We had our annual sexual assault prevention training today. The female instructor said that women draw attention to themselves by the way they dress and it causes them to be raped. This came out of a womans mouth! <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
I pointed out to her that she was wrong. A woman can wear whatever she wants. Just because she's in a tight, low cut shirt and a mini skirt; it does not mean that I have a free pass to screw her. She may be wearing it for her girlfriend/boyfriend. She may be wearing it because it makes her feel good. Either way, no man has a right to rape a woman based on what she's wearing.
The instructor said that may be true but women should dress modestly. I continued to point out the flaws in her instruction. She stopped and handed the class over to a male instructor. He was a big, scary looking black man. He took the training more seriously than she did. He agreed with me that a womans clothing is no grounds for assault.
He went on to point out a case where a woman had a "tramp stamp" tattoo. She was harassed based on that tat. He pointed out that it was where she chose to have body art placed. It does not mean that she's a tramp. It does not mean that she's easy or loose. It's just a spot where she has a tattoo.
He went on to cover that both men and women are victims of assault and harassment. Men are far less likely to report it.
Bottom line, the only way we can stop harassment and assault is to change society. It has to be an entire cultural change. It has to change in media, music, movies, games, and in the home. Be a real man and teach your children not to accept it. Be a real friend and step in to stop it from happening. If she (or he) says no, it means NO!