Does Provocative Dress Ever Cause Rape?

Some friends were discussing the “Slut Walks” that keep popping up, and someone asked whether provocative clothing ever plays a role in rape. Interesting that “provocative” is used to describe a style of dress, suggesting that clothes actually provoke something. Attention? Desire? Rape?

Women don’t cause rape by what they wear. Asking about correlation between clothing and rape is tricky, though.

To make clear, sexual assault is never the victim’s fault. Someone has to act to commit rape. No one forces that choice. If seeing an enticing woman led men to conclude, “I’ve got to rape her,” all men would be rapists. Yet few are.

And plenty of assaulted women are not dressed sexily, including women draped in head-to-toe burqas. Interestingly, veiled women are blamed, too: “He must have seen a bit of her ankle, wrist, hair, neck… Who could resist!?”

Strippers are the most sexually “provocative” of all, yet patrons manage to contain themselves. Yes, bouncers provide security, but they aren’t stationed with blinders blocking their sight. And who’s watching them? Male customers aren’t physically restrained. The men are actually controlling themselves.

Sociologists who have interviewed rapists, read their accounts and looked at the circumstances of their crimes have learned that they have a variety of motives. Here are a few:

Some rape to feel powerful, others gang rape to demonstrate their “manhood” (defined as powerful, dominant, violent, virile, and not gay) to each other and fraternally bond, some become aroused by sadistically bringing sex and violence together, others seek to harm an entire race, community or nation by using sexual assault as a political weapon, still others seek revenge against someone other than the rape victim. And some misread cues.

Let’s take a look at these mistaken cue readers. Here’s where it gets tricky because a correlation between clothing and rape is not the same thing as sexy clothing causing assault.

Rapists who misread cues believe the following: men are naturally assertive and women are naturally passive. There are “good girls” and “bad girls.” Bad girls secretly want sex but can’t admit it, so they trick men into forcing sex. How do these “bad girls” send cues (in these men’s minds)? By doing things like smiling at them, or making eye contact, or by showing a little leg or cleavage. So these men may see a low-cut blouse as a “rape me” signal. But while they also see a smile or eye contact as a sexual come-on, women are only blamed for the dress. Have you ever heard anyone say, “Never look at a man,” or “Never smile at a man, he may rape you!”

Women, if you think dressing modestly  will protect you, it won’t. Most rapists don’t care about “cues,” and just in case you run into those who do, you better not look at, or smile at, any man either. Just to be safe.

Should you really have to live that way? Or should men choose not to rape? As most do?

The number of assaults will not go down if women make sure to cover up. The cue-reading rapist has decided to attack someone, and is seeking justification. He will rape and he will find something to blame other than himself.

By placing women in charge of his sexuality he abdicates responsibility (it’s her fault). How convenient for him!

And while different rapists have different ways of thinking, they are all sexist. At the least, they believe they have more right to a woman’s body than a woman does, herself.

Related Posts on BroadBlogs
Mind of a Rapist: Trying to Bridge a Gap between a Small Self and a Big Man
Rape Epidemic in South Africa. Why?
Rape Victims Shamed Into Suicide. In Pakistan. In America

About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych, women's psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State University. And I have blogged for Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos.

Posted on September 26, 2011, in feminism, gender, psychology, rape and sexual assault, sexism, women and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 78 Comments.

  1. yes, i completely agree, i don’t think it matter’s about how a women dresses, or how she looks at the male, or how she show’s her legs too him, or even how she talks too him. it’s the mans emotions and how he think that she wants him too have sex with her, or even rape her. i’ve heard of men raping the most innocent of looking females, so i definitely don’t think it has anything too do with what she wears, but how the man is thinking she’s a “bad girl” inside, or “she wants me, she just needs some pushing”, or even man handling, kind of thing. i suspect it’s all in the male’s mind.

  2. Absolutely not! In my opinion a women is free to dress any way she may please! That is the beauty of America vs Saudi Arabia. Just because a women may wear a short skirt or provacative clothing, does not mean there is a right for her to be sexually assaulted in any form. For anyone to believe there is, is a shame on them. That is just like saying when children are alone they deserve to be kidnapped. Ridiculous for the thought to cross anyones mind that would be right? Well so is a justifiable rape. There is no such thing, and thankfully there are no laws that permit a man or women to sexually assault another human. Our laws are created for freedom to be who we are as long as we are not hurting society or the government, and really, what harm can a sexy dress do?

  3. I feel that although a woman’s clothing plays a trivial role in making a man decide whether he wants to rape her, it probably does contribute a little in helping him make the decision. If for example there are two women a man sees on the street at night, one of whom is wearing sensuous clothes which make her body appear more alluring, I feel that he will choose the “sexier” lady over the other.
    However, I do admit that it doesn’t necessarily have to do too much with appearance as the following case shows. A notorious rapist, the South Side Rapist raped over 100 women over the course of 25 years and claims that their “traits and appearance were irrelevant” (www.stlmag.com) and that he raped them simply for his pleasure. If most rapists think this way, then we can conclude that raping a woman has to do more with gaining pleasure and control over her body than with doing so simply because she’s attractive.

