Okay, two posts of interest that I have stumbled across in the last few days; one by Gin, and one by Hugo…both worth reading, really….and both got me with the thinking of course. Both even have much to do with the idiocy that is “the short skirt” theory…
You know the one that suggests that how a woman is dressed somehow makes it if not okay, less bad for a guy to rape her? Yeah, THAT idiocy!
First I am gonna pretty much repeat what I left in a comment at Gin’s about the matter. The mere idea that clothes of any kind: tight, low cut, short, revealing, whatever have the power to make men rape is so stupid it just stuns me. A short skirt never made anyone do anything, and if revealing attire on women made men rape…just, you know, caused them all to lose any sense of self control and suddenly become mindless animals bent on penetrating a woman dressed oh so shamelessly, why is it that we do not see droves of men losing it and raping women at the community swimming pool where bikinis and tight one pieces are everywhere, or in crowded gyms where- especially in summer- things such as this are not at all an uncommon view? Or hell, for that matter, how come it is we don’t see men humping mannequins in the mall who happen to be wearing short skirts? The answer to that is pretty simple: because raping someone is a choice, men do possess the ability to control themselves, and clothing does not make anyone do anything. Scare tactics like telling women a certain kind of dress makes men mindless ravaging beasts might scare women into more modest dress (which hey, plenty of modestly dressed women get raped too), but it also brings up a very valid point that a lot of the “you shouldnta worn a short skirt” crowd forgets: If short skirts, ect., have that kind of power over men (which they don’t, but), then men are non-evolved beasts who need to be put out of their own and everyone else’s misery. Would you bring a rabid dog into your home? Well, if not, why then would you not put down another equally capable of violence creature that simply cannot control itself? Frankly, I think we should get to shoot any rapist who claims a short skirt made them do it….one, they obviously need the high velocity cerebral cortex lead therapy, and two….we can then say their stupidity made us do it!
Hugo had a letter over at his place, about young women, men, and clothing…and you know, it’s pretty good. Way more enlightened than the advice I got as a teenage girl regarding that kinda thing. But in the comments, the question was asked why aren’t people trying to educate, reach, so on, young men in this same way on these same matters….and well, I thought it might be interesting to give that a shot myself. I mean, I am not a guy, I can’t necessarily speak to them in the same way another male could, and heck, if they are the type to just disrespect women period, well, then nothing I can or will say will ever change their minds…but hell, I thought it might be an interesting exercise at least…so, here we go:
An Open Letter to Young Men:
I cannot say what it is like to be you, to truly know the pressures you face while growing up or how you have to work and strive to find your own sense of self and your place in the world. But I do know what it was like to grow up with and around you, how it felt to be seen or noticed by you in a good way, how it felt to be seen or noticed by you in a bad way, how it felt to be seen and noticed by you not at all or way too much. I also know that growing up and finding oneself and ones place is not always easy, regardless of if you are a boy or a girl. It can be rough, no question, all around. But I do have something to say to you, and I do hope maybe you will listen.
No one likes to be picked on, slandered, bullied, hurt, made fun of or taken advantage of. I am sure it is something you do not like to be on the receiving end of, and simple truth is, no one else likes it either. And when growing up, things are difficult for everyone. So just as you would not liked to be judged, or accused by, or treated badly by people, it is important to know that no one else likes that either. Sure enough, as you get older, you are going to most likely be interested in the opposite sex, drawn to them, find them pretty or interesting or yep, even attracted and turned on by them- but something that is important to remember is this:
You and those girls? Take away the few different things and basically, those girls are made up of the same components that you are: flesh, bones, hormones, feelings, brains, guts, joints, and all the same sort of chemical and biological compounds that make a human just that: a human. She is a person just like you are, often with the same things going on in her head and life that you have, and she deserves to be treated with the same level of respect and humanity that you yourself would wish to be treated with. How she looks or what she wears does not change that. Under whatever clothes she is wearing, she is a human, made up of the same human things you are made up of, and just as hateful names or jeers or ugly stares or rumors and lies make you upset…they will do the same thing to her. Girls do not relish being made fun of, or tormented, or treated badly and disrespected any more than you do…so perhaps, when you are tempted to do that to a girl, or see your friends doing it to one, you need to stop and think about her for a moment.
How do you think it makes her feel? How would you feel if it was happening to you? How would you feel if it was your mother, or sister, or female friend being treated in that manner? What must it be like to be her? And if you were her, or when you yourself are being treated poorly, how much would it mean if someone would just stop doing it, or made it stop, or said to their friends “Hey, you know, this really isn’t that fair or cool?”
Little things like that can make a world of difference, and not just for her, but for you, and every other human you have around you- boy or girl. Under it all you are pretty much the same: human, with all that human commonality and awareness and likeness- and when you disrespect a girl- no matter how “okay” or “cool” or “fun” anyone else might say it is…you are not merely disrespecting her; you are disrespecting yourself and every other person on the planet as well.
And respect? Having it and showing it does not make you weak, or uncool, or whiny, or any other such thing. In fact, it makes you quite the opposite. It is far stronger and braver to stand up to, stop, and defend people from harm than it is to cause it, join in on it, or ignore it. And respect given also often respect then earned.
You may not be able to control others, but you can control yourself, and being a decent person to others, male or female, will not only make them feel better, it will probably make you feel better too…and the world could use better people…so try being one, even when it is not always the popular or easy thing to do.
So yeah, there is my attempt at reason and humanity for the day…