(c)-rachael-nielsen-2012

feminist rant about "sexy" clothes

What is sexy is relative. sexy can be subverted, played with, altered and re-interpreted. There tends to be some Western consensus as to what is sexy and thus looking for sexual attention. this here is dangerous. what a person wants can not be totally understood via her dress. perhaps she is looking for a sexual liaison, but how open she is to that, the way in which she will approach it, what she needs for it and under what circumstances and with whom she might say yes, are hugely varying and individual. Women’s dress should never be taken into account in a rape case. A woman’s intentions can not be gathered only from her dress, as her choice of top may have specific meaning to her and not have the meaning others gather. much like art, the message can be manipulated but it is ultimately out of her control exactly how she is seen and she is not responsible for that. She should not be punished because she could not read the brains of those who saw her and preemptively go about changing their opinion of her so as to not get raped. Dress has basically no baring on why a person gets raped. The rape has everything to do with the psychology of the rapists brain.

Sexual clothes are used as a poor excuse. they are used as a loop hole when in fact wide spread beliefs that women are all ‘sluts’ or are 'sluts’ if wearing certain clothes as a justification for being treated badly, are the true problem. Female sexuality (overt or not, just that she is a woman and therefore a female sexual being) is punishable via victim blaming which places blame on the woman and lets the rapist go free. 

 "sexual clothes" is in its self is a misnomer, as a woman’s nakedness and body is not inherently sexual, in that she is not always sexual and her body is thus not in a state of default sexuality. Sexuality is an integral part of humans but nakedness is not an inherently sexual state, it is a natural state and the body is used for multiple purposes. Women’s breasts are virtually the same as mens, i would say except for fat deposits but some women have no breasts just naturally or through surgery and some men have large fat deposits through obesity. Hence cleavage should not be seen as default sexual and always intended for the public. A woman can dress for herself and be intending to make herself feel sexy. that sexy may not be for you, me or anyone else. it can never be assumed that it is “sexy”, sexy for the public or a justification for assault. 

Active consent has to be given in all situation and to all people. There is nothing which changes that. Not even if she is not wearing underwear or is a stripper. No matter if the message is intended for the sexual arousal of men, none of these situations mean her right to say no, when and exactly how, is erased. Consent is not a revolving door. it has to be given and continued to be given. no level of sexuality or “sexual” display absolves a women of her rights over her body. no occupation, no situation, no ambiguousness, no clothes mean that it is a woman’s fault; partial or contributing as to why she got raped or assaulted. The focus should be upon the rapist and the real reasons for it. rape is a hate act, not an act of sexual desire too strong to control or directly made out of arousal because of her clothes, attitude ect. 

A conversation, a 'hi how are you?“ an offer of a drink, or coffee, or dinner is an appropriate reaction to attraction, be it sexual or otherwise. rape, verbal abuse, slut shaming etc are not. They leave her traumatized, wounded and in deep psychological distress. that is not a reaction to appropriate desire, nor are those actions desire. consensual, healthy actions do not lead to one being wounded and traumatized or crying, or self mutilating or trying to commit suicide. (i am leaving out in this example, situations of consensual sex upsetting rape victims or stirring childhood memories of molestation). 

What a woman should expect when wearing "sexual clothes” or any clothes, interpreted as sexy or alluring or not,  are eyes to be upon her in public to varying degrees. Those eyes should be expected to be respectful even if lingering. She is to expect to be treated like a person, not a sex object no matter what she wears, be it thigh high latex boots or converse. In no way does she deserve or collude in any way harassment or assault of any kind. 

What causes harassment and assault are attitudes that it okay to harass women just for being women, for being sexual, for sending “mixed signals” for saying no, for saying yes; for any reason that puts the blame on her and not the women hating beliefs that the rapist or harasser has. 

What the real problem is, is that there are beliefs that justify  "sexual" women deserving to be treated badly, raped and assaulted. The minds and actions of those people are the ones that should be under serious, criminal scrutiny, not the victims. 

A WOMAN IS IN NO WAY DEVIANT OR SHOULD BE SCRUTINIZED FOR BEING SEXUAL IN PRIVATE OR PUBLIC. THERE IS NO CRIME IN THAT, IN BEING NAIVE, IN SENDING MIXED SIGNALS, IN SAYING YES, NO, IN DRESSING “SEXY” OR BEING FLIRTATIOUS. What is a crime is rape. She did not rape anyone so in no way should she be on trial.