  4. Nicole McCalister

    I do not believe that a woman can wear anything or not wear anything to provoke rape. Rape in definition is forceful, unwanted, violent, and malicious. Allowing our society to think or believe that women’s attire is the blame for rape or any other unwanted or unsolicited act is just plain ignorant. If we, as a society, allow excuses like this negotiate who is to blame for a woman being raped, then I would assume all women are to blame, if we use this theory. Rape is a serious thing and it devastates a woman’s life. I do not believe that there is anything that warrants rape, an unwanted sexual pass, or taking advantage of a woman, rather she dresses like a nun or a stripper. If a woman is interested in a man–she will let him know!

  5. In reference to rape and provocative dress-

    I do believe that there can be a correlation between women who dress skimpily, and rape. Not to say that there is always a correlation, but there can be. One thing we need to remember is that rape is not a crime of passion, it is a crime of violence, and this must be distinguished, because no matter how a woman dresses, the man with a predisposition to violence may go so far as to commit rape.

    Although I believe that we women should dress how we want, when we want, I also believe that if a woman chooses to dress skimpily that she is only furthering the image of women as sexual objects and playthings, and taking we women another step backwards in society. It is one thing to dress attractively, but another to dress skimpily. And I do believe that women who dress skimpily face another issue entirely apart from being looked upon as sex objects and provoking violence or rape, which is that their boyfriend, date, partner, or employer might think that they are seeking sex and/or attention by dressing this way.

    Again, don’t get me wrong. I am all about looking beautiful as a woman. But the last thing that I want to do is to dress in such a way that I draw the ‘wrong kind of attention.’ Attention to my body only. Because it would objectify me as a sexual object only. As women we must be proud of ourselves for who we are, not for our ‘big boobs’ or how high our heels are on any given day. Now that I am a little older, I feel sorry for women who degrade themselves to look more attractive for men in this way. I would never, ever have a ‘boob job’ or wear high heels that hurt my feet. What a step backwards for us.

    Elaine Balliet.

  6. It’s all in the mind, or whether that person is doing something for pleasure, because they enjoy scaring and dominating others, making others feel pain, or they could be unstable. There are many reasons why people do what they do that make them truly believe they are justified in doing so when they are really not. If a man is dressed provocatively it does not mean that women want him. He may be attractive or he might not be. This does not mean that women want to automatically rape him for their own pleasure. If people really thought about this issue they would see that it doesn’t matter what one wears or what one does.

  7. This can most definitely be a tricky situation. I’ve been told by my mom many times to be careful with what I wear. I might lead someone on. What I don’t get though is how is dressing cute or sexy the girl’s fault if she gets raped? Yes, I believe you shouldn’t go overboard but still the man should be able to control himself. A man has to be a very sick person if that’s the only way he can get sex. It’s pretty sad actually. So, no I don’t believe it’s the woman’s fault ever. Everyone needs to know how to control their body and their emotions no matter what the situation. It’s just a part of life.

  8. The last thing written here really stuck out to me “they have more right to a woman’s body than a woman does, herself”. I had never really thought about it that way, and I wonder if men who rape are consciously thinking “I have more right to her body than she does” or just that them being male means they have a right to whatever they want- including women, and sex. I don’t know if that makes sense, but it seems different to me.

    The whole clothing linked to rape thing was very present in my mind when I was in high school. I wore lingere tops as shirts, very low cut, tight, and short things, along with high heels, and lots of make up. I was called a slut, and sometimes worse, but the only times where I was ever assaulted happened when I wore loose fitting jeans, and my older brother’s sweatshirts. I was approached from behind by two sometimes three older boys (when I was in sixth and seventh grade) one would throw my sweatshirt over my head, and hold my arms back, and one would grab at my chest, then they would all run away laughing.

    This was something I had forgotten until rather recently, and therefore had never thought about whether or not it played a role in how I view myself as a woman- or how I interact with men, or even how I dress today.

    There was a song I really enjoyed when I was in high school that says “I have a right to dress sexy, when and where I want without being harassed for it- being told that I asked for it” still love that song, it’s true. But, yes I appreciated your distinction between clothing being linked to rape on the side of misread cues, as opposed to sexy dressing causing rape. Thanks- this was great.

  9. I most definately agree, a womans clothing does not cause a man to act in any certain way. I suppose a man may think a woman might attention if she has her breats hanging out and her butt nearly showing, and that may or may not be the case that she wants attention. But to go as far as saying it “causes” rape is so far from being true. I have been a huge tomboy my whole life and never had a desire to dress sexy until I hit my 20’s and now I completely embrass it when I do dress up and I do feel sexy and like feeling that way. If someone would think that because I dress sexy that I derserve to be raped because of that I wouldn’t have words for that person.

  10. No woman should ever be blamed for being raped. I don’t think it matters what she’s wearing, how she’s acting; no type of behavior could ever be a valid reason for that type of personal violation. I think saying that “a woman was asking for it” or other comments like that is an ignorant and evil statement. I would guess that people who say such things do not understand the pain and trauma rape would cause a woman. As a female, I don’t think how you dress is ever an invitation to another to touch you or any such actions against your will. I think fashion is a form of art, a way to express yourself and no form of art or fashion will ever be a cause of rape.

  11. Taylor Groseclose

    Women should never have to live with the fear that if they smile or make eye contact with a man that they could be raped.Women should not live their lives inferior to men and the threat of their actions. When men rape women, I believe their own insecurities about their manhood can be the cause, but this is absolutley not a justification. It seems completley insane and barbaric to me that men cannot control themselves and instead can brutally harm women. I firmly believe that it is never a woman’s fault when she is the victim of rape. However, it does not surprise me that a rapist would try to blame the woman in the aftermath to seek justification.

