assorted clothes in wooden hangers

To Anyone Who Blames Sexual Assault On What Someone Was Wearing

Trigger warning: Sexual assault

“She was asking for it.” “She shouldn’t have worn that.” “Well, but why was she wearing that if not for a man?” I hear you.

Let me try to explain it like this to you, guys. And I do mean ‘guys’ as in men, not just as a collective word. Because, let’s be honest, more often than not, those comments aren’t made by women. So here we go.

Picture this and try to put yourself in his shoes: A man wears an expensive watch. He loves it; it makes him feel good. It was a purchase he was looking forward to—he had been eyeing it for a while. This particular model, well, it just fits him. He feels good about it, it gives him that edge, lets him channel what he needs to to get out of bed and out of the door on some shitty Monday morning. He might even roll up his sleeves so he can admire it; it’s a pick-me up. Why the hell not? He might even like it when he catches other people admiring it. Which is okay; if it makes him happy, who is anyone to judge that, right? Catching someone else eyeing it gives him a little ego boost, but that’s just a bonus. He likes the way the watch looks on him, that’s why he got it in the first place and why he wears it. It is elegant and expensive and it really does look good. And he also knows that people kind of wish they had it too; people desire it. He has worked hard for it; he is proud of it. Should he only wear it in the comfort and safety of his own home, with the lights off, where no one can see? Of course not. It’s a watch. Lots of people have it. It’s all good.

One day, his watch gets stolen. Just like that. It’s not a big deal though. After all, he was asking for it, right? Wearing it in public, maybe even rolling up his sleeves occasionally so others would see it, admire it? Really, this is his fault. He should have known better.

Does that sound like a good argument to you? Does that make stealing it justified? I sincerely doubt it. But, hey, tell me I’m wrong and mean it. I know you won’t.

Women wear clothes for all sorts of reasons. Sometimes it is because of how flirty a cute skirt makes us feel, how fun and free. We wear high heels because of the way it elongates our legs, and we like catching a glimpse of ourselves in a window’s reflection, looking powerful and confident in those killer heels. We wear crop tops because damn, we worked hard on our abs or on the confidence to not care about having some. We wear low cut shirts because our girls look good and it really makes our necklace pop, or vice versa. Are we asking for it? Or is it just like an expensive watch? Just because we have it, just because we wear it, does not mean you can take it. It certainly does not mean we want you to take it.

“They were asking for it.” “They shouldn’t have worn that.” “Well, but why were they wearing it if not for others?” What are we talking about? The shoes, the skirt, the watch? Ladies and gentleman, the answer does not matter. Taking something that isn’t yours is never okay.

About the author
writer, criminal psych student, traveler...but mainly just winging it Follow Andrina on Instagram or read more articles from Andrina on Thought Catalog.

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