Does It Matter What Clothes I Wear?


The way a woman dresses is often seen as an incitement to rape.

The basic premise of this argument is deeply flawed. It places a disproportionate blame on the victim. It simply means, if you are sexually assaulted, the way you were dressed at the time of the attack, makes it understandable and in some sense, justified. How many of you have a problem with this skewed logic? I do.

Firstly, rapists look for easy, vulnerable targets. Thinking that women provoke attacks against them by the way they dress transfers blame from the perpetrator to the victim. In India, the statistic is something like a female is raped every 20 minutes. Anyone who has visited India will see that other than the metropolitan cities like Mumbai, females are very seldom seen wearing anything other than the traditional Indian kurta or sari. In contrast, in more modern countries like Singapore, where often women are seen strolling around in shorts that barely cover their bottoms, the rape rate is much lower.

Secondly, if clothing were truly the main motive for rape then what explains the rampant rape of infants in India. 53% of children in the country have faced sexual abuse of some form and almost 50% of the abuses are carried out by persons known to the child or by people who are in a position of trust and responsibility.

In my opinion, clothes definitely do not cause rape, rapists do. This argument simply creates a social stigma – which badly needs to be crushed – that rape is OK as long as the victim was “asking for it” by the way she was dressed. It instigates that men cannot be held accountable for the ways in which women tempt them- nor should they be forced to.

It should be understood that I do not advocate that women wear provocative clothing. However, I do believe that no woman asks to be raped or deserves it. The main issue or rather the bigger problem is a social one. If society themselves believe that the victim bears responsibility in their own sexual assault, how can justice ever be achieved?

Society shouldn’t only teach us to not get raped, society should more importantly teach us not to rape.

What are your views? Should the victim assume some responsibility? Or should men learn to control their animalistic urges?

We have a voice, use it.


6 thoughts on “Does It Matter What Clothes I Wear?

  1. Pingback: whataboutourvoice | No Should Mean No

  2. Yep… I agree with this…
    The definition of a “rape culture” is one which allows the public to perpetuate the idea that anything at all could make a woman “deserve” being violated, and furthermore these women are “asking for it”, and become targets for this kind of violence. As women who must be responsible for our own safety in a society which does not consider our safety its responsibility at all, we are forced to participate in rape culture by listening when where we are told, if its not safe to go out at night, then you shouldn’t go. If its not safe to wear that, cover yourself up. The inherent idea is telling us, if we act as such, we should expect to be punished. That is a rape culture. The dialogue of a disgusted public saying its so sad, and so sad we live in a world with these ideas, isnt enough. Conversations should expose and condemn this cultural thinking, which reduces the value and liberty of a human life by reducing it to that of an object, and thus breeds acts of violence by those of privilege and power against the oppressed and powerless.
    Ours is a rape culture… If the thinking and the teaching doesn’t change, the rape will never stop…

  3. I completely agree!!

  4. Very well written again. I agree completely with your statement that there is never any justified reason to rape someone. IT IS NOT ACCEPTABLE NO MATTER WHAT!!!, period. You have a very strong voice and should consider exploring other issues/ causes too. You seem to be a Blogger with a cause and your writing capabilities make them worth reading. Keep up the good work.

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