  12. I Completely agree, clothing and rape do have a tricky correlation. But shouldn’t women be able to dress any way they would like to without having to think about the fact that they have a small percentage of running into a man that will think she’s provoking him to rape her? I also agree with the fact that ok, if it’s going to be that way then women shouldn’t even smile or say hello to any male because they will automatically want to rape her. That doesn’t seem right to do either. It doesn’t seem to fair to match the way a women dresses (which CAN be sexy sometimes) with the decision to rape.

  13. I don’t think clothing has anything to do with being raped. If a rapist is going to attack, he’s going to do it no matter what the girl is wearing. Yes, when girls dress up, or “provacitively” it can be tempting for a rapist, or any man for that matter, but in the end, the girl will be naked anyways whether she’s fully dressed or in as little as possible. There are plenty of men out there who can abide by the “you can look but don’t touch” rule, so if a rapist is trying to use the woman’s outfit as an excuse, then that is pathetic. I know somebody who was seeing this guy, and if they were in another location, she probably would have slept with him, but she wasn’t comfortable with where they were and she said no multiple times, but the guy continued to force her to have intercourse. I definitely consider this rape because it was against her consent and even though she knew the guy, he took advantage of her against her will because he saw an opportunity to get away with it. This happened in broad daylight and she was wearing nothing out of the ordinary, just jeans and a t-shirt, so this concludes my opinion that clothing doesn’t matter.

  14. Meseret Workneh

    I would say provocative dressing can trigger rape to a certain degree, although this may not be the sole cause of rape. I totally agree with the author that for rape to take place, someone other than the victim would have to commit the act and that; this person is certainly void of self control.

    To substantiate the fact stated above that provocative dressing may trigger rape; I would use the following example: A woman or lady’s style of dressing may trigger rape in the case where a rapist already exists. As such her exposed style of dressing would merely act as a trigger in his mind, and he would begin to fantasize then act. Perhaps there may be no occurrence of rape if the lady or woman was decently dressed. Again this is no guarantee since the author points out that people rape for different reasons such as retaliation or the need to feel manhood or power. It should be noted that, some rapist only rape women with similar features or women that look alike, again, in this case, the style of dressing would have no impact for this particular rapist.

    Since one is therefore not sure of the sole determining factor of rape, I would advise that, women should dress the way they want to, however with some degree of decency, but above all should be careful and alert as they go along.

  15. Francesca DeVore

    I feel that there is no excuse for rape in any circumstance . A woman should never be left to think of an out come resulting in rape from result of her clothing. A person whether it be a man or woman uses clothing as a way to show their personality, style, and express them selves, though both woman and men dress in their own unique and personal style it seems that woman are the only gender that is left to deal with any negative outcomes from their clothing choices.
    I believe the thought that provocative apparel is a reason or result for rape is a form of excuse for an unforgivable act. It is without a doubt that the way some woman choose to dress can be significantly more provocative then others but this should not be used to justify rape. A woman should be free to feel confident and happy wearing the clothes they feel represents their personal style and sense of self as a woman without a mans input or any worries that harm might come to them.
    Rape is an awful act and should not be something that is a constant reminder to woman as they choose their clothing every day, it certainty is not something a man worries as they pick theirs.

  16. Thinking that women secretly desire sexual advances and show this by doning sexualized clothing is another way our society blames women for rape and in a way victimizes the men who commit what is in my eyes the worst crime a person can commit towards someone else. It is a moronic and dangerous way thinking that can only lead to more of this crime. While I do feel it is important to for people to consider what they and where they are wearing it. It is unreasonable to attribute a women being raped to what cloths she wears. Rape, and I say this only from what has been described to me, is a horrific experience that can leave victims scarred for life. If a society blames this crime on types of dress and the women who wear them we will continue the cycle of denial about the nature of certain men and true justice can never be administered. Through this the concept of justice and civility amongst a group of people will erode away and the true monsters among us will be able to continue their lives unpunished and essentially empowered to commit the crime again if they know they will not be persecuted.

  17. Gladys Knowles-Price

    I agree with Meagan when she says that clothing has nothing to do with being raped. If a rapist is going to attack, he’s going to do it no matter what the girl is wearing. Though I feel that a woman should be able to dress how ever she likes, I believe that provocative attire can cause unwanted attention. I like to dress sexy, but I dress that way because I am into fashion. I would never dress sleazy because, I do not want to give a person the wrong idea, but that is my opinion. This is a free country and I believe people should be able to wear what they want without having to worry about what others may think or do.

  18. Like you said in the last sentence… that a woman has total right to her own body and the clothes she puts on it are not what is at fault for a person to rape her. Whether that rapist wants to admit it or not, the clothes she wears is not the least of what their mind is thinking about nor is it what triggers those thoughts. A woman should be able to put on an outfit and when she asks her friend if it looks ok the question shouldn’t be “hey do you think if I wear this that I’ll get raped tonight?” That sounds insane. Now for a man to retreat to the excuse, “well she looked like a slut who wanted it” makes some sense because well men don’t come up with very good excuses in my opinion. To commit rape is a decision that I feel is not based on the clothes the victim is wearing. I feel that it is more of an act of male dominance over a woman. Now, if a woman may be wearing something a little bit provacative so be it, but I don’t ever think a woman would intentionally put something on and think to her self “Oh I really hope I get raped in this one!”. I personally don’t understand why a woman would ever want to intetionally put herself through such a traumatic event so painful and psychologically damaging as rape.

