At 2/21/13 10:39 PM, Camarohusky wrote:
At 2/21/13 07:31 PM, TheMason wrote:
Um...the clothes a woman is wearing would be a situational factor.But it's not. No rapist is going to be triggered by the sexiness of a target. Certain rapists are triggered by a certain article of clothing, but there's nothing that indicates that that article of clothing will nessecarily be a sexy or skimpy one (e.g. a knit sweater could be the trigger, and those aren't revealing or sexy by any means.)
In other words, the amount of reveal the clothes have do no have that much of an effect, if any at all, on whether the wearer is likely to be raped or not.
But it is.
There are two sides to the argument about dress and rape:
1) That dressing in an overtly sexual way can make you a target for rape.
2) That the way you dress makes you either a 'hard' or 'soft' target for rape. A hard target would be clothing that would be difficult to get off making the rape more of a challenge. A soft target would be the girl in a micro-mini with a thong on.
Now...I don't think issue 1 has been studied all that in-depth partly because of the difficulty acquiring the data. And it is further complicated by the problems of under-reporting of rape and the willingness of victims to participate. Plus, rules against human subjects in research studies, including interviews, could prohibit the sort of interviews that could shed light on number 1 because of the psychological harm done to the victim since it could lead to her blaming herself.
As for point #2...which is the main thrust of my argument at this point...
You're not addressing. Whether or not the clothes worn are sexual in nature is irrelevent. You're still caught-up with addressing point 1 when I'm talking about point 2 so you fail to deconstruct my argument.
So...yes clothing remains a situational factor. How many rapists are going to look at two drunk girls with everything else being equal
Girl A: Wearing tight fitting jeans with a belt. Heels that are buckled or tied on. She looks very sexy and attractive...not a wall flower by any definition.
Girl B: Wearing a dress. It could be a rather plain sundress. She's wearing flats, hair in a pony tail.
Girl A is dressed sexually, but her clothing would be difficult to get off of her. Takes time. Also, you are focusing your strength on removing clothing...not subduing her. Not doing the act.
Girl B is dressed conservatively, not overtly sexual at all...but all you have to do is push up the skirt. It is quick and you don't have to do two things at once: take off her clothes while subduing her. She is the easier mark.
In the end, my point was that clothing is a situational factor in that it can make you easy to rape or hard to rape.
Sexiness of the clothing has nothing to do with, and is at this point irrelevent.
Nor has anyone shown where dressing defensively is a bad idea.
I'm coming at it from a "what makes a rapist rape" perspective, and the sexiness of the clothes just doesn't do it. It's more about vulnerability and weakness, and sexy clothes espouse, far more often than not, the opposite of weakness or vulnerability. A girl who dresses like a nerdy loner is a far easier, and thus far more appealing target, than one dressed like a slut.
Depends on the sexy clothes. If we're talking about a tailored powered suit with expensive heels...yes that's powerful. If we're talking about a woman wearing tight fitting jeans and a top that shows off her curves...yes that's confidence.
But if we're talking about a girl wearing clothes that are only a notch or two above a stripper's costume that is not strength, confidence, or invulnerability. In a culture where that kind of clothing is commonly portrayed as being worn by a woman with 'Daddy Issues' (see Barny in How I Met Your Mother or Charlie in Two and a Half Men) and low self-esteem.
And that's the thing, if a clothing ensemble is considered 'sexy' I agree we're probably talking about a woman who projects strength and confidence. But when the clothing is considered 'slutty'...she is projecting weakness and vulnerability.
Also, by focusing on point 1 (the sexual nature of clothing), you are overlooking point two about dressing defensively. Which as I point out below makes one less of a target because of the challenge their clothing presents.
Now, there are ways to dress weak, but that's never been the focus of the "don't dress that way" message. It's never been "dress like you're strong and can handle anything, thus deterring potential attackers who will think you can fight back." It's always been, "Dress for sex and you will get raped." There is NOTHING that indicates, even anecdotally, that rapists are out for the sexiest thing they can find.
I think if you re-read what I'm writing...you'll see that I'm making this point. Yes, I think that there could be a link between overtly sexual clothing and a very small increase in a woman's likelihood of being targeted. But as you point out...there is no data on it. But the data is rather silent either way, I've tried looking for studies on it and come up with inconclusive studies.
But my position is two-pronged. Dress defensively so that a potential rapist looks at you as strong and a challenge, not easy. Since rape is about power, then most rapists probably are not looking for a victim that would present the most challenge, but whose weakness would compliment their personal fable of strength. They may also be looking for a target that will be easy to subdue so that their risk of getting caught is reduced. Afterall, if you don't have to struggle with zippers and buttons and then pull tight fitting jeans off two kicking legs...you can instead focus on holding her down.
I'm not making the case that you are focusing on. Nor am I attempting to shift blame to the victim. At most all I'm saying is you have the responsibility to yourself to dress in a way that is safe for the situation you're putting yourself in. It is not the bouncing star from Super Marios Bros. that makes you invincible...but it will have some effect.
I'm not taking into account the long term watchers, stalker rapists, or accquantances, as the timeline for them is so long that they've picked out their target well before the time of the attack and in such case the clothes being worn are pretty much irrelevant.