TRIGGER WARNING This article contains information about sexual assault which may be triggering to survivors.
Donna Karen and Eddie Bernice Johnson have something in common. Well known? Sure. Women? Obviously. But as of late they have shown themselves to be enablers. Enablers to a behavior that goes against humanity and morality. To a behavior so despicable that it leaves some people speechless and most people lost and angry. And without as much as literally holding down the victim themselves, their words carve a path of perception and acceptance that is detrimental to society, to both men and women, to the young and old, to the rich and poor. Their thoughtless words bestow blame on to the victim of harassment and assault, and removes the culpability and responsibility off the delinquent. They somehow believe that if I wore a short skirt and showed some cleavage it’s an open invitation for someone not only to make a profane, rude and flippant comment about my attire, but that its open season for someone to place their dirty disrespectful hands on to my body.
Let’s humor these women but for a hot minute and ask them… what exactly is the type of clothing that would be considered an invitation for another person to have their way with me? How short or long should my skirt be? How high up should my neckline be? How tight or loose should my clothes be? Should I wear long sleeves only? Or short sleeves? 3/4 sleeves? Are tank tops okay? Can I expose my shoulders? Or is my collarbone just too erotic? Erotic knees? I know, erotic elbows? Should we all be embracing the same burkini that so many nations condemned last year? Are we saying that if a man showed his chest hairs or wore pants fitted enough it outlined his package, would it be equally okay for me to make a mention of his blessed endowment, pat his package or pick at his hairs? Should there be a written dress code for women and not men? Who should be allowed to determine the details and parameters of such codes? And finally, as the cherry on top of this debatable dessert… with all this discussion about exposure, does the Muslim religion have it right with the hijab and burka and should we be taking our cues from them?
I invite Donna Karen the clothing designer and Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson to answer each one of these questions. I invite them to sit with me or with any harassment victim and discuss this with them. Maybe they need to sit with a woman who has been raped and discuss how they believe that this rape victim was at fault and what she could have done better to have avoided such an unforgivable act.
Okay, maybe it’s not just the clothing. Maybe they are saying that it’s our behavior or lack of “proper” behavior that invites these men to have free range to step in to our personal space. Let’s run with that…. should I be quiet and demure? Doesn’t that make me an easy target? Or should I be loud and assertive? Doesn’t that trigger the thought that I may need to be “controlled”? I like to have a drink or two, sometimes 3. Oh, okay, I should have only one drink then leave? At that point, all bars, restaurants, events would be deemed a sausage party after just the first hour. Would a man then become frustrated but still have the sense to go home themselves and call it a night? Or would they feel compelled to follow a woman home? Wait, you mean I should have only one drink but remain at the event where all the men get to drink to their heart’s content? At least the women will be sober enough to fight off these men, because they are never held accountable either way? Am I remotely close to the point these two women were trying to make?
I’m sure some will say… I’m being unreasonable and extremist in my questioning. That I should know how to balance it out and know what to avoid in order to protect myself from these everyday predators. That I can only change myself and not others. Well, that makes total sense, because no self-respecting, hardworking, well spoken, conservatively dressed, sober woman has EVER had a man harass her or assault her or rape her. Well, didn’t THAT. JUST. SOUND. STUPID!!!
Here’s my last question to Donna Karen and Eddie Bernice Johnson; If women are being held responsible for being assaulted, will you with the same standard hold children accountable for being molested? I’d like to hear your stance on that.
Let’s make this easy and clear for everyone to understand. My clothes do NOT allow you to say something sexual to me. My behavior does NOT allow you to make sexual advances at me. Do NOT touch me in a sexual manner if you’re not my boyfriend or husband. And if you are my date, boyfriend or husband, if I say “no, I’m not in the mood” or “stop”, then just stop. And if I’m tipsy or flat-out drunk, acting stupid or even passed out, all these STILL HOLD TRUE.
And shame on anyone, especially women that blame the victim and don’t hold predators in their entirety for their lewd, nasty, filthy, unacceptable behavior. If Donna Karen or Eddie Bernice Johnson have never experienced this type of behavior from the opposite sex, then I am happy and relieved for them. If they have unfortunately experienced this and blamed themselves, then they would highly benefit from some type of therapy or support group. Because they are not doing themselves or us any favors by hiding behind the blame. And more importantly, they are not helping society in holding the proper parties accountable. Only when a criminal or prospective criminal is held accountable, can we have a glimmer of hope that things will get better.
This designer and congresswoman are only two people. But that is two people too many, especially with their type of exposure, expressing these ideas. These ideas are dangerous. These ideas are toxic. Don’t be a part of this toxic mentality. Use your brain, use your heart, use your words for bettering the world.
— The Pretty Platform