  19. I agree with previous posters, I do not believe that a woman’s clothing has anything to do with whether or not she will get raped. A woman should be able to dress however she wants without being objectified. She shouldnt have to stop and think as she is getting dressed in the morning and think “hmm this skirt is too short, I might get raped if I wear this.” That is absolutely ridiculous. Maybe there is a correlation between the two but if there is, the amount is small. I think a man who is going to rape a woman, doesnt think about how she is dressed but whether or not he can overpower her. The excuse “she was dressed like a slut, she wanted it” is just another way of putting the blame on the victim. Rape is never the victims fault no matter what the circumstance.

  20. Rape is never the right thing.Rather if my outfit bring sex appeal or not.Even considering to change someone sense of style or individuality in fabric put on their body, should make it more easier to have men who are out looking to prey on woman help ….

  21. Emelina Weaver

    I don’t think women should have to change what they wear in order to make sure their not a victim to being raped! If I could live life with walking down the street naked and not having to worry what other people would say, get arrested, or worrying about those perves who of course try to get at every girl they see walking, then I would so live my life that way because it would save me a hell a lot of money on just clothes alone. How women choose to dress is on them. Some girls choose to show their anatomy a bit more than others. From that, others tend to think they are crying out for attention or love that other people look at them. I don’t think dressing provocative or showing a bit of anatomy is the clear role for “Rape Me!” but it does play a part. Because, like I said before those type of girls get mistaken or read as the ones who want attention, who loved to be looked at, and have all the guys staring at them. Guys of course, should just not rape. Are they? Who knows? Most likely not if you were to ask me. But that’s the way this world is unfortunately, and with wrong actions come consequences. Society is too judge-mental and some men these days are pigs thinking life today is what the world was back then. Correction, The world has changed you don’t get everything you want anymore at the snap of a finger!

  22. I do not believe that the most provocative dress causes rape. I have seen how rapists rape the most innocent girls so you should not judge. But on the other hand you should respect your body. I have noticed girls dressing very open — everywhere, almost showing everything and I believe some girls do it because they like the attention from others. But being raped does not have anything to do with the way you dress.

  23. adriana cholico

    I have been to too many places where individuals dress in all sorts of ways. Woman may wear jeans, shorts, dresses even bikinis and are still asked to dance. Not the I am going to go behind you and see if you choose to dance with me kind of thing, but the very rare way where a man goes up to a lady and asks to dance. The idea that wearing clothing that may reveal a bit of your skin can cause rape is outrageous. If that were to be the cases then like the article states, we would have all been victims of rapists a long time ago. Having someone say they rapped their victim because of their clothing was too sexual for them to resist is simply using that as a lame excuse. No one is allowed to feel they were at fault for getting rapped because you didn’t do anything to deserve it. Each individual is entitled to wear what they like without fearing for their safety. Assault is caused because someone decided their actions are worth the consequences. Sexy dressing is an expression not a statement to get rapped.

  24. I dont think that wearing something sexy means the girl is a bad girl or anything, a nerd can go to the club and wear stillettos and a mini skirt or a cheer leader can go to school and wear sweats everyday. Id say its all about the boy language. Body language says alot.

    Personally i dont think that anything a person wears or something a person does can really determine if their capable of being raped or not. Rape isnt something you choose , it just happens. You can be wearing anything, any age, or any gender and be raped. If the question is can something a girl wears provoke her being raped?, then what can a guy wear that can prone him to being raped? Its purely the rapist themeselves.

  25. I agree with Geneva, it’s the rapist thing it’s never the victims fault. If a man is going to rape you, he is going to rape you. I do not believe anyone should be blamed for something that was out of their control, which is something we do see or hear about from other cultures. I know a lot of Muslim countries believe that if a woman is raped it was her fault and it brings shame upon the family. I also do not believe you should be scared to make eye contact or smile at someone because he might rap you. I know I was taught all my life that making eye contact and smiling at people was just good manners. I have never heard of “Never look at a man,” or “Never smile at a man, he may rape you!” those were never sayings in my family. It should not matter how someone dresses or who they hold themselves around men.

  26. There is no excuse to rape somebody, only theroies to explain why these lost souls do it. Women have every right to dress however they want and should be able to do so without being worried about rapists preying on them.
    So apparently there are different motives behind rapists, but I want to explain that anybody who rapes anybody is extremely amoral.
    During a genocide in Darfur, women were gang raped repeatedly by vicious racists who were trying to destroy their tribe. I don’t think they necassarily wanted to be sexually gratified. THey raped exclusively to inflict physical and emotional pain.
    One of my friends confided in me that she had been raped by different men on different occasions, and to be honest I wasn’t suprised. THis is a girl who I would take to parties and she would inadvertently lead the guys on. She talked about sex in a casual tone and start dancing provacatively in front of a bunch of young men she had just met. When my friend tried to make a move on her, she rejected him as nicely as she could, leaving him feeling embarrassed and mildly deceived. She definitely led him on but this wasn’t her fault. It was just part of her personality. Maybe she could have handled things better by not behaving this way because she seems to leave guys with feelings of resentment and leaving them feeling teased, buy any time she had ever been raped was never her fault.
    Do men get raped? If I wear nothing but a pair of shorts will some guy try to rape me? I doubt it. Most rapists are men and most rape victims are women. So if men can dress sexy without having to worry than women should be able to as well.
    I smile at women all the time. It never in my life occured to me that they may suspect they could get raped just for smiling back. It’s very sad if sexual assault truly causes so much distrust between men and women.

