***TRIGGER WARNING – this post contains opinions on rape and sexual abuse. Please, please do not read this if you are in any way triggered by these things. If you have been affected by sexual abuse and violence, there are organisations that can help. http://rapecrisis.org.uk/ and http://www.thesurvivorstrust.org/ both offer helplines and online advice and help. Please do not suffer in silence – you are not alone.***
Over the weekend, one of the people who used to inspire me for her general badassery made a comment around women’s clothing choices and the likelihood of rape happening. You can probably already sense where this blog post is going to go, so I’ll apologise for just how sweary I’m going to get.
You can read about what Chrissy Hynde, the lead singer from The Pretenders, has said HERE. I’m not going to type it out because it’s made me so fucking furious I might break my laptop with the pure force of my typing.
Let me start by saying something that I have said for years, that I’m sure I will continue to say until I’m dead:
WE SHOULD NOT BE TEACHING OUR WOMEN HOW NOT TO BE RAPED, WE SHOULD BE TEACHING OUR MEN NOT TO RAPE.
I could walk out my front door in a pair of pants and heels on, holding my own boobs in my hands and I could walk up to a man and wiggle my arse in his face but guess what…until I give my consent I’M NOT FUCKING ASKING FOR IT.
My ability to run away from a man who is actively trying to cause me physical and mental harm being impeded by my choice to wear heels, is not a justification for a rapists attempt to carry out an illegal and life destroying act upon me.
Until my clothing can physically and audibly speak for me to give my consent for sex as a result of me telling them to do that, the way that I dress is not an invitation for any person to attempt to have sex with me against my will.
We need to end this ridiculous culture that blames the victims of sexual abuse for the unspeakable horrors that have happened to them. It is not their fault that a man is completely unable to reign in their primal urges. It is not my fault if I walk outside completely naked and a man interprets that as a free pass to soil my body for his personal gratification.
This photo is a photo for me. It is a photo of my body, and I love it. This photo is not an invitation for anyone to do what they want to my body.
This is not brave of me, this is not risky, this is to show Chrissy Hynde and all other women and ESPECIALLY men that even if I’m just in my pants, YOU DO NOT HAVE IMMEDIATE ACCESS TO MY BODY. I own my body, I own the clothes I put on it. I do not own the actions of men who cannot control themselves.
Until I tell you yes, just fucking assume it’s a no.