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Silhouette of Woman in Skirt, Running (mzacha, Morguefile)

Silhouette of Woman in Skirt, Standing (mzacha, Morguefile)
Skirting Around

Silhouette of woman in skirt running Let us not skirt around the issue.
Often there seems to be furores about women in short skirts asking for 'it':-
  • Stephen Dixon of Sky News causes Outrage - see Daily Mail or Huffington Post (2017). He wonders whether drunk women in short skirts need to take personal responsibility for being sexually assaulted. He is challenged on air. This is the main incident I will be discussing.
  • India's Culture Minister advises Female Tourists not to Wear Skirts - see BBC or The Guardian (2016). Yet the UK Foreign Office has similar advice.
  • Grace Mugabe causes Outrage as she claims girls invite rape by wearing short skirts - see BBC or Daily Mail (2015).
On the one hand are (typically) men suggesting that the woman could have expected it. Women (may) have provoked it. This may point blame at women. Or it may be well-meaning concern.
On the other hand are people saying that men need to control themselves. Only the (male) perpetrator is at fault. Never blame the victim.

In the Stephen Dixon incident, Sarah Churchwell, a University of London professor, asks the question: "You're walking down the street and you get punched in the face. Are you responsible for having left your house?"
I want to remove the 'house' part, as I could get punched in the face in my house too.
So, for me - and without looking at all variables, like spiritual angles - as a man, if I get punched in the face, am I responsible for it?
I believe it does depend on what I am wearing and on how I have been behaving.
If I wear Ku Klux Klan gear in a black area, I surely should expect hostility! In the prank I just linked to, in the comments, one person say the prankster should have been killed, whilst another asks why can't he dress as he pleases.
If my behaviour is aggressive or confrontational, I am likely to attract a punch.
Alternatively, if I am drunk or have fearful body language, violent predators may see an easy target. Unfortunately, this is the way human society is. Beat him up for fun, for theft, even for rape or enslavement.
Gavin Henson, a former Welsh rugby player, combined drink and aggro to get punched in the face. See here or here. He even excused himself because of excessive alcohol. 
So, yes I can be partially responsible for getting punched in the face.

Perhaps she didn't understand the difference between antisocial and asocial violence? It might have been better if she had asked whether he would be responsible if he had been raped? The Gavin Henson example is an antisocial case, whilst rape is always asocial.
But even in asocial violence, there are often ways to minimise it, which is looked at further below. No blame for she or her, and in the long-term, ways are offered to minimise it.

Anyway, Sarah Churchwell goes on to say, it is only when we are talking about sexual assault that we say that the person assaulted was responsible.
I do not talk about assault like this!!
This is why I have an article on Violence & Common Sense.
This is why off-duty elite soldiers will position themselves strategically in public places (e.g. restaurants), so that if assault/terrorism does happen, they minimise the damage or risk likely to themself and their loved ones, and maximise the chances of a quick getaway.
This is why I have articles on:-
So, in all types of assault, we need to avoid blame.
But we prepare for the worst.

In all types of assault, we need to ensure that individuals can be more empowered (with suggested articles hyperlinked above).
we need to work on ways that society can reduce violence, such as:-
Regarding men and their responsibility. :-
  • The pregnant woman has a powerful opportunity to think good thoughts to her growing baby, thoughts and feelings that convey respect for women. This is likely to produce good men.  "It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men." (Frederick Douglass) Also see Babies Not Jails.
  • We teach men how to embody Inner Game. This is to avoid frustrated sexuality, which is a major cause of sexual assault. This education can start with fathers, role models, mentors, but also in educational settings. Some women who assist in AMP feel strongly called to this type of educational work, to help men get her world. This is surely one of the most important things that education needs to offer? This skill is so crucial to all relationships, as well as to healing gender war.
  • We make it clear that bad male behaviour is NOT manly or acceptable. Messages to him include: 'Watch your thoughts, not my clothes.'
  • The identities of perpetrators should not be allowed to be protected and anonymised by the likes of search engines and non-disclosure agreements.
Summing up, to put it bluntly - sadly and unfortunately - it is provocative to simply be human. Men, as well as women and children and animals, are sexually and violently assaulted.
We, who aspire to be good, must avoid blame whilst offering love, wisdom and skills. So, love and care around/after the incident, and the bigger picture only later.
We all must take responsibility for our dysfunctional society and build a successful society where this assault is unlikely to happen, a Culture of Love.

Silhouette of woman in skirt standing
Also see:-

Political Correctness [PC1]

Blame or Empowerment? [PC2]

Dress Codes [PC4]

Excessive Political Correctness [PC5]

Sexual Consent & Harassment

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Page last updated: 16 March 2019.