Friday, September 17, 2010

Asking for it (by Suzie)

Echidne's posts on women's clothes this week reminded me of the "Not Ever" ad campaign from Rape Crisis Scotland. The nonprofit did a previous ad campaign based on the "This Is Not an Invitation to Rape Me" project, begun in 1993 by artists responding to the assault of a friend.

On YouTube, one commenter says that, when the man in the video says the woman is asking for it, he means that she's asking for sex. If someone asked to be raped, he says, then it wouldn't be rape -- it would be consensual. That ignores the dictionary definition:
ask for it - persist with actions or an attitude despite the probability that it will cause trouble; "He is asking for trouble with his behavior."
In regard to a sexy woman, "asking for it" reinforces the idea that:
  1. For women, sex is trouble.
  2. Men have so little control over their actions that a woman's appearance can provoke them into harassment or worse.
  3. Women have men in mind when they choose what to wear or how to behave.
  4. If a woman dresses or acts in a sexy way in hopes of having sex, then she's fair game for all men.
  5. Women should not or will not clearly initiate or consent to sex. Men have to look for clues, such as the way a woman dresses, to see if she wants it.
  6. Sex is akin to a bar fight in which women provoke men, and the men react in a way that proves their manhood while putting women in their place.
ETA: For others who are having trouble uploading videos on Blogger, change the width parameter 640 to 480 at both the top and bottom of the embed code. That's what I had to do with this one.