  27. jaylene caampued

    i have heard a couple times from people like “oh, she probably deserved to get raped look how she was acting.” or “she asked for it, look how she was dressed.” i totally disagree with those kind of remarks. nobody deserves to get raped, and nobody would want that to happen to them. just because some women dress a certain way for example, half tops showing their belly button, skin tight dresses showing their curves, or tiny shorts does not mean they are seeking sexual attention. some women just like to dress like that. it doesnt matter if a women is in daisey dukes or sweats, when its all said and done the man had the choice to decide weather or not he is or is not going to rape a women. like the article said, no matter how much you cover up or try to look the other way to avoide them they are still going to rape.

  28. I believe that a woman should be able to walk around completely naked in our society and not even be touched inappropriately by a man or a woman. Clothing and rape have absolutely nothing to do with eachother. You could (as the article describes) be covered from head to toe in cloth and still be raped or assaulted. Rapists will make excuses for their behavior because they have without doubt undergone some trauma in their lives and now are acting out and hurting both men and women. As a counselor for Rape Trauma Services, I believe hurt people hurt others and its never the survivors fault the act occurred. Even thinking that there could be a correlation between clothing and rape creates so much more fear and tension in our society for men and women of all ages. Why should myself as a young woman have to modify my personal identity so I won’t be raped? When did our society take a crime such as rape and try to take the heat off the perpetrator for what they did by blaming the victim for assault.

  29. This is so wrong!!! A woman has the right to dress the way she pleases. However, believing this has no impact on her chance of being a victim of rape is wrong and it is dangerous to think and teach otherwise.

    • Not saying it has no impact. But the rapist should be blamed. Not her.

      Women aren’t blamed for looking at a man or smiling at him — because it’s not her fault. She shouldn’t be blamed for the way she dresses either.

  30. Teacher to Girl student: Why are you smiling? What are you doing with your mobile phone)
    (Teaher read the text of guy ‘X’ read as ‘I love you’)
    Teacher: That day you complained against the guy ‘Y’ for texting you ‘I love you’ message.
    Girl: Sir, Guy ‘X’ is cute, smart and handsome.

    Give me a single answer; what does such girls deserve?

  31. i dont know Provocative Dress. will you please tell me.any diffrences between normal dress and Provocative Dress.

    • “Provocative” dress would be something that many will say provokes a reaction of lust. In the U.S. that would mean short skirts, low-cut blouses, tight clothes. In Saudi Arabia it would mean seeing a woman’s hair, her arm.

      Clearly, the dress doesn’t really provoke. Men in the U.S. and Saudi Arabia are completely capable of appreciating a woman’s form and controlling themselves.

  32. WHY ANYBODY USE THESE PROVACATIVE DRESS?

    • Women tend to get their self-esteem from feeling attractive (problematic because it’s one-dimensional and short-lived). So they wear clothes that get men’s attention and make them feel attractive, and hence, good about themselves (I’m beautiful, valued, high-status…)

  33. I don’t think a woman should be raped just because of what she wears but honestly if you’re naked and walking around or wearing skimpy clothes and walking in the dark, this may not attract rapists but it will attract unwanted attention. This unwanted attention cannot be blamed on the man at all but entirely on the woman and the way she dresses.

    Bottom line: Women need to not allow themselves to look like sex objects or that they’re about to step into a porno unless that is actually the image they are trying to get across. Even the nicest, most respectful man will probably become aroused if an already attractive woman is parading around in basically a thong and skimpy top.

    And let’s not overlook the fact that guys can be raped too. If a group of guys shows up intending to violate, no man or woman is safe.

  34. My partner and I absolutely love your blog and find a lot of your post’s to be just what I’m looking for. Would you offer guest writers to write content for you personally? I wouldn’t mind producing a post or elaborating on most of the subjects you write about here. Again, awesome blog!

    • I’m glad you like my blog. But since I don’t get paid for this I have no money to pay anyone to guest write. Any guest writer I have has volunteered to write something for free. If you would like to do that you can send something by me in the form of a comment (let me know you’d like it posted) and I’ll take a look at it.

  35. I don’t believe that provocative dress ever causes rape. A lot of people like to blame the victim and say they were raped because of what they were wearing. There have been women that have been raped who were fully clothed and weren’t dressed “provocative” at all. It doesn’t matter at all what the woman is wearing. In the article, “bad girls” can send certain signals to men by making eye contact, or showing some skin. It makes men get crazy thoughts about them. Rape occurs because of wanting to be dominant over another person or seem powerful. Men believe they have power over all women and can do whatever they want. I believe that if “provocative” clothing is the cause of rape that thousands of woman would be raped everyday. Whether a person is wearing clothes or not, it doesn’t protect them from getting raped. Rape is about having control and making the victims fearful. There are other men out there that aren’t like this at all and can resist temptation. Rape is never the victim’s fault no matter what.

  36. People must bear some responsibility for the outcomes of their actions. Some friends were discussing the “Slut Walks” that keep popping up,many women………http://ogibogi.com/node/2164 for details.

    • Yes. Potential rapists need to be responsible for their actions and choose not to rape.

      Clothing has nothing to do with it. High rates of sexual harassment and rape in places like Egypt. In fact, the biggest predictor of rape is male dominance/devaluing women.

