Whenever the conversation turns to sexual violence, many people still try to shift the blame from assailant to the victim. Therefore, many victims are left with, much bigger guilt then the attacker, after having their behavior, choices, lifestyle and especially clothing questioned in an attempt to find out how they have might have provoked the attack.
Writer and activist Josh Weed took to Twitter to address the issue and it is incredible. He writes.
I am a gay man raised in a heteronormative world. A part of this world I have always been baffled by is “modesty” culture.
The main premise of “modesty” culture is that women need to dress in a way that doesn’t provoke sexual response in men. Which is insane.
I think it is absolutely crazy that a man can look at a woman and say “I think you should wear something else because seeing your skin makes me feel aroused. And that arousal is strong and I haven’t learned how to appropriately manage it. So please change your clothes.”
This is bonkers. Especially when men then start to claim that a woman is *worth* more if they dress a certain way. As if covering flesh somehow earns a woman value, all because it doesn’t evoke a sexual response in men. And then, if a woman DOESN’T do this? Well now a man has a right to chastise a woman, call her names say she is slutty and wicked. All because *he* is having a sexual response.
Newsflash: women’s worth is STATIC. It is inviolable. It doesn’t change with what she does or doesn’t wear. It doesn’t change with sex.
And a man’s sexuality is HIS OWN RESPONSIBILTY.
Wanna know how I know this? It’s because in my whole life I have never told another man how to dress even though a man’s body arouses me.
I have never told a man he should put his shirt on on a hot day when he is on a summer run. I have never demanded modesty from a guy.
I have never expected men to stop wearing loose basketball shorts because they might be revealing to me and turn me on.
In fact, I have had, my entire life, been in situations where men take ALL THEIR CLOTHES OFF RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME (locker rooms, etc.).
And guess what? Even though I have felt aroused, I have never EVER blamed another man for that arousal. My arousal is about ME. Not him.
I have never assaulted another man for this. I have never raped another man for this. I have never claimed a man was “asking’ for it”.
A person’s worth is static, inviolable, and begins the day they are born as a baby until the day they die. Clothes do not change this.
And a man’s arousal is HIS OWN DAMN RESPONSIBILITY. It is not the responsibility of the body that evoke’s that arousal. Ever.
Straight men blaming women for their own sexual responses degrades women. And it disempowers men. It excuses them from taking ownership of their own bodies. And it allows them to build fury towards what they covet. It’s dangerous. It leads to assault. It IS rape culture.
My four daughters deserve better than this. They deserve to be safe. They deserve to wear what feels good to them on a summer day.
And they deserve to relish knowing that they are valuable no matter WHAT they wear. (You know, the same messages men get from birth on!!)