‘Women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimised’- Constable Michael Sanguinetti
The clothes of a woman do not make rape acceptable; a woman can wear clothes for comfort, for self-esteem, for identity- but these notions do not condone rape. Yes, we can be critical of other people’s outfits in differences of taste, yes, people make judgements about a person derived from their clothing, however you can’t seriously say that by wearing revealing clothing be it a short skirt, or a low top can put fault on the victim? Blinded by fashion, a rapist therefore gains sympathy? Surely, blaming some cases of rape on a woman’s outfit can be the scapegoat for a poor justice system, and weaknesses in the strategies used to fight this crime. It doesn’t matter if you are a slut or not, any woman can be raped. This incentive suggests that women, who dress as if they look like they sleep around, set themselves up as victims for a rapist, therefore having the ability to choose their deserved fate- women don’t choose to be raped, they can only choose to have consented sex or no sex altogether.
A slut as defined by Oxford dictionary is a ‘woman who has many sexual partners’ or a ‘prostitute’, there is a difference between offering sex and being a victim to receiving rape. Is it possible that ‘Sluts’ can look ordinary? (Yes) it doesn’t matter what clothes you wear, anyone can be victimised. Then why do people still blame female victims for rape? I read an article on the uproar that politician Asha Mirje had in India where she states that women’s ‘clothing and behaviour’ meant that women are ‘responsible to an extent’ for rape. The only person responsible is the perpetrator, the lack in sympathy for a victim makes me question how corrupted peoples morals can actually be. It’s like saying if a guy collects legalised guns then it’s kind of his fault if someone then murders him.
The Slut Walks are a series of protest marches that began on the April 3rd, 2011 in Toronto following Constable Sanguinetti’s quote from above, the movement protest against the accusation that woman’s clothes is used as an excuse for rape in some cases.
“Being in charge of our sexual lives should not mean that we are opening ourselves to an expectation of violence, regardless if we participate in sex for pleasure or work. No one should equate enjoying sex with attracting sexual assault.”
If there was such an issue with the clothes women wear, then surely for their own safety as a prevention method for rape, these people making the accusations would be protesting against the manufacturing of these ‘slutty clothes’.
There are still shop-windows with female models wearing provocative clothing.
Their accusations don’t reflect the truth but more importantly don’t help to seek justice.
Hannah is a student at Cirencester College currently studying A-levels including English Language, Drama & Theatre Studies, and Biology. She enjoys creative writing and acting. ‘There’s a drive in me that won’t allow me to do certain things that are easy’.