  37. It’s almost “disgusting” how some can believe that the way a woman dresses can cause her to get raped. As mentioned in the post, the attacker will find any way to blame the victim. It’s ludicrous. Saying that if a woman is dressing provocatively she must be asking to get raped is the same as saying if a man dresses like an ***hole then he must want to get beat up. Rape is serious and it doesn’t come down to how a person dresses. A woman should be allowed to wear whatever she pleases and we have the right to do that. Putting blame and associating provocative dressing to rape is just a pathetic attempt to conceal wrongful doings.

    • Saying that if a woman is dressing provocatively she must be asking to get raped is the same as saying if a man dresses like an ***hole then he must want to get beat up.

      Exactly.

  38. I personally feel that women have the right to wear any type of clothing they would like without being a target of rape. There is no excuse for anyone to rape someone. I feel that rapist who say they have raped someone because of their clothing are just plain ignorant. And are blaming the “provocative clothes” as an excuse for their actions, yet they should be blaming themselves for their actions. It’s not a women clothing or gestures that causes men to rape, is men who can’t control themselves. As a woman I feel like I should be able to wear what ever I want, yet I have to constantly be aware of the negative attention I might get. While men don’t really have to worry about getting rapist attention, or even worry about being called sluts or whore just by wearing flashy clothes.

  39. I completely agree with this article and I think that it is ridiculous that people out there actually believe that some women “ask for it” (being raped) by the clothes they wear. As stated in the post, women from all different aspects of life are being raped on a daily basis and that includes women who are covered head to toe because that is what their culture tells them to do. Rapists will rape no matter what. Because women get blamed for being raped, this causes rapes to go unreported. If you really think about it, it’s the only crime that you really have to prove. If someone breaks into your house, you don’t have to prove that to the cops. But if a man rapes you, you have to go through every aspect of you day, week, or even months before the rape occurred to see maybe why this happened to you or even if it happened to you. How do people expect victims to come forward if they’re the ones that are going to be interrogated and humiliated even more for something that they had no control over. It’s disgusting that people think this way and I think in order for future generations to change the way they treat rape victims, kids need to become educated on who is really to blame in these situations.

  40. It is mind boggling to think that people believe that it is the way a female dresses that causes rape. I agree with what you are say 100%. I couldn’t believe how people even dare to blame the victim, instead of the attacker. I had recently heard on the news about how some schools don’t want girls to wear any tight jeans or leggings. Because it distracts the boys from school…. I know it is not the same from rape, but here they go blaming the females for the boys problems. I don’t think it is right for a female to go out of her way and change her style, just to benefit the boys. A female should be able to dress however she likes. Boys aren’t told not to wear certain things because it might distract females.

  41. In my opinion women have the liberty to wear whatever they like. Just because women may wear provocative clothing it does not mean that anyone can rape or assault her. But still one needs to be careful – the word ‘provocative’ is relative – how provocative is provocative? A clothing style considered decent here in the States maybe considered provocative in some other parts of the world. My own personal experience – I was visiting my home country India last month; and I was in a small village – I was wearing casual full length jeans and a T-shirt covering half my arms – pretty much covered I would say….but people were still giving me looks suggesting I was dressed inappropriately and frankly I was a bit scared. Definitely things would have been different if I would have been in a bigger city in India or anywhere here in the US. So outlook of society in general also plays a vital role – would be better to use our common sense in deciding what to wear depending upon the place to the best of our knowledge.

  42. Sarah Lau Y. G

    I totally agree on your viewpoint on this. Blaming victims in raping is so common that girls are often responsible for being raped. Some countries even set laws to prevent people from wearing provocative clothes. I think this is absolutely nonsense to say provocative clothes makes people rape a girl. The fault should be on the one who act the crime but not the one who suffer it, no matter what they do. It might be true that some girls might intentionally attract men to their body by wearing sexy clothes. However, it can never link to the motive of raping.

  43. People saying that women get raped because of the way they dress has been the most popular excuse for eternity. It is just an excuse because wearing a short dress or showing skin is no way related to rape. Few weeks ago in India, a 5 year old minor was raped by two men. The cause this barbaric towards a child because of the way she was dressed is highly unlikely. I completely agree that “Some rape to feel powerful, others gang rape to demonstrate their manhood.” Almost all the cultures around the world till date, encourage the thought in men that women are supposed to be submissive and dominated by them. Raping women and children is a sickness. It is the result of failure of values and conscience in a person. The example of strippers is excellent because people who have the sense of what’s right and wrong, know that rape is a heinous crime that weak men commit to prove their manhood. Regardless of all the excuses for rape, the truth is that women have always been objectified. We are mostly seen as objects for sex whose primary purpose of existence is to satisfy the sexual needs of men. This sickness can be only prevented with parents teaching their sons and daughters to respect women as a human being.

  44. Louisa Engels

    “If seeing an enticing woman led men to conclude, “I’ve got to rape her,” all men would be rapists. Yet few are.” (BroadBlogs, September 26) Yes, few are, but those are the few we have to take into consideration when we’re out in the world.

    I know that what I’m about to say is not a popular idea, but, I disagree with the suggestion that that rapists don’t look for cues. I think rape occurs for different reasons. For example, as women, we’ve been told by law enforcement experts that if we walk with an air of strength and self-confidence, we will be less likely to be attacked. They say that predators look for women who appear timid and easy to assault. While I don’t believe for a moment that women are to be blamed for rape, I do think that it is important for women to be aware that rape is a reality. Attitude and dress can make a difference depending on the situation. Prostitutes get raped frequently. Someone with bad intentions can get the wrong impression from a woman who dresses and behaves in an overtly sexy manner. I’m not saying that women should dress like nuns, but I think it’s a good policy to take stock of the situation or event we are preparing for and dress accordingly.

