Just sitting anywhere on campus long enough, one can view ample evidence of what is now popular female attire. If sitting low enough, one can also see more than anyone (mostly anyone female) would like to see hanging out of the back of those tiny skirts. It's true, most female clothes are now made shorter and tighter than they have ever been. Just compare the length of shorts in the teenage section versus women's. Many girls in junior high and high school deal with strict length requirements and complain that no store sells shorts with a 4-inch or longer inseam.
With the decrease in fabric comes the increase in attention to more visually available areas of the body. Of course men have always paid careful and close attention to the female body anyway, but now they have even more skin to look at. Men love to look and pass judgment later.
If a flirty girl is wearing the same skimpy clothes as everyone else, she becomes "slutty." Then, you hear about that "slutty" girl who wore something short and scanty to a bar or party and was raped that evening. And that horrible remark comes out: "She was asking for it." Guys and girls alike say that: "Of course she was raped; just look what she was wearing, the way she was acting. She was practically asking for it."
Nothing could be more disgusting or further from the truth. The idea that any woman would ask to be raped, that a woman would knowingly dress in such a way as to attract a creature that loathsome and despicable should appall anyone who stops to think about this quandary long enough. How could we do this to ourselves - invite the lowest forms of male perversity to desecrate our bodies?
It's how women dress now, and not just a few; it's much of the young female population. Women dress in shorter skirts and tighter, more revealing tops for current fashion and the attraction factor. If men didn't think these clothes looked good, they wouldn't be worn. If no one liked flirting, no one would. Not all instances of rape involve flirting and a halter top; rape will happen anyway. And even those instances in which no one would attribute the rape to the woman's attire, the blame is then falsely transferred to her behavior. Rape can come from anger, hate, rejection, sexual frustration or any number of other causes and mental problems that often have little to do with women. Rape does not happen because anyone was asking for it.
It is this mindset and these crude comments that leave many women ashamed of something they could not control. Many women who are raped never get help and never tell anyone of their secret pain, because they somehow feel responsible. Maybe they've been told too many times about women who were just asking for it. They painfully run through the situation in their heads over and over, trying to figure out what they did wrong because they know that somehow it must have been their fault. Well, it's not, but they may have to feel this way for a long time. Because these women will not share their story, they may never completely heal.
Even women who do seek help may feel ashamed and guilty. The embarrassment from thinking they could have somehow prevented their rape may be attributed in part to the publicly expressed belief that women are to blame for their own abuse.
For the sake of moving on in life, and in order to permanently rid themselves and all women physically and mentally of sexual violators, women need to get help and accept that they are not to blame.
According to thehelpline.net, about one in four female college students experience rape or attempted rape, and 78 percent of these women know their attackers. Therefore, chances are everyone will know several rape victims and several rapists in his or her lifetime.
Maybe men and women don't take rape seriously enough. Date-rape pills are comical to some and people enjoy congratulating each other over recent conquests. These attitudes shared just among friends may be as damaging as the vocalization that rape is a woman's fault. These private moments don't actually cause rapes, but they may lead to a lack of sexual respect in a society that rewards women more for the depth of their bras than the depth of their personalities. With women often viewed solely as sex objects, attitudes contributing to rape and abuse may come about more easily.
While some guys laugh about forcing sex, and girls say all sluts have it coming, rape victims cry alone in the dark.
Sara Warzecka admires any woman who has the strength to get help. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.