- One in four people believe women who have been raped are partly to blame for the crime because of how they dressed, their sexual history or how much they had to drink.
- More than 30% think a victim is some way responsible if she flirts with a man or fails to say no clearly.
- 10% of people think the victim is entirely at fault if she has had a number of sexual partners.
- 37% think a woman who flirts extensively is at least complicit, if not completely in the wrong, if she is the victim of a sex crime.
- One in three think a woman is either partly or fully to blame if she wears revealing clothes.
- 38% believe a woman must share some of the blame if she walks through a deserted area.
This is blatant victim blaming. Period. Stop. I'm going to refer to an old comparison: If a man is walking through a deserted area at night and is mugged, he is not blamed. If a man's wallet can be seen though his back pocket and he is robbed, he is not blamed. If a man pulls out his wallet with cash visible and he is robbed, he is not blamed. If a man has been robbed in the past, he is not blamed.
We had a similar discussion on our radio show before break, regarding the way women dress and subsequent expectations of behavior. One of the main points we tried to convey is that men are not mindless sex maniacs. They have the ability to stop, to resist the oh-so-enticing women in the miniskirt. A poster on Feministing.com put it best:
"I'm a guy and I am appalled by the thought that so many people still believe that we are just animals who aren't able to control our actions once they see a nice pair of legs or breasts. Arousal may be unconscious, whatever follows isn't."
But if a man makes that conscious decision to continue when his partner's consent is not given, he is solely to blame and nothing a women is wearing, has worn, has said in the past, or has done can exempt him from that blame.