The Dynamics of Risk
There's a comic strip making the rounds that illustrates consent in various forms:
I wholeheartedly agree with all of the examples given. That being said, I need to comment on the last one, which implies that someone who is dressed a certain way should expect people to treat them in a manner appropriate for how they are dressed.
This issue bugged me for a long time when I was growing up, but I bit my tongue since I both couldn't express my thoughts properly and was probably not the best person to speak about it. However, now that I actually have been a victim of sexual assault, plus now I have a daughter who will eventually have to deal with this, I will say what I am likely to teach her.
First things first: Rape is inexcusable and blaming the victims is a non-starter and despicable. That is not what I want to talk about. What I do need to talk about is risk management.
I can feel some people rolling their eyes already, but bear with me. I will make it clear to my daughter that the world isn't a rosy place and that there are all sorts of people out there. By dressing in a revealing or provocative way, such people might take it as an invitation to act in an inappropriate manner. Does it give them that right? Absolutely not! However not all people are rational, well-adjusted or know right from wrong.
Before people start complaining that a girl should be able to dress how she wants, let me ask you this: if you drove a luxury car in a slum and left the doors unlocked with the keys in the car while you did errands and came back to an absent car, would you be surprised? Is the victim to blame? Of course not; someone stole the car. Could the victim have improved the odds in their favor? Absolutely.
And this comes back to risk management. Just because you can do something, it doesn't make it a good idea.
Image Credit » https://pixabay.com/en/woman-beach-bikini-model-beauty-692786/ by 873770