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Rapes: Blaming the Victim

Note: This was originally written as an answer to a Quora question asking why we say girls should dress the way they want even if it invites rape, but we still keep wallets safely for precaution.

When we keep the wallet very safely, it’s a given that the wallet can’t be stolen.

When a girl dresses conservatively, she can still be molested, ogled at, and worse, raped.

Dressing conservatively, or in full clothes, can be seen as a “precautionary measure” only when you assume that the opposite of it is safe. Unfortunately, male dominance, rape, and sexual objectification of women have been a truth in most patriarchal societies, across cultures, across civilizations, across history. They happened even when women’s attire would cover their full bodies. There may be evidence to suggest women with skimpy attire may generate more male gazes and attraction, but rape is an activity that is initiated by people who have rapist mindsets. Viewing someone sexually without disturbing the object’s privacy and modesty is a personal choice and subject to your own freedom; but even something like viewing someone sexually while simultaneously disturbing their modesty and privacy is unacceptable—rape is obviously, unthinkably far bigger than that.

When a wallet sneaks a bit out of your pocket and a pickpocket sees it, it’s an “opportunity” for him; in the crudest sense of how this world runs, it is an example of the evolutionary theory of “survival of the fittest”. If the pickpocket manages to get away from the law, he was probably “fitter” than you to claim the wallet, and you were unable to protect it. But if a woman’s modesty sneaks a bit out of her clothes, and a man sees it, it’s an opportunity for him to have sex, only if he thinks he owns the right over the privacy of another individual who breathes and walks and talks like him. If the man thought of the woman as a higher individual, he would not dare do it. So it must be either (1) a case of the feeling that he owns the right over an equal individual, which is unacceptable; or (2) a case of feeling that he owns the right over a lesser individual, which is unacceptable again because women are not lesser individuals.

Now, you may decide if a pickpocket is as much equal to a wallet as a woman should be to a man.

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