“Don’t Tell Us How to Dress. Tell Men Not To Rape.”


This picture is brought to you by The Society Pages and it gave me life this morning.  Victim blaming is always a disgusting argument tool and I still find it hard to believe that it so often happens in rape. I think when you even bring up the question of how the victim was dressed, you’ve lost sight of the point. When you bring up the victim’s sexual history (i.e. “how many partners does she or he have on a regular basis) then you’ve lost sight of the point. I believe in safety measures and precautions but I also believe that it is never the victim’s fault for being raped. I also believe that certain vocations are more vulnerable to rape than others.  Nevertheless, rape is never ok, there is never an excuse and the blame should never go on victim. No one victim is more “worthy” of our sympathy or empathy than the other. Not for any reason. The End.

“Don’t Tell Us How to Dress. Tell Men Not To Rape.”

6 thoughts on ““Don’t Tell Us How to Dress. Tell Men Not To Rape.”

  1. Smoki says:

    I actually find this campaign gives a very dangerous message. I wholeheartedly agree that the blame should never be placed on the victim, while that should be the core message it is overshadowed by the potentially dangerous “tell men not to rape” message. 1. It presumes that rape is a condition of men, and that they should be told to stop or that telling them to do so would make a difference. One of the foundations of the feminist movement is to dispel false, derogatory and disgusting stereotyping and generalizations of women. For such a movement to arm itself with the exact same sexist rhetoric only brings it down to the same level of the misogyny it seeks to combat. I feel this is an issue that plagues the feminist movement at the moment and holds it back. You cannot fight sexism with sexism. We should be leading by example otherwise the point is mute.

    More importantly, this brings me to the danger of the message that overshadows the core message. It has got a lot of media of late and I have noticed a worrying trend in the attitudes of other women since, especially younger women. This being a sort of “No, why should I take precautions? Why should i have to change the way i behave, dress, where i go at night? Rape is not my fault. MEN should change their ways and stop raping” While this is entirely true, and unfair on women, it is a sad fact of life. And again presumes the problem is that men are rapists and rape because they haven’t been told not to firmly enough. Like i said rape is not an inherent condition of men. Rape is a condition of RAPISTS. Rapists rape. Just as murders murder. Nobody man or woman is inherently criminal, but not even the death penalty is a deterrent to the criminal who is intent on the crime. I don’t feel its fair i have to hide my possessions in public because somebody might take them from me. I don’t feel it is fair that i should have to avoid walking in certain places because someone else may attack me. Telling RAPISTS not to rape is as much hot air as are telling murderers not to murder, thieves not to steal, pedophiles not to abuse children. It is futile. Unfair as it is, these people do all this DESPITE the law and despite what society believes is right. Which is why these laws exist, to punish such people when they do so. In prevention, laws are impotent. But sad and unfair as it is, in the real, dangerous world we live in the responsibility of avoiding being a victim of such crime will always lay on the potential victim themselves. And the prevention of becoming a victim of crime is the responsibility of good people who wish to avoid it. When even the threat of death is not enough to dissuade the criminal, relying on the “moral compass” of the criminals themselves is foolish idealism at BEST.

    “Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.”

    – Plato (427-347 B.C.)

    To summarize, counter productive hypocritical sexist rhetoric aside, the majority of men and women take from this message what it intends to convey. That the victim is not, and never should be to blame, whatever the circumstances. And this is a message that needs to be heard. But intentionally or not, there still exists and I have experienced first hand a potentially dangerous message and attitude that a small minority of women (mostly younger) have taken from this, namely that women should not have to avoid rape. They shouldn’t. But sadly, they must. And if this message puts even one women at unnecessary risk of attack which could be avoided with a more intelligent approach or even a simple change of wording, then it is a travesty indeed. It also shows that ill conceived reactionary rhetoric can be more counter productive to the feminist movement than simply belittling itself and practically active feminists striving for real constructive progress, rather than toothless tit for tat. It shows it can be downright dangerous.

    1. missionmelissa says:

      I don’t think anyone is telling women not to be safe. Women are bombarded with messages of safety. I believe the point is that a woman’s attire is not an excuse to rape her and that she is never “asking” for it. Rapists aren’t just scary strangers (acquaintance rape is pretty high). I disagree about the messages from groups like http://www.mencanstoprape.org/
      are dangerous. I think it’s dangerous to presume that telling women that by dressing a certain way, taking certain precautions in certain places that you are then doing all you can do to prevent rape. I think it’s dangerous to presume that by placing the responsibility on victim then you’re doing a service. Not everyone that rapes is psychopath or a pedophile and I think it shouldn’t be equated.

      1. hicham says:

        “the other “dangerous” half of society (men)” : this is sexist message. ccusing men of being parists is off limit. I have anything to do withs rapists and I don t accept to be considered as potential rapist because some poeple can spread this dangerous sexist idea. Respecting men have the same matter as respecting women and there freedom to choose what to wear. Ther no way to tell women what to dress but poeple have not to call me a pervers because I like sexy women.

        I agree with smoki..