  45. I am really greatful that someone is addressing this issue. I think that many people do think that it is not women’s fault for being the victim of rape, but they do not necessarily understand why men are picking the women that they do, if not for the way they dress. I could be wrong about this of course, but it did help me remember as well as clarify what I already knew about victim selection.

    Although I do wish that women did not think that the only way to feel good about themselves or become validated was through sexually objectifying themselves, I do think that women should be able to express themselves however they want without being judged by ANYONE. I think it is truly sad that people blame rape victims for the horrible crime that has been committed on them and your blog helps outline why people come to this conclusion and why it is unmerited. It is a psychological issue of the rapist, just like so many other crimes, that are also misunderstood in motive.

    Thank you for touching on these difficult issues, because they need to be addressed, and the more awareness there is, the better everyone can avoid these critical misunderstandings. Also then hopefully more people will be able to help and support those they love and even themselves.

  46. It really doesnt matter how you dress and i do not believe that men cant control their selves. That is just ridiculous! For example i had an appointment today to get some x rays done and i had a male perform the x rays and i had to put on a gown without a bra. If men couldnt control theirselves then shouldn’t he have tried to rape or provoke me? Ohh because its his job that makes him automatically controllable? No, its called respect. If a little girl gets raped is it because the way she was dressed? definately not! Men are pigs and if you cannot control you self or have respect for a little girl or a woman then theres something wrong. I completely agree with the stripper situation as well, if the bouncers wanted to rape the women they would. If they couldn’t help their selves they would be grabbing the women all the time.

  47. I feel like a provocative dress can cause sexual harassment depending on the situation like where you are and how sexy the dress is. Wearing a provocative dress definitely catches other peoples attention. I was told to always wear something nice but not too revealing. Women should never be blamed for the cause of rape, we wear what we feel beautiful in. Rapists don’t really care if you’re wearing a nice dress or not, they are mentally unstable and when they want to attack, they will on any target. It’s sick.

    • I’m not sure how your first sentence goes with the rest of what you say. But the rest of what you say makes sense to me. Men always have control of themselves, after all — even if it may be convenient, sometimes, to insist they don’t.

  48. The notion that we have to dress moderately in order to prevent rape is just ridiculous. Women if we want to protect ourselves from rapists we should look into self defense classes or maybe carry mace. If dressing provocatively directly caused rape, stores would stop selling those types of clothes because women wouldn’t wear them anymore. I’m so tired of rape being somehow blamed on the victim. She didn’t run around naked and scream “rape me rape me” she was taken advantage of by some sick pervert and for whatever reason we as a society put both people’s characters and personalities up for trial which is BS.

  49. In Islamic religion and some other religions and cultures, women are expected to dress conservatively and when doing so they are still being raped in the U.S as well as in third world countries. Regardless of how the woman is dressed, a rapist is a rapist, however I do feel that dressing provocatively at times stimulates lewd. Some men look at women as sexual objects but rapists look at women as individuals that they can strip of their dignity. In the end, everyone is entitled to dressing whichever way they want and rapists will always be sadistic animals that should burn in hell.

  50. From a man’s point of view, I totally agree with you saying that the rapist would not give a damn about how the girl is dressed. I do not think one can protect herself by covering up all her skin, not smiling, nor having eye-contacts because those rapist do rape when they do. But here is one thing I want to ask, if you are to take a statistic about which of the two girls; the one with all her skin covered or the one wearing a complete advocative clothes, do men feel sexy or have the desire to take advantage of ? I think the consequence is quite obvious. Considering and admitting the fact that women can wear whatever they want to wear or however they want to behave, I think it is necessary for girls to keep in mind, that some of the things they do actually stimulates guys sexual desire than others.

    Since I am from Japan, I will indicate a serious sexual problem that is happening there. In Japan, most of female students start wearing school uniforms (blouse and skirt) when they get to junior-high or high school. Once they do, what happens is that they start wearing their skirts so short. In Japan, students usually go to school using trains and subways (which are super crowded during commuting hours) and often, they get molested or taken peeping shots. It is slightly different from raping but at least seems like those men who do this think that they have more rights to the woman’s body than a woman does, herself.
    I happen to read lots of news about these men getting arrested and all they say is they DID IT because they saw cute little legs coming out of girls’s skirts and got the DESIRE.

    So, as I can say from this, it is true that the rapist is just giving him excuse for what he did and trying to justify himself.
    To conclude, it is always nice to behave and dress, considering the TPO to protect yourself!

    • But rapists don’t rape because they are sexually turned on. They rape because they want power. See this:

      Mind of a Rapist: Trying to Bridge a Gap between a Small Self and a Big Man
      http://broadblogs.com/2010/10/26/mind-of-a-rapist-trying-to-bridge-a-gap-between-a-small-self-and-a-big-man/

      The girl’s clothing is just an excuse.

      To say that girls should be careful about how they dress is the same as telling them to never look at a man or smile at a man. Because this type of rapist I’m talking about here is just looking for an excuse. (All the other rapists don’t care at all what she’s wearing.) Since this guy is looking for an excuse, would you also tell girls to never look at a man and never smile at a man?

      Don’t you think that we should put the responsibility on the rapist instead of telling women to limit themselves?

