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The Freedom to Wear a Skirt if we Choose

I came across and article today from a link on Yahoo to Examiner.com that enraged me where I typically get some of my news of the day. I read that Richard Graham, a British lawmaker, suggested that “short skirts risk rape.” This is a generalization. I am sure that women who wear pants have just as high of a risk of getting raped as women that wear skirts do. In my opinion, I think rape happens when you are in the wrong place at the wrong time.

According to Examiner.com, “he insists the comment isn’t what it sounds like. He wasn’t blaming women’s sexy outfits for attracting rapists but rather opining that short skirts and high heels make it easier for a woman to fend off and escape her attacker.” Trust me if a woman wants to get away from someone trying to rape her, she would throw the heels aside and run like the wind to get away. A short skirt does not mean squat.

This article relates to chapter 3 discussing femininity, because part of what makes us different then a male is the ability to be able to wear a skirt and cute high heeled shoes in our daily lives. As a girl we want to be able to wear cute clothes, and if it happens to include a skirt then that is our choice. In our textbook “Women’s Voices, Feminist Visions,” suggest that “doing gender in terms of femininity involves speaking, walking, looking, and acting in certain ways: in feminine ways.” For me, I identify with a woman who wears heels and a skirt, because in our culture that is what we know women to look like.

In addition to my anger, women’s groups across the globe are angered at this comment as well. These groups are angered that they should be held “responsible for being raped if they chose wrong attire.” Wearing a skirt is no different than wearing pants, although it might be more sexy that does not mean you are asking for it.


  1. awiedmaier says:

    “Short skirts do NOT risk rape”! Rape is an act of violence against women, not a sexual act. Therefore, it really doesn’t matter what the woman is wearing if she happens to be in the company of a man who intends on committing this crime. I think it is ridiculous for anyone to make the assumption that rape is committed because of lust – created by the clothes a woman may be wearing at the time. I completely disagree.

  2. pammiano says:

    Here is a question I would like answered: Why is it that men who are ‘generally’ considered to be more rational and in control of their emotions, not to mention inherently more intelligent and better suited to run large corporations and guide countries as presidents and rulers are unable to control their sexual urges?
    Of course that can be considered a trick question, because rape of women is not about sex so much as it is about power. Power to take sex, power to blame women with the ridiculous notion that a she was “asking for it” by the way she looks or dresses, power to intimate victims into not pressing charges.
    Then there is the irony that women are pushed by society to be sexual objects and pressured to look and dress a certain way. More power is exerted when the women who do not conform are called lesbians or other labels deemed to be derogatory. Seems like women just do not have leverage here.
    I was at a hair salon last week and another client, who was probably in her low-to-mid twenties, was talking to her stylist, who seemed to be her friend by the familiar way they were speaking, saying her male boss told her that he hired her because he thought she was intelligent and beautiful and while he was right about her being intelligent, she is not looking too good lately and looks like she needs sex. Really? How is this OK? It seems to me that a man can only be comfortable saying that if he is assured of it being his right to make such a judgment and also not have repercussions from doing so. Those are rights bestowed from having power, so one could see how that could correlate to men feeling like they overpower women sexually too.

  3. alemara123 says:

    Of course, what women wear is important to protect them. These days we hear about a lot of raping crimes. Why is this? one reason is because of the widespread of hair styles tecquenics, makeup, short, tight, and seen through clothes which show a woman’s body. so, how are these looks and attractions not suppose to expose a woman to rape? A man who rape a woman is a human who has eyes lust and desires. Some men have sick desires that they can not resist. As women, in the Muslim world, we are asked to cover our heads and bodies so that we will be protected from such sick desires.

  4. ckolo1 says:

    Again Rape is about power and control. There are men and women who are raped that are not reveling anything as far as legs, arms ,breast, groin areas. So why were they raped? Because another individual decided to take their power and control away!!

  5. tlhays says:

    The idea that a SKIRT is like a welcome sign for rapists pisses me off. I wear dresses, pants, skirts, heels, and gym shoes sometimes but, if someone felt like they wanted to rape me they absolutely would. Just think about if you see a group of women standing outside in skirts and one woman in pants by herself, who do you think the rapist would go for? I feel like this is trying to knock women back a few steps. So not only are we suppose to be dainty, respectful, and fairly submissive BUT we are also suppose to be feminine. People see skirts and dresses as femininity BUT now we aren’t suppose to wear them because they are a risk. Come on if that’s the case we should all just wrap up in a sheet from head to toe and never leave the house

  6. dsielski says:

    Skirts are not a risk for females to wear in that they invite rape explicitly. However, wearing very short skirts and revealing clothing does warrant a lot of illicit unwanted attention on the females behalf. I know you are trying to take the perspective that clothing doesn’t matter when it comes to rape, it could happen to anyone, and your probably right. But, the fact of the matter is that skirts and other clothes showing a lot of skin will bring more attention to a woman than maybe that same woman in a sweatshirt and jeans would.

  7. rwhensle says:

    I’m kind of on the fence in regard to this. I first off want to make it clear that in no way is a woman at fault for being raped. That mentality is ridiculous and honestly I’m ashamed that someone could somehow come to that conclusion. With that being said, I do feel that some clothing women wear (especially more nowadays) DOES attract an immense amount of attention. Skirts are getting shorter, tops are cut lower and lower… I think the misconception or confusion stems from the fact that too often for a women to be considered “more sexy” she needs to show more skin which will obviously garner more attention (often more than she anticipated) but for a man to be considered sexy or attractive he doesn’t need to show more skin.

  8. dawaby says:

    Reblogged this on dawaby's Blog and commented:
    Why is it that many sex guides advice women to dress scantily to turn him on yet feminists deny dressing is no excuse for rape?

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