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Feminist win

(10 Posts)
CailinDana Tue 18-Mar-14 16:02:26

A lovely male friend and I were talking today about our girls growing up and our fears and worries. We started to talk about clothing and I commented that I would be happy for my DD to go out in revealing clothes as a teenager if that's what she wanted. He tried to argue with me but I sort of backed him into a corner where his only option would be to admit that he would be banning his DD from wearing revealing clothes as that could lead to her being attacked, ie, what a woman wears plays a role in rape/sexual assault.
I think it hit home for him when I said "who would she be hurting by wearing these clothes? What crime would she commit? So why should she be the one restricted and not the criminals?"
I said, "If restricting people and keeping them at home prevents rape then it should be boys who are restricted and kept at home as they are the rapists." His response was "Yes, you're right. It's shit."
And then I felt a little bad. But I got through to him. And hopefully it will have an impact on his daughter.
MN helped me to crystallise my views on this.
So thank you.

CailinDana Tue 18-Mar-14 16:05:49

Perhaps I should add that this was a personal victory for me in a sense because I have been raped and sexually assaulted and I feel in a way I stood up for myself and, behind it all, I was saying "I was not in any way responsible for the rape or sexual assaults." I was arguing for myself, which I haven't been able to do in the past.

I would like to be able to tell said friend that I speak from personal experience but I am not there yet. Any advice on that aspect of things is welcome, as I feel that would be another big step for me but I'm not sure how wise telling such a big thing is, yet.

WhentheRed Tue 18-Mar-14 16:29:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

EEatingSoupForLunch Tue 18-Mar-14 23:35:17

I think you did really well making your point and persuading your friend to question his assumptions. Feeling comfortable telling him what happened is a different point, and you will get there when you're ready - it doesn't have to be linked to this discussion.

I was raped too and for years I couldn't even say the word. It took a period of counselling for me to even accept it. Weirdly reading Titus Andronicus really helped, but that's my background and not for everyone! Now I feel why should I be ashamed or uncomfortable talking about it? I hope you do have people in RL who know and can support you.

EEatingSoupForLunch Tue 18-Mar-14 23:54:02

I just read the Mary Beard thread and realised she referenced Titus Andronicus! Her lecture was about the silencing of women's voices and that could help you in thinking more about telling your friend about your rape? I'm going to take a look when I can.

CailinDana Wed 19-Mar-14 07:46:31

Thanks EE. I do have RL support. But yes, I'd like to get to the point where I can mention it to a good and trusted friend (which he is) without agonising about it. I feel it on a personal level and as a feminist. The silence and secrecy around rape is a massive problem IMO. It says a lot that an intelligent caring man like my friend really knows nothing about it when chances are so many of the women around him fear it and have experienced it. The silence just adds to women's shame and protects rapists. It's all wrong.

CailinDana Wed 19-Mar-14 07:47:29

Oh and I am very keen to read the lecture - do you have a link by any chance?

whatdoesittake48 Wed 19-Mar-14 11:41:38

the Mary Beard lecture is on the iPlayer for a few more days. very good.

I have had a similar argument with various people over the years - men and women. they simply don't equate it with blame - they see it as a sensible precaution and one we all make in some way.

I mean i avoid going out alone at night because I feel it is asking for trouble. is that because I feel I would be to blame if i was attacked - no not really. More because I wouldn't like it to happen to me so I avoid situations where it might.

This is slightly different argument to blaming a woman for wearing a certain garment. But at the end of the day it still blames the victim and ignores the perpetrator.

DebbieOfMaddox Wed 19-Mar-14 11:48:07

Even leaving aside victim-blaming arguments, whatdoesittake48, I don't think there's any evidence that wearing revealing clothes does make a woman more likely to be raped. I've certainly never seen any reliable statistics to that effect. It wouldn't change the central argument even if it were the case, of course.

EEatingSoupForLunch Wed 19-Mar-14 16:08:39

There was a link on here to a Twitter question about what women were wearing when they were raped. I can't remember the thread, can anyone else? It was very sad.

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