It seems like it should just be in Jodie Foster movies that women get blamed for being victims of rape based on their wardrobe and behavior. It should be that way — that women are just asking for bad things to happen to them while dressed provocatively on the silver screen only — but unfortunately, it isn’t.
Need some evidence? Look no further than the hipster capital of the world: Brooklyn.
Cops are warning women in the South Park Slope neighborhood not to wear short skirts or shorts, lest they fall victim to some pervert or perverts who has been sexually assaulting area women since last March.
The Wall Street Journal reported that one neighborhood woman was walking home from the gym this week when a cop stopped her and two other women. He pointed to their outfits (shorts on one, dresses on the other two), and asked, “Don’t you think your shorts are a little short?” And to the women in dresses he observed they were “showing a lot of skin.”
Such clothing, according to the cop, could make an assailant think he had “easy access.”
Which is funny, because I would have thought dumb cops would be what would make most assailants feel as if they have easy access. Somehow I think if all Brooklyn women started dressing in turtlenecks and sweatpants, the assaults would continue anyway. But maybe that’s just me.
Instead of telling women to change how they dress, clearly the NYPD must have another plan on how to keep them safe and catch the suspect, no? As of late, the neighborhood has banded together anyway to try and prevent further attacks, namely through local volunteers escorting women home, and extra self-defense workshops sprouting up. And to be fair, there is an increased police presence in the area.
But as one commenter at Feministing asked, “Does the NYPD also inform drivers of Mercedes Benzes that they should consider driving low-end cars so as not get their cars stolen? What about telling men in suits and ties that they should dress down to avoid being pickpocketed?
Of course, the NYPD says they’re not telling anyone anything.
“Officers are not telling women what not to wear—there’s a TV series that does that,” said Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne in an email to the Wall Street Journal. “They are simply pointing out that as part of the pattern involving one or more men that the assailant(s) have targeted women wearing skirts.”
What do you think? Does the cop have a point, or should he stop worrying about what the women are wearing and worry instead about finding the suspect(s)?