“No Wonder Joggers Get Raped…Look What They Wear!”
A runner in America was disgusted to read a comment on her Facebook page recently accusing her of inviting rape because of the clothes she chose to wear.
Laurah Lukin, a runner, coach and assistant dean and professor of medical education at the University of Cincinnati, was tagged on FB in a marathon photo she had completed in August. Alongside the photo of her was this vile comment: “That’s because she doesn’t have any damn clothes on and she’s running for her life…No wonder joggers get raped.”
She instantly felt the need to respond to the comment and found herself questioning her choice of outfit before correcting her train of thought. You see, there is nothing a woman can wear (or not wear for that matter) that will justify getting raped.
How disgusting that women are still made to feel that somehow they are to blame for unwanted sexual advances and crude comments. That somehow they could’ve prevented their own rape had they dressed or acted differently. Yet men are not subjected to the same criticism. There is no victim blaming for men.
“It is not my responsibility to choose a race outfit or workout apparel to deter the temptation of men. The length of my shorts is not an indication of interest, invitation or consent,” she wrote.
“The anthropologist in me realizes that blaming the victim makes us feel safe. It is comforting to pretend sexual assault is something that only happens to people who make bad choices… like racing a half marathon wearing leopard-print competition briefs in Ohio in August. His words not only propagated the idea that it is a woman’s responsibility to avoid sexual predation, they excused it. They normalized it,” Laurah went on.
How many times have we heard inappropriate jokes that are nervously laughed off because they are from someone we know? Some commenters on Laurah’s page dismissed this man’s comments by saying it was ‘merely a critique of a bad outfit choice.’
The thing is though, behind that seemingly innocent comment lurks a more sinister way of thinking. That perhaps Laurah shouldn’t be sexualising her body by wearing such short shorts. That if she didn’t want ‘that kind of attention’ then perhaps she could’ve chosen a different outfit.
Wrong! Women and young girls should never be made to feel responsible for someone else’s sick mind and actions. Laurah summed it up beautifully when she said “I do not want my daughter to grow up in a society that normalizes behaviors like victim blaming, sexual objectification, and the trivialization of sexual assault. To change this culture, I know I cannot roll my eyes, or ignore comments that place the responsibility of rape on the choices or behavior of the victims. I cannot be concerned as coming across as a frail, oversensitive “snowflake,” when people mock the seriousness of rape culture. I hope that by speaking out, others will be encouraged to speak out as well and help change that culture. Because with enough snowflakes, you can cause an avalanche that transforms the landscape.”
Good on you for speaking out Laurah! There is no place in the world for such vile and disgusting comments that do nothing but put the onus of rape on the victim. Women in society today are constantly being told what they can and can’t do with their bodies. Whether it’s breast feeding in public, showing too much cleavage or wearing leopard shorts for a marathon women should be free to do what they damn well please without having to worry about attackers (usually men) who have no control over themselves. How easy it is, to not take any blame for attacking a woman and suggesting it was her fault because her tits were out. Grow up!
Images: Facebook of Laurah Lukin