    2. rolex says:

      Then what do you suppose we do smoki? for you to say these things, means you have an alternative (possibly a solution) in mind? murderers will be murderers and rapists, rapists. Do you see no solution? no way to alleviate the murder? rape? robbery? do you see no solution to the world’s problems? Do you suggest our leaders do nothing? Is there always going to be war?
      (If you can extend your reasoning to murder and robbery, I can extend it further to war.)

      1st) Interesting… you can call a woman a slut, but a man must be called a male-slut if he has the same “unpleasant” characteristics because slut is connotatively directed at women? Does that mean women are inherently sluts while men can’t connotatively be called rapists? (esp when percentage-wise) men are more often times the rapists. also look at: bitch, milk-maids, nurse (as opposed to doctor)-male-nurse, wet nurse, dumb blond, hooker, etc.(gendered words) If you haven’t already known, the negative stereotypes of women have already been implemented in society. What about men? “rapist” “murderer (sometimes)” associates as well as maybe “professor” (have you ever looked it up on google?)

      Judging by the way you (SMOKI) left a reply, I assume you are a man, and you will judge by my response, that I am a woman. Regardless, here’s a compromise… I do agree with missionmelissa, but must admit the inevitable compromise in understanding when giving out the short message in slogans. Not all men are rapists and it offends to call a regular joe a rapist. And in a way, women might be perpetuating male stereotypes, but they are goddam hard to get rid of if most rapists and most computer scientists are men. Also, it is goddam hard to assert women’s rights without the expense of the other half. seriously, If you want women to have equal pay, the other half must give. The job positions must have equal opportunity between men and women and between the races for the limited number of positions. it is an inevitable consequence esp in this capitalist society. You can’t expect rape rates to lower without the help of both sexes. BUT here’s the compromise: how about we tell both boys and girls (and not just boys for your sake) to not rape? and telling both to be safe (boys and girls again)? (esp for the fear of LGBT rape). As a woman (you guessed it) I know the direction of caution and blame is being directed at women in this century. as it always goes, “she dressed like she was asking for it” or “women take caution” (because maybe we don’t know what to do about men?).

      I wonder about your statement Smoki: how can you expect a reaction from sexism from women (the association between “men”-“rapist”) and not expect any reaction from telling people in general “don’t rape.”
      also, you have NO STATS to back up your statements. If women didn’t assert power, would rape rates be higher? (I don’t know myself) Also, murders do murder, but if you stopped telling kids to not murder, and destroy any hint of murder and punishment from the literary curriculum, would murder rates be higher? ( i don’t know myself) You don’t know that either and you shouldn’t implement a society-wide experiment on something that intuitively endangers society (aka. stop telling kids “thou shall not kill” and taking away murder charges) just to prove yourself right. YOU also DON”T KNOW whether or not the murder laws are an effective deterrent or not without having compared before and after statistics. IN other words: murderers do murder, but IF you didn’t tell kids to murder there could be more murderers. and IF there wasn’t the law, there could be more murderers all the same.

      Also, while you can tell a person to be careful, you can’t blame them when things happen to them. Telling women to dress a certain way stigmatizes certain ways of dressing and in a way creates another societal law (against freedom). Also (to the girl who dressed in no way provocative(around Facebook)), sometimes the woman ISN”T EVEN ASKING FOR IT in the manner of her dress. She may be careful enough to have a cell phone turned on in her pocket with jacket and jeans and still be raped because she happened to be walking out at night. Women should take extra caution you say, but can they really take the extra precautions and not walk at night? There is unintentional murder for self defense and murder in war, but there ISN”T ANYTHING for anyone else in rape-pleasure. Where is the good or neutral intention in rape esp for the rapist?
      speaking for the girl who took the precautions and happened to be walking at night: The blame rests undeniably on the man and his INTENTIONS. the intentions are what makes a person morally wrong as opposed to right. The person with power over the other is wholly at fault. At the same time, the governing body is wholly at fault for the success or failures of society in this society’s system.

      1. rolex says:

        typos I hope you can find them “If you didn’t tell kids (not) to murder”
        and yeah, women could take extra precautions, but that’s half of society! people take precautions for war by making bomb shelters, but taking precautions to the point of carrying a pepper spray and dressing in knee length dresses to go night clubbing in the morning after notifying people you know and going with at least 1 friend is going a little too far for the other “dangerous” half of society (men) that we live in close proximity to. Aka Taking precautions is good I agree and I advise, but it is also restricting at times. It’s just like the 1st amendment rulings. Freedom of speech is good, but supreme court justices must realize that taking down random, dangerous speech is also in a way restricting the meaning of “free.”

  2. hicham says:

    @rolex : slut is an insult but rape is a crime !! I never call any woman a slut neither I think a women can be a slut. and it is revolting for me to be considered, and men in general, as crime maker especially rapist.

    This sexist point of view is more dangerous than giving the vitims of rape a responsibility of the crime they were subjected to. men are not rapists and victims, women and men, are not responsible of what they suffer from. yiu dont have to attack poeple and no one is saying that this is wrong.

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