(Thousands of women come out on the streets to protest via SlutWalks, after a Toronto constable suggests that women could protect themselves better by not dressing like sluts.)
“Of course he’s a rapist, did you see the trousers he was wearing? And that vest? Why would a man wear that kind of clothing if he wasn’t out cruising for a victim?”
“The give away is the brand of jeans. If you see a bunch of guys walking down the road wearing Levis or Diesels, it’s all right, they’re not going to rape you. Other brands—well, I’d be careful. Just saying. You never know what a man wearing another kind of brand is thinking.”
“We always suspected he was a rapist. He’d leave the house every day wearing pajama-kurta—it’s obvious now that he didn’t want to waste time undoing buttons and zips.”
“According to police experts, women should be careful around men in tight jeans. Men in tight jeans are showcasing their sexuality and drawing attention to the power of their libido. Women should also be careful around men in loose jeans. Men in loose jeans have something to conceal, and may either be covering up an excess of sexuality or compensating for feelings of inadequacy. Many experts caution that men who wear pajama-kurta, shalwar-kameez, dhotis or lungis are subliminally indicating intent to rape, because these clothes are less restricting than Western wear.
Men in business suits, say some studies, are considered high risk because they are already accustomed to wielding power and carrying out certain forms of corporate violence. And women should stay far away from men in shorts, boxers and swimming trunks, who are sending out signals that rape would be expedient and easy for them. Police experts on rape suggest that in order to avoid becoming rapists, men should stay at home, not venture out after dark and dress in several layers of clothes—four pairs of jeans, six pairs of shorts—to indicate their willingness to support women’s rights and their intent never to rape.”
But these are things we never do. We never look at male behaviour; it’s always the women in the spotlight. We never ask questions about what makes men think they have the right to rape, or to harass; we never look at what a man’s wearing when he whistles at, or grabs, or attacks, or assaults, a woman; we never demand that men change their behaviour, their attitudes, their habits; we never shame rapists the way we shame the raped.