As sexual assault cases continue to get national attention, there's still an underlying theme of victim blaming. The idea that it's the victim's fault that she incited or encouraged the attacked based upon her attire or actions. Was her skirt too short? Maybe her plunging top invited undue attention?
One writer is correcting the myth once and for all: Short skirts do not lead to rape.
Heather Timmons looked at sexual assaults in two countries that she's lived in; Hong Kong (a country in which women are allowed to dress as scantily clad as they'd like) versus the more conservative country of India. "Women in Hong Kong wear whatever they damn well please—from tap shorts and three-inch heels to [the] office to strappy tank tops and mini-jogging shorts to go sightseeing to cutoff jean shorts paired with Wellington boots when it rains," she explains. "They travel on public transportation, slog away at corporate jobs, and go out at night in whatever they damn well please—and I’ve never seen a women being catcalled by a Hong Kong guy."
In 2015, Hong Kong had 107 reported rapes and 713 sexual assaults compared to India's capital New Delhi which had 2,199 and 5,367, respectively. When broken down by the rate of attacks compared to the entire population, Delhi's 11.8% far outweighed 1.5%.
There's plenty of factors that explain these results, including cultural norms, police enforcement of assaults and deeper gender beliefs. The writer also admits that Hong Kong isn't perfect and has its own issues of gender discrimination and unfair blame. However, based on the stats and her own experiences, it seems that putting on a skirt (or whatever you damn well want to wear) alone does not (and should not) lead to sexual attacks.
[Photo: Getty Images]