Today I got the chance to causally browse the internet awhile, and an article caught my eye.
Well more the responses to the article caught my eye. It was a statement from a police official in Guyana asking women to dress less provocatively to avoid being raped, and the responses were so hostile, it made me look twice. Women and more MEN were offended, how dare he try to tell us what to wear? We have a right to wear what we want! On and on it went.
I was taken aback, not by the statement, in fact it was right in order, but to the responses…hold on, sheath your lyrical blades, hear me out. I’m not at all for victim shaming, or glorifying offenders so lets really look at it. Indeed the rapist has no right to rape, but ummm, that’s why it’s against the law, and we all agree that the mind of a rapist is not a normal one. Not being right to do something is not a hindrance to doing it, so why not take steps to prevent it?
We all know that rape is not about sex, right? In fact while it may involve the sex act the whole institution of rape, is about power and control. These people, rapists, are all about finding prey they can exert power over, easily overwhelm and force to their will. More often than not in quick time with minimum fuss.
So there are things we can do to make ourselves less the victim, or apparent victim not so? Many women’s health, safety, rape prevention and advocacy groups suggest that women do some simple things to help themselves.
- Don’t park in dark alleys or under busted streetlights. Simply because being visible is one of our best weapons. If no one can see you then no one can see you get attacked
- avoid dark lonely alleys and walkways, if you can don’t walk alone. Again is no one can see you, no one can see when you need help.
- Defend yourself, if you are attacked fight back, make noise, someone will notice and come to your aid. Many of us are even familiar with the S.I.N.G method aren’t we? Don’t most of us have that special nail file, car key or pepper spray close to hand?
- Don’t look weak. Yep look like you’re in charge, walk confidently.
Do we cry out about our right to , go into dark alleys alone, in the dead of night? Or to go there alone? Or the right to not defend ourselves? Or to look all defenseless? I don’t think so. That’s just dumb right? So why do we hype so in matters of dress.
So here are some other recommendations I’ve come across
- If you gotta walk long distances alone don’t wear heal, or have running shoes with you.
For the simple reason, that unless you are some kinda superwoman, you can’t run in your FMP’s, If I was a hyena following a pack of gazelles wouldn’t pick the one that had Usane Bolt as a mentor, would you?
- Avoid ponytails: don’t give them anything to hold on to.
- Wear Jeans.
Again practical advice, not that your miniskirts that shows your lower butt cheeks aren’t fashionable, but one good yank and your naked hun. With jeans there’s no yanking their way to the honey pot, they gotta get past buttons, a zipper, and that skin tight denim doesn’t slip off, despite the Crisco we use to slide into them. Not to mention while the predator fumbles, a well placed kick to the face, or gonads might just be our bid to freedom.
Now that’s not so hard was it? While some may say that I will never grace the pages of Victoria Secret, Playboy, vogue hell even the local newspaper, I’ve no problem on a night out with the girls, where I may have to make a jaunt down Redcliff Street alone, skipping the hooker heals for some steal tips, and leaving my leggings or pumpum mini-dress at home for a pair of hip huggers and that vavavavroom top my mother would faint if she saw me wearing. Don’t I present a sexy picture?
But am I wrong? Does the right to wear what I want mean that I should not be mindful of my safety? or did I miss something.