Many of you will have heard of the “Slut Walk.” It started in Toronto when a rape victim was told by a police officer that she could have avoided it if she had been dressed more modestly. It doesn’t take a genius to see that this was the wrong thing to say, mostly due to its insensitivity. Enough women took umbrage with this that they started the Slut Walk, kind of like a civil rights march, or a Pride Parade, but for women who want to dress as provocatively as they please without judgement.
I’ve got mixed feelings on this. I think that women have every right to present themselves as they like, and that men should be gentlemanly and respectful. However, expecting all men to be so respectful is a pipe dream, and women should not be naïve to that.
Last night, we had one Andrea’s friends over for drinks on the patio, so I took the opportunity to get their opinions. It got lively. “It’s like they want the power without taking responsibility for the reactions they elicit.” Well, yeah.
Another point was that the sexual triggers for men are obvious. However, there’s a mystery to feminine sexuality. Even in our candid conversation, the best I could get from them was “it depends on our mood.” So when men see a display of sexuality that is familiar, our immediate association is that they displayer is aroused, and trying to be arousing.
Or let’s look at it from another angle: Would you wear a jersey from a Swedish football team? It sends a very clear message, and anyone who is familiar with the team would approach you, wanting to discuss the players, coaches, and recent games. Or how about a BB King T-shirt? People would approach with their stories of seeing him in ’82, and the hipsters with their “I mostly like his older stuff.” These are graphic examples of how one’s clothes elicit reactions.
On the flip side, women’s attire does not create a rapist. You’re not going to hear about a man who left his house, thinking of nothing deeper than an episode of Cheers, until he saw a woman wearing handkerchief-sized shorts and displaying three inches of cleavage, then thought, “Well, I was just gonna pick up some Fritos and smokes, but I think I’ll rape her first.” Rapists are predators, and they target the isolated and the infirm. If a woman is radiating power in any sense, a predator will be discouraged, but a woman huddling into herself and separated from the crowd may be a more likely target, whether she’s wearing club wear, or slacks and a hoodie.
As always, I’m eager to hear what others think on the topic, so don’t be shy! Display your naked opinions in all of their God-given glory.