  51. It’s fair to say whoever thought it was the way a woman dresses is a cue to a rapist to do harm on her, is a bit ignorant. Although some forms of clothing are more than just revealing, it’s also considered a fad or trendy, yet not everyone is going to be alarmed because of wearing a bathing suit. It’s not necessarily their clothing, it’s the rapist motivation, to rape the person they’re targeting. In the article, the author states that, “The cue-reading rapist has decided to attack someone, and is seeking justification. He will rape and he will find something to blame other than himself”. Meaning he could use just about anything you wear, maybe even the color of your shirt as an excuse to commit his crime. The thing with this is you cannot reason with an individual who’s mind isn’t right, especially when it some to sexual predators.

  52. gift sumasumo

    A lot of stuff can be said in all directions, but my theory is what we consider to be the attracting force between men and women. Is greater in others while some don’t possess it at all. So there are people who get aroused by the very word “sex”, so one shouldn’t be surprised if looking at the prospect of bonding with another person…..

    • Okay. I’m not quite sure what you’re saying, But given my interpretation here is my response:

      If you look at the motives of rapists it’s not sex so much they want as A feeling of power over someone, with sexual assault, usually women.

      In many cultures the excuse used to rape women is that she didn’t have her hair covered, or an arm covered, And what man could resist?

      It’s easier to see how ludicrous the idea is when it comes from another culture.

  53. I definitely agree that just because a girl dresses “provocatively” and gets raped or sexually assaulted, doesn’t mean that the rape or assault is somehow justified. The guy who did it is still to blame and the millions of girls and women being assaulted are being harmed physically and mentally traumatized by the attack.

    As the post said, a girl can have her whole body covered in clothing and still be raped or assaulted.

    Rapists rape for power, like getting off on the so fact that he has more control over the girls body than the girl herself.

    A woman dressed provocatively is just as blameless as a woman dressed in a long skirt or pants and a sweatshirt or covered head to toe. They’re all completely blameless because they did not do the assaulting, they did not ask for it and they did not give consent.

    Clothing does not equal consent, nor it ever will.

  54. Vanessa Medel

    In my opinion, a woman who chooses to dress provocative is comfortable in her skin and is seeking attention. But the type of attention they desire depends on the type of woman and does not have to be in a negative way. It does not necessarily have to come from a “cute” stranger; it can also be attention from a loved one. Or even for an occasion. Whatever the reason may be: rape is never the reason for how women decide to dress. A woman should always feel free to dress in any way, shape, or form without being accused of rape. This is simply a psychological way for men to avoid being blamed for something that is clearly their choice of action.

  55. Rape is an ongoing problem that happens every day in this world. Men who rape often use the excuse of, “She wasn’t covered up, she was asking for it” simply because she was dressed a certain way. If I woman is wearing a mini skirt and a tank top, that does not mean she is asking for it. If a woman is wearing a tight dress that shows a lot cleavage, that does not mean she is asking for it. A woman is never asking to be raped. Women these days are taught to cover up, and to do anything they can to not provoke a man and give them the wrong idea. They are taught to look away, to wear clothing that isn’t so revealing, and to understand that “boys will be boys.” Anyone who agrees that women are the ones who need to stop themselves from getting raped are completely out of line and are just defending men in the world. For the topic of rape, the audience should not be women, it should be men. We teach women to not get raped instead of teaching men to just not rape at all. Men are able to control themselves, they are able to resist urges. A man should never touch a woman unless she gives them the okay, no matter what the woman is wearing.

  56. This article is on point. I couldn’t agree more with the statement regarding blame. Victims should never feel at fault or feel blamed for anything. It was an act of insanity by a rabid male. Rationalization by the mind is a powerful thing. You can make yourself believe anything. So much so that you interpret things incorrectly and see things that are not even present. It is a double-edged sword in many instances. In health care, we see this as a benefit due to the mind’s ability to block out certain things (i.e. pain up to a certain level). However, the mind can play tricks on a person.
    What kills me is the lack of action that people are taking in response to the massive rise of rapes and sexual assaults in the United States. I know that many universities are being investigated for their lack of a response to the plethora of cases. And some women have taken it into their own hands by placing names of the males in bathroom stalls and other public areas so that other women will know to stay away from them. This obviously brings into question the “innocent before proven guilty” ideology that we have in America. But due to a lack of action, when do we say when?

  57. Rape is about power and control not sex, so i think the way women dress has nothing to do with what rapists look for in a victim. if someone looks particularly vulnerable, that is a different story, however, if a women is wearing revealing clothes i don’t believe that will cause someone to rape. Rape is about asserting one’s power and control over someone else.

  58. Veronica Perez

    It makes me very angry to see that many still blame women for being raped. And the saddest part of this, is that some of us women do that too. The way a women dresses is no reason to force her into sex. Men dress provocative too especially when performing exercise and they do not get sexually harassed the way women do. It is a choice to rape a women. Men who rape want to feel power and in control. It is the fault of the patriarchy we are raised in because it creates the sense that women are objects. Women need more respect from our society in order to change the way some men view women. And as a woman I feel that us women have a responsibility to make this change happen. First of all we must stop making differences between our kids. Stop telling your daughters, be careful how you act with men. Stop being so strict with your daughters, and lenient with your sons, because it gives them the impression that they can do what they please. It shows that women have to behave and control themselves, but men don’t. This is why we blame women instead of men. So lets speak up and demand respect, because staying quiet does more harm than speaking up.

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