raped. No matter what they wear, how much they drink etc.

    Agree

    2. Preventing rape should not be the victim’s responsibility (like 1 this is a normative claim).

    Disagree. Just like preventing violence. Nothing can fully prevent someone from recieving something bad ie rape. But its no excuse not to try. The world isnt a perfect place sorry. People have had their houses robbed despite keeping everything locked and safe doesnt give an excuse to not be active in doing so.

    3. Focusing on the issue of how a women’s clothing and appearance affects the risk of rape can dstract attention from more important issues (eg norms about consent).

    Nope. Disagree again.

    4. Rape does not necessarily involve physical violence.

    Most of the time it does when the victim is not a sleep or concious.

    5. If someone advises women not to go out “dressed like a slut” it’s reasonable to interpret this as a normative judgment about how women should and should not present themselves in public. People who use this kind of language shouldn’t be surprised that the people they’re talking to are angry and offended.

    Disagree. It depends on the persons’ motives they could be a fascist or they could genuinely care about the persons’ well being. People who get angry and offended need to pull their heads out of their asses and find out why this was said.

    6. Nobody here has any solid evidence that the way a woman dresses increases the risk of being raped in a country like Australia.

    Maybe true but so what? There is no solid evidence that porn encourages more rape, that doesn’t stop some people from entertaining the idea or putting forth the statement.

    Nobody deserves to be assaulted raped etc. And the person who does this to them is a criminal and deserves to go to jail. But i bet the victims think twice before being so naive in believing that the world is a caution free perfect utopia.

    Sluttish behavior will never be respectable nor should it be i believe but i do believe they have the right to do so just like i believe ppl have the right to say anything freespeech i just don’t sympathise with them when they ask for trouble.

  77. nate says:

    4. Rape does not necessarily involve physical violence.

    Most of the time it does when the victim is not a sleep or concious.

    I meant unconcious.

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  79. AwesomeSauce says:

    I do agree that women shouldnt be judged by their clothing, but surely there is a limit? If a woman goes out wearing just a thong then thats not reaaallly appropriate, i’m not saying it encourages rape but its probably the kind of thing that anybody be it old, young, male, female may get angry about. The same could be said if a man went outside in a mankini. Another analogy is that you wouldnt turn up to an important interview for the most important job of your life with a huge company in shorts, sandals and a tshirt and not have showered for 5 days. These are just my thoughts, i don’t support some of the claims made by people against feminism here, but equally i don’t agree with some feminist arguments. Women should have more rights and respect, but I don’t think you can blame men in general. Also it has been “tradition” for a long time for women to work in the home and as all humans know it is difficult to break a long time “tradition”! I hope for a world where all humans are treated equally (except murderers etc.) and work for real, productive goals together. And i’m only 16! Loveyoubyee!

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