South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

‘Provocative clothing’ does not excuse sexual assault

Real Greyson Columnist

A controversial belief I have heard going around on the topic of sexual assault is the idea that the way a woman dresses affects whether or not it is OK to harass and assault her. This is yet another excuse that continues to perpetuate rape culture. There is no justification whatsoever for sexual assault.

By the logic of “provocative clothing excusing rape,” anyone who wears expensive clothes and accessories gives thieves the right to rob them. That person had the audacity to flaunt nice clothes, shoes and phones in public. Isn’t that the same as begging to be robbed?

If not, why was that person wearing such nice clothing and carrying an expensive phone? How dare that person step out of the house like that, right?

And again, by the extension of this logic, does your uneducated and morally incorrect argument give me the right to question your intelligence and call someone an idiot?

Personal snide aside, girls wear revealing clothes because they want to. They don’t need to justify it to anybody. It doesn’t matter if they want to flaunt themselves, or want to feel confident in their bodies. Their desire to look their best is no way an invitation to others to harass them or lay claim on them.

In a world that believes highly in empowering women and encouraging survivors to unite with strength, it goes to stand that verbal consent is valuable and something that should be universally understood.

In what reality is a provocative outfit equivalent to verbal consent?

Rape is not about “loss of control’”on rapist’s part, rather it’s about “asserting control” over the victim. Rape is not sex, it comes as a form of sex with the sole purpose of inflicting harm — it is violence. It’s never about the victims, it’s all about rapist’s mentality. So how can dressing modestly change rapist’s mindset on asserting control?

A rapist is responsible for sexual assault, not what a woman chooses to wear in public.

The number of assaults will not go down if women make sure to cover up, and they shouldn’t be forced to dress a certain way to preserve their own safety. Respect should be a right not a privilege.

A low-cut top or a short dress in no way justifies violent actions.

A rapist will still assault and they will find something to blame other than themselves.

Females have the absolute right to wear what they want, and if you can’t control your raging hormones and claim what a woman wears gives you the right to harass or assault her then guess what— the problem is you.

Changes come about from solving the root issue of a problem. Outfit choice is not the problem and the world needs to know this. This is not a conversation we should still be having in 2018.

SDSU has many opportunities to educate students on the realities of sexual assault and gain awareness about how to prevent it. I encourage everyone to take a chance to educate themselves with all of the informational activities coming up for “Sexual Assault Awareness Week” in April.

Real Greyson is an entrepreneurial studies major and can me reached at [email protected].

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