This is nothing new to the internet. I am late on the bandwagon, no doubt. Still, here are some thoughts:
I am SO. ANGRY. about this article and I hope it is understandable why. I read this about an hour ago and I’ve just been fuming here at work. Hopefully I’ve calmed down enough to be able to write this without being influenced by my first reaction which was: ASDJGHEDGUIAGHDJKSLGHAIEGHDSUGHLsdj FUCK. There is still a little bit of that nonetheless.
Some Reasons Why This Article is Awful and I Am Angry:
1. First off, it takes someone who did something incredibly brave and suffered terribly for it, and then did something incredible again by speaking up about it, and using her as an example. How she dressed at an awards show is completely 100% unrelated to the fact that she was gang-raped.
2. Rottenberg’s idea of ‘sensible’ precautions include not trusting male friends, not going to a male friend’s house at night unless you’re planning on having sex with him (this shit is verbatim y’all), not taking on certain jobs because people will think you’re a prostitute, and if you’re a female with a professional job, don’t take pictures where cleavage is shown. Yes. This is all, of course, highly sensible advice. Now I can truly live a full and free life! Thanks Dan Rottenberg! Just dictate my life for me, why don’t you! The fear of being raped already dictates my ability to walk the streets along at night! Now I guess the fear of being raped will dictate my friendships and clothing choices as well!
3. His closing suggestion is that it is easier to change one’s own behavior than it is to change another’s behavior. While this may have its merits in some situations - my God, am I tired of women being made out to be the perpetrator in situations of rape. “If women didn’t wear revealing clothing and dress like sluts and whores (words I hate. Words that I hope will never leave my mouth in reference to someone else), they wouldn’t be raped!” No. No. No. Rape can happen anywhere and at any time and to anybody, regardless of what one is wearing.
I hate hate HATE allegations that the way a women dresses can give off “the wrong vibe” or, the worst of it, that it means she’s “asking for it”. FYI, IF I WAS ASKING FOR SEX IT WOULD JUST BE CALLED SEX. THERE IS A REASON RAPE IS DEFINED AS AN ACT OF VIOLENCE. And you know what - yes, I can choose how I want to dress. No matter how revealing one’s dress is, how so-called “slutty”, no one is ever asking to be raped. No one. So dear Mr. Rottenberg, stop telling me how to dress and start telling men not to rape.