The other day was a beautiful early spring day, and I was feeling it! It wasn’t “hell hot”, and I knew I’d be walking through the City. So, I decided to wear a dress….. a low-cut dress. I provided a side-shot because I couldn’t deal with seeing a full-on boob shot of me on the Internet.
As I handled my business, a thought occurred to me: “If somebody said something rude or sexual to me, would it be my fault because I wore the dress?” I posted the question on my FB page (without a picture of the dress). Below are some of the responses I received:
~Yes. I don’t give the person a pass for making the comment but let’s keep it real certain outfits lend themselves to certain comments (it ain’t right but that’s the way it is). S. Bascom
~The problem that I have with “certain outfits” is that you are grown and entitled to wear what you want and should not have to be gawked at, whistled at, or have any negative attention drawn to you. Men, are visual creatures, but everything that comes to mind DOES not have to be vocalized. There is nothing wrong with saying someone looks nice without sounding like a wolf. If women went around speaking out on everything sexual that comes to mind, I’m sure some men would find it offensive and some uncomfortable. D. Celeste
~I wear whatever suits my mood and you could gawk, cat call or do whatever because of it. It reflects badly on you not me! P. Carter
~No, your outfit doesn’t grant permission to be harassed. Y. Slack
~Not your “fault,” but, as a guy, not really the guy’s fault for thinking you look good either. Now SAYING something might cross the line. I think THAT would be up to the woman. P. Brakefield
~Ok…but what about the girl in the bootie shorts with the boobs hanging out? For some reason she thinks she looks jazzy too. But we all know she a hot mess. Of course comments will be made to her and the poor thing will probably be flattered for the attention whether it be negative or positive. But I blame her mama for not raising her to know better. Is it her fault? I say no because somebody should have stopped her at the door. V. Taylor
What do you think? While you stew on your opinion about the dress, here are couple of interesting details about rape. Yes, rape. “A major Brazilian research institute published a report on attitudes towards sexual harassment and rape. They asked 3,800 people across the country if “women who wear clothes that show off their body deserve to be attacked”. Some 65% said they agreed to some degree. More than half also agreed that “if women knew how to behave, there would be fewer rapes”. No, this isn’t Brazil, but is America much different? Should I have to take responsibility for somebody else’s reaction to my clothes and body?