"What were you wearing?” “Weren’t you asking for it?” By definition, rape cannot be ‘asked for’. Society likes to blame the victims of rape and sexual harassment for what happened to them. They like to say, “You should have been more careful!” However, when we tell women that should do so-and-so to protect themselves from rape, we are saying that the threat of rape is an inherent part of being a woman, we are saying it’s inevitable, something we cannot prevent, something we can only mitigate and learn to live with. This is false, firstly because if we teach our sons to be respectful, and that they are not entitled to anyone’s bodies, rape would not be as frequent as it is today. Rape is not inevitable, it is something that we, as a society, perpetuate due to the way we raise our men. Secondly, even if a woman follows all the ‘rules’: dresses modestly, doesn’t drink, isn’t promiscuous etc. she can STILL be raped or harassed. Rape happens because rapists exist, not because women refuse to follow a list of repressive, constrictive standards. Rape happens because men are taught that it’s normal, they see other men harassing women with very little backlash, and follow along.
Since society puts so much blame on the victim, they often feel overwhelming guilt and anxiety after they have been raped. This guilt prevents them from reporting what happened, or seeking help from those around them. It’s time to stop blaming the victims. Time to stop perpetuating harmful gender stereotypes, and justifying the actions of rapists with “but what was she wearing?” #speakup #feminism #women #womensrights #harassment #nomeansno #fight #srilanka #srilankanwomen #empowerment #rapeculture #gender #discrimination #sexism #abuse #society #equality #equalrights