“She was asking for it by wearing that.”
“She wanted it.”
“You should have known it would happen.”
These are things that we hear from men as excuses for sexual assault, or from people who just want to blame the victim. Girls are always “asking for it”, as if they always want it. They hear this everywhere they go, too: the club, a party, on the street, at their schools. If a girl wears something remotely revealing, men can’t seem to control themselves. Because of this, girls do not feel safe anywhere they go, and feel the need to have some sort of protection with them at all times.
In Danielle Evans’ short story Virgins, the main character and her friend go to a club out in the city. They bring their fake ID’s and their friend Michael, and when they reach the bouncer, he takes a look at Erica’s exposed breasts and lets her in immediately. Michael, Erica’s source of protection, is not let in and just asks that she be careful. Later, when Erica feels unsafe and wants to leave, she calls Michael to come and get her, who comes with his older brother and she immediately feels safe. At their house, they let her sleep on the couch, but the older brother comes back up, saying she’s “too pretty” for him to leave her alone. This is the only time the older boy acknowledges her, and it is only because of how she is dressed up. He takes advantage of her feeling safe, and she does not explicitly say that she wanted it to happen. Even when she goes to Michael afterwards to feel safe again, he thinks she wants something else and tries repeating his brother’s actions. Erica has nowhere that she feels safe anymore. The way she chose to dress is now an invitation for men to do as they please.
This does not only apply to Erica either. It is a common trend amongst society, girls being taken advantage of and “asking for it”. It is a trend that needs to stop. Girls do not need to be shamed for something they could not control. Girls should be able to wear what they want without men taking advantage of it. Girls should be able to trust the men in their lives and feel safe at all times. It is never the girl’s fault, and more people need to be enlightened on this subject so it does not continue to happen.
Here is a link to an article that talks more about it!